The State of California, with its politicians’ usual dash of hubris, is in the process of deliberating on and passing a new bill to establish an advisory group to determine what determines “fake news”.
Hmmmm. Does anyone else see a problem brewing here?
I can just picture George Orwell shaking his fist from his grave, crying out in 1984 ghostly tones, “I warned you!”
According to our state capitol’s Sacramento CBS affiliate, the purpose of said group is “to monitor information posted and spread on social media…It would need to consist of at least one person from the Department of Justice, representatives from social media providers, civil liberties advocates, and First Amendment scholars.”
How nice that the California Senate has already determined by a vote of 25-11 that elite, hand-picked advisors can do our thinking for us. Now it is up to the Assembly to stop this bill in its tracks…if they dare.
Fortunately, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has come to the defense of our First Amendment rights, which keeps the government out of the business of determining “Correct” speech. Whether that term is used with the prefix “Politically” or in the meaning of “Right vs. Wrong”, in California’s Democratic-Party-dominated Legislature, the slippery slope of such power may eventually be used to determine whether to trust the words of “Right vs. Left”, instead.
Another bill to teach children the lost skill of critical thinking within the context of a school education did not pass the appropriations committee earlier this year. You’ve got to give bonus points for such creativity in this politician’s quest to stifle free speech. Apparently, it’s cheaper to simply pay a few advisors, rather than hundreds of thousands of teachers, to decide on the veracity of news.
Of course, it’s only a convenient coincidence that after Californians have come to depend on this group to identify which news sites to trust or which TV hosts are acceptable to watch, in all probability the next election cycle will bring campaign advertising dollars to only those sites which support a continuation of the funding of these plush jobs on the advisory group.
I can only hope that if the bill passes, there is an intrepid lawyer willing to bring it all the way to the US Supreme Court, protecting us all.
In the meantime, check back onto my website for techniques and commentary on how to start developing those critical thinking skills so you can determine for yourself what and who to believe.
For if you cede your mind to another’s, you have given up all your freedom. Death, pure and simple.