A few things worth mentioning today:

FCCThe FCC loves the idea of giving companies the frequencies in which to operate wireless internet services. They’d auction off the frequencies, like the good custodian of the public airwaves that a government agency in charge of those frequencies should. But the frequencies come at an extra cost: government regulation. The companies would have to censor the internet in return, with no access to pornographic content (try defining that) and at least a good portion of the bandwidth purchased would have to be offered by the company to the public for free. What the hell does the FCC think it is? It’s the job of the government to merely facilitate frequency usage and ownership, not to regulate and censor like it does with TV and radio. For a long time, the FCC has been itching to regulate the internet: if this proposal is allowed to pass, it will be its foot in the door. Screw that.

PornAnd screw this too: an porn producer brought to trial by a government department called the “Obscenity Prosecution Task Force”. I’m getting angry just reading the details, in which a man’s right to free speech is being blatantly violated by the US government, who are calling his work ‘obscene’. I could write at length about this, and maybe I should, but the defendant seems to be prepared to do a great job of defending himself in his trial, complete with references to times in which the works of James Joyce and DH Lawrence were regarded as obscene and then later artistic. The very idea that the government of the country, which should be dedicated to protecting the rights of this man, is violating it instead by telling us all what kinds of sexual fetish or quirks should be regarded as appropriate and which shouldn’t is scandalous. I hope the jury (here in Southern California) his their wits about them, and remains dedicated to enforcing lawss consistent with the US Constitution. At the very least we should see a mistrial due to the effect of the jury having to sit through 6-8 hours of hardcore pornography.

hijabElsewhere. An interesting story from Zainab Mineeia in the LA Times about arriving in the United States and removing her hijab for the first time. The effect of walking from oppression into freedom could perhaps never be more greatly felt than in the case of a woman emerging from a lifetime underneath the constraints of a whole body covering. Mineeia tries to explain what it feels like.

milk bagAcross the pond, the Guardian reports that British supermarket Sainsbury’s is going to replace plastic milk jugs with plastic milk bags. Nobody knows why. The best part: the Guardian pointing out “…that a more efficient and eco-friendly way to sell milk would be to ask consumers to bring their own resealable jug to the store and fill it up.” O-kay. Lead the way, guys.

Coke ZeroFinally, the first drink in my new refrigerator: Coke Zero. It’s what Coca-Cola could have been and would have been if the technology had existed from the beginning. No calories. No sugar to rot the teeth. No health worries. (And if you disagree on that last one, talk to me when I’ve been drinking the stuff for 20 years; I’ll prove it isn’t harmful. What’s more, I’ll still have all my own teeth and be leaner than those of you drinking other, lesser beverages.) I just took this photo a few minutes ago, and – where there were 4 cans – there are now 3. What can I say about the simple pleasures?

It’s an ice-cold Monday in a hot desert climate. Wherever you are, enjoy.