Former FCC Commissioner Tries To Claim Net Neutrality Has Aided The Rise Of White Supremacy

from the dumb-argument-hall-of-fame dept

When last we checked in with former FCC Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth, he was rather grotesquely using the Manchester bombing to try and launch a completely bizarre attack on net neutrality over at the Forbes op-ed pages. Furchtgott-Roth, who served as an FCC Commissioner from 1997 through 2001, now works at the Hudson Institute, which not-coincidentally takes money from large incumbent broadband providers. The Hill, Forbes and other similar outlets then publish not-so-objective "analysis" from such individuals without really disclosing the money or motives driving the rhetoric.

In his missive for hire last May just days after the Manchester attack, Furchtgott-Roth tried to argue that protecting net neutrality somehow aids and abets terrorism and murder:

"A sensible question is why civilized governments do not seek to deprive terrorists of unfettered access to the Internet...Sadly, here in America, limiting access to the Internet would be illegal under the euphemistic term “network neutrality,” the two-year-old experiment in federal regulation of the Internet...To its supporters, network neutrality is a bulwark of civilization. But network neutrality is also a shield for terrorists who seek to destroy civilization."

As we noted then, Furchtgott-Roth doesn't appear to have even the remotest understanding of how the internet or net neutrality works, and conflated the issue of net neutrality with his own deep-rooted desire to see greater government censorship of the internet. That lust for censorship runs so deep, Furchtgott-Roth envisioned a future where ISPs could compete with one another (as if that's a thing) by how heavily they censor internet content:

"Under network neutrality, broadband companies--such as AT&T, Charter, Comcast, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon—are prohibited from discriminating against any lawful websites or content. There is no clear distinction between lawful and unlawful websites and content. The net result is a broadband company could and likely would be sued for blocking websites housing information about recruitment and organization for ISIS, Al Qaeda, the Ku Klux Klan, or other terrorist groups. It is also illegal to block content that instructs viewers on how to manufacture explosives such as nail bombs."

Again, that has nothing to do with net neutrality. Net neutrality encourages the internet as a level playing field free of the anti-competitive or editorial meddling of giant telecom conglomerates comfortable in uncompetitive markets. And while ISPs are banned from blocking legal websites under the rules, few ISPs have interest in outright blocking of content in the first place due to political and PR backlash. In other words, eliminating net neutrality would do nothing to expedite Furchtgott-Roth's vision of a filtered internet anyway. ISPs simply aren't interested, and individuals have every right to avoid or filter websites as they see fit.

The former FCC Commissioner turned think tank "expert" simply conflated two completely unrelated issues (either intentionally for effect or unintentionally out of confusion) to try to demonize popular net neutrality protections. Apparently undaunted by his previous run in with extreme myopia and insensitivity, Furchtgott-Roth has since published a second, horribly ill-timed screed against net neutrality over at Forbes, this time blaming net neutrality for the resurgence of neo-nazis and white supremacy:

"In many countries around the world, national governments block much content and decide which websites its citizens can access. In the United States, we should allow individuals, not the government, to make those decisions. Broadband companies, including those currently regulated by network neutrality rules, should be allowed to offer various filtered services and filtering technologies to allow individuals to avoid content that they would rather not see, or have their families see. Families that want to block Daily Stormer and its ilk from the Internet should be allowed to purchase such a service directly from any business, and not have the FCC tell them that such a service is unlawful in the name of network neutrality."

That's an even deeper layer of bullshit than Furchtgott-Roth's original treatise. There's absolutely nothing in the net neutrality rules preventing individuals from using any filtering technology they'd like at any time under something known as personal responsibility. At no point has the FCC ever indicated that families can't purchase any filtering or parental control service they want. This is a completely made up and bizarre claim, made with total insensitivity to the recent attacks in Charlottesville, all to try to demonize some basic, popular consumer protections for the open internet.

At this point it feels like Furchtgott-Roth is just sitting around waiting for tragedies so he can blame them on the pure evil that is net neutrality. It would be lovely if he would fucking stop that.


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  • icon
    hij (profile), 17 Aug 2017 @ 10:50am

    Define the Lies Early and Often

    This is consistent with the first law of demagoguery. Define terms to be the opposite of what they actually mean. It is the easiest way to convince people that up is down and down is up.

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    • identicon
      JEDIDIAH, 17 Aug 2017 @ 11:22am

      Media Nazis versus the historical kind.

      Except unlimited freedom does allow for the tolerance of Nazis and those that liberals would label as such.

      This didn't used to be a problem.

