Saturday, November 17, 2012

Newslinks: November 17th, 2012

So let's talk a little about monopolies.  The US government supposedly has a system in place to stop monopolies, and they do.  And it works (on occasion, ask AT&T).  However their system looks at the whole country as a model.  The true victims of monopolies are people in every city and town.  The companies with the monopolies are not those that have a stranglehold on the country, but one on their community.
For instance, in many places with a fully privatized Electricity Utility have been seeing a constant increase in their bills.  Various fees added on, the electric rate going up.  And so since consumers cannot truly get away from these companies without having to move (Which is not a truly reasonable option), they are in effect a monopoly.
My water bill has tripled since I moved here 3 years ago.  There are MULTIPLE water companies in the area but they each are very regulated in where they service.  So once again I am stuck.
And let us not forget cable internet.  In some areas there is choice.  DSL, while slower than cable, is more preferable to dial up.  And Dial up is nearly always an (ridiculously poor) option.  And of course in Kansas City there is Google Fiber.   Oh Google Fiber how I desire you.  Got a bit off track there, sorry.  But most of the time you have one real option, whether it be Comcast, AT&T, Time Warner (You poor people with Time Warner.  It even drove Patrick Stewart into the sheer depths of despair.)  And no other real competitor will come by due to franchise agreements.  And this monopoly definitely shows how it hurts us.  We are rather far behind in Internet Speed compared to Western Europe, Korea and Japan, because these companies have little need to do better.  Again, except Google.  Oh Google, let me feel your fiber


An Israeli air force brigadier general claims at least 90% of long-range rockets in Gaza have been destroyed. Medium- and short-range rockets and infrastructure to fire them have been severely damaged, the general says. But militants still have hundreds of short-range missiles. 
Israel Hits Hamas PM's Office, Readies Troops. Figured this would happen.  Militant wing of Hamas targets Knesset, so Israel targets Hamas' Governing wing.  They also hit a police compound. Can we safely call this a war now? 
Egypt sources: Cairo leading intense push for Israel-Hamas ceasefire.  GOOD.
Israelis move closer to ground attack .  Not good.  Israel says Palestine has 24 hours to stop the rocket attacks or else ground troops come in.  Even were Hamas to stop, the other groups wouldn't, so this will mean there are ground troops coming in by tomorrow.  And in fact there are reports as of 9:00am EST that Israeli troops and Palestinians are clashing on the border.
Hamas demands: End of siege and targeted killings.  Buried in the article is this little gem: "In addition to the warriors, there are 5,000 martyrs waiting for the IDF soldiers to blow themselves up."  Oh boy, just what we needed.





UK suspends Uganda aid over corruption.  Yeah, y'know, not the Death to Gays thing they have going on there.



Wal-Mart files U.S. labor charge against union. Wal-Mart filed an unfair labor practice charge against the UFCW asking the NLRB to halt what the retailer says are unlawful attempts to disrupt its business.
Justice Dept. sues eBay for allegedly agreeing with Intuit not to hire each other’s employees.
Einstein's brain: It was better than yours.  Yes.  Yours. You, specifically.

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