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Iran for fun and prophet
Expanded from the 9-7-2008 Daily Sparks Tribune
Updated 9-4-2008, 9-5-2008
Sometimes a simple web search can chill you to the bone, not for what is there, but what is not.
The estimable Dennis Myers, a former Tribune staffer now news editor of the Reno News & Review, sent an e-mail bulletin on Labor Day captioned "news that doesn't make it across the ocean."
It contained a web link to a Sept. 1 story in the Jerusalem Post which reprinted and expanded upon a report from the August 29 edition of De Telegraaf, the largest newspaper in the Netherlands.
The Dutch version of the British Secret Service has pulled its spies out of Iran. Apparently, agent James Van Bond has been supplying our CIA with intelligence about who's been doing what, with which and to whom and where they've been doing it.
"The Dutch intelligence service, the AIVD, has called off an operation aimed at infiltrating and sabotaging Iran's weapons industry due to an assessment that a US attack on the Islamic Republic's nuclear program is imminent," the JPost wrote.
"The report claimed that the Dutch operation had been 'extremely successful,' and had been stopped because the US military was planning to hit targets that were 'connected with the Dutch espionage action.'
"The impending air-strike on Iran was to be carried out by unmanned aircraft 'within weeks,' the report claimed, quoting 'well placed' sources."
Knowing that the Texas cowboys were coming, the Dutch got out of Dodge before they were reduced to Hollandaise sauce.
I went on the air Tuesday and started talking about it. I asked viewers to let me know if they saw any domestic news reports about all this.
I did a web search yesterday. Nothing in any major American medium, just on a few specialty websites.
It gets worse. "On (Aug. 29), Ma'ariv (another Israeli daily newspaper) reported that Israel had made a strategic decision to deny Iran military nuclear capability and would not hesitate 'to take whatever means necessary' to prevent Teheran from achieving its nuclear goals.
"According to the report, whether the United States and Western countries succeed in thwarting the Islamic Republic's nuclear ambitions diplomatically, through sanctions, or whether a US strike on Iran is eventually decided upon, Jerusalem has begun preparing for a separate, independent military strike."
"Iran's Deputy Chief of Staff, General Masoud Jazayeri, warned that should the United States or Israel attack Iran, it would be the start of another World War," the J-Post noted.
The only voice of sanity in all this comes from Israeli President and 1994 Nobel Peace Laureate Shimon Peres, who said "I do not support military action against Iran, but the world must become a united front and impose harsh economic sanctions on Iran," he stated last Friday in Italy.
Can you say October surprise? This is Karl Rove's 2004 strategy on steroids. Remember when the Dept. of Homeland Chicanery leaked "Las Vegas under imminent threat of Al Qaeda attack" five days before the last presidential election? It was enough to carry Dubya to a narrow Nevada electoral win. The report, of course, was bogus.
GIVE WAR A CHANCE. Dubya's going to open a fourth front in our current worldwide conflict. The Cold War was WW3 and still isn't over now that Bush's buddy Vlad the Impaler is busily reconstituting the Soviet Union. World War Four is now at hand and corporate media are ignoring it.
But there is at least consensus that Sarah Palin is a stone fox.
Updated math behind the move
Charter Communications plans to illegally move four channels of analog to the digital tier.
One channel of analog bandwidth accommodates two to 10 channels of digital programming, depending on the complexity of the streams. High-definition movies eat up a lot of bandwidth.
A Charter statement quoted on TV-4's Aug. 4, 2008, 11:00 p.m. newscast said that Charter is doing this to "free up more bandwidth for high definition channels."
Charter thus gains bandwidth for between 8 and 40 digital channels by banishing community TV to the digital tier, a net gain of 4 and as many as 36, depending on content.
Charter VP Marsha Berkbigler, in her first speech to the City of Reno's Citizens Cable Compliance Committee in Dec. 2002, said each additional channel is worth $1 million a year to Charter and that's at 2002 prices.
So Charter stands to make between $4 million and $36 million by doing this, unadjusted for inflation.
Sparks, Washoe, Carson and Douglas consumers urged to contact their local governments to join the fight against Charter
ReSurge.TV 8-25-2008, Updated 8-28-2008
Evil empire eats its appetite
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune / 8-24-2008
Bandwidth bandidos admit their greed
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune / 8-17-2008
Sue the bastards
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune / 8-10-2008
Deregulation means never having to say you're sorry
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune / 8-3-2008
Barbwire.TV: 15-year overnight success
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The Barbwire's Greatest Hits
Highlights from radio days
BOMBING YOUR WALLET. Charter Communications' Vice-President in Charge of Looking Out the Window asked for a meeting with Sierra Nevada Community Access Television (SNCAT) producers regarding the cable company's plan to assassinate local public, educational and governmental (PEG) channels.
I predicted that the Dragon Lady herself would fail to show and proved correct.
Her absence provided plausible deniability in case one of her underlings made a promise they would later break, as usual.
Government representatives from the Reno-Carson strip attended, including Sen. Randolph Townsend, R-Reno, Assemblywoman Bonnie Parnell, D-Carson City, and Councilman Dave Aiazzi of Reno.
The Tribune was the only local newspaper to cover the event.
Reporter Jessica Garcia and photo editor Debra Reid did a great job of reportage. (Charter negotiates Russian-style: Will accept 100 percent of everything, 9-5-2008)
I asked the only pertinent question: Was Charter's statement to the Reno Gazette-Journal still operative that moving the community channels to the high-cost, low-audience digital tier remains non-negotiable?
