Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Nationwide Wi-Fi?

We have a national electric grid. Most locales also have water and sewer through community resources. Lafayette, Louisiana has now prevailed in its court case against the local telephone and cable companies to provide fiber to the home as a utility. See the Bill Moyers special "The Net at Risk" for background on that and other projects. Lafayette is not stopping at fiber. They will also be running wi-fi to the town. Should we have Internet accessible to the masses nationwide, or is that solely the domain of private enterprise? Such is the question before the court of public opinion. Some of the big telcos want to license spectrum which might otherwise be used for this nationwide network. Of course, there's a petition.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Bush Signs Ultimate Authority

The Progressive (via Dvorak) reports that in the event of a catastrophic emergency, Bush has ordered that he has supreme authority. The only trouble is: he determines "catastrophic emergency," defined within the document as "any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions."[1] Perhaps global warming is the catastrophic emergency he has in mind?

Creation Museum now open!

Have you ever met a Biblical scholar who was a biblical literalist? I haven't. Mostly, those folks understand that the documents were written tens of centuries ago by people who had a much different understanding of the world. They didn't have cars, airplanes, trains, or even printing presses. It was before the industrial revolution. Woodblock printing was high-tech, and the spinning wheel was 500 years in the future.[1] Yet some people maintain that the Bible is the ultimate authority on all things. (Excuse me - would the people of that day have been able to understand modern physics even if it had been presented reasonably?) Which Bible? Oh, yeah, it has changed over the ages as well, and then there are those extra books the Catholics use.[2]

Enter the Creation Museum where you can go and learn that man and dinosaurs roamed the earth together. (Oh, yeah, there's a petition against it, too.) I'm all for folks standing firm in their beliefs and free speech, but do these people ever think? Lest there be some confusion, let's also link straight to the source: Genesis 1-2. (Sorry, I don't have a link to the Hebrew.)

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

What he said

"You helped our nation celebrate its bicentennial in 17- in 1976." British papers had a fit. Bush shattered the solemnity and ceremony with a dumb joke at the Queen's expense. But what were the people expecting when they elected a clown to the White House because he uses the language of the people?

A friend of mine laments the anti-U.S. vitriol found abroad. Why don't we travel more? Perhaps there's room enough for all 300 million of us. Perhaps we just have too much to think about - like what's coming on TV this week. Perhaps we should get out and broaden our horizons a bit.