Category: McCain

Johnny Mac and the Internet

netneutrality_largeHoo, boy. I had to hear this first from Jon Stewart, not from one of our “legitimate” news sources.

Sen. John McCain introduced a bill in the Senate last Thursday, the “Internet Freedom Act of 2009.” Way to go, John! I’ve always been for net neutrality and a free Internet. I’ve signed petitions supporting it, and I’ve written about it here, urging others to sign petitions. I’m thrilled that a fine, honest man like Sen. McCain would introduce a bill to keep the Internet free.

There is this one teeny tiny problem, however. McCain’s bill has a very misleading, perhaps deliberately misleading title. The bill does not guarantee a free internet in the sense of keeping it free and fully available to all users. In fact, it does just the opposite. Its intent is to keep the Internet “free” of the proposed new FCC regulations, the regs that will ensure the big telcos don’t take over the Internet and start dictating who gets access and at what cost. (Reminds me of the sneaky way they like to word state questions on Oklahoma ballots so voting “no” somehow means you’re approving the measure.)

Shame on Johnny Mac. A free and neutral (ie, not favoring one user over another) Internet is what Internet users want. The new FCC regs will ensure this. McCain’s bill is an effort stop the FCC in its tracks. (Surely it’s only a coincidence that McCain gets more money from the telcos than anyone else in Congress …)

It seems to me a man who’s admitted publicly he’s computer illiterate should excuse himself entirely from Internet matters rather than introduce a bill regulating them.

If you missed it, here’s Stewart’s bit (patience; it will load):

 

 

 

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I read the news today, but why?

♦ That Alaskan woman whose initials are S.P. is going to “collaborate” in the writing of a book. A book! B-O-O-K. She can’t even remember which newspapers she reads. Her part in the collaboration will probably consist of autographing said book for the six people who still care she exists.

♦ Obama’s not going to release the Gitmo torture pics, after all. Damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t. The media will tear him apart for backing down, but if he’s convinced it’s for the good of our troops in the field, I won’t argue. Seeing the pics really serves no purpose. We all have a pretty good idea what they’ll show. And we all have the same sick, ugly little animal inside us that wants to see them. We can pretty up our motives, and some of them even make sense. But no, we don’t need to see them.

♦ That California beauty queen. What’s her name? Carrie Prejean. Gawd, she’s actually found a way to make beauty queens look even worse than they already did. Just when you thought they couldn’t sink any lower or get any dumber, along comes Carrie. This is one industry I wish would just go away. Find another way to generate scholarships for beautiful young women too stupid to earn one.

♦ Carrie Prejean was granted a stay of execution by Miss U.S.A. pageant “boss” and owner Donald Trump, who declared she could keep her crown. Apparently it wasn’t enough for him to promote a cat fight on his “Celebrity Apprentice” show; he declared Joan Rivers the cattiest cat of them all. I’ve never liked that woman, but I never thought she was that mean and foul-mouthed. Oh well. Takes a long time to get that nasty.

♦ That commuter jet that crashed near Buffalo in February? By all indications the two pilots didn’t have the experience to deal with icing conditions, or indeed, the skill to be flying at all. Both had lied about failing past flight tests. Both were exhausted before they even left the ground on the ill-fated flight. If the airline hasn’t already been sued, they soon will be. For letting two pilots like that fly at all, the airline should be shut down, permanently. That’s Colgan Air Inc., a division of Pinnacle Airlines Corp.

♦ Elizabeth Edwards has been making the rounds, talking about her new book. Seems only fair she get to have her say about cheatin’ hubbie, John. Cheating on a cancer-stricken wife while running for president of the U.S. That’s a new kind of low in my book. Not to mention stupid. I’ve heard criticism of Elizabeth, that she stood by him because of her own ambitions, etc. Doesn’t matter. He’s still a skunk. As for why she hasn’t left him, I haven’t seen anyone mention the first reason I thought of — that she’s covered under his health insurance and can’t afford give it up now that she’s been diagnosed with cancer. Maybe young moderns have other arrangements, but not so long ago I had friends stuck in bad marriages for precisely that reason.

