When Big Al talks, people listen. They may not admit it in public, like when we don't order a rare steak in a restaurant in front of a bunch of people we don't know... but people listen.
And who in America has actually asked what you think, lately?
Thanks for asking.
I love how the iPhone has allowed me to work from home or just not from the office. However, I don't love how people now assume they can reach me with work questions any time of the day or night... globally. I can work with people in Chicago, New York, London, Germany... but I do have to sleep and watch SMASH at some point without interruption. (see how easily we can get distracted on line)
I connect with my family, even the grandkids, from three thousand miles away. The kids are more interested in the technology than any real communication, but I would be missing them growing up if I didn't FaceTime with them.
Of course there is the parental worry that who else are their kids are facetiming with and why. It's all so instant and though a little less anonymous, still being able to connect with anyone, anywhere, anytime is not the same as wanting to or even being allowed to... or being able to.
And as for permission. That is an interesting concept when one is connected. Who am I allowed to connect with? Do I have a right to total privacy? Do the network’s corporate interests have a right to sensor me or what I look at? Is it their network? It is anybody's network? Is the network a 'Commons'? And if it is, is it national or international?
And should everyone, even if you are too poor to afford the network, have a right to connect?
FISA court rulings certainly muddy the waters of this issue on a whole other level.
What, for example does one do with information found on the network that reveals criminal behavior? Can I even read or watch it?
What if it is criminal behavior of my network carrier? Or my government? What if we found proof one Presidential candidate planned and successfully stole an election from the rightful winner... in China, or Venezuela or here in the Untitled States? What is our duty as citizens of this country or citizens of the world?
We may have to start clarifying or even re-defining words like Citizen and Commons, Rights and Freedom.
There is also the good side of Law & Order. How do we fight cyber-theft? The Banks have no answer when identity theft occurs.
What of patent rights and copyrights? Should I be able to pass on an electronic book I just read? I shared plenty of paperback books with family and friends over the years.
How do I feel about our hyper-connected future?
Let's start, like Al Gore is encouraging us to, by asking questions. Then maybe when we understand the questions we can begin to answer them together and share the results.
Did Karl Rove get caught this time, committing treason? Congressional Hearing should be called and subpoenas should go out.
It is President Obama's duty to uphold the Constitution for future Presidents and the People of the Untied States of America.
If Anonymous is wrong or just plain lying... let's prove it.
Fascinating audio history of the Titanic disaster from the BBC: Titanic - In Her Own Words
"To mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, the BBC's Sean Coughlan narrates one of the most authentic versions of events in existence. Using voice synthesis to re-create the strange, twitter-like, mechanical brevity of the original Morse code, this programme brings to life the tragedy through the ears of the wireless operators in the area that night.
On the night of the disaster, the network of young Marconi wireless operators on different ships and land stations frantically communicated with each other across the cold expanses of the North Atlantic in an effort to mount a rescue for the doomed vessel."
The White House isn’t moved by Apple’s argument on Monday that U.S. corporate taxes are too high for the company to consider moving any of the staggering $64 billion in cash it has in offshore accounts back into the U.S.
A White House official told TPM that the Obama Administration specifically chose not to propose a repatriation holiday — a temporary tax break on overseas cash brought back into the U.S., which Apple and other tech companies have sought for years.
Instead, the official told TPM that the White House in late February put forth “a comprehensive corporate tax reform plan that simplifies the code, levels the playing field for American businesses and encourages investment here at home.”
Explore this site and pass it around: YouTube EDU.
The company they called Big Blue was the dominant force in early commercial computing, when mainframes arrived on a fleet of trucks and IT managers used to say "nobody ever got fired for buying IBM."
But those days are long gone..."
In the mid-1980s, every business major I knew in New York City wanted to go work for IBM... even before a Wall Street job. I was given a night time tour once, of the IBM offices on 57th and Madison by a junior analyst at the time and I thought I was walking into the Starship Enterprise (TNG)... There were card sensors on the glass doors! Young guys in white shirts and ties were still sitting at all the desks instead of sitting in the bars on 2nd Ave... they were making the future.
"...People who affect to be horrified by the power of small fry such as Microsoft and Google have no idea what it was like when IBM represented more than 70 percent of the industry — when it was twice as big as every other IT company put together. To have that kind of power today you'd need annual revenues of well over a trillion dollars. IBM has only managed a tenth of that — $100bn — though it is still roughly the size of Microsoft and Intel combined."
"...There are billions of photographs on Facebook's servers. As your Facebook friends upload their albums, Facebook will try to determine if any of the pictures look like you. And if they find what they believe to be a match, they may well urge one of your Facebook friends to tag it with your name..."
Someone needs to invent Assbook where your enemies send pictures of their private parts to you.
All very conservative/psychotic/corporate/anti-American… NPR says the above Republican asshole’s statement were in response to the President’s Saturday address… so they lead the story with the Republican response?!
And don’t allow the President a sound-bite…?
When all you have left is the fall, the fall matters…
If the Republicans in Congress told NPR they would stop picking on them only if Ari Shapiro were dead… we would find Ari Shapiro floating in the Potomac River with Hillary Clinton’s scarf in his pocket.
To make it worse, they followed this Republican/Corporate/Oil Company propaganda with Newt Gingrich and fucking Rick Santorum criticizing the Obama Administration about… you know,?.. I’m not even sure… they were just both going on about how badly managed America is under Obama… and this time, NPR didn’t even mention a Democratic response… the story simply was about giving Gingrich and Santorum a platform….
The next segment was NPR asking for money.
I wish the public humiliation wasn’t so public… Don’t ask me to pay for it.
I cooked Mario Batali’s recipe for Lamb: Roman Style… except I used Newman’s Own Caesar Dressing for the lamb marinade instead of following Mario’s recipe which basically had all the same ingredients as Newman’s Own Caesar Dressing.
When the tornado ravage victims of the Confederacy line up for FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) assistance this week, they should be required to show a long form birth certificate before receiving any Federal/Tax payer funds… What if we need them for a corporate bailout or bank failure?
I was sick last week and sat on the couch watching Sam Peckinpah movies. The kids today think SAW, SAW II, SAW III, SAW IV, SaW V, SAW VI and SAW 3D are violent and that Ludacris, Vin Diesel and that wrestler-Rock guy are tough,.. How about I unleash a little fucking Warren Oates on your ass!
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia will make your girlfriend get up and walk out the door. .. But if you watch The Getaway, you will know how to get her back and behave herself… Ali McGraw her ass and she’ll be putting the DiGiorno in the oven and popping the cap off your beer.
