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TygrBright

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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 16,007

Journal Archives

Three paths to ending mass shooting deaths. Choose one.

Stipulate these three major factors that contribute to the steep rise in mass shooting fatalities in America are collectively (though not exclusively) causative. The proportions and relationships between these factors may vary somewhat from incident to incident, but data strongly indicate that they are all three present in some combination in nearly ALL mass shootings over the past ten years.

The three factors are:

1. Easy access to high levels of firepower, through multiple firearms, high-capacity magazines, and/or weapons with high firing rates via automatic or semi-automatic firing ability. The "ease of access" factor is made up of a number of elements including limitations on background checks, lack of age restrictions, etc. This combines with the reality that high levels of firepower can be amassed quite legally via purchase of weapons with such firepower and/or purchase of easily modifiable weapons and the accessories or equipment necessary to convert them.

2. Inability of social services, medical services, and law enforcement to combine a demonstrated pattern of domestic violence with confiscation of weapons already in perpetrators' possession and prevention of their obtaining more weapons. In some cases this is because (in some cases multiple) reports of abuse have never been pursued to the point of the arrest, prosecution, conviction, and reporting that would initiate the process of confiscation/prevention where such statutes apply, and in some cases this is because there are no such statutes applicable.

3. The presence of high levels of 'toxic white masculine inadequacy (TWMI)' psychology in the perpetrators' worldview and motivations. Indicating factors include patterns of verbal and physical bullying, abuse of animals, claims of experiencing victimization based on ethnicity and gender, identification with aggressive, violent cultural and social sub-groups, and increasing social isolation outside such groups.


The elimination of any ONE of these three factors would sharply decrease the incidence of mass shooting fatalities in America. The elimination of all three would bring a virtual end to such incidents altogether, but it's probably too much to hope for.

Each path has its own costs, barriers, challenges, and chances for success.

Path One: Eliminate access to high levels of firepower
This is the 'gun control' route: Enactment and vigorous enforcement of nationwide legal restrictions on the acquisition of specific quantities and/or types of guns, accessories, etc. While from a technical standpoint it is probably the simplest path, it is neither easy nor cheap. The political will is almost certainly lacking and it would take considerable time and money and possibly some sacrifice of Constitutional liberties to achieve, as well as a large investment in enforcement and possibly in an effort to remove most or all of the existing weaponry that would contravene such restrictions, from the hands of existing legal owners.

It would likely be quite effective in greatly diminishing mass shooting fatalities although it would not guarantee against escalations of other types of fatal mass violence (bombings, plowing through crowds with automobiles, etc.) and it would not alleviate the growing toll of 'retail-level' gun fatalities such as one-on-one shootings, gang violence with handguns, suicides, and accidental deaths.

Path Two: Facilitate reliable identification and disarmament of domestic violence perpetrators
This is a complex challenge as it combines overcoming the cultural tolerance of domestic violence against women and its enabling by multiple systems, with the enactment and enforcement of uniform legal mechanisms to disarm, track, and prevent the rearmament of perpetrators. While political will in this direction has gained some momentum, it may take considerable time and investment to build support for the solution and reassure those threatened by the notion that such a system could be abused and/or used against them.

Also, getting law enforcement and all those other systems to actually work together and/or vigorously implement threat assessment and targeting would be... extremely challenging. (Law enforcement is one of the professions that seems to be associated with an elevated risk for engaging in domestic abuse.) However, it would likely be quite effective in reducing mass shooting fatalities (although again, it might not have much impact on other gun-related fatalities.)

Path Three: Develop a robust system to prevent, identify, and treat TWMI nationwide
Personally, I think this one is least likely to be successful as a dedicated effort on any timeline short enough to significantly reduce the death toll. But in the long run it could effectively be brought about as a side effect of numerous other social and political changes potentiated by demographic and cultural trends. Reversing income inequity, strong and substantial investments in quality public education and environmental sustainability, massive infrastructure investments, could provide the younger population cohorts with hopes for meaningful human connection, quality of life, and fulfilling work.

Combining that with the aging and natural death of the older population cohorts, and the improvement of social conditions generally, would diminish the death toll-- particularly if one of the other paths was also implemented to reduce mass shootings and their attendant anxiety, paranoia, division, and social disruption. Without that additional intervention, consistent and expensive effort might achieve the result, but not for several decades or even a century.

How much passion, how many resources, how much political will can we commit to ending mass shooting deaths?

