Monday, December 7, 2015

Climate Conundrum


One scientist says the earth is heating up and another says it is cooling off. Ten, a hundred, the numbers in each camp are not important. One camp says man is causing global climate change and another says he is not capable of doing it. Within the camp saying man is not responsible is the camp saying the planet is not becoming warmer any more so than normal cyclic variations. Opinions range widely whether the alleged changes are imminent or long term. Much like the philosophical question of the glass being half empty or half full, many clever answers have been recently proposed.

We can argue and debate and call names over which climate model is more accurate and whether all of the causes have been identified and quantified, but we cannot deny the ancillary damage caused by the mining and use of any of the fossil fuels we use today.

One proponent of fossil fuels charges that a climate hoax is being perpetrated in order to deny developing nations their ability and rights to develop. He further alleges a second motive is to be able to obtain financial academic grants from anti-carbon governments who will only fund research compatible with their own agenda.

In the end, the issue is not so much one of fossil fuel usage in general but one of its extreme overuse. Just look at Beijing, China to see what happens when too much coal is burned in a given region. It is possible that Mt. Etna is belching more carbon into the air than are the Chinese in Beijing, but the coal smoke is chocking the citizens of the city. Indonesian wildfires have the neighboring Malaysian city of Kuala Lumpur socked in with smoke.  Indonesia had for weeks failed to put out the annual fires from slash-and-burn farming that shrouds their neighbors, Malaysia and Singapore. Granted that trees and surface brush is not exactly a fossil fuel, it does contribute to environmental degradation without adding significantly to overall atmospheric carbon.

Coal

The City of Pittsburgh, PA, USA was once nicknamed "the Smoky City" for its midnight-at-noon lighting due to the coal fired steel industry in the 1945. The Environmental Protection Agency took measures to clean up the industry and the city. On October 31, 1948 a temperature inversion trapped industrial smog in the riverside town of Donora situated a few miles south of Pittsburgh. Seventy people died in a matter of days. Hundreds more suffered long term heart and lung damage.

Digging coal out of the ground via shaft mining has left millions of coal miners globally with massive lung damage from breathing the coal dust. Thousands of miners have died in tunnel collapses. While the miners and their families did need the paychecks, it has always been the mine owners who reaped the profits from the consumption of human labor. It the USA the need for coal in essentially limited to electricity production and a few smelting mills that remain. Elsewhere in the world, ordinary people want to continue to burn coal for cooking and dwelling heat.

Massive industrial scale strip mining of coal is big business. Far fewer miners are needed and the mine owners get a larger profit on their investments. Neighboring indigenous people must tolerate the dust, noise and truck and rail traffic in and around their neighborhoods so that someone might be able to have electricity which could have been produced without the collateral environmental damage.

The argument that people in developing countries need grid-based electricity generated by a utility company is a fiction, since most of them cannot afford the price, the distribution lines won't reach their remote areas either. They are far better served by a small local source of electricity.

Coal is by no means clean. High grade anthracite might burn better and with higher BTU output but coal still contains heavy toxic metals and Sulphur. The metals remain in the resulting ash while the Sulphur is burned off in the exhaust and chemically reacts with sunlight and water to produce Sulphuric acid, aka acid rain. The ash that remains may be a smaller volume than the original coal, but it still needs to be "properly" disposed of.

Most coal ash is washed into containment ponds by water transport from the furnaces and held there until a bigger pond is needed. Many times the pond is use right up until "nature" causes it to fail and the ash is conveniently transferred to the river or lake adjacent to the power plant.

Ironically, the carbon in the coal may only be a minor player in the overall environmental degradation.

Natural Gas

Recently there has been significant improvements in a speculator's ability to coax natural gas out of the ground. Hydraulic fracturing that was invented by Floyd Farris and refined by J.B. Clark has been used since 1947 with varying success. Contemporary Fracturing processes have employed large quantities of industrial chemicals and sand to accomplish the propping open of the fracture zones in the deep rock strata.

While industry representative assure the public that hydraulic fracturing is safe when properly performed, the operative work there is "properly."  First, there is never just one drill bore. There must be dozens of them. Two, every producing well need to be connected by a pipe to a central processing site where the gas is compressed and delivered into a transmission pipe.

In the US most of those pipes are buried in order to be less controversial. In developing lands, there is no moral imperative to preserve the landscape or the functionality of the land on which ordinary people need to live.

