Democrats & Liberals Archives

Net Neutrality for a Flourishing Internet

Yesterday I wrote about the COPE bill in the House that will blast net neutrality, or the idea that communication carriers should be absolutely neutral - have nothing to say - about content on the Internet. Without net neutrality, telecoms will have tremendous power to block activities of individuals, corporations and organizations. Because the possible consequences of the COPE bill are so dire, I want to offer a few examples of what may happen.

Any kind of blocking will hurt the wonderful freedom of action the Internet offers. I remember back in '94 or '95 I received an email message from a fellow in China, who asked permission to quote something - I forget what - I had written on my website. "Wow," I thought. "This Internet is a powerful medium!"

Today this cannot happen. Why? Because the Chinese are blocking messages from the free world, especially those about democracy, freedom and human rights. We, therefore, know it's possible to block messages on the Internet. We also know that prominent corporations, such as Google and Microsoft, help the Chinese in the blocking.

The COPE bill, by not specifically endorsing net neutrality, will enable communication carriers to block Internet sites and messages for economic and political reasons.

Perhaps a telecom will divide the Internet into 2: a fast and a slow. Those who pay more get onto the fast road, or "toll road superhighway" and those who pay less get onto the slow road or ghetto area. In addition to many other bad effects, this will reduce innovation.

Today it's easy to start a business on the Internet. You can build a nice website for very little money. Advertising takes a little more money, but not a tremendous amount as was required BI (Before Internet). In very little time you can be up and running and presenting to the world your new idea. However, without net neutrality, the telecom operator may increase your fees and make it more expensive for you to get started. One reason for doing this may be to stymie competition. Your innovative business would be blocked.

Anticipation of transmission of movies via the Internet is one of the drivers of this legislation. Telecoms say that transmitting movies takes more broadband capability than the text and pictures that have been prevalent up to now. They want more money to maintain a more tech-savvy infrastructure. They are entitled to the money. But this does not mean that they should be allowed to play favorites either through a toll road or through a clever fee structure.

If telecoms are allowed to transmit their own movies, naturally they will make it hard on all their competitors. The same is true if they make a deal with a studio. Access to that studio's products will suddenly become easier than to competitive studios.

Blocking may even occur for political reasons. Assume a Democrat attacks a telecom company for gouging or for something else. The telecom company would be in a position to block the Democrat's blog. I have a blog, and if the telecom in control raises my fees, they could get rid of my blog.

You can see from the last example that democracy is in danger. Give a powerful company the power to block sites and messages on the Internet and you give that company power to wound our democracy. This is too much power to give a corporation whose prime motivation is making money.

Tell your congressman or congresswoman that net neutrality must be guaranteed in order to maintain a flourishing Internet and a flourishing democracy.

Posted by Paul Siegel at April 25, 2006 7:12 PM
Comments
Comment #143126

If you drink three beers, you might expect to pay more than if you drink one. If you want to travel during peak time or peak seasons, you expect to pay more. It is fitting and proper to charge differential rates based on different sorts of uses.

You are mixing up two different points. Just like the airlines can charge you more to travel to Europe in May than in February, Internet carries should be able to charge you more or less depending on when and what you get.

On the other hand, as a common carrier. they have no right to play favorites with customers.

So your point that providers should not discriminate based on content is valid. That they should not differentiate based on price is not.

Posted by: Jack at April 25, 2006 7:44 PM
Comment #143134

It should be billed the same way electricity is. The more you use the more you have to pay for.

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 25, 2006 8:40 PM
Comment #143162

Why put such power in the hands of a few corporations. They are not required to uphold the constitution. If its in their best interest they will censor the content (Viacom and Southpark as 1 example). Instead let the internet be owned by we the people. Yes the states not the federal government. Let the ownership of the internet pay for welfare etc..then taxes could come down.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 25, 2006 10:44 PM
Comment #143178

Jack:
“So your point that providers should not discriminate based on content is valid. That they should not differentiate based on price is not.”

Arg!!! Oh Jack, it’s so typically plutocratic of you to want to make the internet into a class-based society.
Depending on how much people pay I suppose we should now have an upper, middle, and lower class? Should we also expect this to mean that the upper class will somehow find a way to get the best and fastest service whenever they want, while making the middle pay for their share of the rates, and as usual, the poor can expect to be sh*t out o’ luck?
On a side note (and I sincerely don’t mean to offend you), doesn’t it ever bother you a bit that you automatically tend to break down so many issues in your posts into matters of dollars and cents? Why must everything have a variable pricetag in order for you to approve of it? Just curious.