      It's only recently that liberals have weaponized such terms.

      Of course this narrative suffers from the usual problem with this narrative. The Nazis weren't just people that said bad things. They were thugs that went around beating political opponents and people they disapproved of.

      It's easy to separate obvious criminal behavior from speech. You don't have to suppress one to deal with the other.

      At least the ACLU still has it's soul.

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      • identicon
        Thad, 17 Aug 2017 @ 11:31am

        Re: Media Nazis versus the historical kind.

        Except unlimited freedom does allow for the tolerance of Nazis and those that liberals would label as such.

        This didn't used to be a problem.

        It's only recently that liberals have weaponized such terms.

        Ah yes, I remember when noted liberal Rush Limbaugh coined the term "feminazis".

        Of course this narrative suffers from the usual problem with this narrative. The Nazis weren't just people that said bad things. They were thugs that went around beating political opponents and people they disapproved of.

        I submit that if a guy's wearing a swastika armband and doing a nazi salute, he's a fucking nazi.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2017 @ 11:40am

          Re: Re: Media Nazis versus the historical kind.

          The line between having an opinion and becoming a danger to society is when you use force to force your politics on others.

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      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 18 Aug 2017 @ 2:21am

        Re: Media Nazis versus the historical kind.

        "It's only recently that liberals have weaponized such terms."

        I'm pretty sure "Nazi" was always a word with some power behind it. What's the matter, are those mean old liberals not tolerating you hatred of other races now? Not letting you be a vicious racist without consequences any more?

        "The Nazis weren't just people that said bad things. They were thugs that went around beating political opponents and people they disapproved of."

        They've started running people over as well.

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        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 18 Aug 2017 @ 3:02pm

          "Beating people they disapprove of..."

          Might I remind everyone that ICE and the CBP are not just hunting down undocumented immigrants who have rap sheets of other felonies, but are in fact going after all undocumenteds without prioritization, and are...

          failing to filter out those with American citizenship or legal cause to stay

          separating them from their families

          denying them access to legal defense, or their own records

          denying them due process

          robbing them through asset forfeiture policies

          using extortion and torture to get names of other targets

          deporting them to countries with which they have no affiliation, often into the hands of human traffickers and murder squads.

          Oh and killing more than a few, I assume when an officer fears for his safety from a fleeing detainee. (These deaths are harder to track than the ~1000 shootings-by-law-enforcement, since they don't get processed through US coroners.)

          So our administration skipped the step of brown-shirts and went right to the gestapo. Except the actual gestapo didn't do too much that was terrible, so rather the Trump admin skipped the brown-shirts step and went right to the Schutzstaffel phase.

          Note the DoJ has under Jeff Sessions has discontinued oversight of law enforcement agencies including ICE and the CBP despite ongoing reports of ethics and human rights violations.

          We also still have an elevated rate of hate crimes against Muslims, women and Latin Americans. So, the white supremacist thugs are still thugging it even if we don't consider violence at Unite-The-Right rallys.

          So, the United States is checking off an awful lot of boxes on the Hitler's-Rise-To-Power to-do list, circa 1933 to 1939.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 18 Aug 2017 @ 7:52am

        Re: Media Nazis versus the historical kind.

        "unlimited freedom"

        Not sure what you are referring to here, as there is no such thing and never has.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2017 @ 10:56am

    Do politicians become idiots once elected to office or does it simply take an idiot to pursue office?

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    • icon
      DannyB (profile), 17 Aug 2017 @ 11:03am

      Re:

      Let's not call politicians idiots. Being an effective politician requires qualifications. Pick some.
      [_] Greed
      [x] Lust for power over other people's lives
      [_] Confirming your own greatness in your own eyes
      [x] Proving your greatness in the eyes of others
      [x] A strong desire to be written about in history books
      [_] Desire to be evil

      It's not idiocy. It's a deliberate, calculated, willful effort to do something evil to benefit someone. Either the politician. Their family. Lobbyists. Gift givers. Worshipers. Followers. Etc. Benefit anyone but the public good.

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      • identicon
        Thad, 17 Aug 2017 @ 11:35am

        Re: Re:

        I disagree. Trump's success doesn't imply intelligence or calculation; it's a combination of luck (being born rich, running for office against a weak opponent), instinct, and collaboration with other, smarter people who are engaged in the sort of deliberate calculation you're describing.

        Other successful idiots of note include George W Bush, Sarah Palin, and Dan Quayle.

