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Google Warns UN Meeting Threatens Free and Open Internet
European 'Troll Toll' Ambitions Have Search Giant Nervous
by Karl Bode 06:31PM Wednesday Nov 21 2012
Google is complaining that upcoming meetings at the UN aimed to debate Internet governance threaten the free and open Internet. According to Google's take action website, Google insists that these meetings could result in global Internet regulations that increase the amount of content filtering. "There is a growing backlash on Internet freedom," warns Google. "Forty-two countries filter and censor content. In just the last two years, governments have enacted 19 new laws threatening online free expression."

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Though it's not really filtering that has Google most concerned.

There has long been a lot of hand-wringing about how the UN is trying to take over the Internet, even if a lot of those concerns are based on political hysteria, nonsense and hot air. In most instances, countries are rightfully just looking to have more input on Internet governance, instead of just blindly trusting the United States and ICANN to do the right thing -- something most Americans would agree with -- were they born on another chunk of land.

Only once in a while during any of this hysteria does somebody stop to note that the ITU has repeatedly stated they have absolutely no interest in taking control of the Internet. As it stands, these are flaky, high level discussions with nothing substantive likely to come of any of it.

That's not to say there haven't been idiotic ideas bandied about. There certainly are countries that are eager to filter content, and a fractured Internet created by disenfranchised countries could be a problem. However, the biggest threat Google's concerned about is the attempt by European telcos to convince the UN to impose rules that would force content companies to pay for network upgrades through what I lovingly call "troll tolls." This is essentially the core of network neutrality, and is simply an extension of AT&T's idiotic content provider taxation dreams here in the States.

It comes down to lazy, government-pampered monopolies trying to force somebody else to pay for network upgrades -- in the case using the apparently gullible UN as their message boy. While a lot of the crying about a UN Internet takeover is just hyperbole, there's just enough stupidity and lobbyist cash at play for these upcoming meetings to be dangerous. Google has four representatives on the 95-person delegation that will represent the United States at the upcoming meetings, more than any other private company.

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FFH
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Tavistock NJ
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1 recommendation

Money grab more than censorship

Individual countries have been and will continue to censor the Internet, no matter what the UN meeting decides. What this really is all about is to tax the Internet and set access rates just like they have done with telephone calls for decades. It is nothing but a money grab against US content companies that are providing the majority of content on the net.
--
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasury.
Kearnstd
Space Elf
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Mullica Hill, NJ
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1 recommendation

Re: Money grab more than censorship

well even US ISPs want the content providers to pay them. Pretty much everybody seems to forget that the net is only popular because it has content.

Broadband is only popular because there is content that warrants it. if video and music did not exist online there would be no real home use for it except for gaming.

the entertainment industry caused the home broadband explosion, which has now allowed the work from home explosion to be viable.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports

DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000
said by FFH:

US content companies that are providing the majority of content on the net.

Well this is definitely not true for Asia. I could be wrong, but I just can't imagine Europe getting most of its content from the US.

Maybe some Europeans on this thread can elaborate.

Sr Tech
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New Britain, CT
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2 recommendations

So what do you expect?

A socialist won a second term, in whom which loves and the UN now is taking advantage of this opportunity. The UN has been trying to take control of the internet for many years now or anything that has substantial mount of revenue that can money be made. Over the years from when the UN when was first established which countries had to abide to the laws of the originating nations. Since then countries under dictatorship slowly has "creeped in" which has corrupted the UN and it has nothing more than become a source of trying to tax nations in order so they can reap the profits from people around the world.

If you do not understand why the UN was established in the fist place, since then it has become over powered by elitists whom which to create any type of tax world wide in order that the "elitist's" can continue to play, drink and eat on your dime globally.
Kamus

join:2011-01-27
El Paso, TX

Re: So what do you expect?

said by Sr Tech:

A socialist won a second term, in whom which loves and the UN now is taking advantage of this opportunity.

Really?

norbert26
Premium
join:2010-08-10
Warwick, RI

Re: So what do you expect?

said by Kamus:

said by Sr Tech:

A socialist won a second term, in whom which loves and the UN now is taking advantage of this opportunity.

Really?

+1 Really?

N3OGH
Yo Soy Col. "Bat" Guano
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1 recommendation

Re: So what do you expect?

