I will miss him. Spock & Kirk was a buddy relationship for the ages.
Saturday, February 28, 2015
Friday, February 27, 2015
Thursday, February 26, 2015
NN, thanks to the FCC, wins out over Verizon, Comcast and AT&T, among significant others, in eliminating the threat of a two tiered web that would, in time, destroy the open source communication engine of the world. Awesome without question as BRT, like other tech blogs, have supported NN for years. Now it's here and, interestingly enough, it was a bipartisan effort as tech savvy republicans finally realized what would happen if we had gatekeepers like Gozer & Zuul telling us how data should be processed on the net. :)
Ghostbusters, another cinematographic gem without question.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
BRT doesn't do politics very often but when the lies are particularly egregious, silence cannot be maintained. To whit.
Just as Colin Powell lied about the weapons of mass destruction 12 years ago at the UN, we now have Netanyahu doing the same thing regarding Iran but this time, Mossad, the Israeli secret service, blows the whistle on the lies Netanyahu was foisting upon the world in 2012.
As the Guardian, one of the two leak outlets reports, in a secret report shared with South Africa a few weeks later, Israel’s intelligence agency concluded that Iran was “not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons”. The report highlights the gulf between the public claims and rhetoric of top Israeli politicians and the assessments of Israel’s military and intelligence establishment.
I, for one, can't wait for Netanyahu to make his grand appearance in front of the joint houses of Congress at the invitation of the esteemed John Boehner, a clueless politician of the third kind.
Politics and the English Language - George Orwell
- Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
- Never use a long word where a short one will do.
- If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
- Never use the passive where you can use the active.
- Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
- Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.
Click the short clip below to see a collaboration of Aljazeera and the Guardian regarding espionage, something interesting to say the least.
Being an avid cyclist, transporting said machine can be a real drag because one has to take the rear wheel off (in addition to the front) if you want the bike to fit in a trunk, which means you have to deal with the chain, the one truly nasty part of the hardware no matter how clean you try to keep it. Enter this new folding bike with big wheels and small form factor. Helix looks like the real deal and yes, it looks like a keeper both in the city or on trips away from home.
BRT has talked about GW ad nauseum but one article, posted in March of 2014, titled The-Thermo-haline-et-al , explains how the South Pole, in large part, drives the world's weather via Antarctic bottom water in conjunction with the Waddell Sea Polynya.
Seems other researchers are capping on these findings as seen in the IFLS piece titled, What's Going on with the Weather?
This is where climate change comes in: the Arctic is warming much faster than elsewhere. That Arctic/mid-latitude temperature difference, consequently, is getting smaller. And the smaller differential in temperatures is causing the west-to-east winds in the jet to weaken.
Strong jets tend to blow straight west to east; weaker jets tend to wander more in a drunken north/south path, increasing the likelihood of wavy patterns like the one we’ve seen almost non-stop since last winter.
When the jet stream’s waves grow larger, they tend to move eastward more slowly, which means the weather they generate also moves more slowly, creating more persistent weather patterns.
Nice to see BRT's ahead of the curve on this one. :)
NOAA's shot of the Jet Stream circa the Winter of 2015.
Sunday, February 22, 2015
Lego's rock. From Batman to jet engine mockups, this astounding "toy" has captured the imagination of millions, including yours truly, who played with this tech with his son for hours as there is virtually nothing you can't build with this ingenious offering from Denmark. To that end, researchers put together a clever tool set to display pinned insects to be scanned, something both incredibly sophisticated yet cheap, two essentials for tech of the most innovative kind.
“There’s no view you cannot get with the manipulator, which is cool,” he said. “It’s a working prototype. It’s good; it’s durable, and really cheap. You can order its pieces from anyplace in the world, and anybody can build it.” Step-by-step instructions to construct his designs were published and made freely downloadable this month in the journal Zookeys.
Seen below is Lego Batman. Nothing else needs to be said. Enjoy.
Deja vu all over again, Groundhog Day, mobius strip, you know, the endless ways to repeat catastrophe continues ever onward as long as you don't do the fighting.
