Bernie's Broadband Plan Gives A Big Green Light To Community Broadband

from the dysfunction-junction dept

We've long noted how community broadband networks are often an organic response to the expensive, slow, or just-plain unavailable service that's the direct product of a broken telecom market and regulatory capture. While you'll occasionally see some deployment duds if the business models aren't well crafted, studies have shown such local networks (there are 750 and counting now in the States) offer cheaper, faster service than many incumbents. Chattanooga's EPB, for example, was rated the best ISP in America last year by Consumer Reports.

This direct grass roots threat to incumbent revenues is a major reason why ISP lobbyists have passed protectionist laws in around 20 states trying to block your town's ability to even consider the option. It's why industry cozy FCC officials have falsely tried to suggest community broadband is an ominous assault on free speech. And it's why you'll find an endless parade of telecom-linked think tankers, consultants, and lobbyists routinely trying to portray this organic response to market failure as "vile socialism" or an inevitable boondoggle.

Enter Bernie Sanders, whose new broadband plan was released last week and appears to have been cobbled together from the collected nightmares of AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast executives. The plan would not only restore the FCC's net neutrality authority and the agency's authority over ISPs in general, but it would restore the FCC's broadband privacy rules scuttled in 2017 by telecom lobbyists. It would also ban arbitrary and unnecessary broadband usage caps and overage fees, and ban the sneaky fees ISPs use to covertly jack up the advertised price post sale.

But the plan takes some extra time to highlight how a Sanders administration would embrace community broadband, including the elimination of protectionist state laws, and the doling out of $150 billion to be used largely toward building alternatives to the private sector telecom status quo:

"Municipalities across the country running their own internet services have proved they can deliver high-quality service at a fraction of the price of established monopolies. Cities can run their own networks just like a water or electric utility or build out an open access network to allow multiple providers to compete on price and service, rather than one or two conglomerates gouging customers and setting their own prices. Bernie believes it’s time to stop relying on profit-focused corporations to get to universal broadband. Bernie will provide the necessary funding for states, cities, and co-ops to build out their own broadband networks, and ensure all households are connected by the end of his first term."

Needless to say, the telecom sector isn't going to much like any of this. Especially given the fact that the sector has been immensely successful in convincing government to void all meaningful oversight of these natural monopolies in recent years. Yeah, most of this will never come to pass without a significant shake up in Congress. And yeah, telecom lobbyists will do everything in their power to scuttle Sanders before he ever reaches the Presidency. Still, it's pretty clear the Sanders team has been paying close attention to the broken sector and is at least offering up a proposal, whereas most other Democratic candidates (outside of perhaps Warren and Klobuchar) have offered little more than vagaries.

The proposal isn't without its problems. Several economists versed in telecom and media tell me that the proposals to retroactively break up giants like Comcast NBC Universal and AT&T Time Warner are little more than pipe dreams that would be logistical nightmares in actual practice. And the Sanders camp also oddly opposes so-called "one touch make ready" rules (which allow any qualified third party to move pole equipment instead of just incumbent ISPs) despite widespread support of such proposals (unions tell me "one touch" poses a safety and security risk, but those claims are hotly contested).

Still, the plan at least acknowledges the US telecom sector, which ranks in the middle in nearly every broadband metric that matters, is a broken mess thanks to consolidation, regulatory capture, limited competition, and corruption. That's something countless experts and lawmakers refuse to acknowledge. Bernie's plan is certainly no more ludicrous than the US' current and most favored approach: gutting regulatory oversight, throwing billions of unaccountable dollars at predatory monopolies, then standing around with a dumb look on our collective faces wondering why Comcast is such an immeasurable shitshow.

Filed Under: bernie sanders, broadband, competition, municipal broadband


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  1. icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 13 Dec 2019 @ 12:57pm

    *Thumbs up from me!*

    Great Article! I shared it with my mom (who's active in left-wing politics)!

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

  2. icon
    Thad (profile), 13 Dec 2019 @ 1:23pm

    Needless to say, the telecom sector isn't going to much like any of this.

    Hopefully they're dumb enough to say that out loud. Warren has a campaign ad quoting Wall Street investment bankers criticizing her policies; Sanders could use one that quotes telecom executives criticizing his.

