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Bush Says Americans 'Ought to Have' Broadband and a Pony by 2007 1078

Posted by michael
from the make-mine-a-unicorn dept.
wrttnwrd writes "George Bush is calling for universal broadband by 2007. He doesn't say how, or who's going to pay for it, or who's going to build it, but hey, isn't almost good enough? (for all of you Boondocks readers out there)" First step to universal broadband: don't have your Justice Department argue against communities providing their own broadband service. And don't forget the pony!
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Bush Says Americans 'Ought to Have' Broadband and a Pony by 2007

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  • by G4from128k (686170) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @04:13PM (#8697497)
    Although I am in favor of broader adoption of broadband, I do see a couple of downsides:

    1. More telecom taxes to support universal service (including taxes on VoIP)
    2. more zombie boxen and virus datastorms from clueless broadband users

    We shall see if universal service improves the economies of scale enough to cover the increased costs of taxes and AV/firewall.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 28, 2004 @04:44PM (#8697765)
    Bush will have broadband in everyone's home about the same time he lands humans on Mars.

    No, no... what the article got wrong was "Bush wants broadband surveilance in all of America's homes by 2007."
  • Not quite (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rsilvergun (571051) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @05:05PM (#8697915)
    because unlike free health care this is something big companies (RIAA, MPAA, etc) want to see happen. It'll let them kill off those nasty buy-once/unlimited-play formats (CD/DVD). As for who's gonna pay for it, well, I don't know about you but Bush raised my taxes (on about $10,000 bucks in earnings no less; while cutting the taxes for millioniars. But that's another rant all together).
  • by Brian Stretch (5304) * on Sunday March 28, 2004 @05:10PM (#8697966)
    if this trial ballon of his goes anywhere:

    1) Ban all granting of monopolies to broadband service companies. This does mean pulling rank over state and local governments, but the Democrats have tortured the Interstate Commerce Clause a lot worse than this.

    2) Stop forcing the telcos to share their networks, but mandate network interoperability. The latter is redundant since it's part of the definition of the Internet, but the average journalist and politician doesn't know that so it's best to specify. After this, the telcos will have to put up or shut up about building proper broadband networks, and if they don't, someone else will hopefully come in and kick their ass.

    3) Put the DOJ on the short leash over their trying to block community-run broadband. So long as local governments don't grant themselves a monopoly or do anything else blatantly anticompetitive, leave them alone.

    Basically, get the frickin' lawyers out of the way and let the usual process of Darwinian natural selection begin.
  • by isa-kuruption (317695) <kuruption.kuruption@net> on Sunday March 28, 2004 @05:23PM (#8698073) Homepage
    What they were keen to show pictures of was Bush playing dress up on an aircraft carrier, at least until Democrats said that playing soldier made the issue of his being AWOL during his national guard service fair game. After that story finaly made the mainstream media the footage looked more like 'Dukakis in tank' than 'Top Gun'.

    Except the AWOL aligations were false, and the White House proved otherwise. This was a blatent attempt of the Democrats to portray John Kerry as the "war hero" while Bush as a deserter. The attempt failed miserably. In fact, Bush spent more time training to be a pilot than Kerry spent in Vietnam.

    Another picture we were allowed to see was Bush presenting a fake turkey to adoring troops. The fact that the photo-op meant that most of the troops on the base were required to have 'meals ready to eat' for their christmas dinner must have gone down really well. Visiting the troops might have appeared more sincere if Bush had taken the time to attend just one funeral of one of the soldiers killed in his war.

    If you had actually paid more attention, the use of the 'plastic turkey' was just a joke... of course, the picture was taken out of context and you liberal fools picked up on it. Secondly, Bush has attempted the funerals of many soldiers, but he cannot attend them all. He has also visited injured troops in hospitals, and actually went to Iraq to visit them (remember the turkey incident?)

    I hope that the GOP keeps on hammering Dick Clarke for several more weeks. The troops in Iraq must love hearing why they are stuck there rather than finishing the job they wanted to finish in Afghanistan.

