Atomized junior

Dedicated to the smallest particles of meaning on the web
Atomized Links:

Usual Suspects:

(A search engine for Wikipedia)


Atomized junior

Monday, November 30, 2009
Afghanistan Issues

I wrote a fairly long piece about the Afghanistan war a few months ago. But now that the President has committed 30,000 troops for an additional two year period, it's worth a quick review.

 It can be called the responsible decision. Were we to leave now, you couldn't expect people in the region to respect it even if it gave them a freer hand  Afghanistan and Pakistan Rattled by Plan for Drawdown - Or that we should expect that nothing about leaving things as they are will ever come back to bite us. The U S spent nearly a decade talking up various commitments and objectives, took responsibility for entire nations on itself. It is unintelligible to say it was about nothing now. Even if the unfolding of action and consequence offers little clue now to what it might have been about then. 

 President Obama took his prerogative to set parameters and then follow the subsequent policy of wisely heeding professional advice. There appeared to be several plans with different approaches from 10 through 50,000 additional troops. 30,000 being the middle bracket Goldilocks choice. The primary danger here is of believing in automatic efficacy of escalation. call it surge reductionism, magic surging  Afghanistan - Obama's surge: Has the president been misled by the Iraq analogy? - The Iraq surge was special case of escalation, particularly tailored to events in Baghdad city, aided providentially by events happening in parallel elsewhere: The Sunni awakening, now being followed by a Sunni door closing as the Shia'a government now disarms those same Sunni militia's. As well the Madi stand-down, a Shi'ite force not integrated into Maliki's government, without whose tacit acceptance there would be no Iraqi government. Behind all this, the severe balkanization of Iraq into separate ethic and tribal enclaves. However; Iraq owns its own civil wars now.

 Escalation in Afghanistan opens a window of opportunity narrowly. Initially it gives us situational momentum. it takes operational freedom of the Taliban away. It gives the provisional Afghan government the ability to insulate populations and routines of business and governance from violence. After a certain period; though, it becomes a grievance driver and a force multiplier for insurgency. The longer the war continues the more removed the U.S population becomes, even one disposed towards a war against al Qeada. With long-war strategies, conduct of the war depends heavily on the public will. Always the critical question is "what are we trying to accomplish here?" To extricate ourselves from a war leaving less chaos than when we started and with a less-than critical mass of individuals believing we have stolen unprovidentially their self-determination, some indistinct destiny of theirs. What we want are 30,000 round trip tickets. The best part of a good faith effort, is convincing others of the legitimacy of your own interests.

 Afghanistan is not critical national security. Maintaining that it is is part of the criticism from the right. Critical to the extent it was part of their fantasy to remake the middle east into a different world with a couple of grande strokes. This was the imperial madness of the last administration. The neo-conservatives claimed they had conquered Afghanistan three weeks into their war. Something they trumpeted that neither the British Empire nor Alexander the Great had done - but that they had. This tells you what you need to know about this lot - ridiculous little men and their preposterous cant. They saw themselves slipping easily into the seat of empire. It wasn't real. We haven't and aren't going to do what the Afghani's have never done for themselves; unify under a single cohesive government. Nor is it necessary for our purposes. Degrading militant Islamist groups capabilities is our purpose. With the Taliban leverage of proximity comes into play. Pakistan and other regional powers can affect these matters with fewer resources than we can. Our best use of resources becomes convincing them we want the same outcomes. Even if that means taking our stamp of ownership off these struggles. Again with some that means giving up winning their wars, a triumphal procession postponed. A less-than-national security consideration.

