Dover Bitch

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A failure of leadership

DB has no idea if the Haditha allegations about a handful of Marines are true (although the evidence appears to be significant) and there is no dispute that these charges are shocking. Especially because we know that our troops are performing so heroically and living up to our high American values. But while it may surprise us to hear something like this has happened, it is the responsibility of our leaders to be actively ensuring that they never do.

It is their responsibility because they have accepted it. It is their responsibility because there is a clear history from which they must learn.

Are war crimes inevitable? When there is an absence of active leadership, these crimes are extremely likely.

In 1971, Dr. Philip Zimbardo conducted an experiment at Stanford University, The Stanford Prison Experiment. A fake prison was set up and student volunteers were arbitrarily selected to be either prisoners or guards. In almost no time at all, the inexperienced guards became abusive to the prisoners, who became emotionally unstable and quickly began losing their own identities.

I ended the study prematurely for two reasons. First, we had learned through videotapes that the guards were escalating their abuse of prisoners in the middle of the night when they thought no researchers were watching and the experiment was "off." Their boredom had driven them to ever more pornographic and degrading abuse of the prisoners.

Second, Christina Maslach, a recent Stanford Ph.D. brought in to conduct interviews with the guards and prisoners, strongly objected when she saw our prisoners being marched on a toilet run, bags over their heads, legs chained together, hands on each other's shoulders. Filled with outrage, she said, "It's terrible what you are doing to these boys!" Out of 50 or more outsiders who had seen our prison, she was the only one who ever questioned its morality. Once she countered the power of the situation, however, it became clear that the study should be ended.

And so, after only six days, our planned two-week prison simulation was called off.

A bunch of highly intelligent students at an outstanding college... reduced to barbarians with less than one week's worth of absolute power. Visit the experiment's web site for a fascinating read (and video). [UPDATE: Watch The Human Behavior Experiments on Sundance this month.]

As difficult as it is to accept the truth, the facts speak for themselves. Perfect citizens will react in horrible ways in extreme situations if they are allowed to. The abuses at Abu Ghraib were bound to happen without strong leadership. The fact that they happened means, without any doubt, that our leaders were either criminally negligent or, even worse, they wanted it to happen. These abuses shock the public, but there is no way our leaders could claim to be surprised when they occur. It is a textbook certainty that they will occur without preventative measures in place [edited this sentence].

Abu Ghraib is a controlled environment. Haditha was not. It would seem to this blogger, on the surface, that preventing an Haditha is a much taller order. But let's look at the greater context. Take this exchange on "Hardball" yesterday (emphasis mine):

MAJOR GEN. JOHN BATISTE, U.S. ARMY (RET): I think the alleged atrocity at Haditha, the national disgrace at Abu Ghraib and the three years uncontrollable violence and chaos in Iraq can all be traced back to the bad decisions and leadership of our secretary of defense in 2003 and early 2004.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Is this the action of somebody who's been over there too many tours?

BATISTE: This is the action, if it's true, again, it's alleged, of some frustrated Marines, could have been soldiers. We deployed without sufficient capability, without sufficient numbers of troops on the ground, to not only take down the regime, but then to do the hard work of building the peace in Iraq. We missed the boat on this totally.

MATTHEWS: How would more troops have prevented this?

BATISTE: You know, when you go in to this kind of peace enforcement operation and when you build the peace, it takes a large number of troops. It takes a mix of high technology and boots on the ground. The strategy that we had worked out within the military since 1991, which was not the plan to go back if to the Gulf War a la 1991. But this wonderful plan called for over 380,000 Americans, in addition to the Iraqi security forces to help build the peace, to stabilize the country, to secure the borders, to intimidate the insurgency, to get control of the place.

Why? Because you need to change attitudes. You need a secure environment to give the people of Iraq alternatives to the insurgency.

MATTHEWS: But when Marines in action, especially as you say, those on subsequent tours, second and third tours like they were here, who have seen their buddies shot up, killed, by these IED's, by the roadside bombs and they look around and see a nearby house.

