The Elecktronick Tyger Roares
29 April 2006
  Important Correction to previous post "Texas Congresscritter Labels Net Neutrality Amendment 'Fascist'"
Richard Bennett, whose post i was referring to in the post i entitled "Texas Congresscritter Labels Net Neutrality Amendment "Fascist'." has e-mailed me and pointed out that Texas Rep. Gonzalez did not label the net neutrality amendment "fascist", and that was, instead, Bennett's term.

I apologise to all concerned for the errror in interpretation.
28 April 2006
  Texas Congresscritter Labels Net Neutrality Amendment "Fascist"
Herewith the words of Richard Bennet, ("The Original Blog") :
Democrat fights fascism

Here’s the statement issued by Democrat Charlie Gonzales of San Antonio, TX, on the fascist “net-neutrality” nonsense:
On its face, the Markey amendments seems fair, but the more you look at the implications of this legislation, the less fair it seems. Its most immediate consequence would be to exempt highly profitable companies like Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google from having to pay to use another company’s cable network. In essence, this would allow Internet giants to reap the benefits of operating a cable network with none of the risks or costs. Forcing cable providers to give a free-ride to companies like Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google will ultimately work against consumers by undermining the financial incentive to develop the next generation of network technologies. It would also subsidize the efforts of companies like Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google to expand their dominance of most Internet commerce and to use their brain power to force smaller companies to partner rather than compete against them.
I rather like the implicit portrayal of, say, SBC (more on them later) as a pitiful "smaller company", bullied by the minions of Microsoft and Google.

I attempted to leave the following comment (but could not because his comment submission system seems to be currently either broken or off-line):
As the late Nicholas Monsarrat so delicately put it in his great novel of WW2, The Cruel Sea, "Bulldust baffles brains."

The Net Neutrality Amendment doesn't say that it wouldn't be legal to recoup R&D and installation expenses. That is a completely separate question. Nowhere does it say that services wouldn't have to pay for using another's network -- it says that the network providers cannot give preference to one service over another.

What it does say is that on either existing or future systems, it would be illegal to give preferential treatment to any service over another, be it the net owner's own or any other.

The near-monopoly telcos and cable companies are looking back thirty or so years at the history of the long-distance business and of free competition in local phone service. With the clarity of hindsight, they see the process which has cost them so much in those areas.

And through their bought-and-paid for Congresscritters the near-monopoly telcos and cable companies are attempting to smother internet competition in its crib, as they failed to have the foresight to do to MCI and Sprint.

Speaking of "bought and paid for" -- guess who Rep. Gonzalez's #1 campaign contributor is?

Why, it's SBC Communications!

Again i find myself sympathising with that great philosopher, Iago the parrot: "I am so not surprised I could just moult."
The Net Neutrality Amendment died in the Houes; eventually the bill will go on to the Senate. I'll be trying to keep an eye out and to put out the word as to when we need to start leaning on Senators -- meanwhile reports:
Right-wingers, Left-wingers Like Their Free Internet

Right Wing Nut House is blogging about net neutrality, as are dedicated conservatives Kitty Litter, the Absurd Report, and Freedom Watch. And SavetheInternet was the Web Site of the Day on Right Wing News.

I’ve been adding supporting blogs to our blogroll furiously, as you can see on the right. Filmmaker magazine, DeafDC, the Asian-Pacific Islander Blog Network and Business Analysis Insight are some of the new sites on there. And we’re up to 1300 friends on MySpace.
Sign up. Make yourself heard.
27 April 2006
  If the Show Isn't Funny, Shoot the Clowns
Years ago, i came across a very wise piece of Xeroxed Wisdom {these days, substitute "E-mail" for "Xerox"}, obviously written by someone who works two cubicles down from Dilbert:
Seven Stages of a Project