Quite frankly, this has been one of the more depressing weeks we have seen in a very long time. The country seems to be sliding down some very familiar tracks into a military engagement in the Middle East -- an engagement that, at the moment, seems to be cloudy in its objectives, vague in its outlines, and obscure on the simple fact of what we are supposedly fighting for, and who we will be fighting with. Can we fight the Islamic State generally without help from (gasp!) Iran? Can we fight the Islamic State in Syria without a de facto alliance with Hafez al-Assad, who was Hitler only a year or so ago? And the most recent polling seems to indicate that all the institutions that are supposed to act as a brake on war powers within a self-governing republic are working in reverse again. The Congress is going to debate how much leeway it should give the president to make war, not whether he should be allowed to do it at all. The elite media, having scared Americans to death by giving the barbarians and their slaughter porn the international platform the barbarians so desired, is jumping on board with both feet. (To cite only one example, Chris Matthews is suiting up again.) The country has been prepared to give its children up again. At the very least, public opinion on what we should do is a muddle, which means that any plan that looks "bold" likely will carry the country with it, unintended consequences be damned.With the intelligence all pointing toward bin Laden, Rumsfeld ordered the military to begin working on strike plans.
All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting. - George Orwell
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and
expecting different results. - Albert Einstein
expecting different results. - Albert Einstein
Into the valley of death rode the six hundred. - Tennyson
Saturday, February 21, 2015
Reaching 1500 in terms of the number of articles written in a blog, IMHO, is fairly significant so, to commemorate this "awesome" event, here is a pix from yours truly that can be viewed in one of two ways: a look back on the distance traveled in terms of the number of articles posted or a look forward showing just how much more there is to write about in this crazy space we call reality.
I, for one, will take the latter. Hopefully you, my loyal readers, will feel the same way. :)
Best from Robert E.
The Road Not Taken
BY ROBERT FROST
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Having a Tin Ear is the ultimate insult to a musician, something never applied to yours truly when I went to Berklee and played in some pretty outrageous bands back in the day but ... for Superfish and their malware debacle ensnaring users who unknowingly bought Lenovo machines infected with this crap, Tin Ear readily applies.
Following security professionals' near-unanimous condemnation of adware that hijacked encrypted Web connections on Lenovo computers, the CEO of the company that developed the finished product is doubling down on his insistence that it poses no threat to end users.
There has been significant misinformation circulating about Superfish software that was pre-installed on certain Lenovo laptops. The software shipped on a limited number of computers in 2014 in an effort to enhance the online shopping experience for Lenovo customers. Superfish's software utilizes visual search technology to help users achieve more relevant search results based on images of products they have browsed.
Despite the false and misleading statements made by some media commentators and bloggers, the Superfish software does not present a security risk. In no way does Superfish store personal data or share such data with anyone. Unfortunately, in this situation a vulnerability was introduced unintentionally by a 3rd party. Both Lenovo and Superfish did extensive testing of the solution but this issue wasn't identified before some laptops shipped. Fortunately, our partnership with Lenovo was limited in scale. We were able to address the issue quickly. The software was disabled on the server side (i.e., Superfish's search engine) in January 2015.
Superfish takes great pride in the quality of its software, the transparency of its business practices, and its strong relationship with the Superfish user community. Superfish's visual search technology enables millions of people to explore and learn about the world in an engaging and highly intuitive manner. A positive user experience has been the cornerstone of Superfish's success.
The Superfish spokeswoman didn't respond to an e-mail from Ars requesting an interview with the CEO.
Click the graphic to read Ars' excellent explanation as to why Superfish's statement is bogus to the max.
Friday, February 20, 2015
Thursday, February 19, 2015
BRT posted this World is a Business clip from Paddy Chayefsky's masterpiece, Network back in 2009, right after the outrageous bank bailout but now, more then ever, the Jensen speech rings ever more true as we slowly become a plutocracy, run by the rich, for the rich, while we, the middle class, slows melts away.
Arthur Jensen: You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won't have it! Is that clear? You think you've merely stopped a business deal. That is not the case! The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back! It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity! It is ecological balance! You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations. There are no peoples. There are no Russians. There are no Arabs. There are no third worlds. There is no West. There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multivariate, multinational dominion of dollars. Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars, reichmarks, rins, rubles, pounds, and shekels. It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic and subatomic and galactic structure of things today! And YOU have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and YOU... WILL... ATONE! Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale? You get up on your little twenty-one inch screen and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM, and ITT, and AT&T, and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today. What do you think the Russians talk about in their councils of state, Karl Marx? They get out their linear programming charts, statistical decision theories, minimax solutions, and compute the price-cost probabilities of their transactions and investments, just like we do. We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable bylaws of business. The world is a business, Mr. Beale. It has been since man crawled out of the slime. And our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that... perfect world... in which there's no war or famine, oppression or brutality. One vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock. All necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused. And I have chosen you, Mr. Beale, to preach this evangel.