    Actually, most of the troops within Iraq understand and agree with the mission given to them. I know, personally, many marines who see that rescuing 25 million as a worthy cause, and one to risk their life for. It's too bad that you, sitting at home in front of your computer afforded to you by men who have died for their country to keep you from having to deal with such people as Saddam Hussein, can criticize and "assume" the thoughts of the troops in Iraq.

    And yes, the troops love hearing how Bill Clinton and Dick Clarke failed to deal with Iraq in 1997 as Clinton had planned. Clinton had his finger on the trigger in 97, but felt he needed to please the French who had billions invested in Iraq already. The failure in Iraq is Clinton's fault and the troops know this.

    Remember also, under Mr. Clarke, 5 seperate terrorist attacks took place, most of them under Clinton. Also, Clarke never criticized Iraq, only 9/11 and the actions of the administration before 9/11. However, the White House has also released several documents, recordings and emails showing how Clarke said otherwise.

    Here's the fact: Clarke has a book to sell, he did not get the job he wanted within the Bush White House, and his career was ruined by his inability to do his job during the Clinton White House. So, you keep believing his side of the story, because it's a real novel.

    Oh and I am sure that every member of the US armed services just loves the way that Halliburton has been granted multi-billion dollar no-bid contracts by Halliburton ex-CEO Cheney.

    Halliburton is chosen for most of these kinds of things because they are the only company large enough, with enough people in the Middle East, who could do it quickly and efficiently. These "contracts" were also signed by the Army, not Mr. Cheney. And then Halliburton screwed up, the U.S. gov't kicked them off the contract and got someone else. Your tin foil hat theory doesn't hold ground.

  • by irc.goatse.cx troll (593289) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @05:43PM (#8698238) Journal
    Unless you consider growing up in a gay household more harmful than foster homes.

    I personally don't, but there are people who do, and they get to vote also.
  • by Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @05:44PM (#8698246) Homepage
    5.6% unemployment: Low for Clinton, High for Bush.

    The problem with unemployment stats is that they only tell the story of how many people applied and how many are still on unemployment rolls. The do not reflect those who have run out of unemployment, or took shit jobs asking if you want fries with that. The fact is, good jobs that pay a living wage are growing more and more scarce. Except, of course, unless you happen to be a CEO, in which case you are making more than ever!

  • You just know (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Junior J. Junior III (192702) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @05:49PM (#8698299) Homepage
    If they pay for it, they'll want to be able to control it, too. That means DRM and trusted computing, and Carnivore too.
  • by Mulletproof (513805) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @06:03PM (#8698403) Homepage Journal
    "He doesn't say how, or who's going to pay for it, or who's going to build it, but hey, isn't almost good enough?"

    I'm noticing a lot of people don't seem to have a problem believing we'll all be watching hi-def TV's by 2005, but somehow this is beyond the realm of possibility. Not that buying a new hi-def TV will cost you any, right? Ask yourself the same damn questions posed here about Hi-def and you'll probably get answers that can easily be applied to braodband here. I mean, is it really such a leap, or does somebody bare a political grudge???

    Yeah, thought so.
  • by Tjp($)pjT (266360) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @06:07PM (#8698431)
    We can have broadband in every home now w/o stringing more wires. We would have to launch more satellites. Do the same for satellite connnected Internet service through the FCC, as the FCC did for satellite based television. Allow for up to a 1 meter dish (actually make it 1.5 meters since this is an uplink as well) in the 48 "lower states" and give AK and HI up to 6 feet, preempting any restrictive covenents, local ordances, homeowners agreements, etc. in the name of fostering competition. Then lower the barrier to entry for getting a licensed satellite in orbit for the purpose of delivering Internet service to foster competition on that side. So lower taxes on Internet distribution companies, etc. to allow builduout of the infrastructure to keep the rates on par with cable modem delivered Internet. And allow up to 2 meters for combined two-way satellite and DBS dishes if it is a single combined dish installation (that lets one install the more compact higher gain double reflector "orange peel" elliptical dishes.

    The short side is, I'd rather see tax breaks for companies that deliver phone and network services to the rural areas on par with the suburban and urban prices rather than have my bills go up (or have me raise my ISP customers bills) to pay for the rural service areas.