Personally, I don't think we can do all three. But it's an option. Which (if any) do you think offers the likeliest hope? Respond in the poll below.

curiously,
Bright

It is With a Heavy Heart That I Sit Down to Write this Post

Not least, because I've written it in so many ways, so many times before.

From 2012: Gun sanity: "It won't work because..." <---This is BULLSHIT

From 2014: Why Can't Doctors Identify Killers?

From 2016: IT'S. THE. GUNS.

From 2017: Obligatory Reminder That "Sickeningly Evil" Does NOT Equate to "Mentally Ill"

I've been here on DU since 2001. Back then I used to engage in a good many discussions on how to reconcile the freedom from having your kids shot at school (the Columbine massacre was just a couple of years before DU came online) with the freedom from any restrictions on gun ownership. It was passionate then, too.

Over the years, I've heard pretty much all the arguments on both sides, all the refutations of all the arguments, all the rebuttals to the refutations, ad infinitum.

And people kept dying from bullets, propelled by firearms, in ever-increasing numbers.

I used to think, "If we can just ignite sufficient passion for keeping people from having to fear their fellow-citizens, we can overcome the money and the hype and come up with some sensible ways to allow hunters and target shooters to enjoy their activities and keep the schools and malls and concert venues safe, and maybe reduce the number of rage killings and suicides using firearms, too..."

That was about a hundred million gun sales ago, or thereabouts, I guess.

For a while, with each new horror... Red Lake, Virginia Tech, Gabby Giffords, Aurora... I kept thinking "Maybe this will finally tip the balance. Maybe this will be the one that lights up the American conscience to the point of finally outweighing the money, the hype, the fearmongering..."

And then came Sandy Hook. And I was sure then, that if there was any truth, any sense of decency remaining in America, that would be the catalyst, and change WOULD finally happen.

And since Sandy Hook we've had Orlando, and Sutherland Springs, and Las Vegas, and I've-lost-count-of-how-many-more tragedies.

And I am still trying to find words to put in this post that don't seem utterly futile.

I'm sick.

I'm weary.

I'm heartbroken.

When I was a kid, we did "duck and cover" drills in case the commies decided to kill us all, and that was scary, but it was a cold, second-hand, antiseptic kind of scary. We never had to walk past the dead bodies of our schoolmates on our way out of the shelter. Our parents never had to think, seriously think, on a daily basis, about kissing us and telling us they loved us when they sent us off to school because it might be the last time...

I honestly don't know why every parent with a child in an American school doesn't rise up and march on Washington and park themselves on the Mall with tents and energy bars and refuse to move until this goddamned do-nothing batch of pusillanimous weasels in Congress finally slam-dunk the thrice-cursed NRA into the dustbin of history.

I would personally bring crates-- hell, truckloads-- of energy bars.

But it won't happen.

And in a few weeks, maybe months if we're lucky, I'll be doing this again, sitting at my keyboard, trying to parse some sense into the pain and rage and despair resonating from yet another horror.

wearily,
Bright

10 Suggestions to REALLY Honor Our Servicemembers

1. Fully fund ALL veterans benefits for ALL veterans, including educational, health care, insurance, etc. That means funding the agencies and personnel to DELIVER the services, timely and with a minimum of bureaucratic paper shuffling.

2. Raise the base pay for enlisted E-1 through E-3 by a minimum of fifteen percent, for E-4 through E-6 by 10 percent, and remaining enlisted by five percent, for all warrant ranks by five percent, and adjust special allowances up by at least 3%.

3. Decommission outdated and nonfunctional protective gear, armor, and personal field equipment and replace it all with new gear that's both functional and mission-appropriate.

4. Replace that godawful toilet paper with abundant packets of wipes and absorbent, smooth toilet paper.

5. Upgrade all base housing with insulation, climate control, sufficient power outlets, really functional showers, wi-fi boosters, and room-darkening blinds.

6. Increase housing and living allowances for deployments where no base living facilities are available.

7. Upgrade, shield, and security-protect high-bandwidth communications for personnel on deployment to communicate with family and friends at home, and increase the number of available media stations by somewhere around three times current availability.

8. Improve in-field mental health and substance abuse evaluation, treatment and support services in all combat duty stations.

9. Invest a BUTTLOAD of cash in researching treatment for blast-related injury, and begin immediate triage and treatment in all field and evac base medical facilities the minute any promising treatments emerge.