It started with Major Dundee, a film I haven’t seen in decades. TCM was showing a ‘director’s cut’ of sorts with footage and scenes cut out by the studio before the film’s original release. I enjoyed the acting, the cinemaphotgraphy, the directing, the script. I must have needed a little macho, Americano… From there I had to watch The Wild Bunch and then Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid. (Slim Pickens and Katy Jurado!!!)...
Oh the violence… poetry and death in slow motion… and the scripts are smarter than I remember. Lots of interesting history going on in the background. Clint Eastwood can bite me… Little Bill, my ass.
I’m finding myself drawn-in to the Game of Thrones series on HBO. Kind of like Lord of The Rings, but without elves, orcs or hobbits… there is a dwarf, but he is a real dwarf, not a mystical, magical nanny dwarf or anything like that. And there is lots of HBO-sex, too… boobies and butts.
I’ve been interested in the Republican Town Halls that have been going on this recess… Republican Congressmen getting booed and hissed at and not answering questions, or holding the meetings in churches so they can arrest and mace Democrats from their districts and get away with it…
Where is the media coverage that captured the Tea Party Express as they interrupted Democratic Congressmen and Congresswoman Town Halls in 2010? Not interested anymore?
And on the technology front. I got an iPhone 4… and have no idea what to do with it. It sits there and I watch it and I wait for it to do something. Once in a while it buzzes and that means I got an email, but when I’m at work I am sitting in front of my computer, so I know I just got an email… and I refuse to touch the fucking thing if it buzzes while I’m driving home on the 405 freeway doing like 70 miles an hour… although that does not seem to stop my fellow commuters… and the text key pad is too small for my fingers, it takes me four or five tries to get the word ‘the’ written.
Some of the younger co-workers have these things sewn into the palms of their hands. They gave me a list of “apps” I simply must have… So I bought … yes bought the Twitter app… but DeRosaWorld has been on Twitter for a while and I can’t see the difference between the Twitter app and the Twitter website, other than one is on my lap top and one is on my phone, now… which is I guess the point, so I can tweet when I’m not in the office… or at home… or just because I can on my phone, now… which I would pay for as part of my data plan… instead of for free on my laptop…
One of the younglings got frustrated trying to explain to me how to use one of these apps and said: “You sound just like my mother when I brought her an iPhone… just use it.”
I’m told it will change my life.
All I know is when I was a kid… TV was free, I owned the records I bought and I didn’t have to sign a multi-year contract to make a phone call.
Speaking of records...A bunch of old-timers have come out with ‘releases’… we don’t say albums anymore, I’m told, in just the last two weeks: Willie Nelson & Wynton Marsalis, Robbie Robertson, Greg Allman, Paul Simon, Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams… to name a few. Where are these artists get played today? Satellite radio? Or do they just jump on iTunes and hope someone will find them.
Senator Al Franken (D-MN) spoke on the importance of net neutrality at this year's South By Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas.
Open Internet: An Independent Producer's Last, Best Hope
Thank you, Todd, for that kind introduction. I'd like to thank Roland Swenson, Hugh Forrest, Shawn O'Keefe, and all the talented and dedicated organizers who have brought us here together for South by Southwest.
South by Southwest started as a showcase for this city's music scene, an innovative way for Austin's uniquely talented and wonderfully eclectic musicians to get the nation's attention.
It wasn't just about the party. It wasn't just about keeping Austin weird. It was about commercial viability, about finding a big enough audience so that these musicians could afford to keep making music.
It was a brilliant solution to a problem that most artists spend a lot of time wrestling with.
Some of you may be aware that I used to be in comedy. And like many of the bands and filmmakers and other creative professionals here in Austin this week, my partner Tom Davis and I had to wrestle with the challenge of getting ourselves heard and seen.
Francis Ford Coppola was asked about this problem in a recent interview. He said:
You have to remember that it's only a few hundred years, if that much, that artists are working with money. Artists never got money. Artists had a patron, either the leader of the state or the duke of Weimar or somewhere, or the church, the pope. Or they had another job.
Just like everyone else, Tom and I wanted our craft to be our job. And we didn't have an in with the duke of Weimar. Who, by the way, had a terrible sense of humor.
So we worked our hard and paid our dues, starting out at a place called the Brave New Workshop in Minneapolis and touring anywhere they'd have us, hoping to find an audience and build a following so that we could do the thing we loved-and do it as a job instead of a hobby.
And in the back of my mind, and the back of Tom's mind, and the back of everyone's mind was the same thought: God, I hope I don't have to sell out.
Because there was another kind of patron on the scene-rich and powerful corporations with access to built-in audiences.
And just like the patronage of a king or a pope, support from these corporations-big record labels or studios or TV networks-came with strings attached. Your art had to be mainstream enough to appeal to-and generate profit from-a mainstream audience.
Coppola describes it this way:
The cinema language happened by experimentation-by people not knowing what to do. But unfortunately, after 15-20 years, it became a commercial industry. People made money in the cinema, and then they began to say to the pioneers, "Don't experiment. We want to make money. We don't want to take chances."
That's not to say there's never been good mainstream art. There has. And lots of it. Tom and I got really, really lucky to get hired by Lorne Michaels in July of 1975 to work on brand a new show, to be called "NBC Saturday Night," that would premier in October.
We were able to be ourselves, to do our thing and get paid. But there was a reason for that: We had Lorne fighting on our behalf with the network executives. Time after time, he would go to the mat for us, insulating us from the pressures of commercial viability.
And if you couldn't find a gig where you had a Lorne Michaels defending your creative integrity from the bosses, oftentimes the only way to get heard was to sell out. That wasn't us. And that's not the people who are here in Austin this week.
Fortunately, South by Southwest has grown. It's not just Austin's music scene's attempt to reach out and build a following without going through the corporate wringer. It's a celebration of all the ways in which independent creative minds have been able to find audiences.
And it's fitting that there's now a whole portion of the festival devoted to interactive, because the Internet has proven to be not only a hotbed for innovations that change our lives and an incredible engine of job creation, but also the ultimate self-distribution channel.
Thanks in no small part to the astonishing brilliance and creativity of the folks in this room, people the world over are now able to connect with each other, inspire each other, learn from each other, and entertain each other. And the best part is, no one has to sell out. Unless they want to. The Greatful Dead once told me, I can't remeber when exactly, that they'd been trying to sell out for 30 years. But the Dead were an exception that proved the rule.
