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First they came for the Muslims, and I broadcast nothing...
March 10, 2011 6:58 PM   Subscribe

Rep. Peter King (R-NY), not content with questioning Muslim loyalty, has introduced HR 607, the "Broadband for First Responders Act of 2011," to take away HAM radio from amateur operators, and sell it to he highest commercial bidder in order to fund some kind of separate internet for cops.
posted by Slap*Happy (72 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Barry Goldwater is turning in his grave.
posted by the cuban at 7:02 PM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


So big government is bad, but taking away the ability of private citizens to coordinate long-distance communications in case of natural disaster is ... good?
posted by 1adam12 at 7:03 PM on March 10, 2011 [29 favorites]


And what will this do for the hopes of reigniting the CB radio craze of the 70s?
posted by Dodecadermaldenticles at 7:04 PM on March 10, 2011


....Is it me, or is he starting to get into General Jack D. Ripper territory here?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:06 PM on March 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


Which of the following would raise more money if sold on the open market: the ham radio spectrum, or Peter King's house?
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:07 PM on March 10, 2011 [14 favorites]


Ooh! Ooh! Can I be the first one to make a clever "ham isn't Halal" joke in this thread?
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:08 PM on March 10, 2011 [20 favorites]


I do not have enough words to express my GRAR at this. This is so NOT OK. There's not any chance this will actually pass, right?
posted by stoneweaver at 7:08 PM on March 10, 2011


Why does the IRA even give a shit about American ham radio spectrum control?
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 7:10 PM on March 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


Taking away 2/3rds of the 70cm band? I've said before that hams aren't a very revolutionary bunch, but this could push them over the edge.
posted by ryanrs at 7:10 PM on March 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


Empress, we passed Jack D. Ripper in 1980. Sometime around 1995 reality officially passed out of movies into graphic novels, and while the movies are trying to keep up around 2002 reality passed into fanfic. The movies just can't keep up.
posted by localroger at 7:11 PM on March 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


Goddamnit. Between this and the news that the banks are going to limit debit card transaction amounts to $100...

I fucking hate everything.
posted by Netzapper at 7:30 PM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


"We want the airwaves baby"
posted by hortense at 7:32 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Question about HAM: Are people able to experiment with it, and do sort of arbitrary high tech radio stuff? Could I use my chunk of spectrum to do modern higher bandwidth wifi/GSM/whatever-like transmissions if I pleased? If not, I do wonder if it is bit obsolete and perhaps the spectrum could be put to better public use.
posted by floam at 7:33 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, what you're saying is you do not understand radio spectrum or ham radio at all. Like, not even a tiny little bit?
posted by aramaic at 7:36 PM on March 10, 2011


Aren't HAM radio* people just a bunch of right-wing, militant, conspiracy loons? King must be an idiot in addition to being an asshole: he's just going to piss off his base.

*Now that I think of it, maybe it's shortwave radio folks who are the wingnuts. Or maybe it's both?
posted by zardoz at 7:39 PM on March 10, 2011


floam: You can. Lots of people experiment with new digital modes. Example.
posted by hattifattener at 7:42 PM on March 10, 2011


banks are going to limit debit card transaction amounts to $100

Wait, what?!
posted by reductiondesign at 7:42 PM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


banks are going to limit debit card transaction amounts to $100


Holy shit, that's an fpp on its own.
posted by mullingitover at 7:43 PM on March 10, 2011


aramaic: There's no need to be a dick about it, but I don't know a thing about ham radio. I know it encompasses a number of different frequency ranges. I think I sort of know a few things about the EM spectrum but that's it. All I want to do is, is there anything tells users what types of transmissions are OK on these different ranges (higher ones being more interesting) that would prevent folks from doing awesome stuff? There's got to be some system that says you can't just start blaring crazy modem sounds on some areas where people regularly are chatting, right? How far does this go and how does that work?
posted by floam at 7:46 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


The authoritarian answer to this is (mark my words here) to eventually have separate internets for businesses, the military and normal civilians. It would be inefficient, expensive, cumbersome and a technical nightmare but those are all secondary concerns to a government that wishes to maintain power at all costs.

The early 21sy century will be defined by, I think, the increasingly desperate attempts of governments to control and corral the Internet/social networking and eventually learning how to use both in the service of pro-government propaganda. Something similar happened with the advent of the printing press in the 15, 16 and 1700's.