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        • icon
          DannyB (profile), 17 Aug 2017 @ 11:55am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Good points. Maybe idiocy is just another on the list of qualifications.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2017 @ 1:02pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            No stupid points.

            Trump made it into office because of stupid and easy to insult voters.

            Even Obama is smart enough to know that we deserve the politicians we get, but not you guys. No, you have to instead blame it on fate and being rich like every other poor person that refuses to see their own fault being a part of the system that creates assholes like Trump.

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            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 18 Aug 2017 @ 2:25am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Trump made it into office because of stupid and easy to insult voters."

              What beggars belief is that they voted for the person insulting them.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 18 Aug 2017 @ 8:03am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "we deserve the politicians we get"

              And why is this exactly?

              Many are disenfranchised, is that their fault also? You might claim yes, because they voted incorrectly in prior years but that ignores the voter who just turned 18 .. and many others who have been disenfranchised for decades. But don't let little facts like this stop your silly pretzel logic.

              Oh, and how do you link Obama to this?


              " poor person that refuses to see their own fault "
              Yes, let us blame the victims - I feel so much better now.

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 18 Aug 2017 @ 2:24am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "running for office against a weak opponent"

          While I mostly agree with you, I wish this meme would die. Clinton won the popular vote by 3 million people, it's just that the system was set up so that those votes didn't count due to where they were cast. She was a strong opponent, it's just that somehow certain states bought into the open and obvious lies cast by Trump.

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          • identicon
            Thad, 18 Aug 2017 @ 12:54pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Clinton won the popular vote by 3 million people

            Against the single most unpopular major-party candidate in polling history. A strong opponent would have crushed him.

            it's just that somehow certain states bought into the open and obvious lies cast by Trump.

            "Certain states" have been buying into open and obvious lies about Hillary Clinton for 25 years; it didn't start with Trump. The Democrats nominated her anyway, despite ample knowledge that she was one of the most divisive figures in American politics. They tried to beat the most unpopular major-party candidate in polling history by nominating the second-most.

            The result was entirely predictable; the problem is that after 2000, the Democrats' takeaway was "The Republicans shouldn't have stolen that election" instead of "We shouldn't have run a candidate who was so unpopular that the election was close enough to steal."

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            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 21 Aug 2017 @ 9:21am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I understand your concerns, but the facts is that many more people wanted Clinton in office. If you want to turn it into a personality/policy/popularity contest, she still was wanted by more people than wanted Trump. There's reasons behind that, but to state that Trump because more people wanted him than Clinton is a lie, no matter the problems with selecting her.

              ""Certain states" have been buying into open and obvious lies about Hillary Clinton for 25 years; it didn't start with Trump."

              This is true.

              Frankly, I can't think about any of her potential opponents about whom this was not true. The only other viable Democratic opponent was Sanders, and the attack machine had already started against him regarding the usual American lack of understanding of the difference his brand of democratic socialism and communism. No way he'd have got most of the states Clinton failed at getting anyway. On the Republican side, they picked the biggest clown most damaging to the country, but they all has some ridiculously easy points against them.

              "The result was entirely predictable; the problem is that after 2000, the Democrats' takeaway was "The Republicans shouldn't have stolen that election" instead of "We shouldn't have run a candidate who was so unpopular that the election was close enough to steal.""

              No, the problem is that your system is set up to ensure that a large amount of Americans have votes that count less than those of other states, that those smaller states are easily swayed by propaganda, and that 6 months later you're still whining about Clinton rather than working out who the strongest opponent for Trump's side will be in the mid-term, let alone for the next general where Trump might have been ousted for someone outwardly more sane.

              This should be where you come up with the right leadership and strategy, not still whining that Clinton was in the running despite nearly no opposition being considered by her party. Sanders had some traction, but he wouldn't have swayed the people so easily lied to about coal jobs, Benghazi and emails.

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              • identicon
                Thad, 21 Aug 2017 @ 1:29pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                I understand your concerns, but the facts is that many more people wanted Clinton in office.

                That depends on how you define "many". 3 million out of 140 million is about 2%.

                If you want to turn it into a personality/policy/popularity contest

                I'm not "turning it into" anything. That's what an election is.

                There's reasons behind that, but to state that Trump because more people wanted him than Clinton is a lie, no matter the problems with selecting her.

                Good thing I didn't state that, then.

                The only other viable Democratic opponent was Sanders, and the attack machine had already started against him regarding the usual American lack of understanding of the difference his brand of democratic socialism and communism. No way he'd have got most of the states Clinton failed at getting anyway.

