Tom Toles’ Confused Net Neutrality Ruling Cartoon

NetNeut Cartoon

I guess this cartoon by the Washington Post’s Tom Toles relates to last week’s Net Neutrality court ruling.  But, when you look at it, what does it mean?  The Court (working with “Big Telecom”?) is somehow portrayed as a Bridgegate conspirator?


I wrote the following letter to the editor (which was not published) explaining my take on this confused political cartoon.

Washington Post LTE, January 20, 2014:  Tom Toles’ recent cartoon (from January 19, 2014) seems to imply that a recent federal court ruling outlawing the FCC’s Net Neutrality rule is somehow analogous to Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal.

The analogy is inapt.

First of all, the Court isn’t a state’s chief executive seeking re-election.

Second, if Toles’ aim was to cast “Big Telecom” as the ruling’s main beneficiary, he failed miserably because it looks like both the bridge traffic (with “Big Telecom” trucks on it) and the onramp (with “everybody else” on it) are at a clogged standstill.  Not much benefit for any party there.

Finally, Toles left out the FCC.  Though the ruling throws out core aspects of the Commission’s Net Neutrality rule, it legitimizes the agency’s “regulatory-light” powers many thought did not exist.  Additionally, it invites the agency to more properly redefine broadband so that it may someday fully regulate it like a turn-of-the-century phone service.

Like Chris Christie, the politically constituted FCC won’t stay away from this sweet doughnut.  It will wield its new powers.  And, even if it never reclassifies broadband, it will use this as a perennial threat to regulate.

Instead of growth, gridlock will result, which – whether the author intended it or not – the picture clearly evokes.

Media Freedom

Does Neil Young practice what he preaches?

ezra neil young lies.jpg

Neil Young loves Canada’s Indians. After all, he wears a fringed leather jacket and just finished a concert tour telling Canadians to “Honour the Treaties,” even though he couldn’t point out how we’re not.

But at least he’s got that leather jacket. Has since the ’60s. He explained it in one rock biography:

There I was making 120 bucks a week at the Whisky as a musician. . I’ve always liked fringe jackets. I went out and bought one right away with some pants and a turtleneck shirt. Oh yeah, I thought I was heavy. I wore them on some TV shows and whenever we worked. Then I went to this place on Santa Monica Boulevard near La Cienega. I saw this great Comanche war shirt, the best jacket I’ve ever seen. I had two more made. The group was Western, the name Buffalo Springfield came off a tractor, so it all fit. I was the Indian. That’s when it was cool to be an Indian.

So he was in California playacting to be an Indian. To make some cash.

His Indian-sounding band name was just the brand of a tractor, like John Deere.

Soon Young was appearing on stage with giant wooden Indians as theatrical props. Not totem poles – no real Aboriginal artifacts. A white caricature of Indians.

That wooden Indian thing became an obsession for him. In 1982, Young released a psychedelic movie called Human Highway . It was awful and it bombed in theatres. Young played an amateur musician, who had wooden Indians as back-up singers.

And then, in the movie, the wooden Indian singers were torched. That’s weird. But what’s even weirder is that Young actually did that in real life too. From another rock biography:

“.the cast and crew communed with the local Indian tribe. We lived right with the Indians,” said bus driver Paul Williamson. “This guy Carpio, it was my job to take him home. We were f—d up, partyin’ for days . . . . Neil said, ‘Take the Indian home.’ I get in the middle of this reservation. I was like ‘F–, when are the arrows comin’?”

Things grew extra tense one day when Young decided to film an obtuse scene that involved the burning of. a few of Young’s wooden Indians. It was a bizarre event. “Neil burnt his Indians.” said Hopper. “Everyone danced around the fire.” .the actual Indians were completely nonplussed. “It was ‘These f–in’ white people are really nuts.’”

Sure, his backing band Crazy Horse is named for the famed Indian war leader and some songs he’s written are sensitive to Native Americans. But some are just weird. In the song “Pocahontas,” he writes:

“I wish I was a trapper/I would give thousand pelts/To sleep with Pocahontas/And find out how she felt.”

Sorry, Neil. She was an Indian princess, not a prostitute. Or his song, “Last Trip to Tulsa”:

“Well I woke up in the morning/With an arrow through my nose/There was an Indian in the corner/Tryin’ on my clothes.”

It’s unclear if that’s an Indian woman he slept with, or an Indian man stealing from him. But as he said, Indians are cool, so does it really matter?

Did Young actually ever get to know a real Indian? Here’s what Young told a reporter about a sex romp:

“I don’t think I got laid for f—in’ years after I got into rock and roll. I think I was in Fort William when I got laid. Me and a nice little Indian and a deejay. The first time was not really that great. at least I didn’t get any diseases. So it was good.”

No name. Just that she was a good little Indian, who didn’t infect him. With Neil Young, it’s always about Neil Young. And maybe the odd deejay in on the action too.

Neil Young doesn’t hate Indians. But he doesn’t respect them. He’ll dress up in Indian drag, burn wooden Indians and sleep with Indian girls.

His anti-oilsands tour was called Honour the Treaties. Sounds like he ought to start honouring Indians a bit more too.

This column was written for Sun News January 26 2014.

Ezra Levant

East Timor’s shocking saga of the principal, the minister and a schoolgirl

The controversial image on a Timorese Facebook group.

By Alex Tilman of Di’ak Ka Lae? Timor-Leste Reconsidered

OPINION: THIS STORY will make you cringe!