    Just like I feel for individual taxes, we ought have a uniform flat rate for corporate taxes with a single small/new business deduction (no taxes for the first $50,000 earned, flat rate above that would be nice but you'd have to work out the level of the deduction to encourage and support new and small businesses). Then give limited targeted tax breaks for the areas you want to encourage. Capitalism will then take over and do the heavy lifting.

    If it did not cost anything to get the license for a satellite for dedicated Internet two-way service and the launch was done at cost (or subsidized if you were flexible about the launch timing) if all the technical and saftey details were met, etc. We'd have multiple folks offering cheap internet service from space at that point.

    Free to the community to use. Launch a constellation of satellites (similar to the GPS ones) that all communicat with each other and communicate with ground stations that use GPS-like control to find the satellites and track them. When traffic drops on the connection to a low level, change the connection point. Put a radome 1.5 meters in diameter on your roof that covers the antenna and if in an area with snow or ice, steal exhaust air from the house and blow it through the radome before doing further heat recovery or flusing it to the outside world. Equipment could be subsidized through the length of the contract for service (just like free cell phones) to reduce the initial sticker shock.

    Or, subsidze research to limit or elliminate the nasty side affects of interference from powerline distribution of Internet service. For example they would be greatly reduced if during routine powerline maintenance they replaced the ground wire of the high tension line with "fog wire" (fiberoptic core with a copper / steel reinforced wrap/cover). One could allow for limited powerline distribution for 5-10 years to be gradually replaced by "fog wire" style distribution (require all new or repaired rural power grid systems to use fogwire?).
  • by Angry Pixie (673895) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @06:47PM (#8698730) Journal
    I don't think Lynx will do. The minimum feature set would have to provide people with an experience that most people consider representative of the Internet as we know it. For us that means a hell of a lot more, but for most I bet it would mean WWW and instant messaging. I'm not sure about IRC, I don't know if the average user knows what IRC is. We can definitely count out Usenet - and that would be very expensive to maintain for such a wide audience. I'm thinking POP and SMTP would be 'iffy since there's a whole generation of people being reared on webmail.

    I used to have shell access. I used PINE for email and tin for Usenet. Now college students aren't getting those accounts. They have just the webmail access instead. Of course, POP and SMTP is still somewhat available.

    I'd hate to see cable modem be the standard for broadband, although that and DSL would be the cheapest implementation. I'd rather we all have T1s, but that's too expensive. With cable modem, the likely course would be that the government would get even deeper in bed with the cable companies. I'm not pleased with Time Warner so willingly jumping in with the Feds on the wiretapping issue, and I don't believe that cable companies running broadband will ever get cheap. Just look at the price escalation for regular cable services over the years despite how ubiquitous cable has become.

    I think if universal broadband was provided by the cable companies, the cost would be astronomical, even after a healthy amount of subsidies. Plus, laying cable is expensive. San Francisco has been working on public Wi-Fi, and I think that would be great, especially in rural areas. Couldn't we use Wi-Fi?
  • Re:Not quite (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 28, 2004 @06:50PM (#8698754)
    I don't know about you but Bush raised my taxes (on about $10,000 bucks in earnings no less;

    Okay, let's look at a taxpayer with an AGI of $10,000. If you're single and not a dependent, you get to subtract $7,800, so your taxable income is $2,200. (And if you are a dependent, surely it's your parent or guardian who should be complaining about taxes...)

    This is entirely within the 10% income bracket, so the tax that you need to pay is $219... not exactly a heavy burden, considering all the services you probably receive from the US government.

    Whereas during the 1990s, the lowest tax bracket was 15%. So even if we ignore increases in standard deduction and personal exemption, Bush's tax cuts have reduced the federal income taxes of someone in the new 10% bracket from $329 to $219 (i.e., by 50%). This is a much larger fractional tax cut than your typical millionaire got.

    There are some oddities during FY2001 and FY2002 due to the rate reduction credits, so it may be that the tax cut was effectively larger or smaller for people earning $10k during those years... I'm not a tax expert (just do my own taxes), so I don't know the details there.