Well bores are lined with casings to conduct the gas to the surface. While these casing may be intact when placed, there is nothing to assure they will remain so. Tens of thousands of capped wells and other non-production wells leak methane into the air every day. While the quantity of greenhouse gas leaking into the air and its impacts on global climate may be disputed, what cannot be disputed is the damage to human, and livestock health the odorless, colorless and tasteless methane does.

When multi-million dollar speculators get their way and drill, frack and pipe the gas everyone around them must pay the price with their health and lower property values. 

When a driller pumps toxic materials suspended in water at 18000 PSI deep into the earth, the pressure will vent somewhere. Many times it vents into aquifers and other groundwater locations where people have wells to get the water. They are poisoned by the fracking fluids.

Seismic Consequences

The hydraulic fracturing process is one where extreme pressure is applied to the well bore to open cracks in the rock strata. By definition that is a miniature earthquake. While we may not feel it, it is still there. Once the rock movements reach about 2.3 on the Richter scale, human can feel the quakes. Thousands of small earthquakes have been registered in the fracking fields of Oklahoma and northern Texas. There is a connection. There will be a bigger quake one day. It will cause largescale damage in the area which has not ever had earthquakes before and the buildings are not resistant.

Oil

If the process of drilling for and pumping crude oil out of the ground or from deep water bores was clean and efficient there would be little to say about the impacts on the people and the land around the wells. Everywhere there is drilling for oil there is an environmental disaster.

Texaco created environmental damage of monumental proportions in Ecuador. Chevron took over the operations and now is being saddled with an $8 billion law suit.  The oil companies did just as they pleased to get the oil and disregard all the people who lived nearby and on the land.

Royal Dutch Shell has polluted the Niger Delta with spills and industrial grade landscape degradation. Large swaths of land and waterways are completely choked with spilled crude. Dozens of pipelines crisscross the land and villages with zero benefit accruing to the people who live there.

British Petroleum had the world's greatest oil leak into the Gulf of Mexico when the blowout preventer itself blew out and leaked uncounted barrels of crude into the Gulf. Such events may be creating far greater consequences than the carbon in the fuel.

Transport

There are hundreds of thousands of miles of gas and oil transmission line in the USA alone. There are daily bursts and leaks that pollute the earth in ways that cannot be corrected by man. Nature will have to be the agent to clean it up over time.

We move oil by train car tankers too. They have a dubious safety record like the pipeline system.

When All Is Said And Done 

There are far more deleterious impact of the fossil fuel production and use than just carbon-dioxide it the air. When you add together all the negatives you get a paradigm of energy usage that is both too expensive and too dangerous to our long term enjoyment of this planet we call home.

Tuna! is a metaphor for the buying and selling of everything without regard for the consequences. 

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Author's Note: The book cover images in the side margins of this blog are my own publications of eBooks available at both Amazon and B&N. Please take a moment and go to the sites and read about them. Then if you like it, buy one or two.

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Art of Outrage and Amplification

The Art of Outrage and Amplification

I don't like what you said about me! Your comments are hurtful not only to me but every other me in the world! We are all shocked and dismayed that you are so insensitive as to say what it was that you said! Furthermore, your apology is not welcome. It is too late for that! There is nothing you can say or do that will appease the outrage we all feel about your words.

I make no apology for what I did that you didn't like. I was and always will be absolutely blameless in what I do. I have Right on my side. I did what I was trained to do and I did it. If someone else did not understand the situation, that is not my fault.

These and other scenarios play out every day on the world stage. This stage has gotten much larger since the advent of the Internet with Twitter, YouTube, blogs and personal social networks. What may have never have reached the light of public consciousness can get there even before the echoes of a gunshot have fully subsided. What might have taken days or weeks to bubble to the surface and burst into daylight now rushes us to comment and opine in real-time without careful vetting or the ramification of our words.

As a mere peon in the grand scope of published words, I can say anything I want to say and 99% or more of the country will never know I even exist much less opined about something I thought. If I were Aston Kutcher with a million Twitter-ites hanging on my every Twit, I could outrage half the population of the country in seconds with 140 characters or less. Those million Twitter-ites include news outlets that echo his words and can carry them to a far wider audience through cable news shows and other entertainment television programs .

