Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Internet Access for Poor People

By John Ballard

This is exciting. 

The Federal Communications Commission and cable and computer firms will announce Wednesday a program to provide low-income homes with $10 monthly broadband Internet service and $150 computers.

The plan aims to solve one of the more vexing problems in the government�s quest to connect all Americans to the Internet: Even when people have the ability to subscribe to high-speed service, 100 million households don�t choose to do so.

Experts say that�s largely because of cost. The price of high-speed Internet averages $40 a month, and computers can cost several hundred dollars.

But beginning in the spring, cable Internet service providers such as Bright House, Comcast, Cox and Time Warner will offer families that are eligible for federal school-lunch programs � 25 million Americans � the discounted monthly service. The service will include free installation and modem rental for two years.

Redemtech, a computer refurbishing firm, will offer those families laptops or desktops for $150, with free home shipping and 90 days of tech support. Microsoft will provide new computers for eligible school-lunch families for $250.

The plan is part of the FCC�s drive to get all Americans onto high-speed Internet networks. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has warned that other countries are surpassing the United States in broadband Internet adoption � a trend that could hurt the economy in the long run.

Washington Post article.
More at the link.

Scanning the comments I see many negative responses, some complaining about more government handouts to others resentful of illegal aliens with anchor babies. It seems the mean-spirited generic selfishness encouraged by the Tea Party wing of the GOP is growing from sparks to open flames.

That trend makes me both sad and ashamed as a citizen. There was a time in the life of my family when our income was so low that our children qualified for both breakfast and reduced price lunches at school. For the youngest it was a treat but for the one in middle school it was embarrassing. For their mother and I it was a welcome blessing. When I read resentful comments about a program like this I want to confront the selfishness and call it for what it is -- blind, cold-blooded meanness. 

Internet access is available in much of the world as a public utility, much like health care. Oh, wait. I forgot. We don't do stuff like that in America. 


1 comment:

  1. When our famiy arrived in 1956 in southern california the Daily Pilot publish a story about a poor immigrant family in need of some help (yep, us). Within the week our garage and part of the driveway was wall to wall with stoves, refrigerators, clothes, lots of clothes, shoes, a few radios and canned goods. This was in conservative Orange County, mind you. So much we had church help in disposing of most of it.
    So, don't tell me conservatives don't have heart. I just wonder what happened to it. In their failed attempt to shrink government I think they shrunk their hearts or the ones who call themselves conservatives these days are not: they're reavers.