For Shame!

by on August 3, 2006 · 104 comments

Matt Stoller thinks my New York Times op-ed is “just disgraceful.” Why?

Timothy B. Lee comes from the ‘Show-Me Institute’, a fake think tank that defends the teaching of Intelligent Design and is funded by corporate interests and foundations with a right-wing ideological slant. As a 501(c)3, they don’t have to release their donor list, but you can get a sense of who they are from reading the bios on the Board of Directors page.

Ok, so the corporatists dug up a shill from an ideologically oriented corporate funded think tank, had this guy write an Op-Ed rehashing fake arguments about competitiveness and broadband, and weirdly enough, his name sound almost exactly like world-reknowned expert Tim Berners Lee, who takes the opposite position.

For the record, I’ve had the name “Timothy B. Lee” since before Mr. Berners Lee invented the World Wide Web. Of course, that doesn’t rule out the possibility that the vast right-wing conspiracy contacted my parents in anticipation of the network neutrality debate and convinced them to name me Timothy B. Lee.


Also, for the record, I think the theory of intelligent design is nonsense, but I’m not so arrogant as to believe I’m entitled to dictate to other parents what they teach their children. And my co-author Will isn’t exactly an ID apologist either.

As for working for a fake think tank, I can only assure Mr. Stoller that my employer does, in fact, exist. He’s more than welcome to come to St. Louis and see it for himself any time he likes. And I wasn’t aware that being a libertarian disqualified one from participating in policy debates.

Of course, Mr. Stoller was so busy calling me names that he never got around to explaining what’s fake about my argument.

Update: I should also mention that the label “corporate funded” is inaccurate. Like most think tanks, we do raise money from corporations, but to date, less than 10 percent of our budget has come from corporate sources. Most of our money comes from individuals in Missouri, such as those on our board of directors, who like our perspective on the issues.

Update 2: Oops, I forgot to include a link to Stoller’s post. Apologies!

Update 3: This is fun! In addition to being a corporate shill at a fake think tank making fake arguments, Mr. Stoller felt compelled to update his post with the important news that my picture is “pretty hilarious.” It’s hard to argue with that kind of devastating criticism!

Update 4: At the request of Mr. Berners-Lee’s publicist, I’ve contacted the New York Times and asked them to add a clarification indicating that I’m a different Timothy B. Lee. And to respond directly to Seth’s insinuations: it didn’t occur to me that this would be a problem, and if it had, I would have mentioned to the Times that they might want to add a clarification.

  • http://sethf.com/ Seth Finkelstein

    I repeat: If someone can’t at least see why this has an appearance of impropriety, that is deeply problematic. Which is one reason I’m less charitable. The silliness is very grating. It’s one thing to maintain there was no fraudulent intent involved. It’s quite another to be shocked, shocked, that someone would ever suggest such a thing could happen in this fine establishment.

  • http://www.kboreilly.com/ Kevin B. O’Reilly

    Contra Ms. Daly’s earlier comment, Tim Berners-Lee’s previous NYT ed page comments are publicly available here.

    It’s true that a search at the NYT site gives you a protected link, though most reporters have access to Lexis and can access the article that way.

    How did I get the link above? By Googling the words below:

    sir tim-berners lee new york times

    It scares me to think that the reporters covering Net neutrality don’t even know how to use Google.

    The fact that Tim is considerate enough to request that NYT run a totally unnecessary clarification just shows what a class act he is considering the idiotic, unfair abuse (excluding Ms. Daly’s polite comments, of course) he’s received just for writing under his own name.

  • http://www.w3.org/ Janet Daly

    You can call me Janet. :)

    Technorati searches track tags applied to blog posts. As I understand from Tantek, they don’t track phone traffic or emails (yet).

    I agree that it is a shame that people aren’t paying closer attention and confuse Tim B. Lee with Tim Berners-Lee.

    Frankly, I was surprised that NYT didn’t provide a pre-emptive clarification, given the topic and the significant potential for name confusion. I think (and have suggested) that they include in the small bio that “Mr. Lee is not to be confused with Tim Berners-Lee, Web inventor and director of the W3C.”

    I think that there are actually lightweight and simple solutions for minimizing confusion, and they have a lot to do with the content and context of a situation. In some cases, they can even be dealt with humorously. And even if this experience doesn’t make the folks who call me more mindful, it will help Mr. Lee prevent similar problems from recurring.