But nowYou don't need a record deal to make a song and have people hear it. You don't need a major studio to make a film and have people see it. You don't need a fancy R&D job at a big corporation to come up with a great business model and launch it. You don't even need a high school diploma.
But I came here today to warn you that the party may almost be over. There is nothing more motivated than a corporation that thinks it's leaving money on the table. They are coming after the Internet, hoping to destroy the very thing that makes it such an important tool for independent artists and entrepreneurs-its freedom and openness.
I know that many of you have heard people talk about net neutrality before. You might have heard me say that it's the First Amendment issue of our time. And it is. And you might already be on board with our fight to save it.
But I want to take just a moment to explain it, because part of the strategy being used by people who want to destroy net neutrality is to confuse Americans about what the term even means.
Net neutrality means that content-a web page, an email, a download-moves over the Internet freely, and it moves at the same speed no matter what it is or who owns it.
So an email from President Obama and an email from your Tea Partier uncle come in at the same speed. You can buy a song from an indie band just as quickly as you can buy a song from a band on a major label. And if you start a website for your small business, your customers can have their orders processed just as easily with you as they could if they were buying from a multi-national conglomerate.
We take this basic fairness-this equality, this, shall we say, neutrality-for granted, because that's how it's always been. The Internet is democratic. Not capital-D Democratic, although, for that annoying uncle of yours who still insists that government has never created a job, the Internet was developed by the government at public expense.
No, what I mean is that the Internet is small-d democratic. Everyone has the same say. If you want to be heard above other people-if you want your argument to prevail, or your song to be popular, or your product to sell-the only way to do it is to have a better argument, or a catchier song, or a more useful product.
I think this is a good thing. I think most people think this is a good thing. And that's why your Tea Partier uncle might hear that Al Franken is fighting for net neutrality and say something like, "Leave the Internet alone!"
And that's exactly what I want. We have net neutrality right now. And we don't want to lose it. That's all. The fight for net neutrality isn't about improving the Internet. It's not about changing the Internet at all. It's about ensuring that it stays just the way it is.
It's the big corporations who now own the physical infrastructure that makes the Internet work, the pipes through which content is distributed-the tubes, if you will-who want to change the Internet by ending net neutrality.
Now, let me say something about big corporations. They're not inherently evil. Not at all. I notice that some of them have even sponsored this year's South by Southwest, which is very hip of them.
But corporations have a contractual duty-a legal obligation to their shareholders-to make as much money as they can.
And the big telecom companies make lots and lots of money off their ownership of the Internet-but they've figured out a way to make more.
It's called "paid prioritization." Telecom companies want to create a high-speed lane for corporations that can pay for it. As the Chief Technology Officer for BellSouth pointed out, "I can buy a coach standby ticket or a first class ticket...I can get two-day air or six-day ground."
This would make these corporations gatekeepers of the Internet, with the power to decide what content can get to its intended audience in the high-speed lane and what content gets stuck in traffic, depending on what makes the most money for their shareholders.
For American consumers, this would of course be bad news.
We'll have a lot fewer viewpoints represented online-not just creative viewpoints, but maybe even ideological viewpoints. Do you think Comcast would refrain from making it harder for people to watch this speech online if they could do so legally?
And even if the telecoms can't force Americans to like their preferred content, they could make it very difficult-and very expensive-for Americans to access the content they do prefer.
Maybe you don't care for whatever Verizon is peddling on its V-Cast. So you go to load up a YouTube video of something else. But if Verizon selectively throttles bandwidth, as we've seen reports indicating they might, that video might load slower and at a lower resolution. How long are you going to put up with that before you turn back to the pristine quality and speedy downloads you can still have through V-Cast?
Maybe you don't want to watch the NBC/Universal content Comcast is offering through its streaming service. The movie you want to see is on Netflix's instant streaming platform. But now Comcast wants to impose a new fee on Netflix, making it more expensive for them to offer competition to Comcast's streaming service. Obviously, this cost could be passed on to you in the form of higher prices on Netflix subscriptions. But the real endgame for Comcast is to put Netflix out of business entirely, leaving you with no choice except Comcast's programming.
Meanwhile, now that Comcast has bought NBC, it won't be long before Verizon or AT&T starts thinking about buying ABC or Direct TV, creating a few enormous media conglomerates with bigger and bigger footprints over the delivery of content. If they're able to implement what they call "managed services," you might have to buy both broadband access and a cable package to get either.
And just as you pay extra to get HBO or Showtime on your cable package, we've seen reports that telecom companies might consider dividing the Internet into tiers the same way-you'd pay a base fee for a few sites, and more if you want to be able to get to others.
If these companies aren't already doing these things now, rest assured that this is their plan. In the end, the American people will end up paying a lot more money for worse service and less content. They'll hear from a lot fewer viewpoints. They'll have a lot less freedom to choose what they want to see and hear and do online.
All of this is bad for consumers. But it would be an outright disaster for the independent creative community. Corporations want control over distribution systems so they can ensure that content that makes them a profit has an easier time finding an audience than content that doesn't. That's been true throughout history.
Here's an example I saw first-hand.
We used to have rules to prevent this kind of conflict of interest in television. They were called "Fin-Syn," or "Financial Interest in Syndication" rules, and they prevented corporations that owned the pipelines over which content was distributed on TV-broadcast networks-from owning that content.
But then the networks asked Congress to let those rules expire. Network executives swore under oath that they wouldn't give their own programming preferred access to the airwaves.
I was working at NBC back then, and I didn't buy that line one bit. But Congress did. And when those rules were allowed to expire, guess what happened. Within a couple of years, NBC was the largest supplier of its own prime-time programming. Following suit, Disney bought ABC. Viacom, the parent company of Paramount, bought CBS. And then NBC merged with Universal.
Today, if you're an independent producer, you can make a great show. But you can't get it on the air-you cannot access the most effective distribution system-unless you give the network a huge piece of the show. The price for getting to air is creative control and a hefty chunk of the valuable syndication rights.
Or look at the history of independent film. Anyone can make a movie. The technology exists. But in the early days of film, a few powerful studios developed a monopoly over the theater industry-the main distribution system.
Independent filmmakers have had to find other ways to get their work seen. From drive-in theaters to VCRs, cable television to video stores, each new distribution system has offered independents a new opportunity to reach an audience without having to sell out and make the kind of movies that the big studios wanted.
And each has died off, either because they couldn't compete with the corporate-controlled distribution channels-or because they were co-opted. HBO was once a home for all kinds of weird indie films-until Time Warner up and bought it.