Paul,
Nice post. I’m currently finding it very amusing to discover the range of companies who are now joining forces to keep the internet a level playing field of Net Neutrality.
The smorgasbord already includes: Craigslist, the United Church of Christ, MoveOn, Gun Owners of America, Center for Digital Democracy, Afro-Netizen and Game Overdrive to name but a few. I found them on this website, listed on this Coalition Page.
Isn’t it just a rare delight when people of so many varying positions can find a way to all wholeheartedly agree on something together? :^)

Posted by: Adrienne at April 26, 2006 1:36 AM
Comment #143181

Timely and important topic, Paul.

I see where one Republican will propose to tax the internet but, not propose any neutrality in his bill. Appears the forces of censorship are going to be attacking from two different angles.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 26, 2006 1:48 AM
Comment #143183

I think it should be free.

Posted by: adria at April 26, 2006 2:16 AM
Comment #143194

True that internet fees should be counted in a way the the more you use, the more you pay. Wait!
That’s already happening (atleast in the Netherlands). For example; you can take the €15/month package which has a download speed of 1 mbit and has a datalimit of 20 gb, or you can take the €40/month package which gives you 4 mbit download speed en no download limit (of course there are more packages).

About the censorship; funny you take China as example because democracy sites ARE NOT censored there and most censorship happens on porn and violence. A while ago I saw a post on a weblog which was speaking about a google video clip which was vieweble in Europe and the rest of the world (including China) but wasn’t vieweble in the U.S. Guess where it was going about. Jup, the Iraq war. In the clip you could see marines blowing up an building which had nothing to do with ‘war on terror’. Oops!

Posted by: Ouwe at April 26, 2006 4:09 AM
Comment #143198

I do too adria.

Posted by: Einghf at April 26, 2006 4:56 AM
Comment #143200

The internet needs to remain a neutral medium for communication, free from all government & corporate control. It is because of it’s independence that the internet has been as sucessful as it has.
Entertainment companies have to change their business models in order to compete in the digital age and political groups must not be able to censor political communications which are in contrast to their own. If governments and corporations are able to vet the internet then it will signal the end of this powerful medium.
I read an article in “Wired News” a while back where they addressed this very issue. In the article they we’re talking that the EU might create their own version of the internet, so even if this stupid bill gets passed, there are work arounds to this issue, but it would mean the destruction of the internet as we know it.
It’s also very saddening that companies such as Google and Yahoo are giving in to the Chineese government and censoring the interent for the Chineese people, and it’s a practice that must stop. I believe that if the Soviet Union was still around then Google, Yahoo, and the other communication companies would be vetting the internet for the Russians.
Whether governments, political groups, and corporations like it or not, the internet is democracy in action!
LEAVE THE INTERNET ALONE!

Posted by: Mike Ajitsingh at April 26, 2006 6:06 AM
Comment #143207

@Mike Ajitsingh
Since when internet is democracy in action? Ever since the existence of internete there are lies on it. Sometimes I think there’re more lies than truths. By the way; Google is also censoring or the U.S., so it’s hypocrit to only call China as a censoring country (most of the censored content is porn and violence, as I said before).

Posted by: Ouwe at April 26, 2006 7:52 AM
Comment #143224
If you drink three beers, you might expect to pay more than if you drink one.
It should be billed the same way electricity is. The more you use the more you have to pay for.

Beer and electricity are both products that are produced and consumed. The electric company creates the electricity and sells

it to us. The internet isn’t electricity. The telecoms aren’t producing the internet to sell to us, they are simply providing

a gateway to the products and services out there. The problem here is that the products and services on the internet compete

with the services the telecom themselves offer, so they have a financial incentive to prevent access to these services as they

did in Madison River.

On another note, I haven’t heard anyone say that consumption of beer, or having a vibrant beer community is beneficial to the

overall economy. We are already dealing with a decline in innovation here in the US, and now we’re talking about limiting and

putting road blocks in the greatest platform for innovation we have.

Since when internet is democracy in action? Ever since the existence of internete there are lies on

it.

In any democracy there are lies, look at the Bush administration. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a democracy. And by and large,

the internet tends to weed out it’s own falsehoods. Look at systems like Wikipedia. Anyone can go in and find inaccurate

information and correct it themselves.

