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America cuts its cable

In a recent post on her website, cattle commodities broker Ann Barnhardt explained why she ended her cable TV service.

“I was channel surfing one evening at around 8:00 p.m.,” Barnhardt writes. “I came across a title of a show called ‘Latter Days.’ I thought that it might be a documentary about the Mormons or some such, and always being keen to read up and get wise on such matters, I clicked on the title and tuned in that channel.”

Instead, she was greeted with the sight of two young men having sex, broadcast on the then-new “Gay Pride” channel included in the cable package she had purchased because it offered a religious channel she wanted, Catholic EWTN.

Barnhardt was so affronted, she cancelled her cable service and found her favorite Catholic program, “The Journey Home,” online.

In the two years since Barnhardt and others cut their cable service, television programming has become increasingly more available online with free offerings as well as paid services like Netflix, which recently released a report showing that 32 percent of its users tend to discontinue their cable service within 12 months. Another factor is the declining economy, which has cable providers concerned about diminishing subscriptions.

“In 2010, approximately 1 million U.S. households cut the cord,” a Denver TV critic recently reported. “By the end of this year, 2.07 million households are expected to have dropped cable during the past four years, according to The Convergence Consulting Group, a company that reports to the entertainment industry.”

Barnhardt concluded, “So, even if you are like I was and only watch Christian programming, cooking shows, science shows, history shows and military shows, the system is intentionally set up so that YOU are being forced to subsidize the two-dudes-sodomizing-each-other channel. I realized that I was paying for that crap whether I watched it or not.”

Imagine the possibilities

You’ve paid for your ticket and you’re in the concert hall. You want to capture the moment, so you tap your iPhone camera icon and begin illicitly recording the event. Suddenly your iPhone stops recording. Whoa! What happened? You’ve been shut down by a new Apple technology that will sense your recording activity with infrared sensors and sends a signal to remotely disable your device’s camera function.

Granted, you shouldn’t have been recording the concert in adherence to terms stated on your ticket. But, could the same technological capability be used to shut down tomorrow’s town hall meetings or other events? Imagine the possibilities.

Surprise! FCC colludes with radial leftist and Socialist organization

The Federal Communications Commission colluded with Free Press, an organization that has deep ties to radical leftists and socialists, to push “Net neutrality.”

According to a report released this month by Judicial Watch, a public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, the co-founder and president of Free Press is Robert McChesny, former editor of the socialist magazine Monthly Review. Kim Gandy, the chairman of the Free Press Board of Directors, served as the president of the National Organization for Women from 2001-2009. Craig Aaron, Free Press’s president and CEO, formerly worked as managing editor of the socialist tabloid In These Times. Free Press is financially supported by George Soros’s Open Society Institute and other hard left groups such as the Ford Foundation and Democracy Alliance.

Judicial Watch reported it “uncovered documents from the Federal Communications Commission that indicate officials at the FCC colluded with the leftist Free Press organization to publicly push a new plan to regulate the Internet under the FCC’s so-called ‘Net neutrality’ program. Judicial Watch obtained the documents pursuant to a December 27, 2010, Freedom of Information Act request.”

In December 2010, the FCC voted 3-2 to advance its Net neutrality program. This decision seems to fly in the face of an April 2010 federal appeals court ruling that the FCC had exceeded its authority in seeking to regulate the Internet and enforce Net neutrality rules.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton wrote: “Net neutrality is just another Obama power grab. This is nothing less than the Obama administration’s attempt to stage a government takeover of the Internet under the guise of ‘Net neutrality.’ So it should come as no surprise that Free Press, the hard left organization with socialist ties, is improperly driving the so-called Net neutrality agenda from inside the Obama administration. The FCC is supposed to be an independent agency that follows the law. The American people should be deeply troubled by the fact that the Obama administration, on issue after issue, seems to be run by shadowy leftist organizations. Our government is supposed to be ‘of the people, by the people, and for the people’, not ‘of the left, by the left, and for the left.'”

Read the sordid details.

Meanwhile, FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, daughter of U.S. Representative James Clyburn, D-S.C., says not to worry about governmental Internet regulation. Sure. “Equal engagement,” baby. “Equal engagement.” Clyburn was nominated as a member of the FCC on June 25, 2009, and sworn in Aug. 3, 2009. Her term runs until June 30, 2012.

