Saturday, March 26, 2005

Dickie's Quickies

After my post yesterday about the FCC ruling against states requiring naked DSL service, they went ahead and did it anyway. As I stated, it makes sense to have a national policy on this issue as long as that policy requires naked DSL sales and does more to promote market competition. Om Malik comments on the same issues. I particularly like the point quoted from another blog about cable versus DSL. As I pointed out yesterday, if I bought a VoIP service via cable, I spend about $66/month on the service. If I buy that same service through Verizon without naked DSL, then I spend $81/month (using SunRocket as the VoIP example whereas yesterday I used Verizon's own VoIP as the example in the numbers). While cable begins in comparison to be more expensive ($50/month versus $33/month for a DSL connection), when the DSL requires bundling with the phone line, it becomes more expensive and provides slower speeds. Hey, Verizon, ARE YOU GETTING THIS?!!? The other great comment on Om's site regarding this:

Voice is the application, not connectivity. We’ll never have real competition if the incumbents get paid even when customers want to switch to a competitor.

Alas, A Blog explores the possibility that the Terri Schiavo case has garnered such media attention because she entered a persistent vegetative state as a young woman. It's an interesting point and to that I would add, a white middle class young woman. Rox Populi takes a different route and reprints a portion of a posting on Craigslist where someone offers to remain in a PVS if the people fighting for their life would commit to doing one or more of several good deeds such as opening an emergency room in an inner city.

Boing Boing suggests a tangential call to action as regards to the Congressional action taken in the Schiavo case. Take photos of your ailments and send them to Senate Majority Leader, Doctor Bill Frist. After all, if he can tell Schiavo is not in a PVS just by looking at a video tape of her for a few minutes, then surely he can accurately diagnose your illness and offer a suggestion to remedy it. The faith healer as national health plan - love it!

One of the Bush Administration's favorite think tanks, the American Enterprise Institute, has just published a short book entitled, An Analytic Assessment of U.S. Drug Policy. The conclusions that are drawn are surprising, coming from AEI because they are so sane. Among them:

  • Domestic enforcement should be directed toward reducing drug-related problems, such as violence around drug markets, rather than locking up large numbers of low-level dealers.
  • Eradication of drug crops in source countries should not necessarily be a routine aspect of international programs, especially where it may conflict with other foreign policy objectives. In fact, evidence shows that such control is very unlikely to reduce America’s drug problem.
  • Criminal punishment of marijuana use does not appear to be justified.
  • Treatment services for heavy users, particularly methadone and other opiate maintenance therapies, need more money and fewer regulations.
  • Programs that coerce convicted drug addicts to enter treatment and maintain abstinence as a condition of continued freedom should be augmented.

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