Phase 1: Uncritical acceptance.
Phase 2: Wild enthusiasm.
Phase 3: Dejected disillusionment.
Phase 4: Total confusion.
Phase 5: Search for the guilty.
Phase 6: Punishment of the innocent.
Phase 7: Promotion of nonparticipants.
It appears that the Italian Pit Stop that was the Federal "response" to Hurricane Katrina has reached (approximately) Phase 6 [rewritten as "Punishment of the least-well-connected"]:
Senate Panel Recommends Abolishing FEMA
WASHINGTON Apr 26, 2006 (AP)— The nation's disaster response agency should be abolished and rebuilt from scratch to avoid a repeat of multiple government failures exposed by Hurricane Katrina, a Senate inquiry has concluded.
In other words, since the Entire Federal Government, from the Current Ruling Junta on down, put on golf shoes, unzipped, and jumped on itself with both feet, someone has to visibly suffer, and FEMA is a convenient scapegoat.
The Senate report urges yet another overhaul of the embattled Homeland Security Department -- FEMA's parent agency -- which was created three years ago and already has undergone major restructuring of duties.

It chiefly calls for a new agency, called the National Preparedness and Response Authority, to plan and carry out relief missions for domestic disasters. Unlike now, the authority would communicate directly with the president during major crises, and any dramatic cuts to budget or staffing levels would have to be approved by Congress. But it would remain within Homeland Security to continue receiving resources provided by the larger department.
Oh, that's good. Leave the most screwed-up, missionless, feckless arm of the Federal Government -- one created mainly on the strength of a perceived need for an agency to combat terrorism -- in charge of emergency response to natural disasters, and eliminate the agency that is (supposedly) designed specifically for the purpose.
Without specifying where the money would come from or how much was needed, the recommendations call for more funding for disaster planning and response at all levels of government. They also urge clarifying levee maintenance responsibilities _ a concern because of structural weaknesses of the New Orleans' flood walls that spawned deadly floods after Katrina hit_ and suggested better contracting procedures to avoid waste or fraud in the rush to get aid to disaster victims.
I like that "without specifying where the money would come from" part; it reminds me of "And who will bell the cat?"

As Eric Idle wrote of a sleezy promotor/manager in The Rutles, Congress (Hell, Government as a whole) never lets its left hand know who its right hand is doing.

"We need gigabucks for emergency preparedness and relief. Someone must Do Something!"

"We can't afford to spend enough money for emergency preparedness and relief, because we already have record deficits* supporting Bush's War Against Rationality!"

Of course, Phase 7 (Promotion of nonparticipants) is effectively impossible, because George W Bush is already President.

(Incidentally, while the Countdown Clock dropped below 1000 days yesterday at about 1PM, the "Cost to date of the war" totalizer, unfortunately, keeps rolling up. But at least my step-son-in-law comes home today)

Understand, i'm not blaming the Bush White House Clusterbang and its ancillaries exclusively for the Katrina catastrophe -- as Lois Bujold says, the Lone Hero Theory of Disaster is usually at the least a gross oversimplification -- since it is a matter of public record that every Adminstration and Congress since at least Johnson's days has skimped on funding for preparedness and crippled the agencies that actually have tried to do something.

For instance, the Corps of Engineers received over that period something like one-tenth of the funding it determined was necessary to properly build and reinforce New Orleans' flood control systems, and was specifically ordered to assume as worst case, in that planning, a Category Three storm, at that.

So the Washington culture of butt-covering-by-scapegoating continues.

*Isn't it interesting that, invariably, it's Republican party-of-fiscal-responsibility Administrations that run up huge deficits, not Democrat tax-and-spend Administrations? Back
15 April 2006
  Is This Thing on?
At least one post i thought i made in the last week or so seems to have disappeared or not appeared at all.

I'm not going to try to receate it, because it was a rant that sprang from me being Very Very Angry and i couldn't reproduce it if i tried.

Ah, well.
14 April 2006
  Taking a Lesson from the Man with the Stick
In a article, Rep. John Murtha reminds us that Teddy Rooesevelt, one of the most enthusiastic speakers from the bully pulpit in the history of American political discourse, once said:
To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.
At about the same time, the White House Press Office is branding a New York Times piece on exactly what the intelligence community actually told President Bush while he was busy telling the world that Saddam had Weapons of Mass Destruction as "irresponsible journalism", because it implies that the Shrub may have actually deliberately told the US public and the world an untruth.

