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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Kansas Attempting To Block City Broadband Internet Access Programs By State Law

This is hard to believe, but there it is, on Daily Kos:
... but not in Kansas!
... the state of Kansas Legislature[] took on a new target: Stop Google Fiber.   And not just google fiber, make sure that cities cannot invest in any broadband network technologies.

http://www.muninetworks.org/...
(1) Offer to provide to one or more subscribers, video, telecommunications or broadband service; or
(2) purchase, lease, construct, maintain or operate any facility for the purpose of enabling a private business or entity to offer, provide, carry, or deliver video, telecommunications or broadband service to one or more subscribers.
...
This is almost beyond comprehension, until you read the one-line postfix:
7:40 PM PT: This piece of legislation may be coming to a state near you. It's an ALEC proposal.
It is still a puzzle. Surely all broadband providers would be overjoyed if cities, towns and counties invested in their services. It must be something about the Internet itself: does ALEC perceive lefties as better than righties at using the Internet for political purposes? Do fundagelicals perceive the 'net as the devil's handiwork? C'mon, there's got to be a reason...

I know Texas has done some crazy things (e.g., from the state textbook committee), but I can't imagine any state where the employer base is highly dependent on 'net technology... and believe me, that describes the "awl bidness" in Texas, packed full and running over... would tolerate this kind of restriction. Can anyone inform me on just what aspect of full‑blown right‑wing bat‑shit craziness this reflects?

AFTERTHOUGHT: Reading the link pointed to by Kos (see above), which includes a quote from the law stating its purpose, leaves me even more puzzled. This is just plain nuts!

2 comments:

  1. The telecoms are pushing these laws to keep localities from entering the market in any way, even markets that the telecoms have no interest in entering themselves.

    Pennsylvania already has one of the these laws, and it was used to keep Philadelphia from creating its own WiFi system for the city. The city wanted to recoup some of the costs of linking the city government together by offering a new service to residents, and the telecoms went ballistic. They don't want anyone to compete with them, and they go to absurd lengths to prevent it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bryan, I used to believe in capitalism until I realized that once corporations reach a certain size, they have no interest in the "miracle of the marketplace" except to forestall its operation with as many anticompetitive practices as they can dream up. And these days, government either seems to have no interest in preventing those practices, or else there are so many Republican judges that corp's don't even need to bother buying them to prevent any constraints on their anticompetitive activities. These days, when someone piously intones something about the "free market," I reply, "show me one!"

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Current and Recent Reading and Viewing

• King, Laurie R., Mary Russell series.
—. The Beekeeper's Apprentice.
—. A Monstrous Regiment of Women.
—. A Letter of Mary.
—. The Moor.
—. O Jerusalem. ...
If you are unfamiliar with Ms. King's Mary Russell series of Holmes novels, please do yourself a favor and begin with the first, The Beekeeper's Apprentice, and just keep going. If you have female children of the right age, you may want to introduce them to these books; Ms. Russell is a splendid role model for someone who would become a strong, intellectual, adventurous woman. King's prose is beautiful, too. Highly recommended!
• Rennison, Nick. Sherlock Holmes: The Unauthorized Biography.
Rennison weaves the scant information Conan Doyle provides on Holmes's background into the fabric of the stellar lights of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with such convincing detail that one could almost believe Holmes was an actual historical figure. If you like reading British biographers (face it; Americans write biography wholly differently) and you have a passion for Sherlock Holmes, you will very likely enjoy this book. As in eating a Dagwood sandwich, it helps to take it in small bites at a time.
• PBS Masterpiece - BBC. Sherlock, Season 3. Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman.
Sunday 1/19/2014, Premiere, "The Empty Hearse".
Sunday 1/26: "The Sign of Three".
Sunday 2/2, "His Last Vow".
Need I even comment on this?

I imagine people, especially Sherlockians, will either love this series or hate it. I am inclined to take each episode at face value, as a sort of parody of the traditional Conan Doyle Holmes story model, having (in my opinion) very little obligation to conform to that model as long as it does not deliberately poop on the basic conventions Doyle established. The setting is either present day or near future (some of the technology, and the reference to hardware Holmes apparently has installed in contact with his brain, lead me to call it the future), and many of the human elements are right out of Doyle: Holmes, who has just returned from his "dead" period, is an absolute a(bleep!)hole to Watson; Mrs. Hudson starts out talking to Watson, who announces he is recently engaged, as if he is surely gay; Watson is played (to type) as not the brightest bulb on the string, etc. My advice: do watch, but just sit back and enjoy the fireworks, the effects, and the unsubtle humor. I've read that women find Cumberbatch very good-looking; perhaps some men will as well.
• Douglas, Carole Nelson. Irene Adler series.
—. Good Night, Mr. Holmes.
—. The Adventuress (formerly Good Morning Irene)
—. A Soul of Steel (formerly Irene at Large)
—. Another Scandal in Bohemia (formerly Irene's Last Waltz)
Here's Dr. Watson (i.e., Conan Doyle) on Irene Adler:
To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name. In his eyes she eclipses and predominates the whole of her sex. It was not that he felt any emotion akin to love for Irene Adler... yet there was but one woman to him, and that woman was the late Irene Adler, of dubious and questionable memory.
Carole Nelson Douglas, perceiving the memory of Adler as anything but "questionable," frames a series of mystery novels in which Adler is the detective, accompanied by her own Watson, Penelope "Nell" Huxleigh, Adler's husband Godfrey Norton is the strong male lead, and Holmes appears only incidentally. Adler is granted an astonishing but undeniably plausible variety of skills to ply in her role, and her background as an American opera diva contributes to the stories in an entertaining way. Douglas has done us a real favor in fleshing out this character, who is only once mentioned in the Canon but deserves and receives a much deeper treatment in Douglas's books.
• Millett, Larry. Sherlock Holmes in Minnesota series.
—. Sherlock Holmes and the Red Demon
—. Sherlock Holmes and the Ice Palace Murders
—. Sherlock Holmes and the Rune Stone Mystery
—. Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Alliance
—. The Disappearance of Sherlock Holmes
Millett writes a flavor of Holmes novels that I call either "American Sherlockiana" or "Sherlockian Americana," take your choice. Either way, the series comprises novels in which Holmes and Dr. Watson have an adventure involving America, which nation to all appearances Conan Doyle himself admired. Millett sets his stories in Twin Cities in Minnesota, adds his own detective, Shadwell Rafferty, a barkeep with an analytical mind, and lets loose with a series of five adventures well worth your time. I read these years ago, but they have been recently re-released; see Millett's web site at the link above.


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