What's in my wallet, part two

Six weeks ago or so I wrote a post about an unredeemed, and somewhat magical, pawn ticket that I’ve kept in my wallet for the past sixteen years. You’ve seen those TV advertisements for the “credit card” mafia front called Capital One. “What’s in your wallet?” they ask. Well, I used to have a Capital One so-called “credit card”1 in there , but I canceled the account last year –I’m still paying down the balance– so I have nothing with their name on it in my wallet to remind me that I’m still their bonded serf. In addition to that Magic Pawnbroker ticket I have this my wallet:

Some of the words are water-blurred, so here’s a transcription:

“Life’s challenges are determined by our thoughts and actions. Choose willingly and be proud. ‘I live, I believe, I love, I share, I laugh, I motivate, I fly, I run, I hike, I swim, I surf, I ride, and, most of all, I smile every day’”.

It’s a reproduction of a card that was found in the effects of an extremely close friend of mine, a former professional athlete (snowboarding), who died, much too young, of ALS, nearly two years ago. He indeed lived up to this credo, and, as I said in a eulogy at a memorial service for him in a packed-to-overflowing(non fundie, non-evangelical) church in his adopted home town of Colorado Springs, “he was a happy man until the day he died.”

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Tribute to Becky Lentz

I occasionally grouse that no one in mass movements ever remembers the lawyers, or why else does my employer Media Access Project keep needing to check behind the couch cushions for loose change, given our track record? But I live in the bloody spotlight compared to some of the others that have made the modern media reform movement possible. Which is why I want to take a moment to give Becky Lentz, formerly of the Ford Foundation, a big shout out.

For the last 6 years, Becky worked at the Ford Foundation as program officer for their media policy and technology portfolio. In her own way, Becky had as much to do with the victories of the last few years in resisting – and in some cases rolling back – media concentration and promoting positive change. Last month, Becky’s term ended and she returned to Academia.

What makes Becky Lentz an exceptional figure when they write the history of the media reform movement? See below . . . .

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700 MHz Endgame: Has AT&T Asked Bush to Put Thumb On Scale?

Unsurprisingly, in the swirl of folks around this week’s House Commerce “iPhone” Hearing, rumors and gossip about the 700 MHz Endgame abounded. In the nasty-but-sadly-believable category comes a rumor that the Bells have asked (through a wholly owned subsidiary in the House) for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to do a “study” on whether any open access condition (of any definition) or other incumbent restriction (such as the spectrum caps urged by the Public Interest Spectrum Coalition) will depress auction revenue.

To those who know how these things usually work, the first question is “Why Ask OMB and not the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) or the Congressional Research Service (CRS), which usually do this sort of thing?” And to those of us who have lived through the last 6 years of an Administration that spells “research” P-R-O-P-O-G-A-N-D-A will cynically answer, “because that way the telcos can make sure they get the ‘right’ result.” Unlike CBO or CRS, which are under the control of Congress and generally take their research pretty seriously, OMB is directly under the control of the Bush administration.

Man, Telco spying for NSA is just the gift that keeps on giving. First the Bush Justice Department behaves like a nice little lap doggie and rolls over and plays dead for AT&T buying BellSouth. Then Bush tried to give the Bells retroactive immunity for what they did. Now, according to rumor, Bush will help the telcos rig the auction to keep the status quo.

Some needed background and why the oft-repeated idea that open access will automatically reduce auction revenue is a load of nonsense below . . . .

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Adelphia Decided

I was off at my cardiologist getting a stress test, so I missed this. Happily, I had crammed the night before and passed with flying colors! Because today’s FCC meeting was, from all descriptions, totally surreal — including a shout out to yr hmbl obdnt blogger!

Short substance review: The FCC did not adopt a network neutrality condition, they did not adopt a condition on PBS Sprout, allowing Comcast to get by with a voluntary commitment to make the programming available on a non-exclusive basis for the next three years. They acted on the Washington Nationals, and gave a nod to leased access.

More details, and further implications, below . . .

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