  • http://sethf.com/ Seth Finkelstein

    “no reasonable person … would mistake …”

    “(not evidenced by a Technorati search, incidentally) …”

    Well, many people don’t consider Nick Douglas, who writes Valleywag, to be a reasonable person, but he is reasonably read:

    “That’s so old media
    Photo of NickDouglas 4 hours ago in Valleywag, Silicon Valley’s Tech Gossip Rag by NickDouglas Ã??Ã?· 2,156 blogs link here

    That’s so old media [ Railroad illo - Valleywag] Who commissions an op/ed about Net Neutrality from the inventor of the web from a man who … metaphor? The New York Times, which today published a piece by Tim Berners-Lee doing just that. ”
    (I alerted him to the ringerness in a comment, and he’s corrected it now)

    “Rank: 211 (8,483 links from 2,161 blogs)”

    Honor would indicate a retraction, Kevin.

  • http://www.kboreilly.com/ Kevin B. O’Reilly

    Janet — Your fix seems reasonable, which is why I’m sure Tim went ahead and asked for the clarification. Amazing what a little civility will do.

  • http://www.w3.org/ Janet Daly

    Regardless of intention, Mike and Kevin, people are misattributing Mr. Lee’s article to Tim Berners-Lee. I am the W3C spokesperson, and handle all of Tim’s press work. Believe me, there is confusion out there about who wrote the article.

    The problem is further complicated by the fact that Tim’s previous comments in NYT on the topic are only available to paid subscribers, and the majority of readers of the OpEd pages don’t spend time looking for TimBL’s latest blog posts.

    I’m grateful to Mr. Lee for writing to the NYT to ask for a clarification on his identity v. TimBL, though it probably won’t be enough for paper readers.

    There are some people who don’t agree with TimBL’s position who have no problem with that confusion. I’m glad Tim Lee isn’t one of them.

  • http://www.kboreilly.com/ Kevin B. O’Reilly

    I tried posting twice with links to explain why no reasonable person (which obviously excludes Matt Stoller) would mistake Timothy B. Lee for Tim Berners-Lee, but they need to be approved by a human editor — probably because with all the links they look too much like spam. So here we go again.

    Some relevant facts:

    (1) Even Matt Stoller wasn’t confused. His post wasn’t about expressing shock that Tim Berners-Lee was reversing his previous position on Net neutrality. In fact, he did the little work it takes to Google “Timothy B. Lee” (9 out of the first 10 results) to ID who he is.

    (2) Tim Berners-Lee doesn’t go by Timothy B. Lee. It would be profoundly odd if he did so, considering that his middle name is John, not Berners. Berners-Lee is a hyphenated last name. Timothy J. Berners-Lee is the closest we could get. No reasonable reader would confuse the two.

    (3) Timothy B. Lee isn’t a knight.

    (4) Anyone who knows enough to care about Tim Berners-Lee’s opinion knows he doesn’t work at the Show-Me Institute.

    (5) Nothing in Timothy B. Lee’s bio at the Show-Me Institute site identifies him as the founder of the World Wide Web. Nothing in his tag line for the NYT editorial suggested as much.

    (6) There was no impropriety. There was no appearance of impropriety. Tim was appropriately identified, and there is no need for a clarification. Period. I would be very surprised if the Times runs one.

  • http://www.kboreilly.com/ Kevin B. O’Reilly

    Sorry for the repeat posts. They were being held.

  • Anonymous

    Kevin,

    Your most recent six points are correct, but their correctness and your ability to articulate them does not mean that the majority of people go through your analytical exercise when they skim the paper or screen. They see a byline that looks vaguely familiar, and read on.

    As I said earlier, we are getting calls and emails, even from reporters who spoke with him earlier on the subject, wondering about his change in position. It isn’t because they are stupid; it’s because they skimmed. And since Tim does not use the J or go by Sir in the states, it’s easier to make that mistake.

    I’m not going to get into motive or propriety – what I am seeking is clarity. I respectfully disagree with you, given my (unfortunately) lengthy experience with misattribution. And again, thanks to Mr. Lee.

  • http://www.kboreilly.com/ Kevin B. O’Reilly

    Ms. Daly, it is a shame that reporters didn’t pay enough attention to realize it was the wrong Tim Lee. And if there has been widespread misattribution (not evidenced by a Technorati search, incidentally), perhaps a clarification is in order. I’m curious, though, about how you think the Times could have better handled the situation. Is Timothy B. Lee now obliged to clarify any time that he writes about the Web that he’s not Tim Berners-Lee? Just think for a moment about the implications.

  • Dave

    Fwiw, I came here from Stoller’s link. I had the article forwarded to me by a few tech types who were shocked to see Berners Lee switch positions.

