134 Comments

This is a GREAT idea. We have a facility you can use in Basking Ridge, NJ, no charge, seats 400, we can record and livestream if you like. You are setting a great example for the power of open discussion and respectfully listening to people with opposing views.

Thank you for the courage and commitment it takes to do what you are doing, it is having a big, positive impact.

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My Grandparents lived in Basking Ridge! Right behind the VA hospital…

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Kudos! Wish I could join you ...

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We wish you could join too. Hopefully you will regain your freedom soon enough - it’s so sad that you have to be made an example of wrong-think.

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“regain your freedom?” What did I miss? MANY under fire. I even got suspended couple days ago from the neighborhood social media NextDoor of all places. Same nonsense--won’t tell me what I said that was wrong. Unfair unethical trade practices woefully gone as a business practice. I’m starting to think They are not going to stop.

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Hi, Matt! Will your town hall be taped to be shown later on Racket News?

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It’s a bit of a slog, but Racket News should take a careful look at the new proposed FCC rule on Internet Equity. Facially it is about redressing the digital divide. But if you drill down it’s a breathtaking assertion of authority over ISPs down to their marketing, deployment, pricing, investment and all built around the concept of unintended disparate impacts. Moreover it establishes an informal complaint process that was written in consultation with activist NGOs who no doubt would be prime users of the process. This has major censorship implications.

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I’ve been trying to call attention to this too

https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-398244A1.pdf

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I'm afraid we are not all on the same side regarding this. I do not trust Biden, but I have zero problem with FCC saying, "you have to charge every house the same, and all this nonsense about caps, equipment rental, and arbitration is forbidden. Just sell dumb bandwidth."

There needs to be either competition or regulation. In many markets there is no competition. Most regulation was removed from the latest wave of fixed line Internet like fiber and cable. It's going block-by-block. If only the cable company serves a block, prices are three times what they should be, and a bunch of nit-picky add-ons like caps, forced equipment rentals, contracts, arbitration clauses, punishment tribunals apply. Once AT&T or Verizon comes to that block, prices go down to a third what they were for faster speeds, and all the onerous nonsense provisions blow away. Then the cable company comes back offering special deals at 1/3 the old price with static IPs and all kinds of other goodies. It's worse than buying hot dogs at a ball game. It's pants on head crazy out there.

The way it used to be three decades ago, to get "franchise rights" to get on the telephone poles an ISP had to promise to serve every house and to charge everyone the same price. That's over. In many markets, this is still technically the law, but the ISPs just fail in their obligations, litigate their way out, and pay wrist-slapping fines that are not even countable compared to the rent they're able to extract through selectively serving block-by-block monopolies. The FCC has been toothless to resolve this. It's fallen to state attorneys general. In NYS, the attorney general is Verizon's old house lawyer.

It's third world level corruption. It's pathetic and shameful and is strangling the country. I don't know about the "equity" aspect but absolutely either competition or regulation needs to be restored.

There is some kind of brain dead post-Reaganite party line here that because markets companies should just be allowed to do whatever. Utilities usually need regulation to prevent abuses, even when there's a duopoly, but certainly when there's a monopoly as there is on many street blocks in America. This is basic high school economics. And the results are brain-dead obvious if you just talk to 10 of your friends you will find someone in a terrible ISP situation.

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One thing I do know is that adding even more bureaucracy is not the answer. I’m fine with regulations if they’re reasonable. I’m very much anti-monopoly. I live in a “terrible ISP situation”. However giving the executive branch more power won’t fix a damn thing. BTW I loathe Ronald Reagan.

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Nov 21, 2023·edited Nov 21, 2023

"You cannot put these terms into your contract, and you cannot charge for these things," does not seem bureaucratically heavy to me. They are just shutting down the usual scams one by one as they appear.

Enforcement of this kind has indeed helped where I live. The ISPs were bribing landlords to keep out their competitors, then soaking the suckers who rented from them. Outright bribes were banned, so the ISPs would sell the indoor wiring to the landlord for $1, then the ISP would rent their own wires back from the landlord for whatever kickback price the two agreed on. When ISPs say we need freedom to pursue "innovative" business practices or whatever, this is an example of what they mean.