The future of the Internet is restricted, I'm afraid. It was extremely difficult to get controversial works published in Europe for most of the past 500 years, and that didn't really change until the 20th century when governments realized that they didn't need to actively supress dissenting books when they could just be drowned out by incessant barking of a mass media under control of the status quo.
-February 6th, Avenger
posted by cashman at 7:51 PM on March 10, 2011 [9 favorites]


banks are going to limit debit card transaction amounts to $100


Holy shit, that's an fpp on its own.


Done.
posted by Netzapper at 7:53 PM on March 10, 2011


Some ham people are wingnuts. Some of them are just strange. Some of them are people I know and like, others are people I... well, I know them, anyway. But even if I thought they were all batshit crazy, I still would want those frequencies available in the case of a real emergency, I would want there to be people around with the equipment and knowledge to use them, and I would not give two figs whether the cops had their own private internet because chances are very good at that point the internet wouldn't be *working*. No internet would be working.

In the event that the infrastructure was still functional enough to keep the private internet working, the public one would be, too, so why is a private one useful again?
posted by gracedissolved at 7:54 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, and as for the actual topic of this thread.

I, for one, look forward to hacking the copnet. Especially if it's wireless. And especially if they then ignore basic data security procedures since "it's a closed network".
posted by Netzapper at 7:54 PM on March 10, 2011


Aeon of reverse, pause, pyre's my attitude.
posted by Mblue at 7:55 PM on March 10, 2011


Floam, the most basic rules are (1) you must identify while transmitting, (2) no encryption, (3) communication must be two-way (no broadcasting), (4) no commercial use.

Digital modes can be used on higher frequency bands where more bandwidth allocated to the amateur radio service (such as the 70cm band in question). Slow-scan TV signals and other non-audio modes are used as well.
posted by ryanrs at 7:55 PM on March 10, 2011


floam: Aramaic's comment was so bizarre in that context that I assumed that he wasn't responding to you. Your question is perfectly reasonable. There are rules and conventions about what kind of transmissions are OK in what bands and so on, but one of the explicit purposes of ham radio is experimentation and development of new technologies (ham radio hasn't been very important in that field for a long time, but whatever). Many of the ham bands above 440MHz/70cm are pretty underutilized, and are wide open for experimentation.

You're not allowed to encrypt transmissions, which was thought to forbid spread-spectrum for a while, but I think that was worked out in the '90s.
posted by hattifattener at 7:55 PM on March 10, 2011


But hey, the bandwidth for all your iPhone and Android apps have to come from somewhere... and the hams are SO last century.
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:56 PM on March 10, 2011


Nothing wrong with spread spectrum nowadays.
posted by ryanrs at 7:57 PM on March 10, 2011


one of the explicit purposes of ham radio is experimentation and development of new technologies (ham radio hasn't been very important in that field for a long time, but whatever)

I believe that is likely to change as software-defined radio becomes more common. It's tough for hobbyists to try new things when you have to fab custom silicon (or GaAs). But if it's all just software, experimentation will really take off.
posted by ryanrs at 8:01 PM on March 10, 2011


They're trying to get rid of HAM radio because when they pull the plug on the internet and cellphones they don't want anybody talking with anyone. In the event of an Egypt-like blackout, HAM might be one of the few avenues left for free communication.

Again: They're taking this away because they're planning to openly oppress us at some point in the future.
posted by Avenger at 8:06 PM on March 10, 2011 [32 favorites]


No encryption? At all layers? So, what happens when someone implements IP-over-ham — is there a problem with a secure tunnel over that? HTTPS/SSH are verboten?
posted by floam at 8:07 PM on March 10, 2011


That's one of the reasons why IP-over-ham radio isn't a huge thing right now. At its core, the amateur service is for public communication, not private.
posted by ryanrs at 8:11 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


but one of the explicit purposes of ham radio is experimentation and development of new technologies (ham radio hasn't been very important in that field for a long time, but whatever).