  • http://www.kboreilly.com/ Kevin B. O’Reilly

    Contra Ms. Daly’s earlier comment, Tim Berners-Lee’s previous NYT ed page comments are publicly available here.

    It’s true that a search at the NYT site gives you a protected link, though most reporters have access to Lexis and can access the article that way.

    How did I get the link above? By Googling the words below:

    sir tim-berners lee new york times

    It scares me to think that the reporters covering Net neutrality don’t even know how to use Google.

  • http://www.kboreilly.com/ Kevin B. O’Reilly

    Contra Ms. Daly’s earlier comment, Tim Berners-Lee’s previous NYT ed page comments are publicly available here.

    It’s true that a search at the NYT site gives you a protected link, though most reporters have access to Lexis and can access the article that way.

    How did I get the link above? By Googling the words below:

    sir tim-berners lee new york times

    It scares me to think that the reporters covering Net neutrality don’t even know how to use Google.

    The fact that Tim is considerate enough to request that NYT run a totally unnecessary clarification just shows what a class act he is considering the idiotic, unfair abuse (excluding Ms. Daly’s polite comments, of course) he’s received just for writing under his own name.

  • http://www.w3.org/ Janet Daly

    You can call me Janet. :)

    Technorati searches track tags applied to blog posts. As I understand from Tantek, they don’t track phone traffic or emails (yet).

    I agree that it is a shame that people aren’t paying closer attention and confuse Tim B. Lee with Tim Berners-Lee.

    Frankly, I was surprised that NYT didn’t provide a pre-emptive clarification, given the topic and the significant potential for name confusion. I think (and have suggested) that they include in the small bio that “Mr. Lee is not to be confused with Tim Berners-Lee, Web inventor and director of the W3C.”

    I think that there are actually lightweight and simple solutions for minimizing confusion, and they have a lot to do with the content and context of a situation. In some cases, they can even be dealt with humorously. And even if this experience doesn’t make the folks who call me more mindful, it will help Mr. Lee prevent similar problems from recurring.

  • http://sethf.com/ Seth Finkelstein

    “no reasonable person … would mistake …”

    “(not evidenced by a Technorati search, incidentally) …”

    Well, many people don’t consider Nick Douglas, who writes Valleywag, to be a reasonable person, but he is reasonably read:

    “That’s so old media
    Photo of NickDouglas 4 hours ago in Valleywag, Silicon Valley’s Tech Gossip Rag by NickDouglas Ã??Ã?· 2,156 blogs link here

    That’s so old media [ Railroad illo - Valleywag] Who commissions an op/ed about Net Neutrality from the inventor of the web from a man who … metaphor? The New York Times, which today published a piece by Tim Berners-Lee doing just that. “
    (I alerted him to the ringerness in a comment, and he’s corrected it now)

    “Rank: 211 (8,483 links from 2,161 blogs)”

    Honor would indicate a retraction, Kevin.

  • http://www.kboreilly.com/ Kevin B. O’Reilly

    Janet — Your fix seems reasonable, which is why I’m sure Tim went ahead and asked for the clarification. Amazing what a little civility will do.

  • http://www.kboreilly.com/ Kevin B. O’Reilly

    I have no idea if Douglas is reasonable or not. His story didn’t show up on the Technorati search I did. Perhaps I could rephrase it this way: “No reasonably careful reader …”

    And again, his comment betrays a misunderstanding of how the editorial submission process works. I’m quite sure NYT didn’t *make* or even *suggest* Tim write his editorial a certain way and that the idea — whatever its merits or demerits — was all his own.

  • Doug Lay

    s/rightie/libertarian/g;

    Is that better? It’s lazy to use the terms interchangeably. Sorry about that.

    I suspect Stoller is realizing how much of an ass he’s been. Hopefully he’ll be man enough to apologize.

    My own opinion on Net Neutrality is somewhat closer to Tim’s than to Stoller’s. (The best thinking I’ve seen on the subject comes, not surprisingly, from Ed Felten – http://itpolicy.princeton.edu/pub/neutrality.pdf). HOWEVER, in somewhat cynical fashion, I’ve been calling my Senators over the past couple of days asking them to vote against cloture on the Stevens bill, and I’ve mentioned the lack of a New Neutrality provision as a reason. Why am I doing this, when I don’t really support codifying Net Neutrality into law? Because I don’t want the Stevens bill, with its loathsome Broadcast Flag and Audio Flag provisions, to pass, and I think Senators (especially Democratic Senators, which mine are) are more likely to sit up and listen to constituent arguments about Net Neutrality than arguments about Fair Use and the freedom to tinker. Sad, but true.