The Internet has proven more effective and more durable than any other independent distribution channel.
Examples are all around us, especially this week.
When the relationship between the Writer's Guild and television studios deteriorated so badly in 2007 and 2008 that the Guild-of which I am a member-went on strike, Joss Whedon had a dilemma. He didn't want to sit on his hands-but he didn't want to cross the picket line.
So, when he created Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, he released it for free on the Internet. TIME magazine would later call it not just one of the best TV shows, but one of the best inventions of the year, writing:
It's hard to imagine a studio green-lighting an idea as weird and ostensibly uncommercial as a 43-min., three-part online super-villain musical.
And yet, it was a huge hit. Millions of people downloaded the episodes, and more have subsequently purchased it on DVD. Whedon made back his investment. The cast and crew, who had taken on the project without compensation, got paid. The studios did not.
Meanwhile, as Clear Channel consolidates its hold on the radio, more and more bands are using the Internet to launch their careers outside of the corporate-controlled distribution networks.
Now, I want to be clear about something. Often, when people talk about using the Internet as a distribution network, especially for music, they mean "for free." And that's not necessarily what I'm talking about.
If you want people to listen to your music or watch your movie for free, fine. But I support efforts to crack down on piracy for the same reason I support net neutrality: I want artists to be able to get paid for their work-artists, and sound engineers, and gaffers, and camera operators, and craft services people, all of whose livelihoods are threatened by piracy.
But I also want artists to be able to get paid for their work while being able to do the work that they want to do, not what a corporation wants them to do. And the Internet can make that possible.
It's not just YouTube. Sites like Bandcamp and Kickstarter have made it possible for audiences not only to discover new independent acts, but to help those artists make and distribute music.
Last week, the Decemberists released a letter in which they described how they went, in their words, "went from being a small local band in Portland to creating a successful small business that employs over a dozen people and allows us to tour and sell records throughout the world."
Our ability to build a fan base at home and abroad was and still is dependent to a large degree on the Internet and the way it has changed how musicians connect to their listeners. We depend on everything from our own online store to streaming sites like Pandora and Rhapsody to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Some of these help us reach people, some help us sell our product and generate revenue for our employees and ourselves. These outlets have become absolutely essential to us, and practically all musicians working today.
And then we come to you guys-the tech entrepreneurs.
The open Internet allows the creative artists here in Austin this week to be more entrepreneurial. And it allows the entrepreneurs in this room to be more creative-and more successful.
More corporate control of the Internet would make it harder for small online businesses to compete, as anyone who's had to wrestle with Apple over an app can attest.
But it would also undermine the spirit that has made this sector so valuable, not only to the entrepreneurs who have succeeded in it, but to the American economy.
We are all familiar with the stories of YouTube, launched above a little pizzeria in San Mateo, and Twitter, dreamed up during a brainstorming session at a small podcast company.
And represented here in Austin are hundreds, thousands of stories just like those, stories of people who build prototypes in garages and drop out of college to take a chance on their own ambition, entrepreneurs who come from nowhere to change people's lives everywhere.
You guys know these stories. You are these stories. And you know that these wouldn't be possible if you couldn't rely on the Internet as a free and open distribution platform.
But here's what you may not realize. You aren't just tech innovators. You're job creators. And with our economy just beginning to recover from a debilitating recession, the industries of the 20th century struggling to survive, and our nation increasingly focused on the enormous challenge of remaining competitive in the 21st century global economy, you have enormous credibility right now.
I haven't been in Washington that long, but I've heard enough from both parties to know that people there are desperate to hear from successful entrepreneurs like you. Job creators get their phone calls returned. Do not underestimate how much political power you have.
And just as the Internet has proven to be the last, best independent distribution system, you just might be our last, best hope for saving it.
But we don't have much time. Net neutrality is in trouble.
Unfortunately, one thing the big corporations have that we don't is the ability to purchase favorable political outcomes.
All industries have lobbyists-but the big telecoms have lots of them, and good ones, too. On top of that, last year's Citizens United Supreme Court decision allowed corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money on campaigns without disclosing any of it.
This means that every policymaker in Washington is hearing much more from the anti-net neutrality corporate side than they are from the side without the lobbyists. Everyone has more to fear from the corporations with unlimited slush funds than they do from our side.
The end of net neutrality would benefit no one but these corporate giants. And yet, true to form, telecom lobbyists and their conservative allies in Congress are taking up their cause, persuading your Tea Partier uncle and far too many other Americans by using a rhetorical technique I call "making stuff up."
They'll tell you that putting rules in place to preserve net neutrality as it exists today amounts to a "government takeover" of the Internet, a talking point that deserves a place alongside "death panels" and "Obama's a Muslim" in the pantheon of lies that aren't just baldly false, but completely ridiculous.
The word "takeover" implies that we want to change the Internet. We don't. And it's not the government trying to exert more control over the Internet, it's big corporations who want to put tollbooths on the information superhighway.
But that isn't stopping big corporations from trying to undermine net neutrality at every turn.
Earlier this year, the FCC approved new rules that, while they didn't go nearly as far as I think they need to in order to keep the Internet fully free, at least laid some foundation for preserving the principles of net neutrality as it exists today.
But the House of Representatives voted to deny the agency the funding it would need to implement its order. And they plan to use a Congressional Review Act resolution to reverse it entirely, giving the telecoms an explicit permission slip to move ahead with paid prioritization and any other scheme they can concoct.
Meanwhile, I've introduced legislation with Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington that would codify principles of net neutrality into law.
And I'm introducing a new bill that would call violations of net neutrality out for what they are-anti-competitive actions by powerful media conglomerates that represent violations of our anti-trust laws. We don't allow big corporations to use their size to bully their competition, and my bill would make it clear that this applies to telecoms that use their power to control the Internet.
These fights are coming to the Senate. And I'm going to be on my colleagues every day, urging them not to cave in to the telecom lobbyists.
But there are more of those lobbyists than there are of me. And with Citizens United in place, the more powerful these corporations are allowed to get-and the more they profit from what they're trying to do-the more they'll spend targeting elected officials who stand up to them, and the harder it will be to move the needle back in the other direction.
If we're going to win these legislative fights, we need to engage more voices in the debate-people who would be hurt if net neutrality became a thing of the past.
Of course, that includes artists and entrepreneurs like you. But it also includes the American people as a whole. Most of them just don't know that the Internet they rely on could cease to exist as they know it. They hear a lot of talk about how innovative and exciting these corporations' plans are-and they don't realize that those plans would raise their rates, make it harder to access their favorite content online, and kill off creative and ideological viewpoints.
