Tuesday, June 26, 2007

NEWS FLASH: 'Silence' Overwhelms Congressional Switchboards

Kurt Hanson's Radio and Internet News (RAIN) reports this afternoon that the Internet Radio Day of Silence has overwhelmed both the websites connecting listeners to Congress and Congressional office telephone switchboards.

A massive response by listeners to today's ongoing "Day of Silence" event has overwhelmed the web and database servers being used by SaveNetRadio.org and is tying up switchboards in Congressional offices all over Capitol Hill as a deluge of online radio listeners have rushed to contact their representatives to ask them to co-sponsor the "Internet Radio Equality Act."

Beginning just before 10AM CT, the SaveNetRadio.org site saw huge numbers of visitors begin to arrive, coming from links set up by webcasters participating in today's event.

Shortly thereafter, the section of the site that lets users look up contact information for their Congressmen and Senators, (powered by Capitol Advantage's CapWiz) was crippled by large numbers of users trying to simultaneously access their reps' information.

According to a representative from SaveNetRadio, "This is by far the biggest one-day load [CapWiz] has ever been hit with, and they are adding servers and moving all available resources ASAP." The website is in the process of revising its home page to ask listeners to try again later this afternoon or tomorrow.

Meanwhile, listeners who do get the contact information for their representatives are having trouble getting through to the offices, as most House and Senate staff office phone numbers seem to be nonstop busy signals at the moment.

Nearly a dozen phone calls from the RAIN office to various Congressional offices' switchboards have been unable to get through, as the lines appear to be flooded with callers.

Live365's servers were also swamped and the website was down most of the day. However, the special WiZARD RADIO broadcast is taking place exactly as planned. You can tune in and listen any time.

The most imporant thing you can do, however, is to pick up the telephone and call your Senator. You only need to say one short thing: Ask him or her to Co-Sponsor or support the "Internet Radio Equality Act." This will simply allow Internet Radio to pay the exact same royalties of Satellite Radio.

We don't want a free ride. We want a fair ride.



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Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Day of Silence

The three Internet Radio Stations that comprise our WIZARD RADIO BROADCAST GROUP, along with the SaveNetRadio coalition and most Internet radio stations throughout the United States will be participating in a Day of Silence on Tuesday, June 26th.

Although exact times might vary on different Internet Radio Stations and different Internet radio networks, Wizard Radio will observe the Day of Silence from 3 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time until Midnight Pacific Daylight Time the night of the 26th.

We will be joined by all 10,000 Internet Radio Stations that are part of the Live365 Radio Network.

Here's what you can expect: Free listeners who tune into WIZARD RADIO will be redirected to a Day of Silence stream that offers an explanation of the Day of Silence along with broadcaster testimonials from many of the 10,000 stations.

Listeners will be asked to help Save Internet Radio by calling, writing and emailing their Senators and Representatives.

If you don't want to give up Internet Radio for the day, you are invited to become a Live 365 Preferred Listener, a VIP (if you haven't already joined this elite group). VIP membership cost less than two cups of coffee a month!!!! With a VIP membership at Live365 you can always listen to all 10,000 stations AD FREE!! It's one great bargain.

Support this station and listen ad-free with Live365 Preferred Membership!

If you are a VIP Member of Live365 you will still hear a special Day of Silence Announcement, but then be connected to WiZARD RADIO's special and very exciting programming for the 26th.

The Day of Silence will bring much needed attention to the danger Internet radio is encountering.

We apologize for the disruptions this will cause, but we feel drastic measures are necessary.

Ninety Five percent of all Internet Radio stations are operated at no profit. This isn't a power play for money on the part of Internet Radio Station owners or operators. It's a fight for survival. We're trying to preserve a new and important medium. We're trying to preserve diversity in broadcasting. We're trying to save an outlet for independent musicians and artists.

Remember, WiZARD RADIO PAYS all artists, musicians and even the record labels for the privilege of playing their music. We already pay the highest royalties in the entire world!!

Remember, AM and FM Radio DOES NOT PAY artists, musicians or labels any royalties at all.

As our reward for actually stepping up and paying musicians, the recording industry wants to raise those royalty payments to astronomical levels. Every single Internet Radio broadcaster will be forced off the air.