I don't personally know a whole lot about ham radio, but a friend of mine uses it for high-altitude balloon stuff, and I listened in on a meeting of an organization at CU that sponsors student HAB and satellite projects and it was chock-full of radio nerds. I guess a lot of that's in the realm of amateur/hobby science type stuff, but I get the impression it's important to people doing some innovative things.
posted by brennen at 8:18 PM on March 10, 2011


There's not any chance this will actually pass, right?

There's no chance that any of the radical right-wing agenda will pass the democrat-controlled Senate (where the Republicans are also a fair bit more moderate and concerned about their re-election prospects) or presidential veto pen, which is why these bills have been planned as a way to generate headlines, rather than produce any actual usable policy (even by their own standards).

Although this strategy sucks at passing actual legislation, it's been surprisingly effective at setting the tone for the debate. When the Republican House proposed cutting a myriad of obviously-essential departments, the discussion in the Senate changed from "Wether to cut" to "What to cut." Hell, the healthcare bill was for all intents and purposes written by the Republicans, thanks to the fact that the Democrats were willing to compromise on every single aspect of the policy.

The Republican House's first order of business was to effectively overturn Roe v. Wade. Do you really think they thought that bill would even have the faintest hope of passing?
posted by schmod at 8:19 PM on March 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


So big government is bad,

Propaganda is good.
posted by telstar at 8:21 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


In the event of an Egypt-like blackout, HAM might be one of the few avenues left for free communication.

Don't bet your revolution on it. Ham radio is not big with the disgruntled youth demographic. It's more like the AARP, but with more old, white men.
posted by ryanrs at 8:21 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Some ham people are wingnuts.

It does seem like doing this would rile quite a chunk of this guy's core constituency.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:24 PM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Odd that no one has really commented on the bands in question, but in 10-20 years of dabbling with scanners, I haven't really seen the 420-440 MHz band used much. It's always been the 140 MHz band where all the action is. There also seems to be a decline in amateur radio in recent decades, and not from any unavailability of the spectrum... just the nature of communications these days. But I know where ARRL is coming from on this and it's definitely not in the public interest to start slicing away these bands to commercial use -- once they're gone, that's it.. there's not another electromagnetic spectrum in the works.
posted by crapmatic at 8:26 PM on March 10, 2011


Again: They're taking this away because they're planning to openly oppress us at some point in the future.

I think so little of the Republican party these days that I don't doubt for a moment that there are among its members those with genuine fascist ambitions. Perhaps King is just such a one.

It seems more likely, though, that he's simply engaging in the visibly common game of privatization for personal gain and/or political empowerment.
posted by weston at 8:28 PM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Don't bet your revolution on it. Ham radio is not big with the disgruntled youth demographic.

Given that like once a month there is something linked to on the Make Magazine blog that might as well be titled "Look! It's disgruntle avant garde types have fun with a giant laser / shortwave radio / microcontrollers / whatever" I'm not so sure about this.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 8:32 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I haven't really seen the 420-440 MHz band used much.

You have got to be kidding. It's likely the second most popular band for local communications, after 2m. And unlike 2m, it has enough space for stuff other than narrowband FM.
posted by ryanrs at 8:34 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Telecommunications Act of 1996.

The tin-foil pavement of yesteryear.
posted by clavdivs at 8:34 PM on March 10, 2011


That's one of the reasons why IP-over-ham radio isn't a huge thing right now. At its core, the amateur service is for public communication, not private.

(Sorry if I'm turning this into a AskMe about ham...) Does that leave just the unlicensed space? Is it crazy to wonder if in 2011 with our modern digital whathows ham people could make more efficient use of their spectrum and reallocate some of that for amateur, private, non-commercial use? Or are there bigger wastes out there that the legislature has some amount of easy control over? I imagine the military might be holding way too much.

Is there any way things could be divvied up geographically in smaller chunks? (Ideally, really small. A little bubble around my house where I can do all sorts of things at a very low power would be cool. Or maybe there is already a threshold I can stay under and do what I please?)
posted by floam at 8:34 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Again: They're taking this away because they're planning to openly oppress us at some point in the future.

You say this as if seizing the public commons and selling them to some corporation at bargain basement prices is something other that openly oppressing us right now.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 8:34 PM on March 10, 2011 [9 favorites]


Avenger: They're taking this away because they're planning to openly oppress us at some point in the future.

Okay, let's slow down, it hasn't been taken away, this is simply a bill and it might not even make it out of committee.