    Anyway, you're welcome to oppose Bush's tax cuts. I might even agree with you. But you should at least get the facts right. It's totally wrong to say that Bush's tax cuts actually raised taxes for people with low incomes.
  • by MikeD83 (529104) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @07:02PM (#8698829)
    Situations like this reiterate the need for the government to subsidize fiber to every home. We could put phone service, cable television, and internet access on the 1 fiber line going into each home.

    The technology is available, why don't we embrace it?
  • by telemonster (605238) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @07:05PM (#8698849) Homepage
    Obviously we can count cable modems out. Cable television isn't generally availible to those people in the fringes that receive service subsidized by the USF.

    The biggest issue is those customers that are "on fiber." DSL works by transporting the data signals alongside the analog phone calls. In rural areas, they use multiplexors to provide service. This means there is no way to colocate the DSL equipment at the central office and extend service, since the layout is more distributed and connected by fiber.

    If the multiplexors were upgraded, or new cards developed there shouldn't be much of a problem pushing the speed of the fiber up and then using that excess bandwidth to provide DSL service. In the remote multiplexor you could house new circuit cards that provide DSL + Analog capability.

    There are plenty of companies out there working in this market, and this type of solution probably already exists. If nothing else, they could buy DSLAMS from eBay and rack them out remotely.

    It might even be possible to exted ISDN (64k channels) off of the multiplexors.

    Phone companies don't seem to want to do things until shoved. Bell Atlantic (now Verizon) kept the prices of ISDN at $250 a month well into the day of cable modem deployment.

    My parents retired to an area that lacks broadband. It isn't that it would be hard to do, it is just the telcos don't seem to care. And there would easily be enough subscribers to support racking out a DSLAM in a cabinet next to the fiber mux that is servicing the community. If I lived closer, I would probably try to do it.
  • by olafo (155551) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @07:18PM (#8698935)
    You overlooked this vision [nasa.gov] with $1B funding increase over 5 years with a complete reorganization of NASA (and $) toward this vision.

    Our President "actually proposed spending government money on [this vision] during his term" along with hundreds of other initiatives. Iraq may be important but perhaps we're too focused on it (a tree - a big one, granted) and missing the forest.
  • by DAldredge (2353) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Sunday March 28, 2004 @07:19PM (#8698941) Journal
    1: The Bush admin states that the US economy is doing great, and has been for 12-18 months.

    2: They have also issued reports stating that offshoring of our tech business will be a 'good thing'. Please explain why China will need us after they get all the tech from the USA they can.

    3: Appalachia is still one of the poorest areas in the US so you may want to rethink using that area as an example.
  • by A nonymous Coward (7548) * on Sunday March 28, 2004 @07:20PM (#8698947)
    No one can say what the Vietnamese government would have been like if the French hadn't insisted on resuming colonial control in 1945, which was when the Vietnamese switched from fighting Japanese occupiers to fighting the French who had American assistance. The only assistance they could get was from the communists, so of course they took it, just as our own war against a colonial master was assisted by the French, who we were at war with just a few years later. To ignore all that is about as ridiculous as possible. A whole lot of the crap that has gone on in Vietnam is directly attributable to the natives trying to shake off colonial powers. We appointed ourselves their saviors, they did not ask for our help or want it. To claim that the South Vietnamese government was in any way better than the north is a sure sign of someone who knows nothing.

    There was absolutely no rational reason for us to be there. The first torpedo boat attack on our destroyers was a direct result of our destroyers backing up a South Vietnamese attack on the north, and would not have occurred if we hadn't been attacking them to start with. The second attack, which triggered the congressional resolution which started the massive US involvement, was a complete fabrication and never happened.

    And the US isn't controlling things in Iraq, wow that is news to just about everybody else in the world.

    Why don't you check out what it means to be the controlling power in Iraq, to be the occupier? How you can claim we aren't the controlling power is beyond me.

    Of course, I do not expect you to understand this.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 28, 2004 @07:47PM (#8699111)
    "Bush is giving off a nice thought for an election year proposal... but it seems like this is so lacking in details it can't exactly be taken seriously yet."