Next thing you know the United Federation of Planets will be hooking us into the Klingon Central Information Net, and then it's all over. We lose our sovereignty as Terrans, and our children will be viewing that filthy Klingon pornography & looking up Rokeg blood pie recipes via interstellar link.

Where's the culture warrior when you need him?

PS, how do I LimeWire the latest Klingon top 40 songs? I also want to download some Shakespeare. You've never experienced Shakespeare until you've experienced it in its native Klingon....
--
Petty people are disproportionally corrupted by petty power

Jovi
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Mount Joy, PA
Yup
CXM_Splicer
Looking at the bigger picture
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Hahaha! What are you smoking? He is probably the most corporate-friendly president we have had since Regan. People wanted a more socialist president... that was the platform he ran on and that's why he won. Unfortunately, he never came through. What people ended up doing this time was voting for the lesser of two corporate ass-kissers. I say throw the bum out and put a REAL socialist in there... someone who will bring back the New Deal X10. Move corporate tax rates back to what they were in the 60's and use the funding for infrastructure improvements.

I am not sure who these elitist dictators you mention are... can you name some of them? When you say that 'the UN has been trying to take control of the Internet' do you mean just to tax it or to properly put ICANN under international control?
Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY

Re: So what do you expect?

said by CXM_Splicer:

Hahaha! What are you smoking? He is probably the most corporate-friendly president we have had since Regan. People wanted a more socialist president...

Really? Independents voted for BHO because they wanted a more socialist President? Meaning no disrespect, I think you're viewing this issue from your own perspective, which does not line up with the bulk of the American electorate. BHO's big mandate coming out of the 2008 election was "Don't be GWB." An extension of that would be the Hippocratic oath, "First, do no harm." The fact that JSM got 47% of the vote, even with the public weariness of the GOP after GWB, and JSM's asinine VP selection, sort of belies the notion that BHO had any sort of mandate for a leftist agenda.

The mandate from 2012 is even more muddled, since the electorate decided to maintain divided Government, and BHO ran a slash and burn campaign that was light years removed from the hope and change "We're not red states, or blue states..." rhetoric of yesteryear.

said by CXM_Splicer:

Move corporate tax rates back to what they were in the 60's and use the funding for infrastructure improvements.

Corporate taxes are just backdoor taxes on individuals. Corporations transfer wealth to individuals in the form of salary and dividends, both of which are already taxed. Corporate taxes are just a cost of doing business, which is simply passed along to the customers of that corporation in the form of increased prices.

We need a serious discussion about taxes in this country, but it isn't likely to happen anytime soon. The GOP refuses to discuss any increased revenue and the Democrats cling to this foolish notion that we can solve our problem simply by increasing taxes on the wealthy. The revenue raised from their desired tax hikes isn't even a drop in the bucket towards the deficit, let alone enough for additional spending on infrastructure.

The sad truth is that tax rates will need to rise across the board, alongside massive spending cuts, otherwise we're just digging the hole deeper and deeper. Of course, "I'm going to raise your taxes while cutting your benefits" is a loser at the ballot box, even if it's what the American people need to hear.
CXM_Splicer
Looking at the bigger picture
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Re: So what do you expect?

I would say the base of his platform was 'change'. How one interprets that is definitely going to be from their own perspective but one of his main objectives was Universal Healthcare... a 'socialist' idea. Unfortunately, although he did implement it, it ended up being a very pro-corporate, multi-billion dollar gift to the insurance companies.So yes, I do think the electorate wanted to go in a more socialist direction... not necessarily to become a totally socialist nation, but to move away from the idea that Capitalism is the best thing since sliced bread.

I agree that we need to have a discussion on taxes but think if we are going to make REAL progress, we have to start where it will make the most difference. I hear a lot from conservative media about how the 47% have to start chipping in if we are going to get out of this hole and that illegal aliens getting away without paying taxes is what is killing the country. Both arguments completely miss the mark; the amount of tax revenue from those groups would be so small ( since their incomes are minuscule) that it wouldn't make a dent. Don't get me wrong, I know many people included in that 47% should be paying taxes and I am all for a realistic look at their actual finances.

I never really fell for the 'double taxation' argument; if corporations want to be separate legal entities then those entities should be tax liable. Passed on to the consumers? That is a very complicated discussion but I would say that only occurs when it is a blanket tax passed to an entire industry. Progressive or differential taxation doesn't work that way (although you will hear plenty of arguments from the corporatists that it does).