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

  3. icon
    Remi Qaine (profile), 13 Dec 2019 @ 1:54pm

    PUD Fiber networks rule

    A couple of counties in central washington created their own fiber optic push and have 80-90% coverage. They lease the lines to a couple local ISP's. The best part is that they are open gigabit pipes, no contract/quota/limits. I have 1gb down/ 100 up for $70/month

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

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2019 @ 1:59pm

    Re:

    Don't worry about it, by 2040 we will be able to remotely watch all private meetings of company execs and world leaders and we will not stand for screwing us over again. This will include things that happened in the past as well.

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

  5. identicon
    Panda_Kahn, 13 Dec 2019 @ 2:08pm

    Breaking them up is easy! Forcing to break them up is hard.

    The easiest way to break up the big telecoms is to forbid them from being more than one thing. Want to be an ISP? Great! But you can't be a media provider if you are an ISP. Want to be a giant media provider? Great! But you can't be an ISP? Want a piece of the pie? Great! But, you can only have a slice, and not the whole pie. You can be an ISP, a streaming service, a publishing company, a movie studio, a phone company or anything else you want to be, but you can't be everything, and I think you should only be allowed to be a very limited number of things at the same time.

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

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2019 @ 2:32pm

    Logistics

    Several economists versed in telecom and media tell me that the proposals to retroactively break up giants like Comcast NBC Universal and AT&T Time Warner are little more than pipe dreams that would be logistical nightmares in actual practice.

    When I read about the 1984 AT&T breakup, that also sounds like a logistical nightmare. I'd be curious to see how this compares, what their specific complaints are, and whether there are decent alternatives.

    A point of comparison would be Openreach in the UK. Initially (2006), it operated as a division of British Telecom and was required to treat BT the same as any third-party provider. It kind of worked, but there were enough problems that they were forced to spin it into a separate company in 2017.

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

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2019 @ 2:32pm

    I know of one big city that has a neighborhood with its own ISP that charges around $40 a month.

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

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2019 @ 2:34pm

    Re: Breaking them up is easy! Forcing to break them up is hard.

    That's called a vertical monopoly and is already an antitrust violation.

    The problem is all the government can do is order they be turned into a cartel.

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

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2019 @ 2:35pm

    Re: Re:

    [Citation desperately needed]

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

  10. icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 13 Dec 2019 @ 2:44pm

    Re: Which city?

    Do pray tell: Which city is this? I would like to know!

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

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2019 @ 2:58pm

    Re: Re: Which city?

    I heard some university in Boston does it. Not sure which. It's for students but anyone who lives there can get it.

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

  12. icon
    nasch (profile), 13 Dec 2019 @ 3:36pm

    Vagaries?

    have offered little more than vagaries

    I don't think that word means what you think it means.

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

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2019 @ 3:45pm

    Several economists versed in telecom and media tell me that the proposals to retroactively break up giants like Comcast NBC Universal and AT&T Time Warner are little more than pipe dreams that would be logistical nightmares in actual practice.

    Funny how it isn't an issue when they do it by choice, even when dome piecemeal, or after they have merged similar departments from the parent and acquired companies.

    These corporations are already logistical nightmares unto themselves. What is one more to them?

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

  14. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2019 @ 6:28pm

    Political Bluster

    ...grandiose 'campaign promises' are as plentiful as trees in a forest.

    Socialist Sanders wants to give more coercive authority to FCC central planners although they have a terrible performance record over many decades.

    What magic wand does Bernie have to turn creaky FCC bureaucrats into dynamic leaders of innovation in the US telecom markets?

    Congress and state legislators seem quite content with the telecom status quo -- that's the real roadblock ... and Bernie has no clue how to overcome that.

    Bernie's proposed price-controls are foolish, as are all his economic views.
    Community {government mostly} Broadband is also a socialist posture.

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

  15. identicon
    Glenn, 14 Dec 2019 @ 12:50am

    We still need to get the Republicans out of the Senate so it can get back to doing real work instead of sitting around on its hands.

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

  16. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2019 @ 3:07am

    Re: Re:

    world peace will finally be obtained,
    a cure for cancer will be found,
    and monkeys are flying out yer ass.

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

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2019 @ 3:11am

    Re: Political Bluster

    "Sanders wants to give more coercive authority to FCC"
    I think I missed the memo

    "as are all his economic views."
    Do you have a list?

