"So WHY do you advocate fascism at times, then rail at it other times?"
Your dichotomies presented are false in so many ways it's not funny.
There aren't "sides" ... and this isn't some "battle." Google is evil in ways, and "not evil" in others. Comcast is the same.
So it's not about what "Techdirt is advocating" as it is how to present one of the most complex arguments in our technological history.
Almost no one likes the idea of "more Government regulation" ... but that is necessary to keep ISP companies from going "full oligarchy."
Google made promises it hasn't kept, because people fell for the argument they were making.
Comcast et. al (remember, there are other ISP's) is trying to do the same, and some people are falling for the argument they are making as it pertains to Net Neutrality.
Some people (like Ajit Pai) are "bought" into the idea in more than one way.
But as simplistic as I'm trying to make it, this is a big complex mess of politics, policy, money, Internet, infrastructure, capitalism, etc...
Un-tying that mess (which the Big Co.'s and their lobbies create) is what Techdirt does fairly well.
It might appear they "go one way" then "go the other" to you, but expand your dichotomies from "favor or oppose" to "How does this one thing affect the 50 other things?" and "How do those 50 other things affect each other?"
Every one of these "analysis" of cable costs and such seem to forget to analyze the "true" cost of whatever Internet provider you're paying, and what you can "use them for."
For example, if I pay $50 per month to Comcast for Cable TV access, AND pay $50 per month to them for Internet access ... I essentially have a "double cost".
If I combine those two access costs instead into the same $50 per month Internet cost by itself, I've already saved $50 per month, PLUS I also get Internet access to do other things on the 'net (email etc...) within that same cost.
So "actual cable usage" doesn't cost the full $50 per month of the internet access charge at all, it would depend on how much time I'm actually using my Internet access to watch TV.
If I only use my Internet access to watch TV for 25% of my usage of my total Internet access cost (most likely less than that) ... then my adjusted cable cost is actually only $12.50 per month, adjusted for "actual usage time," and not the full $50 per month as most of these comparisons state.
"We can audit the actions of our people 100%, and we do that,"
Just because they have the ability to audit, doesn't mean they actually use it 100% of the time (in fact, from what I'm reading, it seems they rarely use it at all).
And that's the problem, they (our Government officials in support of this NSA stuff) keep saying what they are capable of doing, instead of saying what they are actually doing... or coming clean with the public.
We immediately classify people based on rather stupid criteria, and if you read the slide shared in this article carefully, you'll notice the "speaks openly about unhappiness with U.S. foreign policy" as one of the criteria.
What is our world, and our country coming to? This type of approach immediately does 2 things that I'm concerned about...
1. It creates fear, especially the kind for "speaking out" in our supposedly free country.
2. This type of "training" immediately boxes people into categories, so BEFORE you meet a person, you've immediately classified them (within the context of employment at this Government agency).
You don't even get to know a person before they now must prove to you they don't fit this "box".
This. Is. Sad.
So because she has financial difficulties, travels to India, and speaks her mind... she is high risk.