I do agree that taxation alone will not be enough. You can probably guess where I think the spending cuts should come from so I won't even go into it. I will reiterate my original sentiment though and say that the idea of BHO being a 'socialist' is delusional and ignoring of the fact that there are many real socialist ideas out there that should be brought to the table for consideration if we are going to return to prosperity.
Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY

1 edit

Re: So what do you expect?

It's not that it's "double taxation" (it is, but that's not my point), it's simply a backdoor way to tax individuals. You can tax corporate profits, but that money ultimately comes from one of three sources:

1) Increased cost for the final product, passed along to consumers.
2) Lowered salary and/or benefits for employees.
3) Lowered dividends for shareholders.

In reality all three groups will see an impact from corporate taxes. Ultimately, it's the chicken's way out of a genuine debate about taxes. Ask people if corporations should pay more taxes and most will line up and scream yes at the top of their lungs. Ask them if they want to pay more for groceries, forgo their next raise, or see money taken out of their 401(k)? Different animal entirely. Besides, the United States actually taxes corporate profits at a higher rate than most European countries. How much higher should they go?

If you want to start a discussion about taxes where it will make the most difference, it's not with the rich. Nor is it with the alleged 47%. Raising taxes on the middle class would raise a boatload of revenue, far more than BHO's desired hike on the so-called rich (so-called because it really depends on where you live, $200k/yr is a lot in Binghamton, not so much in NYC), the only reason it's off the table is because it's political suicide. Allowing ALL of the so-called Bush tax cuts to expire, combined with spending cuts, is the only way we'll start to dig ourselves out of the current hole, but I doubt anyone of consequence in Washington is willing to throw away their political career in the interest of doing what's right.

What I would like to see happen with taxes is the elimination of _all_ write-offs, deductions, etc. Retain progressive taxation but stop using the tax code for social engineering. Treat all income (earned, dividends, capital gains, etc.) the same, and tax it using income based brackets as is currently done, without all of the loopholes and deductions written in for social engineering.
CXM_Splicer
Looking at the bigger picture
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Re: So what do you expect?

The only thing I would quibble about is that your 2nd source is not realistic since those costs are passed off as a business expense and not taxed... and your 3rd source ignores retained earnings.

There are reasons why #1 is a proper place for a corporation to shift its tax burden to. Primarily to correctly pass off the portion of that burden to the users of that company's goods or services and not have the rest of the state or country subsidize them. The same holds for #3; 401ks & company profits should not be artificially 'boosted' by the rest of the tax payers. It also has the effect of encouraging small business over mega-conglomerates until, that is, the conglomerates start rewriting the tax code.

Personally, I would be fine with my taxes going up (I pay about 30% right now) as long as the defense budget was cut to 10% of its current value and ALL the people who make more than I do paid progressively (percentage wise) more than me.
Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY

Re: So what do you expect?

said by CXM_Splicer:

The only thing I would quibble about is that your 2nd source is not realistic since those costs are passed off as a business expense and not taxed... and your 3rd source ignores retained earnings.

They all interrelate to a degree. If you're a CEO, faced with the choice of raising prices or not giving your people raises, which will you pick? Keep in mind that you may be faced with foreign competition that is already operating at an advantage, because they don't have to meet the strict labor/environmental standards that you do. Corporate taxes come out of those three sources, period. Retained earnings is a fair point, though eventually the shareholders will demand them to be paid out, or they'll wind up invested back into the company.

said by CXM_Splicer:

Personally, I would be fine with my taxes going up (I pay about 30% right now) as long as the defense budget was cut to 10% of its current value and ALL the people who make more than I do paid progressively (percentage wise) more than me.

For better or worse the United States gets to play the role of world policeman. The Middle East is a good example, we spend untold amounts of treasure (and blood!) to stabilize that shithole, when we don't even rely on it for our oil! It's a myth that the US is dependent on Middle Eastern oil, most all of our oil comes from the Western Hemisphere. So why do we give a shit about that part of the world? Because other great powers _are_ dependent on Middle Eastern oil. Two of them (Europe and Japan) are major allies, while others (China and India) are geopolitical adversaries that _nobody_ wants to see intervene in the region.