 A Senator interviewed on NPR the other day, being pressed on the costs of the Afghan war responded with "what price freedom" the most blithe most trite thing he could say offhand. A trillion dollars and nuclear Pakistan's stability could be the price of Afghan obsession. One of the hidden dangers of little wars is their absorbent quality  U.S. Envoy Urges Caution on Forces for Afghanistan - Much of the criticism from the right seems a little artificial. What advantage was there to trying to rush the process or discussion  Mullen: Obama has time to make decision on Afghanistan troops | Pushing a false immediacy betrayed more the tactics of political harassment of the President and his party than concern for the Afghanis House Dems' Afghan anxieties - John Bresnahan -

 Criticism from the left is equally dubious. What ever the initial rational for the war, seeing a foreign intervention through to some sort of conclusion is critical to understanding the true costs of a war and keeping them in sight. Leaving when it gets tiresome or costly runs a danger of validating the cut-n-run gamblers who start these wars, who would like nothing more than the concept of endeavors they can walk away from if they don't pay off. The left doesn't like the idea of vaguely denoted exit strategies any more than the right Obama speech: kicking the can down the road in Afghanistan | Though, it is the vagueness with the former and the denotation with the latter. Obama's War Speech Wins Over Some Skeptics - The way this appears to work is that resources go in now  Obama to let Pentagon deploy even more troops, but numbers remain murky - Eighteen months from now is not a deadline, but that is when the resources begin to come back out.

 I don't regard the Obama administration as paragons of the progressive, but I regard them as a capable and centrist administration, which was their real charge. More than a little change is realized by simply easing the straining at the leash -- towards the security state national corporatism that exists in conservative dreams. A president who wants to succeed and lead, knows what an election result in the percentage points lying alongside the median means, and what it doesn't. From the left and right there are always those who believe they see in every election victory a landslide, in every landslide a revolution, and in every new administration a disparate sweet despotism of executive fiat.

  People like Dick Cheney wear their absurdity proudly, casting foreign policy in terms of childlike 'toughness' as he has in recent speeches, but posturing tough means nothing to people who can count. They know how many soldiers and sailors we have. How many ships and tanks, how many jets and transports. How much capacity for construction and reconstruction. How much wealth to spare. Through the middle east they have a good idea what we can accomplish with all these. We want them to know (to a degree) so they don't guess wrong. But they also know when tenacity turns into bullshit.

 A Pew Trust poll came out recently showing that isolationist opinion is at a forty year high among Americans - the poll was comparing the opinion of the general population to those of Council on Foreign Relations members. Conditions are returning to normal a Multi polar world with a brief false uni-polar moment over U.S. Seen as Less Important, China as More Powerful: Overview - Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. Our economic and military primacy challenged, our moral authority and leadership deeply questioned, a generation of Americans turns away. Globalism remains.

[Attn. Technorati :  3M6DHUXGM4Q8 ]

11:55:24 PM    comment [];trackback [];

Thursday, November 19, 2009
with a light vinaigrette

 Two signs the recession is still with us. WFMU, the left-most button on my car radio of the mind, held a second annual fund-raiser the other day, A 24 hr marathon jr. Generally they try to get by with just one per year, but the marathon in March fell short at the time, and come November the coal bucket only had a couple lumps left, not enough to keep it firmly on the ground. The other sign was an email from our new Dean at the library where I work. Regarding the recession she indicated that state university budgets being supported by tax revenue lag behind the times. She stated that the worst is yet to come, directed our attention to an email by another state official announcing we were being asked to return another 25 million to the state. Overall she did what she could to dissuade us from using the words "my" and "job" together too often in our thoughts.    

 Then again, because at the moment my TV is dying I was browsing through the newspaper advertising supplements for a new one. Many retailers were willing to sell me flat screens, measured apparently only by the yard, and at quite astounding price points. No one seemed willing to sell me anything that simply replaced my old 14" cathode-ray tv. Someone must have have money I thought, or someone must think we have money. Perhaps it's just that they think we will pay for what we value and believe they know all about what that is.

