September 17th, 2017. Nothing (Of Importance) Happened Today, and Open Thread.

It’s only been a few months, but cutting the cable was a great choice. I don’t miss the media/entertainment complex at all.

I feel fine.

Speaking Truth to Bureaucrats and Despots
Weekend Caption Contest™ Winners Week of September 15, 2017
  • Retired military

    I beg to differ. Today would have been my 29th anniversary

    • Scalia

      All the best to you, RM. I know it must be tough.

      • Retired military

        Thanks Scalia. It has its ups and downs but I am doing good.

        • pennywit

          Hope you’re OK. If it helps you feel better, you and I can trade insults for a few mintues.

          • Retired military

            I am good penny. But thanks.

    • Thus the “Open Thread.”

    • Walter_Cronanty

      God bless you RM – I thoroughly enjoy your comments – and may even plagiarize one or two.

  • Par4Course

    It’s not about Hollywood award shows. On September 17, Constitution Day commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution by 39 brave men on September 17, 1787.

    • Which was not yesterday, but 230 years ago yesterday… Any given day of the year almost certainly has historical significance. Yesterday qua yesterday, not so much.

      • jim_m

        I believe it is Constitution Day on Sept 17 every year.

  • Wild_Willie

    My wife and I cut the cable 7 years ago. A BIG waste of money. We have been happier since.

  • jim_m

    On this day in 1939 the USSR invaded Poland. In 2009 Obama chose the anniversary of this invasion to inform the present of Poland that he was abandoning plans for supplying them with missile defence in an effort to appease the very enemy that had invaded them 70 years ago on that very date.

    Obama was always acutely aware of the symbolism of all his actions and it was obvious that he had deliberately choose that date as an insult to our ally.

  • Scorpion

    In 2012, I cut the cord when my monthly bill was around $60. Even without future price increases, I’ve already deprived Comcast of over $3600. I have since bought a $25 indoor antenna for free HD local viewing and subscribed to Netflix for less than $13 per month. I love it. With today’s cable costs, it’s like a 401k contribution.

    • Wild_Willie

      Exactly what we did. Between over the air broadcasting, Amazon Prime and Netflix, we choose when and what. If breaking news of import hits, such as Harvey and Irma hurricane’s Youtube streams free Weather Channel or Fox News.

  • pennywit

    I mostly cut the cable. I’ve kept Sling for streaming live TV. If it weren’t for the missus’ desire to watch things on cable TV, I would completely switch to a cheapo option to stream the 3-4 shows I actually care about.

    • Walter_Cronanty

      How does that work [I’m a technophobe]? Can you watch live sports? Golf Channel? Racing, of all sorts? My sons have almost all cut the cable. They start telling me how to do it, and I’m lost after about the third word of their explanation. How do you get your internet service? Home phone service [land line – I know, that’s archaic]?

      Yes, you can have my quill when you pry it out of my cold, dead hand.

      • Wild_Willie

        When my grandson played football I ordered sling with the sports package so we can watch any and all games going on. $35 and month for that package but usually around $20 per month. After football season I cancel it.

        • Walter_Cronanty

          Do you need a “smart” TV to do that?

          • pennywit

            A Roku will suffice.

      • pennywit

        How does that work [I’m a technophobe]?

        The cable companies and telcos still dominate the “last mile” from the Internet to your house, thanks to franchise agreements with local governments and blatant rent-seeking at state legislatures. But people have tired of paying the cable companies to deliver content and have started to look elsewhere.

        The on-demand streaming “industry,” such as it is, is currently dominated by aggregators like Hulu and Netflix, while other aggregators like Sling TV have stepped in to provide live TV alternatives to cable service, offering smaller channel packages on the theory that people are more willing to pay $10 for a few channels than $60 for a plethora of channels.

        Outside of the aggregators, most channels distribute their content through the “TV Everywhere” model, in which you certify you subscribe to a cable service before you can access programs. TV Everywhere took hold among the content providers chiefly because they are aware the that cable companies control the last mile between content and the home … and they do not wish to disturb that oligopoly.

