Opening Windows


Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/planetwa/www/polwaves/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1997

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/planetwa/www/polwaves/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1997

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/planetwa/www/polwaves/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1997

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/planetwa/www/polwaves/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1997

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/planetwa/www/polwaves/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1997

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/planetwa/www/polwaves/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1997

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/planetwa/www/polwaves/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1997

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/planetwa/www/polwaves/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1997

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/planetwa/www/polwaves/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1997

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/planetwa/www/polwaves/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1997

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/planetwa/www/polwaves/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1997

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/planetwa/www/polwaves/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1997

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/planetwa/www/polwaves/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 2009

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/planetwa/www/polwaves/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1997

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/planetwa/www/polwaves/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1997

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/planetwa/www/polwaves/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 2036

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/planetwa/www/polwaves/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1997

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/planetwa/www/polwaves/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1997

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/planetwa/www/polwaves/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 2026

For the first time in 456 years, we’re poised on a Solstice conjoining a Lunar Eclipse — and so ends a year that has given most of us at least one tension headache and likely, many more. At this juncture, it feels as though we’re working our way up into some grand crescendo of dysfunctional behavior and angst — like a helium balloon filled too far, lifting wildly and yet stretching dangerously at the same time.

The repeal to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell has passed — it simply couldn’t be ignored by Collective Mind any longer — but we lost the DREAM Act, the 9/11 assistance bill that Jon Stewart spent his ENTIRE last show of the year promoting and the Old Poops in the GOP may need to punish us further for intruding our century on theirs by stalling START.

And while I don’t want to begin a long conversation today about how everything will change in a few weeks, I think we should acknowledge that things have ALREADY changed, in big ways and small — and even as we see how impossible the Republicans will make it for rational citizens there seems to be a push for actual accountability, even among some of the press. The Baggers aren’t going to walk away from expectations that the Pub Old Timers aren’t willing to meet — like actually letting go of pork, for instance — and we know they can make a big squeak when they’re ignored. The leak issues are spreading fast and furiously so that actual facts can no longer be sidestepped.

And yet we are ALSO nose to nose with that reverberating Pluto in Cappy.

Communications in the 21st century are at the crux of our issues. The FCC, despite over 2 MILLION citizens having weighed in for net neutrality, is set to give the store away to big business. The judiciary seems to be in cahoots. The Dark Side is going to throw up every obstruction it can to keep us stumbling in the shadows and I don’t think there can be any doubt now that First Amendment Rights will be the critical challenge of this next leg of the journey. Read that ‘privacy’ and ‘freedom.’ More here. And worse yet, read this stunning expose by the Washington Post on the assault to our privacy. The fight is on, the course crackling with electricity. And to this worrisome news cycle comes … ta daChristmas!

Some of you may have read my seasonal post on Saturday — I’m still struggling with the limitations of this period. There are so many things I’d like to do that won’t get done, but the last of my slim mailing goes out tomorrow, I’m determined to make my annual Gingerbread-persons to pass around, I have my editorial writing day on Wednesday and I’ve pledged to put in a few hours as a Salvation Army bell-ringer on Thursday. It’s good for people to give, feel like they’re contributing to the whole of us; I look forward to giving them an encouraging wink and a smile when they do.

And all these things ARE going to happen this week, politics aside, fascist overtones be damned, etcetera etcetera. I have loving things to do — I have no time for scare-yer-socks-off propaganda and no intention of allowing them to control my consciousness. It seems to me that as quickly as the doors are slamming shut across the globe, windows are flying open everywhere — and will continue to, as long as that’s what we choose!

Christmas is very different this year but then, so are we. We choose, now, which door we go through but I want you to remember that darkness gives way to Light even as we speak. The heavens declare it as does the heart of humankind. Step back from the news cycle now, and practice your traditions. It is well, the past is behind us and the future yet unmade; allow that to be your truth. Be aware and marvel, dearhearts.

Choose love, choose windows — choose well!

