Wednesday Reads: Tired and In the Dark

cllasGood Morning

This is going to be a pathetic morning round-up. Honestly, I am just too tired for anything other than a link dump, which is what I am giving you.

First this article about the HPV vaccine, you remember…the one that Michelle Bachmann declared makes little girls become crazed sex fiends. It is crazy not to get this series of shots…Why don’t teens get shots for HPV and other diseases?

My daughter and my son have gotten this vaccine, on recommendation of their pediatrician. At least they are both safe, from getting HPV and giving HPV which causes cancer.

More health news, well…if being unable to sleep straight through the night is a sign of Alzheimers, than this next link is also bad news. Lost Sleep Can Lead to Weight Gain

Hmm, that must be the reason my ass is sooooo huge. Lack of sleep and addiction to carbs. Go figure.

This next story is heartbreaking, and disgusting, and maddening all at the same time: Facing Protective Orders and Allowed to Keep Guns

You can probably tell from the article’s title that it involves violence against women.


In tech news: More addresses please—US hits a half-billion Internet devices

In nuke news: US orders nuclear sites to upgrade vents

Take a look at this, evolution going on right before our windshields.  Study: Birds evolve shorter wings to survive highway traffic

And to end this link dump…a couple of space articles. One story that deals with the heavens during the light of day, and  the other during the dark of night…

10 surprising space objects to see in the daytime sky:  A rundown of space objects visible under the right conditions to the unaided human eye during the day.

Moon and Jupiter on March 17, 2013

A beautiful image of last night’s moon and planet Jupiter from EarthSky Facebook friend VegaStar Carpentier in Paris.

Via VegaStar Carpentier Photogrpahy.  VegaStar is in Paris.  Thank you!   View larger.

Via VegaStar Carpentier Photogrpahy. Thank you, VegaStar! View larger.

Treat this as an open thread, and have a wonderful day.

Weiner Agrees to Seek Treatment

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY)

The New York Times is reporting that Rep. Anthony Weiner is going to go into rehab for his alleged Twitter/Facebook/texting compulsion.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Weiner said he would request a leave of absence from the House and seek treatment, but provided no further details.

“Congressman Weiner departed this morning to seek professional treatment to focus on becoming a better husband and healthier person,” said the spokeswoman, Risa Heller. “In light of that, he will request a short leave of absence from the House of Representatives so that he can get evaluated and map out a course of treatment to make himself well.

“Congressman Weiner takes the views of his colleagues very seriously and has determined that he needs this time to get healthy and make the best decision possible for himself, his family and his constituents.”

I’m sure Weiner could use some therapy, but I still don’t get why he is being singled out for this kind of public outrage when David Vitter wasn’t. As far as we know Weiner didn’t act out any of his fantasies with these women. I would think that hiring prostitutes to spank you when you’re wearing diapers would elicit more calls for “treatment” than Twitter and Facebook flirtations. But what do I know? Maybe a lot of Congressman like to wear diapers and have sex with prostitutes.

Apparently, the final straw for Democrats was the revelation that Weiner tweeted a 17-year-old Delaware girl, even though the girl’s mother said Weiner had not said anything inappropriate in these Twitter messages.

Delaware police said Friday they were investigating the reported communications, had interviewed the teen, and that “she has made no disclosure of criminal activity nor inappropriate contact by the Congressman.”

Neverthless Weiner’s colleagues in Congress are horrified and outraged. Here is what DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz had to say:

“It is with great disappointment that I call on Representative Anthony Weiner to resign,” Wasserman Schultz said in a statement issued by the Democratic National Committee, which she has led since the beginning of May. She’s President Barack Obama’s representative as DNC chairwoman.

“The behavior he has exhibited is indefensible and Representative Weiner’s continued service in Congress is untenable.

“This sordid affair has become an unacceptable distraction for Representative Weiner, his family, his constituents and the House – and for the good of all, he should step aside and address those things that should be most important: his and his family’s well-being.”

According to Fox News, the police in Delaware are still investigating. The girls parents have turned her laptop over for inspection, but their attorney says there’s nothing to find.

“The Tweets in question between the student in question and the congressman were not salacious or in any manner inappropriate, said Daniel McElhatton, the attorney representing the girl’s family. “No photographs were ever sent to her or from her.”