If I were the President of the United States and I made an off-handed remark that anyone was anything for any reason, I could actually ignite a global conflagration. Once the initial statement is made, it is there forever. Even as the sound waves fade away there are they who keep chanting the and replaying those words to keep them alive for the goals and objectives that they themselves support.

It is a two part response. Take offense the personal affront and then declare that since you are no different that all these other people, the affront applies equally to them. Now the game is afoot. There is an offense and a defense just like in football. However, the measure of the effectiveness of the defense is measured by how much collateral damage can be piled up between the offense and the QB. In this game the QB is the one who was maligned and the offense is the person who made the remarks. The collateral damage is all the people who were drawn into the game through the Amplification process who had no reason to be there or involved.

This Game is just another Tuna Scheme. It trades on the lives and livelihoods of ordinary people who never should have been involved. The wounds run deep and are not easily healed. The scars likewise remain visible and serve as a reminder of the Game.



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Author's Note: The book cover images in the side margins of this blog are my own publications of eBooks available at both Amazon and B&N. Please take a moment and go to the sites and read about them. Then if you like it, buy one or two.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

What You Don't Measure, Doesn't Matter?

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Congress has drafted Bills and have attempted to pass them into law that bars the use of Federal money to conduct Gun Safety Research. They already have stopped the CDC from research and using the classification of gun violence as a Public Health issue. Some Republican state Legislatures have prohibited Primary Care Doctors from inquiring about guns in the home.

Of course in order to do research on any subject one must state a hypothesis then set up a methodology to gather data and evaluate it. At the end, the hypothesis is either proven or is not proven. The results may also prove some other outcome that was not originally considered and more research needs to be conducted, data collected and a new report written.

A lot of times lay persons will make an assertion that flies in the face of logic and reason. Such claims about guns, their numbers, who has them and what they do with them are bandied about without and substantiation. Those claims typically come at the behest of a benefactor who either directly paid for the endorsement or enlisted a volunteer mouthpiece to carry the baton in the relay race. Case in point is the National Rifle Association. The NRA receives the lion's share of it funding from the gun manufacturers to be its "civilian" mouthpiece even though it claims 4.5 million $25 memberships.

Mark Wilson - GETTY IMAGES
Wayne LaPierre
National Rifle Association chief executive Wayne LaPierre, is the mouthpiece for the gun manufacturers. If his and the NRAs motives were to support and represent its alleged human membership, they would be actively promoting gun safety, sensible laws that limit the spread of guns throughout all levels of society, and other activities to lessen the impact of the alleged right of every American to possess and carry guns anywhere, anytime they choose. Instead he and the NRA work tirelessly to maximize the sales of new guns into society.

The NRA lobbying against gun safety research merely entrenches the political notion that "what you don't measure, doesn't matter."
By keeping the research from being conducted they can maintain that "nobody really knows what the truth is or what the solutions are." The tobacco Industry used that approach to obfuscate the realities of the death toll of tobacco use on smokers and and the people around them. 

The leaded fuel lobby used that same approach in trying to stop the prohibition of the sale of lead gasoline additives. The Hydraulic Fracturing Industry is using that approach to continue to drill deep holes in the ground and pumping a toxic cocktail of chemicals while claiming that there is no proof that they are poisoning groundwater, and if they are it is not all that bad. The list of offenders goes on and on.

The gun lobby is really concerned that we will uncover the evidence and prove the hypothesis that unfettered gun sales is the cause of tens of thousands of deaths each year and millions of serious injuries. Otherwise they would welcome the research and the results.

While correlation doesn't prove cause and effect, there are some striking statistics that demonstrate that only some people should have access to a gun.

25% of adult in the USA will suffer at lease one bout of serious depression.
20% take one or more anti-depressant prescriptions drugs.
There are over 40 different prescriptions drugs to take for depression.
Gun violence rates haven't changed in a decade, but a new study by UC Davis reveals that as firearm homicide rates have dropped, suicide rates have increased by a like amount.  Suicides outnumber homicides by 2 to 1.


The prohibited research would further identify the inconvenient truth that people want guns to kill themselves. Right now, the cause and effect relationship is backwards. It is not people who buy guns end up killing themselves, but people with suicidal tendencies buy guns for that purpose. Likewise people who are abusive to partners don't buy guns to defend themselves, they buy guns to intimidate people. Just look at the number of times a murders claims he or she was just trying to scare the victim. That is typically the set of event on road rage killings. No road rage killer has ever thought to himself, "I'm going to kill someone to day on my way to work." Well, maybe they have, but the research has not been done.