Arthur Jensen: Because you're on television, dummy. Sixty million people watch you every night of the week, Monday through Friday.
This Dilbert sums up what we have in Congress, fools spouting off nostrums instead of actually providing leadership of any way, shape or form. The incompetence and corruption of the political space boggles the mind but never mind, just listen to the nooze to get insight from the well paid corporate shills commenting on the nostrums given to us, free of charge, from congress and the president.
But this is what nooze should really say to us rubes ...
Howard Beale: I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's worth, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there's nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there's no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TV's while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that's the way it's supposed to be. We know things are bad - worse than bad. They're crazy. It's like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don't go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, 'Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won't say anything. Just leave us alone.' Well, I'm not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get mad! I don't want you to protest. I don't want you to riot - I don't want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn't know what to tell you to write. I don't know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you've got to get mad. You've got to say, 'I'm a HUMAN BEING, God damn it! My life has VALUE!' So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, 'I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!' I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell - 'I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!' Things have got to change. But first, you've gotta get mad!... You've got to say, 'I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!' Then we'll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it: "I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!"
Network - One of the greatest films ever made.
Monday, February 16, 2015
IFLS rocks. Here's 21 gifs showing us rubes how math works.
Thanks Chuck for showing this gem to yours truly.
Thanks Chuck for showing this gem to yours truly.
As we usher in the start of a new school year, it’s time to hit the ground running in your classes! Math can be pretty tough, but since it is the language in which scientists interpret the Universe, there’s really no getting around learning it. Check out these gifs that will help you visualize some tricky aspects of math, so you can dominate your exams this year.
Worth checking out without a doubt. :)
Sunday, February 15, 2015
In a terrific article in Rolling Stone, Jeff Goodell writes:
You can't spend 10 minutes in this part of Virginia without feeling the deep sense of history. The Battle of Hampton Roads, a famous naval showdown between two Civil War ironclads, occurred just offshore. The base was a key departure point for thousands of sailors during World War II, many of whom never returned. Their ghosts still haunt the place. Everyone's aunt or uncle has a story to tell about a night in a port in Brisbane or Barcelona or about the way their ears rang the first time they heard a cannon firing from the deck of a ship.
But within the lifetime of a child growing up here, all this could vanish into the Atlantic Ocean. The land that the base is built upon is literally sinking, meaning sea levels are rising in Norfolk roughly twice as fast as the global average. There is no high ground, nowhere to retreat. It feels like a swamp that has been dredged and paved over — and that's pretty much what it is. All it takes is a rainstorm and a big tide and the Atlantic invades the base — roads are submerged, entry gates impassable. A nor'easter had moved through the area the day before my visit. On Craney Island, the base's main refueling depot, military vehicles were up to their axles in seawater. Water pooled in a long, flat grassy area near Admiral's Row, where naval commanders live in magnificent houses built for the 1907 Jamestown Exposition. "It's the biggest Navy base in the world, and it's going to have to be relocated," says former Vice President Al Gore. "It's just a question of when."
... approved a $50,000 study on the economic impacts of coastal flooding in the state.
... because "sea level rise" is a "left-wing term,"
Saturday, February 14, 2015
Despeclking, a noise reduction technique well known to Photoshop users, is now being used for cleaning up images of Titan, Saturn's mysterious moon with a atmosphere 50% denser then ours.
During 10 years of discovery, NASA's Cassini spacecraft has pulled back the smoggy veil that obscures the surface of Titan, Saturn's largest moon. Cassini's radar instrument has mapped almost half of the giant moon's surface; revealed vast, desert-like expanses of sand dunes; and plumbed the depths of expansive hydrocarbon seas. What could make that scientific bounty even more amazing? Well, what if the radar images could look even better?
Thanks to a recently developed technique for handling noise in Cassini's radar images, these views now have a whole new look. The technique, referred to by its developers as "despeckling," produces images of Titan's surface that are much clearer and easier to look at than the views to which scientists and the public have grown accustomed.
Typically, Cassini's radar images have a characteristic grainy appearance. This "speckle noise" can make it difficult for scientists to interpret small-scale features or identify changes in images of the same area taken at different times. Despeckling uses an algorithm to modify the noise, resulting in clearer views that can be easier for researchers to interpret.
