Web farmers, prepare to reap stimulus crop


POSTED: Monday, February 09, 2009

According to the Associated Press, one of the many multibillion-dollar things on the bubble for the $1 trillion federal economic stimulus bill is a $2 billion allocation to create universal broadband.

The idea is to get high-speed Internet into extremely rural areas too remote or too costly for ISPs to reach (towns with maybe one McDonald's but definitely no Burger King or Arby's).

Advocates would point out that fast, accessible Web service in every corner of the country would generate untold amounts of economic activity. Opponents might point out that you don't need a GPS-enabled iPhone to find the nearest Golden Arches when the only one in town already illuminates half the county.

Regardless, I sent my own 412-page Digital Slob Stimulus plan to Congress weeks ago, and can only assume it stunned the entire bicameral body into complete silence about it. Here are the highlights:

Federal Netflix DVD Relocation Program ($47.5 billion): This program would enable the U.S. Department of Justice to routinely change Digital Slobs' identities, credit card numbers and addresses so they can take advantage of Netflix's free two-week trial over and over again.

SAG Torrent/Stream Augmentation Corps ($14.5 billion): Hollywood and the Screen Actors Guild have had little success stopping or profiting from the unauthorized file-sharing of movies over the Internet. This federal jobs program would offer a compromise, paying actors to travel across the country, re-enacting their movie story lines live in people's homes whenever torrents stall or streams begin to buffer indefinitely.

Foot and Heal Infrastructure Protection Act of 2010 ($1.1 billion): This bill would improve the quality of life for Digital Slobs everywhere by giving them $2 coupons so they could afford to buy the eight-pack of Wal-Mart tube socks with the extra gray padding on the front and back.

Digital Media Prepubescent Party Pooper Defense Fund ($3.1 billion): This program would provide legal help for children 10 years of age or younger who are sued for copyright infringement by Warner Music for singing “;Happy Birthday”; during parties and then posting their performances on YouTube.

Post-Secondary Civil Service Pity Date Grant ($5.8 billion): This federal program offers college grants of up to $500 for any high school student who takes a member of the Math Club, Computer Club or Chess Club to the prom. Applicants must provide proof in the form of a clear photo of the pair in front of a “;Stairway to Heaven”; backdrop, and plainclothes federal marshals will conduct random spot checks to make sure the poor geek gets at least one dance.

Interstate Chartered Transport/Public Decency Airways Restoration Subsidy ($7.9 billion): Much like farm subsidies, this program would pay eligible women a monthly stipend to not get on VH1's “;Rock of Love Bus with Bret Michaels.”;

So as your leader, I implore all Digital Slobs to find their congressmen and urge them to pass all of these vital proposals.

Call their office, write them a letter or, if you happen to live in a town big enough for a Burger King, text-message them.


Subscribe to columnist Curt Brandao's Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/digitalslob.