Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Last Call

For the Paranoid Patrol, the President's gun control agenda plus drone warfare equals mass assassination squads taking out "patriots" in 2013.  Stephanie Mencimer at MoJo:

Various tea party activists, libertarian websites and other conspiracy-minded Obama haters are claiming that Russian security forces have discovered that Obama is about to unleash "death squads" across America to assassinate defenders of the Second Amendment. According to Liberty.com, one of the sites perpetuating this latest story, Russian intelligence has outlined the whole nefarious plot in a memo for President Vladimir Putin, detailing the Obama's administration's dispatch of "VIPER teams...which is the acronym for Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response Team, a programme run by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and whose agents terrify millions of Americans with Nazi-like Gestapo tactics on a daily basis at airports and who report to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)."

Liberty.com (run by a Florida tea party leader), which echoes the theory promoted by similar sites, maintains that these teams—800 of them, to be precise—are set to "disperse throughout his country in preparation for what Russian intelligence analysts are predicting to be a series of high-profile killings of dissident Americans set to begin as soon as February 22nd." Obama has apparently been emboldened to launch such an operation by the recent federal court ruling upholding his right to kill American citizens with drone strikes without explaining why.

Supposedly OBAMA DEATH SQUADS have already killed off a couple wingers and in a few weeks, America will be swarming with SOCOM guys and WOLVEREEEEEEENS.

Or here's another option: the conspiracy theorists and anti-Obama activists warning of impending death squads could have fallen for a pretty obvious hoax. They don't, after all, seem to have an actual copy of the alleged Russian security memo to Putin. And there's this: WhatDoesItMean.com was one of the earliest promoters of this "story," and it's an infamous conspiracy and "alternative news" site that is the source of hundreds of fictional doomsday reports. (It once published a story claiming that the earthquake in Haiti was caused by erroneous weapons testing by the US Navy.) Liberty.com and other sites have been quoting directly from WhatDoesItMean.com. So perhaps gun-rights activists should relax; they've got nothing more menacing to worry about than the pending legislation on Capitol Hill.

Imagine that.  You know, "President killing people" theories are delightfully old school Clinton playbook stuff, which is a nice change of pace from the usual racist twaddle we've been seeing since 2007, don't you think?

Eating Your Obamacare Broccoli

More and more GOP-controlled states are quietly taking advantage of Obamacare's Medicaid expansion programs, and it's really pissing off the Wall Street Journal's editorial board.  Shocking, huh.  Even GOP Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona thinks it's a good idea, and she's singled out for particular scorn.

Providers are especially powerful at the state and local level, and the goal now is to rush the Brewer-Obama condominium through the Phoenix legislature with little debate. A particular offender is the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association, a trade group whose 2012 agenda includes "Oppose Taxpayer Bill of Rights-style legislative referendums or bills that arbitrarily limit state spending."

Ms. Brewer's other rationale is that everybody else is doing it, and that if Arizona opts out of a larger Medicaid then "Arizona's tax dollars would simply be passed to another state." Well, no, Washington would simply spend less money that it doesn't have. In any event Arizona is already a net tax beneficiary—pulling down $1.19 from the feds for every dollar it sends to D.C., according to the Tax Foundation.

Ten other GOP Governors have rejected Mr. Obama's Medicaid bribe, with another 20, Democrats and Republicans, undecided. Twenty are expanding, including Republicans Brian Sandoval of Nevada, Susana Martinez of New Mexico, Jack Dalrymple of North Dakota and even, on Monday, Ohio's John Kasich. Thus does modern government create the carrots and sticks of ever-larger government.

Those ten other states will come around.   Why?  Because Medicare expansion is the most cost effective way to deal with a growing population that has health care needs to be met.  Government is going to and should grow as America's population grows...but don't try telling the WSJ that.

Crossed Wires And Mixed Signals

My only question about this FCC plan to take part of the unused public broadcast spectrum and turn it in to national WiFi is how quickly the telecom giants will get Republicans to kill it...if it wasn't a load of nonsense in the first place.