And AM and FM Radio will still pay nothing.

If you don't help us today, you can look forward to Silence..... not just on June 26th, but forever on Internet Radio.



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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The End Is Near

Day of Silence: June 26th

Potential Last Day for Broadcasting: July 15th

In response to a impending royalty rate increase that, if implemented, would lead to the virtual shutdown of Internet radio in the U.S., thousands of webcasters plan to go silent next Tuesday, June 26, to draw attention to their industry's plight. Wizard Radio's three stations will join this effort and will go silent on the 26th to raise awareness of the impending demise of this special and very unique broadcasting medium.

Here is a brief explanation of the problem:

The Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) was created by Congress to determine royalty rates to be paid to artists, musicians and to record labels by both Satellite Radio and Internet Radio, the new digital mediums. Previously neither artists or record labels had ever been paid royalties by anyone!! In and of itself, this is a huge financial step forward for musicians.

However, under intense lobbying from the Recording Industry, through their association the RIAA, the CRB set the rates at astronomical levels for Internet Radio only. Absolutely no one knows why these rates are so huge.

Let me provide you with some comparisons. Generally royalty rates are typically set to equal 4% to 5% of business revenues. This is the case for other media forms (e.g., satellite radio), and for other copyright holders (e.g., music composers and lyricists). It is also true in other countries.

One would have logically expected the CRB to follow these guidelines. Instead the CRB set rates that are approximately 50% of revenues for the biggest companies like Yahoo! AOL and LAUNCHcast. At these rates even these big companies cannot remain in business.

The CRB decided to absolutely kill the medium size broadcasters, setting rates equal to 150% to 300% of revenues. This includes the really brilliant broadcasters like AccuRadio, Radioio, and Digitally Imported.

But the CRB saved the worst for the most innovative and creative broadcasters, the small operators with large channel choices like Live365 (the net work of over 5,000 broadcasters including WiZARD RADIO), Rhapsody and Pandora Radio. Here the Royalties can be well over 1000% of revenue.

In other words, for ever $100.00 these broadcasters earn, they will be forced to pay $1,000.00 to the RIAA member companies.

Obviously these rates will destroy the only innovators in the broadcasting world.

Certainly Clear Channel and the large corporate owners of AM and FM stations will never offer variety or innovation. Especially once their competition is eliminated.

So on June 26th Internet Radio will go off the air in an effort to raise awareness and force Congress to act. Bills that would save Internet Radio are pending in both the House and Senate. Please call your Senator and Representative and ask them to Save Internet Radio.

For more information please go to Save Internet Radio (http://www.savenetradio.org/).



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Friday, June 15, 2007

Incompetent (adj.), See Harry Reid

Bruce, over at Gay Patriot quipped "in the dictionary under “incompetence” it shows a photo of Harry Reid."

That's funny but, of course, it's not true. If Webster chose to show photos of "incompetent people," the entire dictionary would be filled to overflowing with thumbnail sketches. Still, it's likely Harry Reid would be the first entry.

Bruce does go on to document his complaints about the Senate Majority Leader, "...earlier this week, the Senate Majority “Leader” continued his support of the troops
by labeling as “incompetent” both Joint Chiefs Chairman Peter Pace and Army Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq."

"While many on the left (and some on the right) have faulted the president for not listening to the generals on the ground in Iraq, Reid blasts them as incompetents — and without waiting to hear from those generals, joins House Speaker Pelosi in
telling the president the surge has failed. Two Washington hacks, neither of whom has any military experience, posturing as if they knew better than our military leaders. Amazing!"

Tragically, Bruce is entirely correct. Reid is not only incompetent, he is arrogant, ignorant and is, frankly, not very bright. He doesn't belong in the U.S. Senate, let alone a leadership position.

Now I base this not only on his remarkably stupid, insensitive and politically tone deaf comments about Generals Pace and Petraeus, but also on his inept handling of his majority position in the Senate.

If there has been a less effect Senate Majority Leader in the history of the Senate, I'm not sure who is might be. In six months Reid has accomplished absolutely nothing except crank up the level of partisan sniping to new heights.

