Tales of the Sausage Factory

Does Comcast Fear To Win Too Much?

I grant I wasn’t there, but pretty much everyone who was seems to think the D.C. Circuit oral argument in the Comcast/BitTorrent case was an utter disaster for the FCC/pro-NN forces and a total triumph for Comcast. Given my previously voiced opinion about the judicial activists on the D.C. Circuit, I can’t say this surprises me even in light of the previous precedent. Indeed, from what I have heard, the D.C. Circuit appeared breathtakingly eager to rush past the procedural issues and declare that the FCC has absolutely no jurisdiction to regulate anything an ISP ever does, ever.

So why has Comcast, which (along with its trade association) has argued that it would violate its First Amendment rights for the FCC to regulate its conduct as an ISP, posted this blog entry to explain that of course they totally support FCC regulation of broadband ISPs, under the right circumstances, etc.?

Answer: Comcast fears to win too much. For Comcast (and other broadband providers), the ideal world consists of an FCC with jurisdiction but no authority. That is to say, they want an FCC that appears to have authority to do something, but when push comes to shove is prevented from actually doing anything Comcast doesn’t like. Which is why Comcast wanted to win on procedure and, perhaps, get the court to threaten the FCC that it had no authority. In that universe (which could still come to pass), Comcast could keep Congress from giving the FCC explicit authority by saying it has jurisdiction but keep the FCC from doing anything by claiming that it lacked authority for any specific action.

But there is every indication that the D.C. Circuit will go much further, and find that the FCC has no jurisdiction to even consider regulation of ISP behavior no matter what the circumstances, because it doesn’t believe that ancillary authority exists. While that sounds like exactly what Comcast would want, it scares them silly. Because even the fear of this sort of huge loss creates a panic that could lead Congress explicitly delegating the FCC extremely clear and unambiguous authority.

More, including a shout out to all my fellow Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans, below . . . .

UPDATE: According to this blog post by Washpo Reporter Cecilia Kang, I’m not the only one thinking this way. A few more choice remarks from NCTA’s Kyle McSlarrow about how the FCC’s role is to be a big ATM for his members may get even this Congress off it’s rear end.

Read More »

Posted in Series of Tubes, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments (Comments closed)

My Thoughts Exactly

“tense unrelenting fear and dread. . .”

Light posting from me lately, as my personal time has been taken up with work, a funeral, weddings, medical procedures and lots of visits to see loved ones in hospital.

It’s hard to know what to make of all this “real life” stuff. I feel like I have great wisdom to impart to y’all, but cannot seem to formulate much of any of it into actual human language. Like Gene Hackman’s character in the movie Heist, I’m reduced to muttering, “It’s a hell of a thing. A hell of a thing.” In general, however, I do recommend weddings over funerals, and health over sickness.

On my ear-goggles this morning, as frequently, I’m listening to the late risers’ club on MIT radio, WMBR. And I just heard a recursive promotion for its own self, saying how this same show was a cure for “tense unrelenting fear and dread.” I certainly hope so.

Well, almost. I don’t want a complete cure for my tense unrelenting fear and dread, which is the essence of my persona here, for there would go the whole of my contribution to Wetmachine. But some relief would be welcome, you know what I’m say’n’?

Anyway, just for yucks & to lighten your day, here’s an article from the BBC about the dollar scale of the criminal war profiteering engineered by Cheney et al, and abetted by the USian people and their chickenshit congress, and here’s a BBC article about one teensy-tiny bit of the human cost–but one that is at least a little hopeful. We can’t all be melancholic all the time, now can we.

Posted in I Fear These Things, My Thoughts Exactly | Also tagged , , | Comments closed

Inventing the Future

I predict a mini-rapture

For $40/year, this service will send an email to your loved ones after believers disappear in the coming rapture. There’s a deadman switch that will send the messages automatically if three of the five owners don’t log in every three days.

I guess I’m a believer, because I’ll bet those guys are going to disappear mysteriously. The site doesn’t say what happens to the money.

It might be kind of interesting to do this properly: let the designees of each individual account be notified if the account-holder doesn’t log in. Might be useful for journalists, abused wives, bloggers, and other folks in fear for their lives from governments and wackos.

Posted in Inventing the Future, Memology | Also tagged , , | Comments closed

Tales of the Sausage Factory

I am (temporarily) blacklisted by Comcast

Ever have one of those days when your paranoid fear seems to be happening. You know, like the guy behind you in the dark suit and mirror shades really seems to be following you?

Yesterday, just after the Senate Commerce Committee voted to delay debate on net neutrality and program access until next week, my emails to Comcast subscribers started bouncing. The bounce message informed me I was permanently blacklisted [i.e., blocked] as a “spam source.”

A nefarious plot to keep this terribly effective and persuasive advocate from reaching The People in time to effect the Commerce Committee vote? The first step in making me an “unperson?”

Probably not, given that it got straightened out reasonably quickly and — lets face it — would do Comcast more harm than good. But it was sufficiently unsettling that I have to ask again, even more strongly than before, why would we want to live in a world where Comcast or any other provider has no need to fix the problem, because we’ve eliminated all the rules?

Full story below . . . .

Read More »

Posted in Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , , | 2 Comments (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

Too geeky even for Wetmachine

For all you progressive’s who remember the TV Show Babylon 5, I wrote this on my LJ.

Back in the mid-1990s, it amused me no end to see know-it-alls pound on [series creator] J. Michael Straczinsky for the ridiculous idea that the government could shift from democratic to essentially a military dictatorship in so short a time, simply by leveraging the fear of “alien influences” assaulting our “way of life.” “Ho ho ho,” they laughed. “That trick may work on others, but it couldn’t happen in a real democracy like the U.S. I mean, if the President started to intrude on people’s rights and civil liberties, started locking them up and holding them for years without pressing charges, or started spying on his own people, no one would sit still for it! He’d be out on his ear when everyone rose up in protest.”

Sadly, I think JMS may end up with the last laugh, although I doubt he will find saying “told ya so” much comfort.

Posted in "A Republic, if you can keep it", Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , | 1 Comment (Comments closed)
  • Connect With Us

    Follow Wetmachine on Twitter!

Username
Password

If you do not have an account: Register