An Open Letter to the FCC RE: “Net Neutrality”

 

The Net Neutrality Debacle: A Submission To The FCC*

An open letter to the FCC, transmitted to openinternet@fcc.gov, the FCC’s comment address for their “Open Internet” rulemaking process.

Dear Mr. Wheeler;

The recent debate on Open Internet has been entered by stakeholders on all sides.  Unfortunately, in my opinion, many of those presenting positions are failing to disclose their true intentions and bias, and in fact are attempting to use the government to force cost-shifting from their firms to others.

I am a former CEO of an Internet concern, MCSNet, which operated in the greater Chicago area during the early days of the public Internet (1993 – 1998.)  The company was sold to Winstar Communications in 1998.

The issues being discussed today are not new.  As the Internet transitioned from a government-funded (primarily National Science Foundation) interconnection for research and education into a privately-funded network accessible to the public, technological change brought many points of friction that served to place competing interests into conflict.

Internet providers, then and now, sell service to consumers and business interests.  These providers either purchase the service they resell or they build private networks and interconnect them at public “meet points” operated by various entities.  Many have a hybrid structure where both private network construction and the purchase of transport takes place.

All providers of Internet service, for cost reasons, oversell.  That is, a service provider who has 100 Mbps of aggregate capacity in and out of his or her network will sell far more than 100 1Mbps connections to the public.  This is very similar to how roads, water, telephone and electrical systems work.  There were approximately 7 million people in the Chicago metropolitan area in the 1990s when I was operating my ISP, but all 7 million of them could not possibly travel on the freeways in the area at one time.  My home has 200 amp electrical service but there is not sufficient electrical power available from my power company for myself and all of the other people in my neighborhood to each consume all 200 amps of electrical power at once.  I have a connection to the water main at the street and nominally there is 40psi of pressure at my tap, but if myself and all of my neighbors open all of our taps at once the pressure will drop to nearly zero, because the main cannot serve every house in my neighborhood using its full capacity to deliver water at one time. And while we all have cell phones in our pocket these days, and used to have a phone on the wall or a desk in our homes, if everyone tried to make a call at the same time the majority of them would not go through as there is insufficient capacity for everyone to make a phone call at once.

The same is true for the gas station on the corner.  The owner has purchased enough storage to hold a reasonable amount of gasoline, but if I and everyone in my neighborhood tries to buy gas all at once not only will we wait for hours in line to get to a pump he will run out and be unable to serve all of us.

Please take note a few points in the above examples, however.  My electrical use, water use and purchase of gasoline are usage sensitive.  That is, there is a natural process by which I am disabused from consuming an unlimited amount of water — the size of my water bill.  Likewise, I do not waste electrical power, because I am charged by the kilowatt-hour for it.

Most Internet access at the consumer level, with the exception today of cellular phone delivery, is unmetered.  That is, I pay a flat price no matter how much I use.  This model, with minor changes (e.g. a cap on use) is what has evolved in the marketplace as the pricing model preferred by consumers.  MCSNet sold service we called “PackRAT” during the era of dial-up modems which was nominally unmetered but had a 200 hour per month cap on it, with a fee per-hour beyond that.  This amounted to about 6.6 hours/day of actual use.  Since you must eat, sleep and do things other than stare at a computer the cap was not intended to prevent you from using the Internet as you choose but rather to prevent you from abusing the service by locking up a limited (and expensive) resource on our end (in this case, the line and modem you were connected to) when you were not actively using the connection.

As the Internet has developed there have been people who have sought to try to shift their cost of innovation and content delivery to others.  These people often couch their “innovation” in lofty terms, as if they are somehow providing a public service.  What they are actually doing is attempting to run a business at a profit.  Today’s pet example is Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) but they are hardly the first.  Youtube, back in its early days, created somewhat-similar if less-severe issues of the same character we face today.

Let’s take the Internet “neutrality” position out of cyber-space and into the physical world.  We’ll assume that I develop a really innovative movie theater that immerses the viewer in some new way in the film they are seeing.  We’ll also assume that this theater only works financially if I can manage to get 10,000 people into it for each showing; the cost of building and operating it is large enough that unless I can amortize those costs over that many people I will lose money and eventually go bankrupt.

Whose responsibility should it be to construct the roads, infrastructure and parking lots so as to be able to fill that theater every two hours during the business day, efficiently directing traffic into and out of the complex so that I can attempt to make a profit?  Should that cost fall on the persons who watch the movies (whether directly via fees on their use of the infrastructure or indirectly via my ticket prices, with the city assessing me for the necessary improvements) or should I be able to force everyone in the Chicago area to pay those expenses, whether they want to watch movies in my theater or not, by convincing the City Government to increase property and gasoline taxes?

This is the essence of the problem we face today with the Internet.  Netflix has developed what many view as a “disruptive technology” through on-demand delivery of movies to the consumer.  In order to perform that function they must deliver a multi-megabit/second uninterrupted stream of data to your computer that meets certain specifications.  Any failure to deliver this stream, even momentarily, results in your display “stuttering” or stopping entirely.

But this requirement is dramatically more-stringent than it is for you to watch short video clips on Youtube or to view a web page.  There a short interruption in transmission or slowing of the transport results in you waiting a few tenths of a second before your page refreshes or is displayed in full.  The same delay while watching Netflix makes their service unusable.

There are other firms that would like to develop and deliver other services over the Internet with similarly-stringent requirements.  Most of these attempts will fail commercially, but some will not — and eventually another “great new thing” will burst onto the scene.

The problem Netflix and similar services produce is that the technical requirement to deliver their service on an acceptable performance basis to the end customer is dramatically more-stringent than existing requirements for other Internet services.  Netflix purports to sell their service to the end customer for $8 per month.

But this premise, and thus the entire business model Netflix is promoting, is a chimera and unfortunately the common law of business balance (which states that you cannot get something for nothing) has caught up with them.