Here is another one. Women are far more likely to be killed by a domestic partner than by anyone else. Was it the woman who bought the gun that killed them or was it their partner? Gun sales statistics suggest that it was the men.

Gun sales manufacturers and sales outlets DO NOT CARE what their products are used for or by whom as long as they made the sale. Guns are for buying and selling without regard to the consequences. THAT is the very definition of TUNA! in the parlance of this blog. It is all Tuna! is the economic philosophy that is used by everyone who wants to make a dollar at the expense of everyone else.

"I thought you understood that guns are for buying and selling not shooting people."


Rep. Kay Granger is another of those people who doesn't want the evidence to see the light of day. Her proposed legislation would block federal funding of gun violence research like it was not important to the health and safety of tens of thousands of already shot people and the hundereds of thousands who will be shot in the next few years.

This is a lot like the Governors who banished the use of the phrase "climate change" in order to keep it from happening. The US Congress has also banned government funded scientists from advising the congress and bill writers about their specialties and the findings they have made. The GOP majority legislatures have been trying to draw parallels among climate researchers and among gun safety researchers to the idea that the science is a theory much as they have with Creationism and Evolution. All three arenas are critical to the long term sustainability of mankind on this planet.
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Saturday, May 16, 2015

TPP and Economic False Flags


Governments throughout history from monarchies to dictatorships, Communism to Democracies, have staged the reasons for war in order to promulgate that war when there was scant support for the war in the first place. Many times the simmering resentments, the disenfranchisement and cultural discrimination are present but there is no spark to set off the pent-up rage that will eventually burn down some part of the world. While the seeds of revolution may already be in the people, there must be a match to light it up. This is where the propaganda machine comes into play.

Creating that spark is the occupation of the founders and leaders of what is to come. They may set off the fighting by winning a decisive first battle. They also may engender popular support by being the victim of a heinous attack against which no patriot could sit idly by and not throw full support and resources into the defeat of the enemy. In military circles this initiating act may be a false flag event, or it may merely be a "willfully neglectful" lapse in ones defenses that "could not have been anticipated." The false flag event is one where one stages an attack on one's self in order to elicit popular support. The Gulf of Tonkin naval attack that brought America into French Indo-china (Vietnam) is alleged to have been such an affair. One may also just lean back and allow a first volley to set in motion the gathering storm such as the allegation of the September 11, 2001 attack on New York and the Pentagon. There is always the risk that the initiating events become greatly out of hand, as with the female Forest Service officer who went into the woods to ostensibly to "burn letters from her estranged husband" and touched off a major wildfire conflagration in Colorado.

"A love letter went terribly wrong in the 2002 case of Terry Barton, a U.S Forest Service Worker, who burned a letter from her estranged husband, which caused a massive wildfire that burned 138,000 acres outside of Denver and destroyed more than 100 homes." www.firelineschool.com
The two varieties of causative acts are the false flag and what Naomi Klein refers to as "Disaster Capitalism" in her book, "The Shock doctrine." The latter maneuver may also be staged but is more prominently opportunistic in nature.  The people who seek to benefit from the "disaster" don't have to dynamite the dam to get the results they seek when they only have to curtail funding of the dam inspection agency until the dam fails of its own decay. Then they also limit funds for rebuilding the government dam while calling "government dams" inefficient and wasteful of taxpayer dollars. After all just look at what just happened to that dams. Now the way is paved for a privately financed dam and revenues from its placement going to the investors. Does this sound very familiar recent politics?

Government schools. Defund public education and create magnate schools run by corporations. Local school boards can delegate their community responsibilities to the profit makers who will indoctrinate the children in the ideals of the corporate mentality that is consumerism and don't rock the economic boat.

Defund Amtrak, that government railroad that is inefficient and wasteful of Congressional grants. With the lack of proper funding service quality and safety will degrade to the point where it will be more desirable to shut it down.

Defund government Social Security and turn it over to the financial sector who is "far more efficient in investment strategies" and will do a better job.

Kill Medicare and Medicaid and let people choose for themselves what coverage they want and can afford. Never mind that most people cannot afford any coverage at all.

Privatize municipal water supplies and wastewater treatment because the pipe infrastructure is so old and in need of neglected maintenance that only a for-profit business could ever make it right.