 For WFMU's fall schedule a new show was introduced. A broadcasted podcast (a baudcast?) by someone named Nardwuar who lives in Vancouver. Normally this show airs at a time when I am on a bicycle and don't have access to the Internet. When it came up that the Nardwuar hour was going to air an interview with Ian MacKaye (Teen Idles, Minor Threat, Fugazi, Evens) I took the time to listen to the archived show later in the evening October 21, 2009: Nardwuar vs. Ian MacKaye and Henry Rollins. A good interview overall. Ian seemed bemused at times by Nardwuar's ability to compress a quarter century into a series of events that lay only in some apparent recent past. "'94 is recent to you?" counter-queried Mr. MacKaye at one point. This was one of the moments during the interview where I thought to myself:  Nardwuar, does he know the Minor Threat song 'Salad Days'? I liked Ian's mention of his times in the Wilson High school  theater group. My niece Nicole, a senior at Woodrow Wilson, is with the Wilson Players currently.

  One of the other stories he related I know something about independently. Ian talked about the time that Fugazi's Joe Lally was arrested in a bizarre raid on a house in College Park by the P.G. County police. A housemate of mine at the time - the late 1980's, also named Paul, was detained in that same incident, because he used to hang out at that house. He was shook up and a little bitter about it all, but took it in stride. The PG police descended on the house in full-force swat mode and kept everyone they rounded up in jail overnight, before attempting to sort things out. The reason was because the dark 'n arty kids of that house had been gathering cat carcasses from a dumpster behind a biology lab and hanging them from a tree in the back yard to "weather" for the purpose of glueing the skeletons to a canvas. A little Spahn-Ranch of them I suppose, but those were the times.  From those people I remember a goth girl, who was an art major, and a guy and his dog. I never saw him without the dog, a big dog, whether at the food co-op or doing fill-ins at WMUC, the Univ. of Maryland's 10 watt radio station. My housemate, Paul RW Clark, had his own band, Asbestos Rockpyle, the name was in part an entirely un-ironic nod to the Nick Lowe, Dave Edmonds, Billy Bremmer band "Rockpile. I still have their 7" single.

 Around the same time as Nardwuars broadcast a few weeks ago now, I went to an book talk and author signing event at Politics & Prose bookstore in DC. It was for a new edition of  Mark Anderson and Mark Jenkins' book on the DC punk rock scene Dance of days : two decades of punk in the nation's capital. This book is a separate creation from Sharon Cheslow's Banned in DC  book or Aye Jay's The punk rock fun time activity book.

  The author talk settled into a discussion,  soon put into a sharp and past-tense relief by a question from a lady whose son had been in the band Soulside: "what did punk do?" A  valid enough question to put to those flogging a 4th ed. of a book published nine years ago on events that took place a decade before that.

 Mark Anderson admitted a certain coming to terms was needed, with the fact that the Wilson High class of 79 from which Dischord records sprang graduated 30 years ago. Few if any who were part of the initial DC punk scene, in any genuine fashion, are younger than 35. Although oddly half the people there that day were younger than that. Anderson was forced to question whether the rebellious attitude of youth has any application to their adult lives. Whether any set of youthful idealism can mean much to an adult life. And whether his book catures that dimension. As the Jam sang (letting Woking Englands Paul Weller answer for DC) in their song Burning Sky:  "...ideals are fine when you are young and I must admit we had a laugh, but that's all it ever was and ever could be..."

 Perhaps a better question might have been: What what was it about? I had a friend in those days, Steve Kiviat, who had a  quote he would use - attributed to Skip Groff I think: "No Future (a Sex Pistols song I should add) for some yob in England meant exactly that: no job, no career, no upward mobility, no future. For some punk kid in Bethesda 'no future' was about not having a date on Friday night."  For DC's scene to mean much it had to get away from empty borrowed sloganeering and develop an identity and awareness of its own. So then was it just about the scene? And at that should we consider the scene as this scene, or the general idea of an independent music scene. Was it just about the DC scene's success in establishing no smoking venues, all ages shows and generally making the world safe for straight edge teenage bands. Was it about the DIY ethos (Do it Yourself). The don't wait for validation from established institutions, don't wait for someone else to give you a space or an audience. Gather a peer group and give a show. About an independent music scene separate and self-formed, away from the consumer product music that would inform most peoples lives and form their memories of the times. 