Don’t be lulzed into trusting your info security on the ‘Net

“For the past month and a bit, we’ve been causing mayhem and chaos throughout the Internet, attacking several targets including PBS, Sony, Fox, porn websites, FBI, CIA, the U.S. government, Sony some more, online gaming servers (by request of callers, not by our own choice), Sony again, and of course our good friend Sony.”

So wrote Lulz Security, a group of hackers responsible for recent online data breaches and that uses Twitter to brag about its hacks and taunt its victims, including its latest, the U.S. Senate. Read Lulz’ boastful reports on its mayhem to see what these hackers are about.

Google eyes Admeld – Justice wants to eyeball first

Google wants to buy Admeld, a display advertising company. The Internet giant is willing to pay $400 million for it. Admeld helps Web publishers sell ad space in real time, including with Google’s DoubleClick Ad Exchange.

But the deal is attracting scrutiny from the feds.

In response, a Google spokesman said, “This acquisition is designed to help publishers get the most from the rapidly growing display advertising industry, which is both complicated and incredibly competitive. The emergence in recent years of a huge variety of technologies for publishers, like Admeld’s, is great evidence of that.”

Advertising is not relegated to websites alone. A published report indicates that the retail industry is eager to sell products on mobile phones. To date, 25 of the 30 top online retailers have iPhone apps. But in a stagnant economy, growth is slow, with less than 15 percent of online consumers report having used their mobile phones to buy something. Security concerns also were cited as an issue for potential consumers.

Take a page from their book …

Gay-rights advocates are ahead of the curve when it comes to encouraging people to pressure their state legislative representatives. A system developed for their website enables users to type their address and phone number and receive a call connecting them to the office of their representative in the state Senate. The feature also gives advice about what to say and offers a pop up form that allows the visitor to email reps.

Other advocacy groups would be wise to implement the same technique on their websites, as it seems to work. At least one legislator who was on the fence about same sex marriage voted in favor of it when inundated by constituents.

Facebook goes iPad

Coming soon for Facebook users! A free iPad application that will offer additional features not found on its online website and that will allow you to shoot and upload photos and videos directly from the iPad’s built-in cameras.

Facebook currently has more than 500 million users, with more than 250 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices.

Buy low, enjoy the high – When stores change prices, shop the values

Would you like to know when a product you want to purchase is at its lowest price? Now you can.

According to a published report announcing its launch, a new feature called Shopobot is now available to help you track prices and decide when to buy. Shopobot jumped onto the scene last week with funding from Google Ventures and AOL Ventures.

“It seems like if you buy it today, it will be the same as tomorrow. But even at Amazon a digital camera might move $50 or $100 throughout a week, a level that we were pretty shocked at,” said Dave Matthews, a Shopobot co-founder.

It won’t cost you anything to Bookmark this one, and it could save you plenty.

The time capsule

“A country without a memory is a country of madmen.” – George Santayana

1941 – Hitler invades the Soviet Union

1945 – U.S. troops take Okinawa

1965 – Students protest after Algiers coup

1976 – Westerners evacuated from Beirut

1985 – Air India jet crashes killing 329

1990 – Major proposes new Euro currency

Now playing at the Princess Theater in Urbana, Ill.

Congratulations to WND readers Edie Root of Elgin, S.C., and Tony DiNapoli of Cherry Hill, N.J., who were among the first to correctly guess actor Kelsey Grammer as George Washington in “Benedict Arnold: A Question of Honor.”

The 2003 made-for-TV movie told the story of American traitor Benedict Arnold, who rose from humble origins to become the most respected and feared of America’s generals. He won brilliant military victories against the English colonists and was Washington’s favorite soldier. But two conflicting forces battled inside Arnold’s heart; a deep concern for his country and his passionate love for an enchanting and manipulative English woman, Peggy Shippen. Blinded by desire, Arnold defected to the English army, orchestrating an attempt to assassinate his own mentor, George Washington.

In last week’s time capsule feature, we noted that 210 years ago, Benedict Arnold died in London, virtually unknown and unliked.

The quote was: “Our greatest warrior is a traitor. Can anyone be trusted?” said by George Washington of Benedict Arnold.

This week’s quote: “I had to fight all my life to survive. They were all against me, but I beat the bastards and left them in the ditch.”

Name the movie, the actor and the character. Send your answer to me at the email address below. Good luck!