As part of its 2015 Broadband Progress Report, the Federal Communications Commission has voted to change the definition of broadband by raising the minimum download speeds needed from 4Mbps to 25Mbps, and the minimum upload speed from 1Mbps to 3Mbps, which effectively triples the number of US households without broadband access. Currently, 6.3 percent of US households don’t have access to broadband under the previous 4Mpbs/1Mbps threshold, while another 13.1 percent don’t have access to broadband under the new 25Mbps downstream threshold.
FCC Commissioner Tom Wheeler was vehement in his support for the new broadband standard. “When 80 percent of Americans can access 25-3, that’s a standard. We have a problem that 20 percent can’t. We have a responsibility to that 20 percent,” Commissioner Wheeler said.
Nectar’s photo by Tim Lewis
I had a great time seeing music last night at Nectar’s. I got going a little early and settled in with a drink and some food. As usually happens, a few bites in, the band started playing.
Last night Joe Adler & The Rangers Of Danger was Joe and Grundlefunk as the Rangers. They opened with a super tight and sweet version of Relax. I hung out at the bar eating as quickly as I could. For the second song, a huge sound, not unlike a spaceship landing, emanated from the stage and I ran up front as it coalesced into a staggering version of Brothers And sisters. With three horn players, I though they would take the saw part, like the Mammal Dap version of the Rangers did recently at Radio Bean, but no, guitarist Marshall Dominguez played a powerful and gorgeous lead, and that may have been the best version I’ve ever heard. At the beginning, the audience was me, Jeremy Gilchrist and a handful of others, but that did not stop the band from being epic. They lightened things up a little with Many A Girl, with fun vocals from Joe and Nicole D’Elisa , then launched back into the rock with a blistering version of The Mime. Dan Bishop’s bass playing was so melodic it gave the songs all the drive they needed. Alex Furdon’s drumming pushed them forward and Joe and the horn section filled them out and made them sound huge at times. Again, the guitar just ripped and I was ecstatic. After that, they eased back for a breezy version of Many Things & Many Scenes, then went back to epic rock territory for a killer version of Mirror Mirror. It went on forever, had a huge build and was just glorious. I live for shows like that.
That was the end of the set and the band made way for Abbie Morin and her band. She took the stage with a microphone and an acoustic guitar. She had an electric lead guitar player, drums, keys and violin to fill out the sound. The songs were countryish popish fun and were nicely played and sung. One or two rocked a bit but most were a bit more mellow and dancey. A bunch of people showed up for the show, which is impressive late at night on a Wednesday in January, and people were having a great time. I really appreciated the music but after the glorious rock that came before, my time was limited. I hung out for several songs, but when my drink ended, so did I. She was fun, and I’m sure Grundlefunk’s set that followed would keep the party going, but I was pleasantly rocked out and headed for home.
Fareed Zakaria “The conversation at Davos is often dominated by economics and this year is no different. But the shock of the Paris terror attacks lingers and discussion has often turned here this week to radical Islam.
The death of King Abdullah has underscored those concerns because of Saudi Arabia’s complicated relationship with Islamic fundamentalist ideology. I posited last week that the solution does not lie in more American military interventions in the Middle East.
But what, then, is the answer? The problem is deep and structural, as I wrote a few weeks after 9/11 in “Newsweek” in an essay titled “Why They Hate Us.” The Arab world has been ruled for decades by repressive, mostly secular dictatorship. That in turn spawned extreme, mostly religious, opposition movement. The more repressive the regime, the more extreme the opposition.
Islam became the language of opposition because it was the one language that could not be shut down or censored. Now the old Arab order is crumbling, but it has only led to instability and opportunities for jihadi groups to thrive in the new badlands.
Over the last few decades this radical Islamist ideology has been globalized. Initially fueled by Saudi money and Arab dissenters, imams, and intellectuals, it has taken on a life of its own. Today radical Islam is the default ideology of anger, discontent and violent opposition for a small number of alienated young Muslim men around the world. Only Muslims and particularly Arabs can cure this cancer.
That doesn’t leave America and the West helpless. Washington and its allies can support Muslim moderates, help these societies modernize and integrate those that do into the world. But that’s for the long haul. Meanwhile, they must adopt a strategy that has four elements — intelligence, counterterrorism, integration, and resilience.