                I'll grant there's no way he would have gotten most, but he only needed to get three: Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. I find it very easy to believe Sanders could have gotten 11,000 more votes in Michigan than Clinton did.

                We'll never know for certain if Sanders would have beaten Trump if he'd been the nominee. But we do know for certain that Clinton didn't.

                Democrats nominated Clinton on the assumption that she was more electable than Bernie Sanders. I think it is very important that they reconsider that assumption, and acknowledge the possibility -- not a certainty, but a possibility -- that they misunderstood what makes one candidate more electable than another.

                No, the problem is that your system is set up to ensure that a large amount of Americans have votes that count less than those of other states, that those smaller states are easily swayed by propaganda, and that 6 months later you're still whining about Clinton rather than working out who the strongest opponent for Trump's side will be in the mid-term, let alone for the next general where Trump might have been ousted for someone outwardly more sane.

                This should be where you come up with the right leadership and strategy, not still whining that Clinton was in the running despite nearly no opposition being considered by her party. Sanders had some traction, but he wouldn't have swayed the people so easily lied to about coal jobs, Benghazi and emails.

                You seem to be operating under the impression that it's possible to choose a strong candidate for 2020 without assessing why Clinton lost in 2016. I do not agree. How can we choose a strong candidate if we can't agree on what that means? I think if we don't take an honest look at where the Democrats failed, they're just going to make the same mistake again.

                That's why I brought up their failure to learn from the 2000 election. Because it is directly pertinent to where we are now.

                If Democrats operate from the assumption that Clinton was a strong candidate and they should find someone else like her, then they've already lost. If they blame it on external factors -- Russia, the electoral college, etc. -- they're not necessarily wrong, but those are factors they can't control. They need to focus on the factors that they can control -- such as not running a historically unpopular candidate.

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                • icon
                  PaulT (profile), 22 Aug 2017 @ 1:49am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "I'm not "turning it into" anything. That's what an election is."

                  So, why did the person who lost that contest get to be president?

                  "We'll never know for certain if Sanders would have beaten Trump if he'd been the nominee. But we do know for certain that Clinton didn't."

                  But, despite what you say, it wasn't because she was unpopular. Not popular with a small group of people in specific states, perhaps, but not unpopular overall.

                  "You seem to be operating under the impression that it's possible to choose a strong candidate for 2020 without assessing why Clinton lost in 2016"

                  Indeed you should do that. "She lost because she wasn't popular" is not an answer that will get you anywhere, though. Yet, that's the only thing you bring up.

                  Look, I'm an outsider here and I'm just giving my observations from outside. The fact is, there were only 2 Democratic candidates and they went for the known quantity. Whatever his positive qualities, Sanders has always operated as something of an outsider, nobody knew if he had major skeletons in his closet and the opposition were already weaponising attacks on his self-proclaimed socialism. It doesn't matter that he was referring to Scandinavia with that and not the USSR, the people who swung to vote for Trump were not the people who would understand that difference. He was a good candidate and brought some important issues up for debate, but I think he would have been easier to attack and would have lost votes as easily as gained them.

                  Clinton had weathered all the attacks against her, still won the popular vote by a good margin, and generally only lost votes due to some shady dealing about an issue that really didn't matter that much in the long run (email - I think the timing of Comey's statements had a lot to do with things). I believe they only got traction because that idiocy was new and showed some genuine error in judgement on her part. Without that, everything that could have been said against her had been said ad nauseum before the nomination and failed.

                  "If they blame it on external factors -- Russia, the electoral college, etc. -- they're not necessarily wrong, but those are factors they can't control"

                  They are, however, things they can prepare for and mitigate. The EC, for example, has proven that voting is incredibly uneven across America and people in some states count several times more than people in other states. So, they certainly need to concentrate activity there, even though they get more actual votes elsewhere.

                  There's a lot of factors, as there always are in these things, I just think that saying "she was unpopular" when she clearly wasn't is not a winning strategy.

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                  • identicon
                    Thad, 22 Aug 2017 @ 11:03am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    So, why did the person who lost that contest get to be president?

                    Because of the electoral college, which was a known variable in 2016, a known variable in 2000, a known variable in every presidential election in US history, and will be a known variable in 2020.

                    Advocating against the electoral college (or at least in favor of switching it to proportional instead of all-or-nothing) is a good idea. I fully support it. I've been fully supporting it for my entire adult life, during which time most Democrats didn't even talk about its role in the 2000 election, or most of the other myriad issues with our voting systems (first-past-the-post is perhaps an even bigger problem than the electoral college, but also probably a more intractable one). It's nice to see more people finally joining me and stepping up to advocate for electoral reform.