    I concur. I'll bet his people have polled nerds and found he doesn't have a MAJORITY of support here. So, this is his best way to appeal to us. Naturally, the best appeal would be to stop the outflux of jobs... but this is against his economy advisor's opinions.
  • Re:In other news... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Methuseus (468642) <methuseus@yahoo.com> on Sunday March 28, 2004 @07:48PM (#8699123)
    Kerry didn't seem to make any empty promises. Bush said that he wants universal broadband by 2007. Kerry merely said that he will spur broadband technologies in order to make it more affordable and widespread. He didn't promise a time like Bush. And Bush didn't seem to have any plan for universal broadband, and didn't even seem to say that he would push money into that area like Kerry said.
  • Re:Hmmm (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sumdumass (711423) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @08:47PM (#8699454) Journal
    funny.. everyone says he is so stupid and when he misinterprets a couple of documents or puts more wieght on somethign presented to him that wasn't actually true you all the sudden think he is the most inteligent man in the world and lied to you to get some hidden agenda acomplished.

    wich is it? is he an uneducated moron like most people try to say or is he some briliant manipulator that has manged to dupe you and the rest of the world and now your pissed? bush had what most people would consider information overload when sorting all the peices out after 9/11. if he says he though there way WMD's then he thought there was. doesn't mean he lied when all the sudden there wasn't. Besides we gave suddamm what almost a year to move them by waiting to goto the un and having france fuck that up then waiting another 6 months.

    i have no doubt we would have found at least somethign saying IRAQ was violating thier disamerment agreement if we would have just went it and got it over with. bush's problem isn't that we can't find the WMD's wich by the way are only part of the reason he stated for going in. his problem was that he gave saddam enough time to mop up after himeself.
  • Re:Still not enough (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ibbey (27873) * on Sunday March 28, 2004 @09:01PM (#8699522) Homepage
    Oh so Clinton never presided over a low unemployment rate, he just was president while a lot of people fell off the unemployment insurance dole and took crap jobs. My that IS a convenient explanation, I'll have to remember that.

    Certainly, some people were forced to take crap jobs during the Clinton administration. But there's no comparison to what's happened under Bush.

    Under Clinton, most Americans saw their net worth grow. The prosperity of the average american was greater under Clinton then at anytime in the past.

    Bush has done an absolutely horrible job of managing the economy. Unless you are very rich, it's likely that you are in worse financial shape now then you were under the Clinton administration. In addition, unless you are rich, you most likely have a higher overall tax burden now then you did under Clinton.
  • Re:Still not enough (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MobyDisk (75490) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @10:55PM (#8700201) Homepage
    Under Clinton, most Americans saw their net worth grow. The prosperity of the average american was greater under Clinton then at anytime in the past.

    100% Agreed - but please understand that 1) This isn't a good thing, and 2) this state of affairs had nothing to do with either of the two presidents in question.

    Bill Clinton inherited something called the dot-com boom, which resulted in tremendous employment and profits. But it was a bubble that burst. It would be short-sighted of us to simply say that it was a good time economically. Clinton inherited the bubble as it filled. Bush inherited the bubble after it burst. Neither president had any effect on either of those two things.

    Every upside has an equivalent downside. Instead of cheering whenever times go well, and booing when they go poorly, we should cheer when we reach the stable point. If the stock market goes through the roof, the government has a surplus, and unemployment is at 2%, maybe we should all demand a tax increase! :-) Nobody will ever do this, but it is the logical approach.

    In addition, unless you are rich, you most likely have a higher overall tax burden now then you did under Clinton.

    I'm sorry to be so harsh, but that statement is purely propoganda. Both the republicans and the democrats would disagree with it! The democrat party line isn't that Bush raised taxes on anyone - they acknowledge that everyone now has lower taxes. No question there. If you are going to argue against Bush, stick to truthful arguments, there are lots of valid ones. The basic counterargument against Bush's tax plan is that although he lowered them for everyone, he lowered them more on the rich - which means he is playing the trickle-down card.