The other thing is Peter King is fuckin' paranoid, authoritarian, racist shit for brains, who is out of his fucking mind and an embarrassment to New York State in the House of Reps and I want this guy to fly his freak flag of hate and ignorance as far and high and wild as possible because he needs to be retired next election.

As for they, who is they? I mean, I'm sure there is a they with thing in mind, because they're control psycho-freaks, but I'm loathe to turn this into a fait accompli by some nebulous conspiracy of they.

Ham radio has proven itself over and over, and they, who ever they are have an uphill battle, as they do in controlling the internet.

What King has done here needs to be taken withing the context of what's happening right now here in this country, with the Right taking all these brazen attempts at cementing it's ideology, in spite of what the country wants and in spite of what the country in the process of becoming, and that is something they're deathly afraid of, that image of the future is not a friendly one to the Right, time and demographics ARE NOT on their side, neither is open and unfettered communication and the existence of organizations like Wikileaks which melts away decades and centuries of power structures (Political, financial, diplomatic, resource based) and has already caused a shift in the way people see their governments, and has established a certain expectation, a right if you will, of open and available information and connections made and kept worldwide on nodes of mutual interest and needs that governments are going to have a very very difficult time reversing the clock on.

That train has left the station, every time there's been an attempt to reverse that new human right, it's ended badly mostly for the power elites as can be seen throughout the Middle East. I mean does anyone doubt that Iran's governments days are numbered or Quaddafi will eventually be deposed in Libya?

The most dangerous thing here in this country is the doublespeak and idea of American Exceptionalism that "it can never happen here" even while, it IS happening here and all in the name of some twisted truly evil plutocratic re-definition of "patriotism" and "Freedom."

That twisted place is where Peter King is coming from, that's where Walker in Wisconsin is coming from and the rest of those GOP governors, Kasich, Rubio etc... ANd that is where the next GOP candidates for 2012 will come from, and I think if this can be nipped in the bud, now, all these things that are really conjoined and related and the middle class can refind it's voice and beat back these people (who are not the majority), there might be a chance to make sure they, go back under the rocks they've been hiding under for the last 50 years, or even better begin to die off and fucking leave the planet to be managed by people they don't like or want to understand.
posted by Skygazer at 8:36 PM on March 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


Floam, check out the ISM bands, home of many popular devices such as microwave ovens, garage door openers, cordless phones, and wi-fi.
posted by ryanrs at 8:37 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


The 2.4Ghz band is largely open for unlicensed use, that's why you see so many cordless phones, wireless video cameras, 802.11abg devices, etc. If you are interested in playing around with radio then ham is the way to go. There are rules and there is a band plan but there is also an amazing amount of freedom to explore and create. Generally there are fewer restrictions the higher the frequency, mostly because the range of higher frequencies is less.

That said, I'm glad the right wing crazies are turning against ham radio, hopefully this will radicalize a lot of hams.
posted by ChrisHartley at 8:40 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


No encryption? At all layers? So, what happens when someone implements IP-over-ham — is there a problem with a secure tunnel over that? HTTPS/SSH are verboten?

Yes, verboten -- completely and utterly. Indeed, most hams won't touch IP over amateur raido directly, because it's so hard to meet the three specs of amateur raido (non-commerical, unencrypted, identified licensed transmitter.)
posted by eriko at 8:45 PM on March 10, 2011


ISM also has a big chunk in the 900 MHz band (902-928 MHz).
posted by ryanrs at 8:48 PM on March 10, 2011


I realize "radicalize" is a very strong word. I more mean I hope this serves as a wake up call for a lot of hams that politicians like King are not their friends.
posted by ChrisHartley at 8:51 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Off topic, somewhat, but NYT sez "New Tape Increases Pressure for NPR" - it's another O'Keefe BS thing.

Between King, King, Walker, O'Keefe and O'Keefe, I think we're seeing a strategy. My impression is that it's failing, but that may simply be due to my hatred of assholes.
posted by mwhybark at 8:59 PM on March 10, 2011


What kind of accidents had to happen in order to have this man speak on behalf of thousands of Americans?