                    But it's not going to be fixed by 2020.

                    Should the Dems advocate to reform the electoral college? Hell yes. They should have been doing that for decades.

                    But seeing as how it's not going to be fixed in the next 3 years, should they also choose a candidate who can win within the rules we've got? Also hell yes.

                    In their defense, that's what they thought they were doing in '16. But they were wrong, and it's important that they examine the reasons why. Not just Comey, not just Russia, not just the electoral college; those are all important factors, but, as I said, they're factors the Democrats didn't have any control over, and blaming things you can't help doesn't win elections. Finding the things you can help, and working to fix them, does.

                    But, despite what you say, it wasn't because she was unpopular. Not popular with a small group of people in specific states, perhaps, but not unpopular overall.

                    She won less than 50% of the vote in an election against a man who had just been in the news, on tape, bragging about groping women without their consent. She goddamn-well was unpopular. She was, as I said, the second-most unpopular candidate nominated by a major party in the history of polling.

                    Yes, she was more popular than Trump. Yes, if we elected candidates based on the popular vote, that would have been enough. But that's not the electoral system the US has. We need a candidate who's not just popular enough to win the popular vote, but popular enough to overcome the systematic disadvantages that Democrats currently have in the electoral college.

                    It can certainly be done; Democrats have done it four times (with two presidents) in the past 25 years.

                    Indeed you should do that. "She lost because she wasn't popular" is not an answer that will get you anywhere, though. Yet, that's the only thing you bring up.

                    Clinton's weaknesses have been written on at length, some of them here on Techdirt. I didn't think I needed to write an essay on why she was unpopular, but here are a few quick reasons:

                    • She lacked charisma.
                    • She's seen as a dishonest, scheming weathervane who tells people whatever she thinks will get their votes, and has no core values of her own. (Whether or not that's accurate is beyond the scope of this post, but rightly or wrongly, that's how she's seen.)
                    • She was an establishment candidate in a strongly anti-establishment year.
                    • Misogyny.
                    • A steady drumbeat of 25 years of scandals which, ginned-up though they may have been, convinced many people that she was a shady figure.
                    • Consistent messaging about how well the economy was doing that came across as tone-deaf to the problems everyday Americans are experiencing. (There's more to economic stability than employment numbers, and while it's true that unemployment went way down under Obama, it's also true that jobs aren't as stable as they used to be and real wages are down. Most Democrats, foolishly, have touted high job numbers as a sign that everything is fine, and failed to notice the real anxiety that Americans have about their job security, their pay levels, and their retirement.)
                    • Foolish and tone-deaf statements about eliminating coal jobs and Trump's supporters as a "basket of deplorables".

                    All of these were factors that future candidates, and Democratic voters, should consider. But "people just didn't like her" is enough. Don't nominate somebody with a negative net approval rating in the polls; it's not a good idea. That it worked for Trump doesn't make it a good idea.

                    Yes, she beat Trump in the popular vote. But we don't just need a candidate who can win the popular vote, we need one who can win it by a significant enough margin to also carry the electoral college.

                    There's a lot of factors, as there always are in these things, I just think that saying "she was unpopular" when she clearly wasn't is not a winning strategy.

                    But she was. You're saying that she was popular because she was less unpopular than Trump. That's simply not true. "Less unpopular" is not at all the same thing as "popular".

                    Obama was popular. Bill Clinton was popular. Hillary Clinton was unpopular. Extremely unpopular. So unpopular that only one major-party presidential candidate has ever been more unpopular than she was.

                    That the even-more-unpopular candidate happened to win the electoral college while she won the popular vote does not mitigate her very, very serious popularity problems; in fact, it highlights them.

                    She won the popular vote by a mere two points against the most unpopular candidate who has ever run. That's not what popularity looks like. "Two points more popular than the most unpopular guy ever" is not the same thing as "popular". If being more popular than Donald Trump means Hillary Clinton is popular, then being a better basketball player than Stephen Hawking means I'm a good basketball player.

                    If she'd been up by four points instead of two (the same margin Obama had over Romney, and considerably less than he had over McCain), she would have won the electoral college. The electoral college can only cost you an election if you're running close to the other guy (and yes, 3 million votes out of 140 million counts as close). That she ran close to a candidate as unpopular as Trump is a clear indicator that she was not, herself, a popular candidate. Popular candidates do not run neck-and-neck with unpopular ones.