When Netflix was first starting the available margin between the engineering for a typical customer connection and what the customer actually used had some slop in it.  This is good engineering practice, and what most ISPs do.  That is, the ISP models all of their user behavior and says “We sell 20 Mbps service” while knowing full well that the customer bursts to 20Mbps of performance but on average uses a tiny fraction of that — typically less than 10%.  The reason is simple: You browse to a web page — even a very graphically-intensive web page — and then read it; during the time you’re reading the usage is zero.

Enter two new paradigms that break this model: Embedded audio/video advertising and streaming video content.

Let’s assume that I am a site such as Facebook, and I want to sell video ads to companies.  Now when you browse to a Facebook page Facebook “pushes”, without user request, video advertising content to the user’s screen.  This dramatically increases the amount of data that the consumer is using and requires that the data be delivered on a highly-stringent technical basis, lest the video “stutter” or fail to play at all.  Note carefully that the consumer did not request or benefit from this “video advertising” yet they paid an ISP for the connection to deliver it.  Facebook sold the advertising and benefited from it but did not compensate the consumer or their ISP for the higher load on his connection despite imposing that load on him or her.

The question becomes this: If Facebook delivers a sufficiently-large number of video ads such that it begins to impact network performance and thus forces upgrades of the ISP’s infrastructure who should get the bill for that upgrade?

If the bill falls only on those who use Facebook and thus view their ads consumers may (rightfully) reject Facebook since the additional cost imposed on them is not present so they can look at a picture of their friend’s cat, but so companies can advertise to them!  It is thus strongly in the interest of Facebook to hide this cost from those users by trying to impose it on everyone across the Internet so it cannot be traced specifically to their commercial, for-profit activity.

The same applies to Netflix.  If a sufficient number of people subscribe to Netflix the stringent demands for delivery of Netflix bits to the consumer will force the ISP to upgrade their infrastructure.  Who should get the bill for that upgrade?  

If the bill falls only on Netflix customers then their bill will likely more than double; suddenly that “$8/month all you can eat” video streaming service might cost $25 or even $50.

What is before the FCC today is the fact that the cost increment to deliver what Netflix and Facebook are pushing to the consumer is real; the only point of debate is who pays for it and how.

Those arguing for “strict” Net Neutrality argue that the ISP should be barred as a matter of law from telling Netflix or Facebook that if they wish to have this level of performance available to them, since it is outside of the engineered and normal realm for all customers, that they should pay for that enhanced delivery — and if they refuse, there is no guarantee their content will display as desired.

If the “Net Neutrality” argument wins the day it will force ISPs to bill all customers at a higher rate to provision that level of service to them whether they want it or not.

Why should a customer who has no interest in having high-bandwidth advertising shoved down his throat pay a higher bill because Facebook has decided to force him to watch those ads in order to use their service?

Why should a customer who doesn’t want to watch Netflix pay a higher connection charge to an ISP because 20 of his neighbors do want to watch Netflix?

This is the question before the FCC, in short.

When you boil this down the question before the FCC is whether it is about to implement Communism when it comes to the Internet.  Does the FCC, in short, use the government’s ability to forcibly compel the purchase of a service by a customer who doesn’t want it and won’t use it, leaving the consumer with only one option to evade a forced and undesired purchase: Buying no Internet service at all!

There is a legitimate issue with the Internet today when it comes to “last mile” services.  Unlike ISPs who typically can purchase long-haul services from many different providers and enjoy a competitive marketplace for those services consumers do not typically have free and open choice between multiple providers. When I ran MCSNet there were roughly one hundred dial-up and several dozen ISDN provides selling service in the greater Chicago area.  We all competed on price and service, and some of us were more successful than others.   For business leased-line services in the Chicago Loop we had three competitors available to us; MFS Datanet, TCG and Ameritech.  This competition kept prices low and service levels high; during a five year period I enjoyed a roughly 60% decrease in the cost of leased line services to customers where multiple options were available.  This resulted in “all-in” monthly recurring cost for T-1 service to business customers falling from approximately $2,000 a month to about $850 over the space of a few years.

Sadly, that same competition was not available to the average consumer; they had exactly one choice, Ameritech, for their “last-mile” phone service.  Thier phone bill over the same time period did not decrease.

But even in the “business service” area we had occasional problems; the only “neutral” meet point available in the area was the Chicago NAP, run by Ameritech.  To get to the NAP since it was on Ameritech’s property you had to buy a circuit from them.  I was able to buy circuits of the same speed and character that spanned much larger distances from competitors going to other places at a dramatically lower price, yet I could not use those competitors to reach the NAP.  It was Ameritech’s government-granted monopoly position along with its effective monopoly on the so-called “public meet point” that enabled this distortion to exist in the market.  Attempts to appeal to the State Regulatory apparatus in this regard (the ICC) were unsuccessful.

Today the promise of competition for high-speed Internet access is essentially non-existent for most consumers.  Most households can only obtain like kind and character high-speed Internet access from one, or perhaps two, companies.  In my local area we have a cable company and a phone company but they are not equivalent — DSL service is not of “like kind and quality” to Cable Internet with the disparity being as much as 10:1 in terms of available speed.  Virtually all Americans today have an insufficient set of options available to promote effective competition, and as a result we have relatively high costs and relatively poor service compared against other developed nations.

We should not, however, and indeed must not conflate these two distinct issues.  The problem with last-mile access and discriminatory conduct is real, as are the issues with previously-granted monopoly access to rights-of-way that exist across our nation.  Not only do those effective monopolies exist but many states and localities have passed ordinances and laws prohibiting municipally-funded or other third-party alternatives from being established, with carrier lobbying groups typically spending large amounts of money to influence that process.  That activity facially appears to be a rank violation of The Sherman and Clayton Acts and should be met with investigation and, where appropriate, prosecution.

Resolving the last-mile monopoly issue is separate and distinct from creating a government mandate that effectively allows established businesses to shift their cost onto others who do not wish to consume their service.

At the end of the day what those arguing for “Net Neutrality” in the context of today’s submissions are demanding is the ability to use government force to compel the subsidization of a private, for-profit business service.

