My Thoughts Exactly

Further Adventures of a literary nobody

Latest installment of a continuing series. In this issue: I get snubbed by the Martha’s Vineyard Book Festival.

So the other day I sent a note to the organizers of the Martha’s Vineyard Book Festival inquiring about setting up a booth there from which to do my Billy Mays thang. (I remembered having been turned down two years ago, the last time the MV Book Festival was held, when I made a similar request. But I couldn’t remember the rationale given. Had I missed a deadline? Had they run out of room?) Anyway, their response this time was <Wayne Campbell voice> DENIED! </Wayne Campbell voice>.

I thought their DENIED notice was a little bit snotty, so I replied with a note of my own that was also a little bit snotty.(But not too snotty, I hope. On a snottiness scale of one to ten, I would put our exchange at about a “2”. Read on and you can judge the level of snottinessosity for yourself.)

Below the fold: The prissy exchange, plus! what’s the difference between being a “Vineyard Writer” and “A writer who trades on the Vineyard”?


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Posted in My Thoughts Exactly, Writing | Also tagged , , | 3 Comments (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

How Fox News Killed The Bradley Effect

Pundits and talking heads have debated the Bradley Effect (or, as we locals call it, the Wilder Effect) and whether Obama’s current lead in the polls represents false positive. Even before Obama, there existed considerable evidence that the Bradley Effect was fading. Having canvassed this weekend in VA, I have concluded that it has pretty much vanished.

Why? Because conservative talk radio and Fox News have given voters the tools they need to say things that might sound racist, but don’t really make you a racist for saying them. Whatever one may think of this as an argument, it has had the enormous benefit of eliminating the polling problems associated with the embarrassment of being mistaken for a racist when you are simply saying things that only sound racist.

More below . . .

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Posted in General, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments (Comments closed)

My Thoughts Exactly

Onward Christian Soldiers (and airmen, marines, sailors. . .)

Over in Fallujah, Iraq, according to the Associated Press, United States Marines are handing out coins bearing Christian messages, especially that old fundy call sign, “John 3:16”, to anybody who wants one, and to lots of people who don’t. That’s not going over too well with the Moslem locals, as you might imagine. But at least our guys are consistent, harassing atheist soldiers more than they do Iraqis. Meanwhile the United States Air Force academy has been taken over by James Dobson’s crew. In fact, there’s a lot of evidence that the whole G-d blessed US military aparatus has been taken over by what I shall tactfully euphematize as “crackpot christofascist nutjobs with napalm and nukes.”

Looks like the plans to immanentize the eschaton and hasten Jesus are proceeding apace. Maybe it’s time for me to repent.

Posted in Memology, My Thoughts Exactly | Also tagged | 1 Comment (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

700 MHz Aftermath: Verizon, AT&T & the $16 Billion Termites.

Imagine you just spent a fortune on some excellent beachfront property, only to discover some termites in the basement. Now imagine that the only way to get rid of the termites involves some toxic chemicals that may arouse the ire of the environmentally conscious locals. What do you do? Learn to live with the termites, or spray and tell your green neighbors to deal?

Oddly, Verizon and AT&T now find themselves in a similar mess — if we substitute “wireless microphones” for “termites.” Verizon and AT&T (As well as a bunch of other folks) just spent a boatload of cash on licenses in the reclaimed analog television spectrum. The FCC has rules in place to migrate the broadcasters — both full power and low power. But — as far as I can tell — no one has plans to migrate the wireless microphone folks, who operate on vacant channels in the band. While in theory wireless microphones are a secondary licensed service and notifying the licensees that channels 52-69 are off limits after the digital conversion, the situation is a little more complicated. As comments filed in white spaces proceeding confirm, wireless microphones are bloody everywhere — with huge numbers of users buying and operating them without licenses.

The NAB and the FCC have turned a blind eye to proliferation of unlicensed wireless microphone use (despite the NAB’s usually firm stand against unauthorized use of “their” spectrum), both because the wireless microphones don’t actually cause any interference with television and because the “unauthorized wireless microphone user community” (which sounds so much better than “pirates”) includes megachurches, Broadway groups, and other warm cuddly folks able to gather political support. Indeed, so great is the political protectzia for the unauthorized wireless microphone user community that the FCC is, apparently, requiring that unlicensed devices in the white spaces have the ability to sense and protect these illegal wireless microphone users. (Hence Google’s recent extension of an olive branch which NAB promptly grabbed and started thwaking Google over the head. D’oh!)

AT&T, Verizon, and the rest of the 700 MHZ auction winners therefore face a bit of a dilemma. They just dropped a bundle on the 700 MHZ, and damned if they want to set precedent by allowing a bunch of illegal squatters to use “their” spectrum. Heck, if they’d thought of it earlier, they’d probably have initiated a rulemaking to migrate the legal users.

In fact, under a fair reading of the rules, if the FCC does nothing, licensed wireless microphone systems may enjoy equal or superior rights to 700 MHz Auction winners. OTOH, no one involved is stupid about the politics, giving an incentive to maintain a low profile. If you don’t mind telling shareholders that the NFL may have superior rights in the spectrum you just paid $16 Billion for.

Meanwhile, for those of us happy to see the NAB and the wireless microphone folks get their comeuppance, while not weeping overmuch for the incumbent wireless winners, one word: SCHWEET.

More below . . . .

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Posted in Spectrum, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments (Comments closed)
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