  • http://www.techliberation.com/ Tim

    Doug:

    Much better! And I won’t begrudge you for using the momentum of a misguided populist movement to accomplish a worthwhile goal.

  • http://www.kboreilly.com/ Kevin B. O’Reilly

    I have no idea if Douglas is reasonable or not. His story didn’t show up on the Technorati search I did. Perhaps I could rephrase it this way: “No reasonably careful reader …”

    And again, his comment betrays a misunderstanding of how the editorial submission process works. I’m quite sure NYT didn’t *make* or even *suggest* Tim write his editorial a certain way and that the idea — whatever its merits or demerits — was all his own.

  • Doug Lay

    s/rightie/libertarian/g;

    Is that better? It’s lazy to use the terms interchangeably. Sorry about that.

    I suspect Stoller is realizing how much of an ass he’s been. Hopefully he’ll be man enough to apologize.

    My own opinion on Net Neutrality is somewhat closer to Tim’s than to Stoller’s. (The best thinking I’ve seen on the subject comes, not surprisingly, from Ed Felten – http://itpolicy.princeton.edu/pub/neutrality.pdf). HOWEVER, in somewhat cynical fashion, I’ve been calling my Senators over the past couple of days asking them to vote against cloture on the Stevens bill, and I’ve mentioned the lack of a New Neutrality provision as a reason. Why am I doing this, when I don’t really support codifying Net Neutrality into law? Because I don’t want the Stevens bill, with its loathsome Broadcast Flag and Audio Flag provisions, to pass, and I think Senators (especially Democratic Senators, which mine are) are more likely to sit up and listen to constituent arguments about Net Neutrality than arguments about Fair Use and the freedom to tinker. Sad, but true.

  • http://www.techliberation.com/ Tim

    Doug:

    Much better! And I won’t begrudge you for using the momentum of a misguided populist movement to accomplish a worthwhile goal.

  • Ned Ulbricht

    Ms. Daly, imho, you are an exceedingly polite bully.

    Seth, I’m ashamed of you.

    Kevin, I think it’s absolutely unreasonable to expect Tim Lee to go around explaining that he is not Berners-Lee everytime he writes on network subjects. If Mr. Berners-Lee is worried about confusion—he can afford to purchase a paid advertisement in the New York Times explaining that he isn’t Tim B. Lee.

    P.S. Tim, this doesn’t mean I agree with you on net neutrality.

  • Ned Ulbricht

    Ms. Daly, imho, you are an exceedingly polite bully.

    Seth, I’m ashamed of you.

    Kevin, I think it’s absolutely unreasonable to expect Tim Lee to go around explaining that he is not Berners-Lee everytime he writes on network subjects. If Mr. Berners-Lee is worried about confusion—he can afford to purchase a paid advertisement in the New York Times explaining that he isn’t Tim B. Lee.

    P.S. Tim, this doesn’t mean I agree with you on net neutrality.

  • JayAckroyd

    It doesn’t matter to me that you share initials with Berners-Lee. Anyone who knows who Berners-Lee is knows that the op-ed was poppycock.

    But, like Matt, I was pretty damned shocked to see it run. (I live in NYC and read the NYT daily.) It was just so completely at odds with the facts, especially with the base premise that the internet has ever been unregulated or that there is any suggestion from anybody that it be unregulated, that I was upset that it ran. It just shows how abstruse this issue is, I guess. But, sheesh, couldn’t Gail have asked someone who knows about this stuff about the piece? I mean, other than Mike McCurry.

  • http://www.techliberation.com/ Tim Lee

    Jay, do you have any specific evidence that the Internet has been regulated in the past? I know the telcos’ “last mile” was regulated under common carrier regulations, but AFAIK, the rest of the Internet has never been subject to regulations of any sort. I’d love to be set straight if you’ve got evidence to the contrary.

  • JayAckroyd

    It doesn’t matter to me that you share initials with Berners-Lee. Anyone who knows who Berners-Lee is knows that the op-ed was poppycock.

    But, like Matt, I was pretty damned shocked to see it run. (I live in NYC and read the NYT daily.) It was just so completely at odds with the facts, especially with the base premise that the internet has ever been unregulated or that there is any suggestion from anybody that it be unregulated, that I was upset that it ran. It just shows how abstruse this issue is, I guess. But, sheesh, couldn’t Gail have asked someone who knows about this stuff about the piece? I mean, other than Mike McCurry.

  • http://www.techliberation.com/ Tim Lee

    Jay, do you have any specific evidence that the Internet has been regulated in the past? I know the telcos’ “last mile” was regulated under common carrier regulations, but AFAIK, the rest of the Internet has never been subject to regulations of any sort. I’d love to be set straight if you’ve got evidence to the contrary.