I am just putting this together, all the reporting on this, so they went on this rampage to get even, basically. Is that part of the military culture that if you're hit, you hit back, wherever there's a target? That's my big question. Is this something that happens a lot in war, where you just get so ticked off at an ambush on your people, that you decide to ambush somebody else, even if they're not fighting people?

BATISTE: Chris, I don't think we should second guess the investigation that's going on, but what I am saying is that --

MATTHEWS: I'm just asking about war. In war, when the other side -- I guess this war is tricky, because you don't know what the Hell you're fighting. I can't figure out to this day weather we're fighting insurgents, people that don't want us in their country, out of town fighters who come in with al-Qaida, with Zarqawi. Or we're fighting Shias because they are really working against us, or we're fighting Sunnis who don't like the Shias taking over.

Do these soldiers or Marines who do want to get even, do they pick a target with that kind of intelligence or just pick a target?

BATISTE: No, they're very precise with their intelligence, I know they are. But look we went to war with the wrong plan. We should go to war to win, outright, no questions asked and we didn't do that. We didn't go to war with the proper capability and numbers of soldiers to build the peace in Iraq after we took down the regime. And to say that we didn't anticipate that insurgency is absolutely unacceptable. That was a certainty that that was going to happen.

MATTHEWS: So your point based upon military and history, just history generally, especially countries that are fighting asymmetric wars, like we're fighting in Iraq and a big power like the United States or the French or British. When you're in this kind of asymmetric fighting these kinds of incidents occur. You can expect them. You can expect an insurgency against the occupying power. You can expect this kind of terrorism against the occupying power and you can also expect this kind of anger on the side of our troops against that kind of asymmetric attack, right? It's all predictable.

BATISTE: Particularly in a country like Iraq, where the tribal, religious and ethnic complexity is amazing. Remember the Brits tried this back in the last century, in the '10s and the '20s and were not very successful either.

There is a lot of history in this part of the world. The people in Iraq don't think of themselves as Iraqis first. They're first a member of a tribe and then they're either Arab or Kurd and then they're either Shia or Sunni -- very complex. We went into something without really understanding the complexity and what it would take to finish the job.

So there's the foundation of the problem. Too few troops and inadequate planning. But what about the troops and day in question?

GEN. WAYNE DOWNING (RET.), NBC NEWS MILITARY ANALYST: I don't think it is. I don't think it's necessarily bad people. I think this was a good unit and by the way, this is alleged.

MATTHEWS: I want the perspective, stepping back from the crime.

DOWNING: Certainly there's a high degree of frustration. This unit had been there for a long time, apparently the young Marine that got killed was very, very popular guy. Sometimes troops do snap.

MATTHEWS: Anybody can snap.

DOWNING: Anybody can snap. You could snap or I could snap under the right conditions. That's why you need a strong chain of command and strong leaders to stop that kind of stuff from happening. There's a lot of parallels here if it in fact happen with My Lai and other incidents like that that occurred in Vietnam: an extreme frustration, an unseen enemy, something happens and then finally things go out of control.

Strong chain of command, strong leaders... It sounds like all of that was missing. After all, how has the Pentagon dealt with the mental health of our troops? The answer is absolutely horrifying.

The U.S. military is sending troops with serious psychological problems into Iraq and is keeping soldiers in combat even after superiors have been alerted to suicide warnings and other signs of mental illness, a Courant investigation has found.

Despite a congressional order that the military assess the mental health of all deploying troops, fewer than 1 in 300 service members see a mental health professional before shipping out.

A complete lack of leadership by the DOD. And then they pour gas on the fire:

Interviews with troops, families and medical experts, as well as autopsy and investigative reports obtained by The Courant, reveal that the emphasis on retention has had dangerous, and sometimes tragic, consequences.

Among The Courant's findings:

• Antidepressant medications with potentially serious side effects are being dispensed with little or no monitoring and sometimes minimal counseling, despite FDA warnings that the drugs can increase suicidal thoughts.

