Daily Archives: December 20, 2010
If you want to know why having Republican majorities in either part of Congress or in the Presidency is so scary:
Here’s a 1980 version (10 years after the original) recorded at Salt Lake City:
- Maria Esther Juarez Chunga : Peru (kiva.org)
- Mike’s Blog Round Up (crooksandliars.com)
- Postal service ready for busiest mailing day ()
Three Hundred and Seventy Two years ago was the last time that the Winter Solstice (which makes tomorrow the shortest day of the year) and a total eclipse of the Moon happened at the same time. I don’t know what you were doing then, but I wasn’t around.
I’m planning on jumping out of bed around 2:30 AM, putting my snuggies on, and going outside to see the major event (and note, there may be some leftovers from the Geminids meteor shower that peaked a couple of days ago, to catch our attention.) What a great sky gazing night!
Here’s what you need to know in order to see everything. From NASA:
The eclipse begins on Tuesday morning, Dec. 21st, at 1:33 am EST (Monday, Dec. 20th, at 10:33 pm PST). At that time, Earth’s shadow will appear as a dark-red bite at the edge of the lunar disk. It takes about an hour for the “bite” to expand and swallow the entire Moon. Totality commences at 02:41 am EST (11:41 pm PST) and lasts for 72 minutes.
If you’re planning to dash out for only one quick look - it is December, after all - choose this moment: 03:17 am EST (17 minutes past midnight PST). That’s when the Moon will be in deepest shadow, displaying the most fantastic shades of coppery red.
Geoff Chester of the US Naval Observatory inspected a list of eclipses going back 2000 years:
“Since Year 1, I can only find one previous instance of an eclipse matching the same calendar date as the solstice, and that is 1638 DEC 21. Fortunately we won’t have to wait 372 years for the next one…that will be on 2094 DEC 21.”
According to the Weather Bureau, we should be mostly clear tonite in our area (with temperatures down to 20° – Brrrr) so we should have a clear view of it.
- Early Christmas treat: 2010’s total lunar eclipse (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- “Lunar Eclipse, Winter Solstice Overlap First Time In 456 Years” and related posts (theyeshivaworld.com)
- Early Christmas treat: Total lunar eclipse (boston.com)
- Reminder – Solstice Lunar Eclipse Tonight! – NASA Science | Science News – NASA Science | Science News (richarddawkins.net)
- Tonight’s Lunar Eclipse Coincides with Winter Solstice [Dispatches from the Culture Wars] (scienceblogs.com)
- Amazing Spectacle: Total Lunar Eclipse Monday Night – Fox News (news.google.com)
- The 12 Stages of Monday’s Total Lunar Eclipse (cbsnews.com)
Now it looks like the 2 New York Senators are going to try to put this bill through again, somewhat cut down. Will the Republicans hold it up again with a filibuster? Remember that the House already approved this with a 100 vote plurality. Blocking it has been merely a political gambit.
We’ll have to see if it gets through before Christmas. It SHOULD if there are any morals left in Congress.
- Fox legal analyst doesn’t mention Republicans voted against 9/11 health bill (crooksandliars.com)
- Memo To Fox News: Support The 9-11 First Responders (blogs.forbes.com)
- “America Held Hostage: 9/11 first responders bill can pass, but only if corps can offshore jobs” and related posts (reidreport.com)
- Some Republicans to support 9/11 Health Bill? (crooksandliars.com)
- ‘Daily Show’ Does Journalism Again: Shames GOP, Fox ‘News’, Network News Over 9/11 Legislation (bradblog.com)
- Will FOX News give Jon Stewart his own show? (maureenholland.wordpress.com)
- Report: Momentum Building For Lame-Duck Session Passing Of 9/11 First Responders Bill (mediaite.com)
- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand: Momentum Building Toward A Christmas Miracle For Our 9/11 Heroes (huffingtonpost.com)
This was in the HuffPo today… I reproduce it in full here:
This Tuesday is an important day in the fight to save the Internet.