Antoine Lucas got the idea to apply this new technique while working with members of Cassini's radar team when he was a postdoctoral researcher at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
Seen below is the star of the show
Thursday, February 12, 2015
When looking at this striking image of an ice berg calving from the King Baudouin Ice Shelf, one readily sees the tremendous difference in the albedo from ice to water whereby the Antarctic, like the Arctic, will gradually become a heat sink due to the continual melting of the sea ice caused by global warming. Calving is a normal event but the decreased albedo on both poles is quietly disconcerting to say the least.
While large icebergs calve regularly from fast-flowing ice shelves in West Antarctica, the coast of cooler, drier East Antarctica tends to be less active. That made it a mild surprise when a 70-square-kilometer chunk of ice broke off from the King Baudouin Ice Shelf in January 2015. The last time that part of King Baudouin calved such a large iceberg was in the 1960s.
A growing rift near the edge of the glacier was visible to satellites for several weeks before the ice finally broke loose. The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 acquired this image on January 24, 2015. While clouds obscured Landsat 8’s view of the new berg after January 25, a radar aboard the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-1 satellite captured an image of the iceberg on January 28, showing it moving away from the ice shelf. The new iceberg is now drifting in Breid Bay off of Queen Maud Land.
Seen above is one small footprint in the vastness known as Antarctica
Science never lies when the facts ring true. :)
The history of the world comes to life when scientists extract ice cores from the coldest places on the planet, like Greenland and Antarctica, to learn more about earth's climate way back when.
The hardened plains and peaks of ice that make up Greenland and the Antarctic preserve information about Earth’s former climates, going back millions of years. As snow accumulates in these regions year after year, the higher snow layers exert pressure on the lower ones, squeezing out air. Under pressure, snowflakes transform into dense grains of ice that fuse together into glacial sheets.
But not all the air escapes. About 10 percent of it gets trapped when snowflakes transform into ice crystals. Those miniscule air bubbles contain the atmospheric gases—nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, methane—from the time periods in which they were trapped. Climate researchers are particularly interested in the greenhouse gases.
“Ice cores are the primary way in which we reconstruct the atmosphere going back a million years or so,” says paleoclimatologist James White, professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder and director of the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research. “It’s one of the few archives of the past that is clean enough that you can actually get carbon dioxide and methane concentrations.”
Read the rest of the Nautilus article Secrets in the Ice as the Polar Bears part will astound you. :)
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Had to put this in as yours truly, being from MA, has viewed, with stunned amazement, on just how much Boston has GOTTEN HAMMERED by the winter of 2015. Click the graphic above to access the PDF to accurately see the amount of show, in athlete height, bean town has gotten.
Simply astounding and yes, two more storms are on the way as we speak but realize this, climatologists got it right regarding the impact GW is beginning to have on winters ranging from dry to ridiculous as seen by the two monster winters the NE has had within a four year time span. Lastly, pray to god you, and I, don't lose power as February drags on and on and on. At least it's not Groundhog Day or is it? :)
A classic if there ever was one. :)
Monday, February 09, 2015
Images that touch the soul are ones you never forget, like this one seen above, taken by Brad Wilson, an extraordinary photographer who captures the essence of nature by gaining the trust of the animal before photographing the subject at hand. As per a quote in Why Evolution is True, a gem of a site that talks about all things related to evolution and nature, one readily sees Wilson's approach to his subject matter is both nuanced and sensitive, especially when it comes to owls, creatures of majestic mystery and beauty.
Wilson is an expert at point-blank portraits. His series “Affinity” features 65 species, including a white rhino, a white tiger, an Arctic fox, and an Egyptian Vulture. But owls were the most compelling and challenging subjects, he says. It takes years of building mutual trust before an owl will accept physical contact from a single person, says Wilson, and “owls don’t extend that privilege to other humans.”
Wilson wanted his images to accentuate the nobility and independence of each captive bird, minimizing its dependence on its caretaker. Many had wing injuries, for example, which he concealed in his pictures. The owls’ human perches likewise hid themselves, contorting their bodies to stay out of the frame. It was a gesture to the birds, a way of saying that although their wild days are behind them, they still have their dignity.
Works for me.
Here we go again, yet another "politician" trying to impose his opinion that gay people should not be allowed to marry event though, thank god, it's rapidly becoming the law of the land if the supremes don't do the incredibly stupid act of reversing something that never should have happened in the first place. Government should not define morality or restrict the rights of others, in this case, marriage, based on religion, something that's being done by this fool of a judge residing in Alabama.
