Category Archives: Media

Want Everyone to have Access to Braodband? Follow the Fins…

As of July 1st, every person in Finland will have the right to broadband access as decreed by the government. Yep…very person.

What does this mean?

Well, it means that the U.S. has officially fallen further behind the rest of the world in the realm of Internet technology but it also means something more. It means jobs for telecomminication workers who will be compelled to extend service to all households (in Finland). It also means empowering all ciitizens by providing the information that can transform lives and enrich cultures (in Finland). All fo this seems to be lost on the U.S. (…but not in Finland).

As for president Obama and his promise of broadband expansion in this country? Well, that seems like little more than a pipe dream at best. In fact, telecommunication providers in the U.S. are declining to accept government funding for just such a project. They claim accepting the funds would wrap them in government red tape and subject them to following government project rules.

Perish the thought.

One has to wonder if the real reason is simply that most corporate conservatives are just plain old anti-anything-Obama, even more than they are wildly (as a result of shear greed and ignorance) anti-regulation on any level.

Meanwhile, every Finn will have the right to access to a 1Mbps (megabit per second) broadband connection by 2015.

Conclusion? The rest of the world gets it and we don’t.

The premise is simple. Internet services are no longer just for entertainment purposes, they are an essential part of every citizen’s life. Would any government deny their citizens of basic communication and telephone service? Probably not I’m guessing.

Why should the Internet be any different?

Read the full story on the BBC here…

A poll conducted for the BBC World Service earlier this year found that nearly four in five people around the world believed that access to the internet is a fundamental right.

I happen to agree.

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Filed under Economy, International, Law, Media, Politics, Technology

Iceland Passes Sweeping Legislation to Protect Journalistic Integrity

The Icelandic parliament has voted to create the strongest media freedom laws in the world aimed at protecting journalists and preserving news integrity.

Known as the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, the new law requires changes to Icelandic law to strengthen journalistic source protection, freedom of speech, and government transparency. It isn’t clear at this early stage if this new law will result in the desired effect but its potential is obvious, especially for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Experts and critics are already referring to it as a server safe law, meaning it would probably prevent servers from being forcibly shut down, if the powers that be deem them a nuisance..

There might be other benefits too.

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Oil Spill Far Worse than BP Admits

Check out this video from an amatuer photographer flying over the gulf oil spill. It demonstrates clearly why BP is restrcting access and limiting media coverage.

 

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Filed under Breaking News, Energy, Environmental Policy, Media, Politics, Scandals

Ellen DeGeneres Marries Girlfriend in L.A.

Afternoon talk show host Ellen DeGeneres married her life partner, actress Portia de Rossi, at their home in Los Angeles this past Saturday. 

DeGeneres, 50, and de Rossi, 35, exchanged their own vowes at  small ceremony, after dating for about four years. During that time they have been open about their relationship.

DeGeneres announced her plans to marry de Rossi, on her daytime talk show in May after California’s Supreme Court overturned a state ban on same-sex marriage.

If you remember, it was DeGeneres who broke the ‘gay’ T.V. barrier in 1997 when her television character came out of the closet on her sitcom “Ellen.” Afterward, she disappeared for a bit from T.V., but has resurrected her career.

I say good for her, as this is more proof that love cannot be simply legislated away. People who think homosexuality is a conscious lifestyle choice made to impress people, are wrong-headed. In Ellen’s case, she is finally able to express here love for here mate, and vice-versa, the way all other people who are in love, choose to express it…through marriage. 

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Vanity Fair Parodies the Obamas New Yorker Cover

The controversial New Yorker cover of the Obamas has created heated debate on this blog in two different posts (Obama is ‘All Class’ in Response to New Yorker Cover and Tom Toles on Obama New Yorker Cover)
by Matthew. I have already commented in the first post while not outraged per say it was in incredibly poor taste to portray our future President as a Muslim terrorist even in if it was a satirical statement about the conservative media. The New Yorker should have not used it as a cover (inserted inside) and/or had a article to go along with the image. As it stands, the cover only helped reinforce stereotypes about Obama among the uninformed who casually scan the magazine rack.

It was only a matter of time before we had parodies done about the now (in)famous cover. Vanity Fair has poked fun at The New Yorker with a parody of the cover featuring the McCains

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Michael Savage – Ignorant Conservative Radio Jackass Extraordinaire, Slams Autistic Kids

Well, our friend Alan Wiener (a.k.a. Michael Savage), is at it again folks. Just when you thought anyone couldn’t sink to new depths of utter stupidity, enter conservative talkshow blowhole here

Savage thought he had a handle autism in America when he offered this statement on his nationally (I really can’t believe it still is) syndicated radio talk show – The Savage Nation.

Here is what he said:

“I’ll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it’s a brat who hasn’t been told to cut the act out. That’s what autism is. What do you mean they scream and they’re silent? They don’t have a father around to tell them, ‘Don’t act like a moron. You’ll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Don’t sit there crying and screaming, idiot.’ “

This latest nonsense is one in a long undistinguished list of absurdity at the hands of Savage. If anyone needs to be dragged through 3 miles of two-week-old pig shit, it’s this guy.