    "Community Broadband is also a socialist posture"
    I doubt you know what the word socialist means, and how does a hypothetical political system "posture"?

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

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2019 @ 5:54am

    Re: Political Bluster

    Community {government mostly} Broadband is also a socialist posture.

    So are:

    • Police
    • Fire departments
    • Tax collection and distribution
    • Highways
    • A great many other things you enjoy daily

    So what's your point?

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

  19. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2019 @ 5:58am

    Re:

    I disagree. As long as the house and senate are deadlocked we the people don't get (many) new shitty laws. Give any single party control of the political system and everything goes to hell in a handbasket. It doesn't matter which party is in power, it's always the same result.

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

  20. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2019 @ 6:07am

    Re: Re:

    More both sides propaganda

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

  21. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2019 @ 8:53am

    Re: Re: Political Bluster

    ... socialism is great and a bedrock of American society. We need more of it and Bernie's our guy,

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

  22. icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 14 Dec 2019 @ 9:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Political Bluster

    ... socialism is great and a bedrock of American society. We need more of it and Bernie's our guy,

    TFW someone's being sarcastic and they're actually making a better point than when they're serious.

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

  23. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2019 @ 10:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Political Bluster

    Of all the crap called socialism, I have yet to see any of those claims actually be correct in its labeling.

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

  24. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2019 @ 12:46pm

    Re:

    If they can get some phrenologists and astrologers on board then their opinions may begin to carry some weight.

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

  25. identicon
    Iggy, 15 Dec 2019 @ 6:17am

    Good for Bernie Sanders for noticing the broadband problem. And he certainly has bigger fish to fry with people dumping spending most of their income on rent and student loans and driving to Canada for their meds.

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

  26. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Dec 2019 @ 7:50am

    Re: Political Bluster

    It's like labeling something as "socialist" makes it bad. "Socialist" ideas predate both socialism and capitalism as political economic concepts. Get over yourself.

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

  27. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Dec 2019 @ 7:52am

    Re: Re: Political Bluster

    Don't forget everyone's favorite: The Military.

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

  28. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Dec 2019 @ 7:56am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Not really. I wouldn't even call the existing parties two different sides. What makes it more obvious is the "both sides" concept, when the reality is always that there are many more than two.

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

  29. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Dec 2019 @ 9:25am

    “Many experts say...” please don’t do this. This form of writing is lazy, and does not need further legitimizing as it’s usually wielded to give credibility to bullshit claims.

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

  30. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Dec 2019 @ 9:29am

    Re: Re: Political Bluster

    The U.S. has invested many a dollar, invaded many a country and help topple democratically elected leaders to ensure Socialism is a dirty word around the world especially in the U.S.

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

  31. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Dec 2019 @ 9:33am

    Re: Logistics

    This comment explains why I hate the “many experts say” usage in an article, it just erases decades of actual anti-trust history and defers to the opinion of usually imaginary or bad faith actors. If you don’t want to name the folks cool, back it up with an actual “logistical nightmare” for context.

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

  32. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Dec 2019 @ 9:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Political Bluster

    yeah the Military hierarchy model is very similar to the Socialist model.
    Both are top-down command organizations with forced obedience.

    There are only two methods to organize human activity -- by voluntary cooperation or by coerced participation.

    Socialism is based on forced participation to somebody's economic /social goals ... because it is thought to be a more efficient method of progress. Socialism always requires force/violence as its basic human organizational principle. Most socialists do not recognize that fact, instead focusing upon a more utopian vision of socialist end goals.

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

  33. identicon
    typical peon, 15 Dec 2019 @ 9:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Political Bluster

    I get communism and socialism confused.

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

  34. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Dec 2019 @ 9:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Political Bluster

    Is that why there is continual war .. huh,
    I wondered about it for some time but now I have the answer.

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

  35. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Dec 2019 @ 10:01am

    Re: Re: Political Bluster

    many centuries of socialism-in-practice around the world revealed its horrors and ablect failures

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

  36. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Dec 2019 @ 10:04am

    Re: Re: Logistics

    Yeah, the only nightmare I remember from that era is trying to purchase phones whose total ringer equivalence did not exceed the telco directed value.

