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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 seanadams.com (463190) * on Sunday March 28, 2004 @05:08PM (#8697441) Homepage
    Fetch the man his coffee, post haste!

    Some Americans have yet to receive their forty acres and mules.
    • by morganjharvey (638479) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @05:28PM (#8697635)
      Some Americans have yet to receive their forty acres and mules.

      Really? Then explain why there are so many asses everywhere.
    • Unfair (Score:5, Funny)

      by perdelucena (455667) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @05:34PM (#8697675) Homepage
      See how life is unfair: Al Gore invents the Internet, now Dubbya profit from it. The system should have some kind of protection to prevent people from stealing each other's ideas...

  • Hmmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 28, 2004 @05:08PM (#8697444)
    1. Anger most of the population
    2. Attempt to win them over with cheap internet
    3. ???
    4. Pro...Re-election!
    • Re:Hmmm (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 28, 2004 @07:37PM (#8698657)
      1. Anger most of the population

      I know you're just trying to be funny, but let's look at this a little more closely, hmm?

      Newsweek, 3/26: 49% favorable job approval; 47% likely to vote for the president. The other polls are pretty close, within a percent or two. Given that the polls have margins of error of 3-5%, all we can conclude is that about half of the people in the country right now think the president is doing a good job and plan to vote to re-elect him.

      Does that sound like "most of the population" is "angered" to you? Because it sounds more like a very small segment of the population is "angered" to me, that a larger segment is dissatisfied, and that about half are either satisfied or pleased.

      How about a little honesty, huh?
  • Bush will have broadband in everyone's home about the same time he lands humans on Mars.
  • by gatorflux (759239) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @05:10PM (#8697456)
    Presidential candidates say absolutely anything to get themselves elected. More on this at 10:00pm...
    • Re:In other news... (Score:5, Informative)

      by meta-monkey (321000) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @06:24PM (#8698083) Journal
      The story is a little onesided. Kerry thinks everybody should have broadband, too. Check the CBS article Bush, Kerry see broadband as election issue [marketwatch.com]. If it asks for a member ID and a password, use "memberid" and "password" respectively. Bush says he wants broadband for everybody by 2007, Kerry says he wants to spur technologies that will bring broadband to everybody. Same thing. However, on slashdot, we're only allowed to point out when Republicans say stupid things, not when Democrats do. Didn't you read the F.A.Q.?
      • by sg3000 (87992) * <.sg_public. .at. .mac.com.> on Sunday March 28, 2004 @07:12PM (#8698457)
        > Bush says he wants broadband for everybody by 2007, Kerry
        > says he wants to spur technologies that will bring broadband
        > to everybody. Same thing. However, on slashdot, we're only
        > allowed to point out when Republicans say stupid things, not
        > when Democrats do. Didn't you read the F.A.Q.?

        Simple. Challengers run on change. Incumbents run on their record.

        The point is, Bush has been president for four years. He determines the budgets, the direction of Federal departments, and in general tax policy (with the help of the other Republican who have been in power for the past four years). And Bush has done absolutely nothing to make universal broadband a reality in America since he's been president. His FCC has worked to allow more media consolidation, he's cut taxes for the rich (thus reducing the amount of revenue available to fund a public works project), and he was so focused on going to war in Iraq, that his priorities haven't accommodated universal broadband, among other even more serious issues [cbsnews.com].

        Kerry is a senator, but he's not president. So he's saying that if he were president, this is a possible works project that would stimulate the economy, create jobs, and help broadband become universal like phone service. Kerry is the presidential challenger, so it's up to him to present his vision for America and explain why he's the right man for the job.

        Bush is the presidential incumbent. It's up to him to explain his record for the past four years and explain why that record is good enough that he deserves another four years. If Bush really thought this was a good idea, well, he's been able to do it for four years. It makes no sense for the presidential incumbent to make vague promises about things he has not done anything about for the past four years. But when your record isn't good enough to run on, you avoid talking about it. You change the subject to talk about going to Mars, you make vague subjects about universal broadband, you resort to hateful language about constitutional amendments, etc.
      • by 0x0d0a (568518) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @09:49PM (#8699464) Journal
        However, on slashdot, we're only allowed to point out when Republicans say stupid things, not when Democrats do. Didn't you read the F.A.Q.?