Jude

Senate Earmark Battle Clobbers Funding For Child Care
Arthur Delaney, HuffPo
12-20-10


Harry Reid Questions ‘Mental Capacity’ Of His GOP Colleagues

Nick Wing, HuffPo
12-20-10

FCC Caves on Net Neutrality — Tuesday Betrayal Assured
Timothy Karr, Campaign Director, Free Press and SavetheInternet.com via HuffPo
December 20, 2010

Late Monday, a majority of the FCC’s commissioners indicated that they’re going to vote with Chairman Julius Genachowski for a toothless Net Neutrality rule.

According to all reports, the rule, which will be voted on during tomorrow’s FCC meeting, falls drastically short of earlier pledges by President Obama and the FCC Chairman to protect the free and open Internet.

The rule is so riddled with loopholes that it’s become clear that this FCC chairman crafted it with the sole purpose of winning the endorsement of AT&T and cable lobbyists, and not defending the interests of the tens of millions of Internet users.

Welcome to AT&T’s Internet

For the first time in history of telecommunications law the FCC has given its stamp of approval to online discrimination.

Instead of a rule to protect Internet users’ freedom to choose, the Commission has opened the door for broadband payola – letting phone and cable companies charge steep tolls to favor the content and services of a select group of corporate partners, relegating everyone else to the cyber-equivalent of a winding dirt road.

Instead of protecting openness on wireless Internet devices like the iPhone and Droid, the Commission has exempted the mobile Internet from Net Neutrality protections. This move enshrines Verizon and AT&T as gatekeepers to the expanding world of mobile Internet access, allowing them to favor their own applications while blocking, degrading or de-prioritizing others.

Instead of re-establishing the FCC’s authority to act as a consumer watchdog over the Internet, it places the agency’s authority on a shaky and indefensible legal footing — giving ultimate control over the Internet to a small handful of carriers.

Obama’s ‘Mission Accomplished’

Internet users deserve far better, and we thought we were going to get it from a president who promised to “take a backseat to no one in my commitment to Net Neutrality.” Watch as he and his FCC chairman try to spin tomorrow’s betrayal as another “mission accomplished.”

Don’t believe it. 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.

More than two million people have taken action on behalf of Net Neutrality. Tomorrow, we’ll all get the carpet yanked from beneath our feet.

Net Neutrality is the freedom of speech, freedom of choice issue of the 21st century. It’s the guarantee of a more open and democratic media system that was baked into the Internet at its founding.

On Tuesday, Obama’s FCC is going to sell that out. ++

The Most Important Free Speech Issue of Our Time
Al Franken.U.S. Senator, Minnesota via HuffPo
December 20, 2010

This Tuesday is an important day in the fight to save the Internet.

As a source of innovation, an engine of our economy, and a forum for our political discourse, the Internet can only work if it’s a truly level playing field. Small businesses should have the same ability to reach customers as powerful corporations. A blogger should have the same ability to find an audience as a media conglomerate.

This principle is called “net neutrality” — and it’s under attack. Internet service giants like Comcast and Verizon want to offer premium and privileged access to the Internet for corporations who can afford to pay for it.

The good news is that the Federal Communications Commission has the power to issue regulations that protect net neutrality. The bad news is that draft regulations written by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski don’t do that at all. They’re worse than nothing.

That’s why Tuesday is such an important day. The FCC will be meeting to discuss those regulations, and we must make sure that its members understand that allowing corporations to control the Internet is simply unacceptable. ++

FCC Commissioner: Net Neutrality A ‘Threat To Internet Freedom’
Bianca Bosker, HuffPo
12-20-10

Robert McDowell, a Republican FCC commissioner, penned a blistering critique of the FCC’s net neutrality plan in an opinion editorial published in the Wall Street Journal.

Later this week, the FCC is set to vote on net neutrality rules, which would prohibit Internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon from discriminating in how they handle information traveling over their networks. Both supporters and opponents of net neutrality are unhappy with the FCC’s plan, some arguing it is toothless while others asserting that the rules will stifle innovation. Al Franken called the draft regulations “worse than nothing,” while McDowell accused FCC leadership of tackling an “imaginary problem.”

