October 31, 2003

Broadband numbers show heightened demand | CNET News.com

Good to see the broadband penetration increasing and prices coming down. Now, can we keep excellent content flowing through these pipes?

Microsoft and Google: Partners or Rivals?

This dance of the titans is fascinating. Google will have either a very successful IPO or Mr. Gates will have 'em. I particularly like the notion of Google's auctioning stock so small investors can get in on the action.

October 30, 2003

Israel News : Jerusalem Post Internet Edition

The thwarting of suicide bombers is good news for the Israeli people and a continuing indictment of the terrorist Palestinian organizations. How can a 'Road Map' we valuable when there are terrorist potholes and dangers at every turn?

There is no effective Palestinian leadership to prevent suicide terrorism. How is it possible to negotiate with terrorists of this ilk?

Basics: A Shutterbug’s Guide to Meting Out the Megapixels

This is one of the most lucid, well-written pieces I've see on the issue of digital camera resolution. Highly recommended.

GOP unity is strained by attacks=The Hill.com=

Not a pleasant scenario for Mr. Bush. The military is in a very tough bind in Iraq. It faces the delicate task of an active 'find and destroy mission' against the bad guys while strengthening support via security among the good guys. This is a very frustrating situation, but we must stay the course.

October 29, 2003

Sharpton Calls Dean's Agenda 'Anti-Black' (washingtonpost.com)

Oh! This is so good. Dean's positions based on his basic beliefs or to appeal to mainstream America upset Mr. Sharpton, the charlatan. Gotta love these Democrats lambasting each other.

Only in America!

Burlington Free Press - Local Stories

This firing seems wholly justified based on the publicity and reports of the offense. If the facts are true, Nadeau deserves to be doing something else instead of teaching kids. The NEA is doing its 'duty,' but not commenting on the case suggests their effort is half-hearted.

The Tide is Turning

The United States Census shows that the number of children being cared for by stay-at-home moms has increased nearly 13 percent in less than a decade. The percentage of new mothers who go back to work fell from 59 percent in 1998 to 55 percent in 2000.

NYTimes.com, Oct. 26, 2003


The data above suggest that rearing children is becoming more important for many women and families than the career track sponsored by the lib movement of the past few decades. This is a good trend and we should be pleased. On the other hand, it may be partially a reflection of the somewhat worse job market.

I hope it's the former. Children need parents, not just paid caregivers. Otherwise our culture will not be as healthy as it should be.

October 28, 2003

Our RV October Trip West

Carol and I were in Cleveland on Saturday and Sunday, Oct 25-26, attending a dog training seminar by Jean Donaldson author of Culture Clash and then on to Brown City, Michigan for a stop at our RV maker for a few modifications on the rig and a checkup. We returned via Canada and the infamous Route 401 across Ontario. Unfortunately we hit Toronto during rush hour on Monday in a heavy rain and traffic gridlock. The remainder of the trip was OK. We arrived in Colchester late Tuesday afternoon to retrieve our Airedales from our sitter friend. Thank you Nancy and Jeff and family!!!

October 23, 2003


Rumsfeld is the kind of leader the Defense Department needs. He is a generator of questions and urgency. What would we prefer a 'status quo' functionary?

October 22, 2003

Bush Repudiates Comments by Top General (washingtonpost.com)

But this IS a war against RADICAL Islamists who are trying to hijack Islam!!

OJR article: News That Comes to You

A rich site about news aggregators,how they work and how to use them.

Pakistan, Saudi Arabia in secret nuke pact - The Washington Times: World

A scary thought. If true, proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Muslim/Arab world with so many unstable societies and rampant ignorance, is a radical Islamist's dream and the West's worst nightmare.

Few Viewers and Network Executives Scratch Their Heads

No one knows what's going on is the quote at the end of this piece. Perhaps people are waking up to the fact that so much TV is junk. Could it be that Internet penetration into the culture is taking its toll on TV viewing time?

Blog on |CNET.com

A focused interview with Evan Williams, creator of Blogger. The good news is that development work is focused on simplifying the tools and the use of digital photos.

October 21, 2003

FOXNews.com - Politics - General Requests Probe of His Religious Comments

And the tempest rages. I don't find the General's comments anti religious. He's clear about the fact that men do evil deeds. Too bad there's this intense anti-Christian bias by many in this country. They seize every opportunity to oppose people who hold Christian values and beliefs using secular excuses to justify their animosity.

October 20, 2003

Waiting for Democrats on Iraq

"No is not a policy." John Kerry

Reuters News Article

This study will not stand uncontested.