Intelligence is obviously the first line of defense, but also attack. We have to know where jihadis and potential jihadis are and what they are planning. That means using sophisticated technology, yes, to search through various kinds of communications. But it also and crucially means developing good relations with Muslim communities. Because only they can early on identify the potential troublemakers.
Counterterrorism is the natural follow-on to intelligence. When you know where the bad guys are, capture or kill them. It’s easier said than done, of course, but the United States and other Western nations have had considerable success with this tactic, not only in war zones like Afghanistan and Pakistan but also in intercepting plots on their way to cities likes Paris and London.
We must always remember, though, counterterrorism has its down sides. For instance, while drone attacks look seamless from the skies, they inevitably produce civilian casualties.
Integration is third. It’s something America does well and with which Europe struggles. One of the chief reasons that America has not had as many problems as many predicted after 9/11 is that its Muslim community is well integrated, largely loyal, and believes in American values.
Finally, resilience. Terrorism is an unusual tactic. It doesn’t work if we are not terrorized. Bouncing back, returning to normalcy, these are all ways of ensuring that terrorism does not have its desired effect. We’ve not always managed to do this. In recent months, we have massively overreacted to the ISIS execution videos, which is why they were produced in the first place. The Paris attacks were barbaric, as were those in Ottawa, Sydney, London, Madrid and Ft. Hood. But one way to gain perspective might be to keep in mind the numbers. According to the global terrorism database, in the 12 years between September 12th, 2001 and 2013, the number of Americans who have died on U.S. soil due to terrorism is 42.
Meanwhile in one year alone, 2011, the CDC reports that 32,351 Americans died because of firearms in one year. The number who died in car and truck accidents in that same year was 33,783. So keep calm and carry on is more than a slogan to wear on a T-shirt. ”
Larry Wilmore speaking about protests like the one in Ferguson “It’s not that these protests are less focused it’s just that the goals are less tangible. In the old days it was about being able to sit at a lunch counter, or going to the same schools, or even voting. Today, we’re just trying to not get shot on our way to work. Now look, I know it sounds like I’m exaggerating, people may think Hey Larry, calm down, calm down. Police aren’t targeting black guys OK. Roll 122”
Reporter Channel 6 “Tonight a South Florida family is outraged by this image right here and others. They say North Miami Beach used it, and the images of five other minorities as targets during weapons training.”
Outraged family member “People that are out there supposed to be protecting us are using us as target practice.”
Wilmore “That story was reported way back in today. The police in Florida are literally using pictures of young black men as targets. Now, how can we see that and be surprised when it happens in real life? I’m not surprised when Kobe hits a jumper, that dude practices.”
Radio Bean picture by Tim Lewis
As a music fan I’m pretty sated tonight. As a rocker I had to wait until the second Joe Adler & The Rangers Of Danger set at Radio Bean, but when it came it was magnificent. Burning Down the House was fun to start the Rangers second set, but the one two punch of The Mime into Brothers And Sisters was all the rock and roll glory I could ever want. Since Johnnie Day Durand was not there to play the saw I assumed Mammal Dap’s keyboard player would take the part, but it ended up going to Gnomedad’s sax player and he played it majestically. The slowburn ending with a bit of Horse Latitudes was pretty sweet. They lightened it up a little after that with Shoreline In Jersey, but mostly brought the rock. A Quiet Pun was great and Spit ‘N Fire Blues just rocked. They ended the night with a huge jammed out rocking ending.
The show started around 10:45 with Mammal Dap playing some powerful and precise jazz fusion, but I always have a hard time with that. I loved their sound and their playing was really intense, it’s just that none of the pieces made sense to me as songs. Consider that a comment about myself and not the band. They played 45 minutes or so then called for Joe. He was not there so they tossed in a Jeff Beck song that kept the audience dancing. Joe, Eric and Samara Lark Brown showed up after and joined them to be the Mammals Of Danger, and played most, if not all, of Joe’s album Many Things & Many Scenes. They opened with Mirror Mirror, then rocked out a fun Hungry Like The Wolf. Aya Inoue joined Samara on backing vocals for a bunch of songs like Many A Girl, Cloudy Mind, Relax and the title song. They wrapped the set with Walk On The Wild side then Mammal Dap took over for another set. It was cool but did not amaze me, again that’s my bias speaking, the band were hot. They played a few songs then brought it back to Ranger level to rock the night away.