♦ Somebody give Dick Cheney the hook. He’s killing what’s left of the Republican Party. He’s only trying to cover his own ass anyway. Why let him take the whole party down. Go away, Dick. You were voted out, remember? I liked him much better as a silent, menacing Darth Vaderesque veep. Silent. Behind the scenes. Menacing. But silent. And while you’re out there with that hook, get Rush Limbaugh too. A pompous radio talk show blowhard is not a political leader. There are still some good Republicans out there (Powell, McCain, Ridge) who could help rebuild the party, but I’m guessing right now they’re too embarrassed to raise their hands

♦ The crew of Space Shuttle Atlantis is orbiting above us somewhere doing maintenance work on the Hubble telescope. Only eight more missions before the space shuttles are retired forever. And there will be a seven-year lapse before the next generation of space vehicles comes on line. Seven years in which to lose funding, lose momentum, lose interest. How sad that the U.S. space program has been relegated to a minor supporting role in the overall scheme of things. Where is the wonder, the awe, the fierce interest that sent two generations of young Americans rushing into math and science so they could be a part of it? Where is the endeavor that had the whole world gazing skyward toward man’s next great challenge? We need to be always reaching beyond, always stretching for the unknown. The alternative is simply too dismal to contemplate.

Sadly, Election Day probably won’t be the end

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I’m relieved that Election Day is less than 24 hours away, finally. This campaign season has been interminable and I’ve been ready for weeks for it to be over. It’s looking very good for Obama and I’m very excited about that. But I’m also extremely anxious that something could happen, something could go wrong; votes could be lost or stolen or miscounted, lawyers could file suit, courts could get involved. I want a huge, nationwide celebration of hope and unity and a new future, yet I’m fearful of an ugly, contentious aftermath that could show us the very worst that America can be.

Even within my family, things got more and more uncomfortable as the campaign ground on. My son and his wife were early supporters of Fred Thompson, which made for lots of interesting chats about good ol’ Fred. And then they went bonkers over Palin. As the months wore on, my daughter-in-law seemed to lean even more to the right. I decided early on that I just wouldn’t discuss politics around her. She’s very outspoken and I don’t defend myself very well against face-to-face verbal onslaughts.

My son and I, on the other hand, have had a lot of political discussions. We can stay open-minded and friendly, sparring a little bit but knowing when to back off. For a long time I hoped he would do his homework and conclude that he should vote for Obama, but I suspect I’ve failed in this mission. The DIL has his ear much more than I, which is as it should be (as much as I hate to admit it).

She’s turned activist in the last two weeks. After all the digs I’ve gotten from her for having Obama stickers on my car (the first stickers ever to be put on my 15-year-old car), she finally got some McCain yard signs. The first night she put one up, it was stolen. I can appreciate her anger; I think the stealing or defacing of campaign signs is theft, vandalism, and trespassing, pure and simple. So she got more signs, put two in the yard, and set up a video cam to catch anyone who tried to take them. She signed up to work a McCain phone bank, volunteered to drive some teens around to distribute campaign literature, and is going to be a poll watcher (not poll worker). That’s someone who stands around watching for any possible problems, mistakes, illegal campaigning, or other violations at the polling place, and who will report them to her party; all parties are entitled to have watchers. I can see this being a good idea, maybe, but it also sounds like a very contentious, adversarial thing to do. Given the responsibility of spotting the other guy’s mistakes or wrongdoing, you’re going to find something. Right? It’s human nature. We all love to find fault with the other guy.

I worry that so much activism and emotion will not fade after tomorrow, and that the current rather prickly environment at my son’s house will continue. If Obama wins, I don’t want to have to spend the next four years defending him every time I’m at my son’s house.

I just want this thing over tomorrow. Decisively, finally, lopsidedly, incontestably over!

Yeah, yeah, I know it won’t be. The losing side won’t let it be. The media won’t let it be. But I can dream, can’t I?