Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the words-were-said dept

This week, both our winning comments on the insightful side come in response to Ajit Pai’s whining about California’s net neutrality effort — and, more specifically, in response to a commenter making the silly blanket statement that all regulation fails and governments cannot do anything right. In first place, ShadowNinja with some counterexamples:

Black and white statements like that are always wrong. There’s literally tons and tons of government programs that worked great and didn’t backfire in the long run. Here’s just a short list of what things I can think of off the top of my head that you can thank the government for, that you can’t say anything bad about how they backfired.

  • Having safe food that’s not laced with poison or other things that will make you sick.
  • Knowing that up to $250,000 worth of assets will the safe in the event of your bank going under thanks to FDIC insurance required by law.
  • Not having rivers and oceans that literally catch on fire because of how polluted they are with harmful chemicals/etc. that businesses dumped in them (yes, this really happened in the US).
  • Having much cleaner air because of the same environmental regulations, and not having air so polluted that people have to wear smog masks just to go outside, and some wealthy literally go on ‘clean air vacations’ where it’s less polluted (this is the reality today in China in a number of cities thanks to lack of regulation).
  • Knowing that any car you purchase has passed rigorous government safety inspections when it was designed, and any used car you purchased was inspected as well to make sure that it’s still safe to drive. Such regulations are responsible for a consistent decline in automobile accidents (which has long been the #1 killer in America).

In second place, it’s Jeremy Lyman with a similar point:

I bought a gallon of milk in the grocery store last week, and I actually got a measured gallon of the listed substance for the posted price. It also didn’t make me ill when I consumed it. labelingnutrition/foodlabelingguide/ucm265446.pdf cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=101.7

I’d wager that the government does thousands of things right in your life, it’s just transparent when it’s running smoothly.

For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we start out with one more comment from that post, this time from Anonymous Anonymous Coward and directed at one of Pai’s statements:

He know what the truth is, it just won’t fit in his mouth.

“Of course, those who demand greater government control of the Internet haven?t given up.”

Pai’s disingenuous characterization is not very subtle. In fact the demand is not for government control of the Internet, but for control over internet providers, no matter what flavor.

Control to keep the expected dumb pipes dumb. Control to encourage actual competition to keep quality high and prices low.

Control to keep those offering service honest in their advertising and billing practices.

Control to separate content from access.

Control to keep corporations from overly influencing Government in their favor rather than the owners of this country, the people.

Next, we’ve got a quick comment from Gary about an attempt to use the GDPR to hide a public US court document:

And also weird how the ISP is putting the pressure on the website. It’s almost as if there should be some law to limit intermediary liability…

Over on the funny side, our first place winner comes after we clarified what happened with the Apple movie “deletion” kerfuffle, which turned out to be about dumb regional copyright restrictions. One commenter feared they might have to give back an earlier “most insightful” award for a comment on the subject, so Anonymous Anonymous Coward checked the criteria:

Did you move to another country?

In second place, it’s one more response to the Ajit Pai post, this time from Chip in full parody mode targeting a particular commenter:

I “told” you that This would “happen”! Idiots! Sycophants! MINIONS!

I “told” you that when there were REGULATIONS, that “meant” that SOMEDAY there would be Elections, and other “people” might get “elected” and Undo the REGULATIONS. You did not Praise me for my BRILLIANCE in “understanding that Elections “exist” and sometimes different Parties get Elected, which doesn’t matter anyway because oth Parties are the “same”, as you would know if you were Interested in Truth and in “history” such as GEORGE WASHINGTON’S FAREWELL ADDRESS, which is one of Many historical Things that I have read because I am very “very” Smart.

The “regulations” in California are BAD, and the FCC’s repeal of the REGULATIONS from Wheeler is also BAD, and Wheeler’s regulations were “also” BAD. That is OBVIOUS to anyone who is very VERY “smart” like “me”. Don’t you Sycophantic “idiots” Get it? Someay in California there will be an ELECTION. And different PEOPLE might get “elected”. And those different “people” might repeal this “law”. You’re all so Stupid! Stupid! for not recognizing my obvious GENIOUS in understanding that sometimes different “people” get Elected to things. You did not learn about History like I learne about History, at Smilin’ Jim’s Unaccredited Forth Grade Academy.

Every Nation eats the Paint chips it Deseves!

For editor’s choice on the funny side, we start out with another comment from Gary, this time in response to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce engaging in some trademark bullying over the Hollywood sign:

Hey isn’t Hollywood that obscure California city that all those film studios moved to in order to escape draconian patent lawsuits from Edison?

And finally, it’s an anonymous comment about Tanzania’s plan to outlaw the fact-checking of government statistics:

Statistics show that 100% of leaders who demonize fact-checking are honest and deserve to be reelected.

That’s all for this week, folks!

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Comments on “Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt”

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Glenn says:

Statistics show… that most voters wish the President (of the US) were actually elected instead of being selected (by the sElectoral College).

Think of all the problems we wouldn’t have now if that office were filled by the winner of the popular vote instead. Or if we simply hadn’t allowed Republicans to gerrymander voting districts to their hearts content for the past several decades.

Mentioning what Techdirt never will. says:


Popular TV-torrent distribution group ETTV is calling out one of its main ‘competitors.’ The group accuses EZTV of taking ‘its’ releases and branding them as their own, publishing fake torrents to prove their point.

"They are always using our content and we are getting tired of it."

"our content". Which they’ve stolen from those who paid for it.

"They can play the `sharing is caring card’ all they want, but only amateurs and freeloading scum think its ok to run their sites by [taking content from] other public sites."

And "freeloading scum".

How utterly disgusting that these outright thieves claim proprietary right to stolen content, using the very terms that apply to them. — It’s projection and displacement again, the identifying characteristic of those who aren’t honest.

With the legitimate owners now putting pressure on enough pirate sites, the thieves are turning on each other. Good. Need more. They’ve become so money-mad that a little undercover bribery to rat out each other will help all to places in jail.

See also: "Reddit Gets Tough With Multiple Bans of Piracy Sub-Reddits"

Caused by recent court cases holding liable for NOT having an effective repeat-infringer policy. So turns out that even Reddit is bound to police the site as copyright cop, just as I’ve said: corporations are permitted entities that can exist only after agreed have SOME duty to enforce laws.

Anonymous Coward says:


That is actually quite hilarious. Pirates attacking pirates in the digitals seas of chaos. Not sure what you are arguing though? Did you try submitting your article? I will give you a hint through, if you submit with your standard diatribe, there is a high probability it will be ignored.

Anonymous Coward says:


It could be said that FDIC insurance has already backfired. It effectively makes bank accounts into commodities—the products are all the same, and you just use whichever gives you the best deal. If it seems too good to be true, that’s not your problem.

I’m not saying people who chose wrong should lose all their money, but there is a moral hazard here (Wikipedia has some citations on the "Deposit insurance" page). There were 320 banks that behaved recklessly enough in last decade’s financial crisis to need an FDIC bailout.

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