        I'm pretty certain that the most commonly reviled politician on Slashdot is Sen. Fritz Hollings ("The Senator from Disneyland"). He is a Democrat.

        IMHO, the flak that Bush and Ashcroft get on Slashdot is very much well-deserved. It's often misdirected, as when Bush does something *stupid* or *wrong* ("Let's attack Iraq to fight terrorism!") and then gets complained at for the number of soldiers dying, when we are doing very well. Invading Iraq was the real problem, but deaths of soldiers is a current and ongoing issue that can be complained about. People didn't just randomly decide "hey, let's hate Bush!", though.

        It's kind of like Microsoft. Microsoft frequently catches a huge amount of complaining on Slashdot for doing something incredibly minor. However, Microsoft *earned* a steady and widespread hatred from many Slashdotters from years of screwing customers and competitors alike over. They're simply paying for their original actions in installments.
  • Whoop-tee-doo. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kronovohr (145646) <kronovohrNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday March 28, 2004 @05:10PM (#8697459) Homepage
    Is this anything like a certain other organization stating that everyone "ought to have" universal health care, without saying how, or who's going to pay for it, etc? This is a normal function of politicians, folks, nothing to see here.
    • Re:Whoop-tee-doo. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LostCluster (625375) * on Sunday March 28, 2004 @05:14PM (#8697512)
      Is this anything like a certain other organization stating that everyone "ought to have" universal health care, without saying how, or who's going to pay for it, etc? This is a normal function of politicians, folks, nothing to see here.

      Exactly. There's a big difference between a "policy" and a "plan" coming out of a political type. Saying that you'd like to see something doesn't quite get as much done as proposing a specific law that would cause that something to get done.

      And this is an equal opportunity problem that afflicts the left and right equally...
      • Actually, putting a man on the moon started with just such a speech [cnn.com].
        The policy details often follows the vision.

        In this particlaur case, I think America's CEO is blowing smoke, but you don't always start by proposing a law.
    • Not quite (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rsilvergun (571051)
      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).
    • Re:Whoop-tee-doo. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Mr. Piddle (567882) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @09:00PM (#8699194)
      Is this anything like a certain other organization stating that everyone "ought to have" universal health care, without saying how, or who's going to pay for it, etc?

      Universal health care is a joke. It has to be. Just last week, the big news was that our existing medicare and social security programs are hanging on by a thread. They don't even know how to fund our existing programs when the baby boomers retire. Universal healthcare will be right beside our mars missions and universal broadband as things that are bankrupting the federal government.
      • Re:Whoop-tee-doo. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by 0WaitState (231806) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @11:59PM (#8700218)
        Canada, Germany, Britain, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Holland, Norway, Sweden, (gasp) France (gasp), Greece, AND MOST OF THE FUCKING CIVILIZED WORLD have single-payer medicine. And you know what? They live longer than we do. And they spend less per capita. There are parts of society where the profit motive just ain't quite the right way to do things.
        • Re:Whoop-tee-doo. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by rusty0101 (565565) on Monday March 29, 2004 @02:15AM (#8700874) Homepage Journal
          Of course they spend less per capita. They didn't sign away the ability to negotiate the price of the care given, or the medications prescribed.

          It would not surprise me if the pharmacutical companies started petitioning the federal govornment to start extending the lifetime of pattents as well. Taking a page almost right out of the RIAA and MPAA. They have already gotten buy in from our govornment to prevent other countries from setting up their own drug manuracturing facilities to manufacture drugs for their own populations.

          -Rusty
  • by blankmange (571591) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @05:11PM (#8697469)
    that this is an election year, right? Unemployment and gas prices are up, we are still killing off our soldiers in the Middle East, we are trying to amend the Constitution to ban gay marriages, we can't educate or feed our children....

