First, if you remember the shitstorm on Romney’s “I like to fire my provider” comment, here’s the whole thing, in context, with the important stuff in bold and italics:
“I want individuals to have their own insurance. That means the insurance company will have an incentive to keep you healthy. It also means that if you don’t like what they do, you could fire them. I like being able to fire people who provide services to me. You know, if someone isn’t giving the good service, I want to say, I’m going to go get someone else to provide this service to.”
Everyone focused on the “I like being able to fire people” quote because it was the easy quote to focus on. It seemed to exult in power to withhold good from someone, and had enough seeming harshness in it to beg for highlighting in the first place. Never mind that it actually tied in with the sentence before it, and was further explained further down in the same quote.
But the press seemed to go out of their way to ignore the first sentence in the above quote. I’ll drag it down below so that people can look at it closer (and yes, out of context):
I want individuals to have their own insurance.
Yes, imagine that: three hundred million people with their own separate insurance. Nothing allowed through companies, nothing where people group together in a Union, three hundred individual with a need for insurance.
And on the other side: Five insurance people with no real need to insure people, an insured profit margin to work with, and a government to do their bidding if people decide to go without.
Five major insurance givers against three hundred million people who need the insurance. And with the Federal Government forcing people to get insurance (although the court case is being looked through in the meantime), these five groups will end up having dictatorial powers over the people needing insurance if Mitt Romney has his way.
(And don’t tell me that open competition from out-of-state companies will drop prices. Already there’s a combining of companies so that health insurance companies operates in multiple states – Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield already operates in fourteen states and is probably looking to either be bought up or to buy other companies to expand their reach).
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Now, onto SOPA and PIPA:
All everyone seems to focus on is the issues of “Piracy.” As if it’s everyone’s right to listen to whatever they want and watch whatever they want without any cost to them.
Now I understand that the main entertainment companies (represented by the RIAA and the MPAA) bitching about “Intellectual Property Criminals” assume that every one of their customers (past, present, future and potential) are criminals out to steal from them blind – and that these companies tend to deserve to be ripped off. I also understand that these same companies need money to make stuff – and that, for the most part, the ability to reproduce stuff freely and at nearly no cost has caused greater problems for the smaller fish than for the larger fish. The Black Eyed Peas, those pervayors of Lowest Common Denominator pablum, do well but many other groups that don’t crush themselves into the form-fitting formats that reign now end up crawling from tour to tour.
(A word of admission here: I loved the fact that my groups were doing the above, living from tour to tour and recording like crazy…in the eighties. After a while I wanted to think that enough other people were getting what I was getting. Got that…and grew to regret it.)
But…here’s a question I’d like to you consider: Ever think that it’s not about the entertainment industry?
I remember a year or two ago, when the big issue was “Net Neutrality.” Back then service providers (Comcast, AT&T and a few other mega-providers) were trying to implement a system in which they would tightly control what people had access to. We’d get all the entertainment stuff from Disney/Fox/CBS/etc., and if we wanted more we’d either have to pay more or hack our way into hidden Internets that were busy hiding from the world.
Everyone in the internet reacted, and the providers quieted down. People thought that they had won their right to hunt down internet porn and download the latest hits heard on the radio; but the companies just hunkered down and figured out a new strategy:
Have the major content providers come up with a bill. Once it passes, we’ll be able to implement the barriers we were planning a couple years ago.
It has a couple of benefits. It shifts the focus from “access to our internet” to “prevention of piracy and theft,” thereby giving the impression of correcting a wrong. It also hides the actual plans (by one remove) from people’s minds. The people focus on the draconian measures that ISPs, Search Engines and Hosts would seemingly have to do with every complaint and misses the obvious answer from the Provider side: You can’t violate intellectual property rights if you don’t have the means to do so…and the death of net neutrality by the Access Provides (AT&T, Comcast, et al) would do that in one fell swoop.
It also makes the entertainment industry look stupid (although the RIAA and MPAA go out of their way to look stupid, talking down to their customers as if they’re kids who need everlasting punishment to pay for their “sins”) and takes all eyes off the folks who were to actually carry out the law.
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Interesting that the press keeps missing what’s really going on. At some point one begins to suspect stuff…like they’re missing stuff for a reason.
I’m already doing that.