Already, before the MP3, the stifling hold on popular music culture by the major label recording industry was being pried open. In part because of the alternative music culture like the record labels Dischord, Slumberland, Teenbeat, or Fountain of Youth, in DC alone, that insisted on remaining apart from it. This sees further expression today as yesterday in organizations like Jenny Toomey's Future of Music Coalition.  

 Beyond music culture narrowly; Positive Punk, Positive Force, the activist advocacy bent in the DC Punk Scene is widely recogonized. DC bands were a refreshing anodyne to the casual nihilism of much 1980's alternative music. The DIY philosophy proved a valid approach across a wide range of endeavors. There was healthy skepticism towards institutions formal or informal. Particularly towards ones that feel they no longer have to justify their claims on authority. Expressed in the simple slogan Question Authority , or the irregular and ironic command to "obey giant." skepticism leveled equally between a blowhard on a microphone soapbox, and or all others struck by a doubled sense of entitlement. One of the things that seemed to needle Mark Anderson the most are the attempts by marketers to create and co-opt a punk iconography, and attempts by counter-culture establishment figures to elevate it, and put it safely behind glass. Always one of my favorite lines in a rock song, Fugazi from Blueprint: "Never mind what they're selling, it's what your buying."   If nothing else the punk rock kids always a sort of lost-tribe coalition came out of other end of those years with a good enough bullshit detector.

11:24:49 PM    comment [];trackback [];

Friday, November 13, 2009
Shuffle off to Cefalu

 I have here a picture of Navy RA5C flying over an antique town circa 1975 or 1976. I have paired it with a picture of the same area, approximateing the same angle, in current (Internet era) times pulled from Google Earth. Google Earth easily one of my favorite www programs. Google please don't sue me for using this picture.

A picture named RA5C_Cefalo.jpg
Navy RA5C over Cefalu Sicily Aug 1975

A picture named CefaluSicily.jpg
Cefalu in Google

 Call it recreation of an aerial photo. What else is someone who briefly trained as a photo interpreter in the Navy but never had an opportunity to use it afterwards going to do. I had this idea for a while but was stymied by not knowing what town was in this picture. The picture was from before my time in the Navy. One of my unit RVAH-7's earlier deployments. On the USS Forestall to the Mediterranean in the mid 1970's. I recalled another version of the picture that had a frisket on it*. A frisket in our parlance was a small acetate overlay template on which we would use a Leroy lettering set to mark certain data: the date, flifgt crew, location, altitude, focal length of camera used etc. Eventually I was able to remember the frisket indicated this picture was taken over Cefalu Italy. Which proves to be a town on the north coast of Sicily Cefalu Sicily - Google Maps.

 RVAH-7's 1979 USS Ranger cruise to the western Pacific, the one I participated in, didn't give up any post-card ready snaps like this. I can't think of any overwhelming reasons why not. Why a decent shot of the Intermuros or Baguio or Alaminos City with an RA5C in the foreground couldn't have been obtained? The latter two both lovely towns with colonial era architecture. A coworker of mine in McKeldin library, Nina, owns part of a sea salt bed with her husband's family in Alaminos city.

 There were a number of ordinary reasons why that last deployment didn't net a lot of trade and gift shots (we had a word for that which I can't remember right know). RVAH-7's embarkation on the USS Ranger was the last deployment of the RA5C's. The squadron, planes and program all decommissioned as soon as we returned to NAS Key West. We emptied our filing and storage cabinets into the dumpster behind the fleet hanger only dividing the nicer prints it seemed a shame to throw out among ourselves. The Navy was not spending money on the system and in truth our three planes were not flying much that last year. The squadron was off the ship and based at NAS Cubi Point through much of the mid summer so there may be be pictures of the Philippines I never saw. Since that was the interval of the port call to Hong Kong, which I stayed with ship's company for, there were no pictures of RA5C's against Victoria Peak produced. Pity. The phrase ADIZ line floats through my upper consciousness now in any regard.  What; though, of the port call to Phattya beach? Surely one of RVAH-7's planes must have struggled off the flight deck at some point in the fortnight we were in those waters and done a low level fly-by of the beach. I would rather think that it is simply that I don't have those pictures, rather than that they don't exist.

