News and commentary from the cross-platform scripting community.
cactus Mail Starting 1/11/99

From: faisal@faisal.com (Faisal Jawdat);
Sent at Tue, 12 Jan 1999 17:30:02 -0500;
ADSL bitterness.

Feel free to add this one to the list:

Bell Atlantic: ADSL for suburban Washingtonians: $69.95 and up into the high $100s.

This assumes that they can deploy to your location. All but one person I know who has asked has been told that it's not available to them.

The web site is at http://www.bellatlantic.net but it won't do you much good. The application to tell you if the service is available in your area is a dead link, and they don't even list the phone number to call to get info. Emails on the subject go ignored.

I am reminded of an old Saturday Night Live episode where a woman (I think it was Gilda Radner but I'm probably wrong) says "We don't care, we're the phone company!"

Ironically, this area is perhaps the single most overnetworked piece of land in the known universe (UUNet, PSI, Digex, SprintLink, Bell Atlantic Internet, AOL, MCI, WinStar and Network Solutions all have their headquarters around here, along with a host of midsize ISP's like Erols and CAIS).

The 56k modem is dead. Long live the 56k modem.

From: tanuki@erols.com (L. Rive Gauche);
Sent at Mon, 11 Jan 99 14:19:41 -0000;
You ask...

You ask about the New York Times, "How could the Times know [the Republican Senators'] motives?"

I would like to suggest to you that the answer to your excellent question has greater resonance than just this instance. The short answer is that the Times doesn't know the motives but is using the opportunity to tar their ideological opponents. I have observed over the last several years the death of civil discourse in politics. And what I see as the primary reason for this is the instant accusation of the left that the reason their opposition opposes their stand is that the motives of the opponents are impure. There is no debate on the possibility of honest disagreement. Instead the attitude is "If you oppose my view, then you are evil." Thus the questioning of motives becomes the first resort of those who, in my view, are unable to reasoningly and rationally defend their policies.

When we see the sweeping away of the concept of a "loyal opposition," we see the death of political discourse in this country. Demonization of the opposition through the instant questioning of their motives, not their policies, becomes the norm. And it becomes necessary for the demonized opposition to respond in kind.

Before you dismiss me as a moss-backed conservative crank, I would like to say that prior to the 1960s, the right used the same tactics to demonize the left or even the liberal. The 60s were wonderfully successful in doing away with that as a dominant attitude. Unfortunately we are now seeing it as the dominant attitude of the left/liberal side of the political equation. It is the PC of politics and I hope, I pray that the light shed on "the politics of personal destruction" so engaged in by the current administration and now bewailed by the same may be the beginning of the end of this attitude.

My bottom line: right or left, we should all be instantly suspicious when anyone defends a policy or a political belief system by denigrating the motives of an opponent as a first resort. It is a mark that the policy is most like logically indefensible.

Thanks for your keeping politics on DaveNet but not letting it overwhelm your mission.

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