10. Replace Cadet Bone Spurs with someone who actually gives a shit about soldiers, airmen, sailors, marines, and coast guards.

Some, maybe even MOST of these suggestions would probably be less expensive than a stupid-ass mass troops plus ordinance parade in DC, especially if you include the cost of replacing all those roads torn up by the Bradleys, etc.

I'm just guessing here, but military personnel past and present can correct me if I'm wrong when I say that pretty much all of them would be more welcome to "the troops" than said parade.

helpfully,
Bright

Last Night, [Redacted] Asked Congress for an Enabling Act

If you don't know the history of the Enabling Act of 1933, research it at your leisure.

Here's the quote:

"Tonight, I call on Congress to empower every cabinet secretary with the authority to reward good workers and to remove federal employees who undermine the public trust or fail the American people.”


In other words, he wants to implement a purge, government-wide, of anyone his appointees deem as insufficiently loyal or helpful.

Not only would this require rolling back more than a century of Civil Service reformation, it is the very essence of authoritarianism.

I cannot understand why every news organ in the country didn't headline with this.

But I think we each and every one of us need to phone our congresscritters NOW to tell them that such an Enabling Act would be neither Constitutional nor acceptable in a free country.

determinedly,
Bright

Draft "Dodger" vs Draft "Resister": A not-so-subtle difference

Just a refresher, and maybe a primer for you young peeps who were born too late to worry about your lottery number:

A draft "resister" describes a person who actively sought, based on a variety of principles, to circumvent, and/or eliminate the draft. Some of the methods resisters used:

Seeking Conscientious Objector status (and lemme tellya, that was NOT easy to get. If you sought it, and were not granted it, your number was up and if you refused to go, you faced jail)

Publicly burning draft cards as a statement against the institution of the draft, or against the particular war that conscription was a tool for prosecuting

Fleeing the country and living as an exile to avoid being part of a military intervention with which they had ethical or moral issues

Facilitating the resistance of others by providing sanctuary and or assistance in fleeing the country, registering as a Conscientious Objector, or working with many of the anti-draft and/or anti-war organizations

Simply refusing to go, and/or fleeing, and facing jail for refusal. Yes, many DID serve time, in jails, prisons, and stockades


A draft "dodger" describes a person who didn't give a rat's ass about the political and ethical principles at stake, they just wanted to save their own ass. Some of the methods resisters used:

Seeking college deferments. Often more than once

Seeking other forms of deferment

Using family influence to circumvent the lottery

Inventing and/or displaying real or faked medical conditions as a means of obtaining deferment


Personally, I have considerable sympathy for both during the Viet Nam war. Conscription enabled the United States to make a terrible error that was fatal for more than 60,000 Americans and millions of Southeast Asian men, women, and children. By the time we were up to our necks in it, there were plenty of clear justifications beyond cowardice for dodging the draft, even if the person doing the dodging wasn't necessarily interested in becoming part of the larger resistance fight.

Finally, however, there IS a third category: the "Chickenhawk". This is the individual who never met a war they didn't enthusiastically fund, support, and/or profit from, as long as neither they, nor their offspring, were required to actually put their own asses in the firing line.

Hope this will clear up some of the confusion regarding what it is, and isn't, nice (or accurate) to call people and why.

helpfully,
Bright

Presidential Qualifications

Disclaimer: I am not advocating, nor would I ever advocate, any kind of 'test' for holding public office beyond those required by the Constitution. This post is merely a set of observations and wishful thinking. Feel free to ignore.

Ideal Qualifications
General qualifications: Maturity of temperament, compassionate, history of ethical and effective public service.

Specific qualifications:

Superior multi-axis and multi-medium communications skills. Knowledge of world history, cultures, current and past economic and political concerns, some language proficiency for communicating with other world leaders and sophisticated audiences. Empathy, clarity, and ability to project sincerity, trustworthiness, and understanding at a second-grade level for communicating with the American electorate.

Superior personnel selection, management, and supervision skills. A deep and well-filled contacts file of highly competent, public-service-oriented individuals experienced in all aspects of public service, governmental operations, and political communications. The ability to delegate with confidence and hold the delegated accountable, as well as taking personal and ultimate responsibility for the establishment and achievement of policy and administrative goals.

Superior analytical and integrative intelligence. Ability to understand complex policies and their interrelationships, perceive how they affect operational outcomes. Ability to articulate and frame complex policy-related goals and communicate them in clear and compelling terms. Ability to prioritize many layers of competing policy and operational goals, identify when priorities can and/or should change, and develop consensus and support for priorities among many competing interests.