Weiner spokeswoman Risa Heller also said that Weiner’s interactions with the girl “were neither explicit nor indecent.”

The police are trying to verify that, McElhatton said.

Fox News claims to have been told by “sources” that much of the interchange between the girl and Weiner had been deleted from her computer. Fox is obviously hoping the police can find something salacious on the girl’s hard drive. I sure hope Weiner didn’t send anything sexual or suggestive to her.

The girl’s high school posted on her now defunct Tumblr blog a quote that appears to be from her direct messages with Weiner.

“I came back strong. Large. In charge. Tights and cape s—… My favorite congressman,” she wrote, adding a heart emoticon after “congressman.”

Seven days earlier, she posted a YouTube video of Weiner giving a speech and wrote, “My true love.”

Poor kid. It’s a shame she had to get dragged into this.

As an antidote to having to watch politicians call for their smelling salts and fainting couches, I recommend this story from NPR’s Weekend Edition: Zombies Walk the Halls of Congress.

NPR can now confirm that there are zombies in the U.S. Capitol.

OK, not the kind that pop out of graves and eat brains, but a different kind of undead — the undead political career. This week New York Rep. Anthony Weiner said he is staying put, even though some top Democrats have publicly called for him to resign.

He’s not the first one to stay in politics after serious ethics violations, trying to revive a seemingly lifeless career.

In this contrived scenario, there are three categories of Congressional Zombies:

— those who survived a scandal to live again,
— those who are wounded by scandal but stay in Congress (the real zombies),
— and those who hung on for a while but eventually got buried.

According to NPR, both Charlie Rangel and David Vitter are real zombies.

Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), who was a client of a Washington prostitution ring. He was never charged because the news came out after the statute of limitations had expired. Two of Vitter’s calls to the madam were made during votes on the floor.

He apologized in 2007 — “I want to again offer my deep sincere apologies to all those who I’ve let down and disappointed with these actions from my past” — and neatly won a second term in the Senate.

Good grief! Vitter called the DC Madam from the Senate floor? Did he get a sudden urge for punishment? Please explain to me why he didn’t need to enter a treatment facility after his colleagues learned about his illegal behavior?

I’m pretty disgusted by Weiner’s behavior at this point, but I still wish I never had had to find out about it. I still don’t see any reason why it needed to be revealed either. Sure the guy acted like a silly adolescent, but how many of us would look dignified if our sexual fantasies were spread all over the internet and the media? I think this kind of scandal-mongering has gone way too far, and I’d like to see a lot more approbation about Andrew Breitbart’s repulsive behavior. I’d also like to see similar outrage against Congresspeople who take money from lobbyists and vote accordingly.

This scandal appears to be setting a whole new precedent for the kinds of activities that can get a politician in trouble. As far as we know, Weiner’s activities were all in cyberspace. Now if it turns out he behaved inappropriately with an underage girl, I’ll have to revise my opinion.

Sunday Reads, It ain’t easy…

…being Wisconsin cheezy. Yes, its Sunday Morning and Minx here with your morning reads.

First off, if you missed Boston Boomers post late last night, go read it now…she has posted “some links to the important events that have taken place today in the many ongoing protests.”

If you are a Wisconsin Teacher you are having one hell of a time right now. It has been difficult watching these hard working public sector/state employees getting trashed on the news. The way these journalist and media celebrities talk, you would think these people are just like Marie Antoinette. Living the high life while the private sector folks work and pay for everything…leave out the fact that if the real rich Marie Antoinettes out there weren’t getting all those damn tax cuts…things would be a hell of a lot better for everyone.

Doctors are throwing their support behind the teachers.  You may have already seen this:

Wisconsin Doctors Tell Teachers: Call in Sick to Continue Protests – ABC News

Also from ABC News:

Largest Protest yet Fails to Sway Wis. Lawmakers – ABC News

And over at Huffpo, is this another “Beer Summit?”  As one of the supporters of Walker’s bill states:  “Beer is something we can all agree on.” Madison Puts The Civility Back Into Discourse

The slogans they had chanted had highlighted the stark differences that separated them.

