"if Netflix enforces regional discrimination, how does that work?"
Probably like it works right now. Netflix specifically forbids the use of VPNs to connect to their service, and if they catch you, they will disconnect you. They apparently don't put a ton of effort into doing this, but they catch people by monitoring connections that come from certain VPN IP address ranges.
I think that giving false testimony should incur penalties that are more severe than the crime they're testifying about. Further, when the police themselves do this, the penalties should be even worse than that. A LOT worse.
We give the police powers and authorities beyond what the average citizen has. The courts give the cops the benefit of the doubt about truthfulness. Given that, when cops betray that trust by being deceptive, the damage done is far, far worse than under other circumstances and should therefore be punished far, far more harshly.
"their constituents are all so partisan that they're afraid to question the actions of their own representatives."
This seems an unlikely explanation, since most of the members of either party are not actually as partisan as this implies. I interpret it a bit differently: I think that most people fall into one or two categories.
One (the largest group) is the people who just want to live their lives and have their hands full doing so. They don't have the time or energy to put into politics except when there's an issue that they perceive directly and immediately harms them.
The other is a very large group of people who believe that they are powerless and that nothing they can do will actually make anything better. They've given up.
I went through a few of those links you provided, but none of them are examples of what I was asking for: of where Techdirt's position was that simply because a law is old, it's bad.
In all of the links I looked at in that list, the age of the law was certainly discussed, but also the actual, practical reasons why the law was objectionable. I don't see an example of anyone arguing that a law is bad purely due to age.
Satellite is awful. i don't think it should really qualify as broadband, personally, but it doesn't require local physical infrastructure to work. Performance-wise, though, it's really only one step up from dialup.
I think the general consensus was that Rome "fell" (a process that took a long, long time) as a direct result of its military belligerence. They ended up having more frontage than they could economically defend.
"But what did I know when 'everyone' from CNN to the NY Times was drinking the Kool Aid!"
And they always do. It's a mistake to think that technical claims in these sorts of media outlets are anything like accurate. All they're doing is reading press releases, often verbatim.
"oddly enough I had more trouble with the "name brand" CDs than the (easily scratched) cheap generic silver ones, all of which held up quite well."
That's actually not odd at all. A "name brand" is not an indicator of quality (in fact, most "name brands" are the exact same discs as the generics, but with different labeling). You can't tell quality from the brand or from the price. Your best bet is to search for "archive quality CD-Rs" and read reviews to select a high-quality blank that you can get through a local or favorite online retailer.
"Oh dear that's so bad - whereas in Islamic countries - even supposedly moderate ones you end up dead. or sentenced to death or, if you are lucky in prison"
As has been the case in the US. That really only changed here relatively recently, and even now there are parts of the country where it persists.
"You are comparing what has happened in countries that are full of people who are officially Christians over long periods of time to the relatively few attacks that have been mounted against these countries from the muslim minorities within them over a short period."
If I understand what you're saying here properly, then no, I'm not.
"Look instead at what happens in muslim countries and on their borders and you will see that Islam is conducting this kind of thing on a vastly bigger scale than any other group has ever done. There is a good reason for this - it is mandated in their scriptures."
Again, what you're describing here applies 100% to Christianity-driven wars in centuries past. Including the reason for it.
My point is that there's nothing inherent in Islam that isn't also inherent in Christianity that leads to violent action. There are murders happening in the US because some Christian whackjob decided that someone else isn't Christian enough.
The problem isn't in the religious texts. The problem is that extremists and whackjobs exist in all religions. It's incredibly misleading to blame an entire subculture for the actions of a tiny minority of extremists.
Also, be careful about pointing to the scriptures as proof that Islam is somehow evil: the Christian bible is chock full of equally outrageous declarations, and those declarations have been used to excuse the commission of atrocities as well.
I would be much more productive, and much more accurate, to put the blame where it really belongs: on the heads of those people who are committing the atrocities.
As the payer, I have no choice about what payment system to use. If something requires PayPal, then my only "alternative" option is to not pay at all. Most of the time I take that option -- but sometimes I can't.
Although it's good that Google backpedaled, that doesn't change the fact that Google has shown (yet again) their willingness to make arbitrary, apparently offhand, decisions that harm people foolish enough to rely on Google services.