The FCC not only has the right, it has the obligation under the Constitution’s demand for Equal Protection as found in the 14th Amendment to reject such entreaties and expose them as a sham argument and blatantly improper attempt to force consumer subsidization of their businesses interests.

PS: On 5/21 I got back a letter from Chairman Wheeler (presumably a form letter) thanking me for my submission — and including what appears to be a unique response number.  I presume this means it was “accepted” into the public record.  Good.

A Sad State of affairs

A young college couple sat down in the dunkin i was in working on various remote projects.  Listening to their interaction was depressing.  The dude was acting like a whipped pulpy and the female he was with was taking great joy in denigrating him and not only insulting him but also using the fbomb towards him.  His response was basically to laugh, cover his face and cower.  It was embarrassing to watch.  the female was taking every opportunity to insult him..however his responses(the cowering and refusing to stand up for himself) also encouraged the bullying by his companion.  the times i looked up her contempt for him was plainly showing on his face but his response was to cower and try to hide in plain site.  I guess this is what modern parenting and the schools have wrought.

More 737 MAX details emerge(Long post warning)

Get ready for a long post folks with embedded links.  For previous posts please look in the 737 category.

 

Yesterday’s post gave some details about the 737 MAX issues.  Karl’s post yesterday goes into greater detail:

Let me note up front — I’m not a pilot.  I am, however, a software and hardware guy with a few decades of experience, including writing quite a lot of code that runs physical “things”, some of them being quite large, complex, expensive and, if something goes wrong, potentially dangerous.  Flight isn’t all that complex at its core; it’s simply a dance comprised of lift, gravity, thrust and drag.  What makes it complex is the scale and physical limits we wish to approach or exceed (e.g. you want to go how fast, in air how thin, with a distance traveled of how far and with how many people on board along with you as well as with a bunch of other aircraft in the air at the same time?)

The sequence of circumstances that has left the 737MAX to arguably have the worst hull safety rating in the history of commercial jet aviation appears, from what I can figure out reading public sources, to have basically gone something like this:

  • The 737, a venerable design with literal millions of flight hours, a nice, predictable handling paradigm and an excellent safety record (the basic design of the hull is 50 years old!) was running into competition resulting from its older-series engines that bypassed less air (and thus are less efficient in their consumption of fuel.)  Boeing sought to correct this competitive disadvantage to keep selling new airplanes.
  • The means to correct the efficiency problem is to use newer, higher-bypass engines which, in order to obtain their materially lower fuel consumption, are physically larger in diameter.
  • The aircraft’s main landing gear has to fit in the space available.  To make the larger engines fit the landing gear has to be made longer (and thus larger, bigger and stronger) or the engines will hit the ground when taking off and landing.
  • The longer landing gear for where the original design specified the engines to go (but with the larger engines) would not fit in the place where it had to go when it was retracted.
  • Boeing, instead of redesigning the hull including wings, tail and similar from the ground up for larger engines, which would have (1) taken quite a lot of time and (2) been very expensive, because (among other things) it would require a full, new-from-zero certification, decided to move the engines forward in their mounting point which allowed them to be moved upward as well, and thus the landing gear didn’t have to be as long, heavy and large — and will fit.
  • However, moving the engines upward and forward caused the handling of the aircraft to no longer be nice and predictable.  As the angle of attack (that is, the angle of the aircraft relative to the “wind” flowing over it) increased the larger, more-forward and higher mounted engines caused more lift to appear than expected.
  • To compensate for that Boeing programmed a computer to look at the angle of attack of the aircraft and have the computer, without notice to the pilots and transparently add negative trim as the angle-of-attack increased.
  • In other words instead of fixing the hardware, which would have been very expensive since it would have required basically a whole new airplane be designed from scratch it appears Boeing decided to put a band-aid on the issue in software and by doing so act like there was no problem at all when it fact it was simply covered up and made invisible to the person flying the plane by programming a computer to transparently hide it.
  • Because Boeing had gone to a “everything we can possibly stick on the list is an option at extra cost and we will lease that to you on an hours-run basis, you don’t buy it”, exactly as has been done with engines and other parts including avionics in said aircraft, said shift being largely responsible for the rocket shot higher in the firm’s stock price over the last several years, the standard configuration only included one angle-of-attack sensor.  A second one, and a warning in the cockpit that the two don’t agree is an extra cost option and was not required for certification! (Update: There is some question as to whether there is one or two, but it appears if there are two physically present the “standard” configuration only USES one at any given time.  Whether literally or effectively it appears the “standard” configuration has one.)
  • Most of the certification compliance testing and documentation is not done by the FAA any more.  It’s done by the company itself which “self-certifies” that everything is all wonderful, great, and has sufficient redundancy and protections to be safe to operate in the base, certified configuration.  In short there is no requirement that a third, non-conflicted and competent party look at everything in the design and sign off on it — and thus nobody did, and the plane was granted certification without requiring active redundancy in those sensors.
  • Said extra cost option and display was not on either the Lion Air or Ethiopian jets that crashed.  It is on the 737MAX jets being flown by US carriers, none of which have crashed.
  • It has been reported that the jackscrew, which as the name implies is a long screw that sets the trim angle on the elevator, has been recovered from the Ethiopian crash, is intact and was in the full down position.  No pilot in his right mind would intentionally command such a setting, especially close to the ground.  It is therefore fair to presume until demonstrated otherwise that the computer put the jackscrew in that position and not the pilot.
  • Given where the jackscrew was found, and that there is no reasonable explanation for the pilot having commanded it to be there, why is the computer allowed to put that sort of an extreme negative trim offset on the aircraft in the first place?  Is that sort of negative offset capability reasonable under the design criteria for the software “hack-around-the-aerodynamics” issue?  Has nobody at Boeing heard of a thing called a “limit switch”?
  • It has been reported from public information that both Lion Air and the Ethiopian jet had wild fluctuations in their rate of climb or descent and at the time they disappeared from tracking both were indicating significant rates of climb.  For obvious reasons you do not hit the ground if you have a positive rate of altitude change unless you hit a cumulogranite cloud (e.g. side of a mountain or similar), which is not what happened in either case.
  • The data source for that public information on rate of climb or descent did not come from radar; while I don’t have a definitive statement on the data source public information makes clear it almost-certainly came from a transponder found on most commercial airliners known as ADS-B.  Said transponder is on the airplane itself.  It’s obvious that the data in question was either crap, materially delayed or it was indicating insanely wild fluctuations in the aircraft’s vertical rate of speed (which no pilot would cause intentionally) since you don’t hit the ground while gaining altitude and if the transponder was sending crap data that ground observers were able to receive the obvious implication is that the rest of the aircraft’s instruments and computers were also getting crap data of some kind and were acting on it, leading to the crazy vertical speed profile.
  • The Lion Air plane that crashed several months ago is reported to have had in its log complaints of misbehavior consistent with this problem in the days before it crashed.  I have not seen reports that the Ethiopian aircraft had similar complaints logged.  Was this because it hadn’t happened previously to that specific aircraft or did the previous crews have the problem but not log it?
  • The copilot on the Ethiopian aircraft was reported to have had a grand total of 200 hours in the air.  I remind you that to get a private pilots license in the US to fly a little Cessna, by yourself, in good weather and without anyone on board compensating you in any way you must log at least 40 hours.  Few people are good enough to pass, by the way, with that 40 hours in the air; most students require more.  To get a bare commercial certificate (e.g. you can take someone in your aircraft who pays you something) you must have logged 250 hours in the US, with at least 100 of them as pilot-in-command and 50 of them cross-country.  The “first officer” on that flight didn’t even meet the requirements in the US to take a person in a Cessna 172 single-engine piston airplane for a 15 minute sightseeing flight!
  • The odds of the one pilot who actually was a commercial pilot under US rules in the cockpit of the Ethiopian flight having trained on the potential for this single-data-source failure of the aircraft and what would happen if it occurred (thus knowing how to recognize and take care of it) via simulator time or other meaningful preparation is likely zero.  The odds of the second putative flight officer having done so are zero; he wasn’t even qualified to fly a single-engine piston aircraft for money under US rules.