  • http://www.codemonkeyramblings.com MikeT

    Come on, Jay, take your facts out of the box you put them in for safe keeping and show them to everyone. Educate us peons.

  • http://www.codemonkeyramblings.com MikeT

    Come on, Jay, take your facts out of the box you put them in for safe keeping and show them to everyone. Educate us peons.

  • http://www.w3.org/ Janet Daly

    Ned-

    I’m neither exceptionally polite, nor a bully. But perhaps I can be more clear.

    I asked Tim Lee for his help, given the queries I was receiving from the general public, from developers, and reporters. When I explained the misattribution problem, he not only understood, he agreed to help with a letter to the editor he worked with, as well as the ones I know.

    Part of my goal was to curb the misattribution of authorship. But another part – especially my decision to post here – was to contribute to stopping misattribution of motive. It’s been rampant and unfair. I hoped that the public recognition of his voluntary action might stop the accusations.

    You’ve got my email address and my phone numbers as a result of the private email you sent. I’m happy to continue the conversation with you via email or by phone.

  • http://www.w3.org/ Janet Daly

    Ned-

    I’m neither exceptionally polite, nor a bully. But perhaps I can be more clear.

    I asked Tim Lee for his help, given the queries I was receiving from the general public, from developers, and reporters. When I explained the misattribution problem, he not only understood, he agreed to help with a letter to the editor he worked with, as well as the ones I know.

    Part of my goal was to curb the misattribution of authorship. But another part – especially my decision to post here – was to contribute to stopping misattribution of motive. It’s been rampant and unfair. I hoped that the public recognition of his voluntary action might stop the accusations.

    You’ve got my email address and my phone numbers as a result of the private email you sent. I’m happy to continue the conversation with you via email or by phone.

  • Ned Ulbricht

    Ms. Daly:

    You are protecting the Timothy Berners-Lee brand name. “Sir Tim” is a valuable property. I can sympathize with your endeavor.

    I sincerely appreciate that you have not yet abused the courts with some baseless and frivolous lawsuit—like so many other rights-holders have over the past several years. Thank you for
    explaining your position.

    If Tim B. Lee wishes, out of kindness and graciousness, to burden his political speech by attaching some disclaimer to his own name, then
    that is his affair. And I apologize to him if I may have abused the hospitality of his forum by exchanging harsh words with you here.

    But it is manifestly unfair to oblige him to speak or write in furtherance of your goals under
    these circumstances. You have no right to compell him to carry your speech at his cost.

  • Ned Ulbricht

    Ms. Daly:

    You are protecting the Timothy Berners-Lee brand name. “Sir Tim” is a valuable property. I can sympathize with your endeavor.

    I sincerely appreciate that you have not yet abused the courts with some baseless and frivolous lawsuit—like so many other rights-holders have over the past several years. Thank you for
    explaining your position.

    If Tim B. Lee wishes, out of kindness and graciousness, to burden his political speech by attaching some disclaimer to his own name, then
    that is his affair. And I apologize to him if I may have abused the hospitality of his forum by exchanging harsh words with you here.

    But it is manifestly unfair to oblige him to speak or write in furtherance of your goals under
    these circumstances. You have no right to compell him to carry your speech at his cost.

  • Mike

    Matt Stoller needs to grow up. It’s seriously unprofessional to make comments about Tim Lee’s appearance, but it’s especially inappropriate in the context of a response to someone’s opinion. If Matt Stoller made similar remarks in an office environment, he would almost certainly face disciplinary action. Matt Stoller obviously has some personal/professional problems if he feels the need to include derogatory remarks about Tim Lee’s appearance in his response an op/ed column in the New York Times. I wonder if he would make the same comments if Tim Lee were more prominent? I bet Matt Stoller would have kept his mouth shut if someone like Paul Krugman or Thomas Friedman had written the piece.

  • Mike

    Matt Stoller needs to grow up. It’s seriously unprofessional to make comments about Tim Lee’s appearance, but it’s especially inappropriate in the context of a response to someone’s opinion. If Matt Stoller made similar remarks in an office environment, he would almost certainly face disciplinary action. Matt Stoller obviously has some personal/professional problems if he feels the need to include derogatory remarks about Tim Lee’s appearance in his response an op/ed column in the New York Times. I wonder if he would make the same comments if Tim Lee were more prominent? I bet Matt Stoller would have kept his mouth shut if someone like Paul Krugman or Thomas Friedman had written the piece.

