Not to start a video war or anything…..
Wouldn’t want to do that:
To simply say my mother loved music is a severe understatement. She adored it, lived and breathed it, was obsessed with it, both listening to it and learning more about it.
Her enthusiasm was broad- she especially loved blues, folk and New Orleans jazz, but she was well-versed in R&B, big bands, classic country and rock. She also more or less mandated that my sister and I share her enjoyment. We truly were seldom given any choice — like David Sedaris’ father, she would make us sit and listen to favorite recordings, and if we missed the good part, she’d start it over. If any of her favorites were on television, we were goners. I even remember her reading to me from John Lomax’s Adventures of a Ballad Hunter at bedtime. Her zeal to make us “get it” was, often as not, counterproductive, though to be fair, she had great taste, and eventually, I’d like to think my sister and I both inherited at least some of it.
Her funeral service included songs by John Prine and Mahalia Jackson. She left a house full of furniture, books and photographs, but the first thing most of the family wanted a crack at was her album collection.
When the ex-Mrs. Tex and I split, I let my her keep most of the LPs because she’s way into vinyl and she’s a total music geek and loved them every bit as much as my mother did, plus the two of them had a bond of sorts, so it was only fair that the ex have something to remember her by.
After more than a year in my new house, my walls are still way too bare but one thing I did frame and put up to make it feel like home is the worn copy of the bright blue 1966 classic Billie and DeDe and Their Preservation Hall Jazz Band. I’m not certain it was my mother’s all-time favorite album but it’s safe to say it was in her top five.
Happy birthday, Mom:
The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a bill saying that anyone offering an open Wi-Fi connection to the public must report illegal images including “obscene” cartoons and drawings–or face fines of up to $300,000.
That broad definition would cover individuals, coffee shops, libraries, hotels, and even some government agencies that provide Wi-Fi. It also sweeps in social-networking sites, domain name registrars, Internet service providers, and e-mail service providers such as Hotmail and Gmail, and it may require that the complete contents of the user’s account be retained for subsequent police inspection.
It especially sucks that Nick Lampson is sponsoring it, no matter what he says.
Before the House, which was a lopsided 409 to 2, Rep. Nick Lampson (D-Texas) held a press conference on Capitol Hill with John Walsh, the host of America’s Most Wanted and Ernie Allen, head of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Allen said the legislation–called the Securing Adolescents From Exploitation-Online Act, or SAFE Act–will “ensure better reporting, investigation, and prosecution of those who use the Internet to distribute images of illegal child pornography.”
The SAFE Act represents the latest in Congress’ efforts–some of which have raised free speech and privacy concerns–to crack down on sex offenders and Internet predators. Onerequire sex offenders to supply e-mail addresses and instant messaging user names. introduced a year ago was even broader and would have forced Web sites and blogs to report illegal images.
The way it was steamrollered through the House? That also sucks.
Wednesday’s vote caught Internet companies by surprise: the Democratic leadership rushed the SAFE Act to the floor under a procedure that’s supposed to be reserved for noncontroversial legislation. It was introduced October 10, but has never received even one hearing or committee vote. In addition, the legislation approved this week has changed substantially since the earlier version and was not available for public review.
It sucks even more than not a single Democrat opposed it.
Not one Democrat opposed the SAFE Act. Two Republicans did: Rep., the libertarian-leaning presidential candidate from Texas, and Rep. Paul Broun from Georgia.
It hugely sucks that the definition of what will constitute obscenity is potentially, well, huge.
Most reasonable adults, including home Wi-Fi providers or the Web sites affected by this legislation, can figure out what actual child pornography is. But when it comes to photographs of fully clothed minors in “lascivious” poses, and overly risque cartoon anime that might be “obscene” in one area of the country and permissible in another, it becomes trickier–especially when, legally, only a jury can determine whether an image violates local community standards.
But, most especially, it sucks because it will limit the spread of free and/or public WiFi, thereby widening the already too vast digital divide. Compliance will likely be seen as too much of a quixotic chore and the huge fines for non-compliance will be seen as too much of a risk for many small and medium-sized providers, including those in the burgeoning community wifi co-op movement.
Suck, suck, and suck.