“Kill the bill!” cried the opponents of Republican Governor Scott Walker’s proposal to cut the pay and benefits of unionized public workers and sharply reduce their collective bargaining rights. “Pass the bill!” supporters of the proposal shouted back.

But aside from a few outsiders — like AFL-CIO chief Rich Trumka here to back opponents of the measure, and Andrew Breitbart, the conservative provocateur who appeared at the Tea Party-backed rally to support Walker — the people on hand were from Wisconsin itself and these neighbors were remarkably civil despite their sharp disagreements.

Wisconsonites are united, even in times like this, by many things, including a love of University of Wisconsin, Madison, athletics and the program’s strutting mascot Bucky the Badger; a devotion to the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers NFL football team; and, of course, a love of beer, brought to the state by its German settlers and honed by brewers whose names are part of American history: Pabst, Schlitz, Miller and Blatz.

So when the opposing rallies ended here on Saturday, many of the demonstrators retired to the numerous bars in the Capitol’s shadow, like The Old Fashioned Tavern & Restaurant, with its 50 beers on tap — all from Wisconsin — and another 100 in bottles, 99 of them from the Badger state. The one other, from neighboring Minnesota, is listed under imports.

Over pints of Evil Doppleganger Double Mai Bock and Lost Lake Pilsner, knots of demonstrators debated the questions that have galvanized union employees across the country and brought the business of the state legislature to a standstill. Is Walker’s proposal part of the Republican’s effort to put the state’s finances in order, a repudiation of the state’s long history of progressive politics, or the latest example of that tradition?

Wisconsin HS Student schools Greta over Walker’s radical assault on Unions and even proposes raising taxes on the rich | Crooks and Liars

Middleton High school student Jacob Fiskel joins in the protests and explains to Greta van Susteren why it’s important that teachers and public workers do what they have to, even if they stay at home if they don’t want to lose their right to collective bargaining because of Gov. Walker’s outrageous proposal to try and destroy unions. He’s gone as far as reading the National Guard against them. I found it interesting that when Greta asked Jacob what the state should do to fix the budget problem, Jacob called out the rich. Now that’s shared sacrifice.

Greta: In terms of your state, do you have some suggestions on how to deal with your budget crisis?

Fiskel; Yes I do. I think we should really consider raising taxes on the rich. I know the argument is that it’s going to hurt small businesses, but with this plan you’re taking spending money away from teachers and public workers and small businesses are going to lose millions of dollars. But if we can raises taxes on the rich we can afford it and we can start to pay for our budget problems. Earlier Gov. Walker has already cut a hundred million dollars of corporate taxes and that’s one of the reasons why we’re in this mess.

Greta: What do you think is going to happen with those Senators in Illinois? DO you think they should stay in Il. or come back to Madison to vote on this?

Fiskel: I think they should do whatever is necessary for them to be able to talk with Gov. Walker and the Republicans to make sure that our demands are met and to make sure that the public workers of Wisconsin get the respect that they deserve?

Greta was not aggressive with Jacob and let him speak his mind. He even said that the actions Walker is taking would affect the quality of teachers and education on the whole state. Doesn’t Jacob make much more sense than let’s say, Rep. Paul Ryan?

Yes, this kid is smart and articulate…look how quick he is with answers.

Dakinikat has been covering Wisconsin so if you have not read her post, please check them out:

Death by Propaganda « Sky Dancing

And now for the Propaganda « Sky Dancing

On Wisconsin! (Breaking News) « Sky Dancing

Okay, one thing that seemed to come out of the Egyptian rising was just how impressive the reports from field journalist and reporters were.  Much more impressive than their counterparts reporting from comfy news studios.  Did you wonder what the affect of zero internet service had on these reporters during the revolt? What effect has the internet had on journalism? | Technology | The Observer

For Peter Beaumont, this newspaper’s foreign affairs editor, the revolution in Egypt revealed more than the power of the people in triumphing over repressive regimes; on a personal level, he discovered something new about his working practices.

Beaumont trained as a journalist in the days before the world wide web, but, like most of his profession, he has integrated new technologies into his news-gathering techniques as they’ve emerged. Covering the events in Cairo during the internet blackout in Egypt was like taking a step back in time.

“We went back to what we used to do: write up the story on the computer, go to the business centre, print it out and dictate it over the phone,” he says. “We didn’t have to worry about what was on the internet; we just had to worry about what we were seeing. It was absolutely liberating.”