• Military doctors treating combat stress symptoms are sending some soldiers back to the front lines after rest and a three-day regimen of drugs - even though experts say the drugs typically take two to six weeks to begin working.

• The emphasis on maintaining troop numbers has led some military doctors to misjudge the severity of mental health symptoms.

Effexor, Zoloft, Celexa... pump 'em up with drugs, hand 'em a rifle and send 'em back to the front line. Anybody can snap? Who knows how many other incidents there have been. The new Iraqi ambassador introduced himself to America by revealing that he believes his cousin was intentionally and unnecessarily killed. One can only pray that these incidents are few and far between. The fact that they are happening at all does not bode well for the entire system.

Troops with serious psychological problems, drugged without proper monitoring, forced to remain in combat with inadequate gear and weak international support... all because of poor planning and an inexcusably unexpected insurgency... combined with an apparent lack of a strong chain of command... This kind of tragedy was bound to happen.

DB has no idea if these particular soldiers were on medication. But as Batiste said to Matthews, history shows that in this type of war, this kind of anger and these kinds of reactions are much more likely. It is clear that the mental health of all soldiers is not being monitored even to minimum standards and the main objective of the Pentagon is simply to keep the troop levels at a specific number. It is an absolute failure of leadership by both Rumsfeld and President Bush, who apparently learned about Haditha from Time Magazine.

Back in 2004, right before the election, when weapons were discovered missing at Al QaaQaa, Newsweek's Eleanor Clift wrote a column predicting a big Kerry win. While she was clearly wrong about the outcome, she was dead-on when she described the standard tactic of the right wing: Deny, Slime, Spin.

The Bush team's response is also emblematic. First, they deny a charge that is undeniably true, that they went into Iraq with insufficient forces. Second, they slime the person telling the truth. Kerry wasn't faulting U.S. troops for not finding and securing the missing weapons, as Bush asserted. Kerry was attacking the chicken-hawk civilians who brushed aside pleas from the military for more manpower. Third, Bush falls back on the tried and true, pointing to evidence of a cache of deadly explosives to say this proves Saddam really was dangerous.

And the same formula is in effect today. First, the denials:

MURTHA: Well, what I worry about, Wolf, is that this happened six months ago.

And nothing -- you heard nothing about it. As a matter of fact, the original story was that an IED killed these 15 people. It became very confusing to the public. "TIME" magazine came out with an article, and they still tried to cover it up.

Now, there were payments made to victims, which aren't made unless we kill them, one way or the other. And, secondly, they knew about it the day afterwards. So, there's no excuse for not having this be more open and know exactly what -- and the longer it goes, the worse it is for us, because it looks like it's the policy of our troops to do something like this.

But the Marine Corps itself told me, there were 24 people killed. There was no other enemy action, except the one explosive device. Now, they are under tremendous pressure, Wolf. You -- you have heard me say this before. They are stressful. They go out every day. They see arms blown off, legs blown off. There's inadequate number of forces.

So, I understand what happened. But you can't excuse it. And the cover-up is inexcusable. So, the chain of command, the chain of command, somebody in the chain of command said, we don't want to talk about this. It's so devastating that we don't want it to be made public.

Well, it's going to be made public at someplace. The Iraqis already knew about it. The Marines knew about it. It was going to come out. And they should have been very open about this from the very start.

Next, comes the sliming:

What Murtha did is a disgrace to the men and women that are serving and putting their lives on the line. I'm sorry. --Fox News' Sean Hannity, joined by none other than Swift Boat Veteran for Truth, John O'Neill

Those people who oppose the war and want to make those who supported it pay with shame, embarrassment and a complete loss of credibility and reputation, want desperately for this massacre — if it turns out to be what happened — to be the name this war is known by forever. Haditha — My Lai — Iraq — Vietnam: it all fits together neatly in a slime fest designed to win elections and set the direction of the history books. -- Fox News' John Gibson

And finally, the spinning:

If Iraqis know their own history they know this is true. Massacres have been committed in Iraq by warring parties for millennia piled on millennia. This is the part of the world that was in on the massacre game early, played it often and the last character to be up to his eyeballs in massacres was the very guy we went in to regime change: Saddam Hussein himself.