Providing Internet is a little more complicated than water, sewage, and electricity because there's latency, packet loss, and peering as well as speed, but it's not much more complicated. It's a utility. Any "innovation" blocked by "excessive bureaucracy" is going to be some innovatively scammy business deal to screw you over. You can imagine in the abstract some creative techno wizardry might arise from their unleashed freedom because, woo, computers, but it has not happened, while rent-seeking monopolistic abuses have happened constantly. It is the whole story, right in front of our eyes.

I know nobody likes the government or whatever, but these companies are absolute scum.

The vagueness and loaded language in the PDF is concerning. It seems obviously written by ISPs, to play toward a certain kind of partisan.

What I would call "bureaucracy" is these power shopping markets where you can buy _your_ power from wind and solar virtue farms while your neighbor gets _their_ power from filthy deplorable coal, and you get on your bill separate charges for "supply" and "distribution," the former which you theoretically pretend to shop for on this fake bureaucratic market, and the latter charged by the normal monopoly. This pretend-shopping is not something organized by serious people. It's like a mock election organized for seven-year-olds, and I would certainly call that bureaucratically overcomplicated. It can happen.

But "you can't force-rent equipment and you can't have bandwidth caps," if those are the examples, as sippy joe says, cummon, man. They're hurting their own argument the more they try to explain it. Everyone knows these are scams and only work because they're monopolies. What am I missing?

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I can agree with the broad policy goals you identified, but I'd encourage you to read the proposed rule in full...it appears to be a bit of a Trojan Horse, embedding all sorts of federal power grabs and dubious assertions of authority. In addition, I think the "either competition or regulation" framing is a false dichotomy. Regulation is a mechanisms for intended to fortify markets by addressing market failures (externalities, public goods, information asymmetries, and monopolies).

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Bret and Heather discuss this in depth on their Darkhorse" podcast. https://open.spotify.com/episode/0f2gR8OrdqzEOodpdEnpyh?si=ghZRYuOYSxiDfgTl_LcnPg

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Excellent post. Now I want to look for your Substack.

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I studied at Bard in the 90s, and it was a Marxist fruitcake factory even then.

More people should be aware that Jeffrey Epstein once visited Leon Bottstein with an entourage of young women. And then in 2019, George Soros selected Bard to split a $1BILLION donation with another college in Europe. And that should absolutely terrify everyone. So I hope Matt arrives in Annandale-on-the-Hudson with all the facts needs to wage battle. Because this all sounds like a trap, or at least a Struggle Session. A lot of those people are absolutely unhinged Communists.

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Currently studying at Bard. I believe you.

However I just come from his talk and it went exceptionally well. It is not a trap. People were eagerly watching. At QNA, people talked about how much they agreed. Noone tried to shut him down. Hell Noone even protested him.

He signed my book and was very cool to talk to.

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Wow, that's great to hear! That's for reporting.

Btw, is there still a little music classroom with a baby grand piano that's basically a standalone little house? It's a great little hideaway on the weekends, but security patrols around 1am. 😂👍

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Nov 16, 2023·edited Nov 16, 2023

Bard has a wonderful and relaxing campus. I do hope the current students treat with you with a modicum of respect and dignity.

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Very left-leaning vibe there - hope it's far enough left to be beyond the reach of the neocon left.

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There's a dumbness and meanness — and often an extremely myopic narcissistic single-mindedness — on college campuses that transcends "left" or "right." I'd argue that it's ultimately an intense in-group signaling that is totally apolitical, albeit dressed up in the appearance of the political.

Screaming, whole-hog, into the void, as it were.

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George Soros gave Bard $500M in 2019. And make no mistake, that money is being used to subvert America. Bard has gone from a silly far-left college to a dangerous indoctrination center.

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how so ? Do u think soros fellows are bad people ? Do you think his foundation supports ideas or institutions that subvert America? Explain because I see just the opposite

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I suppose the promise of the "open society" (diversity everywhere) is the end of tribalism, and warring nations/states, and that sounds desirable, but ultimately, this also means the end of diversity. Ironic, isn't it? Look at Europe, for example. Who will carry on the unique cultures of Italy, Germany, France, Sweden, Norway? With open borders, people come into countries at such a rate that they don't assimilate. Say goodbye to diversity of culture.

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Nov 17, 2023·edited Nov 17, 2023

I do, but I think this needs to be discussed, so I upvoted you. I'm no fan of Soros' Open Society Foundation, or of most of the causes it supports. (Full disclosure: I have bought, sold, and currently own shares in Soros Fund Management, LLC.)