That's why our side needs to do a better job of communicating with people outside of the corporate-controlled distribution systems. Which, as it so happens, is what you all think about for a living.
And so it's time for us to use the Internet to save the Internet. One of the great things about the tech sector is how you use the technology you pioneer not only to build businesses, but to strengthen communities.
You have customers, or users, or members who look to you for leadership. They represent a tremendous source of social and political capital. And you're the only ones who can tap into that to help build the movement we'll need to win this fight.
Twenty years ago, South by Southwest was a music festival. Today, it's a hotbed of creative entrepreneurship and a celebration of independent art and technological innovation.
What will it be twenty years from now? Will independent artists still matter? Or will so many Americans have no choice but to consume the content sponsored by corporations that only the corporate content can thrive? Will individual entrepreneurs still matter? Or will a few conglomerates have so much control over the Internet that only the innovations they can profit from will stand a chance of making it on the open market?
When we gather at South by Southwest 2031, will we be hearing new music from independent creative minds and talking about the next exciting way the Internet will help to connect us? Or will we be stuck listening to the Black Eyed Peas and reminiscing about the days before you had to sell out to make it?
Let's not sell out. And let's not let the government sell us out. Let's fight for net neutrality. Let's keep Austin weird. Let's keep the Internet weird. Let's keep the Internet free.
Maybe someday parents won't actually own their babies' names... they will just contract them for the first 18 years.
We buy music on line that we don't really own... and movies and TV shows now too... We subscribe to phone service with multi-year contracts... so why not pay for The New York Times... So we can get more coverage by corporate/conservative moles...
Today marks a significant transition for The New York Times as we introduce digital subscriptions. It’s an important step that we hope you will see as an investment in The Times, one that will strengthen our ability to provide high-quality journalism to readers around the world and on any platform. The change will primarily affect those who are heavy consumers of the content on our Web site and on mobile applications..."
This paper has been lying to me all my life. Why would I pay to read it...
If The New Yotk Times is as reputable as it thinks it is... how did the Bush, Jr./Cheney regime survive?
Interesting that the e-book may surpass the paperback. Our electronic changes, our transfers and communications and updating at a record speed. Technologies go out of fashion and are not just updated but supplanted in a matter of months... not even years let alone decades.
What a world we will live in by mid-century.
President Obama can shove DADT up his ass. He didn't seem to have much to do with the final outcome, anyway... and if his FCC signs on to this AT&T version of the internet... He needs to be a one-term President.
"...This bogus victory has become all too familiar to those watching the Obama administration and its appointees squander opportunities for real change. The reality is that reform is just a rhetorical front for industry compromises that reward the biggest players and K-Street lobbyists while giving the public nothing.
It's not the FCC chairman's job to seek consensus among the corporations that he was put into office to regulate. His duty is to protect Internet users..."
"A non-neutral Internet means that companies like AT&T, Comcast, Verizon and Google can turn the Net into cable TV and pick winners and losers online. A problem just for Internet geeks? You wish. All video, radio, phone and other services will soon be delivered through an Internet connection. Ending Net Neutrality would end the revolutionary potential that any website can act as a television or radio network. It would spell the end of our opportunity to wrest access and distribution of media content away from the handful of massive media corporations that currently control the television and radio dial.
So the Google-Verizon deal can be summed up as this: "FCC, you have no authority over us and you're not going to do anything about it. Congress, we own you, and we'll get whatever legislation we want. And American people, you can't stop us."
Nothing is going to stop corporate media giants from doing with us whatever they want to. We are addicted to the Internet, like we were addicted to television. Some of us have managed to turn the TV off, but spend even more time on-line... and what about our cell phones? Can we put them down?
So Apple is going to distribute free cases so their iPhone 4 users won’t touch both antennae at same time, disrupting their signals. Has anybody done research on what the side effects are of having two active antennae in your pocket sitting next to your balls all day?
-----So Congressman Boehner (R-OH), one of the biggest assholes in the House, announced he wants a one-year moratorium on all new Federal regulations… and if the Republicans take the House this November, he may just get his, and Corporate America’s wish… in time for Christmas… that and the repeal of the Health Care Bill. Republicans, you gotta love ‘em.
Corporate America wrote the Health Care Bill and Corporate America wrote the new Financial Regulations Bill… Republicans couldn’t have written better, less helpful to Americans, kind of embarrassing bills unless they simply… wrote no bills at all or did away with Financial Regulations and Health Care protection… ah, that’s it.
The difference between Republicans and Democrats are Democrats write bad, corporate-sponsored legislation while Republicans don’t do anything.
Thirty-two U.S. soldiers took their own lives last month, the most Army suicides in a single month since the Vietnam War. Last year, a record-breaking 245 soldiers committed suicide. The Army seems on track to surpass that number this year, as 145 soldiers have taken their lives in the first half of 2010.
What is it about those two wars that make our boys want to kill themselves? What do those two wars have in common…?
In a touch of unnoticed irony: Col. Chris Philbrick, head of the Army's suicide prevention task force, told CNN. "I have no silver bullet to answer the question why."
-----And now scientists are saying there really isn’t such a thing as gravity… well that what the hell am I doing still stuck on this fucked up and doomed planet!
The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday admitted that it held closed-door meetings with top tech companies about open Internet issues, and said that, in the future, it will post notices about similar meetings on its Web site.
These meetings are just ANOTHER example of the Corporate takeover of the United States Government.
Our Democratic President can't seem to do enough for Corporate America... and the Congress, Senate and Judiciary are right there with him.
I no longer expect any relief from the Obama Administration. I stopped looking for it.
It's the Republican Party's country and we just live in it.
Entitled Such Tweet Sorrow, the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is improvising a story loosely based on the tale on the micro-blogging site.
For the next five weeks, the actors will respond to each other, to the "audience" and to real world events.
Lines from Juliet so far include: "Jules is over and out!! Xxx."
The actors have been asked to improvise around a prepared story "grid" set in modern-day Britain.
They are writing the tweets themselves guided by the storyline and diary which outlines where they are at any moment in the adventure."
The Internet has allowed American Progressives to hang on by their fingernails, despite the Democratic majorities in Congress and the election of President Obama. Can you imagine a world where a few of the biggest asshole corporations in America are controlling your Internet?