        However, now that content providers have seen there is money to be made both from older content and higher-quality prestige content (as Netflix has demonstrated), content providers have begun to disaggregate, moving their content to in-house streaming services. Current players in this space include the premium channel streaming services (like HBO Now), the network streamer CBS All Access, and Disney’s forthcoming service.

        I suspect that we will see further disaggregation in the next five to ten years as content creators test the market for their products and sports leagues disentangle themselves from broadcast agreements, then a slow re-aggregation as content providers and studios discover whether there is a market for their back catalogs or if prestige offerings are worth the continued expense.

        Can you watch live sports? Golf Channel? Racing, of all sorts?

        The answer, unfortunately, is “it depends.” The sports leagues all have arrangements with networks to broadcast games and events, and those arrangements in turn often preclude the leagues from offering direct-o-consumer services. I suggest that you make a list of the major things you like to watch (racing, baseball, news, football teams, and the Cleveland Browns), see which channels carry them, then see what’s available on the streaming services.

        Currently, the major players in live TV streaming are Sling TV, DirecTV Now, Playstation VUE, and Hulu Live TV. Google’s YouTube TV is an up-and-coming service. All of these services include basic packages, and allow you to add on small “skinny” bundles. If you prefer the comfort of the familiar, Layer3 offers a cable-like service that runs over fiber.

        I, personally, like Sling TV, although I’m interested in trying out Hulu’s Live TV service when it comes to Roku.

        Speaking of which, let’s talk hardware.

        Smart TVs are all the rage right now, but I don’t care for the “smart TV” thing, really. A lot of the brand-name TVs run a proprietary services, and there’s no telling when a particular app is going to be available on a particular service. TV manufacturers are primarily manufacturers, not software programmers, and (IMO) this always shows. If you buy a new Smart TV, I would tell you to ignore the built-in apps unless you have either an Amazon TV or a Roku TV. Both of these platforms have been around for a few years, and the respective companies (Amazon and Roku) will continue to maintain the software regardless of the manufacturer’s specs.

        Speaking of which …

        Hardware wise, you have a lot of options. Modern game systems such as the Playstation and the Xbox One are not just game machines, but also platforms for entertainment apps. You can also find Apple TV, and a few other things. But for me, nothing, and I mean NOTHING, beats a simple Roku box. You plug it in, hook it up to your TV (by HDMI), then hook it up to your home network (by Wifi) and the rest is easy. The remote is intuitive and purchasing and installing apps is simple.

        Home phone service [land line – I know, that’s archaic]?

        I don’t bother.

        A concluding note.

        My affection for cord-cutting or streaming is founded in a certain frustration. I deeply resent the fact that my local choices for cable and Internet are typically two companies, or sometimes just one, thanks to local monopolies. I deeply despise local cable companies that quote you a price for the “triple play” package, then tack on a slew of garbage fees. My last triple play bill, for example, included over sixty bucks things ranging from local taxes (which I can live with) to fees for the cable boxes (without which I can’t access most of the content) to fees labeled “Broadcast TV fee” and “regional sports fees.” All of these “fees,” IMO, ought to be included in the up-front price.

        Given the choice between a telco that quotes a rate to me, then tacks on fees and a streamer that offers a higher price but better choices and no fees … and I’ll take the streamer.

        • Walter_Cronanty

          Thank you for your thoughtful and informational reply. I despise cable TV come-on rates that go up by 60% to 80% after the come-on time period expires. I’ve been looking at DirectTV, but I don’t care for the satellite dish on my roof.

          One other question, which I hope doesn’t cost you a lot of time to answer. You talk about “…hook[ing] it up to your home network (by Wifi)….” Currently, my home wifi is provided by a router hooked up to a cable company. How do you get your wifi?

          • pennywit

            Router hooked up to the local cable company/telco. That’s pretty much the only choice.

          • pennywit

            I’ve also have some lightbulbs I control by voice. It’s fun.

  • pennywit

    Speaking of TV. I wish that TV networks would do upfronts for me, the viewer, rather than for advertisers. Basically, for two weeks, give me a sampler of upcoming shows. If I like your network’s slate, I’ll subscribe for a season. If I don’t, I won’t. Then I pay for what I really want.