The Iraq War may not be the best war we ever fought. When the dust settles we'll know for sure. But it accomplished a great goal that no one else had managed for the last 15 years at least: ridding the world of Saddam. No matter what the political spinners say, that was a great thing. -- John Gibson [edit: called him Josh by mistake]

But it's just -- it is factually incorrect and also, I think, somewhat irresponsible to make judgments about all the Marines or everyone in the United States forces serving in Iraq or Afghanistan based on what a few Marines may have done. -- Torie Clark

So to Gibson, hey, massacres happen all the time over there. The point is Saddam is gone. Hooray! Bill O'Reilly tried to tell Wesley Clark the same things happen all the time in our military history.

Torie Clark points out that only a few Marines were involved in this incident and she is absolutely correct. This should not be an indictment of our troops, 99 percent of whom are performing heroically. But the "few bad apples" meme is a calculated response by Clark because it also provides cover for the leadership, the same way it kept Rumsfeld employed after Abu Ghraib. Once again our failed leaders are hiding behind the troops.

We should be grateful to our troops for their sacrifices. We should punish the few who commit war crimes. Above all, we should hold our leaders accountable for their horrible failures.

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The best the GOP has to offer?

Vernon Robinson, Republican candidate for North Carolina's 13th Congressional District, is at it again. First there was his highly offensive and short-lived Twilight Zone commercial.

Now he's stereotyping Mexicans and scapegoating homosexuals while attacking Democratic incumbent Brad Miller.

Robinson has already run a radio ad that features mariachi band music playing in the background. "If Miller had his way," says the announcer, "America would be nothing but one big fiesta for illegal aliens and homosexuals."

Apparently nothing is off-limits for this piece of crap:

Among many other things, the literature calls Miller a "childless, middle-aged personal injury lawyer."

Miller said he was "stunned" by the letter.

"I think that should not be part of what you agree to take on if you want to be involved in politics -- that kind of personal attack without any basis," Miller said.

Miller said his wife of nearly 25 years, Esther Hall, could not bear children because she had endometriosis and then a hysterectomy at age 27 before the couple were married.

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1965: When Things Got Bad For Blacks

George Will's latest column, a heap of praise for Shelby Steele's "White Guilt" is as close to absolute proof of parallel dimensions as we could ever hope to find. Quite frankly, there is no way Will or Steele occupy the same universe as DB.

In what fragment of time and space could somebody possibly dwell for this statement to be even close to accurate?

The dehumanizing denial that blacks have sovereignty over their lives became national policy in 1965, when President Lyndon Johnson said: "You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line in a race and then say, 'You are free to compete with all the others'." This, Steele writes, enunciated a new social morality: No black problem could be defined as largely a black responsibility. If you were black, you could not be expected to carry responsibilities equal to others'.

Perhaps every history book DB ever cracked open was wrong when they suggested that "the dehumanizing denial that blacks have sovereignty over their lives" was a national policy prior to 1965. DB didn't realize that everything was just swell for centuries before 1965 and that Blacks in America were always in control of their destinies. Sure there were hundreds of years when Blacks were considered property, but there wasn't anything dehumanizing about it apparently.

We'll get back to that. First, a point about Will and Steele (let's call them "Swill"): DB doesn't care what dislodged them from this joint in time. Speculation about Steele could include a theory that he was "born on third and thought he hit a triple," that he overcame so much with no help and thinks everybody else should too, or any number of other possibilities that would explain how he became so divorced from reality. But in the end it doesn't matter that it is Will writing about Steele. The message is the matter and the message is absurd and dangerous.

