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Spinelessness We Can Believe In

Monday, Aug. 04, 2008 3:56 AM

Largely unnoticed last week was an FCC ruling against Comcast, stating that the media provider cannot interfere with the traffic of some of its customers - said customers being those taking in 'torrents' (usually streams of music, television episodes, or movies).

Comcast would interfere with this traffic by inserting itself into the stream and sending termination signals to the connected parties. For example, Bob is sending a torrent to Alice. Because the traffic passes through a Comcast server, Comcast would send a signal to Bob's computer that Alice was done receiving, and a signal to Alice's computer that Bob was done sending.

This is an important ruling in regards to net neutrality, emphasizing that a carrier may not interfere with private traffic on their network.

As with systems like Napster, we're seeing end-users innovating and corporations playing catch-up. A torrent is nothing more than on-demand; it is assumed that the sender is not a licensed party, but the ruling does not address the issues of copyright infringement - it focuses on Comcast's stepping into the traffic flow and interrupting it.

"If we can come up with a genuine bipartisan compromise, in which I have to accept some things that I don't like, or the Democrats have to accept some things that they don't like in exchange for actually moving us in the direction of actual energy independence, then that's something I'm open to."

I don't think Barack Obama is achieving anything by this stance except showing that he's come down with chronic Democratic spinelessness.

Both President Bush and Senator McCain have admitted offshore drilling would probably do nothing to stave off rising gas prices or break the stranglehold of our dependence on foreign oil. So what's to compromise on?

This concede-the-argument before it's won is the reason Democrats get pasted every time the debate comes round to national security. It's the victim side of an abusive and dysfunctional relationship that will continue as long as we keep telling ourselves that the criminals in our midst are good, law-abiding, men and women of faith.

Without hard numbers, without a counterproposal such as 'we'll consider offshore drilling if the oil companies do x,' this is just hanging your political ass out to be the GOP's pinata.

(Coincidentally, this behavior has come about after incorporating some of Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign staff into his. And now, Obama's apparently singing the 'seat the Michigan and Florida delegates' song.)

Apart from the posthumous trial-by-media of anthrax suspect Bruce Ivins, much is being made of Ivins' former therapist describing him as plotting to murder his co-workers, that he wouldn't go down alone.

And yet, somehow, Ivins chose to commit suicide.

This, of course, isn't the first time the FBI has messed up a case and missed the real suspect while hanging someone else out to dry, as with the 1996 Atlanta Olympics - chasing Richard Jewell and, seven years later, discovering the true perpetrator was Eric Rudolph.

These are the people who are going to safeguard our rights while looking for terrorists?

The implication is that one of McCain's recent ads suggests that Obama is the Antichrist.

Why would the Antichrist choose to manifest as a black guy with a funny name, and why is he chasing the liberal vote?

We're all going to burn in hell. The Antichrist is after you good, upstanding Christian folk, y'know. Unless, of course, we've got it all backwards, the liberals are the nice guys and the conservative religious fruit loops really are the minions of Satan.

Then it makes perfect sense.

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