 When I look at the pictures I do have. One thing jumps out. The pictures are either from earlier deployments, before I was in the squadron, or they are from the work-ups to this deployment, and are of southern Florida, or the southern California op-area. Once the cruise began, almost nothing from the RA5C Vigilante's assortment of large format sophisticated precision aerial photo cameras. What there is, is from the Navy's other photo reconnaissance system (see illustration at bottom here from one Marco Antonetto's web site Topcon Info ). Many of these give the appearance of being taken by the RAN of an F-4 while flying upside down at 600 mph. This is because well, they probably were. I'll have to scan some of those sometime. Oh mighty, and largely indestructible, Topcon; the last laugh here seems to be yours.

*Addedum 26 Nov 09 I found the frisketed version containing what I now call the picture's metadata. . Date was 04 Aug 1975, 2, 000 ft over Cefalu Italy. Sensor was the right oblique with a 6" focal legnth. Produced by Odegaard / Osbourne: Reconatkron Seven.  Flying off the USS Forestall.

11:48:10 PM    comment [];trackback [];

Saturday, November 7, 2009
Fort Hood

  Normally I don't pick up on a topic I think is being adequately covered in the media, being dealt with by professionals who are getting paid and able to spend all day sorting the details. I get paid to copy catalog. The library gets the attentive hours of my day, the landlord gets the money.  When I feel an issue is being under-covered, a dimension is being missed. When an unhelpful reticence or over-focus has crept into an issue. I try to write something. With the tragic mass shootings at Fort Hood by Army Major Nidal Hasan Army Doctor Held as Fort Hood Rampage Kills 12 -, it is critical to try to separate what it was from what it wasn't. It is an issue with deep implications for those of Middle Eastern heritage serving in the U S armed services, and potentially many others as well. It is not the first time issues like this have come to the fore either. In virtually all conflicts, situations involving national religious or ethnic loyalties are involved.   Beyond these issues there are considerations for the manpower levels and of the deployment schedule pressures the armed services are trying to maintain.

 It was in many ways a classic Lone Gunman shooting. Similar to many other lone gun man style mass shootings. To the Virginia Tech Shootings. To the New York state shootings; where Jiverly Voong a 42 year old Vietnamese immigrant shot 13 people to death in an Binghamton NY immigration Center in April of this year, attracting relatively little attention at the time In Binghamton, Failure and Paranoia Preceded a Massacre - It shares traits with a multiple shooting in Iraq during an in-country stress counseling session, last year or the year before  Nidal Malik Hasan case: Are Army psychiatrists overwhelmed? | It is similar to Columbine before that. The small arms massacre form seems to be a particular violence pathology.  It is notable that issues of ethnicity, minority identity and existence run through many of these incidents.

 It almost certainly involve pathology and psychosis, Mental illness.  Even if that seems too easy a dismissal of what was involved. It is similar enough that so we can see missed signs. Recognize the disinclination to intercede, question or judge the slipping and confrontational behavior of another Fort Hood Gunman Gave Signals Before His Rampage -  We can see this was premeditated. Acting out un-contained murderous rage on long-standing perceived and nurtured grievances. Born from a brooding personality Fort Hood shooting suspect: a man of contradictions | His personal doubts; whether his sense of who he was, his persona was strong enough to withstand the pressures and contradictions inherent in being a Muslim soldier in the U S Army. In potential overseas deployment; being an American soldier in a Muslim country. He seemed to believe that alone might destroy him. He may have been aware of mental illness existing in himself by this point. It had nothing to do with any warrior ethos, he became no soldier of Allah. Unless you admit war is essentially organized violence against the helpless. It was an act of deliberate cowardliness striking at the unarmed in a zone of safety.