Sell National Parks and let concessionaires develop services, attractions and amenities. First Congress must under fund the existing system while declaring that the budget will not support such continued funding.

Make laws that are specious in the first place, will have plenty of people breaking them, develop minimum sentencing requirements, and then under fund the existing prisons. After creating the demand and showing that government prisons are dangerous and inefficient, put out contracts for corporations to line up investors to build prison cells and run the penal system to maintain shareholder value by having mandatory minimum occupancy.
A recent move has been started to privatize Air Traffic Control in the US.

The strategic approach in the dominant Republican Congress is to incrementally strip the Federal government of operating funds by enacting tax cuts all over the place. While some lower income strata will benefit, the greatest beneficiaries are the most wealthy people and corporations. Without necessary revenues the Federal agencies and administrations cannot do their essential jobs of protecting the lives and health of American citizens. Once it is established that the government system is "broken" the profiteers step in to save the day.

There are far more examples of this use of false flags in economics than has been presented here. Each passing month Congress comes up with yet another use. The development of the Trans Pacific Partnership is just one more example. The premise goes like this.

The United States needs to be able to export its goods to countries where labor is so cheap that they will manufacture everything they need domestically. They impose tariffs and duties that make US products uncompetitive. They manipulate their currencies to make their money more valuable and the Dollar less. We want to stop those tariffs and onerous foreign laws that hinder our corporate profits. We want to be able to bypass their uncooperative governments and go directly to their courts for monitory remedies. And when I say "we" I really mean a major multi-national corporation.

Part of the trouble with this TPP is that foreign corporate entities can do the same to us. They can sue for lost income if a town refuses to let them extract mineral from under their real estate. They can sue for damages if a state shuts them down for polluting rivers. They can sue to remove costly safeguards for public health or demand reimbursement for the cost of compliance. This set of conditions is weighted heavily in favor of companies that engage is dangerous processes and don't really care about the "externalities" to their core business activities.

Every other trade agreement that the United Stated has sign on to has served to diminish our position, our employment, our wealth in favor of the very few at the top of the economic heap. These trade agreement have never benefitted US labor or ordinary middle class citizens. All the messaging says that the plan is good, the plan is right, but we have yet to see that be true.

The extensive agenda of Republican legislatures all across this country is one of making it possible for investors to make their money on more and more aspects of our daily lives. This is not unlike the Tuna Schemes that are the essential topic of this Blog. It seems that corporations have reached some limit to how much revenue they can squeeze out of their traditional endeavors and now are moving farther into new territory. One only has to look at Coca-Cola and Pepsico to see that they need to open the bottled water market, the vitamin water, Smart Water market and energy drink market to find a way to continue to expand their enterprises even as the drinking of caramel-colored sweet fizzy water has plateaued.


Friday, May 1, 2015

Gun Manufacturers Know Precisely How Many Guns Are Sold to Inappropriate Buyers

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Gun Manufacturers know precisely how many guns will be sold to inappropriate buyers including those who will use the gun to commit suicide.  This is why they so strongly oppose background checks and competency criteria for gun ownership.

Since gun suicide is a one shot deal, the buyer of the gun will not be a brand loyal customer who comes back for more weapons.  Two-thirds of gun deaths are suicides.  This amounts to 27,000 deaths per year.  Over a ten year period that is at least 270,000 guns sales.  If a person with major depression or any psychiatric institutional intervals were denied a gun purchase, just on the basis of suicides, they would lose those sales.

One in eight Americans are consuming one of more prescriptions for their depression and 25% of adults will experience at least one major depressive episode in their lifetime.  The availability of a gun in their household is a significant contributor to them becoming a suicide statistic.

The gun manufacturing industry is actively working against solutions just like the tobacco industry did for decades before the Legislature freed itself from the bonds of financial duty for the funds they took to influence their votes.

Automobile manufacturers resisted seat belts, turn signals safety glass and collapsing steering columns for years until Congress got serious about the carnage on out highways with  numbers as high as 54,000 deaths per year.  The mid-1960s saw the introduction of several mandatory improvements: seat belts, collapsing steering columns and padded dashboards.  Highway deaths plummeted after the high in 1972.  All indicators show that regulation, laws that govern behavior, and improved hardware design reduced the death toll AND the collateral disabling injury level that automobile collisions exacted.