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

  37. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Dec 2019 @ 10:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Divide and conquer is still a winning strategy.

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

  38. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Dec 2019 @ 10:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Political Bluster

    ... they are both slight variations of the same "Collectivist" parent ideology, rejecting the concept of individual freedom.

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

  39. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Dec 2019 @ 11:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Political Bluster

    Socialism means different things to different people.

    Like liberal, conservative, and a few other words it means polar opposite things to different people. I think india and china both have socialism in their constitutions so its not an uncommon thing.

    If you put an Islamic conservative and a Christian conservative in a room together there is a really good chance they come out calling each other liberals for example.

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

  40. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Dec 2019 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Political Bluster

    and yet they are completely different but that does not stop people from confusing them, probably on purpose.

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

  41. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Dec 2019 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Political Bluster

    "Socialism means different things to different people"

    and yet the political system defined as socialism remains the same regardless of the silly machinations of those who seek to disparage some issue/item that they do not like. They have no credible data in support of their claim(s) and run away when asked to defend same.
    I have yet to see any of these claims of socialism to be actual socialism, have you?
    I do not understand how some people think they are communicating when they do not agree upon the definitions of the words they use.

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

  42. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Dec 2019 @ 3:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Political Bluster

    ...cats & dogs are completely different, except that they are extremely alike in objective biological terms.
    Hundreds of Christian religious sects are completely different but all share the same basic view.

    Stalin led a "Union of Soviet Socialist Republics" and Hitler led a "National Socialist Party" -- and both were 'Socialists'.

    Marx and Engels used the words 'communism' and 'socialism' synonomously, as did all Marxist political groups... up until 1917 -- when the Leninists arose and created some artificial ideological distinctions between communism & socialism.
    Modern day socialists have crafted endless labeling variations to conceal the core ideology.

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

  43. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Dec 2019 @ 4:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Political Bluster

    umm, ok.

    What is it about Bernie's policies that you think are socialism? Please be specific and provide rational for the designation.

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

  44. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    whided (profile), 15 Dec 2019 @ 7:11pm

    Also can be seen by whole.

    You will never miss than me I lost there you go and get your whole ppromisses with registration https://amazeinvent.com/android-emulators/

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

  45. icon
    Atkray (profile), 15 Dec 2019 @ 10:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Political Bluster

    Wait...where is the rest of this conversation?

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

  46. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 16 Dec 2019 @ 12:28am

    Re: *Thumbs up from me!*

    Bernie Sanders is 76 and still has a better grasp about how a network should work than most other politicians half his age.

    How did that happen? The man's been doing nothing BUT politics since he was in his 20's and none of it in IT or technology.

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

  47. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 16 Dec 2019 @ 12:42am

    Re: Political Bluster

    "Socialist Sanders wants to give more coercive authority to FCC central planners although they have a terrible performance record over many decades."

    ...and unfortunately the FCC is still the only possible regulatory body capable of coming up with and enforcing sensible network regulation. If it all lands in the hands of Verizon, Comcast and AT&T you know the future of US IT infrastructure will all be decided by the companies who have historically been seen as the absolutely worst actors on the market.

    "What magic wand does Bernie have to turn creaky FCC bureaucrats into dynamic leaders of innovation in the US telecom markets?"

    The same one every administration has had, really. Sack every last executive currently in the FCC and hire back and put in charge all the ones who jumped ship for the private sector and the EFF.

    Yes, regulatory capture is a thing, but lamentably the ones who fucked the FCC up are also the only ones who can fix it.

    "Congress and state legislators seem quite content with the telecom status quo -- that's the real roadblock ... and Bernie has no clue how to overcome that."

    Uhhh...no, now you're just flat-out lying. Plenty of states have been in direct conflict with the FCC over, precisely, community broadband. And at least a third of congress, roughly, are on the same lines.

    "Bernie's proposed price-controls are foolish..."

    Not really? Almost every european nation has similar price regulations on core infrastructure, including broadband. As a result of which we have REAL competition rather than just the choice of two big pseudomonopolies content with screwing the choiceless consumer. But hey, don't let having a decades old working model across the atlantic stop you from bullshitting.

    "...as are all his economic views."