So there are some pilot issues with the Ethiopia pilot training in terms of the co pilot.  However that doesn’t change the fact that an engine design change without subsequent airframe changes means the aircraft had the large potential to stall itself.  the solution was a software package that was able to effectively say F-U to the pilots and do whatever it wanted.  the A330 had a similar issue..a hidden system designed to prevent stalling that would freakout if it got bad data from one of the two or three sensors.  please read the linked article at the market ticker above from a guy who writes code.  the thinking that software can fix everything is a dangerous concept that is killing folks..and will continue to do so.  Remember..the automation is made by people who are not perfect.  “AI” which is a term that is thrown around without any thought to what it means..is designed by flawed people..it will never be perfect.

Karl has posted an article today that pretty much agrees with me..folks need to go to prison over this.  There was plain knowledge that Boeing knew MCAS was trying to fix a flawed airframe design.
This led to Boeing rushing the certification(which never should have passed FAA certification) trying to get the 737 out to complete with the A320.  The Seattle Times(which Karl linked to in the above linked post) has some shocking details and IMO there’s no way folks at Boeing didn’t know the design of the 737 MAX and the subsequent MCAS system wasn’t a dangerous combination that inevitably turned deadly.

 

The 737 MAX is not the first aircraft affected by computer issues

Quantas flight 72 nearly crashed after one of it’s sensing computers got inconsistent data from it AOA(angle of attack) sensors.  It seems that AOA sensors also cause a freekout of the MCAS software system aboard the 737 MAX series.  The reason the MAX has MCAS is the engines.  The engines on the MAX 737 are larger and because they are unable to fit under the wing they are not only further forward but they are also in a higher mounting position than previous gen 737’s.  Frankly, an aircraft that requires a hidden, pilot overriding, system to be certified by the FAA needs to be removed from the airspace and never allowed to return.  The FAA seriously dropped the ball when it came to certifying this aircraft.  Why Boeing was allowed to do ANY self-certification is unconscionable.  Anyone who knew of this issue should be held personally and corporately liable and suffer fines, loss of revenue and prison time.  This is the only way(not even hundreds of deaths) will change the behavior that lead to these disasters.  Here are a couple of videos about the 737 Max MCAS system:

 

the world grounds the 737 max aircraft, the faa doubled down to leave them flying so trump forces groundings.

The 787 was grounded after battery fires and there were no fatalities.  While I think the rest of the world grounding or denying airspace to the 737 MAX series is partially anti-Trump,  I also think it is partially because for whatever reason two of these brand new jets have crashed within 5 months of each other. What was startling was the FAA refusing to ground the jets in the face of the following factors:

  1.  The new jets had even more software complexity with possibly inadequate documentation and training for the pilots
  2. Multiple reports of the aircraft having sudden nose down instances requiring intervention by the pilots
  3. Pilots filing multiple complaints of inadequate documentation and training about the new aircraft’s systems and automation

More has yet to come out but I do agree with Trump telling his FAA administrator to ground the jets after some serious allegations and the proximity of two aircraft of the same type crashing within 6 months of each other.  Only after Trump ordered the FAA to ground the jets has Boeing and the airlines now said they are grounding the jets.  The entire US aviation industry was doubling down saying the jets were safe.  I am not confident in the quality of the software in modern anything…and with civilian jets more and more depending on software I think something like this was bound to happen either in aviation or in automobiles.  Unfortunately, it usually takes a number of fatalities to take place before folks listen to the folks who have been talking about the horrid state of software in everything.  Maybe now, in high life hazard industries some code quality regulations will be put into place to prevent something like this from happening again.  If this is not done, the number of crashes will continue to stack up.  It will also be interesting to see if the “findings” are truthful or if yet another coverup of deadly code will occur)The Prius software bug comes to mind here.  It was finally outed and Toyota was forced to fix it via a software update instead of blaming the operators of the vehicles.)

