The Online Journal of Insight, Satire, Desire, Wit and Observation

Hands off my Router! Bad Government! — No to ‘Net Neutrality’!

Hands off my Router! Bad Government!
No to ‘Net Neutrality’!

From a discussion of “Net Neutrality” on

I am in general agreement with Peter’s comments regarding so-called “Net Neutrality”. I would add that for me as a system owner and administrator the issue is: who controls my router policy? Is it me, or is it the government? As far as I am concerned the Net by its historical process should be governed by “rough consensus and working code”.RFCs (Request for Comments, internet administrative documents) such as (more or less at random) RFC 2676 and RFC 2815 provide for quality of service (QoS) and other preferential routing.

So on the one hand, as a system owner and system administrator, I want to be able to offer highest quality service to say, medical service providers who may need real time telemetry and video on a priority basis. On the other hand, I want to be able to give spammers or large organizations backhauling their own IP traffic across my network, an arbitrarily low priority.

Any law about Net Neutrality is likely to be worded such that it will permit interpretations which will criminalize system administrators doing perfectly normal things in accordance with the RFC’s.

What we should ask for is “end-to-end” neutrality — that the QoS (Quality of Service) bits set by a user on one end of a transaction be transmitted intact to a willing receiver. How they are routed along the way is up to the people along the way… not just “a service provider” but sometimes 10 or more hops “in-between”. The whole internet depends on voluntary cooperation without government coercion or proscriptive enforcement.

Here’s a link showing some of the RFC’s relating to Quality of Service routing issues:

Not to mention other routing issues which would become involved in a government-mandated “neutrality” scheme, such as how routes are announced over BGP, or aggregated via CIDR.

In short, “net neutrality” is a slogan for having the government take over and begin prescribing and proscribing how we can set up our own routers and networking protocols. I think this is a Very Bad Idea, and something that Jon Postel fought against.

We shouldn’t be talking about this astroturfing term “net neutrality” we should be talking about “common carrier” status. The operators of the big network exchanges such as PAIX, MAE-East and MAE-West, are essentially “natural monopolies”. They should be granted both the privileges, such as immunity, and the responsibilities of other historic types of common carriers, such as to carry all traffic without discrimination. This however doesn’t mean without routing policies, simply that those policies as much as possible should be “Content-Neutral”.

So best effort, everyone work together, and if you can’t build it again from scratch, leave it alone. Hands off my router! BAD GOVERNMENT! lol

Network Neutrality (wikipedia)
John Postel (wikipedia)
MAE-East and MAE-West
Common carrier (wikipedia)

Copyright © 2007 Henry Edward Hardy

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23 January, 2007 Posted by | Ann Arbor, common carrier, internet, Jon Postel, Michigan, net neutrality, politics, scanlyze | Leave a comment

‘I was a Racketeer for Capitalism’ — Maj. General Smedley Butler, USMC (1935)

‘I was a racketeer for capitalism’

Maj. General Smedley Butler, USMC (1935)

Major General Smedley Butler was a two-time winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor and (once) of the Marine Corps Brevet Medal. In 1935 the following excerpt from his speeches was published in the magazine Common Sense:

America’s Armed Forces: In Time of Peace

…In the past two years large National Guard forces have seen active service in 20 strikes in as many different states, from the Pacific Coast to New England, from Minnesota to Georgia. They have used gas, bullets, and tanks — the most lethal weapons of modern war — against striking workers. Casualty lists have been impressive. In one instance they erected barbed wire concentration camps in Georgia to “co-ordinate” striking workers with all the efficiency of the fascist repressive technique.There isn’t a trick In the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its “finger men” (to point out enemies), its “muscle men” (to destroy enemies), its “brain guys,” (to plan war preparations) and a “Big Boss,” (super-nationalistic capitalism).

I Was a “Racketeer”

It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent 33 years and 4 months In active service as a member of our country’s most agile military force — the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from a second lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism.

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all members of the profession I never had an original thought until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of the higher-ups. This is typical of everyone in the military service.

Thus I, helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers 1909-12. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras “right” for American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. I was rewarded with honors, medals, promotion. Looking back on it, I feel I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three city districts. We Marines operated on three continents.

Smedley Butler (wikipedia)
Major General Smedley Darlington Butler (Marine Corps History Division)

Some discussion of this piece at Insights of a Marine General, Published in a magazine called “Common Sense”

Copyright © 2007 Henry Edward Hardy

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23 January, 2007 Posted by | Al capone, archives, books, Brevet Medal, Brown Brothers, capitalism, China, Congressional Medal of Honor, covert operations, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Honduras, marines, Mexico, military, National City Bank, repression, scanlyze, Smedley Butler, speeches, Standard Oil, strikes, unions, war | 2 Comments

The Blind Swordsman: Zatôichi

The Blind Swordsman:

by Henry Edward Hardy

Zatôichi is a humble blind masseur who is also (of course) a master swordsman. He is no saint and enjoys the simple pleasures of gambling, sake and the company of women. But when bad guys want to do badness, watch out! He cuts them down in fine style.The film follows the familiar genre of a master swordsman who travels about in humble circumstances and has some extraordinary disability. In the excellent Lone Wolf and Cub manga and movies, it is a disgraced samurai with a young son he carries around on his back. The Hong-Kong One-Armed Swordsman films are naturally about a master swordsman with one arm.

The Zatôichi character was the subject of a popular TV show from 1974-1979. This latest Zatôichi film is approximately the 25th of that name. It is the first made by and starring Takeshi Kitano.Kitano’s swordsmanship is swift and decisive and his physical control excellent. There is no sword-clashing, flourishing back and forth here; when Ichi finally draws his cane sword he strikes like a cobra: decisive, ruthless and using the entire strength of his body behind the blade.

Only one opponent marks him; the tragic ronin character Hattori Genosuke (Tadanobu Asano). Genosuke is a noble samurai fallen on hard times who enlists as a “bodyguard” with the local yakuza gang in order to buy medicine for his consumptive wife O-shino (Yui Natsukawa).

Ichi falls in with two ruthless ‘geishas’. One of whom is really a man, who is the brother of the other geisha. They are seeking revenge against the yakuza clan, which destroyed their family. A great deal of camera time is devoted to the brother who is unambiguously devoted to living as a woman even when the bad guys have been eliminated.

Kitano used color to distinguish between the various factions, and to give the principal characters signature distinguishing features such as his yellow hair and red sword-cane. And there is blood. Geysers of blood. Fire-engine red bursts of rather badly done computer-graphic blood. If you don’t like to see vast effusions of obviously fake blood this might not be the movie for you.

But for fans of the period samurai film, or anyone looking for something offbeat and entertaining, Zatôichi is not the worst film one could see.

Zatoichi – A Takeshi Kitano Film
Zatôichi (2003) (IMDB)
Zatoichi (wikipedia)
The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi/Sonatine (2004) (Rotten Tomatoes)

A version of this article appeared previously in Current Magazine and on Electric Current,

Copyright © 2006, 2007 Henry Edward Hardy

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23 January, 2007 Posted by | archives, Japan, manga, media, movies, reviews, samurai, scanlyze, weird | 1 Comment