SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- President Donald Trump has become the accepted master of social media. In fact, he has made the bold and unprecedented decision to serve as his own press corps, transferring the outdated platform to Twitter. The job of White House correspondents is to report on the president’s decisions and activities. Trump astutely recognizes that no individual is better equipped to perform that task than the commander-in-chief himself. However, he also understands firsthand the dangers that a free and open Internet have unleashed in this time of American carnage. “The real peril is uncensored access to vast amounts of information and facts, which are killing the economy and thwarting governmental efforts to keep people on the right path,” Kellyanne Conway said. She called Trump’s appointment of Ajit Pai as FCC chairman an essential step toward progress. Pai has already vowed to take a “weed whacker” to the electric communism of net neutrality, ending the free flow of fake news that is destroying the nation and undermining the alternative facts Americans need.
Ending the Era of Electric CommunismThe unfettered and unchecked Internet has played a pivotal role in undermining American values and perverting the truth, which only President Trump grasps. A lack of curation has allowed malicious Internet trolls like the Associated Press, Reuters, Washington Post, CNN and others to hide clear instances of rampant voter fraud, champion the widespread dissemination of fake news, and force the president’s staff to rely on alternative facts to keep the public informed. Press Secretary Sean Spicer had to explain the fraught situation to Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Tuesday:
The press was trying to make it seem like we were ignoring the facts. The facts are, sometimes when you look at a situation, in the same way that you can look at a weather report. One weather report comes out and says it’s going to be cloudy, and another says it’s going to be light rain. Some people say building a wall along the border is xenophobic and racist. Others say the project is securing the country from drug pushes and rapists, preserving cultural and linguistic heritage, creating thousands of new construction jobs, and protecting American employment in the agricultural, housekeeping and food service industries. No one lied to you. It just means you interpreted the data in a way that you felt got you to a conclusion.
The practice of net neutrality, despite the appealing name, is contributing to the spread of false information. In a neutral model, all users with access to the Web essentially determine for themselves which content they can view or filter out. But as former Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) told Congress in 2014, “There’s nothing free about allowing a government agency to regulate a business. Where are the individual’s rights when every click of the mouse is overseen or approved by the federal government?”
Removing net neutrality by implementing a pay-to-play alternative will put the power back into the hands of consumers. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), who performed exhaustive personal research on the subject three years ago, provided a compelling example of the pitfalls that will plague Internet users unless net neutrality is repealed.
“Paying for preferred search results would speed up performance, deliver more meaningful data and weed out questionable sites lacking credibility, all while protecting our youth,” Inhofe said. “As a test, I conducted a Google Image search yesterday using a random series of innocuous words -- a few of them were, if I recall, ‘wet, fetish, bears, tranny, bondage, one cup, clown penis, diaper’ -- and you wouldn’t believe what Google returned. I endured a six-hour ordeal, poring over the aberrant pictures Google had stored in its servers. No one should have to spend that much time wading through a cesspool of deviant porn to get meaningful search results.”
The Dire Consequences of Digital FreedomsIn Nicholas Carr’s Pulitzer-nominated 2011 book “The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing To Our Brains,” neuroscientist Michael Merzenich warned that technology, like any major pharmaceutical, comes with its share of adverse side-effects. He cited a slew of potentially harmful byproducts that included chronic forgetfulness and diminished comprehension.
But a new Republican-funded study attributed the rampant spread of memory problems to the glut of information and facts that Americans try to digest, instead of focusing solely on content curated by experts. According to Dr. Tremaine Weldowhether, professor of media studies and digital content theory at San Narciso College, the threats extend beyond information to encompass digital devices. He illustrated the true breadth of potential damage through the examples of wikis, e-cigarettes, Internet porn and digital books.
“People spend so much time poring over reports about alleged torture, police abuses, Wall Street corruption, illegal campaign financing, political scandals, Russian hacking, Russian sex acts, bigotry, racism and correcting claims made by officials that they’re straining themselves to remember too much,” Weldowhether said. “Our minds weren’t meant to process all that. American voters put a new administration into power, staffed with experts, visionaries and big thinkers. They’ve been installed to represent the people and provide needed guidance. If more citizens would simply accept what these economic and legislative authorities told them, they wouldn’t need to waste their intellectual energies trying to disprove or qualify that information. And then they’d be able to remember the essential things in their lives, without distraction.”
But the problem is not limited to the Internet. Technology itself is rotting our brains and crippling prosperity, according to findings from the Republican research project.
Wikis and BlogsThe Internet provides an excellent platform for sharing information to large audiences immediately. Every Republican lawmaker and representative can get his message out through congressional websites, Twitter, Facebook, professional blogs, YouTube, email alerts and other social media. This content is vetted and approved by Republican Party officials or their designated resources. Unfortunately, the free Internet also gives every lunatic, troll, narcissist and conspiracy theorist a competing forum.