“Effective immediately, no probate judge of the State of Alabama nor any agent or employee of any Alabama probate judge shall issue or recognize a marriage license that is inconsistent” with the Alabama Constitution or state law, the chief justice wrote in his order.
"Keep thy religion to thyself." - George Carlin: The Two Commandments
Sunday, February 08, 2015
We all know how the rich game the system. Seems it also works in real estate as well.
For more than a year, The New York Times examined the influx of global cash fueling the city’s high-end real estate boom. The investigation pierced the secrecy of more than 200 shell companies that have owned condominiums at one complex, the Time Warner Center.
■ Nearly half of the most expensive residential properties in the United States are now purchased anonymously through shell companies.
■ The real estate industry does little examination of buyers’ identities or backgrounds, and there is no legal requirement for it to do so.
■ At the Time Warner Center, 37 percent of the condominiums are owned by foreigners. At least 16 foreigners who have owned in the building have been the subject of government inquiries, either personally or as heads of companies.
Same as it ever was. - Talking Heads
Put a fork in it, it's done, relates to global warming and the fact we are creating it, without question, without a doubt as per findings done by the Planck Institute.
"The claim that climate models systematically overestimate global warming caused by rising greenhouse gas concentrations is wrong," says Jochem Marotzke. Climate sceptics often make precisely this claim, citing the warming pause as evidence. Yet they cannot deny that nine of the ten warmest years since systematic climate observations began have occurred in the new millennium and that global warming has slowed at a very high level. The sceptics also ignore the fact that ocean temperatures continue to rise as rapidly as many models have predicted.
To explain the puzzling discrepancy between model simulations and observations, Jochem Marotzke and Piers M. Forster proceeded in two steps. First, they compared simulated and observed temperature trends over all 15-year periods since the start of the 20th century. For each year between 1900 and 2012 they considered the temperature trend that each of the 114 available models predicted for the subsequent 15 years. They then compared the results with measurements of how the temperature actually rose or fell. By simulating the average global temperature and other climatic variables of the past and comparing the results with observations, climatologists are able to check the reliability of their models. If the simulations prove more or less accurate in this respect, they can also provide useful predictions for the future.
Yours truly had an outdoor cat for 16 years, a calico whose main squeeze was me, not my wife or son, until Aja got too old and wanted to be held and petted by anyone nearby. The only time she came in was during hellacious snowstorms whereby I would pick her up and put her in the garage whereupon she would jump into her box and look at me as per the physorg pix seen above. Seems there's a biological raison d'ete as to why cats like boxes as theses creatures are eminently practical, independent and competent, something all together different from dogs who cap upon our emotions to live a life of leisure if they luck upon a doting owner like myself. :)
Writing in Wired, Bryan Gardiner took up the topic of why cats love boxes, discussing the researchers' findings as well as other explorations into the way cats love scampering and even squeezing into boxes. One of the authors of the Dutch cat shelter paper, Claudia Vinke, was quoted in Wired: "Hiding is a behavioral strategy of the species to cope with environmental changes and stressors," Vinke said in her email.
Sounds logical to me.
Saturday, February 07, 2015
Friday, February 06, 2015
Back in May of 2014, BRT did a post titled The Net as PUBLIC UTILITY, a piece discussing the importance of net neutrality and, in part, on Tom Wheeler's weasel words regarding NN that sounded like it came directly from the NCTA, which is the cable industry's largest lobbying group. where he served as president prior to his appointment to the FCC.
Fast forward to February, 2015 and the same Tom Wheeler does a 180 that surely warms the cockles of yours truly's heart to the max. :)
After waffling for months on the question of Net neutrality, who would have guessed that former telecom lobbyist Tom Wheeler would argue such a strong case for reclassifying broadband as a Title II common carrier? Though the FCC steered clear of onerous regulation, the reaction from telecoms has been largely a howl of distress.
It gets better:
The four-page FCC proposal applies to Internet access delivered over cable, DSL, and fiber, as well as mobile broadband networks. It has Net neutrality rules that forbid ISPs from blocking, throttling, or offering paid prioritization of content, but forgoes the strict utility regulation guaranteed to have telecoms up in arms. There will be no regulation of rates, no new tariffs, and no requiring ISPs to lease network access to competitors.
Opponents of the move have long warned that attempts to regulate the Internet would stifle innovation. Even before Wheeler unveiled his plan, telecoms were rattling their sabers. AT&T issued a preemptive strike on Monday, threatening to sue the government.