  • enigma_foundry

    I repeat: If someone can’t at least see why this has an appearance of impropriety, that is deeply problematic…

    Yes it is clearly problematic, and at the very least the NYT should have made it clear that the Tim B. Lee who was writing the articles was not the Tim Berners-Lee, who advocates the maintenance of net neutrality.

    Incidentally, any clear thinking individual must acknowledge that TLF is a major source of noise and confusion on this Net Nuetrality debate, maintaining that they are for the status quo, for example when in fact the net is neutral right now as we speak. The TLF would like to change that, and that’s fine but please stop the mis-information.

    The TLF is clearly an instrument of the corporate fascists who seek to control all speech and all dissent against the system which they are promoting. Well, some of us like our First Amendment, and the rest of them too for that matter, and do not appreciate the line being pushed here, which threatens my rights.

    Large Corporations are much more of a danger to our Freedoms right now in 2006 than Big government is. Many feel this way, and we will not go away, no matter how much noise and misinformation TLF continues to spout.

  • enigma_foundry

    Why is our claim to non-partisanship hogwash?

    Let’s look at the first two names on the board of directors of the Show-Me Institute:

    1. Rex Sinquefield funds the RNC to the tune of about $230,000. Not very non-partisan to me. He also channels money to right wingers disguised as Democrats here in Saint Louis, for example in Rex’s war against Jeff Smith:

    http://www.archcitychronicle.com/archives/001789.php

    “It would have been another mediocre quarter without the help of Rex Sinquefield who sent $20,700 Gamarbo’s direction.
    $600 Rex Sinquefield
    $600 Jeanne Sinquefield
    $6,500 via 13th District Legislative Committee
    $6,500 via 14th District Legislative Committee
    $6,500 via 15th District Legislative Committee
    Sinquefield gives lots of money to Republicans.
    We wrote about him back in April as one of the major funders of the Show Me Institute. According to our research, he has contributed over $230,000 to the Republican National Committee since 2002.” So in a technicalsense, he is bi-partisan, in the sense that he donates to both Republican and Democratic right wing extremists.

    2. R. Crosby Kemper, III,

    President, United Missouri Bank is listed on the Business Advisory Council of Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies. While in a narrow technical sense it is a non-partisan organization, with members like: Hon. Robert H. Bork, Orrin G. Hatch and Kenneth Starr, it clearly is a conservative group, aligned with the extreme right causes.

    And also I noticed this:

    Stephen Brauer

    Stephen Brauer is the Chairman and CEO of Hunter Engineering Company, which sells computer-based automotive service equipment and employs more than a thousand people. From 2001 to 2003, he served as U.S. Ambassador to Belgium…

    Well, if he was Ambassador to Belgium 2001 to 2003, I’ll bet he is not a Democrat.

    So the Show Me Institute is clearly a conservative think tank, spouting the fake news that the corporate paymasters demand.

  • http://enigmafoundry.wordpress.com eee_eff

    I repeat: If someone can’t at least see why this has an appearance of impropriety, that is deeply problematic…

    Yes it is clearly problematic, and at the very least the NYT should have made it clear that the Tim B. Lee who was writing the articles was not the Tim Berners-Lee, who advocates the maintenance of net neutrality.

    Incidentally, any clear thinking individual must acknowledge that TLF is a major source of noise and confusion on this Net Nuetrality debate, maintaining that they are for the status quo, for example when in fact the net is neutral right now as we speak. The TLF would like to change that, and that’s fine but please stop the mis-information.

    The TLF is clearly an instrument of the corporate fascists who seek to control all speech and all dissent against the system which they are promoting. Well, some of us like our First Amendment, and the rest of them too for that matter, and do not appreciate the line being pushed here, which threatens my rights.

    Large Corporations are much more of a danger to our Freedoms right now in 2006 than Big government is. Many feel this way, and we will not go away, no matter how much noise and misinformation TLF continues to spout.

  • http://enigmafoundry.wordpress.com eee_eff

    Why is our claim to non-partisanship hogwash?

    Let’s look at the first two names on the board of directors of the Show-Me Institute:

    1. Rex Sinquefield funds the RNC to the tune of about $230,000. Not very non-partisan to me. He also channels money to right wingers disguised as Democrats here in Saint Louis, for example in Rex’s war against Jeff Smith:

    http://www.archcitychronicle.com/archives/00178

    “It would have been another mediocre quarter without the help of Rex Sinquefield who sent $20,700 Gamarbo’s direction.
    $600 Rex Sinquefield
    $600 Jeanne Sinquefield
    $6,500 via 13th District Legislative Committee
    $6,500 via 14th District Legislative Committee
    $6,500 via 15th District Legislative Committee
    Sinquefield gives lots of money to Republicans.
    We wrote about him back in April as one of the major funders of the Show Me Institute. According to our research, he has contributed over $230,000 to the Republican National Committee since 2002.” So in a technicalsense, he is bi-partisan, in the sense that he donates to both Republican and Democratic right wing extremists.

