Monday, September 25, 2006

Bloggers Will be Blogisaurs if Telecom Industry Has its Way

Save the Internet: Click here Why blog? For me, it's a cyberspace soapbox atop which I can rant about anything, whether it's local politics, a Coopersburg swingers' club or Santa Claus. Others focus on specific communities, like News Over Coffee in Nazareth or Our West End Neighborhood in Allentown. Earnest but poorly funded political candidates like Chris Casey or Charles Dertinger, inexpensively promote their campaigns from the blogosphere. Whatever the reason, blogging is an increasingly popular complement to mainstream media. But will this phenomenon last? Not if Telecom industry fatcats have their way, bippy. Bloggers will be blogisaurs.

Right now, the Internet is wide open, thanks to something called "net neutrality." Lehigh County Redneck and CNN get equal treatment. But telephone and cable industry giants like Verizon and AT&T want to be able to decide which web sites go fast and which don't. Sites like Google won't load at all if a competitor pays the right price. Small time bloggers like me? Kaput.

All Hail the Almighty Dollar!

Congressman Charlie Dent recently voted against net neutrality, which should make negative campaigns a lot easier to run. Senator Santorum, in a tough re-election bid, has not told us where he stands. He doesn't have to. He's already accepted $168,000 from the Telecom industry.

All Hail the Almighty Dollar!

So what the hell can we do? Well, November's not that far off. If you dislike pesky little blogs and hate independent ideas or innovative little upstarts, be sure to vote Republican.

You can also attend Media Action of the Lehigh Valley's inaugural meeting this Thursday at 7:30 P.M. in the Silkwerks Building in downtown Allentown (930 N. 4th St.). According to Jeff Pooley, one of its founders, "Media Action LV promotes youth and community media initiatives, independent journalism, and campaigns on behalf of local and national media reform." The group already has a blog, Lehigh Valley Media, a self-appointed media monitor in the Lehigh Valley.

Uh oh. Looks like I'll have to start telling the truth.


Anonymous said...

To be fair, while I don't know of any Pennsylvania repubs who are for "net neutrality," not all repubs are against it. In fact, Olympia Snowe (ME, Rep), tried to get a bill through (along with Dorgan, ND, Dem) that would have guaranteed neutrality. Of course, the money "donated" by the telco's to most other repubs sidetracked her efforts.

Bernie O'Hare said...

To Anon 7:52, In the House of Reps, EVERY R but one voted against net neutrality. In the Senate, where net neutrality has th best shot, Specter is waffling. Santorum is silent, although he sure has a lot of things to say about illegal immigrants.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who condemns illegal imm. and not IMM. is pro-Imm.

The big I is the Plague; of course, if one doesn't see it for himself, it's because the blinders are working.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Mr. Moshki, I'm going to have an "immigrant" post this week. Get ready!

FtHillDem said...

I just read on the MyDD website ( that there is an attempt being made to bypass Net Neutrality by working on a statewide level. If enough states pass industry friendly legislation, then they don't have to buck the U.S. Senate opposition.

And one of the states is PA. And the time is evidently right now. Like a committee meeting tomorrow. There is a call by blogger Matt Stoller (on MyDD) to call State Senators with opposition to the bill SB 1247. His request is that callers say the following:

“This bill weakens significant consumer protections with no guarantee of real consumer choice for cable. I urge you to vote no on SB 1247 as written, and work to craft cable competition legislation that protects consumers, not Verizon.”

He also lists on the site the members of the committee which will examine the proposed legislation. It does sound relevant to your concerns about Net Neutrality, so you might want to check it out.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bernie, Google is getting what they wished for in San Francisco.

Google, one the biggest proponents of so called net neutrality, is complaining about the bureaucracy in San Francisco they have to deal with to get the city’s Wi-Fi up and running. Its taking months, not weeks like it would in private business.

Secondly, the city of San Francisco expects Google to share its ad revenue. Of course Google is complaining about this too but this shouldn’t be a surprise to them. After all, Google supports making all broadband like a regulated utility so they better own up to what they are pushing for in Congress. You can’t have it both ways.

The story can be found in the SF Chronicle at

We at Hands Off the Internet are trying to educate consumers about the unintended bureaucratic sluggishness net neutrality regulations will surely bring. I hope this was informative.

Anonymous said...

When the subject is censorship, it was the Reaganites who murdered the Fairness Doctrine. Incredible hypocrisy. And these shameless shaman are at it again? "Net Neutrality"--not us!!!

E.g., here is Bill O'Reilly on WGPA---yet ANOTHER chickenhawk!!

Without a little website here or there, who would know?

Moreover, Bill O gets to tell us he is a "a tough guy," will punch anyone who gives him any grief. He won't strike first but woe is anyone who even lights up a joint at a rock'n'roll show in front of him.
That will get someone a beating, the first strike being justified.