 If the question arises is Hasan a traitor? The answer is certainly Yes. He was A U S soldier and had sworn an oath and took a uniform. He was in that uniform at the time he killed his comrades. A doctor as well and sworn to a transcendent Hippocratic oath to do no harm. His options were to sue for release from his commission and pay whatver financial penalty was required for his medical training, refuse to serve overseas and accept courts martial, or to go even to simply go AWOL and accept whatever punishments might result from that.

What it wasn't was some case of immediate "snapping". Rapid onset mental illness dissipating responsibility. It was not likely Post or pre Traumatic Stress Disorder. Since he had only anecdotal if clinical information of the conduct of the wars in the middle east, not direct experience. As one soldier noted dryly PTSD does not generally lead one to become more organized and carry out complex tasks.

 It also does not seem to be actual terrorism. Evil Islamic terrorism or otherwise. No reason to go there unless you want already to go there. Unless you want to brand Islam as only a theology of violence and evil. Unless you desire to transition Arabs and Muslims to a second class citizenship throughout the west  Lieberman Suggests Army Shooter Was 'Home-Grown Terrorist'. Terrorism is by definition a political act. To affect the thoughts and emotions of a populace through fear and achieve some deliberate end. In this it is often crippled by the fact that it is applied against an /other, who the instigators of terror often do no understand well. Ironically making it an essentially pointless act in the end. Maj. Hasan's murders were nearly (but not purely) reactive;  a desperate and irrational act to destroy or alleviate suffering. Violence performed as anodyne. Nidal Hasan seems to have attempted to reposition his fears as a counter-crusade. A selfless act of self destruction such as the Japanese Kamikaze pilots. Engaging in a removed radicalization to create a rationalization of heroism in his own mind.  Showing only the ugliness of his convictions  Hasan on Islam - The strains his pathology had taken went beyond beyond anything obtainable through direct reason.

  Hasim's other rationalization; injunctions against Muslim taking arms against other Muslims is red herring. Agit Prop by those in extremist communities seeking to distance radicalize. Requiring them to overlook widespread wars and internecine violence of the last twenty years as Islamic society struggles primarily with itself.  As some seek power and seperation, others to find points of reconciliation with the larger world, West or East.

The Hasan murders are also not a marker of reasonable due diligence by the Army or US intelligence agencies. Paralleling the disinclination by his acquaintances and coworkers to deal directly with potential signs of mental instability, is the disinclination of the military authorities to confront the signs that a soldier was turning openly against his mission, becoming increasingly radicalized not merely losing his ability to carry out his duty, but becoming a active threat to his comrades Blame game erupts over probe of Fort Hood suspect - Yahoo! News.  For the US to try to maintain the same level of military involvement in conflicts in the Middle East in the coming decade as we committed ourselves to in the previous decade, without a substantial reduction in the level of violence is a peril that runs as a dark undercurrent throughout this sad story.

4:47:34 PM    comment [];trackback [];

Monday, November 2, 2009
Acts of Commission

  The FCC has been generating a fair amount of press lately.  Much of what the FCC involves itself with, the internet and radio, surround me and touch me daily. But this is technical and legal public policy. It's not clear how well these issues can be followed by laymen. This is something that I am reminded of often by my sister Ann who is a lawyer in the FCC General Councils office. So I'll follow it the way I follow all other things the media and newspapers tell me about that I do not think I will experience directly until they have already changed the world I live in.

 What is the FCC up to with Julius Genachowski as  the new chairman? A rhetorical question,  I lay out tea leaves regardless. There is the legacy of previous administration's schizophrenic approach to libertarianism and enforcing the social conservative's nanny state. Mergers and nothing that offends the sensibilities of the new right was the way forward then. Guarding sensitivities; however, is a pantheistic religion, There will be no turning that ship around anytime soon. As well arguments against market and media consolidation will have to be built again entirely anew,  as they were utterly vanquished by Powell and Martin.