    Has anyone else noticed that no matter what president is in office or what they have done, most people claim that their taxes are now higher than before? Maybe the Chocolate ration [online-literature.com] will be raised again next month.

  • by Chris Burke (6130) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @11:01PM (#8700234) Homepage
    I'm not going to say much, except that the parent was mostly correct except that he said "Republicans" and "Conservatives" and not "our current administration and their followers". Because if there is one thing I've learned in the last 4 years from observing him and talking with real Conservatives is that Bush ain't a traditional Republican. I mean, really, can anyone really call him a conservative? And have the word still mean something? Anyway, let me ask you to forgive the parent for mistaking Bush for the average, typical, median, or what have you Republican.

    Whenever someone is criticizing "Republicans" and "Democrats", usually they're talking about the politicians wearing those labels, not the general public who holds those views. That's why both Dems and Repubs get lambasted for selling out to special interests and big corporations. Very few people actually believe in doing those things, but pretty much all of our wonderful congress-critters do. That's why I was torn so much in 2000 -- whatever the flavors of syrup the candidates applied to themselves, I knew their core was a double-scoop rocky road of graft and authoritarianism. Since then, Bush has done an admirable job of demonstrating the subtle differences I had missed.

    Last thing -- don't assume evolution is so simple. It isn't at all. A member of the species who bears no offspring can still see provide for the survival of the species, and thus ensure the survival of gene carriers. Completely contrived example to bring the point home: Your gay older brother never has kids. However, he saved your life when you were eight, allowing you to grow up and have kids of your own. The trait was carried by your parents genes, which were passed on to you, and thusly does the trait survive.

    Basically, the rule is: that which survives, survives. There's no rule that says how that has to occur.

    Actual last thing: Seriously, it's because the drugs he used are legal? Wouldn't he have had to get them illegally? What's the difference between damaging addictive legal drugs and damaging addictive illegal drugs? Is it just the arbitrary rules of what's legal and not that are defining morality now? It doesn't make sense to me.
  • Re:That's just wrong (Score:3, Interesting)

    by workindev (607574) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @11:11PM (#8700285) Homepage
    The tax cut to the rich.

    2 questions:

    1) Is your marginal Federal Income Tax rate lower now than it was on Jan 20th 2001?
    2) Are you rich?
  • by MillionthMonkey (240664) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @11:18PM (#8700330)
    The timeline you are drawing attention to constitutes necessary but not sufficient evidence to support your primary claim, i.e. that the credit for Libya should go to the president who started a nearby war for what amounts to no reason. However, the developments in Libya had been taking place over a timescale of years, and plenty of evidence exists linking Libya's capitulation to overtures made by the previous administration. The timing might make a nice anecdote, but it doesn't hold up to scrutiny.

    Saddam also had ties with multiple terrorist organizations. While we can not prove, yet, that Saddam had ties with Al Qaeda, there is plenty of interesting evidence.

    If there were "plenty of interesting evidence" then you'd be able to prove it. The fact that this oft-repeated falsehood remains unproven merely demonstrates that the "plenty of interesting evidence" alluded to is at best interesting garbage.

  • Re:Hmmm (Score:2, Interesting)

    by k_head (754277) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @11:38PM (#8700433)
    It's not black and white. There are other possiblities.

    1) He is not dumb. He plays dumb because the public likes it better. By playing dumb people forgive his pathalogical lying.

    2) He is dumb but the people around him are smart and evil. They are able to isolate him to sufficient degree and manipulate him to achieve their own ends. He is merely a figurehead for the cheney-rumsfeld-perle-wolfowitz cabal.

    3) He is not as dumb as people think he is AND he is more manipulative then people think.

    Personally I'd vote for 2.
  • by k_head (754277) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @11:48PM (#8700499)
    It was only up there for a second.
    It was clearly an accident.
    Most people who were watching probably missled it (who the hell would watch janet jackson anyway).
    People tuned in to watch grown men beat the shit out of each other.
    People tuned in to watch commercials about viagra and horse farts.

    This was the biggest stink about nothing in my lifetime.