Superior negotiation and leadership abilities: Excellent listening skills. Ability to promote understanding and build support for challenging policy goals and administrative objectives across a broad array of competing and conflicting interests. Ability to mediate effectively among people with differing understandings, goals, and strongly-held personal interests in carrying out administrative objectives and political initiatives.

Historical Actual Qualifications
Extensive history of Party leadership, increasingly high-level and publicly-visible offices held without excessive bad publicity/scandal, an established pattern of delivering on negotiated agreements, acceptable management of patronage-related appointments, and demonstrated willingness to work effectively with intra-Party factions in promoting Party interests in midterms and other elections.

Recent Past Apparent Actual Qualifications
Some history of visible office-holding, ability to raise funds effectively for general election, ability to effectively trash primary opponents and win primary elections, high public profile with American electorate.

Current and Near-Future Apparent Actual Qualifications
Skeleton-free closet. No history of public service that can be turned against them by primary opponents or opposition parties or Russian media puppets. High public profile and likability. Some effectiveness at communicating on a second-grade level, some ability to raise buttloads of cash.

There has always been a dichotomy in American electoral politics between those who can be elected to the office, versus those who can effectively fulfill the responsibilities and duties of the office. But we have finally reached the point where those two things are entirely mutually exclusive.

wearily,
Bright

White House Insana (with apologies to Barry Manilow...)

His name was Bannon, he was a showoff
With zits and splotches on his face and a massive dandruff case
He would confabulate and peddle racist plots
And while he tried to stir the pot
Donnie tweeted a whole lot
With every alt-right crowd, they made them roar so loud
They were toads and they had each other
Who could ask for more?

At the White House (White House) White House Insana (White House Insana)
The strangest spot on this whole planet
At the White House (White House) White House Insana (White House Insana)
Racism and fascism were always in fashion
At the White House they colluded

White House, White House Insana
His name was Mueller
He had subpoenas
He opened quite the special case, sending shivers through the place
While press corps covered, and FBI hovered
John Kelly buttoned up the joint
And fingers started to point
And the indictments popped and known associates copped
There were departures and flipflops
But who ratted out who?

At the White House (White House) White House Insana (White House Insana)
The strangest spot on this whole planet
At the White House (White House) White House Insana (White House Insana)
Racism and fascism were always in fashion
At the White House they colluded

His name is Bannon, he was a showoff
But that was several months ago, when Bill O'Reilly had a show
Now it's a shitshow, but not for Bannon
Still in his greasy rumpled shirts
And trousers stained with hershey squirts
He sits there stewing with rancor and tattles to every news anchor
He lost his job and he lost his clearance
Now he's lost his mind

At the White House (White House) White House Insana (White House Insana)
The strangest spot on this whole planet
At the White House (White House) White House Insana (White House Insana)
Racism and fascism were always in fashion
At the White House they colluded

modestly,
Bright

The Long Arc: No Quick Fixes

I think part of the reason I wept so painfully and so long, in the small hours of November 9th, 2016, was the realization that there is no "quick fix" for the mess America's worked itself into (with plenty of Russian help, certainly...)

Impeachment will not "fix" the mess, for impeachment doesn't guarantee removal from office, and the possibility of the GOP participating in an effort to remove >Redacted< from office is a fantasy at best.

Resignation will not "fix" the mess, for the replacement for >Redacted< will be as bad, if not worse, than >Redacted<'s own bumbling ignorant greed and cruelty. At least his incompetence and obvious malice leaves cracks for public servants with conscience and intelligence to work within, salvaging small bits of the commons where they can.

The election of 2018 will not "fix" the mess, for even in the doubtful event that the Democratic Party ekes out a small majority in both houses of the Legislative Branch, the Judiciary and the Executive remain hostile territory, and the divisions among Americans will continue to be exploited by Russian disinformation and cyberwarfare.

Indeed, in some way an inconclusive 'victory' in 2018 may compound the damage, as expectations we can't fulfill are raised.

The things that need to happen to fix the mess ARE underway, but they will not happen quickly, and even if/when they happen, they will not take effect very quickly. We're in for a long, slow fight back.

Even so, I have hope. I believe we ARE making progress.