While there may be a democracy correlation with the internet, I tend to look at the free market aspect, I mean, isn’t that

what this nation was really built on? Anyone can get out there and start a business. The good ones succeed or are absorbed

into other businesses and the bad ones fail. The market, we the consumer decide who will succeed or fail. Now you throw in the

telecoms. They want to be the only ones to offer voice communications, so they block our access to services such as Vonage. Or

they may get an attractive incentive from company A to restrict access to company B’s website. This isn’t the free market anymore, this is a small group of companies deciding for themselves which internet companies will or won’t survive. What if this happened in the media? What if television and advertising outlets received an incentive from Company A to prevent Company B from advertising their product? Would this constitute a problem?

THe problem with the internet is that these actions are much harder to prove. A telecom doesn’t need to completely restrict access to company B’s website, they just need to decrease the speed of the connection between Joe Public and Company B’s website enough to frustrate Joe Public into jumping over to Company A because their site is faster and more efficient.

And even if it is proved, what than? What options do the consumers have? We all have to wires coming into our homes that can carry the internet, one is cable, the other is telephone. Those are our only options for internet access.

And for those who say this won’t happen, well, look at the Madison River case. It already has happened. And if this isn’t the ultimate plan, than why are the telecoms fighting so hard to prevent a Net Neutrality bill to begin with?

Posted by: Grant at April 26, 2006 10:29 AM
Comment #143225

I appologize for the formatting of my last entry, not sure why that happened.

Posted by: Grant at April 26, 2006 10:30 AM
Comment #143231

In the US there are already different levels of service based on what you are willing to pay.
Dialup
DSL
standard Cable
high speed cable
deifferent levels of business class cable
T1
T3
OC3
OC12
OC36
OC64
etc.

why should someone that needs a dial up connection pay as much as the person needing the OC64 connection?

Posted by: SirisC at April 26, 2006 10:47 AM
Comment #143232

One other item to note. I haven’t looked at statistics in the last couple of years so things may have changed recently, but last I saw, internet usage in the UK, in fact all phone usage, was charged on a per minute scale like the US cell phone industry. Because of this, internet usage in the UK was exceedingly small, people would jump on for a few minutes here and there to check email, but it wasn’t nearly as lively or active as here in the US. On the other hand, mobile phone usage in European countries is much higher than the US. A couple of reasons for this are they all work on one common standard, and most importantly, only the person making the call pays for minutes. Unlike the US, the recipient of a call doesn’t use minutes.

Just two different philosophies, two different ways of looking at the same business. The question we have to ask ourselves is just how important is the internet and the philosophy of the free market to the US economy as a whole? Are we simply looking at the short term profit margins of a couple of telecoms or the long term effects of the US de-evolving into the way the UK works.

Posted by: Grant at April 26, 2006 10:50 AM
Comment #143237

If Telecom gets its way, how long before backdoor access operations begin. America has always been big on blackmarkets…

Posted by: Marysdude at April 26, 2006 11:49 AM
Comment #143251

Common Cause has an easy tool to let you contact your Congressman on this issue. Check it out at

www.commoncause.org/StopCOPE.

Posted by: Dawn at April 26, 2006 12:26 PM
Comment #143276
If Telecom gets its way, how long before backdoor access operations begin. America has always been big on blackmarkets

It’s already started. I heard this great story just last week. Cable modems have a cap built into them limiting the amount of bandwidth any one modem can use at a given time. This guy found a way to bypass this cap, giving him basically all the bandwidth he could possibly want. Unbeknownst to him, he also ended up sapping the bandwidth from his entire neighborhood. His buddy who was with him decided he was going to head home and try it himself. By the time he got home, less than an hour later, there was a message on his machine from the first guy warning him not to bypass that cap because the cable company had already tracked him down and shown up on his doorstep threatening legal action. This was less than an hour after the cap was removed.

So yes, the battle between do it yourselfers and the cable/telecom companies has already begun, but keep in mind, the cable/telecom companies have a lot more powerful tools now to watch what you’re doing.

Posted by: Grant at April 26, 2006 2:12 PM
Comment #143293

Grant-

It’s no secret that the cable companies monitor bandwidth. If you’ve ever run ZoneAlarm or other firewall you will see the continual hits from their network management software. That’s because of the precise issue you noted (all users within a node share the bandwidth).

