Churches, mosques say offering broadband net access is a moral obligation, advocate forced wealth redistribution

Posted on July 16th, 2009 by bile
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Jesus said that the poor would always be with us—but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to bring them broadband. A coalition of Christian churches and the Islamic Society of North America has launched a new campaign to bring broadband to everyone in the US so that “our poorest communities, our rural areas, our public libraries, our public schools, and community centers” benefit from the communications revolution that the Internet hath wrought.

The “Bring Betty Broadband” campaign casts the broadband debate in moral terms. It’s about the “right to disseminate and receive information,” it’s a “right that helps to define ourselves as human beings and political actors,” and it’s absolutely essential for everyone in a modern society.

In addition, in the modern economy, just distribution of access to communication and information is essential to promote economic justice,” says the group. “Increasingly in the United States, the fundamental right to communicate is meaningless without high speed Internet access.”

The joint effort is part of a media reform project called “So We Might See,” and it’s spearheaded by the United Church of Christ. It has also been endorsed by the National Council of Churches, the US Catholic Conference of Bishops, the United Methodists, the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), the Lutherans (ELCA), and the Islamic Society of North America.

The groups all believe that the government has a role to play in this process, especially with more than $7 billion in broadband stimulus money on the table. “For too long,” they say, “the process of reaching out and educating traditionally disenfranchised communities has been left to volunteer efforts and the philanthropic community alone. Increasing access doesn’t just assist the people who are helped, we all benefit. Just as the value of a telephone increases when we can reach more people by using it, the value of the Internet for all of us increases when we are all connected.”

But, recognizing that many people without broadband don’t currently see its utility, the coalition asks the government “to promote digital inclusion initiatives to stimulate broadband demand and ensure that all US residents have access to the digital skills and equipment necessary to take advantage of the Internet’s enormous potential benefits. For example, establishment of local and national digital inclusion councils could work with other agencies and programs to promote digital inclusion principles in the fulfillment of their missions. Media literacy curriculum for secondary schools should be established, along with technology literacy and digital media production.”

Churchs promoting theft and redistribution of wealth. Fun. It would seem to me the moral question here is whether it’s moral and socially legitimate to steal from Peter to give to Paul. I’d say no… as I’d suspect our Christian anarchist friends would too.

Someone in the comments of the article accused libertarians and freedom advocates of wanting to keep everyone in a third world like situation. I was compelled to leave a snarky comment.

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Michael Moore’s eco-fascism

Posted on June 2nd, 2009 by bile
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Goodbye, GM …by Michael Moore

1. Just as President Roosevelt did after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the President must tell the nation that we are at war and we must immediately convert our auto factories to factories that build mass transit vehicles and alternative energy devices. Within months in Flint in 1942, GM halted all car production and immediately used the assembly lines to build planes, tanks and machine guns. The conversion took no time at all. Everyone pitched in. The fascists were defeated.

We are now in a different kind of war — a war that we have conducted against the ecosystem and has been conducted by our very own corporate leaders. This current war has two fronts. One is headquartered in Detroit. The products built in the factories of GM, Ford and Chrysler are some of the greatest weapons of mass destruction responsible for global warming and the melting of our polar icecaps. The things we call “cars” may have been fun to drive, but they are like a million daggers into the heart of Mother Nature. To continue to build them would only lead to the ruin of our species and much of the planet.

The other front in this war is being waged by the oil companies against you and me. They are committed to fleecing us whenever they can, and they have been reckless stewards of the finite amount of oil that is located under the surface of the earth. They know they are sucking it bone dry. And like the lumber tycoons of the early 20th century who didn’t give a damn about future generations as they tore down every forest they could get their hands on, these oil barons are not telling the public what they know to be true — that there are only a few more decades of useable oil on this planet. And as the end days of oil approach us, get ready for some very desperate people willing to kill and be killed just to get their hands on a gallon can of gasoline.

President Obama, now that he has taken control of GM, needs to convert the factories to new and needed uses immediately.

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The increasingly corporatist state: Obama names Aneesh Chopra as US government CTO

Posted on April 20th, 2009 by bile
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Today, President Obama officially named his nominee for the new position of Chief Technology Officer: Aneesh Chopra, current Secretary of Technology for Virginia. We’ll explain who Chopra is and what his new responsibilities will be.

The CTO position is linked with that of the Chief Information Officer (the recently-named Vivek Kundra), but they are two distinct jobs. The White House explains:

The responsibilities of the CIO are to use information technology to transform the ways in which the government does business. The CTO will develop national strategies for using advanced technologies to transform our economy and our society, such as fostering private sector innovation, reducing administrative costs and medical errors using health IT, and using technology to change the way teachers teach and students learn.

Essentially, the CIO is responsible for the general strategic aim of information technology, whereas the CTO is the one who really gets his hands dirty with the specific architecture. In particular, Obama has listed health care and education in today’s YouTube address as the two areas most requiring the efforts of the CIO and CTO, and we (along with most others) think Chopra is the right guy for the job. Here’s why.

Aneesh Chopra is not a CEO. He’s not a thinker like Negroponte, or a businessman like Gates, or a showrunner like Jobs. He’s a governmental agent. This is important because the CTO is, after all, a government job, and Chopra won’t have to adjust his strategies to work within a governmental system. Right now, he’s the Secretary of Technology for Virginia, and has shown huge success in the field. Last year, Virginia was ranked 1st in Technology Management, a direct reward for Chopra’s work.

Further, he’s made significant achievements in health care and education, which, you remember, is just what Obama wants. He’s gotten the nation’s first open-source textbook approved, initiated competitions for the state’s students to create iPhone apps, and designed a social network for physicians in remote areas.

Most importantly, Chopra’s achievements are forward-looking (Web 2.0, social networking, open source) but fervently grounded in the practical. He’s not pushing for the sake of pushing, he’s using the best tools we have in the best way he can.

“develop national strategies for using advanced technologies to transform our economy and our society, such as fostering private sector innovation, reducing administrative costs and medical errors using health IT, and using technology to change the way teachers teach and students learn.”

So more government distortion of the market, more government chosen technologies sure to be wrong, greater monopolization of products, increased risk of privacy leaks, more redirected resources and more promises regarding education which won’t pan out.

Gordon Brown talks about enslaving young adults

Posted on April 15th, 2009 by bile
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Every teenager will have to do at least 50 hours of community work before the age of 19, Gordon Brown has announced.

The Prime Minister believes youngsters would be less likely to turn to crime if they had a sense of citizenship.

The scheme, a form of ‘national service’ for teenagers, will ensure they spend a minimum of 50 hours working with charities and vulnerable groups such as the elderly or disabled.

Forming part of Labour’s next election manifesto, it will be woven into plans to make everyone stay in education or training until the age of 18 by 2011.

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Re: Country First

Posted on September 5th, 2008 by bile
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From over at

“It is thus necessary that the individual should finally come to realize that his own ego is of no importance in comparison with the existence of his nation; that the position of the individual ego is conditioned solely by the interests of the nation as a whole…that above all, the unity of a nation’s spirit and will are worth far more than the freedom of the spirit and will of an individual…we understand only the individual’s capacity to make sacrifices for the community, for his fellow man.” — Adolf Hitler (Thanks to Chris Rhoades.)

I guess we here at blog of bile and CNN aren’t the only one’s seeing the connection.