Curiously I believe both Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi misread the results of the last election. This is just my opinion, of course. I think the public demanded a change because they actually wanted the Congress to get things done. I think the public wants bipartisanship. Congressional approval is now hitting new lows because the Democrat leadership simply have missed the point.

But, as usual, I digress. Back to Senator Reid. His recent mishandling of the Immigration Reform Bill is merely the latest in his gigantic missteps. Let's hope he can get it right next week.

As to Reid's comments about General Petraeus (originally made in a private call to left leaning bloggers but now publicly repeated on television yesterday), if he truly believes the General leading our troops into battle daily is incompetent, he is obligated to do everything humanly possible to remove the General from command. To fail to do so places our troops in grave danger. This is not a glib comment for a few left wing bloggers. It is a call to action. A genuine leader would not rest until our troops were saved from leadership that placed them in harm's way.

I used to complain mightily about Trent Lott as Majority Leader. Harry Reid actually makes me long for the good old days. Lott may well have been a partisan hack, but he was a completely competent partisan hack (and still is, it seems).

Reid's approval ratings in a recent poll are well below President Bush's ratings. Reid 19%, Bush 34%. This is only possible because the public sees Reid for exactly what he is.

Compared to Harry Reid, President Bush is a Statesman.

Compared to Reid, President Bush is articulate and a gifted speaker.

Compared to Reid, President Bush is an open minded and flexible.

Compared to Reid, President Bush is an intellectual.

Compared to Reid, President Bush is a military genius.

Compared to Reid, President Bush is a gifted politician.

Compared to Reid, President Bush is a leader.

Sorry President Bush, you've just been damned by faint praise.



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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Thrill of Victory, The Agony of.....

For those of us unfortunate enough to drop by Fox News last week (June 7th to be specific) we were able to witness a positively giddy Sean Hannity celebrating the defeat of the Bush Kennedy Immigration Bill in the U.S. Senate.

Hannity took a lot of the credit personally for the failure of the bill, which died in the Senate when proponents were unable to cut off debate. The vote to end debate couldn't even muster a majority of Senators, let alone the 60 votes needed to bring the bill to a final vote. Senator Harry Reid reluctantly pulled the bill from the floor.

Sean Hannity was willing to share in the magnificent victory with the other supposed leaders of the ultra conservative "new media" of radio talk show hosts and bloggers. He praised Rush Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham in particular for their leadership in arousing listeners to call their Senators over and often.

I've previously written in this journal about the ceaseless efforts of Michelle Malkin and the amazing zealotry of talk show and conservative icon G. Gordon Liddy in their efforts to mobilize the masses to apply pressure to the Senate.

The conservative wing of the American public was mobilize and energized to defeat the bill they believed gave "amnesty" to those who entered the country illegally. The called the Bush Kennedy Immigration Bill "Shamnesty!"

While I can appreciate the desire of conservatives (and all Americans) to have our laws obeyed and the sovereignty of our borders honored, the reality is that today our borders are a mess and are as porous as a sieve. And today there is no documentation of any illegal aliens. Employers ignore laws that cannot be enforced. We have a system that is out of control.

And all Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh and Michelle Malkin and the other leaders of the "Shamnesty" movement have accomplished is to guarantee that there will be no improvements what-so-ever.

In fact, their faulty leadership on this issue assures that everything will quickly get much worse with no hope of any improvement.

This week President Bush, John Kyl, Ted Kennedy, John McCain and other, more rational, leaders are attempting to rebuild the fragile coalition and revive the bill. I only wish the conservative opposition would realize that this bill is a giant step in the right direction.

The only alternative is to wait until Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama is President and then be force fed a liberal bill that will not have any of the conservative elements today's bill offers.

Sean Hannity may be the Pied Piper. But he is leading his conservative mice off the edge of a cliff.



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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Michelle Malkin's Amnesty

Michelle Malkin and I couldn't disagree more!! She is fighting the Bush Kennedy Immigration Bill with all her heart and all her considerable influence.

And I am joining John McCain and the embattled Senators who have cobbled together a reasonable compromise approach to the reality of immigration reform.