"...The ruling doesn’t just affect the ISPs’ ability to control load times. It could also allow them to restrict what information you get for your monthly broadband payment. In the worst-case scenario, Internet providers could require you to buy access to websites in "packages"—a social networking "package" with Facebook and MySpace, a sports package with ESPN.com and Rivals.com, or a music package with Last.fm and Pandora. Instead of today's "Wild West,” the future Internet might look more like cable television.
If the FCC wants to avoid that, it has three options: ( a link to Nick Baumann's Mother Jones article on net neutrality)
We probably only have a few elections left in us, so let's try to make the most of them and retire any corporate sponsored politicians before its too late fo us. And if you want a nationalistic reason, the Chinese government, the ECU and states like Iran are waiting for us to fuck this up and they will fill the void.
Vice Principal Lindy Matsko allegedly cited as evidence a photograph taken with the computer's webcam that had been activated in Blake's bedroom. Robbins claims that the Matsko accused him of selling drugs when she saw him holding up what she believed to be pills.
The 15-year-old says he was simply holding his favorite candy, "Mike And Ikes," which are small oblong, chewy jelly beans."
Sometimes it is fun just to sit back and watch Americans screw themselves because of their hubris or because of their stupidity. Here is a little of both.
And come on... you know the school got some good masturbation shots.
"Excuse me, Mr. Principal. The FBI is here to see you."
Next day: Rain, 50 degrees, no more snow, but flooding.
A tradition that started with the release of The Godfather Part 3 is to go to the movies as a group on the day after Christmas. This year it was Avatar. I some how managed to skip it with the promise to mind Mom while everyone was away. We watched cooking shows. She likes Chef Ming.
Chinese Food take out feast that night. (egg rolls!!!!!! with duck sauce and hot mustard).Final day: Cheesesteaks for lunch and the night flight back to LAX. Security, even after Amsterdam declared war on us, was minimal and easy. Sat and watched a Terrorism Special on CNN with my fellow travelers. The flight was six hours of which I slept five.
The United States Senate… what a pack of losers, bought, sold and scared. Not scared of their constituents, but of the lobbyist and the media. Whatever they come up with, I probably don’t want, because it is not in my interests they meet today.
I heard that President Obama visited China last week. I saw it on the BBC. I tried to find some wall-to-wall coverage of the President abroad, but American TV didn’t cover it. I wonder what the President and those 2 billion Chinese talked about?
I wish the progressive blogs would write more posts featuring progressive people and less time on what conservative and crazy-right pundits had to say. I really don’t need a re-cap of what Glenn Beck said every day. I don’t watch him for a reason. I don’t want to hear what he has to say. A strange cycle some blogs have found themselves in… recapping the stupid.
I have a good idea for health care… Medicare… and extend it to every U.S. citizen. How do we pay for it? Let’s try not fighting a foreign war for maybe like a decade and see how much money we save… or maybe only just fight one, you know, to keep us in shape.
Can you imagine if President Obama announced the end of military activities in Afghanistan, effective immediately. And then he puts the 9/11 left-over terrorists on trial in Manhattan and kind of just wraps up the Bush, Jr/Cheney era war on terror… you know, starts his own version of peace and security instead of trying to prop up what previous administrations have done…and starting in 2010 we have the Obama Doctrine. I wonder what that would look like.
My television is dying. I have the last fat, really heavy, tube TV in the United States. Last night it started to fade to black and then slowly fade back up to picture again. I thought it was just the movie I was watching, some strange film editing trick, but then the picture would turn purple and only fill half the screen, then bounce back. I guess it’s time to go flat screen, LCD, LED, HD and all that. I don’t watch any weekly series. I don’t have TIVO... I wonder if I can get by with just my computer.
-----I broke my two month on-line book buying fast. I bought a birthday present that had to be shipped across the country. I bought my nephew Philip Caputo’s The Voyage.
KPFK in Los Angeles has been in the midst of a Beg-A-Thon fundraiser for weeks. Look folks, I love you all, and support you, but maybe people can't afford to give this year.
I can't listen to the pleading anymore. It becomes pointless after a while. Maybe...obviously... no one is listening and that is what you should be concentrating on.
How would Raymond, Chandler, Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie or Dashiell Hammett deal with this technology?
"In the heart of New York Police Department's (NYPD) Real Time Crime Centre (RTCC), Inspector Kenneth Mekeel surveys data coming in on a giant monitor the size of a cinema screen.
As queries come in from officers on the street he brings up different data streams and punches them back to the officers.
Inspector Mekeel is on the digital front line of North America's fight against crime.
He is also part of a new wave of policing which increasingly relies on technology and immediate access to digital information."
For christ’s sake. Now we’re going to have Mark Green or Liz Holztman challenging her in the primary. And you don’t think Rick Lazio is on the phone to the RNC right now?
The Democrats are going to lose a Senate seat from New York and her House seat will go back to the Republicans, all because Arianna Huffington is jealous of Caroline Kennedy.
It took less than a week for President Obama to realize what everyone else in the Democratic Party already knew. There is no bipartisanship left in Washington, D.C. He would know that if he had a little more experience in government… (Sorry…true!).
Make the Republicans vote against you if they dare and we’ll see what happens to Congress in 2010 and 2012. As of today, we have your stimulus package. Fuck debate. Put it to a vote. What works, keep. What doesn’t, change. But move!
The President also needs to realize that the Press…all of it…is the enemy of Democrats. Not just Bill O’Reilly, Limbaugh, the skinny blondes, but the networks, CNN, and all the magazines and newspapers. Oh yes, and the radio, including NPR, who should have their funding revoked.
If the Republicans don’t think they can tame you, they will shoot you, or impeach you, or get the Press to humiliate you. (See all past Democratic Presidents (and nominees) since 1960).
In my search for self, meaning and understanding in my life…I have been mining regional writers. I have been traveling the highways and rivers of Pennsylvania and there-abouts the past year or so. The Tawny O’Dell dig didn’t come up with much. I have had more luck with non-fiction. President Buchanan is a deep vein of gold and coal, as is the Civil War. So history is where I have had the most success, but I got my hands on a couple of Stewart O’Nan novels, so we’ll see where that leads.
Indie 103.1 is no longer on the air in Los Angeles. So it’s Radio Disney or nothing, kids. This week, I recommend Rich Kids Blues by Marianne Faithfull. Don’t just jump into Broken English or you’ll end up either killing the neighbor’s dog, on drugs or staring in internet porn.
After seeing the Oscar nominations released to no fanfare, not even in Los Angeles (can you really get excited about Kate Winslet being nominated again?) I thought it was time to do something about the state of the movie industry in my own small way.