The rest of the world bellyaches about our geopolitical role, but there is no other country or even a plausible combination of countries that could take our place. Slash DoD by 90% and we won't be able to meet any of the commitments we've made, other great powers will rush in to fill the vacuum, they'll start to compete with one another, and the existing international order will come crumbling down. The nightmare scenario is a world of fragmented great power alliances similar to Europe prior to WW1, where a seemingly insignificant event was enough to spark a war that nobody wanted. Said war claimed millions of lives, dragged on for many years, sucked in every great power, and set the stage for a nastier conflict a generation later. Now imagine that geopolitical mess with nukes, cyber warfare, and other 21st century weaponry....

I'll accept our massive defense budget given the possible alternative of another World War, which we would wind up getting sucked into anyway, since we've never been able to live up to Washington's ideal of staying out of foreign entanglements.
CXM_Splicer
Looking at the bigger picture
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Re: So what do you expect?

You certainly bring up relevant points but you somehow fail to make the leap to the solutions. Paying employees a living wage and giving them raises is a tax benefit that most large corporations choose not to take advantage of despite real and measurable gains they will receive. So be it, you can't force (and I don't propose forcing) a corporation to do that. However, you CAN insist that the playing field be level. It is hypocritical to have labor and environmental laws for your country then proceed to violate them somewhere else. The solution is simple: Phase out trade with countries that refuse to abide by comparable labor/environmental standards. Many people (the ones who profit from this exploitation) will be quick to respond with 'Well, it is too late now... the cat is already out of the bag.' I disagree with that dismissal and say we CAN and SHOULD take those steps. Not in a manner to burn bridges but to assist with better ways of doing things.

I am not really sure what 'international order' you mean, I see nothing but news of unrest, war, terrorism, and misery. There are very good arguments that claim US imperialism is a major contributor to this unrest. There is also a strong possibility that we spend that much on defense so we can take on the world if necessary. The world has made great progress since WW1 and MANY things that would have started wars are now settled through diplomacy. The problem is that the US cannot seem to get out of the business of Nation Building for the sake of turning the world into one giant United States. Why... stability? Sure that is one reason... more cheap labor and new business opportunities too. Venezuela comes to mind... a country that democratically elects a socialist president is a major thorn in the side of the US... to the extent that the CIA foments a coup for his removal. Why... stability again? Sorry, I don't buy that.

If the US is really interested in world stability, it should be less concerned with forcing its ways on other countries and more concerned with diplomacy. The UN would be the 'proper' agent for this diplomacy and for adoption of international laws which would be binding to the members (such as the labor/environmental standards mentioned above). Many in the US are unwilling to give up our hegemony in favor of fairness... they feel our way is the best and there is no reason for us to change. I can't say that a controlling UN wouldn't just be a larger version of a bloated, ineffective federal government but I can say that policing (Americanizing) the world is both immoral and too expensive.
Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY

Re: So what do you expect?

said by CXM_Splicer:

The solution is simple: Phase out trade with countries that refuse to abide by comparable labor/environmental standards. Many people (the ones who profit from this exploitation) will be quick to respond with 'Well, it is too late now... the cat is already out of the bag.'

It's not just robber baron CEOs that profit from this "exploitation". Virtually every household in America is addicted to cheap imported goods, be it those cheap Chinese toys you just bought the kids for x-mas, or the new iPhone you bought yourself. How do you propose to shift 300,000,000 American consumers out of this mindset?

said by CXM_Splicer:

I am not really sure what 'international order' you mean, I see nothing but news of unrest, war, terrorism, and misery. There are very good arguments that claim US imperialism is a major contributor to this unrest.

I don't view our actions as Imperialism. We do look out for our own (perceived and real) economic interests, but every country on the planet does that. We're just better at it than most, though the other veto wielding members of the security council are certainly in the same league. In spite of our self-interest, when you take our foreign policy as a whole, we are a force for global stability, and in spite of our many faults there is no other country that could take our place on the world stage.

said by CXM_Splicer:

The world has made great progress since WW1 and MANY things that would have started wars are now settled through diplomacy.

The world hasn't made any "great progress". Nuclear weapons are the only reason that we haven't fought WW3, they made total warfare too horrible to contemplate. The UN is a pathetic joke, just as ineffective as the League of Nations, and exists primarily as a place for diplomatic contact and intrigue. Mind you, that's a good thing, and I certainly don't advocate withdrawing from the UN, but let's not kid ourselves into thinking that humanity has some sort of giant leap towards world peace.

said by CXM_Splicer:

Venezuela comes to mind... a country that democratically elects a socialist president is a major thorn in the side of the US... to the extent that the CIA foments a coup for his removal. Why... stability again? Sorry, I don't buy that.