                    And that's what she did: she ran neck-and-neck with him, for most of the campaign. That's what the polls show -- even, knowing now, that most of them were off by about 5 points in her favor. The race was a close one throughout. Yes, it's very probable that Comey tipped it to Trump. But you can't tip an election unless it's already close enough to tip.

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                    • icon
                      PaulT (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 8:45am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      "Because of the electoral college"

                      Exactly my point! She lost because the system decided that a person could lose despite having the most popular votes. Again, no matter how you spin it, Clinton did not lose because she was unpopular. Not popular in the correct places to game the EC system, sure. But, not unpopular overall.

                      "She won less than 50% of the vote in an election against a man who had just been in the news, on tape, bragging about groping women without their consent."

                      ...whose supporters were cheering for that, just as they cheered him for mocking McCain for having been a PoW (something that would have got any other candidate drawn and quartered). Trump managed to withstand many such gaffes which would have been enough to destroy most previous candidates before the sentence had finished coming out of their mouths. But, Trump kept going.

                      This is not something that could have been fixed by switching out who was in the opposing chair at the debates. Trump is an unusual case, where even as he was clearly lying to his supporters and acting as far away from a capable leader as possible, his cult of personality grew.

                      Look, it's good that you've thought this through, and I wish your country luck in electing someone capable of the job next time, assuming he hasn't antagonised the rest of the world into irreversible action. All I'm saying is - yet again - saying "she lost because she was unpopular" is false. You have multiple other factors in play, but I don't buy that Sanders would have been ultimately more popular overall, and they were the only 2 choices presented.

                      "Foolish and tone-deaf statements about eliminating coal jobs and Trump's supporters as a "basket of deplorables"."

                      I disagree here, but it's a symptom of the real problem - echo chambers and wilful ignorance.

                      Clinton presented a real plan to get those coal miners retrained and help them find jobs in other industries. Those miners don't like that, and can't accept the simple reality that their jobs are increasingly obsolete. Those jobs have been lost to the cheap prices of natural gas, and will ultimately be replaced by jobs in renewable energy - a sector that *already* employs more Americans that coal. Trump just made empty promises that can never be fulfilled, although they make a handy excuse for his pet projects like gutting vital environmental protections.

                      Clinton presented reality, Trump presented fantasy. Some people preferred fantasy to the truth. That's understandable, but the problem isn't that Clinton presented facts. It's that a large portion of right-wing voters actively refuse to accept reality.

                      Ditto the deplorables statement. The comment was made because people were indeed acting deplorably. Worse has been said about her and her supporters by the very people who were so insulted by that comment. Their reaction was not look inward and see what they were doing to deserve such a label, but to double down and wear it as a badge of honour.

                      How do you get through to those people? I don't know, but attacking Clinton for daring to state simple verifiable facts isn't going to help. I guarantee that if the next Democrat candidate decides to lie like Trump did to get supporters, they will be fact checked in a manner never before seen by the right-wing media until they're laughed out fo the race.

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                      • identicon
                        Thad, 23 Aug 2017 @ 4:28pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        Exactly my point! She lost because the system decided that a person could lose despite having the most popular votes. Again, no matter how you spin it, Clinton did not lose because she was unpopular.

                        She lost in part because she was unpopular. She did not lose for only one reason.

                        It is true that if the election had been decided based on the popular vote (and the vote tally had been exactly the same), then she would have won.

                        It is also likely true that if Comey hadn't intervened in the final weeks of the campaign, then she would have won.

                        It is also true that if her lead over Trump had been two points greater, then she would have won.

                        She did not lose the election due to any single one of those three factors. She lost the election due to the combination of all three of them, and a host of other factors.

                        Not popular in the correct places to game the EC system, sure. But, not unpopular overall.

                        Yes, she was unpopular. I don't understand how you're failing to see that. "More popular than the least popular guy ever" is not the same thing as "not unpopular". Her net favorable rating was lower than any other major-party candidate's ever, except for Trump's.

                        I am not making this up.

                        Look, here's a link:

                        Americans’ Distaste For Both Trump And Clinton Is Record-Breaking

                        If you define "popular" to mean "more popular than Trump", then literally every single major-party nominee for President except for Donald Trump has been popular. By your definition, Barry Goldwater was popular. Michael Dukakis was popular. Christ, if "more popular than Trump" is your yardstick, then George McGovern and Walter Mondale were popular.

                        Hillary Clinton was not popular. She had lower favorability ratings than Walter Mondale, a man who won a total of one state. The reason she did so much better at the polls than he did is not that people liked Hillary Clinton better than they liked Walter Mondale (because they didn't), it's that they liked Ronald Reagan better than Donald Trump.