Wow. Revelation. I'm shocked, shocked, i tell you, that anyone could think that the Presdient of the United States might be a shameless liar.

Murtha continues
When you go to war there should be a threat to our national security, we should use overwhelming force, and there should be an exit strategy. All three of these principles were violated in Iraq. The war was mishandled, misrepresented, and mischaracterized.

But let's get the facts straight, it is not the questioning of the President's "stay the course" war policy in Iraq that brings down morale. It is being sent into battle with inadequate life-saving equipment, it is over deploying our military for extended periods of time, it is giving our military an unclear and ill-defined mission in Iraq and one where they see no end in sight.
In November of last year, Murtha introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives. (It has over 100 co-sponsors). It reads:
Whereas Congress and the American people have not been shown clear, measurable progress toward establishment of stable and improving security in Iraq or of a stable and improving economy in Iraq, both of which are essential to `promote the emergence of a democratic government';

Whereas additional stabilization in Iraq by U.S. military forces cannot be achieved without the deployment of hundreds of thousands of additional U.S. troops, which in turn cannot be achieved without a military draft;

Whereas more than $277 billion has been appropriated by the United States Congress to prosecute U.S. military action in Iraq and Afghanistan;

Whereas, as of the drafting of this resolution, 2,079 U.S. troops have been killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom;

Whereas U.S. forces have become the target of the insurgency;

Whereas, according to recent polls, over 80 percent of the Iraqi people want the U.S. forces out of Iraq;

Whereas polls also indicate that 45 percent of the Iraqi people feel that the attacks on U.S. forces are justified; and

Whereas, due to the foregoing, Congress finds it evident that continuing U.S. military action in Iraq is not in the best interests of the United States of America, the people of Iraq, or the Persian Gulf Region, which were cited in Public Law 107-243 as justification for undertaking such action: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That:

SECTION 1. The deployment of United States forces in Iraq, by direction of Congress, is hereby terminated and the forces involved are to be redeployed at the earliest practicable date.
SEC. 2. A quick-reaction U.S. force and an over-the-horizon presence of U.S. Marines shall be deployed in the region.
SEC. 3. The United States of America shall pursue security and stability in Iraq through diplomacy.
Of course it hasn't passed the Republican-controlled House, and it really wouldn't have any binding force if it did -- but the Rough Rider with the glasses and the Big Stick would probably approve.
  The More Things Change...
Does this sound familiar?

Colonel Gray, of Petaluma, came near losing his life a few days ago, in a singular manner. A gentleman with whom he was hunting attempted to bring down a dove, but instead of doing so put the load of shot through the Colonel's hat. One shot took effect in his forehead.

-- Sacramento Daily Union, April 20, 1861
11 April 2006
  Nothuing to worry about
According to today's IMDB StudioBriefing column, two women whose husbands died in the 9/11 attack are upset about an upcoming film about the attack, because
they don't want their children to see how their fathers died or share the last moments of their husbands' lives with moviegoers.
What are they worrying about?

It's an Oliver Stone film.

What the moviegoers see on the screen will bear little or no resemblance to what really happened, anyway.
10 April 2006
  "I'm not sure, but I'm almost positive,.."
...that if i lived in New Orleans, i'd vote for Ernie K-Doe.

One of those stories that reminds me why i love the Big Easy so much:

Ernie K-Doe may have died years ago, but, in the great tradition of Louisiana and New Orleans politics, he's running for Mayor.
New Orleans R&B star begins posthumous mayoral bid

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - Ernie K-Doe has some big hurdles to overcome to win his bid for mayor of hurricane-ravaged New Orleans: he lacks the political experience and financial clout of many of his rivals.

He's also been dead for almost five years.
K-Doe's widow, Antoinette, says that in her opinion, he's the only one qualified.
"He gets the job done. The guy has soul," she said as supporters enjoyed live music, beer and heaping helpings of red beans and rice. "And I'm speaking like he's still here because in memories he is still here with us. He gets along with everybody and he makes things happen."
Nasically, the campaign is an attempt to raise enough money to rebuild and re-open the Mother-in-Law Lounge, which was apparently gutted in the aftermath of Katrina.

