Monday, June 23 2008 @ 10:42 AM
This is sad news.
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Monday, June 23 2008 @ 10:42 AM
...piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, tits (fart, turd and twat).
This is sad news.
Sunday, June 22 2008 @ 06:43 PM
Last week I was interviewed on Church Street about my views on the recent kerfuffle in Burlington over Burlington Telecom's inclusion of Al Jazeera English in their cable TV line-up. Burlington and Toledo, Ohio are the only two cities in the US that offer AJE on their cable systems. Anyone else in the US must use a dish or the internet to see the channel. My on-camera interview appeared as part of a segment on AJE a few days ago in a show they do called Listening Post. The segment looked at the controversy in Burlington and reactions to it. It's a decent piece, though it doesn't get into the fascinating First Amendment implications of the issue, which I've been meaning to delve into a bit in a longer Candleblog post. Click here to see the AJE piece. In particular, check out the brilliant stuff said by the handsome bearded guy toward the end...
As a preview of the post that's brewing in my fertile little brain, check out this piece by Christopher Mitchell, the Director of Telecommunications as Commons Initiative for the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. I spoke to Christopher on the phone the other day all about Burlington Telecom, locally-owned networks, community media and free speech. The piece he wrote is about how a cable system (like the one BT has), with no theoretical limit to channel capacity, makes decisions about what channels to carry and what channels to not carry. Christopher rightly argues that the answer is: carry everything.
"Removing any voice from a fiber network is unnecessary. These networks offer ample bandwidth for all voices and no one has to watch something they would prefer to ignore."
Yup. As the handsome guy in the AJE video above says, we're adults. We can make our own choices about what to watch on our TVs.
Tuesday, May 27 2008 @ 03:19 PM
For those of you in Burlington, the city will be holding a meeting for public comments tonight about the recent brouhaha over Burlington Telecom's decision to drop Al Jazeera English from it's cable line-up. Ken Picard has a piece in this week's Seven Days recapping the ordeal. I'm getting to this a bit late -- the meeting starts in 40 minutes at City Hall. It will be broadcast live on Burlington Telecom channel 317.
Read the Picard piece but bear in mind he does a poor job distinguishing between Al Jazeera, the Arab language news agency that was the subject of the film Control Room and has been a controversial journalistic force in the mid east, and Al Jazeera English, AJ's sister English language network, which has only been around since 2006 and which is populated by mostly western journalists who previously worked for the BBC, CNN, and even the US military. AJE's editorial posture is apparently quite distinct from the older, more controversial network, though both intentionally focus on non-western news stories in an attempt to counter the otherwise steeply tilted-toward-the-west bias of other news networks. The BT kerfuffle is over the latter but in Picard's piece he mostly conflates the two channels.
Friday, May 16 2008 @ 01:31 PM
CCTV Channel 17 will be doing a live call-in TV show tonight discussing Burlington Telecom's recent decision to pull the English language Al Jazreera network from the municipally owned and operated cable provider's channel line-up. According to the CCTV site...
It's an interesting question because given BT's municipal department status, there are actual 1st amendment considerations here. Still, I think it's fair to do away with that part of the argument. If we argue that BT can't remove Al Jazeera from the line-up because the city of Burlington would be infringing on 1st amendment freedom of speech provisions (who's freedom of speech is being infringed exactly remains an open question), then by extension, any decision by the cable provider to not run any type of content is beholden to the same argument. I think that in order to operate efficiently, BT needs to be able to operate by the same rules as a standard commercial cable operator like Comcast or Charter. If BT chooses to say "no thank you" to Joe's Cable Channel, they should not be brought in front of a federal judge on 1st amendment grounds for the decision.
Once we do away with actual 1st amendment concerns, then as a commercial provider of cable services, BT is free to offer any channel line-up they please, for any reason. It's then up to the subscribers to decide if the way BT chooses to operate makes them a better or a worse choice than the alternatives (Comcast, satellite, broadcast TV, no TV service).
The best course of action here for all BT subscribers and potential subscribers, regardless of which side of this argument they fall on, is to make their opinions known to the powers that be at BT. The more BT has a sense of what the subscribers want, the more likely it is that they will act accordingly. Al Jazeera was pulled because of subscriber complaints, so BT obviously listens to their customers. One would think that if an audience exists for the content, BT will run it.
Of course, if an audience for Al Jazeera exists (and I think it's pretty clear that it does) and BT still decides to axe the channel, then something else is at work in their decision-making and subscribers should be asking some hard questions. Questions like,
I would love to hear these questions addressed by someone at BT.
Monday, May 12 2008 @ 08:14 PM
My, folks are all in a lather over the recent announcement that Burlington Telecom is removing the English language Al Jazeera network from the cable line up. Flameape wrote a letter to Seven Days frothing at BT for their decision and we had several folks at VCAM today raising a stink about it too. I'll be writing my own letter to BT, asking that they reinstate the programming. We certainly don't need less diversity in TV news, we need much, much more of it. If it's true that BT pulled the channel because of some complaints from viewers, I am extremely disappointed in them. Here's a chunk of Flameape's letter...