Posted by: George in SC at April 26, 2006 2:50 PM
Comment #143298
If you drink three beers, you might expect to pay more than if you drink one. If you want to travel during peak time or peak seasons, you expect to pay more. It is fitting and proper to charge differential rates based on different sorts of uses.

You are mixing up two different points. Just like the airlines can charge you more to travel to Europe in May than in February, Internet carries should be able to charge you more or less depending on when and what you get.

Not really, the internet is different. If I pay for a 1.5 mbps DSL connection, that means I should be able to access it whenever I want, and download as much as I want with it. The fee is for 1.5 mbs of bandwidth for unlimited usage. The analogy is false.

The US actually has terrible internet quality compared to the rest of the world (you can google it). Other countries for example have 100 mbps internet. In Korea I hear you can get gigabit speeds. That would be more than a hundred times faster than what you’re getting.

This is because in South Korea, the government led a major initiative to make it the most wired country in the world. The US (under the GOP) just protects a few greedy monopolies and allows them to get away with pretty much whatever they want. This is one example of how the GOP thinking that “Private industry can do no wrong, Government can do no right” is incorrect.

The real solution for delivering video through internet connections is to increase the actual bandwidth (to make the US on par with other countries). Violating net neutrality is just a way for the telecom companies to say they’re improving their networks, without really doing anything (and at the same time scamming us all into giving up more money).

Posted by: mark at April 26, 2006 3:06 PM
Comment #143301

Maybe you should ask AL GORE what he think’s since he invented the innernet!!

Posted by: saying at April 26, 2006 3:14 PM
Comment #143305

SirisC:

In the US there are already different levels of service based on what you are willing to pay. Dialup DSL standard Cable high speed cable deifferent levels of business class cable T1 T3 OC3 OC12 OC36 OC64 etc.

why should someone that needs a dial up connection pay as much as the person needing the OC64 connection?

Posted by: SirisC at April 26, 2006 10:47 AM

Oh my gosh!! Don’t let Adrienne know, or she’ll have to go on a rant about how unfair it is that someone who pays only for dial up doesn’t get the benefits of OC64. Its not the person’s fault that they don’t pay for it; its society’s fault for not providing the person with the desire, intelligence or money to do so.

Posted by: freddie flintstone at April 26, 2006 3:28 PM
Comment #143311

freddie flintstone,

I imagine this may put a furrow your prominently jutting brow, but your post displays a rather primitive ignorance of my political views.

Posted by: Adrienne at April 26, 2006 3:58 PM
Comment #143371
Maybe you should ask AL GORE what he think’s since he invented the innernet!!

Posted by: saying at April 26, 2006 03:14 PM

Time for (yet another) Edumacation for “saying”:

“The Internet” was originally a loosely-configured series of Nodes run by DARPA (that’s the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency, for them whom donut know). It was really to let Universities and Think Tanks doing work for the DOD to communicate with the Pentagon and Area 51 and such. It was accessed via TelNet, generally.

Fast-Forward now to the point where Private BBS’s and Usenet Groups have expanded CyberSpace into something more than Military. The world is on the verge of the GUI revolution and it’s only a matter of time before Commerce (and Porn, shich is also Big Business) takes over the `web. DARPA and the DOD want to restrict their Pet Project the same way they wanted to restrict GPS - which they also created - and keep it solely for themselves. [play the Dark Empire theme from Star Wars here]

Enter Al Gore. “Father of the Internet.”

Because what he (and a handful of other legislators) did was truly Heroic: he ensured that You, “saying” - and everybody else - would have a Free, Open Internet which could be accessed by The People for whatever purposes they wanted to access it for. Gore and his Merrie Crew fought off the DOD, and enabled you to spread your ignorance far-and-wide, so that even distant tribesmen in Borneo could see what a Know-Nothing Twit you are.

Isn’t that Special?

Oh, and, by the way: Al Gore has never claimed to have “invented” the internet.

http://www.firstmonday.dk/issues/issue5_10/wiggins/#w6

What he did was to lead the way in creating it as the thing you see today.

`Got any other Ignorant Lies you want to put forward, to help prove my hypothesis about Conservatives being either Evil or Stupid or Both.

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 26, 2006 8:29 PM
Comment #143398

Adrienne:

Should we also expect this to mean that the upper class will somehow find a way to get the best and fastest service whenever they want, while making the middle pay for their share of the rates, and as usual, the poor can expect to be sh*t out o’ luck?

