Saturday, February 24, 2007

You can't be neutral on net neutrality

Check out this piece from today's Washington Post: opposing net neutrality has become politically costly, and the principle has earned near-universal support from Democrats.

What a remarkable achievement: Just a year ago, no one had ever heard of "net neutrality." Thanks to the media reform movement and, in particular, the Save the Internet Coalition, there is an excellent chance that the internet will remain a free marketplace of ideas.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

HUGE news: WHOLE FCC coming to Harrisburg THIS Friday

It is extremely rare for all five of the Federal Communications Commissioners--as opposed to the two Democrats, who appear frequently--to host a genuine public hearing. And the next, just-announced venue is Harrisburg--this Friday!

The hearing is one of only five or so promised by the FCC on proposals to loosen[!] already weakened media consolidation limits. At the last event in LA, over a 1000 people showed up, and nearly everyone spoke in opposition to the giveaway to big media companies.

The "Stop Big Media Coalition" has a terrific site with basics about the FCC and the proposed rule changes. (Stop Big Media is organized by Free Press, the indefatigable nonprofit media reform organization, which takes no corporate money.)

I'll be there. Please consider making the trip too: it would be great to have a large Lehigh Valley showing.

Here are the details:

Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts
Sunoco Performance Theater
222 Market Street
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17101 

9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.: Welcome/Opening Remarks 
9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.: Panel Discussion 
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: Public Comment 
12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.: Break 
1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.: Public Comment

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Morning Call editorial pages

There is a major factual error in John Brinson's column (January 28), for which the Morning Call refused to print a Correction. (Most of the other errors, unsubstantiated claims, and misinterpretations can, I suppose, be excused as matters of 'opinion'.)

The column stated that "We spend more on Medicaid -- free health insurance for ''the poor'' -- than on the entire national defense budget."

According to figures published by the Office of Management and Budget and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, we spend almost twice as much on national defense as we do on Medicaid. So Brinson's statement is just plain false, and the Morning Call has an obligation to correct an error of this magnitude.

When called to the attention of the editor of the opinion pages, he said, "I took a look at Brinson's interpretation of figures and my judgment is that this is a matter of opinion, rather than factual error."

In other words, it's a matter of opinion -- not basic math -- whether $200-billion is greater than $640-billion.

Morning Call acknowledges global warming

It's nice to see the Morning Call finally acknowledge that global warming is a major concern for scientists and the general population ["Authoritative Report Confirms Human Activity Driving Global Warming", Feb 3]. Maybe the report from the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) is such a big story that they couldn't ignore it completely. Anyway, it's good to see them finally mention what may be the most important news story in decades, but why do they ignore all the local efforts -- by cities, counties, colleges, nonprofits, and businesses -- to do something about it? -Peter