There are some younger folks at work who stopped going to the movies as a weekly thing that young people do. It is ‘gaming’ that kills time for them now. (Trolls and elves and shit.) Two of them have actually been film majors in college. I got a lecture recently on the complexity of the dramatic arc of the Saw movies .
So I have dug out my John Ford At Fox collection and my Italian neo-realist movies and a handful of film noir and I am going to have a little film festival for them to let them know why people like me used to love movies so much. These kids even own cameras and their computers have the ability to edit film...so you would think they would be making movies, but sadly, no.
They need a strong dose of Robert Ryan.
Where are the Republican leaders? Where are their smart people? And don’t give me this Sarah Palin bullshit.
Are there no Senators or Congress-folks from the Republican Party that are not consider freaks by any normal American? I guess not because there are none available…and my cable news babble is 24/7.
The Republican Party is deader than dead in the water. Looks like their policies, both domestic and foreign, have left their philosophies and their 'brand' in tatters…as well as leaving the nation shipwrecked.
So why not just not interview any Republicans? Nobody wants to hear from them. We want to know what the Democrats are thinking.
I don’t like Bill Richardson, never have. But I do think it is very interesting that President-elect Obama would talk to Senator Clinton about the Secretary of State job. Boy, what a Democratic whammy that would be.
The professional Clinton haters, both conservative and
liberal progressive, are already screaming reasons why Bill would fuck things up if his wife were in such a prestigious job. But think about it; think of how Democrats voted in this last primary. It sure would be tempting to have Hillary around and Bill only a phone call away, even if just bounce ideas off of.
Well, there just doesn’t seem to be any good news for Americans as the holidays approach. Our kids are so used to getting anything they ask for and this season that may just not be possible. It will test our mettle as a ‘brat-nation’. We’ll see if our kids still love us when they can’t have a new Wii or iPhone...or worse, have to drop out of college...or move with the family out of your house and into an apartment.
I don’t want to debate a New Deal; I just want a rocket lit under one.
I have a credit card that has moved between four different banks since the summer.
Question of the day…I would call it the question of the week, but we may not have that much time…Will the Volt save Detroit?
I couldn’t wait for Christmas. I bought myself the latest installment of the Oxford History of the United States, From Colony To Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1776 written by George C. Herring. 1000 pages of history. Yummy. It’s going straight into the bathroom.
My favorite song this week is Elvis Presley’s Tomorrow Is A Long Time, a cover of the Bob Dylan song. I have listened to this song over a hundred times this week. It is a great version and brings out the best in both artists. I wish Elvis had done more serious work like this song. He never seemed to trust himself to take himself seriously…or had doubts others would. This song shows why Elvis is the once and future King.
I’m out of Port! That will not stand. Today’s mission is to venture out and re-supply.
From the AP: "The Comeback Kid is having a convention comeuppance
Bill Clinton was supposed to beam at the side of his wife at the Democratic convention as she was crowned their party's presidential nominee. Instead, he will have reason to wince as their upstart rival, Barack Obama, is coroneted...
...Now he is playing second fiddle to his wife, who is second fiddle to her one-time opponent— in part because of her husband's undisciplined campaigning through the primary. At the same time, he is trying not to hog Obama's spotlight."
Where the fuck did this come from?
Who put the ASS in Associated Press?
Warning, America: The AP and Yahoo! News have tilted to the right.
The AP is out-of-the-closet evil and will either tell us what a great job the McCain Administration is doing or what a terrible job the Obama Administration is doing over the next four years.
Yahoo! News isn't any better with their right wing news feeds. Don't be fooled by the daily doses of fad diets and celebrity gossip.
When you are having your breakfast the AP and Yahoo! News are feeding you a bunch of right wing propaganda.
And remember, the right wing is a disgraced group of politicians, pundits, corporations and news organizations that have committed gross acts of treason in this country. How is the deficit? How is health care? How is education? How is crime? How is our military? How are your monthly bills? According to the AP and Yahoo! News, you have nothing to complain about.
But isn't it great, Bill Clinton is such a fuck up?
The Third Reich, The Empire of Japan and The Soviet Union couldn't inflict the damage on the American heartland and industry that the Republican Party and the right wing have since the end of World War Two.
The AP and Yahoo! News are proud sponsors of the right wing in America. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
- - Jesse Helms, a mean, foolish, racist five-term Republican Party Senator from North Carolina died at age 86. His legacy is that of a leader of the hate-spreading conservative American spirit. Whenever we, as Americans get too haughty and brag about our democracy and freedom and liberty, remember we are also Jesse Helms.
- - Re-writing 9/11 history before Bush, Jr. leaves office…The new official history of the September 12, 13, 14 executive order given by President Bush after the 9/11 attacks to allow members of the bin Laden family and other Saudis to leave the country despite the total lock-down of flights over America is now being re-written. If you try to find information about this act of Presidential.. Treason?... Stupidity?… Saudi bullying of Bush, Jr.?... you get a story that states the good bin Ladens and other goodSaudis were allowed to fly out of America for their own safety (because Americans would have hurt them) AFTER… AFTER the flight ban was lifted and after the FBI cleared each and every one of them. I am not a journalist, I am just a blogger, but maybe ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and FOX News could send some reporters out to investigate the truth. It is important to history.
Also, there is finally a documentary out, in Britain at least, that explains WTC 7’s collapse into its own foot print on 9/11…. fire. We were all just conspiracy theorists and the fire in Building 7 melted the structure in such a way, THANK GOD!... that the building collapsed in the same way an imploded building would, a free-fall into its own footprint...no pancaking, no toppling. That’s a relief. Go with God, George W. Bush!
- - Senator Barack Obama is getting a little taste of what it is like to run as the Democrat Party nominee for President. He is not only up against the Republican Party candidate and the Republican machine, but also the national media. He has got print, radio, and TV against him. The Internet is still mostly his and the popular progressive blogosphere has been busy cleaning up his messy week. FISA, abortion, Iraq funding support, Iraq withdrawal issues…it is tough stuff this running for office.
I want a Democratic Presidential nominee who is threatening, on day one, to arrest Bush, Jr. Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condi Rice, et al. That would be change and hope for America’s future. No more bullshit.