I don’t have that much pig shit handy, so instead, here’s a list of Savage’s sponsors. Two pulled their money last Fall from his show in response to inflamatory Islam comments. Let’s see if we can pick off a few more.

Below are sponsors for Talk Radio Network, who are proud sponsors of Savage’s show. These companies are partly responsible for funding the company that brings us Michael and all of his mindless, fundamentalist, conservative folly.

ABC
Acura
American Express
Ancestry.com
Boca Java
Bochringer
Bosch
Campbells
Citrix
Consolidated Resources
Direct Buy
Dish Network
Ebay Motors
Efax
General Motors
Gallo Wines
Legal Zoom
Marshalls
Nautilus
Nivea
Outback Steakhouse
Prudential
Purina One
Simon & Schuster
Staples
Subway
Texaco Chevron
United First Financial
Volkswagon”

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John McCain’s New York Times Op-Ed That Never Was

Conservatives are up in arms over the New York Times’ decision to pull an op-ed piece that John McCain wrote in response to Barack Obama’s op-ed regarding, Iraq.

Here is the text:

In January 2007, when General David Petraeus took command in Iraq, he called the situation “hard” but not “hopeless.” Today, 18 months later, violence has fallen by up to 80 percent to the lowest levels in four years, and Sunni and Shiite terrorists are reeling from a string of defeats. The situation now is full of hope, but considerable hard work remains to consolidate our fragile gains.

Progress has been due primarily to an increase in the number of troops and a change in their strategy. I was an early advocate of the surge at a time when it had few supporters in Washington. Senator Barack Obama was an equally vocal opponent. “I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there,” he said on January 10, 2007. “In fact, I think it will do the reverse.”

Now Senator Obama has been forced to acknowledge that “our troops have performed brilliantly in lowering the level of violence.” But he still denies that any political progress has resulted.

Perhaps he is unaware that the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad has recently certified that, as one news article put it, “Iraq has met all but three of 18 original benchmarks set by Congress last year to measure security, political and economic progress.” Even more heartening has been progress that’s not measured by the benchmarks. More than 90,000 Iraqis, many of them Sunnis who once fought against the government, have signed up as Sons of Iraq to fight against the terrorists. Nor do they measure Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki’s new-found willingness to crack down on Shiite extremists in Basra and Sadr City — actions that have done much to dispel suspicions of sectarianism.

The success of the surge has not changed Senator Obama’s determination to pull out all of our combat troops. All that has changed is his rationale. In a New York Times op-ed and a speech this week, he offered his “plan for Iraq” in advance of his first “fact finding” trip to that country in more than three years. It consisted of the same old proposal to pull all of our troops out within 16 months. In 2007 he wanted to withdraw because he thought the war was lost. If we had taken his advice, it would have been. Now he wants to withdraw because he thinks Iraqis no longer need our assistance.

To make this point, he mangles the evidence. He makes it sound as if Prime Minister Maliki has endorsed the Obama timetable, when all he has said is that he would like a plan for the eventual withdrawal of U.S. troops at some unspecified point in the future.

Senator Obama is also misleading on the Iraqi military’s readiness. The Iraqi Army will be equipped and trained by the middle of next year, but this does not, as Senator Obama suggests, mean that they will then be ready to secure their country without a good deal of help. The Iraqi Air Force, for one, still lags behind, and no modern army can operate without air cover. The Iraqis are also still learning how to conduct planning, logistics, command and control, communications, and other complicated functions needed to support frontline troops.

No one favors a permanent U.S. presence, as Senator Obama charges. A partial withdrawal has already occurred with the departure of five “surge” brigades, and more withdrawals can take place as the security situation improves. As we draw down in Iraq, we can beef up our presence on other battlefields, such as Afghanistan, without fear of leaving a failed state behind. I have said that I expect to welcome home most of our troops from Iraq by the end of my first term in office, in 2013.

But I have also said that any draw-downs must be based on a realistic assessment of conditions on the ground, not on an artificial timetable crafted for domestic political reasons. This is the crux of my disagreement with Senator Obama.

Senator Obama has said that he would consult our commanders on the ground and Iraqi leaders, but he did no such thing before releasing his “plan for Iraq.” Perhaps that’s because he doesn’t want to hear what they have to say. During the course of eight visits to Iraq, I have heard many times from our troops what Major General Jeffrey Hammond, commander of coalition forces in Baghdad, recently said: that leaving based on a timetable would be “very dangerous.”

The danger is that extremists supported by Al Qaeda and Iran could stage a comeback, as they have in the past when we’ve had too few troops in Iraq. Senator Obama seems to have learned nothing from recent history. I find it ironic that he is emulating the worst mistake of the Bush administration by waving the “Mission Accomplished” banner prematurely.

I am also dismayed that he never talks about winning the war — only of ending it. But if we don’t win the war, our enemies will. A triumph for the terrorists would be a disaster for us. That is something I will not allow to happen as president. Instead I will continue implementing a proven counterinsurgency strategy not only in Iraq but also in Afghanistan with the goal of creating stable, secure, self-sustaining democratic allies.

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