Alas and alack, the answer was not only yes, but hell yes.
Mr. Aiazzi likes the idea of Charter providing free digital boxes to all ratepayers until the whole system converts to digital sometime in the next two to five years.
Cable monopolies have done so in other markets.
The Dragon Lady's lackies would not budge, offering only their previously stated bait-and-switch of a 90-day free trial.
"After a two hour meeting with Charter, SNCAT public access producers and viewers remain unconvinced of the genuineness or value of the offer presented by Charter," SNCAT Executive Director Les Smith stated in a subsequent press release.
So it looks like we still sue. My consumer group, ReSurge.TV, will proceed at full speed to prepare legal filings to seek a restraining order against Charter before its 90-day stay of execution expires on Thanksgiving.
I hope the Reno City Council and Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., stay strong in their commitments to also go to court.
ReSurge.TV, stands ready to sue on behalf of ratepayers in communities like Sparks in which their governments have decided to do nothing.
If you can afford it, please consider donating to the cause by mail at P.O. Box 10034, Reno NV 89510, or via credit or debit card at ReSurge.TV.
Community television is important.
So far, my show is the only report local viewers have had regarding the impending U.S. attack on Iran.
OCTOBER SURPRISE, PART DEUX. Late last week, I got a credible report that the Nevada National Guard, on alert for the past six months to prepare for departure to war with Iran, is becoming increasingly nervous about the situation.
Be well. Raise hell.
Charter negotiates Russian-style:
Will accept 100% of everything
Daily Sparks Tribune 9-5-2008
Reno city council votes unanimously to sue Charter to keep community TV accessible
Resurge.TV will also file
FROM LES SMITH, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Sierra Nevada Community Access Television
Public Access Producers/Viewers Remain Unconvinced
After a two hour meeting with Charter, yesterday, Sierra Nevada Community Access Television (SNCAT) public access producers and viewers remain unconvinced of the genuineness or value of the offer presented by Charter.
At the meeting, which included public access producers and viewers, representatives from Charter, representatives from Reno, Sparks and Carson City, state senator Randolph Townsend and Assemblywoman Bonnie Parnell, Charter reps explained the technical process of the change to the digital tier and Charter's offer to help everyone over the digital divide.
Charter's stand is that by February 17, 2009, all of their analog channels will be moved to the digital tier. The FCC requires that cable providers carry the local "must carry" channels on the analog tier until 2012. So, Charter will be reconverting the local broadcast channels back to the analog until 2012. In order to provide for those people who surf the analog and find themselves on one of the PEG channels, Charter said they would provide "channel mapping" which would show up as a channel (13, 15, 16 or 17) on the analog tier, but actually read off of the digital frequency. In order to see these channel maps and view the actual channel signal, viewers would need the digital box. Without the box, the channels will show up as static, the way that channels 12 and 14 do now. (EDITOR'S NOTE UPDATE: For some reason, Charter has reinstituted Channel 12 on the analog tier. Channel 14 has been obliterated.)
Charter said that those who apply to Reno, Sparks and Washoe County for a hardship discount will get a box installed free and will receive a 40% discount on their basic cable package, to off-set the monthly fee for the box. For those who don't qualify for the discount, Charter will install the box for free and provide a 90-day free trial of the box. At the end of the trial period, there will be a $5 a month charge for the box. Charter will also offer an additional 30-day money-back extension to the free-trial period.
As a note, this is the third variation on this offer that has been extended by Charter and there are still no iron-clad guarantees anywhere in these offers.
Public access producers raised questions about the technical difficulties that surround the installation and operation of the box. Charter offered instructional services by the installers and tutorials available on the digital video-on-demand, as well as a job-aid (cheat-sheet) to remind viewers how to use the system. They also offered to work in a simpler remote for those who have difficulty with the remote currently used in the system.
When public access producers asked questions regarding access from a constitutional and legal stand-point, Charter responded with their need to be more competitive with the satellite and the loss of "high-end customers" as a result of not having as many HD channels.
The end result was that Charter did a great job of explaining the transition and their plan to help SNCAT viewers get over the digital divide. But, the SNCAT producers and viewers weren't buying what they were selling.
It was left open about where we all would go from here. I will keep you up to date as this issue progresses.
Contact: Les Smith
The Dean's List
The Dean of Reno Bloggers could very well be Andrew Barbano, self-described "fighter of public demons," who started putting his "Barbwire" columns online in 1996 and now runs 10 sites.
RENO NEWS & REVIEW, 11-9-2006
The campaign against forcibly-paid newspaper obituaries
And they wonder why the newspaper business is dying?
Phillips, Kevin; Numbers Racket: Why the economy is worse than we know
Harper's Magazine; May 2008; page 43
Phillips has authored numerous books on history and politics over the past 40 years. His most recent, Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism, was published by Viking on April 15, 2008.
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Copyright © 1982-2008 Andrew BarbanoAndrew Barbano is a 39-year Nevadan, editor of NevadaLabor.com and JoeNeal.org, former chair of the City of Reno's Citizens Cable Compliance Committee and serves as political action chair and webmaster of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. He hosts live news and talk (775-682-4144) Monday through Friday, 2-4:00 p.m., at Barbwire.TV and Reno-Sparks-Washoe Charter cable channels 16 (for at least the next 90 days) and 216. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. Barbwire by Barbano premiered in the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune on Aug. 12, 1988. Tempus fugit.
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