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I am definately going to have to read this whole conversation when I get out of work.. it seems there are some very good ideas and opinions bouncing around in this thread. :)

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Sat Jun 10, 2006 4:05 pm
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Grand wrote:
Point and cry "liberal!" if you'd like, but Shinesparked is right; Anyone who would willingly give up their access to free information just to keep Comcast or ATT from throwing a hissy fit clearly have their priorities out of wack.


Hey, I want a free lunch as much as anyone else. But just because I want something doesn't mean I think I'm entitled to it, or more importantly, that I think other people should be forced to provide it to me. I would have more money if I put a gun to someone's head and took their wallet; that doesn't mean that doing so would be okay.

As far as having priorities messed up, I might be better off in the short term with net neutrality, yes. But in the long term, I'd be better off in a country where the government is trustworthy and lives up to basic ethical standards rather than one that gives me some benefits at other people's unwilling expense in the short term.

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Sat Jun 10, 2006 8:04 pm
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I'm sorry, I just tried to imagine why any average internet user would be opposed to net neutrality and my brain ate itself. Additionally, I don't want to be surfing around on a broken internet from now on. It's for these reasons that I'm not going to directly address your comments. I hope you understand my plight, and that you'll feel safer when you can no longer tell the difference between what you see on the tv and what you see when you think you're actively retrieving the content you want on the web.

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Sat Jun 10, 2006 8:19 pm
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Grand wrote:
'm sorry, I just tried to imagine why any average internet user would be opposed to net neutrality and my brain ate itself.
Paragon pretty much covered it, but yeah. The problem is the government dipping its claws into internet legislation. I really do not like that concept, and I'd prefer to see a situation where companies could potentially block access to sites they don't like (which would just lead to a major loss of business) to a situation where the government mandates how ISPs manage their business. Let's take a poke down that "slippery slope" the righties are always going on about... if the government begins regulating how internet content will be presented by ISPs, do you honestly think for a second they'd stop with one bill? Maybe they would, but it would certainly suck even worse if they started raping the internet with all their regulations.

So long story short, I'd rather risk ISPs potentially regulating internet content than the American govermnent regulating internet content. At least with the ISP you can switch providers.

Grand wrote:
I hope you understand my plight, and that you'll feel safer when you can no longer tell the difference between what you see on the tv and what you see when you think you're actively retrieving the content you want on the web.
God, I hope you're being at least partially facetious with that statement, Grand, or you've turned into Oliver Stone.


Sat Jun 10, 2006 11:54 pm
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I'd much rather the goverment regulate the internet than ISPs. The way the Telcoms talk, they'd deny service to any site that didn't want to pay them. How would that work out for the little guys? Small independent content is the best thing about the internet.

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Sun Jun 11, 2006 12:28 am
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There's not a slippery slope as far as I'm concerned. It's a participatory government we've got here and when there's something you don't like, you vote against it or e-mail your rep to do so. I don't care whether voting the right way in this case will make it possible for the wrong thing to happen somewhere down the line because I'll just take the same action when it comes time to do so. Life is a continuum, and there will always be powers that want to screw you over. All you can do is keep telling them that you don't like it and then go bitching about it on the internet right afterward, man. I don't want the net that I know f**ked with, hence my stance on the issue. It's simple like that.

As for sounding like Oliver Stone, let's be serious now- Are you really that satisfied with all the crap that you have to tune out on a daily basis? Billboards, the news, magazines, tv, all showing you the exact same bulls**t 24 hours a day. You don't think it's remotely possible that the internet could ever end up looking the same way? And if you could take even the babiest of steps toward preventing that, wouldn't you?

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Sun Jun 11, 2006 12:41 am
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Canada passed several laws over the past few years effectively eliminating net neutrality and giving media and telcom companies the ability to control what content gets to their users. The results so far haven't been that great from a freedom-lover's perspective.

Telus, a company analagous to AT&T, actually blocked the website of Voices For Change, a union fighting with the company, from around a million of their internet users. There are better articles out there, but here's the first to pop up and I'm too lazy to find better: http://michaelgeist.ca/component/option ... Itemid,85/

There are some other examples of this being bad news, but I'm too lazy to hunt.


Sun Jun 11, 2006 2:01 am
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Grand wrote:
There's not a slippery slope as far as I'm concerned. It's a participatory government we've got here and when there's something you don't like, you vote against it or e-mail your rep to do so.
And therein lies the reason I don't fully subscribe to conservative ideologies. I can admit there's some relevance to the concern that if the government rules on something once, that they won't know where to stop. Similar arguments were used by right-wing groups against late-term abortions, saying that allowing such a thing would eventually lead to leniency on infanticide and eventually the complete devaluing of human life. While I can understand these concerns, I don't share them. I believe there willl always be enough rational, intelligent people around to draw the line and say "No, not this far."

