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The Fall of News Corp?

The commentary I’ve read suggests the answer to this question is most likely “no,” but the events unfolding in the U.K. resulting from the phone-tapping scandal has already resulted in numerous arrests, including that of former News Corp executive Rebekah Brooks, and the fall of one of Rupert Muroch’s largest U.K. newspapers, the News of the World. And as the effects of this scandal continue to be seen in the U.K., questions have begun to be asked here in the U.S. and the FBI has announced the opening of an investigation into allegations that News Corp may have also at least attempted to hack into the phones of victims of the September 11th attacks. All of this has resulted in a growing discussion about the effects of consolidated media, its power, and its influence on public debate, and on government, which suits me just fine.

Earlier this month, the London newspaper, The Guardian, reported the head of Britain’s Labour Party, Ed Miliband, has called for the dismantling of Murdoch’s media empire.

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How Progressives Can Effect Change with Obama as President

Originally written for the Progressive Democrats of Hawaii blog on July 25, 2011

It has been suggested that the previous post should have been geared more along the lines of this topic. After thinking about, it, I decided that instead of rewriting it, I should simply write a follow-up post. For starters, I think it is important to say, again, and with no equivocation, that Obama isn’t progressive, even though there are those who believe he is, “in his heart of hearts.” Using this notion as a starting point for action is, in my opinion, a mistake and progressives will serve their causes much better if they first abandon it.

I’ll be referring to PDH for my examples, but the concepts will obviously apply to other organizations, as well as individuals.

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Obama Is Not Progressive

Originally written for the Progressive Democrats of Hawaii Blog, July 17, 2011

Thinking or hoping otherwise will not make this statement any less true. Barack Obama is not progressive. For my part, I never believed he was and one only need look at his time in office thus far for evidence.

Let’s start with health care, if only because the issue is at, or near, the top of my priority list. While it’s true there are some good things in the Affordable Health Care Act, like extending to 26 the age under which parents can choose to continue to cover their children, or eliminating the ability of insurance companies to deny coverage because of a preexisting condition, there’s no denying that when it’s all said and done, it is little more than a massive handout to health insurance companies.

While on the campaign trail, Obama said he’d prefer a single-payer-type system of health care if he had his choice, but when the debate on health care reform was in full swing in 2009, he denied making any such statement. And while there was some lip service from the White House paid to a “public option” to compete with private insurance, no such option was remotely considered seriously, despite polls which consistently showed a majority of Americans supported such an option.

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For My Part

Written for the Equality Hawaii blog on June 6, 2011

I thought I’d take an opportunity to share a bit about my experience with Equality Hawaii, how I got involved in the gay-marriage battle, and what I’ve learned.

When the House Committee on Judiciary, in 2007, had a public hearing on a civil unions bill, I was in attendance. I had been politically active in Hawaii for a little over a year and it was the first time I attended a public hearing at the Capitol. I was there to support my friends Bill Woods and Lance Bateman and the atmosphere was largely positive, as was the testimony. Being new and politically naive, I left the hearing when the Committee recessed for decision-making; I assumed since there had been so much support for the bill (at least in the room), the bill would pass. I woke up the next date to read the disheartening news that the Judiciary Chair had decided to defer decision-making on the bill, essentially “killing” it for the rest of the session.

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Obama Supports Gay Marriage?

Written for the Equality Hawaii blog on May 21, 2011

The other day I saw an article from On Top Magazine suggesting the President will support Gay Marriage.” After glancing at the article, I posted this on Facebook:

Good for him… Still, I find the timing a bit suspect (shortly after the launch of his reelection campaign) and while this is a promising development, people shouldn’t take him at his word during the campaign. Supporters of marriage need to CONTINUOUSLY PUSH Obama on this ¬†issue. We’re definitely winning the fight and the tide is turning and this is reflected in Obama’s “evolution,” but we mustn’t rest on our laurels….

I’ve been thinking about this more and just went back to take a second look at the short article. Obama’s support isn’t explicit in the article. In fact, his position could easily be described as nondescript;

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Stop Media Consolidation Now

Originally written for the Media Council Hawaii Blog, June 28, 2011

Though I imagine many people have moved on from the issue, even forgotten the problem exists, Media Council Hawaii continues to fight media consolidation here in Hawaii. We have, in partnership with the Institute for Public Representations at Georgetown Law, filed a formal complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to halt the takeover of three television stations (KGMB, KHNL, KFVE) in our market, by Raycom Media of Alabama. We took this action because Raycom’s layoff of 68 people, combined and simulcast operations, and reduction in enterprise reporting, diminishes diversity of opinion, competition, and localism. The complaint is still alive and we continue to wait for a decision.

While we wait, the issue continues to get attention nation-wide. A report, Local TV & Shared Services Agreements: Examining News Content in Honolulu, from the University of Delaware lay out the damage caused by the media consolidation here in Hawaii. Also, a new campaign, Change the Channels – Expose Covert Media Consolidation, by Freepress uses Hawaii in its new video. Check it out:

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The Death of Osama bin Laden

It’s been a week, now, since I picked up my phone to see a message saying President Obama was going to be announcing that Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks, had been killed.

My first reaction was one of¬†disbelief, so I immediately reached for the remote and turned on MSNBC. While listening to the coverage as the nation, and the world, waited for Obama to address the nation, my disbelief changed to disgust as the news coverage was showing the breakout of spontaneous celebrations, chants of “USA,” and singing of the national anthem. I wondered if I was the only one who found the celebration of the death of another person as distasteful. Thankfully, I quickly found others expressing similar feelings on Facebook.

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For Bill Woods

As we approach the final passage of SB232 HD1, the Civil Unions bill, which will be signed by the Governor next week, I’ve been thinking a lot about Bill Woods.

To be honest, I can’t quite remember when or where I first met him, but I used to work with his husband, Lance Bateman, who was my boss for a number of years after I arrived in Hawaii. I have fond memories of Bill, though he and I often disagreed, mostly on how to approach a certain issue. He was passionate and hot tempered and some might describe him as hard to deal with. That was never my sense of him. He was a dedicated and tireless advocate for social justice; not just for the GLBT community. He was a active member of the Democratic Party of Hawaii and the Party is better for it.


Hello world!

This is the famous wordpress default post, which means I’ve had to reinstall my blog in a new database. As the previous post suggests, my blog crashed a little while ago and I’ve just recently created the new database. Grr….

I’ve managed to salvage most everything, but some of the settings and other various items that used to be here will have to be added over the next few weeks. Until then, check back, as I’ll try to have a brand new post up in the next couple of days.

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I’m testing whether the tables in myphp have crashed….