Also, a few words about Affirmative Action: DB has had debates with respected friends and family members who have put forth the idea that because of Affirmative Action, there are clouds of suspicion over African-American students... like those students are only there because of a hand out. DB's response? Who gives a crap?

It's the most bogus argument you could make... Sure, you grew up in a crappy neighborhood in a overcrowded school with no budget and no library. Sure, we could help you by giving you the opportunity to go to college... but it would be too unfair to make you deal with the scorn of some of your classmates. You'd be better off without an education.

Some people go to college, work hard and succeed in life. Others go there, drink a lot and drop out. The bottom line is this: Anybody who goes to college and makes something out of themselves deserved the opportunity to go there. So some losers point at a kid and say he doesn't deserve to be there. So what? Would that kid be better off with no college education? Is that better than having a bunch of 20-year-olds think less of him for a few years?

And it's not the purpose of Affirmative Action to get Joe Schmoe into college where he can have a great time. The purpose is for Joe Schmoe's children to grow up in a more enlightened household, with books on the shelves. The purpose is that Joe Schmoe's children will not be the first in their family to get a full education. The purpose is for Joe Schmoe's children to see firsthand that all they need is an opportunity, the rest is up to them.

The cloud of suspicion evaporates when people see hard work and positive results. There will always be some jackasses who will say they don't deserve to be there. Screw 'em.

Which brings us back to Swill: "If you were black, you could not be expected to carry responsibilities equal to others'." Puh-lease. That's one way of interpreting what Johnson was saying. It's just wrong. The correct interpretation is "If you were black, you could not expect to have as many opportunities to carry responsibilities."

But this interpretation only makes sense if you are unwilling to deny that problems existed before 1965. Clearly Swill is satisfied living in this dream world. How else do you explain the next two paragraphs?

So, being black conferred "an almost reckless moral authority," a "power of racial privilege." The "power to shame, silence and muscle concessions from the larger society" was black power. The demand for equal rights became a demand for "the redistribution of responsibility for black advancement from black to white America, from the 'victims' to the 'guilty'."

Hence the black militancy's proclaiming "black power" was really an exercise in the power of helplessness. It was an assertion of white power—white society's power to "take" (LBJ's telling word) blacks to social equality. Hence "black power" was actually a denial of the power of blacks to manage their own escape from an intractable inferiority.

Riiiiiight. That some were calling for "black power" had nothing to do with the fact in 1965 that there were no Blacks in the Senate and only five in Congress (none in the South). Clearly Blacks wielded significant power in America. It was entirely a denial of their own abilities to overcome adversity to call for advancement.

Also, forget about the fact that "black power" was the opposite of Affirmative Action. It doesn't matter to Swill that people like Malcolm X and Huey Newton were calling for political and economic independence for their own communities. To Swill, this is just another example of looking for a handout.

The theory of "structural" or "institutional" racism postulates a social determinism that makes all whites and American institutions complicit in a vicious cultural pattern. The theory makes the absence of identifiable adverse events in the lives of individual blacks irrelevant to blacks' claims to victimhood. Victim status is a source of endless, sometimes lucrative and always guilt-free leverage over a guilt-ridden society.

"The absence of identifiable adverse events in the lives of individual blacks?" So first Swill denies all history prior to 1965, and now there's no evidence of obstacles since then either, other than imaginary ones of their own making, of course. DB leaves it to the reader to spend the eight seconds of thought or research needed to find an example to disprove this ridiculous assertion.

Black "militants" are actually preaching militant dependency. They have defined justice as making whites feel so guilty that they will take responsibility for black advancement. One casualty of this, Steele says, has been education: "We got remedies pitched at injustices rather than at black academic excellence—school busing, black role models as teachers, black history courses, 'diverse' reading lists, 'Ebonics,' multiculturalism, culturally 'inclusive' classes, standardized tests corrected for racial bias, and so on." Reading, writing and arithmetic? Later. Maybe.