    Really? Again, we've got any number of countries which appear to work flawlessly under MORE socialist economic models than Bernies. And bluntly put the current US slid down the monopoly road in the 90's and never got out. Right now the US consumer has less choice than the citizens of China have.
    It's well past time to realize that socialist or not the current modus operandi has not panned out well for the states.

    "Community {government mostly} Broadband is also a socialist posture."

    Bullshit. Power, water, and municipal roads are according to that argument also socialist postures. Core infrastructure which everyone is forced to utilize and where "competition" is just not possible, needs to be handled by some form of NPO. State-run, preferably, the same way the road network is maintained.

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

  48. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 16 Dec 2019 @ 12:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Political Bluster

    *"... they are both slight variations of the same "Collectivist" parent ideology, rejecting the concept of individual freedom."

    Individual freedom is a great thing. Just not when it comes to core infrastructure and similar places where the functionality goes right out the window with anything other than a strict and inflexible system.

    The road network and basic traffic laws won't work if they are subjected to individual freedoms. The military wouldn't exist. Taxation and law enforcement? Zip.

    Where competition is not a realistic possibility or actively harmful, you end up needing government.

    After which the real burden is to get citizens interested enough to get off their asses and vote to ensure the politicians don't get away with ineptitude and/or larceny.

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

  49. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2019 @ 1:42am

    Bode does it again

    Linking to his own article at motherboard rather than the actual source:

    https://muninetworks.org/communitymap

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

  50. icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 16 Dec 2019 @ 4:32am

    Re: Re: *Thumbs up from me!*

    Probably because he has smart IT or tech wonks as his advisors is what I'd hazard to guess…

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

  51. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 16 Dec 2019 @ 4:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Political Bluster

    "Like liberal, conservative, and a few other words it means polar opposite things to different people. I think india and china both have socialism in their constitutions so its not an uncommon thing."

    And yet both China and India are cutthroat capitalist in ways that make the US of A look like a horde of Lenin groupies.
    In all too many cases a word is just used as newspeak - harp on it enough and you eventually convince the slow of wit that it means something entirely else.

    "Liberal" for instance, is all too often used to defend the paradigm that in order to maximize the liberties of everyone in society, actual individual freedom has to take a back seat.

    "Conservative", as far as I know, is one of the few words to escape this flagrant redefinition.

    "If you put an Islamic conservative and a Christian conservative in a room together there is a really good chance they come out calling each other liberals for example."

    Not really. They'll either go to town on one another for being a blasphemous heretic or they'll compare notes on dissing the heathen secularized community.

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

  52. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 16 Dec 2019 @ 4:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Political Bluster

    "many centuries of socialism-in-practice around the world revealed its horrors and ablect failures"

    Not really. Many dictatorships and fascist regimes around the world have been revealed as horrors and abject failures despite heftily borrowing terms such as, among other things, "socialism" as a form of pretending to give a shit.

    The most socialized countries in the world happen to be the G8. Among whom the US ranks quite high. If you pay taxes and those taxes go to law enforcement, military, education, health care, road maintenance, etc, etc...then you've essentially got a more socialized system in practice than even the old USSR.

    China might call itself socialist but that would mainly be because it's 2500+ years worth of bureaucratic tradition caters heavily to a focus on infrastructure and engaging with the needs of the 99% who are happy to prosper under conformity.

    India can't call itself socialist until they finally bury the last remnants of the caste system and start doing something about their vast proportion of poverty-stricken citizens.

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

  53. icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 16 Dec 2019 @ 6:25am

    Re: Re: *Thumbs up from me!*

    I think it also helps that Bernie's whole motif is "Corporations are screwing ordinary people. How can we fix that?" and it makes for far better policy than listening to corporate lobbyists, of which Washington DC (and state capitals across the US) have far too many.

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

  54. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2019 @ 6:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Political Bluster

    I assumed that is where the convo was going, might as well just jump right in.

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

  55. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2019 @ 6:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Political Bluster

    "... they are both slight variations of the same "Collectivist" parent ideology, rejecting the concept of individual freedom."

    As if other political systems honor the freedom of individuals.

    All political systems seek control over the populace and limit their freedoms, supposedly for the overall good but usually results in good for those in power and not so good for everyone else. The only difference is in how much the political system sucks the life out of the populace.