 

Juan Brown gives his take on both Lionair and the Ethiopia crashes:

 

taxing the rich via capital gains does no such thing

The very multi-millionaires proposing this know good and damn wlel this will not impact them….otherwise they wouldn’t propose it.  Raising the capital gains will hit the middle class..sell your house?  That’s capital gains..which is what the middle class does more often as they try to stay afloat.  this isn’t a stealth attack on the rich..this is yet another tax on the backs of the middle class..so the elites can keep their class from being invaded by the middle class.

 

https://www.fa-mag.com/news/capital-gains-increase-at-heart-of-democrats–tax-the-rich-plans-43762.html

 

 

Time to Make some churchian heads spin

 

Can a Christian wife withhold sex as a way to change her husband’s bad behavior?

Can sexual refusal be used by a wife to change her husband’s bad behavior? Does God allow sexual refusal as method for addressing wrong behavior on the part of a husband? Can bad behavior on the part of a husband justify a sexless marriage?

I recently received this very heartfelt comment from a Christian wife named Jenn and you can see how much she is hurting as you read this. I would be willing to bet there are many Christian wives that face a very similar scenario. The emotion runs deep in this story, and I think for some valid reasons.

Jenn’s story

“I agree that a sexless marriage is not God’s plan and that both parties should do everything in their power to maintain their physical union and covenant. However, I do not believe it is appropriate to give a blanket statement that denying sex in a marriage is sin. Sometimes, refusing sex becomes necessary as an effort to PRESERVE THE MARRIAGE when the husband repeatedly shrugs off spiritual leadership in the home, ignores the wife’s emotional needs, treats the wife as a roommate, does NOT consistently do the steps you outlined above (going on dates, upgrading around the house, show any type of affection, etc.) leaves ALL THE PARENTING TO THE WIFE, and then just expects to get laid!

Continuing to engage in intercourse under those circumstances is submitting to sexual abuse, even though there is no force or violence involved. Continuing to engage in intercourse for the wife leaves the door open for bitterness and resentment to fester. NO! The wife does NOT want to live in a sexless marriage, but neither does she want to be devalued and violated, either.
Yes, private communication was sought out to correct these issues… as was counseling that went on for 18 months… communication among godly, loving friends. To make matters worse, this person is an elder and a counselor in the church! Is all this grounds for divorce? Most say no. Does one uproot the children because one spouse is spiritually lazy and hypocritical? Difficult call.

Should the pleading spouse continue to allow the husband to treat her this way? Or should she stand her ground that she needs to be valued and cherished? The sexless part is actually the decision of the husband for refusing to correct his behavior out of pride.
So before you heap on condemnation, perhaps you should spend more time encouraging the husbands (or the wives, for that matter) to deeply investigate WHY there is no interest in sex in the first place.”

My response to Jenn and any other Christian wife who finds herself in this situation

I believe it is possible based on Jenn’s statements that her husband is sinning against her by not “knowing her” as the Bible commands him to do:

“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” – I Peter 3:7(KJV)

I wrote a post a while back entitled “10 ways to know your wife” – and these things are a challenge and admonition to all of us as Christian husbands (including myself). Yes we will fail as husbands and we may not do all these things as we should, but we need to get up each and every day and ask ourselves as men – “Am I communicating with my wife as I should? Do I know her concerns? Am I addressing areas where she needs my help?”

God knows that a wife needs her husband to know her on a spiritual, emotional and physical level. This is why he commanded husbands to dwell with their wives “according to knowledge”. A man cannot know his wife as God would have him to without talking to her, and listening to her on a daily basis.

Sometimes we as Christian husbands can become so wrapped up in our careers, hobbies or even our ministries (as this woman’s husband is a church elder and counselor) that we can become neglectful of the needs of our wives and children. This woman’s story should serve as reminder for each of us as believing husbands to make sure we are knowing our wives as God would have us to.

The second thing that Jenn’s husband might be doing is neglecting to honor his wife. This is a duty that God calls Christian husbands to. He does not appear to be honoring her in her role as his helpmeet. I also wrote a post on this subject entitled “12 Ways to Honor you wife” where I go into detail on how a man can honor his wife.

A big part of honoring one’s wife – is to show her that she is valued and to praise her for her work in the home. It is also about making sure that her children are respectful of her. From what I saw in this woman’s sad account – it appears her husband may not be doing any of this. This story should serve as admonishment to all of us as Christian husbands how it makes our wives feel when we don’t know them(talk to them and listen to them) and when we don’t honor them(value them and praise them).

It appears that if this woman’s account is accurate – her Christian husband has been neglecting many of his duties to her (and perhaps his children as well).

Is withholding sex a tool that God allows a wife to use to change her husband’s behavior?

Jenn as well as many other women (Christian and non-Christian alike) believes that withholding sex is valid and justified tool when a husband is neglecting his duties to her and his children. But as sad as these types of stories are – two wrongs never make a right. God does not allow for sex to be withheld as a tool to modify bad behavior, or to encourage right behavior on the part of a spouse (either the husband or the wife).

“Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.

The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.

Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” – I Corinthians 7:3-4

“Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” – Ephesians 5:24 (KJV)

The Scriptures are clear in the area of sex that a wife is to willingly give her body to her husband, she does not have the power to deny him or withhold sex from him. The Bible says she is to submit to her husband in “every thing”, and this includes in the area of sexuality.

The only way sex can be halted or denied in marriage is by mutual agreement to do so for a short time. People talk about consent in regards to sex all the time. Biblically speaking sex is only to occur in marriage. But in the context of marriage, consent is about ceasing from having sex for short period (mutually agreeing to not have sex). Consent is not about ALLOWING sex as sex is a duty and responsibility in marriage – it is a central part of the marriage covenant that you freely give your body to your spouse for the purposes of sex.

I have talked in previous posts about a husband having the right to discipline his wife, to motivate her to repent and change her bad behavior. But a husband is never allowed to use sexual denial to his wife as method of discipline. So for instance, if a man’s wife keeps denying him and then eventually she comes to him for sex – he is not allowed to deny her because she previously denied him.