    But hey, wouldn't universal broadband be kewl!!!!????

    • small mistake (Score:3, Insightful)

      by karb (66692)
      Unemployment and gas prices are up

      The unemployment rate is going down ... the current rate is better than in most other industrialized nations and is about the same as clinton's during his first term.

      It's just that with all the, ahem, "technological advances" we've made in the past few years, reporters now have a much easier time finding unemployed workers to interview every single night than they did a mere 10 years ago. Ain't technology grand?

      • Re:small mistake (Score:3, Informative)

        by loraksus (171574)
        yeah, ok. I'm just imagining that my job, and the job of 700 others is going to Canada by the end of April.
        Oh.
        Wait.
        Fuck, I'm not. /waves a tiny American flag.
    • Thats politics for ya.

      IF the papers only display things on gay marraige then thats all people will think about. After time people would associate Kerry as pro gay marraige which would hurt him since the majority oppose it.

      It called divide and conqueror, and republicans play it real well. In 2002 it was national security. Bush put out one press release after another about terrorism and securing Iraq. THe voters then only thought about that which favored the republicans.

  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Sunday March 28, 2004 @05:11PM (#8697470)
    If we're going to have "Universial Service" for Internet access, we first need to determine what level of service is going to be considered the universial level.

    For example, lets consider phones... The USF for telephone service assures that everybody can get access to POTS. But, it's exactly Plain Old Telephone Service, a dialtone. Any advanced services are not included in the subsidized rates, so customers are on their own if they want Caller ID, Call Waiting, or Three Way Calling to work. Cellular customers have to pay into the USF fund because they are connecting to the phone network, but they get no subsidies out because cell service is most definitely above the universial level of service. However, this also means that cell network operators are not responsible for getting their networks extended into areas where they don't think it would be profitable to operate.

    The other key thing about phone service is that it only costs about $5 to get the hardware you need to fully enjoy all of the features of Plain Old Telephone Service. Sure, there are more expensive telephones are the market, but those all ofter additional features beyond what it takes to interface with the telephone network. It's not an unfair burden to expect somebody to be able to afford to buy their own phone hardware. But, just what is the minimum feature set of a computer to enjoy the Internet? Is Lynx a good enough browser, or do we have to assure that the subsidized level of service can deliver Mozilla?

    And, just what technical definition of "broadband" will the subsidized service use? Afterall, DSL and Cable Models come in various speeds of upload and download last-mile links, and how congested the network is after you get off the last mile is also variable and hard-to-quantify. The debate as to what would be defined as "Plain Old Broadband Internet Service" is far from settled.

    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.
    • by Valar (167606) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @05:25PM (#8697610)
      Well, even though the article title and the /. write up say broadband, the only actual statement they provide from GWB is for 'high speed internet' (unless I missed something). Keep in mind that earthlink considers themselves high speed internet. Heck, I think even some aol commercials boast being high speed.

      I haven't read the actual speech, so I could be wrong, but I think he called for something even more loosely defined than 'broadband'. He could just be talking about some kind of nationwide 56k dialup scheme. It is unlikely he actually knows, or that any of the people adivising him actually know (and I'm not just saying that because it is Bush-- there are very few technically saavy politicians at all). They probably just took a poll and said, "Gee, people want faster internet. I wonder how we can make this work for us."
    • by cgenman (325138) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @08:06PM (#8698854) Homepage
      It's not an unfair burden to expect somebody to be able to afford to buy their own phone hardware. But, just what is the minimum feature set of a computer to enjoy the Internet? Is Lynx a good enough browser, or do we have to assure that the subsidized level of service can deliver Mozilla?