The federal government wants to create super WiFi networks across the nation, so powerful and broad in reach that consumers could use them to make calls or surf the Internet without paying a cellphone bill every month.

The proposal from the Federal Communications Commission has rattled the $178 billion wireless industry, which has launched a fierce lobbying effort to persuade policymakers to reconsider the idea, analysts say. That has been countered by an equally intense campaign from Google, Microsoft and other tech giants who say a free-for-all WiFi service would spark an explosion of innovations and devices that would benefit most Americans, especially the poor.

The airwaves that FCC officials want to hand over to the public would be much more powerful than existing WiFi networks that have become common in households. They could penetrate thick concrete walls and travel over hills and around trees. If all goes as planned, free access to the Web would be available in just about every metropolitan area and in many rural areas.

The new WiFi networks would also have much farther reach, allowing for a driverless car to communicate with another vehicle a mile away or a patient’s heart monitor to connect to a hospital on the other side of town.

If approved by the FCC, the free networks would still take several years to set up. And, with no one actively managing them, con­nections could easily become jammed in major cities. But public WiFi could allow many consumers to make free calls from their mobile phones via the Internet. The frugal-minded could even use the service in their homes, allowing them to cut off expensive Internet bills.

“For a casual user of the Web, perhaps this could replace carrier service,” said Jeffrey Silva, an analyst at the Medley Global Advisors research firm. “Because it is more plentiful and there is no price tag, it could have a real appeal to some people.”

Sounds too good to be true?  It is.  This will die a quiet, lonely death.  Republicans will never allow this to exist.  They will block it until the telecoms can rally around a "grassroots" ad campaign that will show vast hordes of Those People using FREE OBAMA WIFI to watch porn, blow up churches, deal meth to preschoolers, get remote control abortion procedures, play violent video games and vote Democratic.

By the time the GOP is done with this nonsense, it'll be a near felony to have a social media account, and Republicans will be on TV screaming about how the real plan is to put America's phone companies out of business and destroy millions of jobs and will cost trillions of taxpayer dollars a month and how if you use his SOCIALIST ABOMINATION that Baby Jesus will die in your arms when the President's army of Twitter Cops track you down in real-time for insulting President Killwhitey McReparations so FREEDOM AND TREE OF LIBERTY AND DON'T TREAD ON ME.

On top of that as Jon Brodkin over ar Ars Technica reminds us, this FCC "White Spaces" plan has been sitting there for years and isn't going anywhere..and the above Washington Post story is mostly fantasy.

I saw the story this morning, read it, and was confused. Isn't this just the White Spaces proposal that's been around for a few years and has never once been pitched as "free Wi-Fi for all"? White Spaces may well be an important step toward expanding Internet access, but it isn't going to bring free Wi-Fi to every major US city.

It seemed no one was asking the most obvious question: who would build Wi-Fi everywhere and give it away for free? "It would cost money, so I don't see a path toward ubiquitous free Wi-Fi that is at an acceptable quality level," wireless engineer Steven Crowley told me in an e-mail today.

White Spaces takes the spectrum from empty TV channels and allows the airwaves to be used for Wi-Fi, or "Super Wi-Fi" as it's sometimes called. Using lower frequencies than traditional Wi-Fi, White Spaces signals would be better at penetrating obstacles and thus travel farther.

But the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) isn't going to build the network itself. The agency allocates spectrum for certain uses to spur private investment—someone else will have to find a reason to build it.

So why would wireless carriers build something that would put themselves out of business?

Above all, a national WiFi network would, you know, actually convinced tens of millions of people that the federal government can serve the greater good, and we can't have that.  Besides, people might actually look up science on the internet and learn how the Earth isn't 6,000 years old with fossils planted by THE DEVIL, and then that will lead to slow dancing and then end of the universe.  Even if it wasn't the overactive imagination of the Washington Post.

The story vastly overpromises what the FCC is planning, but don't worry, the same Republicans who insist President Obama gave away millions of government cell phones to buy votes will insist that taxpayer dollars will be used to give Those People free Super WiFi and this becomes the next Solyndra.

Count on it.


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