The Bible tells us we should not repay evil for evil:

“Recompense to no man evil for evil..” – Romans 12:17 (KJV)

A wife in the same way is not allowed to deny or withhold sex from her husband in an effort to reform his bad behavior. When a wife withholds sex from her husband because of his bad behavior in other areas – this is a textbook example repaying evil for evil and God will not bless such actions by a wife.

In fact when we look at sex from the wife’s role, this is just one part of her overall submission to her husband. God does not allow a woman to stop submitting to her husband in any area of her life (including sex) in order to reform his bad behavior – except if he asks her to engage in an immoral or sinful activity.

But doesn’t giving a husband sex when he behaves wrongly encourage bad behavior?

Many women ask this question, and I think Jenn is inferring it by her comments above. The answer is that it is never wrong to do what God has commanded, in fact it is ALWAYS right to do what God has commanded. Short of a husband asking his wife to engage in a sinful activity – she is always to submit to him (including submitting her body to him for sex).

The Bible tells us this:

“Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.” – I Peter 3:9 (KJV)

In God’s view if a woman’s husband is treating her sinfully by neglecting his duties to her, she is to repay this evil behavior by blessing him with her continued submission, even in willingly giving her body to him for sex.

I know what I just said sounds CRAZY from a human perspective. But this is God’s way, not man’s way.

I completely realize that Jenn’s head is probably spinning right now and I truly feel for her situation with her husband. If she does not withhold sex, but blesses her husband with her body – freely and willingly won’t this tell him that everything is ok and she is fine with his neglectful behavior?

No – and here is the reason why. Jenn and any other woman can continue to bring her grievances about his neglect of her and her children. Nothing stops her from doing that. I think it would really make a man’s head spin, that his wife brings her grievance before him in a respectful manner in one hour, and later that evening willingly gives herself to him when he initiates sex with no attitude or hesitation. This can be a powerful tool for change in a husband, when he sees that his wife continues to submit to him, even though she has legitimate grievances with him.

Isn’t this abusive behavior?

Jen said this about submitting her husband sexually under these conditions:

“Continuing to engage in intercourse under those circumstances is submitting to sexual abuse, even though there is no force or violence involved.”

This is not sexual abuse for her husband to have sex with her while neglecting her legitimate needs in other areas.

Her husband’s behavior in other areas may definitely be inconsiderate, neglectful and sinful by Biblical standards. But him asking for sex and her yielding to him for sex(regardless of his failings outside the bedroom) is NOT sexual abuse. I have said this in previous articles and I will say it again here. Christian wives need to be very careful of using terms like “abuser”, “rapist” and “molester” when it comes to their sexual relations with their husbands. Unless a husband actually rapes a woman(has forcible sex with a woman he is not married to), touches a person other than his wife in a sexual manner, or actually physically abuses his wife, his children or others these terms have no place in these kinds of discussions.

Let be clear as I always have to be in these posts. If a husband forces himself sexually upon his wife, Biblically speaking this is not rape but it could be abuse. So in that case it might be legitimate to call the husband an abuser, but it would still not be right from a Biblical perspective to call him a rapist.

But based on this story, there does not seem to be any forcible sex going on.

But won’t allowing sex to continue cause bitterness in the wife?

Jenn said this about bitterness:

“Continuing to engage in intercourse for the wife leaves the door open for bitterness and resentment to fester.”

I think we could safely say, and Jenn would probably concede that bitterness toward her husband has definitely “festered” in her heart. God says this about bitterness:

“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice” – Ephesians 4:31

Someone once said of bitterness, “Bitterness is like talking poison when you are mad at someone for wronging you, and then hoping they will die from it”. I have many men write me with bitterness in their hearts towards their wives over their wife’s sexual denial – some say some very hateful things toward them and I have to remind them that they need to let go of that bitterness, that it is a sin against God, their spouse and really their own bodies (because it hurts you when you are bitter).

This same truth would apply to Jenn and other Christian women that are dealing with husbands who are sinning against them by neglecting their duties.

A wife needs to understand the source of her bitterness towards her husband about sex

“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; “ – Hebrews 12:14-15(KJV)

If you don’t understand the root of your bitterness as a Christian wife, then you will never be able to remove it. The reason you grow bitter and resentful toward your husband when he initiates sex is this – you believe he did not earn it.

Let me put this another way. It is very easy for us as men to shut our wives out, to stop talking to our wives when they deny us sexually. It is easy for us to grow bitter and think – “She wants me to sit down and talk with her when every time I go to touch her she tells me “not tonight honey”. But our wives do not have to earn the right to talk to us by having sex with us. Talking to our wives, whether we feel like it or not is a duty of every husband.

In the same way as a Christian wife you must realize the truth that your husband does not have to earn sex with you by talking to you(as he should), honoring you(as he should) and doing other nice things for you. He has a right to sex with you because of the vows you made to him and before God.

When you as a Christian wife let this truth really settle in your heart, then you will find that you are no longer bitter at your husband when he goes to have sex with you – even when he is not doing right in other areas.

Does the husband’s behavior warrant divorce?

A husband being “spiritually lazy and hypocritical” is not grounds for Biblical divorce. Now if a man fails to provide for his wife and children and just sits on a couch all day while they lose their home and starve that may be another issue. But nothing I have seen in this story would allow for Biblical divorce.

A wife is not responsible to discipline her husband

A wife is not Biblically responsible (or allowed) to discipline her husband. The husband is spiritually responsible for his wife and his children and as the head of his wife and his home he has the right to attempt to discipline. As I stated in previous posts when it comes to the wife I don’t believe physical discipline is warranted or prescribed by the Scriptures. But other types of non-physical discipline like taking credit cards away, or stopping household upgrades may be used as discipline.

God does not hold a wife responsible for her husband’s wrong behavior, he only holds her responsible for her own behavior.