      Your post was intelligent and well thought-out overall, but I'd like to point out that at the time the rural telephone access was an issue, telephones were actually quite expensive. Even in the early 80's a basic telephone would run 30 dollars, and that is in the dollars of the time. My mother was leasing a telephone in the 70's, because leasing was cheaper than owning. If we assume a phone in the 50's was 50 dollars (someone who remembers/has data from that time please chime in), and the median income was 5,000 dollars, then that creates an income/cost ratio of 100 to 1. If the median US income (for 2002) was 43,000 dollars, that would imply an access burden of 430 dollars. Cheap computers can be had inside of Wallmart for that much money, including monitor, and everywhere else for not significantly more.

      So yes, while the concept of rural broadbandization seems laughable, the cost to the end user doesn't seem that out of line with previous similar programs.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 28, 2004 @05:11PM (#8697471)
    I advise all slashdot readers to vote for this patriot on the upcoming election!

    Bush is all about freedom, has been and always will be.

    This man knows every american has a universal right; and that is to download pornography at high speeds.
  • no no (Score:4, Insightful)

    by the_2nd_coming (444906) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @05:11PM (#8697472) Homepage
    the reason the Justice department is arguing against co-op broadband systems is then his big business buddies in the telecom and cable industry don't get paid....see, he wants to get a spending bill passed that will subsidize the expansion of DSL and Cable, but if co-ops form, that means less money for his porky friends.
    • by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @06:47PM (#8698270) Journal
      the reason the Justice department is arguing against co-op broadband systems is then his big business buddies in the telecom and cable industry don't get paid...

      That's an interesting interpretation.

      Especially given that they're NOT arguing aginst broadband operated by co-ops. (Which, by the way, the explicitly support, along with broadband supplied by other little companies, even if it competes with their "big business buddies".)

      They're arguing against broadband companies run by county and local GOVERNMENTS. And even then they're only arguing against them when they're implemented in violation of the objections of the STATE governments from which the smaller governments derive their powers and mandates.

      The issue was STRICTLY whether an FCC regulation allowing "any entity" to operate a broadband company free of state regulation could be used by cities, counties, and the like, as arms of their state, to escape control by their state legislatures and constitutions.

      But of course certain rabid Bush-haters just LOVE to lie about it, claiming that the Bush administration is trying to block small broadband carriers, rather than to block governments from squeezing them out, with tax-subsidized unfair competition and conflict-of-interest driven regulatory roadblocks against any little guy that wants to compete with THEIR operation.
  • by Black Parrot (19622) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @05:11PM (#8697475)

    ...has been replaced by a bold new "don't tax, and spend" policy.

  • by xarak (458209) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @05:12PM (#8697487)
    What he meant is that he wants broads banned, universally.

    What a sexist pig!
  • by G4from128k (686170) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @05:13PM (#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 sien (35268) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @05:13PM (#8697506) Homepage
    Has there ever been a stronger cause for Americans to unite behind?
  • by skizrule (701743) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @05:13PM (#8697509)
    Who needs broadband when you have AOL with TOPSPEED technology?

    oh wait...
  • That's just wrong (Score:5, Insightful)

    by falsification (644190) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @05:14PM (#8697511) Journal
    GWB did not propose spending one dime on universal broadband. All he said is that all Americans "ought to have it."

    I agree. All Americans ought to have it.

    When GWB proposes spending government money on this, please get back to me.

    • by Roger Keith Barrett (712843) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @05:19PM (#8697558)
      GWB did not propose spending one dime on universal broadband. All he said is that all Americans "ought to have it."

      To paraphrase, when it comes to jobs all Americans "ought to have one" too.

      He has the exact same plan for that too, thas is do nothing at all.

      I guess that is what he means by "strong leadership."
    • by rayvd (155635)
      Exactly. Why do people try to paint this as some huge govt spending project? Oh yeah, they blindly hate Bush... BTW, Kerry has criticized Bush for not implementing a broadband for all policy... of course, the fact that Kerry wants one doesn't make him a moron right? :-)
    • by RickHunter (103108)

      Name one project that GWB's actually proposed spending government money on during his term, other than Iraq.

      That's right. Nothing. He's left a long trail of unfunded mandates, or mandates whose cost will only be felt by his successors. Makes him look suitably visionary, and sabotages the government of the next generation. What a President.