But in an editorial published in Wired, FCC chair Wheeler countered the argument that regulation would kill innovation and investment:
The Internet wouldn't have emerged as it did… if the FCC hadn't mandated open access for network equipment in the late 1960s. Before then, AT&T prohibited anyone from attaching non-AT&T equipment to the [telephone] network. The modems that enabled the Internet were usable only because the FCC required the network to be open.
Wouldn't it be nice if the supremes did the same thing regarding law and how it should apply to the public good just as Tom Wheeler did in reclassifying the net as a Public Utility given just how vital the web has become to civilization as we mover ever further into the 21st century.
Thursday, February 05, 2015
Wednesday, February 04, 2015
Into the valley of death rode the six hundred - the first two lines of Tennyson's poem, rings true regarding the Ukraine and the insane push to protect the petrodollar at the expense of a possible world war with Russia, a nation whose sphere of influence vis a vis the Ukraine is every bit as valid as the US' regarding Cuba in the Missiles of October crisis circa 1962. BRT has talked about this explosive issue before in Lurching Toward Catastrophe but now, the spawn of Dick Cheney, aka the neocon gang who has gotten virtually everything wrong regarding war and foreign policy, continues to reign supreme in D.C. pushing ever further to a potential WWIII scenario with Russia.
Among Cold War presidents, from Truman to Bush I, there was an unwritten rule: Do not challenge Moscow in its Central and Eastern Europe sphere of influence.
In crises over Berlin in 1948 and 1961, the Hungarian Revolution in 1956 and the Warsaw Pact invasion of Prague in 1968, U.S. forces in Europe stayed in their barracks.
We saw the Elbe as Moscow’s red line, and they saw it as ours.
While Reagan sent weapons to anti-Communist rebels in Angola, Nicaragua and Afghanistan, to the heroic Poles of Gdansk he sent only mimeograph machines.
That Cold War caution and prudence may be at an end.
For President Obama is being goaded by Congress and the liberal interventionists in his party to send lethal weaponry to Kiev in its civil war with pro-Russian rebels in Donetsk and Luhansk.
That war has already cost 5,000 lives — soldiers, rebels, civilians. September’s cease-fire in Minsk has broken down. The rebels have lately seized 200 added square miles, and directed artillery fire at Mariupol, a Black Sea port between Donetsk and Luhansk and Crimea.
Late last year, Congress sent Obama a bill authorizing lethal aid to Kiev. He signed it. Now the New York Times reports that NATO Commander Gen. Philip Breedlove favors military aid to Ukraine, as does Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. John Kerry and Gen. Martin Dempsey of the joint chiefs are said to be open to the idea - Pat Buchanan
Earth calling New York Times readers: I regret to inform you that this decision was already reached a year ago when we paid for the coup d’état against the elected President, Viktor Yanukovych, after the poor sap decided to not sign up with EU but rather the Russian-backed Eurasian Customs Union. Whoops! You’re so out of here, Bub, State Department Under Secretary Victoria Nuland burbled in a clandestinely recorded phone call to the American ambassador. Will somebody please find Yats! Yes Yats! [UKR politician Arseniy Yatsenyuk] and plug the Bluetooth earpiece of power into his skull!
And so it went this past year with a cabal of the USA, the EU, and the IMF shoveling financial support (billions!), armaments, and surely boots-on-the ground into the Ukrainian morass. Last week, a reporter in eastern Ukraine approached a soldier in UKR army battle garb only to be told, in pitch perfect American English, to “get out of my face.” Say what??? The You-tube clip was seen all over the world and to this minute no agent of the US government has been called to account over it. Like I said, a hall of mirrors.
But anyway, we get a little ahead of ourselves because all this really begs the question: what business do we have in Ukraine in the first place and why should it matter to us that they align with Russia? And more to the point: why is it not transparently obvious that Ukraine is solidly within Russia’s sphere of influence, and has been, really, for more than 500 years, and for an excellent reason that has been demonstrated most recently in Napoleon’s invasion of 1812 and then Hitler’s Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of 1941.
As Mark Twain says, History doesn't repeat itself but it does rhyme.
Seen below is Tennyson's famous poem,
The Charge of the Light Brigade
Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!
"Charge for the guns!" he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!"
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Someone had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.
Flash'd all their sabres bare,
Flash'd as they turn'd in air,
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wonder'd:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro' the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reel'd from the sabre stroke
Shatter'd and sunder'd.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.
When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honour the charge they made,
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred.
And so it goes - K. Vonnegut