This is a place for people to discuss the proposal to have the City of Palo Alto be involved in a Fiber to the Home. (Note: I am in favor of the FTTH imvolvement, but will add links as people tell me of either side)


Please add a Comment, that starts with: PRO or CON, and then contains your comment on the involvement of Palo Alto in the project so that the city council can determine if there are a sufficient number of people who support or oppose this involvement. Of course, if you want to Email to the City council, city.council@CityofPaloAlto.org do so, but you may also want to put the comment below to share it with others.



"Phone company blocks access to telecoms union's website"

On first read, this is the type of action that I think needs to be covered by the FCC and legislated as part of our Internet, Telecommunication acts.

We need to assure that:
  1. Areas that are not served by high speed internet access at costs that the citizens would be willing to pay, both directly and perhaps through their taxes can be served by their own communities if they so decide.

  2. Any Internet service be available on an open basis so that no content provider is prevented from access through the service or unreasonably charged or limited.

  3. In the case of Cable TV and Satellite TV, the "wire" vender should make a reasonable case for choosing and bundling channels as the presumption should be that the community is benefited by a diversity of opinions and the flexibility to pay for the channels that they want.

The case suggests that an internet "cable or ISP" provider is controlling access for corporate reasons. If we permit limited and "difficult to switch" internet accesses to our homes via the public right of ways than we may also require that there be no such discrimination of the content over these channels.



Now that we have a supreme court nominee we want to consider how to judge him:

  • His opinions in NON UNANIMOUS decisions
  • His opinions
  • His "work" affiliations
  • His positions (as employee)
  • His supporters/opponents

In addition we could consider that he would be a Thomas, Scalia type judge. This means we want to look at how the court is currently organized and what decisions would be changed if 5/4 decisions with the Thomas/Scelea as in the "4" were in the "5", See:

A Mathematician Crunches the Supreme Court's Numbers (NICHOLAS WADE, June 24, 2003, NY Times)

7 Questions for John Roberts -- What I'd like the Senate to ask the Supreme Court nominee (Reason)

Five Questions for Roberts (Dallas news)

Reader questions (Newsweek blog)

Republican internal briefing memo on Roberts by kos, Jul 21st, 2005

Judical review...

John Roberts re: Federalist Society

What Could He Rule On? (DailyKos) -- The faith of John Roberts -- If he had to rule on an issue that the Catholic Church considers a sin, ...he would have to recuse himself -- (latimes)

A John Roberts Roundup -- Slate

5 recent cases that were decided 5/4 that Roberts could be asked about (nyt)

American Constitution Society for Law and Policy Judical-Nomination BLOG (ACS) is one of the nation's leading progressive legal organizations

Previous wematter postings: Activists , Candidates

Also interesting

    Stigmatized Abortion -- Three positions on abortion seem possible. One view is that abortion should (almost) always be legal. Another is that abortion should (almost) always be illegal. The third is that abortion should be legal, but stigmatized, Jack M. Balkin





I am updating the subject of this as Iraq is our country:

1) Iraq is starting to want us out!

    As of July, 4, 2005, over 37% (103/275) of the The Iraqi National Assembly has proposed the adoption of a resolution:

      1) cancelling the request made by the Government to the UN Security Council to extend the presence of multinational forces, and

      2) urging the Government to put “a clear plan for army building and a timetable for the withdrawal of occupation troops” from Iraq. Informed Comment and Wikipedia

    Note: 2 weeks before that, June 22, the number was 83

2) Iraq is "cooperating" with Iran

    BAGHDAD - Iraq signed a military pact with Iran ... agreeing to accept Iranian military training and other cooperation ... Responding to the suggestion that the thaw in ties with Iran would anger Washington, Dulaimi said: "Nobody can dictate to Iraq its relations with other countrie -- (Reuters)

    Discussion: TheLeftCoaster



There are a number of things one may OBJECTIVELY say about a supreme court decision, in addition to saying things that just indicate whether one is in favor or against the decision.

1) Constitutionist -- e.g. Pro: if the decision overturns the law because of the constitution, Anti: if the law is upheld despite the constitutional challenge. -- Note: In general this is also Anti/Pro originist and often is the definition of Pro/Anti Activist.

2) Federalist -- e.g. Pro: if the state law or practice is supported. Anti: if the decision strikes down a state law because of a federal law, or federal constitutional condition.

3) Simplicity -- e.g. Pro: if the decision stated the results so that it is easier to decide similar cases or not: e.g. Anti: the decision seems to "split the difference" so that another set of cases seem to be required to determine where the "boundary" is.

4) Corporate Economic -- Pro: If the decision is for regulations that help business or against regulations that limit business, Anti: If eliminates business supports or supports regulations that limit business.

5) Social control -- Pro: If the decision supports laws that control the activity of an individual, Anti: if the decision supports controlling laws.


Flag Phrases. The following, I consider, not objective but "Flag Phrases", in that the generally are looked at as good, but tend to be subjectively judged by a person as satisfied by decisions.

a) Originist -- If the decision is what the framers of the constitution clearly stated (or meant), though if it was clear, then one wonders why anyone would think that the Supreme court, or any other court would oppose it.

b) Activist -- If the decision is overturning a law as being against the constitution. Note: This might also be considered Constitutional Extension, e.g. if the law makers really thought the constitution was opposed to the law, they might not have passed it.

. See: So Who Are the Activists? {e.g. Constitutionist) (nyt), and DalyKos
    {C} Thomas 65.63 %
    {C} Kennedy 64.06 %
    {C} Scalia 56.25 %
    {C} Rehnquist 46.88 %
    {?} O'Connor 46.77 %
    {L} Souter 42.19 %
    {L} Stevens 39.34 %
    {L} Ginsburg 39.06 %
    {L} Breyer 28.13 %

    . Key: {C} Conservative, {L} Liberal
I look forward to any other objective classifications for decisions.
Also see:



The following are some possible Supreme Court nominees

  1. Brown, Judge Janice Rogers SCTN ,

  2. Clement, Judge Edith Brown SCTN ,

  3. Jones, Judge Edith Hollan SCTN ,

  4. Gonzales, Attorney General Alberto SCTN ,

The top runner's position on abortion (Slate)

SCTN = SctNomination.com

My Prediction 7/4/2005

As far as I can see the only question is whether the group of 14 decide to over-ride the Filibuster.

1) Bush will put up a "Strict Constructionist"

2) There will be a lot of Yammering, all predictable, given the (R) or (D) of the yammerer.

3) The nominee will be voted out of the committee on a partisan vote.

4) There will be a Filibuster, after the same predictable yammering, and then either:

. 5) The filibuster will be broken and the nominee is approved,

. 6) Or it holds and then after a sufficient time there is a recess and the nominee is recess appointed until the next Senate


So let's sit back and see the show, given the outcome is determined!!!

I estimated that it would take 6 weeks, but forgot about the time it took to "vet" the nominee.


Note: The compromise, even if it holds, only lasts until the end of this session, and that, by chance?, is the time at which a recess appointment would expire.