- - Interesting week too, for General Wesley Clark. Man, the national media does not let anyone get away with swift boating Republican Party candidates, do they? I mean when Dan Rather went after Bush, Jr.’s military record, we never saw him again. And I haven’t seen this much indignation expressed on TV news since Al Gore was trying to contest the 2000 election decision. When John Kerry’s war record was attacked in 2004, the media ran with the story daily for the entire election cycle, without checking any facts. Book TV seemed to have an open invitation to John O’Neill and Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry all summer and all fall.
- - California is on fire again. It bumped the Midwest floods off the hourly TV News cycle.
- - Gasoline is going up and helping to fuel the economic crash the Republican Party has, once again, left the American people. Why is there still a Republican Party?
- - Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origins of all poems… Not a lot of time for reading this week, but did celebrate the 4th of July with Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass.
DeLillo’s Underworld sits on my nightstand, untouched for two weeks.
- - I don’t know if this falls under Music or Film or Television, but three times this week I came across the movie (the movie based on the musical based on the movie) Hairspray, the ending to be specific, a big song and dance extravaganza with John Travolta in drag. The music is infectious, but the images were grotesque, especially the woman. I think there was supposed to be a point in their somewhere about what is beautiful and sexy, thin vs. fat, black vs. white. I think fat was a metaphor for gay, but I’m not exactly sure.
- - "Google must divulge the viewing habits of every user who has ever watched any video on YouTube, a US court has ruled." This could be a big one, folks. Google vs. Viacom and YouTube views may hamper all the free videos weblogs feature on their sites.
Viacom said it wanted the data to "compare the attractiveness of allegedly infringing video with that of non-infringing videos." Saywhatifyousuckdick?
Viacom, which owns MTV and Paramount Pictures, has alleged that YouTube is guilty of massive copyright infringement. Don’t worry, its not about porn, it is all that unfiltered news, very un-American, that we have been looking at. Americans should not be viewing anything that has not passed through the corporate filters. Just look at the trouble all those 9/11 conspiracy videos have caused.
-The gruesome body count of US soldiers is on in Iraq as we approach the magic number 4,000 killed. Then we will forget again until 5,000. No judgments from the media. No condemnation. No protest. Dick Cheney fishes and parties with his freaky billionaire friends in the Middle East. The President is stupid and says mean, hurtful and foolish things.
-Barack Obama spoke this week in Philadelphia. It wasn’t quite the second coming or an Elvis encore, but the pundits liked it. We were told that history was spoken that day. My impression was that the Senator needs a psychiatrist.
-John McCain spoke this week, too. The stupid, old-man ramblings over Iran and the war in Iraq. Man, he seems old. President Reagan never gave off the impression of an old man. McCain oozes it. They say The Gipper’s mind was slipping during the second term. McCain seems to have lost his already.
-Senator Clinton seems poised to win big in Pennsylvania. This thing is a street fight. She spoke this week on Iraq, too. Her sensible moderation may be too little, to late. She seems to be the only person left standing who understands Iraq, but her words are no longer echoing.
I guess we leave it up to the racists to see if she can pull this out. Her strength is the economy, or lack of economy, right now. I think people are voting their pocket book when they vote for her, not their racial prejudices.
-Speaking of racism and economics. In Philadelphia, there was a plan to make the entire city WI-FI friendly. Internet for everyone, rich and poor…then the companies did the math and there was no profit to be made in the poorer, mostly black neighborhoods, so they are changing their minds. Something similar happened in the 1980s in Philadelphia when cable TV was being introduced across the country. No company wanted to lay cable in the poor neighborhoods where the population was mostly black. Philadelphia became one of the last major cities to have cable TV. So maybe the Archie Bunkers aren’t just living in the wilderness of Pennsylvania. They are also in the penthouse suites of communication corporations including some Gen-X and Gen-Y favorites.
-Arthur C. Clarke died this week. Kids today will have no idea what they have missed if they do not seek out his works. His fiction inspired reality in young scientists’ minds. Your cell phones and satellite technology for example.
Arthur C. Clarke formulated the following three "laws" of prediction:
1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Go for it! It’s the 21st century!
-Anne Garrels is a senior foreign correspondent for NPR's foreign desk. She has spent the past four years in Iraq. She did a retrospective series of reports this past week. What caught my ear at one point was a harrowing story in which her transport came under attack, but she said” Al-Qaeda was firing on our vehicle!” I thought, how did she know who was firing on her vehicle? Suddenly her story started to smell of propaganda. I just don’t trust NPR. I wish I could. Sorry Anne.
-Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico endorsed Senator Obama for President. He worked for President Clinton as Ambassador to the United Nations, and as the Secretary of Energy and it was expected he would throw his support behind Senator Clinton's candidacy. Richardson said that Obama has ‘something special’.
No endorsement yet from John Edwards. No word from Al Gore either. I wouldn’t be surprised if Gore did not endorse anyone. Why should he? No one endorsed him after he won the election in 2000.
It should have been John Edwards this year. If Big Al didn’t want it, Edwards was the guy. Democrats have made an historic mistake, here I think.
-Wow, I actually saw a skull appear over hot Dana Perino’s face during her press briefing this week. It was just like the ending of the movie PSYCHO. She was stuttering and spitting trying to roll back Bush, Jr.’s lies and stupidity. It was really cool. They really are devils!
-Made Fallenmok’s Spaghetti Punttanesca last night and it was delicious. Some folks aren’t used to the olive, caper, garlic combination. Sometimes that taste clashes with red wine. But if you follow his recipe, I think you will be hooked. (Just ask the whores of Naples)
-Stop everything! Buy Gnarles Barkley’s The Odd Couple. For the kids today who don’t know what TSOP is. Check this out and then go download The Stylistics, The Three Degrees, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, and The O’Jay’s.
iTunes has Stacey Keach reading The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway. The drawback to this collection is the stories are not listed individually as tracks. It is one big track, so getting to a specific story is impossible. But Keach is the right person to read these stories. Hemingway's stories are very clear when read aloud.
"Second Life is a 3-D virtual world entirely built and owned by its residents. Since opening to the public in 2003, it has grown explosively and today is inhabited by a total of 7,100,422 people from around the globe."
I read a SF novel back in the 90's called Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson that explored the future of virtual worlds and virtual lives. It was the peak of the cyberpunk novels.
Now we have Second Life in which you can create an avatar of yourself ( a virtual you...or something you want reperesenting you) and you can 'network'...?
Anything to distract ourselves from the real world I guess. Wouldn't it be better to try to make this life the best life we can and this world the best world we can?
So you can fly and teleport... And you can advertise...there's the rub. Get a bunch of credit card-addicted kids into this virtual playground and sell them shit.
I give it six months to live.
Read a book.