A situation like this can be extremely frustrating for a Christian wife, and we can see that all throughout Jenn’s post. But she and any other wives facing this type of situation needs to make sure they take a step back and realize they are not their husband’s mother, they are his wife.

What recourse can a wife take in this situation?

I think we can see that scripturally speaking a wife has no right to discipline her husband for sinful behavior and she does not have the right to stop submitting to him in any area, including in the area of sex because of his sinful behavior. To do so amounts to repaying evil for evil – something that is very plainly condemned in the Scriptures.

But a wife can continue to bring her grievances to her husband in a respectful way. She can ask her husband to attend counseling as this woman did.

But what if the husband never changes his ways?

Jenn would most likely respond to my last comment that “I tried counseling with him for 18 months and nothing changed! He says he will change with the counselor but he comes home and nothing changes!”

Is it possible that even if Jenn repents of her bitterness, and submits herself in all ways(including sexually) to her husband that he will still not change his ways and do what God would have him do as a husband? Unfortunately the answer is yes – he may never change his ways.

Also it can help to realize that you are not the only woman or man that faces these issue of being mistreated by their spouse. I often get emails from Christian husbands asking if they can divorce their wives for less than Biblical reasons.

These are some of the things they ask about:

They ask if they can divorce their wives for belittling them and disrespecting them – the Bible says no.

They ask if they can divorce their wives for going against their wishes and disobeying – the Bible says no.

They ask if their wife is giving them sex, but with a bad attitude and she just lies there like a dead fish can they divorce their wives – the Bible says no.

They ask if their wife is too involved in her career and other activities outside the home can they divorce their wife? Unless their wife is sexually denying them or cheating on them they cannot divorce her for being too involved in her career.

The truth is that we live in a sin cursed world and sometimes people do not submit themselves to God and repent. Sometimes our spouses have horrible attitudes, or they are neglectful of our feelings. Sometimes spouses are extremely selfish.

I believe though in these cases where husbands are not doing what God says they should do for their wives – Christian wives can get through this difficulty by depending on the Lord, and recognizing that their submission to their husband, is really them submitting to God.

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” – Ephesians 5:22

So perhaps from a human perspective, your husband has done nothing to earn your submission. But would say you don’t owe God your submission? It is God who is commanding you to submit to your husband.

What Jenn and other Christian wives need to do in this situation

Acknowledge your hurt and your feelings of disappointment with your husband, don’t bury it, don’t repress it. Give it to God, Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.(I Peter 5:7)

Pray and ask God to forgive you for any bitterness you are harboring in your heart toward your husband. Pray that God will strengthen you to be able to submit to and please your husband with a right heart and a right attitude. Pray that God will change your husband’s heart and reveal his sin to him so perhaps he will be the husband that God meant him to be.

Pray that God will continually remind you that your submission to your husband is really submission to God himself.  When you submit to your husband it pleases God, especially when he knows it is hard for you to do it because of your husband’s behavior.

All of us need God each day, we can’t live this Christian life in our own strength.

Is there a problem with the new 737-8MAX MCAS automation?

Two new 737-8MAX aircraft crashing within 8 months of each other.  I have been warning folks closest to me about the horrid quality of software these days.  Frankly even if i could fly right now I wouldn’t.  Self-driving cars?  No way.  My favorite operating systems(Linux and BSD) are not immune from poor coding.  It’s everywhere.  I hope the MCAS is not the cause…I was interviewed about the state of Windows updates.  Needless to say I was not kind.  The state of software today IMO means if you want to depend on automation you are sacrificing lives.  Keep in mind when peple are presented with high amounts of automation..they get lulled into a false sense of security…and loose the ability to think critically and react properly.  MCAS has not had a spoteless history:

I was interviewed for an article on the state of Windows 10. Windows 10/Server 2016 REALLY needs to have the QA team brought back. Microsoft is seriously affecting the security of their products. I am not the only one holding off on multiple versions(not several as mentioned in the article..but an average of two)…and I have automatic updates disabled on three of my clients that have run into serious issues with Server 2016 updates. IMO Windows10/server 2016 is working its way to becoming another Vista if Microsoft doesn’t either bring back their QA team or start listening to their insiders.

Opinions of Windows 10 run hot and cold for IT experts

By Eddie Lockhart

As 2018 gives way to 2019, opinions of Windows 10 range from praise to disdain.

For some IT pros, the operating system is a big step up from Windows 7, and hiccups such as the October 2018 Update file-deletion problem are just business as usual with any technology.

“Everybody makes mistakes, and [Microsoft] rolled it back in a hurry,” said Willem Bagchus, a messaging and collaboration specialist at United Bank, based in Parkersburg, W.Va. “No company and no technology is infallible.”

For other experts, it’s a sign that Microsoft doesn’t listen to its customers and a gateway to bigger problems.

“Their insiders told them they had a major problem,” said William Warren, owner of Emmanuel Technology Consulting, an IT services company in Brunswick, Md. “Microsoft released [the October 2018 Update] anyway. I guess they figured nobody was going to complain.”

No matter a person’s opinions of Windows 10, the past year was anything but smooth for the operating system, with the last few months in particular making headlines — and not always for the best reasons.

Windows 10 update approach comes under fire

Willem Bagchus, messaging and collaboration specialist at United BankWillem Bagchus

The biggest problem Windows 10 ran into in 2018 was issues with the October 2018 Update, which it released on October 3. Microsoft recalled the update only three days after releasing it because users reported missing files after they updated. The company did not re-release the update until November 14.

“If you try to push [updates] wholesale to everyone, invariably, you’re going to find some problems and you’re going to look bad,” said Jack Gold, principal and founder of J. Gold Associates, a mobile analyst firm in Northborough, Mass.

The entire Windows-as-a-service model, which includes two major feature updates a year and limits the amount of control IT has over who gets what updates and when, has elicited strong opinions of Windows 10 from IT experts since its inception.

Jack Gold, principal and founder of J. Gold AssociatesJack Gold

“Microsoft decided they know better than everybody,” Warren said. “People are advocating disabling Windows updates and doing everything manually once there’s been a few patch cycles.”