Eleven killed in Israeli airstrikes in Gaza; Islamic groups threaten revenge

Eleven killed in Israeli airstrikes in Gaza; Islamic groups threaten revenge This headline and the hundreds like it in the past and into the future shown peace is impossible when the avowed purpose of the militant Palestinian groups is to drive Israel into the sea. They will not be driven from their Biblical homeland into the sea and will continue to resist by all possible means. What else would the world expect?

Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage

Tie this story about the evils of tying religious fanaticism with Thomas Friedman's opinion piece in the Times this past weekend and it's easy to see how radical Islamists have bred a generation of fanatics. These countries have slipped into the backwardness that intolerance, lack of true education and propaganda create. We will be a generation or more getting out of this mess.

Sharon Says Israel Determined to Remove Arafat (washingtonpost.com)

And the beat goes on. The sooner Arafat is missing from the scene, the sooner progress toward peace is likely. He certainly is not the only obstacle, but he is not a promoter of peace. I believe at heart he is a terrorist.

The Revolution Is Coming, Eventually

Goerge Gilder is back. A fascinating man who's predictions and fame are intricately tied to the dot com boom/bust.

October 17, 2003

BillOReilly.com: Articles - Media Bias

Bill O'Reilly is on a roll. CNN must be in a frenzy over the continued popularity of the Fox News Channel. I have my problems with the Fox style, but no one gets a totally free ride when appearing on Fox.

I'm waiting for Jesse Jackson to agree to appear on one of the Fox evening shows. Perhaps NPR/WHYY's Terry Gross will get an invitation. Wouldn't that be fun?

Shanghai World Financial Center

I predict that within 50 years China will be the dominant world economic power. Here's an example of the pace at which they are growing and expanding their influence. Couple that with the trade deficit between China and the USA today, the rate of growth in their GDP and all signs point to that same result.

CBN News - Christian General Under Fire for Comments

Hang in there, General Boykin. You have a right to your views and in America, the privilege of expressing them publicly. Radical Islam is exactly as you describe it, intent on destroying America's way of life.

Baseball Fever

If I recall, the last couple of baseball strikes created a ton of fan anger, threats, etc. etc. World Series fever apparently is stronger than old strike angst.

October 15, 2003

Wal-Mart is Really BIG

Found this somewhere. Don't know if it's true, but if it is, this feels like the old days of the Bell System monopoly, except that Wal-Mart is not regulated.

"Wal-Mart controls a large and rapidly increasing share of the business done by most every major U.S. consumer-products company: 28% of Dial total sales, 24% of Del Monte Foods, 23% of Clorox, 23% of Revlon... Wal-Mart plans to open 1,000 more supercenters in the U.S. alone over the next five years.. giving it control over 35% of U.S. food sales and 25% of drugstore sales...The $12 billion worth of Chinese goods Wal-Mart bought in 2002 represented 10% of all U.S. imports from China." Setting aside questions of monopoly, isn't this a potentially dangerous monoculture?"

Fortune.com - Technology - Joy After Sun

A fascinating perspective on things by Bill Joy, a true genius in computing, networking and a host of other endeavors. His worldview may not be achievable given the frailty of the human race, but he hasn't given up visioning the alternatives. He tends to be a pessimist, but a genius, nevertheless.

CBS News | Ex-Aide: Powell Misled Americans | October 15, 2003 11:02:58

Damaging allegations, if true.

Telegraph | News | Terrorists can have serious moral goals, says Williams

Telegraph Williams believes he's right, of course, and also believes he has the moral standing to advocate alternatives to the American response to terrorism. However, preemptive strikes against terrorists are necessary when America's way of life is threatened.

October 14, 2003

L.A. Transit Strike May Strand 500,000 (washingtonpost.com)

If the truth is that unions ran this health fund into the ground because of bad management or dishonesty. The facts should be known and taxpayers should not be asked to bail out a union ...or management...out of corruption.

"The parties are at odds over the mechanics union's health fund, which is in dire financial shape. The union wants greater contributions from the MTA to cope with soaring medical costs. The MTA pays nearly $17 million every year into the fund, which is administered by the union and pays for the medical coverage of 2,000 employees and retirees.
The MTA hasn't increased its contribution to the fund in more than a decade and rising medical costs have forced the union to spend fund reserves to keep up, Silver said. 'They were waiting for us to run bone dry,' he said.
The transit agency accuses the union of mismanaging the health trust fund and cites an independent audit that found the union wasted millions of dollars.
In its latest offer, the MTA said it would give the union money to keep the health trust fund from going bankrupt but asked for temporary control to restore it to financial health.
'Union leaders basically ran the trust fund into the ground and now they want the taxpayers to bail them out,' MTA CEO Roger Snoble said in a statement."