Minx’s Missing Link: This article came out just last night, but it seems so interesting that I thought many readers would like to scan it over. Not to mention that cool picture of a camel swigging back a bottle of water. That is one talented camelid.

What does the Arab world do when its water runs out? | Environment | The Observer

A camel takes a drink in Jordan. The Middle East faces conflict if its water shortage is not tackled. Photograph: Neal Clark/Robert Harding Collection

Poverty, repression, decades of injustice and mass unemployment have all been cited as causes of the political convulsions in the Middle East and north Africa these last weeks. But a less recognised reason for the turmoil in Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Yemen, Jordan and now Iran has been rising food prices, directly linked to a growing regional water crisis.

The diverse states that make up the Arab world, stretching from the Atlantic coast to Iraq, have some of the world’s greatest oil reserves, but this disguises the fact that they mostly occupy hyper-arid places. Rivers are few, water demand is increasing as populations grow, underground reserves are shrinking and nearly all depend on imported staple foods that are now trading at record prices. [Guardian]

Easy Like Sunday Morning Link:

Was Charlie Chaplin a Gypsy? | Film | The Guardian

In a bomb-proof concrete vault beneath one of the more moneyed stretches of Switzerland lies something better than bullion. Here, behind blast doors and security screens, are stored the remains of one of the greatest figures of the 20th century. You might wonder what more there is to know about Charles Spencer Chaplin. Born in London in 1889; survivor of a tough workhouse childhood; the embodiment of screen comedy; fugitive from J Edgar Hoover; the presiding genius of The Kid and The Gold Rush and The Great Dictator. His signature character, the Little Tramp, was once so fiercely present in the global consciousness that commentators studied its effects like a branch of epidemiology. In 1915, “Chaplinitis” was identified as a global affliction. On 12 November 1916, a bizarre outbreak of mass hysteria produced 800 simultaneous sightings of Chaplin across America.

Though the virus is less contagious today, Chaplin’s face is still one of the most widely recognised images on the planet. And yet, in that Montruex vault, there is a wealth of material that has barely been touched. There are letters that evoke his bitter estrangement from America in the 1950s. There are reel-to-reel recordings of him improvising at the piano (“I’m so depressed,” he trills, groping his way towards a tune that rings right). A cache of press cuttings details the British Army’s banning of the Chaplin moustache from the trenches of the first world war. Other clippings indicate that, in the early 1930s, he considered returning to his homeland and entering politics. [Guardian]

Give the rest of the article a read, it goes on to discuss the possible re-writing of The Tramp’s family history.

So what are you reading today? Anything positive? Don’t know about you, but I need a jolt of humanity about now.

Net Neutrality Free Speech

At left in the foreground, a printer removes a...

Image via Wikipedia

**Update below 12/20 at 9:38

Victor Hugo had it right…the printing press was the greatest invention of the times.

Human thought discovers a mode of perpetuating itself, not only more durable and more resisting than architecture, but still more simple and easy. Architecture is dethroned. Gutenberg’s letters of lead are about to supersede Orpheus’s letters of stone.

*The book is about to kill the edifice*.

The invention of printing is the greatest event in history. It is the mother of revolution. It is the mode of expression of humanity which is totally renewed; it is human thought stripping off one form and donning another; it is the complete and definitive change of skin of that symbolical serpent which since the days of Adam has represented intelligence.

In its printed form, thought is more imperishable than ever; it is volatile, irresistible, indestructible. It is mingled with the air. In the days of architecture it made a mountain of itself, and took powerful possession of a century and a place. Now it converts itself into a flock of birds, scatters itself to the four winds, and occupies all points of air and space at once.

I put this to you…would you say that the internet, in its most basic and important form, is second to the printing press as the greatest invention of the age? One could argue, with the recent release of Wikileaks, the use of the internet and apps like Twitter during the Iranian Elections, and the ability to connect with other people to share and discuss ideas…the internet has become, the mother of revolution. The internet is indeed a shape-shifter, changing its form and becoming like that flock of birds, spreading knowledge and information to the four corners of the world…occupying “all points of air and space at once.”  Hugo’s description of the printed word can directly relate to the written word, via the net.