We all get wrapped around the axle about the gun deaths but neglect to consider that there are millions of serious gun injuries, such as Gabrielle Giffords, Senator Bradey, and all the targets of mass shooters who wound a person without necessarily killing him. Those lives are inextricably altered too.  Their dollar cost to society is far greater than the deaths.  A gun shot victim may need $100,000 or more in services to survive and be rehabilitated.  Nobody can foot that kind of bill alone so We The People pick up the tab.

Gun ownership might have been an easy thing 100 years ago, but today the world is different and gun owners must come to terms with the exercise of their rights and recognize their responsibilities.

If every gun owner was a responsible law abiding citizen, then we would not be having this discussion today.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

What a Fracking Waste


Floyd Farris invented the process that is known as hydraulic fracturing, aka Fracking, in the 1940s. This Texas man started a boom in the ability of energy companies to extract more gas and oil from their wells than could be had without this process. Since the first commercially viable well in 1950 , the popularity has skyrocketed. By 2010 there are nearly 500,000 wells drilled in the USA.

Before the wild shale Boom years that started in 2008 Engineers, Drillers, speculators and the entrepreneurs knew about the realities of drilling and hydraulically fracturing the bedrock. They knew that there was going to be huge amounts of water needed to process the wells. They knew that there would be huge quantities of waste water produced from the wells that would be highly toxic. They knew that there would be hundreds of thousands of tons of cuttings that needed to be processed and permanently stored somewhere. While the Geologic Engineers suspected that what they were doing to the underlying rocks could produce seismic instabilities, there was no manifest incidents to prove that damage would be done.

On paper every well drilling site looks fabulous. It is neat and clean and meets all the specifications as determined by the Engineers. However, time, nature and entropy have a way of turning the best laid plans... astray. While the drill casings are new and pressurized they typically hold up as designed. But 5 years later the whole story has changed. The materials age the ground shifts, the production process concentrates on getting the gas and oil out of the ground at a cost that is below the selling price of their commodity.

Even with highly Engineered procedures in place, the nature of hydraulic fracturing makes it a dangerous industrial land use. Because the hazards were not stoppable the monied supporters of the fracking industry acted to exempt their activities from the Clean Water Act, clean air provisions, and sought to strip the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) of its authority to regulate the hydraulic fracturing industry.

The basis of not having the EPA provide regulations of hydraulic fracture drilling operations was that each drill site within a single state. State oversight was deemed to be sufficient to protect the rights of the state. The driller speculators exploited that concept while convincing state level auditors that they were acting in the best interests of the state so no one needed to be too diligent in checking up on the activities. Drillers made wastes "go away" by spraying it on highways, using it for irrigation, and re-injecting it deep underground. None of these methods actually solve the issue of toxic materials. They are only spread over larger and larger areas under the principle that "Dilution is the solution to pollution."

The bottom line is that if a driller was required to properly handle their wastes and remediate their sites after they are done, the cost of their gas and oil would be far too expensive for the market. The only way for them to make a profit and create shareholder value is to cut all the corners and not care about the damage they do to people who are not sharing in their prosperity.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Why US Broadband ISPs are Mediocre

In many parts of the world the availability of high-speed Internet connections are far faster than in most of the United States. There is a reason for this disparity that will shock some ISP subscribers and make others say "Well, yeah."

In most of the world the internet is a tool. It is a tool for banking, getting the news that TV, Newspaper and Radio media do not publish. It is a tool for reaching out to each other and spreading the word of struggles and politics and it is an avenue to educate the populace. They need and demand connectivity and they get it from the socially minded ISP regulators that also want the speed and quality to be superior.

In the US, the Internet is a toy. We play phone games, and games of conquest that consume a great deal of bandwidth. We watch our movies as streaming content rather than having to pick up a DVD or wait to have it delivered in the US Mail. Much of the content that is pushed through the Internet pipelines is entertainment. While there are some financial transactions being made, the ISP providers have little incentive to provide any greater bandwidth and speed than is necessary to meet the low expectation of the American consumer.

US Telecomm companies are first and foremost money pumps. They seek to increase subscription levels and manage churn over quality and speed. They seek to serve only the markets that are profitable such as urban locations in our cities. Rural areas just don't meet their profit-making expectations and are summarily dismissed as a service area. They invest only as much capital at it takes to get an area serviced at the minimum level accepted by the consumer. when there is so little real competition, the customer has little choice than to accept the mediocre service and complain to each other.