The wonders of statistics and probability! AMAZING!
posted by hal_c_on at 9:30 PM on March 10, 2011


Google amateur packet radio
I suddenly think of usenet.
posted by the Real Dan at 9:36 PM on March 10, 2011


Given that like once a month there is something linked to on the Make Magazine blog that might as well be titled "Look! It's disgruntle avant garde types have fun with a giant laser / shortwave radio / microcontrollers / whatever" I'm not so sure about this.

Dude, I have been hired by and traveled with some of the creme-de-la-creme of these people, and let me tell you, they still don't know the difference between shortwave and ham radio, despite having a very trendy cache of samples and found sound lending them wash-off credibility. They will be of no use to us in this or any revolution.
posted by mykescipark at 9:54 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think we should mandate HAM radio equipment in all new cellphones. That will probably make it more popular.
posted by delmoi at 10:13 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here's a more direct link for packet radio:

Packet radio is a form of packet switching technology used to transmit digital data via radio or wireless communications links. It uses the same concepts of data transmission via Datagram that are fundamental to communications via the Internet, as opposed to the older techniques used by dedicated or switched circuits.

Hams tend to be older(*), but not uniformly. I'm the only member of my family who is not a licensed ham radio operator, so that includes my brother (mid-30s, admittedly doesn't use it much). I grew up with ham radio, and have fond memories of the ham radio club weekend brunches, various meet-ups (where there were a not insignificant number of people from my parent's generation, and my brother and I weren't the *only* kids of ham radio operators running around, though admittedly younger folks were more scarce), ham-themed children's adventure books, and standing around on a road corner doing volunteer communications/making sure people didn't get lost or need medical attention for a local triathlon. There is/was a strong volunteer/community service focus in ham radio clubs.

There is or was also a strong international focus. Due to atmospheric conditions at night, hams could sometimes get their signals to bounce off of some upper layers of the atmosphere and make contacts (CQs) with people in different countries, far away. Whenever they made a contact with someone not local, they'd exchange postcards (CQ cards). Getting the CQ from farthest away was a real status-enhancer, and people collected as many CQs as they could. One of the astronauts who went up on the shuttle at some point back in the late 80s was a ham, too, and all of the hams from around the world tried to talk to him (space is pretty far away!). A friend of my parents did; it was pretty cool. Kind of related to this, there was also a strong pro-science interest in the hams that I knew. Imagine early computer hackers who got interested in radio instead. (There was definite overlap between the ham radio club and the local computer club that my parents started up in the early 80s, too.)

ISTR, also, that some of the AMC (or local hiking club) huts in New England had ham radios (they had some radios for communicating with base camp; I think every so often the people staffing the huts would be hams and so have a ham radio too).

(*) Older doesn't necessarily mean more conservative or closed-minded or less worldly, either. We lived in Downeast Maine for a bit, and the old folks there had often done quite a lot of traveling all around the world (back when fishing and shipping were still viable careers for larger numbers of people) and had really interesting stories and perspectives on stuff. With the decline in fisheries all along the Eastern Seaboard, and with less sailing and shipping in general coming through the area, the just-post-middle-aged generations on down tended to be a little bit more conservative, I think, having had less variety of experiences.
posted by eviemath at 10:13 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wonkette likes us.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:29 PM on March 10, 2011


Ham operators have saved lives! In Sarajevo during the siege ham radio was the only communication to the outside world that you could countries on. The Internet was only begining to take off. You used to have to know Morse code. I really wanted to be involved with HAM radio and broadcasting. That never happened. The Morse code thing for starters, I just could not memorize it. The equipment used to be pricy and bulky. Not to mention delicate. In a way though it was a lot like the Internet and no it was not just a bunch of right wingers.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 11:08 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hams would be all over a Red Dawn invasion scenario. They were the first to contact Britain at the start of the Falklands War, for example. But an internal revolution? In the US, at least, the ham community is very pro-establishment.
posted by ryanrs at 2:33 AM on March 11, 2011


This reminds me, also, of how the president of the College Republicans at one of the fine post-secondary institutions that I spent some time at as a student was incensed that there was this Spanish-language radio station in NYC because something about how it wasn't making the most money possible to be made from that airwave resource in that market, and this morally offended him, even though he had no financial stake in it personally. (There was more to the story, but that was his stated reason anyways, and the part that connects to this story.)
posted by eviemath at 2:35 AM on March 11, 2011


Ooh, relevant previous post on things you can do in the ham bands.
posted by eviemath at 2:47 AM on March 11, 2011


Man, I really don't like this guy.
posted by chillmost at 3:17 AM on March 11, 2011


WTF is wrong with people?
posted by clvrmnky at 4:07 AM on March 11, 2011


In the US, at least, the ham community is very pro-establishment.