Michelle outlines her problems with the proposed legislation in her typical clear, concise, staccato style arguments and massive numbers of links to other, mostly conservative, opponents. She is persuasive and she is persistent as hell! New arguments and updates appear nearly every day.

Meanwhile Ted Kennedy, John Kyle, John McCain and the Senators who crafted the legislation are a whole lot like John Wayne at the Alamo (pun and irony fully intended). No reinforcements are coming. And full siege is underway.

I can hear The Deguello playing in the background... sad, solemn and mournful.

John McCain gave a fiery and impassioned speech yesterday in Miami. He even reminded me of John Wayne. But you should read and thoroughly consider his comments:
John McCain - Address on Immigration

This problem cannot be allowed to continue any longer. Finding an effective, just and practical solution is difficult, but it is our work to do, on our watch.

The politics of Washington have encouraged us to leave solutions to the toughest problems for another unluckier generation of leaders.

Illegal immigration and our porous borders are problems that we have, to our shame, ignored for too long because it was too hard and politically risky to solve. But the problem has grown too acute and dangerous to ignore any longer. To do nothing now would be an unconscionable abrogation of our responsibilities to defend the security, prosperity and values of our country.

...while we argue over the means to solve the problem, we should respect each other's intentions.

We will increase the number of border patrol agents up to 20,000. We will complete 370 miles of border fencing, and 200 miles of vehicle barriers, which will not be, as some critics have suggested, all that will be constructed.

We will institute a tough new employment eligibility verification system, tamper proof biometric cards to prove to an employer that foreign workers are in this country legally, and impose substantial fines on employers who hire someone without proper status. We will not admit one temporary worker or grant one undocumented worker a visa until the Secretary of Homeland Security can certify that these tough, new measures are in place.

As imperative as these measures are, they will not alone ensure our control of immigration or enable us to know the identity, whereabouts and purposes of the millions of undocumented workers who are in our country now.

The most difficult problem is what to do about the twelve million or more undocumented workers who live and work here now. No critic of our bill has offered a serious proposal to round up all these millions, many of whom have children born in this country, and ship them back to their countries of origin. There is simply no practical way to do that, and most Americans understand that.

DHS Secretary Chertoff, who helped negotiate this legislation, has warned that two million people in this country illegally have committed serious crimes. If some of them attempt to legalize their status, we will apprehend them. If they don't, we can concentrate our efforts on locating them and not rounding up lettuce pickers, hotel maids, and babysitters. Most importantly, we can devote all the resources necessary to finding terrorists who have broken our immigration laws, like three of the terrorists who intended to attack our soldiers at Ft. Dix.

Those undocumented workers who declare themselves, pass criminal background checks, prove their employment, pay fines, taxes, learn English and study American civics may be offered eventually, and I stress eventually, a path to citizenship.

Critics of the bill attack this as amnesty and a special path to citizenship that is denied to lawful immigrants. Both charges are false.

.... if the path to citizenship we offer them is 'special,' it is because it is harder, longer and more expensive than the path offered to those immigrants who come here legally. Those undocumented workers who attain legal status are not automatically provided a green card and citizenship. The process could take as long as thirteen years, and will cost them thousands of dollars, require them to learn English and understand our laws and culture, return to their country and get in the back of the line - not the front, not the middle, but the back of the line for a green card.

The situation as it currently exists is de facto amnesty.

Michelle Malkin and her fellow opponents need to realize there are many sides to this issue. This bill, frankly, does not give anyone amnesty! In fact, it is so damn tough that the real risk is that many will not seek the path to citizenship it offers!

And the bill will strengthen the borders significantly and add real power toward documentation.

Michelle, don't you realize that if you defeat this bill then you will have granted amnesty to all 12 million illegals (or is it 20 million??) .

If this bill is blocked, then NOTHING WILL BE DONE!!! The borders will remain open, current illegals will remain here without much fear of deportation, and there will be even more cities who set themselves up as sanctuary cities.

What is perhaps most interesting of all is that the opponents on the left want you to succeed. They want no bill... no law... no change in the status quo. Just as the right has turned on President Bush and John McCain, the left has turned on Ted Kennedy.

In other words, if you win, you actually lose. Maybe we'll call this Michelle Malkin's Amnesty.



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