      Turns out almost isn't good enough.

      • Re:That's just wrong (Score:3, Informative)

        by cyberformer (257332)
        Bush has spent money on plenty of things beside Iraq:
        • The anti-ICBM missie shield, which doesn't work but will give lots of money to military contractors.
        • The prescription drug benefit for HMOs and pharmaceutical companies. He even lied about the cost of this, because other republicans wouldn't have supported it otherwise.
        • The totalitarian information awareness project, well known to everyone here.
        • Enforcement of the DMCA and other corporate-protection laws, also well known to everyone here.
        • The War on Dru
  • Good plan. really. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by User 956 (568564) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @05:14PM (#8697520) Homepage
    Ok, great. so he's proposing all these programs, like hte Mars mission, ubiquitous broadband-- the thing is, he doesn't actually plan on coming through on any of them. It's called "starving the beast".

    In bold print on the first page of the long-term conservative playbook is a tactic called "Starving The Beast". It goes like this:

    * lower taxes (especially for your friends) to the point where a fiscal train wreck finally ensues.

    *declare that "raising" taxes (returning them to a prior level) would destroy the economy, and that the only solution is to gut Social Security and other unwanted New Deal programs.

    "Starving the beast" is no longer a hypothetical scenario -- it's happening as we speak. For decades, conservatives have sought tax cuts, not because they're affordable, but because they aren't. Tax cuts lead to budget deficits, and deficits offer an excuse to squeeze government spending.

    Second, squeezing spending doesn't mean cutting back on wasteful programs nobody wants, like missile defense.

    Finally, the right-wing corruption of our government system -- the partisan takeover of institutions that are supposed to be nonpolitical -- continues, and even extends to the Federal Reserve.

    But yeah, ubiquitous broadband is a great idea, if he actually meant it.
    • Your mistake. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DAldredge (2353) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Sunday March 28, 2004 @05:37PM (#8697703) Journal
      You made a mistake. The mistake is you made the assumption that Bush is a conservative. He says he is, but his actions prove otherwise. (But he sure has fooled a bunch of people)

      He just wishes to be stay in power and will damn near say anyting to stay in the whitehouse.

      • Re:Your mistake. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @05:57PM (#8697861) Homepage Journal
        >The mistake is you made the assumption that Bush is a conservative.

        Conservatives want to limit the size and power of government, even (especially?) when the expansion looks like it's being done for good reasons.

        Conservatives like to balance budgets.

        Conservatives believe in military action but only when it's supporting US interests.

        Conservatives, like Bob Barr and Newt Gingrich, are speaking out against the "USA PATRIOT" Act.

        This is going to be a tough election for conservative voters. Both candidates are far from conservative.
  • You're no FDR (Score:5, Insightful)

    by amichalo (132545) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @05:15PM (#8697525)
    I am sorry, but broadband in the household is not like FDR's Public Works Proejcts [nps.gov] of the 1930's. Roosevelt used such initiatives to give work to those hammered by the Great Depression while simultaneously modernizing the US infrastructure - electricity for rural communities and the like.

    I agree people should have broadband, but Bush needs to let ECONOMICS drive that, not legislation. When demand is high enough, providers will answer. Until then, there are plenty of other issues our government needs to take a look at.

    Here's a hint, turn your head East.
    • Re:You're no FDR (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LostCluster (625375) * on Sunday March 28, 2004 @05:22PM (#8697583)
      Bush is complaining about a lack of jobs, but he's failing to connect the homeland issues that are painfully understaffed to the funding that allows peopel to be hired. For example, more effective security barriers could be built along the Mexican border to help make sure everybody who wants to enter the USA is going through a checkpoint like they're supposed to, but Bush doesn't exactly seem like he's interested in even trying to solve that issue. In fact, MSNBC reported last week that the all three parts of the Dept. of Homeland Security are presently in a hiring freeze... it's not like there's a lack of work in that department, just a lack of funding to pay people to do that work.