    2. R. Crosby Kemper, III,

    President, United Missouri Bank is listed on the Business Advisory Council of Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies. While in a narrow technical sense it is a non-partisan organization, with members like: Hon. Robert H. Bork, Orrin G. Hatch and Kenneth Starr, it clearly is a conservative group, aligned with the extreme right causes.

    And also I noticed this:

    Stephen Brauer

    Stephen Brauer is the Chairman and CEO of Hunter Engineering Company, which sells computer-based automotive service equipment and employs more than a thousand people. From 2001 to 2003, he served as U.S. Ambassador to Belgium…

    Well, if he was Ambassador to Belgium 2001 to 2003, I’ll bet he is not a Democrat.

    So the Show Me Institute is clearly a conservative think tank, spouting the fake news that the corporate paymasters demand.

  • http://www.techliberation.com/ Tim Lee

    enigma_foundry: I’m also for network neutrality. I’m just not convinced that government regulations are a good way of accomplishing that goal. So I’m for the status quo from *both* a technical perspective *and* a regulatory perspective.

    As for your second comment, I think the word you’re looking for is “libertarian.” We’ve never hid the fact that this is a libertarian blog, nor has the Show-Me Institute tried to hide its libertarian leanings. And yeah, some of our board members, in their personal capacity, give money to Republican candidates. So what?

  • http://www.techliberation.com/ Tim Lee

    enigma_foundry: I’m also for network neutrality. I’m just not convinced that government regulations are a good way of accomplishing that goal. So I’m for the status quo from *both* a technical perspective *and* a regulatory perspective.

    As for your second comment, I think the word you’re looking for is “libertarian.” We’ve never hid the fact that this is a libertarian blog, nor has the Show-Me Institute tried to hide its libertarian leanings. And yeah, some of our board members, in their personal capacity, give money to Republican candidates. So what?

  • enigma_foundry

    enigma_foundry: I’m also for network neutrality. I’m just not convinced that government regulations are a good way of accomplishing that goal. So I’m for the status quo from *both* a technical perspective *and* a regulatory perspective.,

    Of course, you realize that regulation will be required to maintain net neutrality.

    And let’s get some facts straight: net neutrality by telephone data carriers (as opposed to cable companies) was required under the Telcomm Act of 1996, so the normal state of the internet has been to have net neutrality regulated. You say you want no regulation, but also that you’d like to maintain net neutrality. Here’s stuff that has happened without net neutrality, and I would task you to explain how you would prevent this type of abuse from occurring without regulation.:

    - In 2004, North Carolina ISP Madison River blocked their DSL customers from using any rival Web-based phone service.


    - In 2005, Canada’s telephone giant Telus blocked customers from visiting a Web site sympathetic to the Telecommunications Workers Union during a labor dispute. (Welcome to the world of CORPORATE FASCISM),

    - Shaw, a big Canadian cable TV company, is charging an extra $10 a month to subscribers in order to “enhance” competing Internet telephone services.

    - In April, Time Warner’s AOL blocked all emails that mentioned http://www.dearaol.com – an advocacy campaign opposing the company’s pay-to-send e-mail scheme.

    This type of censorship and repression of individual liberties by large corporations will become the norm unless we act now. Given the chance, these gatekeepers will consistently put their own interests before the public good.

    So there is a clear reason to preserve net neutrality, summed up by Tim Berners-Lee most eloquently:


    The neutral communications medium is essential to our society. It is the basis of a fair competitive market economy. It is the basis of democracy, by which a community should decide what to do. It is the basis of science, by which humankind should decide what is true. Let us protect the neutrality of the net.”

  • enigma_foundry

    …. And yeah, some of our board members, in their personal capacity, give money to Republican candidates. So what?

    Well, Timothy Lee it was you who had asked the question: Why is our claim to non-partisanship hogwash?

    And I provided the explanation that documented the Republican leanings of those who form the board of the “Show-Me Institute.”

    And as to so-called Libertarianism, it is a morally defunct doctrine that would lead, were its advocates actually to attain the halls of power, to a society in which all power would be concentrated in the hands of a few large corporations. That society would be indistinguishable from the fascism by the man on the street, whose rights would be suppressed, his communities destroyed, and his environment destroyed by agents of these corporations. (But not–gasp–by Big Government that would be Evil!)