                        Hell, even if we throw out favorability scores and just look at election results, John Kerry in '04 got about the same percentage of the popular vote that Clinton did in '16, and Gerald Ford got a higher share in '76. Would you say they were popular?

                        The only way to claim that Hillary Clinton was popular is to define the word so broadly that it loses all meaning.

                        I don't know, but attacking Clinton for daring to state simple verifiable facts isn't going to help.

                        Whether or not they're facts is not the issue. The issue is, did they cost her votes? I believe they did.

                        I think she could have made the same points in a less clumsy way. And I think that's what being a good politician is all about. I think Clinton is an excellent politician in terms of doing the job of governing and achieving her goals to the best extent reasonably possible. I also think she's a terrible politician in terms of connecting with voters on a human level, winning their trust, and convincing them that she has their best interests at heart.

                        Regardless, my point stands: she was a weak candidate. A strong candidate would not have lost. Yes, the electoral college is a major factor. But strong candidates don't lose the electoral college to weak ones. Strong candidates can lose the electoral college to slightly-less-strong candidates, and weak candidates can lose the electoral college to even-weaker ones (that's what happened here), but strong candidates don't lose it to weak ones.

                        The bottom line is, the Democrats ran a candidate so poor that she couldn't even clear the bar of defeating Donald Trump. If you want to focus on all the externalities that contributed to that defeat while ignoring her clear negatives, well, it's a good thing you're not the person deciding who the next nominee is, because, as we've seen, identifying Hillary Clinton as a strong candidate is a great way to lose an election to Donald Trump.

                        Unfortunately, I think there are a lot of Democrats who share your way of thinking, and if they decide not to learn from the mistakes they made in 2016, well, it'll go about as well as it did when they failed to learn from the mistakes they made in 2000.

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 17 Aug 2017 @ 9:05pm

      Re:

      Yes.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 17 Aug 2017 @ 10:57am

    Net Neutrality is neutral

    Net Neutrality could aid in the rise of anything. Good or bad.

    It's the good we hope for.

    It's the bad we sometimes suffer with.

    Don't blame Net Neutrality. Or at least have the (in)decency to also blame computer manufacturers, and electric utilities.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2017 @ 1:14pm

      Re: Net Neutrality is neutral

      Or weapon manufac... Oh, I just won something on innvokation of Godwin's law from the standard diversity supportters. Thanks!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Doug (profile), 17 Aug 2017 @ 11:15am

    Net Neutrality Is Not New

    “network neutrality,” the two-year-old experiment

    The internet has always been neutral. We've only recently been forced to defend neutrality. What's new is the attacks on it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 17 Aug 2017 @ 11:58am

      Re: Net Neutrality Is Not New

      Just so. Consider the other internet. The one that used X.25 instead of TCP/IP.

      In 1990 I used Canada's X.25 DataPac network to log into remote systems. There were similar systems in other countries - Tymnet, Telenet, TRANSPAC, AUSTPAC, etc. By 1995 I was on CompuServe, ordering airplane tickets through Sabre, and manufacturers were asking us to check stock and order parts using IBM's and GE's X.25 networks. There was lot's of interconnection between these networks, so you send email and whatnot between them.

      But not enough interconnection. Not enough neutrality. Each wanted to be its own kingdom, with the subjects loyal only to them. A business would need to sign up to multiple X.25 services to deal with multiple vendors. (One vendor required us to sign up for both GE's GEIS and IBM Advantis - one for parts lookup and the other to order the parts.)

      A WWW would have been technically possible on it, but never allowed.

      And so when the wonderfully neutral modern internet came to town in 1996, everyone dropped their X.25 services.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 18 Aug 2017 @ 2:26am

      Re: Net Neutrality Is Not New

      Yep. Half the problem is that people have somehow been brainwashed into thinking that net neutrality is something new, not a defence of what has always been.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2017 @ 11:18am

    Harold Furchtgott-Roth's arguments sound even more patently ridiculous and dangerous when you replace the term "Net Neutrality" with "Free Speech" which seems to be what he's actually arguing against.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2017 @ 11:24am

    No, Idiot Paid, what helps white supremacist groups, is tacit approval from the <i>President of the United States</i>, you goddamned tool.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ryunosuke (profile), 17 Aug 2017 @ 11:35am

    a bigger aid to the rise of white supremacy would be the Constitution of the US. Just saying.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 17 Aug 2017 @ 12:09pm

    Hidden terrorism

    Dear Harold Furchtgott-Roth..