Tomorrow, the FCC will hold a commission meeting and vote to pass the Net-Neutrality bill that has been brought forward by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. There has been lots of speculation about what the bill will actually say, but many believe that the recent embrace of the legislation by big companies…like Verizon and Google, et al., is a signal that the language protecting freedom of the net, will be vague at least. Put your tin foil hats on…and lets get through the “spin”…here we go.

How appropriate that the Federal Communications Commission has picked the darkest day of the year to vote on its new Net Neutrality rules. Unless they are dramatically improved at the 11th hour, the FCC’s proposal will go down as one of the bleakest moments in the history of the Internet.

We will look back years from now on Tuesday’s vote as a squandered opportunity, where old-fashioned D.C. politics, weak-kneed FCC leadership, and jaw-dropping short-sightedness sacrificed the most remarkable engine for economic innovation, democratic participation and free speech ever invented.

I’m not saying this is the end of the fight or that new and amazing things won’t happen online, but the FCC’s epic failure to get this right will make things unquestionably worse. Somehow, an FCC chairman cheered on by millions of Americans and backed by a presidential endorsement ended up making rules designed to win over AT&T, rather than you and me.

Net Neutrality’s supporters are being asked to compromise and cave so that the biggest phone and cable companies don’t make things uncomfortable for Julius Genachowski in the next Congress. So in the waning days before the vote, the chairman and his proxies have been spending their timeslandering the principled members of the commission and cajoling tech-company CEOs to remain uncritical unless they want their other priorities to be deep-sixed in the future.

Perhaps nothing better encapsulates the sorry state of things at the FCC than the pitiful PR campaign mounted by the Genachowski’s office to demonstrate support for his disappointing proposal. It turns out that most of the folks willing to stand behind the chairman are those who’ve been trying to kill Net Neutrality from the start.

The problem is that even though a law regarding the openness and freedom of net-neutrality is something that we and the government regulations should address,  to pass a bill with weak language will only make access to the internet free and equal for all, more convoluted.

Even Al Franken has put his own thoughts of Freedom of Speech and the FCC’s Net Neutrality…

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.


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.


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.

I think that there are very important freedoms here at stake. The one person who seemed to have the ability to stand up and make sure that the language in the bill is not weak, FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, has just made a statement to the press that he will not stand in the way of Genachowski’s proposal. With Dems’ Support, FCC Likely to Approve Net Neutrality Rules | News & Opinion |

Commissioner Michael Copps and Mignon Clyburn will vote in favor of the FCC’s net neutrality rules at Tuesday’s open commission meeting, an FCC official said Monday. They had some suggestions about how to improve the first draft, some of which were incorporated into the rules to satisfy their concerns, the official said.

“The open Internet is a crucial American marketplace, and I believe that it is appropriate for the FCC to safeguard it by adopting an Order that will establish clear rules to protect consumers’ access,” Clyburn said in a statement. “The Commission has worked tirelessly to offer a set of guidelines that, while not as strong as they could be, will nonetheless protect consumers as they explore, learn, and innovate online. As such, I plan to vote to approve in part and concur in part the Open Internet Order during the FCC’s open meeting tomorrow.

PC World has a summary of the guidelines:

The FCC official, however, provided some insight into what we’ll find in the order. Specifically, the order provides three high-level rules: robust transparency requirements that apply to fixed broadband and wireless providers; a no-blocking rule that bans the blocking of lawful content and apps or services for fixed broadband providers and bans the blocking of Web sites or apps that compete with broadband providers’ voice or video telephony services for mobile providers; and a no unreasonable discrimination rule for fixed broadband providers. What else?

Tiered pricing: The order discusses the issue of broadband providers giving users choice for broadband service, and notes that this could be beneficial for some customers, the FCC official said. But it can also pose risks and is something that the FCC will be monitoring.

Paid Prioritization: This is something that would be evaluated under the unreasonable discrimination standard and would be unlikely to stand up to FCC scrutiny, the official said. The order explains the FCC’s concerns about paid prioritization and says it’s unlikely to be deemed reasonable. Theoretically, however, there might one day be a technology where it’s appropriate to incorporate paid prioritization, but that is left open and the bar is very high, the official said.

