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Comment Re:Or just go back to the way things were before (Score 1) 4

This is personal to me. A friend I knew in high school, went into the service with, and kept in touch with couldn't afford insurance and caught appendicitis. It ruined his credit and nearly his family. In 1992 when he had a heart attack, he just laid down and died rather than calling 911.

That's what happens in the US when you work full time and can't afford insurance.

Comment Re:Only a problem when they block better (G fiber) (Score 1) 193

It sounds like you should get kicked in the taint for rolling out a new network in the age of fiber but deciding to run with Cat-5 because you got a great deal on spools. Just because the network is publicly-funded doesn't also mean that all of the expertise needs to come from the community. Part of that public funding is hiring a designer who knows what they're doing.

Comment Re:Hey, cable companies: (Score 1) 193

The government can subsidize the costs and offer service for well below the actual costs, which is unfair competition.

That seems like a red herring. "The Government" isn't some giant mega-corp paying out stockholders, it is run and funded by the citizens. That's not "the government" subsidizing the costs, it's the taxes paid by the people who live there. The people are subsidizing the costs, so why shouldn't the government be allowed to build and maintain a network for the benefit of the people which is paid for by the people? The answer of course is because the ISPs think they deserve everyone's money. That doesn't mean that towns should not be allowed to pool their resources and plan and deploy their own network paid for by themselves. Even if they are competing with a private company, they should still be allowed to do it. If the private company can't build a better network and provide better service than the people doing it for themselves then the private company doesn't get any business. They can up their game or go elsewhere. Instead, in reality, they find that it's a better investment to pay legislators to pass laws which favor themselves against the people living there, and the end result is that the people still have the same shit network that has been there for the last several decades and they're still paying way too much for it. That's the specific situation that people want to change - they want a fast network and a reasonable price, not 10down/1up DSL for $80/month.

The issue in high costs with broadband come from partial or complete monopolies of ISPs.

Right. But all of a sudden when the people step in to build their own network then *that* is unfair competition? I think the existence of a monopoly makes the environment for unfair competition, not a town deciding that they want to publicly fund a network.

In order to reduce costs, the government can help introduce competition.

How can they do that? Keep in mind that ISPs have very large war chests, and that they have no problems with paying large sums of money to legislators in order to maintain their monopolies and ban towns from doing things themselves. So how exactly should anyone expect the government to "introduce competition"? Wouldn't the ISPs claim some other sort of government overreach? If building their own network is unfair competition, then wouldn't "introducing competition" be labeled as some sort of anti-capitalist big government move to influence the market? You write a lot of bright-sky points without offering any actual solution. What is this supposed to mean:

I really like this idea in Virginia of providing a means for municipalities to introduce competition

What are you actually suggesting there? Anything at all? I'm not talking about suggesting vague things like "introducing competition", I'm talking about actual laws that would help the situation. Because a town getting together and deciding to fund and build their own network is a concrete example of introducing competition, but if that's not what you're suggesting then what kind of concrete steps are you referring to?

Comment Re:Just get the memo already: (Score 1) 74

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

So, when did Congress pass laws establishing a national religion? What you are speaking of is that all religions, including Christianity, are allowed to freely practice their religion. Would you rather live in a country where religious are not free to practice their religion? Feel free to move to China than if that is what you want.

Comment Re:double standards (Score 1) 123

World's largest polluter in what?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

According to this, China is the top of the pile for CO2. The US environmental regulations have caused us to have very clean air and water, where China has no regulation and pollutes their land air and water to the point where people are dying from it. But I guess you don't care about facts and figures and work more off your gut?

Here's another article about it:

http://www.activesustainabilit...

You don't see people walking around with dust masks on in the US, but I am sure you already knew that.

For fine particulates, China is still pretty bad, though Saudi Arabia surpasses them there. Likely it is due to the desert there though.

https://qz.com/794542/air-poll...

Most polluted cities, US not even on the list anywhere:

http://www.politifact.com/trut...

As far as disproportionate, not really. VW has more diesels on the roads in the US than any other car manufacturer. The impact is more for this issue than other diesel manufacturers who were also fined steeply. Considering the EU feels it can fine Apple for paying the taxes they owe in Ireland, I am not sure how you think this fine is somehow disproportionate.

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