The Special Counsel's office, if allowed to continue its work, gives me hope. Mueller does not appear to be working on any kind of quick fix. Rather, it looks like he is doing a slow, meticulous, and very deep dive into the wretched hive of scum and villainy that is international wealth and its manipulative oligarchs, with the purpose of unequivocally exposing how they have worked to subvert America's democracy.

We need that information. We need it public, we need it bolstered by incontrovertible (by all but MAGAts, of course) evidence. We need it exposed slowly, deliberately, with time to sink in and be reinforced by each new revelation.

We need state houses and state legislatures. We need the next redistricting to be focused on undoing decades of gerrymandering, among other state roles. We need women to infiltrate elected government at all levels, we need the demand for campaign finance reform to become an unstoppable grassroots revolution. We need enough states well-governed, financially resilient, compassionate and supportive of real change to influence a Constitutional convention, should that become the Oligarchy's next attempt at subversion.

We need, in some ways, for things to, yes, GET WORSE before they get better. And to do so while the GOP is undeniably "in charge".

We need time for the Democratic Party to come to terms with the level of internal trollery and disruption, overcome the attempts to divide us from within and articulate a compelling shared vision. We need to identify mature, compassionate, experienced leaders who can look beyond demagoguery and incitement to rage-voting and tit-for-tat who-can-you-piss-off petty triumphs.

We need every day between now and 2020, and maybe even between now and 2024.

Yes, the clock is ticking.

Yes, the climate is changing.

Yes, people are dying.

And we have to do what we can, as much as we can, each and every one of us, to go against those tides. We need to march in the streets, we need to give what we can to support the work, we need to volunteer and share information, and above all we need to VOTE. In every election, every referendum, every mill levy and bond issue and primary.

But we also need to stay aware that short-term victories will not necessarily serve the long-term ends that are the final, absolute necessity to save our democracy and our children's future.

We need to endure the vicious, nasty, constant drumbeat of mean, petty triumphs and divisive attacks from the Russian trolls and their American dupes. Endure them without hatred, and refrain from retaliations that simply serve to sustain the divisions. Let the yammering of the Breitbarts and the Murdoch shills and the Oligarch-funded propaganda slide over the surface while we put the real energy into pursuing the real, long-term goals.

This is hard. This is depressing. This is dispiriting, in a culture addicted to the magic bullet, the quick fix, the happy-ending-in-43-minute-episodes.

It's a war of attrition, but it's a war we cannot afford to lose.

So we have to be here for each other. And that's why I'm feeling especially grateful for Democratic Underground and our community, this holiday season.

May universal blessings find us, each and every one.

thoughtfully,
Bright

The Curious Reluctance of the GOP Congress to Leave A Sinking Ship...

Turn the clock back two years, to December of 2015.

How many of the GOP Senators and Representatives were on the >Redacted< bandwagon?

Oh, please... you might as well have invited them to an all-you-can-eat Fried Garbage Feed down at the landfill.

It didn't get a whole lot better as the primaries wore on, and remarks like "I like people who weren't captured" and "They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people" and "...I will have Mexico pay for that wall!" made headlines. The juvenile name-calling of rivals and showboating at the debates didn't win him a whole lotta Party pals, either.

The committed conservatives were wary of his blatant opportunism, willingness to say anything to get applause, and long history of association with New York-based democratic powerbrokers.

The moderates were appalled at the rhetorical bomb-throwing, pandering to the Teeper extremist groups, and vindictive, childish behavior on the campaign trail.

It did not improve a whole lot when he was the last one standing at the Convention, and left with the nomination in the pocket of his ill-fitting and overpriced suit.

More remarks "...blood coming out of her wherever", “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails", "If we would have taken the oil, you wouldn't have ISIS" etc., etc., etc., won him no friends and influenced virtually no Congressional support. As the campaign wound on through rivers of hypocrisy, bombast, shameful misogyny, racism, and hatemongering, a few of the Teeper gang hitched up, unsurprisingly. A long shot is better than no shot at all, and there might have been ways to spin the loss as a win for their "outsider" agenda.

And since America's Day of Shame (11/8/2016), the "relationship" between 1600 and the Hill has been... rocky, at best. >Redacted<'s determined refusal to learn how government is actually supposed to work, his Imperial approach to the Executive Branch, his chops as the ultimate Loose Nuke on Twitter, impulsive unilateral policy 180s, and apparently endless stream of easily-refuted "alternate facts", not to mention the apocalyptic personnel disaster that is the Office of the President have left GOP Congressional leaders seething with rage. They didn't sign up for the job of trailing around after their "standard bearer" with industrial-sized brooms and major firefighting equipment.

