The intent of this blog is to promote human equality, human progress, human peace and justice, and optimism. To accomplish this, to encourage the discussion of ideas after identifying and discovering problems, and then creating positive solutions for "we the people," in order to provide for the "general welfare" and "domestic tranquility" of America now and its "posterity" into the future. To encourage an emphasis on separation of religion and state for all, no matter if this is for those "of faith" in a Maker / Creator (Deists, God-loving people, Christians, various people of spirituality) and atheists or agnostics.

Posts tagged ‘local control of media’

Cable TV

While living in South Florida, we had choices for cable TV and Internet services. Here in Tioga County, we often have only one choice. For many of us, that one choice is Spectrum, unless we try HughesNet, Dish, or DirectTV through the airwaves of satellite.  Satellite services are not given a good review, particularly with Internet. 

The FCC has given favor to big business and corporate welfare and has nationalized (socialism) by way of corporate welfare and favors to the wealthy who run such services. Not only have we lost local content in newspapers which were once chock full of local news, information, and culture, we have lost control of local broadcasting.  Television broadcasting, especially in rural hilly areas has been made so weak by the FCC, that we are forced to subscribe to Internet and cable TV.  It’s all a strategy to nationalize by way of corporate welfare by way of money funding the government and favors done for the wealthy.  Radio broadcasting, too, is weakened.  When in my younger years here, we did not have difficulty in driving in a car and receiving the local radio broadcasts just about anywhere, whether AM or FM.  Today, to open up bandwidth for the thumbing on mobile phones which come nowhere close to what we had in local broadcasting, we are unable to have powerful local broadcasting stations in this rural hilly area. Oh, I forget. When we go on top of the hills where the density of population is lower (smaller audience to make money), we can get clear signals.  In the valleys, the reception sucks.  It might not be a huge number of people, but sure is more densely populated with a larger number than on top of the hills.  Perhaps we should be like Chinese communists and move populations to where they wish to have them located – on top of the hills?  This is ridiculous.

In the 1960s, in the hills of upstate New York and Pennsylvania, the cable television industry was born – on the local level.  The FCC did not micro-manage these things with regulatory authority. The regulatory agency involved the local authorities.  The FCC, doing favors for corporate welfare CEOs, has wrongly regulated cable TV and other local media outlets. 

To reiterate. In South Florida, we had a choice of cable TV and Internet. The old copper telephone lines into our home were used to deliver Internet by way of AT&T fiber optic lines up to the box and connected to the copper wires.  We also had the choice of copper coax lines by way of Comcast.  The lines within the home were all the same type of lines as what we had with telephone and cable TV in the past. 

In addition to these two options, a small and local firm named Laurie’s TV offered cable television and Internet within our Homeowners’ Association development.  We could pay extra and at a lower cost for this HOA cable / Internet access, in addition to the HOA fees we paid.  The speed for the Internet was not good, so we chose AT&T, delivered by fiber optics and copper.  We chose Laurie’s TV for cable TV.  (FYI: Laurie’s TV was sold to another firm). 

Explanation about this HOA.  The HOA was like an incorporated village, but run by a private organization based 60 miles away in Miami.  Residents had problems trying to pay their bills at such a distant location, but were treated like dirt by an attitude of “I’ll break your knees if you don’t pay,” even when a check was lost in the mail.  The one-party dictatorial fascist Republican control in that state put teeth into the ability of these private organizations, called “condo commandos” to run rough-shod over the people.  Even a retired NY State Trooper was treated like crap by an organization like this. 

Within the “mini-village” environment, they provided choices for local cable TV and Internet.  But the costs for us, per year, to maintain sidewalks, streets, public lawns, and social hall were about four to six times what Newark Valley village residents pay in government taxes in order to do the same thing.  And they were like Mafia bosses in attempting to collect, protected by Republicans who controlled the state. 

I say, to people who wish to move to Florida, be careful what you wish for.  I say to people here who complain about incorporated village taxes, be careful  what you complain about because I have seen it much worse when such village services are provided by PRIVATIZED HOA services.  After all, George W. Bush and his brother, Jeb Bush of Florida always said, “what’s good for [PRIVATIZED] business is good for America.”  Not so fast in believing such stuff because it sucks, like a Nazi Hitler-type in Germany. Like a communist Chinese. Like a Putin fascist dictator.  Be careful what you believe and dig in your heals in such regard.  Being humble means learning so as to overcome ignorance. Not being humble and refusing to learn means being a stupid idiot. 

After some 40 years living in Floridan and observing what happened there, I bring a different perspective to this community. Cable TV is one issue in which I bring a different perspective.  I have a different perspective on other issues besides cable TV.  It would be nice if somebody would listen, consider, and THINK about my perspective and the information I have to offer. Stop the BS about whether this is politics and my opinion. It is my experiences with facts to share.  Stop  scoffing at me in the same manner 19th Century NY Governor George Clinton was scoffed at when he proposed what was called by the scoffers, “Clinton’s Ditch.”  Stop the taunting of me because I give my perspective.  Cable TV in rural upstate NY really sucks, but so does the nationalization of cable TV and media, for the sake of corporate welfare, while social welfare and taxes for all are issues castigated with wishes to destroy, not reform. 