I think I understand your political views just fine, my dear. It was no surprise that you resorted to an attempted slander of my physical appearance; nay, my intelligence as a means of retorting. I expected nothing less, and nothing more.

Posted by: freddie flintstone at April 26, 2006 11:20 PM
Comment #143446

>>I think I understand your political views just fine, my dear. It was no surprise that you resorted to an attempted slander of my physical appearance; nay, my intelligence as a means of retorting. I expected nothing less, and nothing more.

Posted by: freddie flintstone at April 26, 2006 11:20 PM

Are you saying you actually LOOK like Fred Flintstone? Adrienne had it right…

Betty,

Spot On about Gore and the internet…

Posted by: Marysdude at April 27, 2006 7:41 AM
Comment #143545

freddie flintstone:
“I think I understand your political views just fine, my dear.”

You presume too much — and wrongly so.
And, I’m not your “dear”.

“It was no surprise that you resorted to an attempted slander of my physical appearance; nay, my intelligence as a means of retorting. I expected nothing less, and nothing more.”

No sense of humor, eh? My reply was intended as sly commentary on your Stone Age persona. Nothing more or less. As for the intelligence of your post directed at me, well, it’s true that I don’t believe that snarky attacks conote a great deal of intelligence. Rather, they seem to beg for equally snarky replies. I always try to be creative with mine — in order to entertain, rather than annoy serious debaters in this blog.

Posted by: Adrienne at April 27, 2006 1:17 PM
Comment #143578

Adrienne:

A polite suggestion then. Try harder.

Posted by: freddie flintstone at April 27, 2006 3:02 PM
Comment #143627

“Adrienne:

A polite suggestion then. Try harder.”

Oh, all right. (Never let it be said that I didn’t have the ability to amuse a Neanderthal.) How about a little alliteration?
Paleolithic postings provide preponderances of proof of primate progenitors. Perhaps “piss off” is the perfect parry of a proclamation!
There. I don’t see why that shouldn’t cause a Stone Age troll to smile until he soils his fur-covered diaper.

Buh-Bye, freddie!

Posted by: Adrienne at April 27, 2006 4:32 PM
Comment #143637

Adrienne:

Well done, my….whoops, almost did it again. Didn’t mean to offend you by calling you “my dear” earlier…just a figure of speech.

I did smile over your efforts. You should do all your work in alliteration.

Posted by: freddieflintstone at April 27, 2006 4:54 PM
Comment #143678

Nasty Nazi nabobs neither know nor notice noble Notions nor Natures: crusty Conservative curs consistently comprise Criminality, causing calamitous corruption contaminating comity.

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 27, 2006 6:14 PM
Comment #143695

Beautifully biting, Betty Burke.

Posted by: Adrienne at April 27, 2006 7:33 PM
Comment #143742

Adrienne, Betty casts democratically effervescent feelings, granting her ideosynchratic jackass* knowledge, losing most notions only per quarrels. Really, she takes umbrage very well, xuding youthful zeal.

* jackass used in fun to describe the symbol of the Democratic party. And because I needed a “j” word :)

Posted by: joebagodonuts at April 27, 2006 11:11 PM
Comment #144006

And the topic was what?

I have always found Google useless, I prefer to use
http://www.alltheweb.com/ , although dogpile is also very good.

Posted by: ohrealy at April 28, 2006 9:02 PM
Comment #144041

o’r: Google is okay if you use the Advanced Search, with your Filters set to “None” and your Results set to “100.”

Joe: what you have (attempted) is the opposite of Alliteration (trust a Conservative…)

Also, the words “ideosynchratic” and “ xuding” - like the word “nookewlur” - only exist inside the dark, cobwebbed confines of the Conservative “Mind”.

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 29, 2006 12:06 AM
Comment #144095

Betty:

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Since you’ve probably come to not expect flattery from me, I didn’t want to disappoint you. So I avoided alliteration, and simply chose to go abecederian (http://www.spinelessbooks.com/table/forms/alliteration.html)

It took great skill and wordsmithing to come up with a statement that made even the remotest sense using the letters of the alphabet in order.

By the way, idiosyncratic is in fact a word, though I mispelled it accidentally. Xuding …well, that one I mispelled on purpose, using poetic license to keep with the alphabet theme (I thought it was obvious by that time, but sometimes subtlety is a harsh mistress).

Wordsmithing is an idiosyncrasy of mine, as apparently is subtlety :) Well, maybe not subtlety!