"From this decision by Mr. Burns we are to assume then that an international cable news provider that is watched by arab and non-arab citizens worldwide with an opinion and op-ed slant contrary to the current US administration and the hard-line Israeli lobby is bad for business, therefore to be dropped from the channel lineup. Because the Israel Center of Vermont and "dozens" of subscribers disagree with said channel's programming or consider it hate speech. If that is the case, then as a card carrying liberal in a sea of the same here in theBT area(and , until now a gung-ho potential BT customer- now rethinking who i will give my money to)- I demand the removal of FOX NEWS for it's "hate speech propaganda"(my opinion)! No deal, Mr. Burns? Well how about if the Peace and Justice Center and "dozens" ofBT subscribers rally on the phone, email, etc? How about any other station that a special interest group and a phone bank wants off the lineup? Sound ridiculous? That's because it is."
Tuesday, April 15 2008 @ 09:20 PM
This Thursday evening at the Langdon Street Cafe in Montpelier, the Vermont ACLU is presenting a panel discussion about our changing notions of privacy in the age of social networks, online shopping, blogging, Twitter and the rest of the web 2.0 world. The panel is called Whosespace? The Changing Law and Culture of Privacy in the Wired Age. Panelists include author and VCAM board member, Fred Lane; UVM prof (and former VCAM board member), Tom Streeter and Matt Shagam, a UVM graduate student focusing on internet media and social trends. The panel will be moderated by Vermont ACLU executive director, Allen Gilbert.
Here's the ACLU's page about the event, and here's a printable flyer (PDF), in case you want to help spread the word all old school style.
The fun starts at 6pm. I have every intention of being there. So should you! How about it, you central VT bloggers?
Wednesday, February 13 2008 @ 02:39 PM
Tonight at 7:30 pm Vermont Public Television is hosting a live web chat with Vermont ACLU director, Allen Gilbert, and assistant US attorney, Bill Darrow. The focus of the chat will be "Civil Liberties in a Changing World." In an email, Gilbert writes...
I'm a panelist with Bill Darrow, an assistant U.S. attorney here in Vermont. The topic is "Civil Liberties in a Changing World." Darrow, as you may know, is pretty aggressive in defending government actions in national security, drugs, death penalty, etc.
The chat on Wednesday will focus on national security, and I'm sure Darrow will try to belittle claims that civil liberties have been diminished because of the war on terror -- or that if they have, the Bush administration has structured security programs in a way that minimizes civil liberties impacts while maximizing protection of U.S. citizens' safety.
Go here to log into the chat -- you can comment anonymously if you wish.
Wednesday, December 12 2007 @ 03:32 PM
So a few days a go I blogged about security expert Bruce Schneier's glib response in the NYTimes to a question about the efficacy of password-protecting your home Wi-Fi network. Well apparently, the US House of Representatives read the reply too and was unimpressed. Last Wednesday -- the same day that Schneier's Times piece was published -- The House passed a bill that would require anyone that provides an open internet connection to report any transmission of an "illegal image" over that connection to a federal tipline. "Illegal image" is defined quite broadly in the bill to include not only obvious child pornography, but also "obscene" depictions in the "drawing, cartoon, sculpture, or painting" media. The cnet article about this bill points out that this definition includes Hentai. Penalties for not reporting this behavior are fines up to $300,000.
No Democrat voted against the bill. Only two libertarian-leaning Republicans voted against it (including Presidential candidate Ron Paul).
The media podcast, This Week in Media, adds that this bill is quite a boon to big telecom. If cities, libraries and local network operators are afraid to provide open internet access (including my open WiFi network at home) to others for fear of criminal liability for obscene images, then anyone who wants internet access will be forced to purchase it for themselves.
Now that the bill has passed the House it will go to the Senate for approval before getting to the President's desk for a signature.
Friday, October 05 2007 @ 11:23 AM
And in case anyone is wondering, I wrote up a commenting policy finally. We're so official now!
Oh, and BTW, By providing any Content to our web site:
(a) you agree to grant to us a worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual, non-exclusive right and license (including any moral rights or other necessary rights) to use, display, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, distribute, perform, promote, archive, translate, and to create derivative works and compilations, in whole or in part. Such license will apply with respect to any form, media, technology known or later developed;
(b) you warrant and represent that you have all legal, moral, and other rights that may be necessary to grant us with the license set forth in this Section 7;
(c) you acknowledge and agree that we shall have the right (but not obligation), in our sole discretion, to refuse to publish or to remove or block access to any Content you provide at any time and for any reason, with or without notice.
Monday, September 24 2007 @ 02:23 PM
Des Moines Register...
Bitterman's Tuesday course was telecast to students in Osceola over the Iowa Communications Network. A few students in the Osceola classroom, he said, thought the lesson was "denigrating their religion."
"I put the Hebrew religion on the same plane as any other religion. Their god wasn't given any more credibility than any other god," Bitterman said. "I told them it was an extremely meaningful story, but you had to see it in a poetic, metaphoric or symbolic sense, that if you took it literally, that you were going to miss a whole lot of meaning there."
Guess I'd better be careful of what I say to my students about the 180 degree rule. "It's not meant to be taken literally, it's a guide."
...the online journal of Vermont filmmaker, Bill Simmon. Bill uses Candleblog as a repository of pop culture ephemera, amusing anecdotes and anything else he thinks is web-worthy.
fun words to say in a vermont accent