Why is network TV still *so* awful while the rest (cable, streaming) gets better and better?

Actually, I don’t even agree with that headline up top.

Yes, streaming allows me to find entertainment worth watching. In a sense, because the whole WWWeb offers the best creative possibilities in the world. It’s a lot of work to sort out the cream from the crap; but, I take the time to do it every month, every few weeks.

Frankly, I feel that cable has dribbled away to the same bottom-feeding level of mediocrity that networks continue to offer the great American public. That’s an echo from the past for me. I moved my creative brain in with the hipsters of the 50’s and 60’s – seeing exactly the same level of crap telecommunications we face, now. The only difference is the range and breadth of useless crap offered has grown. 60 years later. There’s obviously enough money to be made from mediocrity to feed American consumers what they’re used to, what they believe to be “the best in the world”. That common American delusion.

Streaming allows me the 2 hours or so I allocate every evening for TV entertainment. We still have a number of talented writers, producers, directors, actors. They make our movies – which often approach greatness. Not all, of course. But, a healthy sample. They produce seasonal – and standalone – productions for television. They’re relatively easy to add to the mix I keep track of to watch. But, basic cable TV programing is no better than OTA crap…IMHO, nowadays.

I have to subscribe to at least a “basic” package to have cable access to the Web. I chose one with lots of channels. 60 or 70. Excepting a movie or series I find somewhere on the Web … excepting the few channels carrying foreign or domestic “football” [what my fellow Americans call “soccer”] … I watch 4 channels: CNN news, MSNBC news, CBS news, BloombergTV news. They’re on and off over the day. The last thing I check out before turning off the TV and moving to my study to finish the day online. After I’ve watched a movie or a series of choice … found online from the search function on APPLETV+, AMAZONTV+, bits and pieces from a few others. For the 2 hours or so I allocate.

Yup. Been here before. Up, down or sideways, it’s the same as it ever was.

Ed Campbell

All Ponzi schemes topple eventually

One week ago, as cryptocurrency prices plummeted, Celsius Network – an experimental cryptocurrency bank with more than one million customers that has emerged as a leader in the murky world of decentralized finance, or DeFi – announced it was freezing withdrawals “due to extreme market conditions”.

Earlier this past week, Bitcoin dropped 15% over 24 hours to its lowest value since December 2020. Last month, TerraUSD, a stablecoin – a system that was supposed to perform a lot like a conventional bank account but was backed only by a cryptocurrency called Luna – collapsed, losing 97% of its value in just 24 hours, apparently destroying some investors’ life savings.

Eighty-nine years ago, Franklin D Roosevelt signed into law the Banking Act of 1933 – also known as the Glass-Steagall Act. It separated commercial banking from investment banking – Main Street from Wall Street – to protect people who entrusted their savings to commercial banks from having their money gambled away.

Glass-Steagall’s larger purpose was to put an end to the giant Ponzi scheme that had overtaken the American economy in the 1920s and led to the Great Crash of 1929…

Which brings us to the crypto crash.

I know a few folks who’ve been gambling in crypto since the advent of Bitcoin. I hope they’ve they’ve “taken the money and run”! I know a little bit about Ponzi schemes and 1929. RTFA for the beginning of the discussions coming up in the near future.

Time to get federal legalization for marijuana is long overdue


Flickr.com

Eight in ten Americans agree: It’s time to end the federal criminalization of marijuana.

Keeping marijuana illegal nationwide creates an incredible level of unequal enforcement. So while cannabis remains fully criminalized in just three states, an American is put into handcuffs for a marijuana offense every 90 seconds anyway.

In the last two decades, 15.7 million people have been arrested for nonviolent marijuana offenses, and 40,000 prisoners are sitting behind bars right now for cannabis crimes. Many are even incarcerated in states like California and Colorado where the crime for which they were convicted is actually legal statewide.

The prohibition of marijuana disproportionately affects people of color, even though Americans of all races use marijuana at equal rates.

Black Americans are nearly four times as likely to be arrested as white people for marijuana. And when people of color are arrested, their sentences are worse.

Black men receive 13.1% longer sentences than white men, and Latinos are 6.5 times more likely to receive a federal sentence than non-Hispanic whites…

We’re wasting $47 billion each year on the war on drugs, much of which is spent on enforcing an outdated, draconian set of Federal marijuana laws. Let’s put an end to this inconsistent, widely unpopular unequal enforcement.

Robert Reich
Inequality Media Civic Action

Excerpt from mail from Inequality Media Civic Action