“On this winter solstice, we will witness jaw-dropping interventionist chutzpah as the FCC bypasses branches of our government in the dogged pursuit of needless and harmful regulation,” McDowell wrote. “The darkest day of the year may end up marking the beginning of a long winter’s night for Internet freedom.”

He called the proposed net neutrality rules a “threat to Internet freedom,” arguing, “Nothing is broken and needs fixing, however. The Internet has been open and freedom-enhancing since it was spun off from a government research project in the early 1990s. Its nature as a diffuse and dynamic global network of networks defies top-down authority. Ample laws to protect consumers already exist.

Furthermore, the Obama Justice Department and the European Commission both decided this year that net-neutrality regulation was unnecessary and might deter investment in next-generation Internet technology and infrastructure.”

As The Hill reports, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski’s Democratic allies are putting considerable pressure on Democratic FCC commissioner Michael Copps to vote for the net neutrality plan. “Democrats who support the plan are pushing this message in the media: If Copps doesn’t vote for Genachowski’s plan, the consequences will reverberate all the way up to the White House. They are arguing that the damage could even hurt President Obama,” writes The Hill.

Although Chairman Genachowski’s draft Order has not been made public, early reports make clear that it falls far short of protecting net neutrality.

For many Americans — particularly those who live in rural areas — the future of the Internet lies in mobile services. But the draft Order would effectively permit Internet providers to block lawful content, applications, and devices on mobile Internet connections.

Mobile networks like AT&T and Verizon Wireless would be able to shut off your access to content or applications for any reason. For instance, Verizon could prevent you from accessing Google Maps on your phone, forcing you to use their own mapping program, Verizon Navigator, even if it costs money to use and isn’t nearly as good. Or a mobile provider with a political agenda could prevent you from downloading an app that connects you with the Obama campaign (or, for that matter, a Tea Party group in your area).

It gets worse. The FCC has never before explicitly allowed discrimination on the Internet — but the draft Order takes a step backwards, merely stating that so-called “paid prioritization” (the creation of a “fast lane” for big corporations who can afford to pay for it) is cause for concern.

It sure is — but that’s exactly why the FCC should ban it. Instead, the draft Order would have the effect of actually relaxing restrictions on this kind of discrimination.

What’s more, even the protections that are established in the draft Order would be weak because it defines “broadband Internet access service” too narrowly, making it easy for powerful corporations to get around the rules.

Here’s what’s most troubling of all. Chairman Genachowski and President Obama — who nominated him — have argued convincingly that they support net neutrality.

But grassroots supporters of net neutrality are beginning to wonder if we’ve been had. Instead of proposing regulations that would truly protect net neutrality, reports indicate that Chairman Genachowski has been calling the CEOs of major Internet corporations seeking their public endorsement of this draft proposal, which would destroy it.

No chairman should be soliciting sign-off from the corporations that his agency is supposed to regulate — and no true advocate of a free and open Internet should be seeking the permission of large media conglomerates before issuing new rules.

After all, just look at Comcast — this Internet monolith has reportedly imposed a new, recurring fee on Level 3 Communications, the company slated to be the primary online delivery provider for Netflix. That’s the same Netflix that represents Comcast’s biggest competition in video services.

Imagine if Comcast customers couldn’t watch Netflix, but were limited only to Comcast’s Video On Demand service. Imagine if a cable news network could get its website to load faster on your computer than your favorite local political blog. Imagine if big corporations with their own agenda could decide who wins or loses online. The Internet as we know it would cease to exist.

That’s why net neutrality is the most important free speech issue of our time. And that’s why, this Tuesday, when the FCC meets to discuss this badly flawed proposal, I’ll be watching. If they approve it as is, I’ll be outraged. And you should be, too. ++

“I’m asking you to believe. Not just in my ability to bring about real change in Washington … I’m asking you to believe in yours.”
~ Barack Obama

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

This entry was posted in Political Waves. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply