Via MyDD: The House Judiciary Committee just passed HR 5417, the Conyers-Sensenbrenner bill on Net Neutrality. The bill now advances to the floor of the House. Give a big hand to our New York Democrats Weiner and Nadler, both of whom supported the bill.
Life used to be so simple.
Back in the good old days of hazy memory â€“ what, maybe six weeks ago? â€“ when you wanted to browse a blog devoted to New York City politics, you basically had The Politicker, and that was pretty much it.
OK, that's a gross oversimplification in the service of nostalgia, because there are many other fine blogs out there. That said, it's also fair to say, fellow bloggers, that Ben Smith set benchmarks for the local blogging scene. There was one place you could go to and find out what was going on in the Imperial City and its surroundings. Hence, the Ben-Smith-osphere.
No more. Ben's now at The Daily Politics under the Daily News masthead; further, some of his commenters now have their own platform at Room 8; and now, with a flourish, and as recently previewed on The Daily Gotham, the New York Times enters the fray with The Empire Zone. That one-stop-shopping simplicity is a thing of the past.
Oy. Just how many people care about this stuff, anyway? Or are we all collectively, perhaps, creating a new audience to take an active interest in the decisions of our state and local governments and the players who make them?
I've blogged about broadband as a political issue before; and now, it's arrived in the gubernatorial campaign as an issue. Eliot Spitzer's keynote address at Monday's PDF forum cast universal broadband access as being as much of an infrastructure necessity as, say, roads.
There is a growing digital divide in the world and, indeed, right here in New York. Our Internet speeds are slower and our prices are higher compared to most other industrialized nations of the world. As Andrew Rasiej has said, "We are getting Third World service at First World prices." Consider this: On a price-performance basis, U.S. broadband service is twice as expensive as in China, eight times more expensive than in South Korea, and thirty times more expensive than in Japan. It is no wonder that the United States has plummeted from 4th in the world in broadband penetration to 16th in just the last four years. The United States is still the only industrialized nation without an explicit national policy for promoting broadband access.[...]
That's why today I am proposing that New York launch a comprehensive statewide broadband initiative to ensure universal access to affordable, high-speed broadband service for every New Yorker. We must make New York State the most connected and technologically advanced place to live and do business in the world. The problem isn't a lack of resources, it's a lack of imagination and a lack of leadership.
In the 21st Century, Internet access is no longer a luxury, it's a necessity. The economic, education, health, security, government efficiency and social benefits from universal broadband access are limitless:
Economists at the Brookings Institutions estimate that widespread adoption of broadband in the United States could add $500 billion to the nation's economy and produce over one million jobs. They also estimate that the cost to our economy for not adopting such a policy would be $1 trillion over the next decade.
In real terms, universal broadband access would immediately reduce the overhead of our small businesses and would connect them in real time to customers, suppliers and markets. Farmers in rural Upstate New York could control and monitor equipment and manage irrigation systems from anywhere on the farm.
In a nutshell, this is what Progressive leadership looks like. By contrast, the presumptive other-party nominee is currently talking about how much he hates abortion.
During the time I was researching burqas, islamic traditions and feminism in the Middle East for Don't hate her because she's beautiful ... and wears a burqa, I had stumbled upon Alaa Abd El-Fatah through the Drupal developer's e-list and had a peek at his incredible labor of love, Manalaaa.net, a community site dedicated to civil rights, free culture, citizen journalism and open source technology.
Alaa was arrested with 49 other people during a demonstration in support for an independent Egyptian judiciary and against the extension of the Emergency Law that has turned Egypt into a police state.
[via Egyptians in the states protest demanding release of jailed egyptians | Manal and Alaa's bit bucket]:
Dozens of opponents of Egypt's authoritarian government were assaulted and arrested after riot police attacked a demonstration in support of reformist judges who are challenging election fraud. Journalists covering the protests have been attacked and threatened by police, and in a separate incident, the chief of the Al Jazeera TV bureau has also been arrested.
The largest protests took place April 27 as two judges, Hesham al-Bastawissi and Mahmoud Mekky, were due to be brought before a disciplinary panel after they accused the government of fraud in parliamentary elections late last year and charged fellow judges with complicity. President Hosni Mubarak's government put a massive number of cops on the street in Cairoï¿½estimated at 10,000 by the New York Times, much larger than the force deployed in the Sinai after three bombing attacks earlier in the week.
One of the judges' supporters, Mohammed Sayed Said, told Al Jazeera, "This display of force is a return to the policies of oppression and to a police state. But all this will not succeed in reimposing a culture of fear. The people have already defeated it and they are ready to pay with their blood for democratic change," At least 50 activists were jailed and are expected to be held for 15 days, according to reports.
The Drupal development community has mobilized to lend their support to Alaa and his fellow activists. FreeAlaa is fast becoming a test case for using free social software online to organize activists from around the world. read more »
The plot thickens people.
I have yet to hear from anybody over at The New York Times or from their most notorious consultant, the blog 'evangelizer' and publisher of Buzzmachine, Jeff Jarvis. Jeff is the same guy that led campaign against Dell for, of all things, ignoring his comments and criticisms about the company.
Irony works in mysterious ways.
The news of my wandering around their blog has been reviewed, newsed, gawked, slated and wired, to say the least. Here's the current list :
Daily News | Daily Politics
The Times uninvited new blogger
Online Journal Review
NY Times leaves backdoor open on new politics blog?
Life Of Rubin
Wednesday Morning Link-a-thon
Fast and sloppy rules
Security Blooper at NYT political blog in development
NYT political blog needs better homeland security
**Best. Title. Ever.**
New to blogging?
Editor and Publisher
Blogger Gets Sneak Peak at New 'NY Times' Politics Blog
I want to do a follow-up experiment. I would like people to submit the story to Boing Boing. And I want to wait and see what happens.
BoingBoing is now managed by a company called Federated Media. Federated Media got an initial round of funding from ...
wait for it ...
wait for it ... read more »