      If the Iraq war is the only government-funded project he can come up with, we've got a serious problem...
  • by use_compress (627082) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @05:17PM (#8697538) Journal
    Bush is probably looking to propose a plan comparable to FDR's REA (Rural Electrification Administration) which funded power lines to rural developments and encouraged rural businesses to adopt newer technologies. I hope Bush will take a lesson from FDR and not only extend BB access to rural homes and businesses but to give funding to poorer families and rural businesses to help close the "digital divide". For more information on the REA, see http://history.sandiego.edu/gen/20th/1930s/newdeal .html
  • by Nomihn0 (739701) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @05:19PM (#8697553)
    Before we get all excited about universal broadband, we should consider parts of the country that haven't even received narrow-band telephone lines.
    • by Trelane (16124)
      Not necessarily.

      Given BB to every house, VoIP can be used for phone communication.

      Personally, I think it may take a government mandate to get the phone companies to take out the twisted pair infrastructure and put in fibre to every home.
  • by GillBates0 (664202) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @05:20PM (#8697564) Homepage Journal
    He doesn't say how, or who's going to pay for it, or who's going to build it

    massmailing free AOL for Broadband [aol.com] CDs to every known address in the US.

    AOL for broadband - It's faster! It's smarter! It's included!
    On dial-up surf the web upto 5x times faster than a standard dial-up connection with AOL TopSpeed(TM) technology all through your existing phone jack at no additional charge!

    That could work.

  • I Don't Get It (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Pave Low (566880) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @05:25PM (#8697611) Journal
    Bush doesn't mention a Pony in the article or anywhere else I've seen this article. Where did michael get that information from?

    I mean, this is a news site, right? We just wouldn't make things up out of thin air to push our agenda here, would we?

    I ask this because the Pony part seems unbelievable to me.

    • Re:I Don't Get It (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LostCluster (625375) * on Sunday March 28, 2004 @05:31PM (#8697653)
      The statement of "and a Pony too" is usually tacked on to make fun of an outragious request being made... as this "proposal" by Bush seems to be at this point. He's not saying all Americans will have broadband by 2007, he's just saying they should. He's also not giving out any plan for just how more Americans will get broadband, or promising to see to it that more Americans get access to broadband.

      So, making a statement that "All Americans ought to have broadband." is something that nobody's goign to disagree with, and is not something he can be called for not following through on. More or less, he's said nothing newsworthy at all... he's just trying to get the geek vote without offering much in return.
  • by HarryCaul (25943) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @05:26PM (#8697624)

    Howard Dean had proposed this, we'd be seeing tons of posts on how visionary it was.

    I loved "independent" thinkers.
    • by 10101001 10101001 (732688) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @06:12PM (#8697981) Journal
      George Bush is this thing we call the President. That means, that when he says, "I'll create more jobs", you ask yourself, "Why isn't he doing that right now?"

      If Howard Dean said it, we could bitch about how that it would mean more taxes regardless of whether he made mention of it. With Bush, this is the nth package he's talked about which would involve a good deal of spending without raising taxes. Given that eventually we can't load ourselves enough money to allow for all the programs required with the current tax level, there seems no indication that taxes will go up, and no indication that current programs will be cutback, all of the above either leads to George Bush being a huge liar about really supporting all the programs he talks about or he's setting up for rampant inflation/a recession.

      Personally, though, I wouldn't believe any presidential candidate who was offering such things, nor do I think it's the government's business to fund such. Ie, I'd be just as much against Howard Dean if he supported it. (The only way I can take exception to that is if there was good proof that the telecommunication conglomerates were unfairly holding back broadband to cause intentional overpricing in which case there might be a basis for an anti-trust case which *might* eventually lead to ubiquitous broadband, and the would-be President could push towards such a case.)
  • by saskboy (600063) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @05:27PM (#8697632) Homepage Journal
    This is just nuts, both technologically, and unprofitable wise, as going to Mars by 2020.