Would this be the same President that shutters opposition media, intimidates and arrests members of said opposition, and amends the Constitution so he can be President for life?

said by CXM_Splicer:

The UN would be the 'proper' agent for this diplomacy and for adoption of international laws which would be binding to the members (such as the labor/environmental standards mentioned above).

The same organization that puts countries like Libya and Iran on human rights panels? The same toothless organization that has been powerless to prevent genocide that occurs right under its nose?

said by CXM_Splicer:

Many in the US are unwilling to give up our hegemony in favor of fairness... they feel our way is the best and there is no reason for us to change. I can't say that a controlling UN wouldn't just be a larger version of a bloated, ineffective federal government

No nation in the history of the world would voluntarily give up its "hegemony" in favor of "fairness" (however you define that!), nor would any sane American citizen get behind a policy that would give the UN actual control over our lives. What would a "controlling" UN look like in your mind? How do you define human rights when a majority of the world isn't free? What of rights that are unique to America, like the right to keep and bear arms, or the right to engage in speech that isn't protected anywhere else? A "controlling" UN would be a race to the bottom where human rights are concerned.

said by CXM_Splicer:

but I can say that policing (Americanizing) the world is both immoral and too expensive.

I don't like paying for it anymore than you do, I just don't see another country that can take our place on the world stage.
CXM_Splicer
Looking at the bigger picture
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Re: So what do you expect?

said by Crookshanks:

How do you propose to shift 300,000,000 American consumers out of this mindset?

Well, first you are assuming that other countries would refuse to update their regulations when faced with American business withdrawal or international mandate. Second, if they do refuse, American consumers will simply buy what is available to them.

said by Crookshanks:

I don't view our actions as Imperialism.

Well we are going to have to disagree on that and I am aware that many Americans (and probably the majority of the world) also view our actions as imperialism. And while you continue to profess mid-east security, you fail to acknowledge that much of the unrest in the middle east is caused by American interference. Your position of 'needed security' would be a little more believable if it weren't for the fact that American business is profiting immensely from these wars.

said by Crookshanks:

The world hasn't made any "great progress". Nuclear weapons are the only reason that we haven't fought WW3, they made total warfare too horrible to contemplate. The UN is a pathetic joke, just as ineffective as the League of Nations, and exists primarily as a place for diplomatic contact and intrigue. Mind you, that's a good thing, and I certainly don't advocate withdrawing from the UN, but let's not kid ourselves into thinking that humanity has some sort of giant leap towards world peace.

I disagree, we have made great progress (although I never said a 'giant leap') and you must know that, on more than one occasion, WW3 was almost started because of nuclear weapons. The League of Nations was pathetic because the US refused to join.

said by Crookshanks:

Would this be the same President that shutters opposition media, intimidates and arrests members of said opposition, and amends the Constitution so he can be President for life?

Well, lets see: Chavez (who I am talking about) won despite the corporate media running their own slanderous smear campaigns which he continues to let operate... arrested the conspirators of the coup who didn't run to the US (now there's a surprise) because they had broken the law... and was just re-elected in an open and monitored democratic election system which Jimmy Carter called 'one of the best in the world.' So no, I don't think we are talking about the same president. Some people have a hard time with the fact that he told capitalism to go to hell.

said by Crookshanks:

The same organization that puts countries like Libya and Iran on human rights panels? The same toothless organization that has been powerless to prevent genocide that occurs right under its nose?

Interesting... 'pathetic joke' and 'toothless organization'... I wonder why? Contemplate that question as you read your own next statement:

said by Crookshanks:

No nation in the history of the world would voluntarily give up its "hegemony" in favor of "fairness" (however you define that!), nor would any sane American citizen get behind a policy that would give the UN actual control over our lives. What would a "controlling" UN look like in your mind? How do you define human rights when a majority of the world isn't free? What of rights that are unique to America, like the right to keep and bear arms, or the right to engage in speech that isn't protected anywhere else? A "controlling" UN would be a race to the bottom where human rights are concerned.