It was easy enough to see why they were reluctant to jump ship initially. They haven't had control of all three branches of government in a long, long time. It looked like the perfect opportunity to pull off a whole list of smash-and-grab raids for their donors, who doubtless have been telling them to "hang in there, dammit" until they get ALL the goodies.

But even so, the long-term prognosis is looking SO bleak, and the risk/return ratio must surely have flipped by now, as a string of special elections and ominous rumblings from once solid-red suburbs have been sifting plaster dust and dropping debris about their ears. They look up, and see the cracks widening, day by day.

So why don't they jump?

What could POSSIBLY be keeping them in line?

I'm gonna go out on a limb here, but I don't think it's too far-out a speculation.

What tipped me off was the most recent round of pearl-clutching and hyperventilation over the Mueller investigation. I suspect some of them have realized that Mueller is sitting on a LOT MORE INFORMATION about Russia, election meddling, banking transactions, trolls, shills, and ::koff:: campaign contributions that can be traced back to Russian sources, than they ever imagined. And some of them are as worried about what information about their own re-election funds might be floating around in that pool as they are about those staffers they got handsy with back in the day.

If I recall correctly, Mueller's scope of work was, more or less, to follow the trail of Russia-connected criminal chicanery wherever it leads.

What if it leads back to the Hill?

They may have no choice but to stick with >Redacted< and hope that together they can scupper the Mueller probe.

Or... turn.

It's like a big, long game of "chicken."

speculatively,
Bright

I remember the Internet back in the early 1990s.

Actually, even before that, in the late 1980s, when the place I worked installed a modem for me so that I could use "crawlers" to search for references from government and higher education databases accessible online. But in the early 90s, there were basically three "Online Providers" available in our area: Prodigy, CompuServ, and (a bit later) America Online.

Prodigy and CompuServ were similar in that they would, for a monthly fee, allow you to access email and other services. CompuServ offered a command line and more-or-less direct access, and Prodigy gave you a "Services" diskette that enabled a primitive content portal where you could subscribe to games, restaurant reviews and other stuff. I had direct access via work, so I subscribed to Prodigy for home/personal use, largely because back then it was a monthly flat-fee charge.

I don't remember much about it other than getting hooked into a couple of music message boards and text-based games. I found myself spending a fair amount of time on that stuff, probably 6-8 hours a week, arguing passionately about metal bands, the evolution of the blues, how to drive a permanent stake through the heart of disco, and how to add inline die-roll macros to various game elements.

Back then, IIRC, a one-month *P (as we called it) subscription was $7.95. At one point they added "premium" services that used a richer content interface and I think those were billed at an hourly rate with various access packages. So if you wanted to play 8-bit games online, or see websites with a lot of graphic content, or do certain kinds of online shopping, etc., you paid extra.

In about 1994, I think it was, I switched over to AOL, which at that time had a basic fee structure of $5.95 for a certain number of hours a month (might have been 10? not sure I remember correctly) and after that, a per-minute charge. You could also buy, for a larger monthly fee, more 'basic' hours and a slightly lower per-minute premium charge. I knew I was a heavy user so I opted for that, but even so, between then and 1996, I maxed out some credit cards and got into serious financial trouble.

So many people got into serious issues with those per-minute charges that it was a real issue. I knew people who (back then, in the 90s!) were seeing $400-500/month AOL charges on their credit cards. As soon as you could afford to, you upgraded your modem to the fastest available, so that your mail loaded faster, your chat hit the screen faster, you maximized those minutes as much as you could.

I learned to jump on, save to offline storage, jump off, read stuff, compose replies in text files, jump back on, cut and paste and send, in order to have the most time available for real-time chatting and game playing. I did all my searching at work, staying late to use their interface. Even so, personal access to the Internet got expensive. I was damn' glad when they went to the flat-fee structure in 1996. Shortly after that I discovered IRC and largely left AOL behind. A couple of years later, internal high-speed modems and local ISPs were offering browser-based access with almost everything I needed.

But I remember having to calculate every minute of use, every strategem to maximize access to the stuff I wanted while keeping costs down.

I guess it's a set of skills I'll find new uses for, now.

Thanks, Ajit Pai, you rancid pile of refuse.

disgustedly,
Bright
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