But Antoinette K-Doe swears the joint will be open for the Jazz and Heritage Festival, the end of this month, no matter how far along the renovation is.
"Ernie K-Doe was an icon, a legend of New Orleans -- national and international," she said. "His music is great and it still lives on.

"And this lounge is a haven for our musicians, man. They can eat, they can put their music together and they can get in touch with each other."
(Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, a similarly important site in the history of country music [its back door backs up across an alley to the Ryman Auditorium's stage door, making it quite popular with Grand Ole Opry performers], was almost disassembled and shipped to Japan, but wound up being restored as part of the general sprucing-up of Nashville's Lower Broadway in the mid-90s. I don't know what shape it's in today...)

Oh -- and the proper (and darned-plausible-sounding) ending to the quote i used for a title?

"I'm not sure, but I'm almost positive, that all music comes from New Orleans." (Ernie K-Doe, 1980)
My interests are broadranging -- comics, music, movies and good ol' science fiction mostly dominate. My Five Most Favouritest Films are (this week) Once Upon A Time in the West, Dark Star, O Lucky Man, Day for Night and Whatever I Watched Recently That Was Good. Currently that's Day for Night.

My Photo
Name: mike weber
Location: gainesville, Georgia, United States

Latter fifties, married, out of work (had knee surgery and haven't gotten back to work); my (step) son-in-law is back from Iraq, but a lot of boys are still over there. Support our troops -- throw the Republicans out!

November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / February 2007 / August 2007 /

  • Baby pics; My [step] granddaughter.
  • Experiments in stereo (3D) imaging
  • Cowboy Mouth: Butt-Kickin' New Orleans Rock'n'Roll
  • Fairport Convention -- Pretty much the founders of modern Brit folk-rock
  • The Radio Ranch: Dick ("Chickenman") Orkin's freelance radio production facility
  • Laire of the Elecktronick Tyger -- my Web Page, such as it is. Book, movie, CD and comics reviews
  • My Amazon profile. Read my reviews. Buy things.
  • Long John Baldry: Arguably the most important force in the early days of British Blues.
  • Dark Star (DVD) -- See where George Lucas got some of his ideas.
  • Fallen Angel (TPB) Collects the first 6 (of 20) issues of the DC run.
  • Google News
  • The Nutbar Files:
  • 911: The "True" Story
  • A Typical "Moon Hoax" site
  • Powered by Blogger

    This requires a Java-enabled browser.
    Terror Alert Level
    Alert Level
    Cost of the War in Iraq to Date
    (JavaScript Error)

    Try - share your musical tastes, find others who share them, and generally interact in a music-oriented on-line community.

    My Blogroll
    (some ringers)

    DISCLAIMER: Unless unambiguously noted, all opinions expressed on this blog are those of the owner/author.  ***   The author's opinions do not represent those of his employers (if he had any), nor of anyone else beside himself, including his wife, mother, step-daughter or infant step-grand-daughter.  ***   All original material is copyrighted and property of the author.  If you use it at least have the decency to give me credit for it.  Don’t steal it or I reserve the right to irritate you to heck and back, to tell everyone in the blogosphere you're a big poopyhead, or even to sue.  ***   Other info may have been copyrighted by someone else; the author believes that such work as is quoted here does not exceed reasonable "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes..  ***   Opinions in comments or trackbacks are not mine, so if you have a problem with those, sorry, I can’t help you.  Did the jerk you're honked off with leave a URL or e-mail? If so, go bug him.  ***   Anyone mentioned in relation to a crime is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.  ***   Contact: fairportfan AT All e-mails are presumed to be for publication on the site unless I am specifically told otherwise.  ***   All comments are subject to deletion, revision or derision should the author find them offensive, irrelevant or just simply take a dislike to you.  ***   Trolling is not tolerated.  Trolls will be savagely mocked one time and then ignored.  ***   This disclaimer modeled (with extra added snarkiness) on that of "Queer Conservative".