    I would be OK with paying $50 to $60 per month for twenty or thirty channels I actually want to watch. I absolutely do not want to pay $50 to $60 per month for twenty or thirty channels I watch and three hundred channels I ignore.

    • Retired military

      Some companies offer like a basic basic lifeline service for real cheap.

  • McG

    Sorry, can’t do it. RFD-TV and the Cowboy Channel aren’t available online.

  • Jwb10001

    We got rid of the cable TV this year too, if ever there was an industry in need of an enema it’s that one.

    • pennywit

      Hmm …

      New Democatic campaign plank:

      “An agent from the FCC will visit every cable executive — weekly — to administer an enema until the cable industry’s performance improves.”

      • Jwb10001

        If a democrat would give that industry what it deserves I’d vote for them, that’s how much I hate them.

  • Walter_Cronanty

    Well, it’s now the 18th – – so sue me:
    This week marks the 30th anniversary of one of the turning points in modern American politics: the travesty of the Bork confirmation hearings. The “Borking” of Bork changed the rules of judicial appointments, and have poisoned judicial politics, ever since. It was a shameful moment because of the duplicity and hypocrisy of Democrats….

    But then came Ted Kennedy’s single most demagogic moment on the Senate floor:

    “Women would be forced into back alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, school children could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of government, and the doors of federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is—and is often the only—protector of the individual rights that are the heart of our democracy. …”

    During his tenure on the DC Circuit Bork had written or joined 416 opinions, many of them on the same side as fellow DC Circuit Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Bork’s three-judge panels were unanimous 90 percent of the time, and Bork was in the majority 95 percent of the time. The Supreme Court had reversed not a single majority opinion Bork wrote or joined, while in six cases the Supreme Court had adopted a dissenting opinion of Bork’s. Bork’s critics said he was hostile to minorities and civil rights, yet he sided with minority plaintiffs in seven out of eight cases that came before him as a judge. As political scientist Aaron Wildavsky noted, “How could a superb legal craftsman be outside the mainstream when he was one of the leaders in determining what constituted excellence in legal reasoning [as a professor at Yale Law School and Solicitor General of the United States]? How could a judge who had written some 150 opinions, and had never been reversed by a higher court, be outside the mainstream?”

    • jim_m

      It was this that demonstrated for the current generation that the left no longer is interested in democracy and is only interested in the subjugation of everyone who disagrees with them.

      • Walter_Cronanty

        You say “subjugation,” I say “destruction.”

        • McG

          Destroy the leaders, subjugate the survivors.

    • Scalia

      The answer is that he wrote as a college professor that Roe v. Wade is not on solid constitutional footing. That was the only reason Democrats opposed him. To support a judge who openly stated his opposition to Roe would have been political suicide.

      Lacking a solid case to oppose him, they had to dishonestly paint him as some sort of Nazi. It was truly one of the most shameful moments in the Senate’s history.

      • Walter_Cronanty

        Which has led to less academic writing by conservative judges[edit]/academics who have any ambition to be appointed to the SCt.
        [Edit] Go Lions!

        • Scalia

          Hey, they did the job against the Giants. To say the least, I am pleasantly surprised!

    • Today is a new day marking an event which happened on the same date three decades ago (which is ancient history for entirely too much of the electorate).

      • Walter_Cronanty

        “…[T]hree decades ago…” Gosh, that’s so long ago. We, like, need a living Constitution or something. You know, dead white guys and all that.

    • Wild_Willie

      I remember it well. Bork became a verb. As a political junkie and participant locally for years and a vet, I was disheartened and ashamed of our government for doing this. I became clearly aware of the duplicity of the media also. It has worsened as time went on. Now we are at a crossroads. If law and order is not enforced and maintained, the citizen’s will rise up to maintain it.

    • pennywit

      I suspect Democrats really opposed Bork because of his role in the Saturday Night Massacre.

      • Walter_Cronanty

        If so, they were lying a lot in the Senate Hearings.

        • pennywit

          No, really?

          DC’s been a cycle of tit-for-tat since Watergate.