Maybe not. Not if classrooms are suffused with "a foggy academic relativism in which scholastic excellence is associated with elitism, and rote development with repression." Steele, a former professor of English, notes that "inner-city black English diverges more from standard English today than it did in the fifties."

Again, completely divorced from reality. Take the following statement: "I ripped a CD to my iMac and downloaded the MP3's to my iPod." Sounds just like something any White kid might have said in the fifties, right Daddy-O?

In Swill's world, the codification of language only happens to victims. White kids today would all be talking like the Founding Fathers if it hadn't been for that little-reported White self-victimization. When students are taught Black History it is only in lieu of math or reading. Teachers go out of their way to avoid using words and numbers when discussing Black History.

And all of this is happening because of the snowball that LBJ pushed down a hill in 1965. Before then, everything was working perfectly.

UPDATE: In case it didn't come through in DB's late-night rant, Swill's early assertion that proponents of the path LBJ chose for America are like George Wallace is laughable. People of Wallace's ilk believed Blacks to be inferior, which is infuriating and offensively wrong.

The purpose of LBJ's and ensuing Civil Rights legislation was to compensate for the loss of opportunites created by the fact that Wallace wasn't just some nut-job, but the Governor of a state. In other words, LBJ tried to mitigate the problems caused not by any shortcomings in Blacks, but by people in power who had created a playing field entirely unfair to them and for an immoral reason.

And here's Swill, represented by a party whose chairman, Ken Mehlman, even apologized last year for a national strategy that benefited from the marginalization of Blacks in America. And Swill has the audacity to pretend that the problems that exist today have nothing to do with the fact that his party has been in power the majority of the time since LBJ pushed that legislation, and they've been undermining it since that day.

Furthermore, it's just as much of a lie to claim that LBJ proponents have removed personal responsibility from the equation. That's just a strawman tactic. Is every individual going to be a responsible citizen? Of course not. But everybody deserves an opportunity.

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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The McCurry Repor(t)

Is Mike McCurry trying to outdo Stephen Colbert's character with his own absurd and uninformed arguments?

On net neutrality, I feel like screaming "puh-leeeze." The First Amendment of the Internet is under assault!

Oh yeah, how many of you lifted a finger to protect the First Amendment when the Washington Post and other "MSM" cited it to ferret out the truth about WMD and the wars inside the U.S. intelligence community over the pre-Iraq war (and now pre-Iran war)? (And don't lecture me about how they failed to do their job -- I have had Pultizer Prize winning reporters tell me that they feel intimindated and they lack public support. Of course they -- and their editors-- feel that way. Most of the blogosphere spends hours making them feel that way).

Ah! Nothing like beginning an argument by implying that people haven't earned the right to express concerns about the erosion of a guaranteed right to express themselves. If that isn't ironic enough for you, consider the spectacular irony in the fact that what McCurry is arguing against -- Net Neutrality -- is the very thing that makes it a mathematical certainty that any generalization or assumption he could have made about his audience would be impossible to defend. It's just icing on the cake that his first assumption of a blog-o-sphere audience is that it is only a minority of us who care about a free press.

If McCurry wants to talk about the Washington Post and Americans doing what we can to defend our rights, fine, he can take a good look at this chart on the Washington Post's website. He may notice that the first time since the 2004 election that the president's approval rating was eclipsed by public disapproval of him was when the New York Times reported that he's been spying on us. We take our rights seriously, despite the fact that the media is too busy appeasing the power players to get that.

DB just doesn't know what to make of this sentence: "I have had Pultizer Prize winning reporters tell me that they feel intimindated and they lack public support."

Here's a tip for all reporters: When your phone rings, look at the caller ID. If it's Ken Mehlman's phone number, don't answer it. The people who want you to "ferret out the truth" have been here the whole damned time. If you can't find us, how the hell do you expect to find out any of Dick Cheney's secrets?

As Ricky Roma said in Glengarry Glen Ross, "Your excuses are your own!"

