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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: New England, The South, Midwest
Home country: USA
Current location: Chicago
Member since: Sat Mar 5, 2011, 11:32 AM
Number of posts: 21,105

About Me

Human. Being.

Journal Archives

Judge Orders FCC To Hand Over Data On Fake Net Neutrality Comments

The FCC dragged its knuckles for three years, but it's finally gotta hand over the fake bot identical postings that it counted to justify Adjit Pai's destructive net neutrality ruling.

Here's what all the bot public said, identically and in perfect alphabetical order:

"The unprecedented regulatory power the Obama Administration imposed on the internet is smothering innovation, damaging the American economy and obstructing job creation. I urge the Federal Communications Commission to end the bureaucratic regulatory overreach of the internet known as Title II and restore the bipartisan light-touch regulatory consensus that enabled the internet to flourish for more than 20 years."
(The fuller story from TechDirt: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20170510/08191137334/bot-is-flooding-fcc-website-with-fake-anti-net-neutrality-comments-alphabetical-order.shtml)

How this "astroturfed public" hit the courts:

Numerous journalists like Jason Prechtel have submitted FOIA requests for more data (server logs, IP addresses, API data, anything) that might indicate who was behind the fraudulent comments, who may have bankrolled them, and what the Pai FCC knew about it.

Thanks to that effort, early last year, Gizmodo's Dell Cameron worked with Prechtel to link some of the fake comments to Trump associates and some DC lobbying shops like CQ Roll Call. Then late last year, Buzzfeed's Kevin Collier and Jeremy-Singer Vine showed how, unsurprisingly, the broadband industry funded at least some of the fraudulent efforts.

Keep in mind this sort of thing wasn't a one off; numerous regulatory agencies have been plagued by similar efforts for years. Generating bogus support for shitty government policy is now just an additional service many law, lobbying, and PR firms offer corporations and clients as an added service.

But much like astroturfing -- which often extends to real world protests -- it's such an obscure concept to most people it never warrants a second thought.

But it's ethically grotesque all the same, especially given it pollutes some of the only opportunities the public has to comment on harmful government policies.

At this point there's enough evidence to reasonably conclude that the broadband industry and GOP hired a bunch of K Street firms to "stuff the ballot box," and the FCC -- likely knowing the broadband industry's involvement -- took steps to try and help cover it up.

This lawsuit is likely to reveal even more data to help bolster that conclusion.

The question now is whether the courts (or anybody else) will actually care, and whether anybody's going to do anything about it.


Given the machinery of "public input," it looks as if the Republicans are headed toward running a country of, for, and by corporate bot persona.

Governor Cuomo Pandemic Update May 5 2020

Midday Music for Millennials -- TerribleTuesday

"Imperfect action is better than perfect inaction." Harry Truman

one love

Against All Logic. “This Old House Is All I Have”

Elton John. “Funeral for a Friend — Love Lies Bleeding”

James Blunt. “Monsters”

Killing Joke. “I Am The Virus”

Trombone Shorty. “you and i (outta this place)”

Can We Repair the Damage, Imagine a Way to Revive America?

What makes me ask "Now what?" comes from yet another history that we seem to repeat. Thing is, we seem to only be able to understand how to go forward by learning -- over, and over -- the lessons of the past. Over and over, by seeing what applies to today differently.

From "How Do You Know If You’re Living Through the Death of an Empire?"


..every state and society faces serious challenges. The difference lies in whether the underlying structures are healthy enough to effectively respond to those challenges. Viewed in this light, it’s less the arrival of the massive earthquake than whether the damaged infrastructure is rebuilt; not the crushing battlefield defeat, but whether competent new recruits and materiel can be found to replace what’s lost; not the feckless, no-clothes-having emperor, but whether the political system can either effectively work around him or remove him from power altogether. Successful states and societies are resilient when faced with even serious challenges. Falling empires are not...

Historians will look back at some enormous disaster, either ongoing now or in the decades or centuries to come, and say that it was just the icing on the cake. The foundation had already been laid long before then,
in the text of legislation nobody bothered reading,
in local elections nobody was following,
in speeches nobody thought were important enough to comment on,
in a thousand tiny disasters that amounted to a thousand little cuts on the body politic.

It took a long time, decades, for the true reality of the change to hit the Romans whose writings have survived to the present day. Aristocratic Roman officials in Italy maintained the same kind of administrative structure their fathers and grandfathers had, writing the same kinds of administrative letters for Ostrogothic kings of Italy that they had for emperors beforehand. The pull of the past is strong. The mental frameworks through which we understand the world are durable, far more so than its actual fabric. The new falls into the old, square pegs into round holes no matter how poor the fit, simply because the round holes are what we have available.

We don’t have to wait decades for all this to sink in. The nature of the problem and its scale are clear now, right now, on the cusp of the disaster. Maybe those future historians will look back at this as a crisis weathered, an opportunity to fix what ails us before the tipping point has truly been reached. We can see those thousand cuts now, in all their varied depth and location. Perhaps it’s not yet too late to stanch the bleeding.

If this history of our forebear empire is anything to go by, now what?

Should we let our future randomly happen while we stay busy earning a living & raising a new generation, voting? Or can we do those things while building a new future at the same time?
Are there lessons to have learned that can help us envision it?
Lessons to help us plan it?

Who can be involved in imagining and/or planning any future envisioning?