It's time to fess up- my arguments in this thread have been partially devil's advocate. I would not have protested much if Net Neutrality had passed, but since it did not I'm taking a good look at the issue and asking why a bipartisan majority voted it down. It would appear that the government is very hesitant to start poking into regulating the functions of the internet in America, and this actually relieves me. What's interesting to me is that the viewpoint represented by Grand and Shiny is a bit of a conjecturous "slippery slope" kind of scenario in the opposite direction... you're concerned that it starts with slowing the bandwidth to competing sites, then to blocking material harmful to the company's image (similar to the case in Canada), and eventually ISPs regulating all internet content. I don't buy this concept either, because companies in a free market are held accountable by their competition. If any company like Comcast ever pulls a political move like the company in Canada, many people would jump ship. I believe that the fear of this would hold in check their desire to regulate the content their subscribers may access.

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As for sounding like Oliver Stone, let's be serious now- Are you really that satisfied with all the crap that you have to tune out on a daily basis? Billboards, the news, magazines, tv, all showing you the exact same bulls**t 24 hours a day. You don't think it's remotely possible that the internet could ever end up looking the same way?
Well, that's kind of a different point than you made before, or at least what I got out of it. I absolutely agree that the bigger sites of the internet could end up a big Clear Channel whitewashed mess... right now with popups, banner ads that now talk to you, and flash ads that cover the page you're trying to read, the internet already sucks worse than it did five years ago, as American conglomeratism (not the same as capitalism) wraps its murky tendrils around our necks. I do not believe, however, that we will ever be limited from being able to visit independant sites. That's the overwhelming beauty of the internet, a fact to which more people are savvy than you think.


Sun Jun 11, 2006 5:20 pm
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It's entirely possible that you're right, but handing over our last source of unfiltered information to a small handful of corporations still scares the crap of me. And this isn't some "government > corporations" liberal thing, either. I'd be equally scared if partisan politics led to something like a small conservative majority outlawing Internet content that they deemed "indecent" or some bulls**t like that.

The fact that the above scenario sounds even remotely plausible should let you know what I think of Omni exclusively branding liberals as we-know-better-than-you elitists. (Remember that crazy time when conservatives were trying to pass a constitutional amendment to try and suppress homosexuality? Oh wait...) As far as I'm concerned, personally, if recognizing that the vast majority of Americans are uninformed (or misinformed) makes me an elitist, then I'm guilty as charged. And so is James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, and everyone else who has ever realized that the masses must be kept in check in order for a free society to work.

(For the record, I'm not a big fan of liberals legislating their "values", either. I'm looking at you, Hillary. Stop trying to appeal to soccer moms with your video game fear mongering and get back to the people's business. Your cynical, baby-kissing approach to politics makes me very much doubt your character.)

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Sun Jun 11, 2006 10:03 pm
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Shinesparked wrote:
The fact that the above scenario sounds even remotely plausible should let you know what I think of Omni exclusively branding liberals as we-know-better-than-you elitists. (Remember that crazy time when conservatives were trying to pass a constitutional amendment to try and suppress homosexuality? Oh wait...)


This would be a good time for me to point out that my politics are mostly libertarian in nature; I have my own beefs with the right-wingers as well. I was branding liberals with that label on this issue since they are traditionally the ones who call for government intervention in the economy.

Now if the thread had been about, for example, gay marriage, you would've seen plenty of conservative (and religion) bashing.


Sun Jun 11, 2006 10:53 pm
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Shinesparked wrote:
The fact that the above scenario sounds even remotely plausible should let you know what I think of Omni exclusively branding liberals as we-know-better-than-you elitists.
Conservatives certainly can be elitists pricks as well, but you need to stop looking at everything as a left vs. right issue. It rarely even works like that within the parties. Just because Omni calls you out on a liberal trait doesn't mean that rhetoric against conservatives are going to apply to him; I'm pretty sure Omni is a moderate, as am I. The answer to every argument is not "Oh yeah? Well you're a (insert derogation)." :D
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As far as I'm concerned, personally, if recognizing that the vast majority of Americans are uninformed (or misinformed) makes me an elitist, then I'm guilty as charged.
I can agree with your assertion to the gullibility of the masses, but I think the viewpoint you're exibiting starts to skew dangerously into the territory of believing that the masses do not deserve to have a voice because they are stupid, which extends even further to the point where all with opposing viewpoints to one's own are uninformed stupid bumpkins (the "hollywood liberal" mindset that so enrages those of us in flyover country). At this point you're slipping outside the republican democracy form of government into an aristocracy, and I think history has clearly proven how destructive such a mindset can be. Who's to say what qualifies someone to be "enlightened" rather than "stupid?" My father in law voted for W, drives a pickup truck with American flag sticker, and is against abortion and gay marriage. Is he a bumpkin, a moron? Many liberals would say yes, but they are wrong. He is intelligent, witty, insightful, and wise. I don't share many of his political views, but I can appreciate and respect his reasons for believing these things. That's the difference. Respectful disagreement.

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(For the record, I'm not a big fan of liberals legislating their "values", either. I'm looking at you, Hillary. Stop trying to appeal to soccer moms with your video game fear mongering and get back to the people's business. Your cynical, baby-kissing approach to politics makes me very much doubt your character.)
Yeah, f**k Hillary. Since I have no hope for the Repubs putting up anyone but a Bush boot-licker, I'd love to see the Democrats put someone forward with a real plan for America, who doesn't just sit and bash the Republicans but rather brushes them aside and says "Vote for me because I'll make things right." Unfortunately, I don't think the Dems have much to offer but Bush-bashing these days.


Sun Jun 11, 2006 11:20 pm
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the KRIS wrote:
The answer to every argument is not "Oh yeah? Well you're a (insert derogation)."

When did I say Omni was an anything? I made no assumptions about Omni's affiliation. I just wanted to demonstrate that my (perceived?) elitism was not necessarily a product of being "typically liberal".

the KRIS wrote:
I can agree with your assertion to the gullibility of the masses, but I think the viewpoint you're exibiting starts to skew dangerously into the territory of believing that the masses do not deserve to have a voice because they are stupid

No, that's not where my viewpoint leads! With as much crap going on today as there is, staying informed is a full-time job and a privilege. It's one that we place on our elected officials so that they can take the time, do the research, and make decisions that will benefit us. So when something makes me poke my head out of my own hole of ignorance to see what's going on, and I find that our representatives are dropping the ball, I get understandably upset. And hey, they probably know more about this issue than I do, so maybe their decision is sound, but everything I've read so far goes against that. This is why I speak up.

In any case, delegating some of the responsibility to stay informed to our leaders isn't stupid. It's part of what makes our society work.

the KRIS wrote:
At this point you're slipping outside the republican democracy form of government into an aristocracy

Do you really think I'd favor that? Look, the whole point that I'm trying to make is that we're all part of the uninformed masses in the eyes of corporations and government. (By way of example, there are plenty in the game industry who approach consumers as know-nothing bumpkins only interested in explosions and boobs.) Again, my reason for speaking up is that I see our ignorance being taken advantage of, and I'd like the screwing to stop now, thank you.

the KRIS wrote:
Yeah, f**k Hillary. Since I have no hope for the Repubs putting up anyone but a Bush boot-licker, I'd love to see the Democrats put someone forward with a real plan for America, who doesn't just sit and bash the Republicans but rather brushes them aside and says "Vote for me because I'll make things right." Unfortunately, I don't think the Dems have much to offer but Bush-bashing these days.

This is a bit off topic, but my support is behind Senator Joe Biden. This slightly dated video was the first time I really heard him speak, and I have to say, his intelligence and depth of knowledge won me over almost immediately. He probably won't get the nomination because he likes to explore issues a little more deeply than most sound bites allow for. (Democrats have learned their lesson with candidates who see the world in shades of gray.) Still, Biden's the guy I'd like to see in charge of things.

Note that you have to give him a few moments to speak before he starts getting interesting. The video's about half an hour, and the interesting stuff doesn't come until later, unfortunately.

Edit: Here's a shorter, more recent appearance on Meet the Press.

Edit II: And here's a more traditional stump speech. This guy can orate!

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Mon Jun 12, 2006 9:38 am
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It's unlikely, Sparked. However, Hillary's got the right idea going after video games because, as it's been demonstrated by the current administration these last few years, the hot button social issues are what gets the attention. The Lefties have been criticized by everyone outside of and within their own parties of being too spineless and afraid to fight as dirty as those who've taken control of every branch of the American government are willing to. At this point, anyone outside of the small conservative circle of rulers is desperate just to get their foot back in the door. This political play on Clinton's part, though weak and not quite as important as some of the issues that've been taken up by others vying for a spot on top (global warming, abortion, gay marriage, etc), may help her to gain that little bit of momentum necessary to get somewhere in 2008.

Too bad it's a bummer of an stance, but I've got a feeling that we're going to be forced to choose between her and the spectre or GWBush in two years. If it comes down to it, Hillary's got my vote and I can only hope enough sane people make it clear that once she's in office, going anywhere near video games will be unacceptable. Dangerous, I know, considering that she'll be expected to uphold her promise to clean up gaming to those who vote for her, but working that much harder to fix up what I regard as an outrageously corrupt and disgusting government as the one ruling over me today will be worth the trouble.

/hijack

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Mon Jun 12, 2006 4:17 pm
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Grand wrote:
If it comes down to it, Hillary's got my vote



I'm kill you.

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Mon Jun 12, 2006 6:08 pm
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i'd sooner write in Mickey Mouse, myself.


Mon Jun 12, 2006 9:16 pm
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Seriously, I would call myself a democrat, maybe even a "liberal", but if Hillary is the best that the Democrats can come up within '08, then I'm just going to move to Canada, eh?

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Mon Jun 12, 2006 10:48 pm
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What this country needs is a president from the dark side. Scratch that, we need an emperor. Whatever happened to global conquering? Let's bring it back in style.

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Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:15 pm
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IBBIAZ wrote:
What this country needs is a president from the dark side. Scratch that, we need an emperor. Whatever happened to global conquering? Let's bring it back in style.


We already elected George W. Bush Jr.

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Tue Jun 13, 2006 12:31 am
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thanks for saying that Omni, now i don't have to make that joke.


Tue Jun 13, 2006 12:45 am
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I hope the Dems do a little research on Hillary to decide whether she's really a viable option. I have quite a few liberal coworkers who say they'd rather vote for their left shoe. Granted, we're a bit biased, but still...

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Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:13 am
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Well, as I mentioned before, it's all about getting that foot in the door. When those primaries come along, Biden may not stand a chance against Clinton, only the third woman in American History to make a major run for the presidency (insert Lewinsky jokes here, thanks). Playing that card may be the best hope the democrats have got, so don't be surprised if they exploit it (however politically incorrect it may be).

As for Net Neutrality, there's still a fight to be had in the Senate, so if you haven't already, e-mail your Senators!
http://senate.gov/

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Tue Jun 13, 2006 2:00 pm
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I don't know, I once wrote my senator (good old Trent Lott) regarding the Family Entertainment Protection Act, and was a little dissapointed with the letter I got back.

Trent Lott wrote:
I have long been concerned about the deterioration of broadcast standards as more programs with indecent material have been aired. Early in my carrer, I was concerned as a parent about what my own children were seeing and hearing. Now I am fortunate to have four grandchildren, and I am even more concerned about them than I was my own children. Now not oly has broadcast programming become increasingly coarse and explicit, but so has the video game arena. This Congress and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) both have duties to fulfill in stopping the growing flood of indecency and violence.


To me it seemed like it didn't matter how the voters felt about the situation, he was going to vote based on his personal feelings. Have think it will be the same way with Net Neutrality.

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Every time I've written a letter to a congressman or a senator, I've gotten back the exact same type of reply.

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Dear Dan,

That thing you're concerned about also concerns me, but my opinion on the matter is the exact opposite of the position you took in your letter. I hope this generated form letter adequately conveys how little I actually value your opinion.

Thank you,
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Tue Jun 13, 2006 2:21 pm
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And if thousands of people all e-mail their senators saying the exact same thing? Hey, it's five minutes out of your life. That Darth Lott didn't respond with a form letter (unless his secretaries don't proof-read their own forms) is pretty encouraging, no?

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Tue Jun 13, 2006 2:24 pm
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I'm pretty sure it was a form letter. I just got the "f**k your veiws, my family is more important" version.

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Tue Jun 13, 2006 2:30 pm
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I received some pretty good e-mails from Senators Boxer and Feinstein, but I'm sure they were form letters because I don't doubt their inboxes are filled with hundreds of messages like the ones I sent asking that they do what they can to preserve net neutrality. That said,

http://www.tvweek.com/news.cms?newsId=10287

f**k.

"The vote for now kills a push for 'net neutrality,' which supporters say will keep phone and cable companies from changing the egalitarian nature of the Internet."


Senator Barbara Boxer wrote:
People outside this room better be ready. They are in serious trouble.

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Thu Jun 29, 2006 2:14 am
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If the government starts to regulate the internet, porn will disappear and the Apocalypse will occur. They're already ragging on hentai, I doubt they'll stop there. I'd much rather not be able to use Google or play WoW than not have my porn, capiche?

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Sat Jul 01, 2006 2:55 am
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r u hi 2?

Anyhow, who's responsible for deciding how the internet is to be ruled, anyway?

Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) explains why he voted against net neutrality

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I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday. Why?

Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the internet commercially.

...

It's a series of tubes.

And if you don't understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and its going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.

Now we have a separate Department of Defense internet now, did you know that? Do you know why? Because they have to have theirs delivered immediately. They can't afford getting delayed by other people.

This is why we write to our congress critters, folks.

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Mon Jul 03, 2006 4:14 pm
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Yeah, my internets take aaaages to arrive.


Mon Jul 03, 2006 7:57 pm
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Your tubes must be cloged up.

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