FCC Legal Authority: The main reason the FCC is addressing this issue right now is because an appeals court in April said that the FCC had no right to hand down a 2008 network enforcement action against Comcast for unreasonable network management. The FCC, however, rejects that premise and believes that the previous FCC – which handed down the action – simply failed to demonstrate enough of a connection between the statute that gives the FCC its authority and the specific action it took in that case. As a result, tomorrow’s order addresses a number of sections in the Communications Act that support the steps the FCC is taking on net neutrality.

Addressing Complaints: If someone files an unreasonable network management complaint against an ISP, what will happen? Anyone can file a complaint and the FCC will then decide whether or not to initiate an inquiry. The FCC official said any complaint the commission does take up will be addressed quickly under an accelerated timeframe so as not to drag on for months on end. Those who are found to be in violation of the FCC’s net neutrality rules could face fines or be forced to stop the offending behavior.

I am no lawyer, and being a medievalist, would prefer we stick with scribes ( 😉 joking of course.) I just am concerned with the issue that so many big communication companies are for this Genachowski plan. I am sure there are some readers who can give some input on this. I will end this post with a scene from the 1939 classic, The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Update!!!! I feel that this rule is going to lead to censorship. As I said below…I think that the fees are just gravy. This will eventually become a way for the companies to censor the web/net that they offer. Think about it. When the companies start charging for extra services…or special services, then they could turn around and limit/control what is on those services…I really think this is the issue at its core.

Thank you to Zal for sending me this:

Obama FCC Caves on Net Neutrality — Tuesday Betrayal Assured

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 Hunchback of Notre Dame, 1939 \”A printing press!\”

“The Hunchback of Notre-Dame” (1939)

(Scene – Notre-Dame striking the hour as viewed from a first-floor printer’s window. KING LOUIS, FROLLO and PRINTER observe.)

KING: I’ve never heard a more beautiful Angelus. Who is the bellringer of Notre-Dame?

PRINTER: Quasimodo, your Majesty. The people simply call him ‘the hunchback’.

KING: Quasimodo? Hmph! What an odd name! And now, Master Fisher, let us see what reason my High Justice had for asking me to come to your shop. What do you call this apparatus?

PRINTER: The German inventor Gutenberg calls it a ‘printing press’, Your Majesty.

KING: And what is it for?

PRINTER: To print books, your Majesty.

KING: For whom?

PRINTER: For the people. They will learn to read when they can get books. I can print a volume like this one in a few weeks, and quite inexpensively.

KING: Imagine, Frollo, a few weeks. When I ordered my prayer book, it took them years to copy it out, and cost me a fortune. (Indicating illuminated book) This is more beautiful than the printed book. Nevertheless, the printing press is a miracle.

FROLLO: A horrifying miracle.

KING: Horrifying? This small press?

FROLLO: Small things have a way of overmastering the great. The Nile rat kills the crocodile. This small press can destroy a kingdom.

KING: Oh come, come, my High Justice, don’t exaggerate! (to PRINTER) What is that?

PRINTER: It is the first page of a new book, your Majesty.

KING: Let me see it. “On the Freedom of Thought”. Who wrote it?

PRINTER: Pierre Gringoire.

KING: Gringoire? Who is he?

PRINTER: A French poet, Your Majesty.

FROLLO: A heretic, Sire. To spread him is to communicate disease.

KING: How do you know? It may be a great blessing to France that people can get books and learn to read. To me, it’s a new form of expression of thought. (Sound of choir: KING looks out to Cathedral. During this speech we see shots of Notre-Dame.) Out there is the old form, all over France, in every city, there stand cathedrals like this one, triumphant monuments of the past. They tower over the forms of our people like mighty guardians, keeping alive the invincible faith of the Christians. Every arch, every column, every statue is a carved leaf out of our history, a book of stone, glorifying the spirit of France. The cathedrals are the handwriting of the past; the press is of our time. And I won’t do anything to stop it, Frollo.

FROLLO: Sire, we must break the press and hang the printer, for between them they will destroy our old and holy order!

KING: Oh, no, I’m not such a fool.

FROLLO: I for my part will protect France from these printed books as I will protect her from witches, sorcerers and Gypsies, the foreign race that is overrunning all of Europe.