    The reason for this is that present day libertarianism has backslide, and now only favors those freedoms that improve the ability of large corporations to concentrate wealth. Any other freedoms, that could, for example, lead to deconcentration of wealth, such as FOSS, are vilified (see IP Central for that) Thus their positions on tort reform limiting the rights of individuals to obtain judgments against large corporations. So present day Libertarians are just about tilting the economy, so that everything falls (surprise, surprise) into one large plate, after only those freedom which allow wealth to be concentrated are systematically expanded. I really don’t want my children to live in a world where that society exists, let alone live in it.

  • http://enigmafoundry.wordpress.com eee_eff

    enigma_foundry: I’m also for network neutrality. I’m just not convinced that government regulations are a good way of accomplishing that goal. So I’m for the status quo from *both* a technical perspective *and* a regulatory perspective.,

    Of course, you realize that regulation will be required to maintain net neutrality.

    And let’s get some facts straight: net neutrality by telephone data carriers (as opposed to cable companies) was required under the Telcomm Act of 1996, so the normal state of the internet has been to have net neutrality regulated. You say you want no regulation, but also that you’d like to maintain net neutrality. Here’s stuff that has happened without net neutrality, and I would task you to explain how you would prevent this type of abuse from occurring without regulation.:

    - In 2004, North Carolina ISP Madison River blocked their DSL customers from using any rival Web-based phone service.


    - In 2005, Canada’s telephone giant Telus blocked customers from visiting a Web site sympathetic to the Telecommunications Workers Union during a labor dispute. (Welcome to the world of CORPORATE FASCISM),

    - Shaw, a big Canadian cable TV company, is charging an extra $10 a month to subscribers in order to “enhance” competing Internet telephone services.

    - In April, Time Warner’s AOL blocked all emails that mentioned http://www.dearaol.com – an advocacy campaign opposing the company’s pay-to-send e-mail scheme.

    This type of censorship and repression of individual liberties by large corporations will become the norm unless we act now. Given the chance, these gatekeepers will consistently put their own interests before the public good.

    So there is a clear reason to preserve net neutrality, summed up by Tim Berners-Lee most eloquently:


    The neutral communications medium is essential to our society. It is the basis of a fair competitive market economy. It is the basis of democracy, by which a community should decide what to do. It is the basis of science, by which humankind should decide what is true. Let us protect the neutrality of the net.”

  • http://enigmafoundry.wordpress.com eee_eff

    …. And yeah, some of our board members, in their personal capacity, give money to Republican candidates. So what?

    Well, Timothy Lee it was you who had asked the question: Why is our claim to non-partisanship hogwash?

    And I provided the explanation that documented the Republican leanings of those who form the board of the “Show-Me Institute.”

    And as to so-called Libertarianism, it is a morally defunct doctrine that would lead, were its advocates actually to attain the halls of power, to a society in which all power would be concentrated in the hands of a few large corporations. That society would be indistinguishable from the fascism by the man on the street, whose rights would be suppressed, his communities destroyed, and his environment destroyed by agents of these corporations. (But not–gasp–by Big Government that would be Evil!)

    The reason for this is that present day libertarianism has backslide, and now only favors those freedoms that improve the ability of large corporations to concentrate wealth. Any other freedoms, that could, for example, lead to deconcentration of wealth, such as FOSS, are vilified (see IP Central for that) Thus their positions on tort reform limiting the rights of individuals to obtain judgments against large corporations. So present day Libertarians are just about tilting the economy, so that everything falls (surprise, surprise) into one large plate, after only those freedom which allow wealth to be concentrated are systematically expanded. I really don’t want my children to live in a world where that society exists, let alone live in it.

  • Ned Ulbricht

    Ms. Daly:

    Tim Lee sent me a very nice email Saturday night. I’m afraid I only just read it a few minutes ago—that delay is my fault.

    I’m sorry I got mad at you and I apologize for calling you a bully.

  • Ned Ulbricht

    Ms. Daly:

    Tim Lee sent me a very nice email Saturday night. I’m afraid I only just read it a few minutes ago—that delay is my fault.

    I’m sorry I got mad at you and I apologize for calling you a bully.

  • http://www.techliberation.com/ Tim Lee

    I don’t think the fact that we have some rich Republicans on our board makes us a Republican organization any more than the presence of Democrats on PK’s board makes them a Democratic organization.

  • http://www.techliberation.com/ Tim Lee

    I don’t think the fact that we have some rich Republicans on our board makes us a Republican organization any more than the presence of Democrats on PK’s board makes them a Democratic organization.

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