Even if he had been a 'real' football player at Marist (he was yet another placekicker), it would be a joke. A 6'4" pantywaiste.

Anti-Net Neutrality is reminiscent of the 'ol Cult of Personality scenario. Limbaugh has perfected this art, no?

LSTresidentPIA said...

I don't understand the issue. Is this something different from the cable franchise act or bill or is it part of it? Lower Saucon Township keeps talking about how they might lose cable franchise revenue that they currently recieve.

Bernie O'Hare said...

FTHillDem, There was a post on that topic at the LV Media blog as well. A vote may actually occur tomorrow. Thanks for noting it.

Thius whole business about net neutrality scares the hell out of me.

Bernie O'Hare said...

To Hands Off, Thanks for your comment. I understand your complaints about Google and its pecuniary motives, but that really has nothing to do net neutrality.

In the interest of full disclosue, I think it's important for readers to know that you're a front for AT&T, BellSouth Cingular and othe telecom giants. According to, the lion's share of your funding comes from AT&T.

You are an astroturf group, i.e., an apparent grassroots group that is actually funded by big corps.

Now that we've established your deceptive nature, I think it will be hard for you to convince us of your good intentions.

Jeff Pooley said...

To back up Bernie, Hands Off the Internet is a textbook example of an anstroturf group--an utterly illegitimate, fake grassroots organization that adopts phony 'public interest' rhetoric on behalf of its industry backers. See the details at the nonprofit

You'll see a post on this sleazy attempt to ape the legitimacy of real citizen action in a post tomorrow, on Lehigh Valley Media.

Jeff Pooley said...

I posted the wrong url for Lehigh Valley Media. It should be

Anonymous said...

Bernie, We at Hands Off The Internet have nothing to hide except the facts.

The bottom line is that there has never before been a need for internet regulations to keep the internet a success. So why start now? Tech professionals and businesses and even the Chair of the FTC have said that these regulations will do more harm than good and “current regulations, enforced by government agencies such as the FTC and Federal Communications Commission, should be enough to prevent any anticompetitive behavior when it comes to internet access.”

Leaving well enough alone will generate more choices for consumers and lead to lower costs. All the while keeping pace with video, VoIP, music, gaming and social networking innovations. Thank you again for your time.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I agree completely. You "have nothing to hide except the facts."

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the miscommunication. I just want to clarify we are not hiding the facts, which spell out that net neutrality is a bogus issue. :)

Bernie O'Hare said...

HandsOff, Since you are not hiding the facts, let me ask you who is paying you to post comments on this blog. Let me also ask who pays to fund your site. Finally, can I pay my phone bill at your site?

FtHillDem said...

You handled "HandsOff" very nicely indeed.

But they are still out there, well-funded and relentless. And they want to do to the internet what has already happened to radio and TV.

I remember in the 50's and 60's how interesting it was to listen to distant radio stations at night. Today all you get is right-wing talk and "Clear Channel" approved music. I remember how interesting some early TV back then was. Today we have the right-wing friendly newscasts with hardly any evidence of independent thought.

These days are the "good old days" of the internet, because if "HandsOff" has his way, all that is "small" and "left" will be overwhelmed by the "LARGE" and "RIGHT".

Or so it seems to me, although at least you can be damn sure that nobody is paying me to write this.

Here's an interesting article which might not be to your tastes, Bernie, but then again, who knows?

Bernie O'Hare said...

FtnHillDem, I intend to post on this very topic tomorrow. I actually blew off most of the day researching Hands off the Internet and astroturf blogging.

I'll check out your link later tonight, but just wanted to tell you that your story about listening to radio in the 50's and 60's struck a chord. I speak French fluently, and that is why. In high school, I also tuned in to French Canadian radio stations in the evening, and reached the point where I was speaking French quite well.

Thanks for your comments.

FtHillDem said...

Very interesting about learning French that way. I didn't know this was possible. You spent your radio listening time very well.

I had a particular fondness for listening to Jean Shepherd out of WOR.

Bernie O'Hare said...

FtHillDem, Now this is definitely weird. I loved Shep myself, as well as Barry Farber. Shepherd was an iconoclast. His show was always diofferent, and I alkways had the feeling he was talking to me. He actually wrote several books, too. And they weren't the Glenn Beck style of book. I remember reading them as a kid, but unfortunately don't remember much about them.

So now I can classify you as one of those AM talk radio fans, although from a different era.

Jeff Pooley said...

I've just posted a reply to HandsOff43's blatant attempts to idea launder corporate money at,

FtHillDem said...

Yes, Shepherd was an iconoclast. And maybe that's one reason that I have strong tendencies in that direction also.

One other thing that I liked a lot about his program was his use of music to accompany parts of his monologue. Even today, I sometimes hear "The Skeik of Arabee" playing in my head, especially when I'm in a good mood.

You can relive some of those moments, as I have, by visiting the following site: