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Gender: Male
Hometown: Indiana
Home country: USA
Current location: Indianapolis
Member since: Thu Dec 8, 2005, 10:45 PM
Number of posts: 1,957

Journal Archives

The question isn't "should we" but "how will we"

Of course we should. Anyone who disagrees doesn't know the history of electricity in this country and what it did for our economy and way of life.

But, as I posted above and in a different thread, the devil is in the details. In order to accomplish this vision, we must break the stranglehold corporations have over our infrastructure (yes, broadband is infrastructure). Those corporations make all their profit on the current system. When they look at all of us using something other than their velvet chains, they will fight it.

President Obama promised this same thing and then bumped up against the corporations. Those same corporations that were handed the keys to the gov't by Reagan. Ironic that Reagan broke up AT&T.

Repeated from above:

The President’s Executive Order establishing US Ignite came out two-plus years after the FCC introduced the National Broadband Plan (NBP). The goal of the plan is ambitious:

“The United States must lead the world in the number of homes and people with access to affordable, world-class broadband connections. As such, 100 million U.S. homes should have affordable access to actual download speeds of at least 100 Mbps and actual upload speeds of at least 50 Mbps by 2020. This will create the world’s most attractive market for broadband applications, devices and infrastructure.”


US Ignite points in the right direction, an effort to build-out the nation’s wireline infrastructure. But his well-intentioned and farsighted effort confronts, head-on, the nation’s telecom giants, the telephone and cable companies led by AT&T, Verizon, throw in Comcast and the other cable companies, who have a very different and self-serving agenda. Working together they are a ‘Communications Trust’, a cartel of companies who have taken control of communications so that they can get rid of regulations, raise rates and block competition.

But the real story is the massive skunkworks campaigns on both the state level, such as what happening in state legislatures, and at the federal level, including the FCC and Congress, to close down all wired services, including the Public Switched Telephone Networks, (PSTN) or DSL service, (which relies on the copper wiring) or even the obligation to provide wireline services in rural areas or where ever they don’t want to serve. At the same time, Verizon and AT&T have been privatizing other parts of the PSTN, such as the advanced services like FiOS or U-Verse, or the profitable business or data services, which use the PSTN wires and plant —- which have been directly funded by phone customers, many times through rate increases for ‘infrastructure’ building.


Asked and answered in a different thread


In fact, in several instances, it’s the Daily News editors who are bungling the facts in an interview designed to show that Sanders doesn’t understand the fine points of policy. In questions about breaking up big banks, the powers of the Treasury Department and drone strikes, the editors were simply wrong on details.

Take the exchange getting the most attention: Sanders’ supposed inability to describe exactly how he would break up the biggest banks. Sanders said that if the Treasury Department deemed it necessary to do so, the bank would go about unwinding itself as it best saw fit to get to a size that the administration considered no longer a systemic risk to the economy. Sanders said this could be done with new legislation, or through administrative authority under Dodd-Frank.


TRANSCRIPT: Bernie Sanders meets with the Daily News Editorial Board, April 1, 2016


"progressive ideas have a broad popularity"

Yes, they do. And they are implemented when the people speak to the entrenched power base.

This is from an earlier RS article:

Sanders believes that such progressive ideas have a broad popularity, not just among a lefty fringe but across the working class, even in red states. And yet progressive movements in recent years have wound up marginalized in the face of establishment pushback (Dean, the Occupy Wall Street movement) or else, as in the case of support for Obama, left as promises unfulfilled. Sanders believes that by keeping his focus on economic populism, he has a shot — a long one, he admits — at beating the historical odds. "Once you get off of the social issues — abortion, gay rights, guns — and into the economic issues," he says, "there is a lot more agreement than the pundits understand."


The bigger question facing Sanders, whatever you think about the merits of his ideas, is how he would ever possibly implement them, assuming he's not elected along with a Democratic sweep of both houses of Congress. Sanders, on the stump, praises President Obama for running a brilliant campaign in 2008. But then he goes on to say that the president's biggest mistake ("and I had the opportunity to tell him this — I'm not sure how happy he was to hear it, but that's what I do!" was to demobilize his millions of passionate supporters after Election Day: "Politics in Washington is not about a president sitting down with Mitch McConnell or John Boehner and having a drink [and] trying to work it out — that's just media nonsense. You guys want free tuition at public colleges and universities? You bring a million of your friends to march on Washington, D.C.!"

Sanders insists that the nation is less polarized than it is portrayed in the mainstream media. Through the Obama years, the Democratic Party's strategy has been to specifically target the so-called coalition of the ascendant — young people, minorities, college-educated women — by heightening contradictions with the GOP on issues like immigration, LGBT rights, overpolicing and abortion.

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/weekend-with-bernie-sanders-20150709#ixzz43l0QCylQ
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook

"Through the Obama years, the Democratic Party's strategy has been to specifically target the so-called coalition of the ascendant — young people, minorities, college-educated women "

And then promptly forgets the promises -- until the next election or fundraising letter.

Got one of those today from DWS. Time to send off another $50 to Bernie.

Ignore? What a poor choice of words.

The gop isn't ignoring it.

Far from it. They know exactly what it means. People like the Kochs get all their wealth from fossil fuels. Many of our states get a big chunk of their income (the part that falls off the tracks) from fossil fuels. The cold states depend it to survive. The fracking industry needs water and they don't care if the people who live there can't anymore (all to the good cause then they won't have pesky complaints about taste and flammability).

They're not ignoring it...lord no. They have it foremost on their agenda.

It's just a different agenda.

Reverse Hanlon's Razor

Our entire economic structure is based on the status quo. That we will continue burning fossil fuels, that we will continue driving all alone on expensive highways designed for capacities that occur 10% of the time, that everything is dependent upon consumerism, etc.

All thru the US history tech breakthrus have built new companies and destroyed old ones. Those breakthrus came because of R&D in all areas, academic, public laboratories and private ones.

The corporations are protecting their domain and they bought them a nation to do it, the most powerful nation on earth. Congress isn't doing what do because of stupidity.

And the legislative branch isn't the only branch doing it.

Right now one of the biggest threats facing us is climate change. And an effective response to that threat will destroy economic empires.

Read the report for the executive branch response to this global warming crisis? Written more like it's protecting our corporations and status quo than our people's survival.

(added on edit)

From cha in another thread (http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1014&pid=798012):

Jay Carney (EOP) ✔ @PressSec
Here's how President Obama's plan to #ActOnClimate helps states, cities, and towns prepare for climate change → http://go.wh.gov/iJhqKu
5:18 AM - 6 May 2014
68 Retweets 22 favorites

Thanks very much.

I wasn't overly impressed with the "plan", tho. It looks too much like the shovel-ready stuff, basically instead of directing where we as a nation need to go and then usingthe power of gov't spending and contracts to force it, it turns much of the implementation to the local gov'ts. Since more than half the states are in denial because they are under control of the conservatives, I don't see a lot of progress.

For example, the legislature here in Indiana rescinded the credit and assistance programs the electric utility was doin to increase efficiency. Turning to this state to improve energy efficiency in homes doesn't fly well.

The next problem I have with it is that it is doing the same thing and trying to make it more efficient. Raising fuel standards is a great idea...what about my 17 year old vehicles? Secondly, what good does it do to increase efficiency pervehicle if the number of vehicles on the roads increases at the same time? Net effect zero.

What steps are being taken to reduce the number of vehicles? Or a more efficient use of the systems we already have. Eg, reducing the transportation of goods across the country by implementing local productions. This not only reduces our footprint, it also provides regional jobs.

How about some mandates for sustainability and reuse? Do what some european countries do. You must have a use for a byproduct or pay a penalty. If a factory, like a steel mill (assumign there are any left in this country) or a fossil fuel generator has heat as a byproduct of its operation, use that heat for other purposes.

But it really was a nice looking report. Just didn't go very far. It seemed like the author was more worried about stepping on toes than stepping forward.


A pet peeve of mine is that I cannot comment on stories in the local paper, a USA Today echo chamber. And that is true of quite a few liberal commentors. As soon as we voice a comment that is unacceptable to the fox crowd, that commentor is removed using FB means.

Why isn't there a democratic voice, maybe more than one, in that paper? I'm sure there would be volunteers. I sure would.

But I'm not going to pay for a subscription. I got a disposal as an alternative to wrapping garbage long ago.

And I don't like using my personal FB presence for that.

So here I sit, broken-hearted...mad as hell.

Oh bullsh!t.

Where do these people get credibility.

They break down the poll by district and then say that indicates that democrats are in trouble in that district.

No sh!t. My district was gerrymandered long ago and hasn't elected a democrat since then. To extrapolate this into a national "trend" is where the bullsh!t comes in. This poll result looks a lot like the distribution in the HOR.


Overlay this result with the map of critters in safe districts and what do we see?

How about they ignore all the results from any safe districts and treat the others like what they really are...swing.

Secondly, don't you ever say that if we gotv in my district we'll swing the thing... the only way this district will switch is if we do voter id and get rid of any gop voters. No wait...the Indiana legislature already did that the other way.

The "primary" in most local and national districts in this state are very conservatives against batsh!t crazy conservatives.

Now if you want to start changing these trends, getting people out to vote the way they would usually vote doesn't do a f'in thing. NOTHING!

We need some education in this state and I'm NOT talking about door-to-door. All that does is upset the neighbors. There's a reason for no soliciting signs and a lot of people consider religion and politics to be soliciting.

How about the democrats do an information campaign. Just what the f' do we stand for? Make the gop argue against women's rights. Make that fat-assed bigot face an informed wife...not a barefoot pregnant one.

You know, maybe a democratic platform? One we put out before the popularity contest? Maybe one we can use to judge OUR candidates?

Stop it.


Reaganomics wasn't the problem, it was a symptom

The biggest problem was that he brought the moneychangers into the temple and promoted them to godlike status.

Government and business operate with totally different goals. Business emphasizes profits for the few while government functions for service for the many. In the former case it is easy to determine success or failure. In the latter it is much more abstract, more esoteric.

He arose in stature by pointing out those places where government failed small segments under different circumstances and appealed to them. Since it is impossible to satisfy all people in all ways...well, the rest is history.

Since his presidency we have seen no leader who hs reversed this attitude. Our current president gives the moneychangers as much access as Reagan did. In fact he held Reagan up as someone to be admired for a generated sea change.

When we look at the current failures in our gov't, bank regulations, sprawl, tax shelters, wealth inequities, they can all be traced back to the shift from gov't to service the many to emphasis on economics as a measurement of success.

It is a culture

I would bet that just down the hall from Dr Reich's office there is an MBA class going on which emphasizes success in terms of profits and that decisions should be made that maximize current profits. The results of that class are the decisions that are made within the company on a day to day basis.

The CEO has little to say about it. If he tries to buck the trend, the stockholders and board will send him packing. Because their income is dependent on the current profits. Doesn't mean anything to them if there'll be a long term decline in the company -- they will have pulled their investments long before the collapse. As far as the day-to-day decisions, there is little chance that he would have any say (or even knowlege) when a mid-level manager decides on a supplier from an outsourcer. Hel, that manager might not even know.

It's the common folk who will lose a livelihood and stare at an empty husk of the place that nurtured their town. It is the common folk who will suffer thru stagnant wages and staff cuts.

And all of our rules for operation insist that this is the preferred method. In order to change the result we need to change the culture. An example is what happened when Obama sought to correct the jobs situation and turn the economy around. Why would he look to Immelt? He was very successful at increasing profits, not increasing employment. Why did Obama look to Geithner to fix the economic culture? He was knee deep in that culture. Even after seeing the collapse of an economy that Bernanke was so much a part of, he kept him on, and then appointed a replacement that was also a part of that culture. And I don't even want to think about a corporate attorney as AG.

It is next to impossible to change behavior if there is no belief that the behavior is wrong. And little chance of recognising bad behavior if there is no one to slap fingers.

We desperately need a change in the corporate charter...one that recognises the value of those who labor and gives them an implicit ownership in the company. We need to change the charter of the corporation that directs that it should maximize return, except when that maximization is in direct opposition to the longterm health of the company or detrimental to the implicit ownership or in opposition to the national interests. Note, national interest, not state or regional interest.

No more beggar thy neighbor. No more competition between states.

Lastly, the corporations must recognise that they must invest in our country, not their profits.

And our educational system must quit looking to the "experts" in current culture to teach a new culture.

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