No, Ron Paul and Rand Paul are *not* good guys.
For one, Rand Paul's budget plan is mathematically impossible. He's basically lying to the people in his proposal in order to push a political agenda to redistribute more income towards the rich. They also want to drastically increase the suffering of people on the lower-income side of the scale by deeply cutting social insurance programs.
This would be really awesome and exciting if it really worked, but, well, it's apparently challenging models of physics which have withstood a tremendously diverse battery of scientific tests. Smart money is on the measurements being a mistake with the experimental apparatus.
I don't care about the legal definition. They killed the man.
But you clearly have more faith in our justice system than I do. Police in the US are almost never convicted of anything. I'm glad that they have been indicted (a rare thing for murderous police officers in the US), but there's still a very good chance that they'll face close to zero consequences for their actions, regardless of the evidence.
The murder of Freddie Grey wasn't all that unusual an occurrence, sadly. A person has been killed by police in the US approximately once every 8 hours. It's not always easy to see beforehand which egregious breach of civil rights by the police will result in widespread protests.
Also, white people have a strong tendency to riot for no good reason whatsoever (e.g. the 2011 Stanley Cup riots in Vancouver).
When the rubber meets the road, people like Rand Paul are not actually in favor of downsizing the government. They just want to eliminate restrictions on business and aid to the poor.
If you think Rand Paul has any principles here beyond eliminating regulation of business, you're deluding yourself.
Because until very recently, no ISP has had the power to extort money out of somebody else in this way. Providers have generally made amicable agreements and built out the interconnects together with little issue.
Comcast, as a last-mile provider, has a number of customers to whom it promises to provide a certain level of bandwidth. In order to supply this bandwidth, Comcast needs to create interconnects that are sufficient to supply it. Refusing to build the required interconnects with one specific provider is blatant spite.
And while I can (and do) blame my local government for the monopoly, Comcast has nearly all of its market reach from acquisitions, and it also spends quite a bit of money making sure local governments maintain its local monopolies.
Right. Voluntary because we didn't have any proper net neutrality rules in place.
The thing is, as an internet service provider, it is in the interest of both Comcast and Netflix's ISP to create the new interconnects as needed (in order to drive more customers and ensure a good experience for users). The reason is that Comcast isn't just an ISP. You hit the nail on the head: Comcast doesn't want Netflix to "steal" their customer base. Comcast, as a Cable company, is naturally antagonistic to Netflix, despite the fact that closer ties with Netflix would be good for Comcast's ISP business.
Or it would be, if Comcast didn't have a monopoly in many areas for high-speed Internet access.
Which is why I used the qualifier, "effective".
The impact was the same as outright throttling. The addition of new interconnects is standard practice among ISP's. Comcast decided to break with standard practice and prevent new connections until Netflix coughed up the dough.