The ham community is very pro-establishment because previously the establishment has been incredibly benevolent to them. The Air Force put a satellite in orbit for them in 1961. For Lulz!

If the Air Force agreed to launch the "Morning Run Through the Fuckers" anti-spammer orbital death ray - gratis - MetaFilter would probably be incredibly pro-establishment.

This is like a man from the government going to each and every ham radio operator's door, kicking them good and hard, then taking a wizz on them while they're on the ground in agony.

I realize "radicalize" is a very strong word.

In context (e.g. having the audacity to show up on election day to vote against the obviously insane, moronic, or just plain power-mad) radicalize is exactly the right word. The malapropism is calling people who are showing up on election day to vote against the obviously insane, moronic, or just plain power-mad radicals.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 5:32 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


It brings me such joy to see this asshole whom I've had to put up with for years to finally be revealing his terminal stupidity to world. Did you see him try to explain away the IRA bullshit? Fuck him. The fucking Nassau Country democratic party should be ashamed they've never beaten this guy.
posted by JPD at 5:34 AM on March 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


eviemath, they're called QSL cards.
posted by the cuban at 5:46 AM on March 11, 2011


The fucking Nassau Country democratic party should be ashamed they've never beaten this guy.

They don't even bother putting up viable candidates anymore. It's pitiful.

Aren't HAM radio* people just a bunch of right-wing, militant, conspiracy loons? King must be an idiot in addition to being an asshole: he's just going to piss off his base.

He's from Long Island; his base isn't wingnuts, it's middle-class racists who think they're rich. The only thing they know about ham is that Jews don't eat it.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:11 AM on March 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


I know - sad to say one of the better ones was "Tweezerman" who announced his candidacy in '00 by windsurfing on to the beach.

He was years ahead of Kerry.

it's middle-class racists who think they're rich Now now - that's not totally fair - he's got a reasonable number of actual rich people who think they are middle class and overtaxed who live north of 25a.
posted by JPD at 6:45 AM on March 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


to take away HAM radio from amateur operators, and sell it to he highest commercial bidder

I've got to say, I'm getting really, really fucking sick of these guys trying to take away stuff belonging to the public and offering it up to sale to the highest bidder. Corporate interests have enough power in this country, how about leaving some of the publicly owned stuff to us people?

Fuck you Peter King, in a month you've gone from being a complete nobody to me to near top of my Asshole-Americans list.
posted by quin at 7:55 AM on March 11, 2011


I've already sent my letter to my Representative. I don't use the 440MHz band much but the bill makes no sense. No wonder that asshole is behind it.
posted by tommasz at 8:33 AM on March 11, 2011


Fuck you Peter King, in a month you've gone from being a complete nobody to me to near top of my Asshole-Americans list.

It's a common reaction to finding out about the man.
posted by jaduncan at 3:35 PM on March 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Radio receivers (building'em and using) made up a good part of my adolescence (it was pre-pc, pre-internet era). Although I was born when tubes were still king, I didn't really get into tubes and tube radio circuitry til the last few years because, well, I now know that they're very cool to play with. Compared to today's high-density, ultra miniature, unserviceable, disposable electronics, most tube circuits are absolutely elegant in their simplicity and performance, and can be understood and appreciated by most people with just a little study. But I digress.

I've always been aware, and marginally interested in amateur radio, but the recent purchase of a surplus military HF transmit/receive set, is drawing me to get licenced so I can legally use the thing.

The ham-radio hobby is certainly in decline at the moment, and yeah... it's currently the preserve of the older white male [ahem] , but I put it to the blue that the ability to communicate is an important benchmark and tool of freedom. Oppressive states can be identified by their suppression of both the message AND the means of communication. Having the ability to independently get your message out, and understanding the possible technologies for independent communication, are still useful tools.

And yeah, fuck you Peter King. Ignorant asshole.
posted by Artful Codger at 1:27 PM on March 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


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