Microsoft relies on customers, particularly Windows Insiders, to serve as testers for updates to ensure that there aren’t bugs or other problems. This puts pressure on IT pros — who have their own systems to worry about — to identify and report any issues. Microsoft’s decision to release updates at such an accelerated pace compared to past versions of Windows means that even as it tries to fix issues, the company continues to add more code and features to the OS.

“They try to fix things in the monthly updates that they’ve screwed up from the biannual updates,” Warren said. “It’s just not a good way to write software, but they’re determined to do it.”

These issues are forcing some IT pros to delay updates. Warren purposely keeps some servers four or five updates behind to prevent his clients from running into issues that cause downtime.

“You need to have more options that allow people to delay if they want to,” Gold said. “Not forever, but maybe one major update back. Something that lets the rest of the world work with the update for a while and see where it goes.”

Security and Windows 10 updates

Regardless of IT pros’ opinions of Windows 10 updates, security is a key concern. The fact that a serious issue, such as the one that deleted user files, got past Microsoft set off alarm bells for Warren.

William Warren, owner of Emmanuel Technology ConsultingWilliam Warren

“[Without] proper testing there’s going to be issues that you won’t know about until the bad guys find them,” he said. “Then you have even more problems.”

The service model approach can have security benefits, however, because it prevents users from working with unpatched versions of the OS, which can be a gateway for attack.

“It’s like putting a seatbelt in a car,” Bagchus said. “Because computers are what they are, the magnitude of the risk of having unprotected computers on the internet cannot be overstated.”

Edge gets an overhaul

One area where opinions of Windows 10 seem in sync is that Microsoft Edge needs changes. In December, Microsoft announced it would discard EdgeHTML as Edge’s code in favor of the open source Chromium. It’s not a major surprise considering Edge — the default browser in Windows 10 — was a distant fourth in terms of usage behind Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer as of November, according to NetMarketShare.

“It’s about time they grabbed somebody’s code that’s standards-based,” Warren said. “Make their own browser, but make it standards compliant.”

One of the problems with Edge today is that it only works with Windows 10 and does not support certain features, such as ActiveX controls and X-UA-Compatible headers. In addition, certain sites don’t load right on Edge, Gold said. Chromium can help eliminate these problems and open the browser up to work on other operating systems, including Apple macOS.

“The Edge compatibility issues have stood in the way of Windows 10 rollouts,” Bagchus said. “This is a step in the right direction for more than just their browser.”

17 Dec 2018

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HOw much pain in moving to a single FreeNAS setup?

Not that much actually.  I looked around here and realized i now only have two machines utilizing a 12/core 24 thread monster server.  Because my FreeNAS is unix based like my Linux webservers I do not need to run a linux vm at all.  I have my firewall setup to only allow SSH connections from the primary ip addies o each of the three server that are allowed to send their backups here.  Since I do not want to simply reconfigure the two towers(mine the the girl’s tower) I am just going to nuke them and set them up standalone.  I only have to create 4 accounts.  One for each of us and my backup account in case something happens to me so he can get to my important data and other things.  I then point FreeNAS to Backblaze B2 and let that be my backup target..:)  FreeNAS snapshots will allow me to control versioning and retention so I will be able to control how much data i actually store in the cloud…and it will be pre-encrypted as well.  I will be interested to see how much my power draw drops as well.  I will go down to one single Dell R310 and then my Unifi networking gear and cable modem.

Server Changes

I have been trying to figure out how I want to change the rack to save power and reduce complexity.  Given i am switching away from ETC Maryland i do not need the massive amount of computing power i have sitting upstairs.  It just hit me..:)  My FreeNAS machine has the capability to hold everything not only from my local home use but also as the backup target for my webservers.  I will need to upgrade the amount of storage..but that will be cheaper on the front end than replacing everything.  My power draw savings will not be as good(still should be around 50%).  it will take a few months to transition things over.  What happens to the current r410 and r610?  I wll prepare to move them to the datacenter where they will become my primary webserver(R610) and my in datacenter bckup target(R410..fter an upgrade).

incoming: A ton of content

As i transition away from https://etc-md.com to https://emmanuelhosting.com I wanted to preserve the posts over the eyars from ETC Maryland.  I am going to pull the posts from ETC over to this site….it wil take a whle to clean them all up…but i did not want my decade of work to simply vanish..:)  Now i will post things here but as a personal hobby not as my primary business.  Emmanuel hosting is where hosting related stuff will go from now on…it’s going to take a few months at leasxt to get things moved over…:)

Recycling was always broken…the greens are just now figuring out exactly how.

Recycling was flawed to begin with.  it can be done but not for the pricing it was at.  Why?  the recycling companies relied on a single point of failure….in this case…China.  We shipped most of our recycling overseas to get processed and used over there…most of this stuff never made it back over here…we were simply dumping our recycling over there.  China…for whatever reason..decided that was stupid and implemented some serious quality controls.  Suddenly the promise of cheap, fast, and reusable recyclables went up in smoke.  Most folks will cry it’s Trump’s fault….that very well may be…but also China has it’s own issues to deal with.  I expect recycling costs are now going to come up to reality and yet another “Green” utopia is going to be seen for what it really is.

 

15/hr Minimum wage. What are the costs?

Amazon is going to be the leader…and the costs are already apparent:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/mar/06/whole-foods-amazon-cuts-minimum-wage-workers-hours-changes

 

This high minimum wage is going to mean the very folks who say they cannot live on minimum wage will not be able to live on the higher minimum wage because it will result in hourly cuts.  the minimum wage is not mean to be a life wage..it is a starter wage.  Most folks have the ability to gain skills that will allow them to move up…the biggest issue i have seen is folks are UNWILLING to do the work needed to improve their skills to enable them to EARN a higher wage…they want it GIVEN to them.  A higher minimum wage will most likely not pull folks out of poverty..it will simply expand the ranks of the impoverished as their hours get cut in proportion to the mount the higher minimum wage costs the employer.