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

  56. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2019 @ 6:50am

    Re: Re: Re:

    See the previous story about camera hacks. The previous poster didn't say we'd be watching with consent. But if we extrapolate current trends, the meeting room and everyone in it will have several internet-connected devices with terrible security...

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

  57. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2019 @ 6:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Political Bluster

    ablect failure of spellchecker

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

  58. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2019 @ 6:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Logistics

    That was related to the Carterfone decision, which allowed third-party devices to be attached to the phone network. So far as anyone's aware, that never caused any trouble to the telcos.

    It's nothing to do with the breakup, which posed no trouble to the customers but must have been difficult within the phone company.

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

  59. icon
    Thad (profile), 16 Dec 2019 @ 7:29am

    Re: Re: Re: *Thumbs up from me!*

    Yeah, you don't have to know anything about the nuts-and-bolts of how the Internet works to understand that access to it is controlled by a handful of regional natural monopolies and that's resulted in high prices and poor service.

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

  60. icon
    Thad (profile), 16 Dec 2019 @ 7:31am

    Re:

    More than that; I think that even if Democrats regain the Senate, they won't be able to accomplish anything unless they end the filibuster. (Or at least restore the standing filibuster.)

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

  61. icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 16 Dec 2019 @ 7:34am

    Re: Re: Re: *Thumbs up from me!*

    All left-wingers work from a position of, "What works best for ordinary Joes?"

    Everybody else works from a position of "What works best for my career?"

    Once you realise that, you've got the key to communicating effectively with them. Frame your arguments according to their biases and you should be able to get through to them. Please note, when framing an argument or other communication in terms of how it would benefit a politician's career, you don't ever overtly word it in that way. You pretend it's to benefit businesses or the economy.

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

  62. icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 16 Dec 2019 @ 7:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I love the idea of predators' actions coming back to bite them.

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

  63. icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 16 Dec 2019 @ 7:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Political Bluster

    ^Truth. If the evil socialists don't tax us to death to pay the urban welfare queens, the evil capitalists will work us to death to pay the corporate welfare queens. We can't win!

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

  64. icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 16 Dec 2019 @ 7:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Political Bluster

    "Conservative", as far as I know, is one of the few words to escape this flagrant redefinition.

    It currently means hard-hearted sociopathic nazi scum. TT

    I identify as conservative because I believe in and promote traditional values and I'm a Christian. However, preying on the poor and abusing minorities (and other vulnerable people) is anathema to me, which is why I loathe right-wingers. As soon as they develop a social conscience I'll change my mind but I'll be waiting a while, won't I?

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

  65. icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 16 Dec 2019 @ 7:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Political Bluster

    India can't call itself socialist until they finally bury the last remnants of the caste system and start doing something about their vast proportion of poverty-stricken citizens.

    India has sold its soul to fascism. Don't get me started on Kashmir and its Hindu-first policies.

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

  66. icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 16 Dec 2019 @ 7:50am

    Re: Re: Political Bluster

    Agreed in full. "Rugged individualism" works best if you live on an island by yourself. In areas where people live in proximity to each other and have to share resources, a communitarian model works better than a competitive one where the rich rule the roost and the rest of us struggle to meet the most basic needs.

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

  67. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2019 @ 9:32am

    Re: Political Bluster

    Community {government mostly} Broadband is also a socialist posture.

    Fair enough.

    What do you call it when republicans give them giant tax windfalls and subsidies for providing absolutely nothing in return?

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

  68. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2019 @ 11:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Political Bluster

    The NSDAP was anything but socialist after it was co-opted by Hitler and his ilk.

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

  69. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2019 @ 11:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Political Bluster

    Maybe it's time to stop calling shit that people voted for "socialism", then. And if we get some societies' pet versions of capitalism forced down our throats, is it then socialism? Are capitalist monarchies and capitalist dictatorships socialism?

    I think you have missed how socialism is practiced currently in most of the world: as part of nuanced societies along with capitalism, which aren't some horrorshow compared to the exceptionalista US.

    And actually, i thought the military was more identifiably socialist not for its command structure, but for its economics. You know, the defining point of socialism, regardless as to how it is socio-politically implemented.

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

  70. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2019 @ 11:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Political Bluster

    ...cats & dogs are completely different, except that they are extremely alike in objective biological terms.

