Over on MyLeftNutmg, MattW points out Rep. Tom Drew’s proposed bill, Proposed Bill No. 6502, AN ACT CONCERNING WIRELESS INTERNET ACCESS.
That the general statutes be amended to establish a working group to make recommendations for creating incentives to expand or maximize wireless Internet access in the state.
On initial reading, this sounds like a great idea. Statewide WiFi. As I commented on MyLeftNutmeg:
As a starting point, every public building ought to have WiFi. Schools, libraries, town halls, court houses, police stations, etc. Some already do, and many others can without much work.
Getting WiFi at parks and Community Technology Centers probably brings even more bang for the buck, but is harder get through.
Yet the devil is always in the details. Who will be in the working group? What will happen to the recommendations? What sort of incentives are being considered? Will the group be made up of industry executives pushing for proposals for large corporate giveaways to get the corporations to make $30/month WiFi access more ubiquitous? Will the group be made up of technogeeks pushing for some wonderful but arcane and unusable solution? Will the recommendations end up being one more set of recommendations that get added to a library somewhere and not acted upon? We shall see.
How will this “maximize economic and other development” in our State? Will it be done in such a way that helps alleviate the digital divide, or will it compound the digital divide with policies that make it useful only to people that already have WiFi enabled laptops and the knowledge of how to use them.
I hope that we get a lot of people working together to make sure that this bill does bring about greater Internet access for a wide spectrum of citizens.
(Cross posted at DailyKos)
Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields where glory does not stay
And early though the laurel grows
It withers quicker than the rose.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this stanza from A.E. Housman’s great poem, “To an Athlete Dying Young” recently. Andre Agassi’s tearful farewell brought it into sharp focus. I sat in my father-in-law’s living room, with the extended family as we watched his last set, cheering him on each painful step of the way. It is sad to see him go. He has brought so much grace and excitement to the U.S. Open, and it will not be the same without him. Yet he knew it was time to step aside for a new generation of tennis stars, and he has done it incredibly gracefully.
This marks a profound contrast to Sen. Lieberman. Voters in Connecticut no long see Sen. Lieberman as a champion of the causes of the people of Connecticut. Some people question whether he ever was such a champion, others defend him to this day, but still call on him to recognize and acknowledge his defeat last month, when a record number of voters in a Connecticut primary voted for his opponent.
Andre Agassi leaves the field, with his head held high and people wishing it wasn’t time for him to go. Sen. Lieberman sticks around as people wish he would just leave.
Last night, I was contacted by Dave Mooney, who is running for State Representative in the 120th Assembly District, which covers part of Stratford. He was building a list of bloggers to send his press releases out to.
Later in the evening, I received Mooney State Rep Campaign Energized for November Election. Dave has been running a very energetic campaign for several months and it is great to see him reaching out to bloggers.
Sen. Edwards and Ned Lamont address a bunch of bloggers in New Haven, CT
On April 20th, 1999, two teenage boys, ages 18 and 17, shot at a group of people. In the end, they killed 13 people, injured another 24, and then committed suicide. It took place at a high school in Colorado and made national headlines.
On Junes 16th, 2006, two teenage boys, ages 17 and 16, shot at a group of people. In the end, they killed a thirteen-year-old girl, and injured two other girls. It took place in New Haven, Connecticut and hasn’t made national headlines.
What is different about these two incidents? The second shooting took place at night and wasn’t at a school. Only one person was killed, instead of 13, and the assailants did not commit suicide. Yet local papers report that this is part of the senseless violence that has resulted in twenty people being shot, three fatally in Connecticut.
I have a daughter who will turn 13 next month. I cannot imagine the horror and outrage I would have if she were shot down the way Ms. Cole was shot down. I would expect the outrage to be widespread.
I would expect people to talk on TV about the causes of the shooting and how future shootings could be prevented. Some might blame the violence on TV, or in video games, or in various forms of music. They would lead efforts to address these causes by calling for a chip to be put in TVs to prevent youngsters from watching inappropriate shows, they would try to ban or at least limit the sale of violent video games and they would rail against musicians with lyrics they didn’t approve of.
So, what is different here? Well, Jujuana Cole was black. She lived in an area where there are not enough jobs and where people are poor.
We need people that will fight against the conditions of poverty with at least the same vigor and vehemence as others have fought to ban violent video games and lyrics they don’t approve of.