In one breath you call it a pathetic toothless organization then in the next you claim people would be insane to actually give it teeth. There is a BIG difference between giving up all sovereignty for UN control and agreeing to abide by international law and treaties. An American right to bear arms would have no effect on Canada's right to ban them... why should it? I have seen nothing to suggest that a controlling UN would be a human rights race to the bottom... quite the contrary, it would be an immense benefit to human rights if the UN actually had some teeth.

said by Crookshanks:

I don't like paying for it anymore than you do, I just don't see another country that can take our place on the world stage.

Fact is, we simply can't afford it. It has been bankrupting our country for too long and I (and many others) are not willing to sacrifice needed expenditures at home in favor of some distorted view of 'security'. If the rest of the world is unable (or unwilling) to contribute then we will have to accept a less US-controlled middle east in order to fix our own problems first. We could probably even get away with cutting it to 5% of its current amount for a year or so.
Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY

Re: So what do you expect?

said by CXM_Splicer:

Well, first you are assuming that other countries would refuse to update their regulations when faced with American business withdrawal or international mandate. Second, if they do refuse, American consumers will simply buy what is available to them.

If they do as you desire the cost of their goods will go up and American consumers wouldn't buy them. Your idea is a non-starter, protectionism is never a good idea, we have treaties that preclude us from doing as you desire, and the majority of the American electorate would never accept a policy that would increase the cost of their goods for the benefit of a small slice of the population.

Bringing our trading partners out of poverty is the best way to fix the inequality of global trade. Imposing first world labor/environmental regulations on a third world country will accomplish nothing, other than ensure that they remain in poverty indefinitely. The current course of action is the correct one, trade with them to assist with the creation of wealth and the building of a legitimate middle class. They will in turn demand the same environmental and labor protections that we've fought so hard to earn.

This is work of generations, not something that will be accomplished overnight. Make no mistake though, it will be accomplished, and the world will be better off for it.

said by CXM_Splicer:

The League of Nations was pathetic because the US refused to join.

Every Great Power of the day was a member of the League of Nations, and yet it was still completely ineffective. American membership would have made no difference, the United States was not a serious geopolitical power in those days. The US Army in 1939 was smaller than that of Portugal, Britain and France still controlled most of the world, and in spite of the membership of every significant military power the League still failed in its mandate to prevent war. What did the league do to help the Ethiopians when Italy attacked? The Finns when Stalin decided he needed more land? The Chinese when Japan decided to conquer them? It did nothing, except hem and haw, which is exactly what the UN does, albeit with a bigger microphone.

said by CXM_Splicer:

In one breath you call it a pathetic toothless organization then in the next you claim people would be insane to actually give it teeth.

Yes, we would be insane to give it teeth. Teeth would imply having the ability to impose its will on every country on the planet, otherwise they aren't really teeth, are they? The fact of the matter is that the majority of this planet is not free, and I'm not prepared to give teeth to an organization that gives oppressive countries an equal voice to my own. I doubt you could find one vote in the US Senate to do as you desire, never mind sixty-seven votes, and for that I am grateful.

said by CXM_Splicer:

If the rest of the world is unable (or unwilling) to contribute then we will have to accept a less US-controlled middle east in order to fix our own problems first.

You simply don't understand history or the current geopolitical situation. The Middle East is only one example, I could have listed examples from every region of the planet where American power (both soft and hard) acts as a stabilizing force. Asia comes to mind, what do you suppose happens if Japan renounces Article 9, as she would have to do in order to protect her vital interests, but for the alliance with the United States? Do you suppose China might have something to say about that? Do you think the resulting arms race would actually be a net force for good?

said by CXM_Splicer:

We could probably even get away with cutting it to 5% of its current amount for a year or so.

You don't have any friends who are military members or who work for defense contractors, do you? Setting aside the geopolitical discussion, since we're never going to see eye to eye on that, what do you suppose would happen to the American economy if you saw your desired defense cuts? I don't advocate limitless defense spending, nor do I advocate foolish defense spending, I'm just enough of a realist to know that we aren't likely to adopt Washington's non-interventionist ideals. We fulfill an important geopolitical niche, and on balance we're a net force for good.
CXM_Splicer
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1 edit

Re: So what do you expect?

You are right about one thing, we are not going to agree. IMO, your views are over-simplified and assuming. Holding our trading partners to higher standards could raise labor prices but not to the extent where people would stop buying goods. And it most certainly is not 'protectionism'... very far from it. Your insistence of lack of UN power is far closer to protectionism. Bringing them out of poverty!?! Yes, that's what American corporate spin doctors like to say but whom exactly? The workers at Foxconn who commit suicide?