 Numerous as these issues are there are some broad outlines to the FCC's intent. The first of these is to shore up a barely-there commitment to the public on net neutrality Hurdles remain as FCC ponders Internet data rules. This is a question of constituency - the FCCs attention caught more by Google on one hand and ATT or Verizon on the other, than with consumer advocacy groups like  Free Press | Media reform through education, organizing and advocacy or even an academic concern like the Center for Democracy and Technology.

 The FCC now has a new rule set to guide them and even if it seems somewhat of an under-reach (GOP to FCC: analysis first, then net neutrality rules - maybe - Ars Technica) for Net Neutrality as a public rights issue,  Chairman Genachowski at least got a unanimous vote from the whole commission on it  Post Tech - FCC moves forward on net neutrality rule-making in unanimous vote. There are six rules as Ars Technica lays it out  FCC proposes network neutrality rules (and big exemptions) - Ars Technica The FCC is already committed, for a few years now to a group of rules for the internet. Ones that in theory they have been committed to for the entire telephony era. With the world wide web the public has the ability to view any matter and use any software application to set up or view matter as long as it crosses with no existing law. Add to that, software, consumer communication and computing devices and the expectation that there will be competition to supply these things in an open and fully disclosed manner to the consumer. Things do what they say they do and do nothing they don't say they do. That last point is where the caveats begin. The FCC's rule set ends by including the potential right to control all things unlawful or unreasonable to a telecomm company. The exceptions seemed designed to include all content that cannot prove itself to be rightfully in motion, and as adjunct to that, the Telecomm companies reserve the right to perform examinations of all content so that they may know this.  There is among the large  corporations AT&T and astroturf: is "following the money" enough? - Ars Technica and national security organizations that run the the information superhighway, a certain fear of an unexamined net life.

 In the current tangle of platforms and suppliers the FCC ought to be careful to ensure that the same rules apply to any business offering similar services. If Google is going to quack like a duck, then it is a duck regardless Is AT&T targeting Google Voice to stop "traffic pumping"? - Ars Technica. Any organization that sets itself up to carry traffic (obtains a public charter to do so) should/ought/must carry all traffic that presents itself Common carrier - Wikipedia. Unless there will be 6 to a dozen lines in and out of every household with ability to switch between them at will moment to moment carriers ought to be neutral as to content over the line as were telephones. The Cape May ferry doesn't ask  why you want to be in New Jersey or what you might be doing in Delaware, though they may charge against  car truck or pedestrian.

 The other and perhaps greater concern of the FCC is Broadband Rollout. Its been no secret that this has been slow that the US was late moving off dial-up, and much US broadband is only medium internet.  What is true broad band? DSL, cable, fiber-optic etc. what mip, what level of ubiquity?. Where does it lie?  In the first, middle, or last mile.

 To answer these question the FCC commission a report from Harvard's Berkman Center:    Berkman Center broadband study for FCC available for public comment.  It specifically tries to identify what incentives and policy structures will move us forward. One critical consideration lurking in the background is that mobile and 3g and 4g networks by their very nature pull more bandwidth that the relative passivity of the stationary http protocol. Supporting these will consume very large amounts of radio spectrum. The Berkman report starts with some comparisons with other countries. In terms of raw speed, availability to the public, and pricing of true broadband a dozen or more nations rank ahead of the US. The prime considerations that can be identified for this  are the decisions of most other nations to keep open access regulations in place, and to make a genuine and rigorous attempts to find the correct level and place for public infrastructure investment.  As the report tries to emphasis this is not just entertainment time, diversion. This is the US's the ability to possess information in a timely and effective fashion. This is the way of commerce, invitation to the club of the future.  If we fail this benchmark test we move toward the center of of this century as second tier nation.

11:42:26 PM    comment [];trackback [];

Click here to visit the Radio UserLand website.
Click to see the XML version of this web page.
Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
2010 P Bushmiller.
Last update: 1/2/10; 11:56:52 AM.