    Yeah, they are mammals, both even carnivores! The similarity is astonishing ... kind of like... socialism and capitalism are totally different, except they are both flavors of economic systems.

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

  71. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2019 @ 11:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Political Bluster

    We always need an enemy, yeah. I have also had the feeling that the gov and mil just like to keep the military in exercise.

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

  72. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2019 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Political Bluster

    Many centuries. Of manifesto-style socialism? Centuries? LMFAO, talk about historical revisionism.

    Dictatorships, brutal as you like, do not depend on any flavor of economic system. Hell, you don't even need a dictatorship to be brutal to the masses. (In case you missed most of US history, which apparently, you did.)

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

  73. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2019 @ 11:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Divide doesn't require "into two parts", and the second cliche has nothing to do with the first, nor is it a response. You could pass for a bot.

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

  74. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2019 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Political Bluster

    Agreed.
    It is interesting that finding the mythical urban welfare queen is nigh impossible whereas it is quite easy to find a corporate welfare queen.
    After Reagan made that stupid comment about welfare queens some people looked for same and came up empty as there was no such person as described by Ronald.

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

  75. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2019 @ 12:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Political Bluster

    Right wing nuts are not conservative.

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

  76. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2019 @ 12:39pm

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

    "Doesn't matter which party is in power"
    This is not both sides silliness?

    The two party system is one of the best examples of the divide and conquer concept. Divide and conquer has worked for a long time and will continue to work, group think and tribalism.

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

  77. icon
    nasch (profile), 16 Dec 2019 @ 12:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Political Bluster

    After Reagan made that stupid comment about welfare queens some people looked for same and came up empty as there was no such person as described by Ronald.

    There was indeed such a person, but it was certainly not and never has been the widespread phenomenon Reagan and many other Republicans have tried to make it sound like.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linda_Taylor

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

  78. icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 17 Dec 2019 @ 3:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Political Bluster

    The say they are, and actual conservatives aren't calling them on it. Remember when they threw the Birchers out? That doesn't happen any more. They've embraced them.

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

  79. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 17 Dec 2019 @ 3:57am

    Re: Re: Re: *Thumbs up from me!*

    "I think it also helps that Bernie's whole motif is "Corporations are screwing ordinary people. How can we fix that?" and it makes for far better policy than listening to corporate lobbyists..."

    Something many self-styled libertarians ought to know better than anyone else but consistently fails to address.

    I always fail to see what is so hard about understanding that anyone with power over others must be held to critical and persistent scrutiny because pot odds are whoever ends up in power will not be there because of their general benevolence.

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

  80. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 17 Dec 2019 @ 4:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Political Bluster

    Yeah, Linda Taylor being the only found response to Reagan's hypothetical welfare queen is akin to having Jack The Ripper be the answer to a question asked about the state of crime in 1960.

    But I think we all know Reagan, much like many other politicians, may have pulled what is so eloquently known as "a fib" or two to prop up his policies.

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

  81. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 17 Dec 2019 @ 4:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Political Bluster

    "It currently means hard-hearted sociopathic nazi scum. TT"

    But...but...I self-identify as a conservative liberal.

    How does that even work? Do i have to purge ethnic minorities and then make sure their kids go to college? o_O

    "As soon as they develop a social conscience I'll change my mind but I'll be waiting a while, won't I?"

    No, no. As soon as the copyright cult manages to produce their first case of a long-dead artist writing a new hit single thanks to copyright you should find a few right-wingers with a social conscience as well.

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

  82. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 17 Dec 2019 @ 4:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Political Bluster

    "India has sold its soul to fascism."

    Erm...it never actually needed to. India's soul never changed owners, Gandhi or no Gandhi.

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

  83. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 17 Dec 2019 @ 4:07am

    Re: Re: Political Bluster

    "What do you call it when republicans give them giant tax windfalls and subsidies for providing absolutely nothing in return?"

    Lobbying Done right.

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

  84. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Dec 2019 @ 7:42am

    Re:

    Nine out of ten doctors say ....

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

  85. icon
    BeldansFire (profile), 18 Dec 2019 @ 5:55am

    The perfect drink

    Hmm, "cobbled together from the collected nightmares of AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast executives"
    Bartender can I get that distilled in drink form?

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


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