    GO AHEAD..EDIT/Censor the net..
    And you will NEVER see ANY good news again..
    News papers USED to be a good place to Track certain types of Crime. EDIT this out and you have LOST a very valuable Source.

    ANYONE REMEMBER adult porn news papers??from long ago? WOW, what a way to track people.
    Been to Vagus and see all the Adverts?? for Sex?? WOW, what a way to track things..

    OPEN news, OPEN internet, means you CAN TRACK THINGS..
    ALSO, it gives Everyone ELSE a way to STOMP ON SITES THEY HATE.. Do you think a site that is Hated by Many will stay up?? not get hacked?? DONT YOU BELIEVE IT!!
    Only 1 reason to force this STUFF underground, is to HIDE IT SO YOU CAN MAKE MONEY OFF OF IT..

    ON SUBJECT..
    Balance in business and UPGRADING THE SYSTEM..
    NOT ONE of these companies wants to upgrade or be FAIR to anyone except themselves..
    They DONT WANT apples and apples..they want to be an Orange, and NOT SHARE with others..
    IF' we could get the truth out of our regulators and law makers, we would PROBABLY FIND out that we are paying them 3 TIMES their wages, in Payouts to VOTE for the corps..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    McKay (profile), 17 Aug 2017 @ 12:15pm

    Let me fix that for you

    Net neutrality [and all forms of freedom of speech] has aided the rise [and exposure] of white supremacy [and social injustices]

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 17 Aug 2017 @ 12:26pm

    "There is no clear distinction between lawful and unlawful websites and content."

    That sounds like a problem for lawmakers who seem much more focused on propping up monopolies than making good law.

    "should be allowed to offer various filtered services and filtering technologies to allow individuals to avoid content that they would rather not see"

    Because we need some sort of 'Big Brother' telling what what we can & can't see. Perhaps its time to stop answering the cry of people unwilling to control themselves & remind them they don't have to go to the site if they don't support it. We don't need Big Brother deciding how much we should pay extra to access areas that don't meet some sort of standard enacted in the name of making more cash.

    "But network neutrality is also a shield for terrorists who seek to destroy civilization."

    If we can magically block all the terrorists from the internet, what would the NSA programs scooping up all the data haystacks looking for terrorists then be used for?

    I don't think this is so much about protecting civilization but protecting corporations ability to demand more money for shittier service. They can and do filter & 'shape' our traffic, they sell our browsing histories, they impose 'caps' in the name or fairness despite bandwidth costs being so low. If we are such a great civilization why are there better connected West African countries?

    TL;DR - Full bought and paid for former FCC person, tried to cash in on the terrorist hysteria to say its not bad for prices to go up unfettered as they demand more cash to allow websites to be accessible at reasonable speed on the networks.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Aug 2017 @ 6:54am

      Re:

      "should be allowed to offer various filtered services and filtering technologies to allow individuals to avoid content that they would rather not see"

      Or hey, get this, here's an idea: Don't go to websites whose content you don't want to view! Radical, I know.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Daydream, 17 Aug 2017 @ 3:24pm

    Net Partiality

    "A sensible question is why civilized governments seek to conceal terrorists' activities on the Internet...Fortunately, here in America, limiting access to terrorist propaganda on the Internet would be illegal under the euphemistic term “network neutrality,” the two-year-old experiment in federal regulation of the Internet...To its supporters, removing net neutrality would generate tremendous profit. But network neutrality is also essential to detecting and denouncing terrorists who seek to destroy civilization."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    stderric (profile), 17 Aug 2017 @ 4:00pm

    Terrorism and Nazis. Net Neutrality. Yes, this guy's connections between them are absurdly funny, but being willing to put his name on nonsense like this means he's also a fucking sicko. The man is human garbage: he's using death to shill for Comcast.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2017 @ 10:32pm

    Bullshit. People not speaking out against white supremacists and calling them on their disgusting behaviour is what has aided the rise. Also having white supremacists elected to powerful positions, and having the right-wing accept them in exchange for votes, has lead to their rise.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 18 Aug 2017 @ 2:06am

    But Trump Is In Favour Of The White Supremacists ...

    ... doesn’t that mean he should support net neutrality?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    limbodog (profile), 18 Aug 2017 @ 9:26am

    What a ridiculous notion!

    Net Neutrality clearly did not aid in the rise of white-supremacy. He should be ashamed of making stuff like that up. People need to stick to the facts. like how Net Neutrality causes autism.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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