Should we imagine roles we could make for that future?
Would these roles help or limit our imaginations?

Does Earth and climate change frame our imagining?

Frontier's Bankruptcy Reveals Why Big ISPs Choose to Deny Fiber to So Much of America

Moving on from the political features to the tech and business features of a shit hole country... from the Electronic Frontier Foundation:

Frontier's bankruptcy announcement forced the company to explain in great detail its finances, past investment decisions, and ultimately why it has refused to upgrade so many of its DSL connections to fiber to the home. This gives us a window into why ISPs like Frontier—large, dominant, with little-to-no competition—are choosing not to invest in better, faster, and more accessible Internet infrastructure.

The reason American Internet lags so far behind South Korea, Japan, and Norway isn’t because fiber isn’t profitable. It just falls under the old adage “you have to spend money to make money,” an anathema to American ISPs’ entrenched position of prioritizing short-term profit over making lasting investments.

So long as major national ISPs continue to operate with that same short-term mindset, they will never deliver high-speed fiber to the home broadband of their own accord.

Investors denounced fiber investment as a waste because Verizon would have to spend many billions more on fiber to get the same results as the cable giants would get with cable lines. Of course, these dollars-to-dollars estimates missed the real point: fiber has the vastly superior maximum speeds, while cable tops out at a tiny fraction of fiber's possible speed. Even though the superiority of fiber is obvious today, the thinking of big ISPs has not changed.

That blinkered, short-term mindset doesn't just explain America's anemic fiber rollout, it also explains so much about Frontier's bankruptcy. Frontier has filed papers explaining how it intends to escape bankruptcy, and these conclusively show that millions of Americans currently stuck in the DSL Internet slow-lanes could be upgraded to blazing-fast fiber without a dime in government subsidies.

...The revelations from Frontier's bankruptcy filings don't end there. Equally important is how Frontier cultivated, maintained, and abused its monopolies. ISPs like Frontier know exactly where they have monopolies, and therefore know exactly who has no choice and therefore is not worth spending money on.

The fact that Frontier—and its competitors—treat monopolies as a bankable asset would seem a sign that there should be some oversight. Since the FCC has removed its ability to oversee this industry since 2017 under the so-called Restoring Internet Freedom Order, that oversight will have to be from the states.


Governor Cuomo Pandemic Update May 4 2020


one love

Fleetwood Mac. “Everywhere”

Tony Allen & Hugh Masekela. “Obama Shuffle Strut Blues”

Michael Franti. “Hey World”

David Bowie. “Everyone Says Hi”

Bob James. “Westchester Lady”

DJ Rap. "Good To Be Alive"

Governor Cuomo Pandemic Update May 3 2020

Start 11:15

Sweet Home, Chicago? Nah -- Stay Home, Chicago!

She might look silly, but Mayor Lori don't play.

Mayor Lightfoot just ordered "the Party Is Over." It's posted on Facebook by the Chicago Police Department:

If you are hosting spreading events (house parties, large gatherings, etc.) during the Stay At Home order, you will be shut down by the city, and you can be fined as much as $5,000.

Do the right thing. Anonymously report tips to CPDTIP.COM.


MMM -- SurvibingSunday

At the trial of God, we will ask: why did you allow this?
And the answer will be an echo: why did you allow this?

Ilya Kaminsky

one love

Randy Newman. “God’s Song”

Moby. “Gospel Memory"

Jay-Z and Kanye West. “No Church In the Wild”

Human beings in a mob
What's a mob to a king?
What's a king to a God?
What's a God to a non-believer
Who don't believe in anything?
Will he make it out alive?
Alright, alright
No church in the wild

Tears on the mausoleum floor
Blood stains the Coliseum doors
Lies on the lips of a priest
Thanksgiving disguised as a feast
Rollin' in the Rolls-Royce Corniche
Only the doctors got this, I'm hidin' from police
Cocaine seats
All white like I got the whole thing bleached
Drug dealer chic
I'm wonderin' if a thug's prayers reach
Is Pius pious 'cause God loves Pius?
Socrates asks, "Whose bias do y'all seek?"
All for Plato, screech
I'm out chere' ballin', I know y'all hear my sneaks
Jesus was a carpenter, Yeezy laid beats
Hova flow the Holy Ghost, get the hell up out your seats.

Human beings in a mob
What's a mob to a king?
What's a king to a God?
What's a God to a non-believer
Who don't believe in anything?
We make it out alive?
Alright, alright
No church in the wild

I live by you, desire
I stand by you, walk through the fire
Your love, is my scripture
Let me into your encryption,
Yeah yeah

Coke on her black skin made a stripe like a zebra
I call that jungle fever
You will not control the threesome
Just roll the weed up until I get me some
We formed a new religion
No sins as long as there's permission
And deception is the only felony
So never fuck nobody without tellin' me
Sunglasses and Advil
Last night was mad real
Sun comin' up five a.m.
I wonder if they got cabs still
Thinkin' 'bout the girl in all-leopard
Who was rubbin' the wood like Kiki Shepard
Two tattoos, one read "no apologies"
The other said "love is cursed by monogamy"
That's somethin' that the pastor don't preach
That's somethin' that a teacher can't teach
When we die, the money we can't keep
But we prolly spend it all 'cause the pain ain't cheap.

Moby and Mindy Jones. “In My Heart”

Lord I want
To be up
In my heart
Just in my heart, oh Lord
Just in my heart, oh Lord
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