    Kid rock cuts a hole in the American flag, drapes it over himself, grabs his crotch while wearing the flag, and then throws the flag away into the autdience where it's ripped by fans.

    But nobody is offended by that are they? Where is Powell on that issue? He is all freaked out about a 2 second accidental tit shot.

    Disgusting.
  • Re:Unfair (Score:3, Interesting)

    by I_Want_This_ID (678839) on Monday March 29, 2004 @12:23AM (#8700677)
    To be honest, the way the parent jumps on anyone ignorant of the actual situation is troll worthy. But the link is dead on as far as what actually was claimed.

    He was a senator that was taking credit for an initiative he funded while in office. How stupid could he be? No other senator would EVER take credit for something they had even the smallest part in.
  • by Animats (122034) on Monday March 29, 2004 @01:30AM (#8700910) Homepage
    Broadband in the US is doing just fine. See the Nielsen/Netratings stats [websiteoptimization.com] (which that site probably shouldn't be publishing, but so be it.) "As of February 2004 broadband penetration was at 45.15% ... we estimate that broadband share in the US should exceed 50% by June of 2004". Comscore [comscore.com] shows roughly comparable numbers. Broadband penetration is currently increasing at about 10-12% per year.

    For comparison, only about 40% of US households bought a book in the last year. So broadband has already passed books. Only 21% of US households subscribe to a newspaper, while about 75% of Americans with a phone line have Internet access. Only 66% of US households subscribe to cable TV, so the Internet has already passed cable TV. Cable TV isn't growing, so, if you take the trends seriously, broadband Internet will pass cable TV within two years.

    What's the problem?

  • Re:Whoop-tee-doo. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ojQj (657924) on Monday March 29, 2004 @02:46AM (#8701127)
    With respect to Germany I can speak from first hand experience: their whole system is hanging on by a thread. They're in the process of working on massive reductions in benefits on the same or possibly greater costs (and costs are 12-15% of my salary). Talk to any doctor and they are all being just as seriously abused by the system as the patients. They have a ration of procedures that they can perform and be paid for -- after that, they aren't paid for their work. For that reason, the next generation is not producing enough doctors which means they are looking at a future shortage. Of course under those circumstance, not only does the quantity and cost of care suffer, but also the quality. I feel infinitely more comfortable (ie safe and secure) in an American doctor's office or hospital than in a German one.

    BTW, longer life expectancy can be attributed to a number of factors and the medical system is only one of them. Just look at the recent public policy discussions about obesity in America, for example.

    Still I think that American's need to do more to cover the very poor. I just haven't yet seen a forced-participation scenario on which the negatives don't outweight the positives yet. When people have to do things for themselves, they often do them better than when they have to do them for other people.

    Maybe simply expanding Medicare to cover the working poor would be a better solution.

    Rolling back Bush'es tax-breaks for the rich ought to provide enough to do that. If not, raising taxes wouldn't be out of the question in my opinion. Americans still pay huge amounts less than I pay in Germany. Other possibilities for raising the money could be: putting Iraq under a UN mandate so that we can get financial assistance from other countries to help deal with that herculean endeavor, finally getting rid of farm subsidies so that 3rd world countries can compete in trade on an even playing field, doubling gasoline taxes to reduce our dependency on foreign oil, and so on...

  • Re:Hmmm (Score:5, Interesting)

    by forgotmypassword (602349) on Monday March 29, 2004 @05:31AM (#8701567)
    When Bush first ran for government in Texas, he ran as an educated person from a top notch school. He talked smart and he lost the election for being an "egg head".

    Subsequently Bush ran as an average Southerner of an average intelligence who "knows what's best". He's done pretty well since then.

    His persona of being a Southerner of average intelligence, average mannerisms, and average speaking has been a core part of getting him this far. I think it's because those are traits that people of average intelligence don't see as being the most important traits to have.

    Instead of intelligence, he has "know how", he "gets things done". Those are the ideals of the common man.

    I honestly have no idea how much of this is natural and how much of this is a show. I would guess that his true person is somewhere between the egghead and the arrogant ignoramus.

Torque is cheap.

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