Destructive Missions, Partially Accomplished
A recently revealed project at the Federal Communications Commission is by far the most brazen and disturbing of the three.
Under the thinnest imaginable pretense, allegedly the need to address the "problem" of sparse minority ownership of U.S. media outlets, the FCC wants "to send government contractors into the nation's newsrooms to determine whether journalists are producing articles, television reports, Internet content, and commentary that meets the public's 'critical information needs.'" One dissenting commissioner summed up the clear danger: "The implicit message to the newsroom is they need to start covering these eight categories (of critical information needs) in a certain way or otherwise the FCC will go after them." If the monitoring effort were to completely succeed, state and national news reports would consist of little more than word-for-word broadcasts of AP scripts and verbatim copies of AP content.
After howls of outrage at the obvious Orwellian impulse driving this supposedly "voluntary" effort, the FCC began to back down. On Tuesday, the commission said it "canceled" the study, but one FCC commissioner said it's only "suspended."
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is the same slippery guy whose response to a recent court ruling nuking its "net neutrality" rules was, according to Information Week, to work on "a new version" of the same thing. There's no reason to trust his claim that the study has been canceled until a new regime is in place.
Meanwhile, newsrooms across America have been sent a message that they'd be better off sanitizing their content and keeping it in line with what Dear Leader would prefer to see, effective immediately. Don't be surprised if Obamacare horror stories, of which there is no shortage, become rarely reported events.
Even if those pursuing the three measures just described never lift another finger, they'll get a good deal of the fear-driven behavior change they wish to achieve, accompanied by side effects, including but certainly not limited to slower job growth, a continued lackluster economy, and civic malaise, about which they apparently care little.
The utter failure of a gun registration effort in Connecticut reveals that at least some hope exists for those who believe there might eventually be a way back from the accelerating despotic rush.
The Nutmeg State required that all so-called "assault weapons" be registered by December 31. Many freedom lovers who were distraught at seeing hundreds of gun owners waiting in line to comply at year-end have since been cheered by the knowledge that, in one of the bluest states in America, the vast majority of gun owners "flipped the bird at the government" by not registering anything.
This at least shows that there's no shortage of passive resistance. We will likely soon learn that it's not enough, but at least the well of courage isn't, as some had feared, completely dry.