As a source of innovation, an engine of our economy, and a forum for our political discourse, the Internet can only work if it’s a truly level playing field. Small businesses should have the same ability to reach customers as powerful corporations. A blogger should have the same ability to find an audience as a media conglomerate.
This principle is called “net neutrality” — and it’s under attack. Internet service giants like Comcast and Verizon want to offer premium and privileged access to the Internet for corporations who can afford to pay for it.
The good news is that the Federal Communications Commission has the power to issue regulations that protect net neutrality. The bad news is that draft regulations written by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski don’t do that at all. They’re worse than nothing.
That’s why Tuesday is such an important day. The FCC will be meeting to discuss those regulations, and we must make sure that its members understand that allowing corporations to control the Internet is simply unacceptable.
Although Chairman Genachowski’s draft Order has not been made public, early reports make clear that it falls far short of protecting net neutrality.
For many Americans — particularly those who live in rural areas — the future of the Internet lies in mobile services. But the draft Order would effectively permit Internet providers to block lawful content, applications, and devices on mobile Internet connections.
Mobile networks like AT&T and Verizon Wireless would be able to shut off your access to content or applications for any reason. For instance, Verizon could prevent you from accessing Google Maps on your phone, forcing you to use their own mapping program, Verizon Navigator, even if it costs money to use and isn’t nearly as good. Or a mobile provider with a political agenda could prevent you from downloading an app that connects you with the Obama campaign (or, for that matter, a Tea Party group in your area).
It gets worse. The FCC has never before explicitly allowed discrimination on the Internet — but the draft Order takes a step backwards, merely stating that so-called “paid prioritization” (the creation of a “fast lane” for big corporations who can afford to pay for it) is cause for concern.
It sure is — but that’s exactly why the FCC should ban it. Instead, the draft Order would have the effect of actually relaxing restrictions on this kind of discrimination.
What’s more, even the protections that are established in the draft Order would be weak because it defines “broadband Internet access service” too narrowly, making it easy for powerful corporations to get around the rules.
Here’s what’s most troubling of all. Chairman Genachowski and President Obama — who nominated him — have argued convincingly that they support net neutrality.
But grassroots supporters of net neutrality are beginning to wonder if we’ve been had. Instead of proposing regulations that would truly protect net neutrality, reports indicate that Chairman Genachowski has been calling the CEOs of major Internet corporations seeking their public endorsement of this draft proposal, which would destroy it.
No chairman should be soliciting sign-off from the corporations that his agency is supposed to regulate — and no true advocate of a free and open Internet should be seeking the permission of large media conglomerates before issuing new rules.
After all, just look at Comcast — this Internet monolith has reportedly imposed a new, recurring fee on Level 3 Communications, the company slated to be the primary online delivery provider for Netflix. That’s the same Netflix that represents Comcast’s biggest competition in video services.
Imagine if Comcast customers couldn’t watch Netflix, but were limited only to Comcast’s Video On Demand service. Imagine if a cable news network could get its website to load faster on your computer than your favorite local political blog. Imagine if big corporations with their own agenda could decide who wins or loses online. The Internet as we know it would cease to exist.
That’s why net neutrality is the most important free speech issue of our time. And that’s why, this Tuesday, when the FCC meets to discuss this badly flawed proposal, I’ll be watching. If they approve it as is, I’ll be outraged. And you should be, too.
- Franken Warns FCC Chief on Net Neutrality, Comcast Deal (techdailydose.nationaljournal.com)
- Internet Service Guarantees is What Net Neutrality (and consumers) Need (fiberevolution.com)
- FCC nears vote U.S. Internet traffic shaping regs (theglobeandmail.com)
- Comcast gets hammered by complaints (politico.com)
- Franken to FCC: Fix Net Neutrality Plan or Nix It (techdailydose.nationaljournal.com)
- Choosing Sides Over Net Neutrality (waronterrornews.typepad.com)