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Comment Re:What can I say? (Score 1) 16

I mean that while I've known your pseudonym for a long time, and followed comments in other blogs, I hadn't friended you here until I posted my above post (mostly carelessness), so I didn't see what you wrote through my amigos, but rather from links posted by concerned parties on Multiply.

Comment Monopsony (Score 1) 504

When the cellphone companies bid for spectrum, it was on the basis of their projected income. Given free texts, their projected income would have been lower, so they would have bid less. There's no opportunity to "recover the cost", since the amount bid was based upon revenue-maximising charges in any case. Charging more for a call would get the companies less revenue, rather than more.

Result: Call charges wouldn't be much different than they are now.

The bidding process means that the government has ripped off the customer by proxy, and any mandated limitations would have saved the customer at the government's expense. The cellphone companies wouldn't have seen much difference.

Certainly there's an argument in terms of corporate freedom for the government not placing such conditions of licence, but it's not one of customer interest.

Perhaps the better plan would have been to forgo bidding, and allocate spectrum, so that the parties involved would have had breathing space in which to compete.

Comment Vote /against/ Labour (Score 1) 469

Where I live (Cambridge), voting Tory could easily let the Labour candidate back in. Furthermore, our MP is very strong on civil liberties. Imperfect, to be sure (I disagree with the utilitarian strain of liberalism that leads to such things as the smoking ban), but unlikely to be easily improved upon, even if the Tory did get in, since it would be difficult to beat a law scholar who care about civil liberties in efficacy.

Apart from the special case of Cambridge, that Lib Dems are typically strong on civil liberties must mean that if this is an issue of importance for you, you should be willing to hold your nose to vote for them if it's appropriate in your constituency. Of course, the same reasoning applies in reverse to those places where the Lib Dems are weaker than the Tories.

There is, however an upper limit on the vote available to the Tories: some people feel that they simply cannot vote for them. Accordingly where the support for Lib Dems and Tories are similar, a vote for the Lib Dems will be more likely to succeed. Realistically speaking, intent to vote Conservative is felt by borderline LD/Labour voters, so that they shrink from voting Lib Dem in order to 'keep the Tories out'.

Comment Point of Article (Score 1) 6

The linked article points out that:

But what few realize -- I had no idea until I saw the second update to Karl's post -- is that the same Obama EO that allowed for a return of federal funding of ESC, which I personally support, by the way, also covertly ended Bush's federal-funding program for other forms of stem-cell research... stem-cell research that does not kill a human embryo.

Meaning that Obama killed funding for other stem-cell research in his executive order, before signing a bill that also kills embryonic stem-cell research.

Unless the latter bill restores funding for the former, it would seem to me that Obama has killed all funding for stem-cell research in two strokes.

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