Colbert stood right in front of 2,600 witnesses -- all of the nation's top journalists -- looked President Bush directly in the eye and pointed out he had no clothes. Then he made him sit there for 10 minutes in his naked anger, watching a video of Colbert fumbling around for his keys and backing out of a parking space.

So how did the "MSM" react, Mike? Did they realize that their intimidation is a function of their own self-image? No, they pretended it never even happened. They barely reported it. They said he wasn't "funny."

You want to blame bloggers for "making them feel that way?" Give me a break. Tell your Pultizer [sic] Prize winning friend to grow some huevos.

The Internet is not a free public good. It is a bunch of wires and switches and connections and pipes and it is creaky. You all worship at Vince Cerf who has a clear financial interest in the outcome of this debate but you immediately castigate all of us who disagree and impune our motives. I get paid a reasonable but small sum to argue what I believe. How many of the net neuts out there are honest about the financial resources and special interests behind your side of the argument? Do you really believe this is good v. evil or just an honest disagreement about what will make the 'net flourish and prosper? What do you make of David Farber's recent caution about the unintended consequences of regulating the Internet?

Well, Mike, what do you think of "The Singularity Is Near" by Ray Kurzweil? Pick up a copy and then tell us that there's anything that can stand in the way of the continued growth of the Internet.

And again, stop assuming things about your readers. You haven't got a clue what you are talking about.

Your claim that the Internet is not a free public good ignores the fact that it was initially developed with public money, has been seeded with millions of pieces of public information and those wires and switches are running across public land. Proponents of Net Neutrality aren't calling for "regulation" of the Internet. The alternative is to allow corporations to regulate it and we're not naive enough to want that.

Some of us remember what the Internet was like in 1993-1994. When people on Compuserve were in a different world that those on AOL. We don't want to go back there, no matter how "creaky" you think the Internet has gotten in the six wonderful years since Bush has been at our helm. The idea of choosing between baseball and football, for example, when you sign up with an ISP stinks. Don't think it can happen? Try listening to baseball on Sirius or football on XM Radio.

Won't it be great when you can't send an evite to all your friends for your wedding shower because some of them have gmail accounts or yahoo accounts? Won't it be fantastic when your local ISP decides what information or opinions are acceptable, in their world view, for you to see?

I am against giving the FCC and other government regulators the power to decide how the Internet will build out in the future. That is what you net neuts are for. The Internet has worked absent regulation and now you want to introduce it for a solution to what? What content is being denied? What service is being degraded? What is not right with the Internet that you are trying to cure?

That's exactly the point. The Internet is functioning as it should. Could it be faster? Yes, and it will be. Could it be available in more places? Yes, and it will be. Do corporations involved in laying the next generation of fiber optic cables deserve the right to be able to fundamentally change the Internet so that they can decide what we can access? HELL NO!

Instead, you have some myth about dangers ahead if someone actually asks (horrors!) that we pay for the billions it will take to make the Internet to work in the decades ahead? Do you want to pay or do you want to make the giant content companies that will be streaming video and data rich services to pay? I'd rather have a robust Internet that can handle the volume of traffic that we will put on it in the near future rather than an public Internet where we all wait in line for the next porno-spammer to let his content go before we get to have arguments like this.

This is not an issue where there is a progressive, pro-little guy, pro-Dem stand versus the big bad companies that pay big bad lobbyists (what a joke you think I am one of them). This is a clear disagreement on principle about what will get us the next generation of the internet that will work for all of us.

Any one want to have a rational conversation about that or do you want to rant and rave and provide a lot of May Day rhetoric that is not based in any fact?

Did you really just ask "Do you want to pay or do you want to make the giant content companies that will be streaming video and data rich services to pay?"

And then immediately follow it up with "This is not an issue where there is a progressive, pro-little guy, pro-Dem stand versus the big bad companies that pay big bad lobbyists?"

What a dreadful, insulting and poorly spelled post that was. And DB will still fight hard so that everybody on earth has a right to read it... no matter what ISP they're stuck with in their neighborhood.