October 13, 2003

Judge Gives Leg Up to Internet Calls

To regulate or not regulate the VOIP companies and services they provide will be contentious for the next few years. Part of the argument can be mitigated by either finding another source for Universal Service and Schools and Libraries funding, thus leveling part of the playing field.

Nevertheless, many telecom lawyers' careers are secure as this gets sorted out.

On balance, less regulation rather than more should be the prevailing policy objective

October 12, 2003

October 10, 2003

FOXNews.com - Politics - Cheney Defends Administration Actions on Iraq

If we truly mean "those who sponsor or harbor terror will be held to account," it's high time we define what 'held to account' means in relation to Syria and Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Wind Turbines in Vermont - BFP Article

The Burlington Free Press (Matt Crawford) provided good coverage of this
issue, but a policy question is raised. I have written about this in this weblog and in a "It's My Turn" published by the Free Press on August 14, 2003 in which I argue that because the issue is so contentious, Vermont should have an 'upstream' policy for wind farms rather than piecemeal decision making. Should wind farms be encouraged or not is a question not yet
fully answered by policy makers.

Case-by-case review by the PSB may not be the best way to proceed. If
Section 248, applying only to energy power projects, is deemed the best way,
then perhaps Vermont should consider approving cell towers in the same fashion rather than under the Act 250 process.

Or perhaps wind turbine towers can be cell towers, too.

News: Parents sue school district for Wi-Fi use

Another frivolous lawsuit based on no facts and junk science.

October 9, 2003

A Conservative Travesty (washingtonpost.com)

I think George Will is basically correct here. I don't think Arnold can deliver the goods. People don't rationally connect taxes and spending. I think the conservatives and Republicans would have been better off politically to let Davis twist at the end of his rope and the Democratic legislature flounder until the next election turned them out of office.

If Arnold can reduce taxes, he must cut spending deeply and the "You owe me' crowd will scream that their loss of government largesse is all Arnold's fault. The Democratic Legislature will not easily oblige.

Long Spoon Diplomacy

I think you're wrong, here, Thomas. With Arafat potentially ill with life threatening stomach cancer (probably not known to TF when he wrote this piece), Israel's promise of a one way ticket out of Ramallah should be maintained. He can seek medical care or exile, but he must not be allowed to return. He is no friend of peace or detente with Israel. He is a terrorist, through and through.

Neither is Syria a friend in this Middle East dilemma. I think the better option is to put ABM's in Iraq or somewhere in the Middle East and let Iran know that we will destroy any attempt by them to intimidate Israel using nukes. Meanwhile as stated in my previous post, let the Palestinians jockey for power to replace Arafat, but prevent Hamas or Hezbollah from seizing control

TIME.com: Arafat's Illness

This is probably good news. If Arafat is gone, whether dead or in a hospital outside his Ramallah compound, he's gone. That's good news for the peace process even though it begins a time of consolidation and internal scrapping among the various factions.

Terribly important is that Palestinians renounce the terrorist wings of their movement during this impending power shakeup. It had to happen sometime.

Judge Says Minnesota Cannot Regulate Internet Calls

Damn these disruptive technologies!They attract regulatory and judicial opinions like flies. VOIP, with no link to a geographical address destroys the State- Federal regulatory paradigm. Location-based E911 is also threatened.

Watching this development unfold will be fascinating.

October 8, 2003

Schwarzenegger Starts Preparing for His New Role

Arnold will need an army of helpers to take the reins in California. His challenge is gargantuan. No taxes means massive spending cuts. How to do that with a Democratic Legislature will not be easy.

Aides Deny Arafat Suffered Heart Attack

If Arafat is sick, the scramble for power among the Palestinians may reach a crescendo.

Conservative Anglicans Rally to Reorganize Church Power

Four cheers for this group of Anglicans!!

Voters Voice Deep Dissatisfaction With Governor's Record

Now that the circus is over the fun begins. Arnold has less than a 50-50 chance of success IMHO.

October 7, 2003

John Robb's Weblog

From John Robb...scary, but reasonably accurate. Radical Islamic Fundamentalism is the scourge that must be eliminated.
3/5s of the world still operates based on non-trinitarian warfare. Trinitarian warfare is the idea that war is between states, prosecuted by professional militaries, with the people off-limits. Non-trinitarian warfare is based on the concept that the people are the military and the state. War is total and absolute. There are no divisions."


Neat connection between First and Second Amendment

Amazon checks into Microsoft's Office | CNET News.com

This is powerful stuff and will enable all sorts of valuable, dynamic linkages form MS Office. As I've believed ever since I learned about it, XML is one of the most powerful facilities spawned by the Internet gurus.