Last month photos of a middle-aged man (one of which is reproduced here) embracing what looked like a uniformed schoolgirl inside a car, lip-locked, surfaced on a popular Timorese Facebook group.

It was soon revealed that the middle-aged
Café Pacific – David Robie | Media freedom and transparency


The heart of a city is it’s people. These men stand up for the best interest for New Albany citizens.

They work hard and play by the rules. And most of all they look out for their neighbors, co-workers, and the many needs of the “little people” of New Albany.

It’s well known these men have:

* Supported the best interest for New Albany citizens

* Worked with local groups to provide food and supplies for the needy

* Listened to concerns of the public

* Not afraid to stand up for the rights of us citizens

* Supports the best interest of fellow employees

* They put their lives on the line for all New Albany citizens

* Successful businessman who give back to our community

* Goes above and beyond to bring detailed information to the table

* They always lend a helping hand to the citizens of New Albany

* Dedicated to real public service

Freedom Of Speech salutes and appreciates these outstanding 10 men, and their courage to stand up for what is right. These men through generosity and compassion devote themselves to helping others.

They are a great example of leadership in New Albany:

Todd Bailey – Former Police Chief

David Brewer – New Albany Building Commissioner

Ed Clere – State Representative

Brian Gadd – Asst. Fire Chief 

Roger Jeffers – Newly Appointed Floyd County Parks Superintendent

Chris Morrison – New Albany Tribune

Steve Price – Former Council member and Citizen Activist

Mark Seabrook- Commissioner

John Schellenberger – 4th District County Council

Bill Schmidt – Former City Councilman, and private citizen

 Freedom of Speech Staff
footnote: The following names are listed in alphabetical order only.

Trudeau’s pipeline politics

Ezra comments on Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s moody opinions on Canada’s pipeline.

This report aired on The Source January 23 2013.

Ezra Levant

The fight for Keystone

Emails expose that the US Environmental Protection Agency is buddy-buddy with environmental groups.

This report aired on The Source January 23 2013.

Ezra Levant

Scrutinizing Saint Suzuki

David Suzuki admits he over-reacted to Fukushima predictions.

This report aired on The Source January 22 2014.

Ezra Levant

Facial recognition apps: I both desire and fear them.

B W Mask ImageFacial recognition app matches strangers to online profiles | Crave – CNET

Google has adopted a privacy protecting policy of banning facial recognition apps from the Google Glass app store. I appreciate the effort to protect my privacy but facial recognition is probably the ONLY reason I would wear Google Glass.

I am hopeless at parties or networking events. I have no ability at all to remember names, and I know I am far from alone in this. The ability to simply look at someone and be reminded of their name, our past interactions, and any public information about their recent activities, would be absolute gold.

Obviously I am less enthusiastic about having third party ratings of my intelligence, integrity, hotness, or whatever, popping up to the people looking at me. As usual, humans are in favor of privacy for themselves but not for others.

A new app is coming out soon called Nametag, which is planned to do exactly this. On iOS, Android, and jail broken Glass, you will be able to photograph anyone and, using facial recognition, pull up all available social media information about them.

To opt out you will need to set up an account with NameTag, and I presume you will also need to upload some high quality pictures of yourself so they can recognize you to block the information. Hurm…..

Whatever we all think about this, the capability is clearly coming. The cameras are getting too small to easily detect, high quality tagged photos are everywhere, and the computing power is available.

While citizens have some ability to impact government surveillance cameras and facial recognition, it will be much harder to change course on the use of these technologies with private fixed cameras, phones, and smart glasses. Even if we convince device makers to block these applications, the really creepy people will jailbreak them and install them anyway.

For years I have said that the Internet is the least anonymous environment we inhabit. With this kind of technology, it may soon be much easier to hide yourself online than off. Police really don’t like you wearing masks.

Lance Cottrell is the Founder and Chief Scientist of Anonymizer. Follow me on Facebook and Google+.

The Privacy Blog

Turkey is preparing to implement massive new Interenet censorship and surveillance scheme.

Turkey map flagTurkey Debates New Law to Control Web Users – Emerging Europe Real Time – WSJ

Turkey already requests more takedowns from Google than any other country in the world, almost 1700 in the first half of 2013. They have a history of blocking popular websites like Youtube, and Vimeo, and Prime Minister Erdogan lashes out against Twitter at every opportunity.

Now the government is about to enact sweeping new powers to force providers to keep complete records of all user activity for 2 years, and give the government total access to that information.

This appears to be a reaction to citizen use of social media to coordinate protests and spread information about Turkish government corruption.

Unless they implement a ban on privacy technologies, VPN services like Anonymizer Universal will provide a way of getting around this kind of logging. I would strongly suggest that people in Turkey make a habit of always using VPNs, and moving to search engines, email, and social media platforms located outside of the country.

Lance Cottrell is the Founder and Chief Scientist of Anonymizer. Follow me on Facebook and Google+.

The Privacy Blog

Events of Interest: Panel Discussion on NSA Surveillance (Jan. 23)

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is hosting a panel discussion, “NSA Surveillance and Our ‘Almost Orwellian’ State.” The moderator and panelists will discuss: Whether dragnet NSA surveillance is constitutional, and the dueling federal court rulings in December The history of government secrecy, and how it relates to the mounting controversy surrounding NSA spying How the NSA [...]
Privacy Lives