Posted by: joebagodonuts at April 29, 2006 6:28 AM
Comment #144117

Betty Burke,
thanks for area 51 and I love your alliteration.
I still have not had any luck posting more than one link, so here is the link for
http://www.dogpile.com/
I have used this meta search engine for years. Their best results usually came from fast.com, which later became alltheweb, so I started searching there directly. I have entered quotations that I could not place, and gotten results with an entire script, or lyric, or book.

Posted by: ohrealy at April 29, 2006 10:52 AM
Comment #144232

Joe:

Zealously, your xenophobic world view unmasks the shamelessly repugnant qualities permeating Orthodoxy; no loving kindness judiciously informs hatred garnered from evil dictatorial Conservative bellicosity -

- And -

bias, correspondingly disgraceful, ever forgets great historical improvement: justice keeps labouriously marching nobly onward, persisting quixotically - resisting servile, traditional, unimaginative viewpoints welcoming xenodochial Yokel Zabernism.


There, I’ve said it.

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 29, 2006 8:57 PM
Comment #144246

Betty:

Well done!!

Excellent job of imitation. I’m flattered.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at April 29, 2006 10:20 PM
Comment #144450

Joe:

If I ever want to imitate a RightWingNut, I will:

1.) Carefully ingest an entire Loaf of WonderBread and an entire Bottle of Tums.

2.) Wash it down with an entire Bottle of Vodka.

3.) Wait until the Vodka takes effect, then begin hitting myself on the head with a Rubber Mallet until I have killed off enough Neurons so as to be unable to pronounce the words “Nuclear” and “Subliminal.”

4.) Cloyster myselv in a Montanna Cabbin whair my ownly electrifical appleey- appie- doodad iz a TV sett on Foxx Noos forevver.

5.) Taik my shootin iren an kil me sum hippees and sum a them peesnics an kweers an peenko joo furrinurs wat dun roond the gud ol USA!

Yeehaw!

Posted by: Betty Burke at May 1, 2006 2:31 AM
Comment #144470

Betty:

Pretty funny post.

I wasn’t suggesting you were imitating a rightwingnut—I was simply showing how you imitated ME. And I am flattered. I don’t know if it was intentional or subliminal, but it was imitation and appreciated.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at May 1, 2006 7:31 AM
Comment #144628
I wasn’t suggesting you were imitating a rightwingnut—I was simply showing how you imitated ME.

*Snicker*!


P.S.: If you can’t tell the difference between “Imitation” and “A Brutal Ass-Kicking,” then you need more help than I can give you!

(But I suspect you can.)

LOL!

Posted by: Betty Burke at May 1, 2006 6:24 PM
Comment #144752

Betty:

Thou doth protest too much. It’s okay—I saw your imitation. I provided a string of alphabetics, and then you followed suit. You did a fine job of it too, even going so far as to do it backwards as well. A nice touch.

But still imitation.

And I’m still flattered.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at May 2, 2006 7:49 AM
Comment #144872

LOL! I see, so: anytime there is a Competition involving Competitors taking turns at something, the Winner is merely “imitating” the Loser.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAhahahahahahahahah!

You just tell yourself whatever you need to, sweetie - the sting will go away one of these days…

Here, might I suggest this link to you? Maybe it’ll help.

;o)

Posted by: Betty Burke at May 2, 2006 4:28 PM
Comment #144935

Betty:

I didn’t realize you thought of this as a competition. I thought of it as just being for pleasure. I guess I misjudged you on that aspect.

I don’t feel the need to be competitive about this sort of thread, where the comments were just kinda silly. I mean, writing alliteratively or abecedarian really is just for fun, isn’t it? I thought it was, but I guess it was a competition for you. My bad—I just didn’t realize.

The only real point I’ve made is that once I wrote in an abecedarian manner, you followed suit. I call that imitation—-you call it competition. I guess it just doesn’t matter to me which you want it to be, but if its all that important to you, we’ll call it a competition and declare you the winner. I don’t mind losing this kind of thing, especially when its all in fun.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at May 2, 2006 9:48 PM
Comment #145330

I simply cannot support government intervention into the internet without good reason. The internet has thrived because of a lack of such things. Why bring them in now over a phantom issue?

Posted by: pkp646 at May 4, 2006 9:59 AM
Comment #145332

I too am opposed to any sort of government intervention. I say let the free market work itself out on this issue. In the end it will be better for the consumer.

Posted by: Stevens at May 4, 2006 10:00 AM
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