I am not making an argument that we should turn over all power to the UN, I am simply stating that the UN (and the League) are a joke because they are given no power. You can't compare what they could do with power to what they do now... apples and oranges.

What would happen to the American economy with Defense cuts? What is happening to it without them? The difference is that with the cuts, we will be reducing the biggest drain on our finances.

I am very much the realist too and I know that the things I talk about here are not going to happen in my lifetime considering the current direction of both parties. That brings me back to my original post... Obama is about as much a socialist as Regan was, the OP is smoking something.
Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY

Re: So what do you expect?

said by CXM_Splicer:

Bringing them out of poverty!?! Yes, that's what American corporate spin doctors like to say but whom exactly? The workers at Foxconn who commit suicide?

That's exactly what's happening. China is slowly building a middle class, whereas before she had hundreds of millions of people who lived in rural poverty. She still has a lot of those people, but she is making progress. Like I said, this is the work of generations, it will not happen overnight, but it will happen.

Since you called my views 'over-simplified', I'd point out that you seem to have a very anti-capitalistic world view that few people would concur with. Capitalism is the best thing since sliced bread, IMHO. That does not mean I'm anti-regulation, far from it, in fact the first thing I'd attack if I was dictator for a day would be the "too big to fail" financial institutions. The TBTF concept undermines the very core of capitalism, but that's a discussion for a different day.

Churchill said, "The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessing. The inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of misery." That quote sums up my world view.

said by CXM_Splicer:

What would happen to the American economy with Defense cuts? What is happening to it without them? The difference is that with the cuts, we will be reducing the biggest drain on our finances.

Entitlements are a far bigger drain than defense spending, and we can't even discuss fairly sensible things like raising the retirement age, when it has not even come close to keeping up with increased life expectancies. Social Security was never envisioned as taking care of someone for 30+ years, but that's very often the case these days. In reality, both sides of the political spectrum will have to attack their sacred cows if we're going to make any progress. Entitlements AND DoD need to be reformed. Taxes NEED to be raised across the board. Spending NEEDS to be cut.

said by CXM_Splicer:

That brings me back to my original post... Obama is about as much a socialist as Regan was, the OP is smoking something.

No, he's most certainly not a socialist. He's deeper in bed with Wall Street than any President I've ever seen. Hell, Mitt Romney of all people attacked him on the aforementioned TBTF problem during the first debate, but it went largely unnoticed in the press. Dodd-Frank codified TBTF into law, and set the stage for the next trillion dollar bailout of the banking industry. It won't happen right away, but I'd bet money you'll see it within the next decade or so.

BHO is relatively far to the left on the American political spectrum, which would make him a centrist in Canada or Europe, so there's that, but I would concur with you that the people who call him a socialist have no idea what they're talking about.

For what it's worth, I respect your views and your willingness to engage in this dialogue. We've gone around a few times in the past, will probably do it again in the future, and you're one of my favorite posters around here, even when we don't agree. I also have a tremendous amount of respect for your profession, your colleagues at Verizon (and Frontier) have bailed me out of jams more times than I can count over the course of my career.
CXM_Splicer
Looking at the bigger picture
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join:2011-08-11
NYC
kudos:2

Re: So what do you expect?

said by Crookshanks:

No, he's most certainly not a socialist. He's deeper in bed with Wall Street than any President I've ever seen. Hell, Mitt Romney of all people attacked him on the aforementioned TBTF problem during the first debate, but it went largely unnoticed in the press. Dodd-Frank codified TBTF into law, and set the stage for the next trillion dollar bailout of the banking industry. It won't happen right away, but I'd bet money you'll see it within the next decade or so.

BHO is relatively far to the left on the American political spectrum, which would make him a centrist in Canada or Europe, so there's that, but I would concur with you that the people who call him a socialist have no idea what they're talking about.

For what it's worth, I respect your views and your willingness to engage in this dialogue. We've gone around a few times in the past, will probably do it again in the future, and you're one of my favorite posters around here, even when we don't agree. I also have a tremendous amount of respect for your profession, your colleagues at Verizon (and Frontier) have bailed me out of jams more times than I can count over the course of my career.