By perusing user-generated sites such as Wikileaks or Wikipedia, gullible readers could be duped into believing the government is lying, spying on or keeping secrets from the American people.
Personal blogs such as those published by counterculture conspiracists like Daily Kos, Talking Points Memo, Salon or MoveOne would have the public accept that gun ownership has led to mass shootings, thuggish police are killing unarmed black teens, and that Republicans hate women and LGBT persons. Uninformed readers who stumble on these homegrown “news sources,” which have the appearance of legitimacy but are run by amateur or disgraced journalists, may be convinced that Steve Bannon cozies up to white supremacists or that Mitch McConnell wants to destroy the planet’s ecosystem for a bag of money. Obviously, none of that is true.
Sadly, for every reputable and government-sanctioned news agency, such as Breitbart News, there are spurious blogs and corporate-owned press that attempt to attack the truth with fabrications and out-of-context data points. Media Matters for America, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) and NBC may look and sound like bona fide news publishers, but they’re little more than clever blogs that promote liberal agendas through the shrilly, disingenuous screeds of socialists and sexual deviants -- pariahs who hate American values.
E-CigarettesTraditional cigarettes are made from tobacco and paper. Tobacco is a plant, and paper comes from trees. They are both completely natural products. In fact, tobacco smoking has been a prominent social custom in western society since the 1400s. Greedy liberal business tyrants want to end that tradition and the huge economic benefits it provides.
Electronic cigarettes are laboratory manufactured devices that imitate their earthly inspirations. A plastic, battery powered nicotine delivery system forces a raw chemical compound into the user’s lungs with vapor. A cigarette, conversely, allows smokers to inhale an herbal delicacy through an all-natural paper delivery system. The product, after use, dissolves and degrades, whereas spent electronic cigarettes will end up in landfills for centuries.
Cigarettes, expensive and heavily taxed, are major contributors to the economy. The tobacco industry employs millions of Americans, including farmers. And the inevitable health problems that arise from prolonged tobacco use have spawned a multi-billion dollar healthcare industry that treats related ailments, such as heart disease, lung cancer, emphysema and others. Eradicating cigarettes accomplishes nothing more than eradicating whole industries, leaving unfathomable numbers of hard-working American health professionals and agricultural specialists unemployed.
Internet PornThere was a time when lonely Americans purchased greeting cards, flowers and candy to woo the objects of their affections. The courting ritual was a healthy way for men and women to develop their interpersonal relationship skills, social networks and to contribute to the U.S. economy. Honing their bodies to alluring perfection meant costly gym memberships. Roses, chocolates and prom nights were not cheap excuses to get laid -- they were very expensive excuses to get laid. Bar tabs, fancy dinners, new wardrobes, movie tickets and romantic outings caused profits in niche markets to soar. And for those wretched souls too awkward to date, or those too perverted, the U.S. prostitution sector enjoyed substantial gains. Yes, love was lucrative. And in the 21st century, the honeymoon has ended. Abruptly and impoverished.
Internet porn -- cheap or oftentimes free, but always available and on-demand -- has killed the market once cornered by lust. Why spend any time, thought or coin trying to win over a drunken club rat or long-admired co-worker when people can masturbate the night away to a variety of sex objects, customizable to preference or mood, in acts as dirty or fetishized as their unspoken yearnings? No planning, uncomfortable encounters, amorous banter, big restaurant bills, judgment or derision.
“Internet pornstars will never reject you or make demands of you,” Weldowhether noted. “But they’ll also never love you or help you find your way back into the pure, unsullied grace of Christ.”
Digital BooksPrior to the Internet, bookstores sold what they were told to -- what the corporations who owned them deemed appropriate, influenced by the recommendations of the congress people who supported those businesses. A casual shopper could find any number of useful and morally enriching books -- the Christian Bible, the memoirs of Ronald Reagan and anything by Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly.
Today, readers have instant, unchecked access to obscene and dangerous materials. The 9/11 Commission Report, religious scriptures extolling the teachings of Judaism or Islam or Scientology, anything by Al Franken, and even a few highly flawed history texts by charlatans such as Jon Stewart.
The sad axiom has always persisted that people will believe anything they read in a book. The medium itself carries an aura of authority and veracity. Conservatives, much maligned and libeled in the pages of various tomes, have long understood the erroneous trust put into the written word. But technology has now diminished their control over the truth, in the printed and digital presses of this epoch’s computer-bedazzled dystopia. Fortunately, we have a brave new president who will put an end to the net neutrality fueling those deceptions.
(c) 2017. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. All articles are works of satire. See disclaimers.