Side note besides cable TV:  What the people need is to take back local control which is good for all, not just for a group of white supremacists called Nazis.  The Republican Party is no longer the party of Abraham Lincoln, but should be re-named the Nazi KKK Party. 

Local Control of Media & Supply-side Economics

As a kid growing up in this rural area of upstate New York, we could drive and pick up local radio stations from Binghamton, Cortland, Ithaca, Owego, and other areas. It did not matter whether the stations were AM or FM. The exception might have been with WENE as they reduced their power at night. So, with AM radio, we could pick up WKBW out of Buffalo, WABC our of New York City, or WQXR (classical music) out of New York City. We could even received Wheeling, West Virginia AM late at night. Try to do any of this today.

What do we get today? Driving to Owego, NY, on NYS 38 and encounter the “mountains” (hills”) north of Owego and few of the stations come in. When I once drove to a job at IBM Federal Systems Division (today, Lockheed Martin), I never ever remember losing a local station by the hills to the east of NYS 38. Today, we do.

We had a large antenna at the top of our home (2 stories plus a large attic). With this antenna, we could pick up Binghamton AND Syracuse television stations. That was VHF. We could put up a special UHF antenna to pick up additional (besides VHF 12) Binghamton channels and Elmira channels. Try to do that today and I am told it is near impossible. So we are stuck with only one source. Spectrum “cable” TV and Internet. We experience buffering and often a connection with Spectrum which reminds me of the wait we had for a 1950s vacuum tube television to power up.

Due to the hills here, we were one of the first areas, along with those in the hills of Pennsylvania, to get wired for cable television. Now we were able to receive clearer pictures, particularly on the local UHF channels, but also with ABC channel 9 (VHF) out of Syracuse. What a thrill that was!

But we had a choice. Either use cable television or use, possibly upgrade, our own antennas. Here we are in the 21st Century and, due to the FCC, we don’t have choices. How much money rolls into the FCC from the big corporate conglomerates, in order to give us this centralized supply-side economics? Your guess is as good as mine.

In those years, the FCC utilized the Fairness Doctrine of the late 1940s bipartisan effort, to moderate what was on the air. The idea, too, was to not allow one ownership in a local area of ALL the media. Boy, has that changed today. This idea was a smart idea so that one company did not own it all. The ownership was spread around to others. Seems to me that Gannett owned one of the local Binghamton stations (today Fox 40, which was once WINR Television and broadcasting the NBC network). Today, Seem to remember that the rules changed and WINR had to be sold. The result was NBC WiCZ 40 and WINR Radio. All done to spread the ownership around, rather than allowing big centrally controlled supply-side economics companies to own an entire market, as what is allowed today.

OK. So, the power of local television and radio broadcasts is reduced. Got ya! Yes, so we can have the all thumbs approach to more mobile phones, the bandwidth for local television and radio had to be reduced. All thumbs and access to nothing but Internet, fake and false news. Destruction of local news outlets, whether newspapers with local INFORMATION (not just news) in detail. Plus, the loss of local television and radio by numerous owners who could vary what the public received in news and entertainment.

Oh, sure. Now we have channel 12, but also MeTV. We have My 8 (whatever that is). All these additional ones are on top of CBS, NBC, ABC. It’s nice because the PBS television can add extra channels for kids, create TV, and perhaps others.

But try to receive this myriad of stations and channels here in “country bumpkin” land of rural Tioga County. There might just be a clearer line, with less hills, to Elmira, Ithaca, and Syracuse. Yet, the distance and the weaker channels preclude us from receiving such. And the FCC says Spectrum cannot put the additional channels out for us to receive. Tough rules based on what the supply-side economics corporations want from the top of their “divine right” stools.”

How many other rural areas face this obstacle in America? I don’t remember rural areas being treated like chopped liver (or stools of shit) in those years gone by, just because we had a less dense population.

All thanks to the Internet and mobile phones. I can recall that Spectrum in Florida denied us mobile phones three times. Three times we mentioned we needed the phones delivered to us in South Florida. Three times, we received acknowledgement that, “oh, yeah, we understand you have not yet moved to Melbourne, so w will send to your South Florida address.” That in a state where people are so mobile.

Never happened. By the third strike, one got rather angry at being treated in such a lousy manner. And here we are. In upstate New York with Spectrum and no other choices for Internet.

Mobile phones and Internet are more important than local television, radio, and newspapers. How perverted will America get, beyond just what I have described? It is disgusting.

And all the digital technology has moved outside the USA, while President Biden and the Democrats would like to do something about such a situation, from infrastructure to regulatory concerns. And what do Republicans do? Sabotage President Biden and the Democrats.

I just have to say all this because it disgusts me with regard to local control we once had when IBM was here in the Southern Tier. Now, it all flies out the window.

And we live happily ever after.

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