I very much appreciate your kind words and your ability to remain civil when debating opposing viewpoints (seems to be rare around here ) I also respect your views and don't consider them unreasonable, 'fringe', or wrong... just different than mine. It is easy to sit around, only with people you agree with, and nod in unison at every oration. It is far more productive to engage in conversation with someone who has alternate (or opposing) views, after all... they have their view for a reason.

For the record, I wouldn't consider myself anti-capitalist; I see our finest days as a mixture of capitalism and socialism... to me, that is the best system. I see many of our problems today as a result of our system slowly shifting more and more towards capitalism. I actually agree with most of your points; for instance, it is undeniable that we are slowly building China's (and others') middle classes, but I think there is a bigger (less pretty) part of picture that is often left ignored. That's what I meant by 'over-simplified'.

Thank you for the interesting exchange and, yes I am sure we will go around again sometime. Have a nice day.
Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY

Re: So what do you expect?

I see the same problems as you, though I attribute them to a shift in culture more than an imbalance of capitalist/socialist thinking. The instant gratification culture invades every level of society, from the credit card swiping Soccer Mom, to the "next quarter" CEO, to the "next election" politician. Nobody plans for the future anymore, few are willing to go without today so they can have more tomorrow. Why save when you can buy it today on credit? Why worry about the company five years from now when you're fully vested in a year and have a golden parachute? Why tell the voters a hard truth when you can lie and ensure re-election?

The excesses of capitalism are syndromes of our diseases, but capitalism itself is not the cause, IMHO.

Lone Wolf
Retired
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join:2001-12-30
USA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Online DSL

1 recommendation

said by Sr Tech:

A socialist won a second term, in whom which loves and the UN now is taking advantage of this opportunity. The UN has been trying to take control of the internet for many years now or anything that has substantial mount of revenue that can money be made.

+1 True!
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Another 4 years of Hope and Change.
The rich will still get richer and the poor get an Obamaphone and Food Stamps. lol
megarock

join:2001-06-28
Catawissa, MO

Re: So what do you expect?

"The rich will still get richer and the poor get an Obamaphone and Food Stamps. lol"

It's actually a Bush phone. Try research instead of posting what Faux News taught you to post.
ErikRP

join:2004-11-06
Winnipeg, MB
Reviews:
·Shaw
Obama's a socialist? In what world?

If the global political spectrum was a foot long, mainstream American politics - which speaks for 95% or more of Americans - would represent about a quarter inch. The United States political system is one of the least diverse. I mean really, two parties? Each of which steal each other's policies regularly, and they're supposed to represent 300 million Americans?

Worry less about the UN and more about your own system of government.

ARGONAUT
Have a nice day.
Premium
join:2006-01-24
New Albany, IN
kudos:1
Turn off fox news. You'll be better informed.

Sarick
It's Only Logical
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join:2003-06-03
USA
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·Frontier Communi..

1 edit

2 recommendations

It started here.

USA is where the internet started right, It should be the freedomnet.

UN control is just another way to take freedoms from the US people by taking away the constitutional rights inside the USA. If the laws allow all internet to be regulated by united nations they'll SUPERSEDE the constitution rights of free speech, freedom of religious expression etc.

n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

1 recommendation

Re: It started here.

I wholeheartedly agree! The rest of the world conveniently "forgets" that the United States invented the Internet. No one stopped any of them from creating one and giving it to the world. Frankly I think any country that has a problem with the free and open Internet should go and build their own closed network and figure out how to connect it, if they so desire, to the rest of the world. In the meantime; UN - HANDS OFF THE INTERNET!
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I support the right to keep and arm bears.

linicx
Caveat Emptor
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join:2002-12-03
United State
Reviews:
·TracFone Wireless
·CenturyLink

Hahahaha!

It is not about sharing information. It is not about politics.
Google is worried its snooping will be terminated. It is whether or not the globe's biggest tattle-tale will be permitted to continue to use various devices to accidentally collect private information and still be able to tell the world. Personally I hope it gets shut down.

Every government including America has an obligation to protect its citizens from harm. This certainly includes content providers, surreptitious snooping devices, attempts to gain access to government property, attempts to harm the world's citizens, and questionable content.

No country on earth needs permission from others to manage its own virtual electronic infrastructure as it sees fit. Money is an excuse. If the governments wanted to do something there would be a no-cap, fair use, one-tax, Internet Policy in place that would stop corporate gouging for gain.

Don't worry; be happy. It will never happen.
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Mac: No windows, No Gates, Apple inside