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Friday, April 22, 2005

You've paid once, now pay again, please 

A bill going through the Senate would pull NOAA weather data off the internet.

What's the deal here? According to the Bill's sponsor, Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) "It is not an easy prospect for a business to attract advertisers, subscribers or investors when the government is providing similar products and services for free."

So by "free," you mean "with taxpayer dollars", right?

Sorry, businesses. Did you want the government to withold any other information while we're at it? How about property information or securites info? Zip Codes?

According to their website, NOAA's National Weather Service is "the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States" and that "Television weathercasters and private meteorology companies prepare their forecasts using this information." This makes me curious when I read that "the National Weather Service has not focused on what its core mission should be, which is protecting other people's lives and property" from a Bill Myers, Vice President of, a supporter of the bill.

Odd, It looks to me like the NWS's core mission is to provide weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States. Presumably, the NWS would not stop doind this under the bill, the information would simply no longer be available for free to taxpayers.

In short, the bill is designed to force consumers to get weather information from the businesses who present it in their own form, instead of directly from NOAA.

Maybe, just maybe, these businesses could attract advertisers, sbscrbers and inverstors by providing a product that is superior to what is freely available. Maybe senator Santorum should not be trying to enrich businesses by denying taxpayers access to information they are already paying for.

Maybe this pisses me off a little bit.

-Ben  12:17 EST | |

About us:

This weblog is an ongoing, if periodic, effort by several friends to stay in touch, in reading material, and in ideas.

Lucky Luciano is a former Italian Stallion real estate hustler and Benedict Arnold CEO turned shady lawyer-to-be. He lives in Denver.

Ben is a Paramedic and would-be philantropist who lives in Denver. He knows everything about nothing.

Fuzzy Dunlop lives in Manhattan. He is more than capable of standing up to the stresses of a high crime urban environment.

Jess is a teacher. But have YOU given her an apple? No, you haven't. You should be ashamed of yourself. This crazy feminist currently rests her copy of Awakening in Jersey City.

Matt is a pariah, iconoclast, and professor of gambling living in Oakland.

Miguel Sanchez is not Lionel Hutz.

Daddy Brooklyn lives in Brooklyn. He hates Republicans, though he wouldn't mind being ensconced in the landed elite of New York City.

Paul just smoked my eyelids and punched my cigarette.

Ziggy Stardust has no past.

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