    The amount of switches needed to put everyone on ground based broadband is nuts. I live out in an area where there is no cable TV, and a sparse population, so there is no highspeed option. And you can't consider Satellite an option yet, because 2 way is too expensive for a single household, and one way you still need the expensive dialup account.

    Canada promised to give highspeed access to everyone by about this time, and the project just needs technology to catch up with consumer will.

    I also don't think it is a good idea to give everyone and their dog access to highspeed Internet. With the inherent insecurities in the Internet's design, it is stupid to give attack capabilities to people who are unable and unwilling to keep their computers free of worms and trojans. The very safety of the Internet relies on some people not having quick service to the net.
  • Phoneless in America (Score:3, Informative)

    by cookie_cutter (533841) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @05:31PM (#8697649)
    Before that, maybe the U.S. should first tackle the phoneless problem, seeing that there are 5 million households(5%) without a phone [census.gov](pdf.
    • Did you read it? (Score:5, Informative)

      by bstadil (7110) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @06:19PM (#8698042) Homepage
      If you actually read the report you will find that the majority of the "Phoneless" is young single men.

      Even though this is from 1994 let me guess that the survey asked for landlines and the increase is due to switch to mobile. Second I did a little googeling and it seems the the Phone question was one of the ones targeted as a NOSY question and a few groups were advocating "Just say no" to that one.

      Young men even in the lower income bracket is the one with the most discretionary money.

      Meaning most likely wrong and the portion that is "right" it is of Choice not Necessity

  • by div_2n (525075) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @05:53PM (#8697834)
    Choice quote: "make sure that as soon as possible thereafter [that] consumers have plenty of choices" What do you think that means? I can tell you.

    In Kentucky, they are pushing state deregulation of telcos to encourage new investment in broadband in new areas.

    The result? They will charge competitors more thus pricing out competition allowing them to charge exhuberant prices to consumers.

    I expect this is an announcement of similar steps on the federal level.

    In the end, these are attacks on small startups and consumers in the form of ruthless monopolistic practices on the part of telcos and high prices for consumers.

    But this is what big business is all about and Bush is a big business kind of guy. Thus I am perplexed why the common man would be so in favor of him but that is another discussion altogether.
  • They Lie. (Score:3, Informative)

    by DAldredge (2353) * <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Sunday March 28, 2004 @06:06PM (#8697926) Journal
    This is the same group of people that think it would be a 'good idea' to reclassify fastfood workers as manufacturers because they 'make things'.

    This, much like the Bush anti-terror policies are all about getting Bush a win in 2004. They are not about solving they problems at hand
  • by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @06:07PM (#8697931) Homepage Journal
    While its a nice political gesture to want everyone to have broadband ( its not a necessity, but its nice to have ), how about everyone having a job to pay for it?

    That would be much more useful, with how jobs are flying out of the country at a frightening pace.
  • by Brian Stretch (5304) * on Sunday March 28, 2004 @06:10PM (#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.
  • Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by HarveyBirdman (627248) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @06:54PM (#8698333) Journal
    I'm not a Republican, but how come no one ever asks "how much" when Democrats proposed essentually the same thing?

    Politics blows. I really wish we could evolve beyond it, but some structure (read: flaw) in the human mind just won't allow it.

    Damn these simian brains!

  • by Mulletproof (513805) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @07:03PM (#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 allgood2 (226994) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @08:47PM (#8699112)
    Bush says Americans 'Ought to Be Working' and the working, homeless 'Ought to buy a House'. Get out your bootstraps and pull man, PULL.
  • by ellem (147712) * <ellem52NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday March 28, 2004 @10:24PM (#8699621) Homepage Journal
    abolish the FCC.
  • by Big Nothing (229456) <big.nothing@bigger.com> on Monday March 29, 2004 @03:48AM (#8701131)
    The contract to build the monster has been given to Haliburton.

You can bring any calculator you like to the midterm, as long as it doesn't dim the lights when you turn it on. -- Hepler, Systems Design 182

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