March 19th, 2013 ~ An Iraq War veteran's Last Letter to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.
March 18th, 2013 ~ Less than a month remains for public comment on the FCC's consideration of allowing greater than 25% foreign ownership of American radio and television broadcasters. If this straightforward restriction, honored for decades by multiple FCC administrations, is now abandoned, where does it stop? Would 35% foreign ownership be okay? How about 50% or 75%? Why not allow 100% foreign ownership of FCC license-holders, broadcasting on OUR airwaves?
Many policy decisions of our government have been described as "a slippery slope", but removing the 25% cap on foreign ownership of OUR airwaves, sounds to me like a plunge into the abyss for any chance of an American perspective on the events of the day. If you're as alarmed by this as I am, I implore you to go to the FCC's ECFS Express and enter 13-50 as the proceeding to comment on.
If you wish, please feel free to use my own comments to FCC Media Bureau Chief, William T. Lake as a template, but whatever you choose to write, please keep it short and sweet. Here, then, is my own submission:
Dear Mr. Lake,
As an American citizen, I am greatly concerned by your consideration, in proceeding 13-50, of allowing foreign ownership of America's broadcasters in excess of 25%. These license-holders also hold an implied responsibility for their exclusive use of OUR airwaves; to speak with America's voice and to view our world through America's eyes. Your 25% limit on foreign ownership has existed for decades for that very purpose. If you now remove that clear and traditional restriction, where, then, does the foreign ownership end? Does it end at 35%, 50%, 100%? Where, then, does that leave America's voice; America's vision? Mute and blind? I implore you NOT to let this happen. Do not change your 25% limit on foreign ownership of our airwaves. History will note this moment and your decision in this matter. Please make the right decision for America's future.
Bradley L. Gould
March 14th, 2013 ~ Okay, now this is just getting creepy. It's not bad enough we have a "citizen" like Australian-born Rupert Murdoch dominating OUR airwaves with his vitreolic, batshit crazy radio and television holdings, but now FCC Chairman, Julius Genachowski has encouraged his Media Bureau to call for comments on allowing FOREIGN ownership of broadcast radio and television stations in excess of 25%.
In his clear assessment of the potential policy change, Pillsbury Communications Group partner, Richard Zaragosa, points out that Section 310(b)(4) of the Clinton era Communications Act of 1996, only limits the foreign ownership of a specific investor to 25%; not the overall ownership of a given FCC broadcast license-holder. That might seem like counting the angels dancing on the head of a pin, but in a legal sense, it provides some "wiggle room" for foreign investors to actually hold MORE than a 25% interest in America's broadcast license-holders.
Comments on this chilling foreign coup d'etat of OUR AIRWAVES close on April 15th. I URGE you to make your comments before then and to contact your Senators and your Representative demanding OUR airwaves remain mostly in American hands. There's no guarantee American investors will be patriots and honor the core principles of our First Amendment, but AS Americans, they can certainly be considered traitors if they don't. Could the same be said of a FOREIGN investor? Of course not.
March 11th, 2013 ~ I just started a new petition at the White House's "We the People" website. Please sign my petition to repeal the Postal Acountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 and return anywhere from $50 Billion to $75 Billion back to the Postal Service Retirement and Health Benefits Fund where it belongs!
March 6th, 2013 ~ Our current U.S. Postal Service was officially formed on July 1st, 1971, but traces its roots back to the second Continental Congress of 1775, where Benjamin Franklin was appointed as the first Postmaster General. From those first moments in 1775, neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night, have stayed our postal workers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. In the 1860's our postal service was noteworthy for the Pony Express and in the early 20th Century, daring U.S. Air Mail Service pilots paved the way for the commercialization of air flight; a multi-billion dollar industry today.
Up until a month ago, you could count on seeing a postal vehicle every day except Sundays and federal holidays; in front of a New York apartment building, or a box on a post out in the middle of nowhere. As long as you had mail, they would deliver.
But now, a crushing debt, mandated by the Bush-era Congress in the Postal Acountability and Enhancement Act of 2006, has forced our U.S. Postal Service to cut out Saturday delivery and some in Congress want to close our postal service down altogether. That debt is NOT from any bureaucratic excess or any mismanagement on the part of our U.S. Postal Service. In fact, without Congress's malfeasance, our U.S.P.S. would show a PROFIT in the hundreds of Millions and could stand toe-to-toe with FedEx, UPS, DHL, or ANY private delivery service.
That mandate, to the tune of $5.5 Billion per year, is the result of an accounting error which took anywhere from $50 Billion to $75 Billion into the General Services Health Benefits and Retirement Fund that should have been credited to the Postal Service Retirement and Health Benefit Fund. Rather than correct that error, Congress decided to hang onto that cash and force the USPS back to square one; demanding the USPS make up for the Congressionally absconded funds to cover 75 years of retirement benefits over a ten year period.
That act of Congress saddled our USPS with a massive and unfair financial burden NO OTHER CORPORATION must bear. Yet those calling for either massive reforms or dissolution of OUR USPS are the very legislators who created this crisis! It's like hobbling a thoroubred race horse and then expecting that horse to finish first! Of course, those in Congress who came up with this monstrosity had no bets on their own hobbled horse.
THEIR bets were on FedEx, DHL, or UPS to cross the finish line (or perhaps their outstreched palms) first. If you're as incensed as I am by this Congressional robbery of our postal service and the tens of thousands of hard-working postal workers we rely on every day, I urge you to write your
Senators and your Representative, demanding they return the absconded billions to the Postal Service Retirement and Health Benefits Fund and end their unfair mandate immediately.
March 2nd, 2013 ~ Let's get something straight about all the noise surrounding the sequestration provisions of the Budget Control Act of 2011. Those provisions were NEVER supposed to go into effect. They were intentionally designed to be mindless, across-the-board, draconian cuts to encourage the Congress to take their Super Committee duties seriously and come up with a balanced budget acceptable to both houses and both parties.
In November 2011, that committee conceded failure and our Congress has failed ever since to craft a balanced budget, allowing the automatic cuts of the sequestration provision to go into effect. The Guardian has been live blogging this debacle with their usual clarity.
One would think that with such intentionally mindless spending cuts looming, both houses of Congress would have devoted their time to coming up with an actual budget with enough votes to get that budget to the President's desk before the automatic sequestration could kick in. Instead, they decided to take a break and go home, leaving only some Senators to offer, not a budget, but less odious "alternatives" to the sequestration! Now, would be a good time for everyone to get their asses back to DC and put together an actual balanced budget. This is just insane. And embarrassing.