Court Rules F.C.C. Erred in Decision on Net Access

So difficult to establish a rational national policy when disruptive communications technologies create market opportunities. The FCC and courts have always been at odds over the competitive rules of the game. In the long run, little or no regulation is probably the best approach, but who will solve the dilemma of rural availability vs. urban, business vs. residence pricing, and all the other 'inequities' resulting from deployment schedules and market forces?

Dare I say regulators??

AN FRANCISCO, Oct. 6 — In a setback for the Federal Communications Commission, a federal court issued a ruling on Monday that may force cable companies to share their high-speed Internet, or broadband, networks with competing Internet service providers.

The decision, issued by a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, found that the F.C.C. erred in an earlier ruling that effectively absolved cable companies of any obligation to make their lines accessible to competitors.

Despite claims of victory by the cable industry's competitors, telecommunications lawyers said the implications of the 39-page ruling might not be clear for some time. They said the decision did not specifically require cable companies to lease their lines to competitors. Rather, the court ruled that the F.C.C. was wrong in the way it categorized cable broadband services for regulatory purposes.

In March 2002, the commission ruled that it would regulate cable broadband providers as "information services," a definition that applies to companies that process data. Companies that fall under that definition are subject to much less stringent regulation.

The F.C.C.'s approach toward broadband regulation — for both cable companies and telephone companies — is to permit the major players to build their high-speed Internet infrastructure without requiring them to open their networks to competitors. The F.C.C. has said the best way to expand deployment is to give the big companies incentive to invest in new networks.

The appellate court, however, found that cable broadband service providers were in part providing "telecommunications services," a definition that could subject them to the greater obligations of "common carriers" under federal law.

October 6, 2003

Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage

The end game, perhaps only 15-25 years in the future for auto makers...to take "automobiles out of the environmental debate altogether" suggests that petroleum will NOT be the critical commodity in the US as it is today. Instead, other countries may become dependent on petroleum as we begin to wean ourselves off it, except perhaps as the raw material for plastics.

Whole industries will suffer significant dislocations and it will require a few decades to accommodate this huge change.

All things considered, this is good news. As long as my grandchildren have eay acces to a hydrogen station!

Burlington Free Press - Top Stories

Vermont still needs an 'upstream' policy for wind farms. Should wind farms be encouraged or not. Case-by- case review by the PSB is not the best way to proceed. If it is deemed the best way, then Vermont should consider approving cell towers in thee same fashion.

AP Analysis: Israel's strike on Syria threatens to widen Israel-Palestinian conflict

Dangerous ground here, but terrorists cannot be allowed any sanctuary. Let's hope their intelligence is accurate.

White House to Overhaul Iraq and Afghan Missions

This signals frustration with the way things are going and while creating a tighter control structure in the White House, this move also increase the political exposure of President Bush if Iraq progress is slow or failure ensues.

October 5, 2003

Christopher Lydon Interviews... :

Here's a quote (from Jay Rosen, head of Journalism school at New York University) about The Blog Effect:

"Blogs are undoing the system for generating authority and therefore credibility of news providers that's been accumulating for well over 100 years. And the reason is that the mass audience is slowly, slowly disappearing. And the one-to-many broadcasting model of communications--where I have the news and I send it out to everybody out there who's just waiting to get it--doesn't describe the world anymore. And so people who have a better description of the world are picking up the tools of journalism and doing it. It's small. Its significance is not clear. But it's a potentially transforming development... I like [it] when things get shaken up, and when people don't know what journalism is and they have to rediscover it. So in that sense I'm very optimistic."

The Real Patriot Act

Mr. Friedman proposes a $1.00/gallon gasoline tax as a way to reduce the revenue to Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries. Interesting idea, but the American people would have Mr. Bush's head. Easy for a journalist to propose a theoretical idea because he world not have to deal with the fallout. Instead he could write about it.

Besides. having just bought a new RV, I'm not interested in adding 7-8 cents per mile to my recreation travel.

Any other ideas, Thomas, perhaps a BTU tax, not only on gasoline but all forms of energy?


Israeli Warplanes Bomb Target Deep Inside Syrian Territory

The world community will likely be aghast at this response by Israel to the recent Haifa suicide bombing. Nevertheless, Israel is engaging in a very similar action to the preemptive strike policy of the United States.

Terrorists must be attacked and destroyed. I have no viable input from anywhere suggesting a reasonable and immediate alternative to stopping terrorists.

October 1, 2003

Spy: Writing: Weblogging (Spiked)

"Nico Macdonald puts Weblogging in the context of the history of online publishing, explaining its novelty and value, and indicating where it needs to innovate. He concludes with a proposal encouraging publishers to properly embrace the Weblogging model."