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It's absolutely left of the neocons. Even the principal was condemned by the ADL.

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Hi Matt, wish I could make it. Is this being live streamed or anything?

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Nov 16, 2023·edited Nov 16, 2023

"Join us in welcoming Matt Taibbi, Bard alum, so-called "journalist", and 2020 recipient of Bard's John Dewey Award..."

Click Track Changes to accept this edit from Stacey Plaskett.

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I think Dan Goldman, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Amy Klobuchar, Ted Lieu and Adam Schiff (i.e. our country's greatest and brightest) may want to make a few edits too.

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You forgot "Elon Musk's mouthpiece"

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I believe the actual copyrighted phrase was "Volunteering to do PR work for the 'world's richest man.'"

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Love the Steely Dan man!!😁

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Fun Fact: While Donald Fagen graduated, Walter Becker (RIP) was kicked out of Bard, ostensibly for "dressing a deer" in his dorm room. But I suspect it was just the final straw. lol

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My father-in-law was kicked out of a tony Swiss boarding school for leading a cow up the stairs of the girls’ dormitory. It turns out cows can climb up stairs but not down, and the boeuf had to be butchered in the ladies’ quarters and brought downstairs as roasts and steaks. This may also have been a ‘final straw’ event as I assume the brain trust behind this prank had not been idle in the months or years leading up to this moment.

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Start with AIPAC & ADL shutting down all anti-war dissent on college campuses.

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founding

"From the river to the sea" is not anti-war, it is bloodthirsty pro-genocide -- against a group which has been on the receiving end of that more than most.

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Not only that, but NeoCons started laying the groundwork for crushing dissent several years before this dubious "9/11." They sent DeSantis to Israel with a large contingent to sign laws to specifically "further criminalize antisemitism" on FL campuses. They are now all harmonized on these efforts to crush dissent on every campus.

But everyone should realize that Bush/DeSantis knew what was coming. NONE of this was a surprise.

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You do realize that besides AIPAC and ADL, most of the last 5 years of censoring has come from legacy media and US government officials whose members are absolutely Pro-Hamas/Palestinians and Democrats, right?

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Yes...the Uniparty is playing both sides against the other with the Hegelian Dialectic. The Left was made comfortable with canceling people over Islamophobia (and every other phobia and ism), and now the Right is being marshalled into Mass Formation in a similar fashion. Much of the theater we're seeing in the streets and on campuses is orchestrated to for the same "Fear & Loathing" effect as the last Summer of Love. This is just a continuation of the PsyOp, with different actors, and aimed at a different audience. It's all Hegelian Theater, and NeoCons have a Patriot Act 2 in mind that the Uniparty (and ADL and WEF) will love. Just listen to Haley's script.

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"Pro-Hamas" -- too early in the morning for that AIPAC talking point, know what I mean." #TGIF

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I'm confused about your comment. DeSantis was an AUSA from 2008-2010; prior to that was a Navy JAG. Then a 3 term congressman, then elected governor in 2018. When did "they" send him to Israel to sigh laws criminalizing antisemitism on FL campuses. Who are they?

And I strongly disagree with his actions toward the FL campus protesters and the student organizations.

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I attended this event today. It was an amazing talk. You delved into many pressing issues that Noone else at any school I've attended would even think of covering. I stayed for the full 2 and a half hours, took 3 pages of notes, and even had a conversation at the end with the last few people including you. Thank you for signing my copy of Hate Inc!

(I hope I wasn't too annoying as a fan, it's hard staying calm while seeing someone I've read for years. Also Thank you for telling me not to feel bad about promoting my substack)

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Nov 24, 2023·edited Nov 24, 2023

Hate inc is an amazing read & your experience at this event validates a lot that i believed to be true about Matt as a person . Big fan and happy you were able to interact with Him!

The one chapter about wrestling led me slightly astray i should reread it and ask some questions about it if he visits southern california. The only other author/journalist i know that can distill a person and dress them down to their core is the late michael hastings. I wonder if they ever crossed paths during their time at rolling stone AH that may be another question to ask!

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Rock on, Matt! And bald is beautiful! 🤩

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👍 will it be “taped” and available later if we can’t make it?

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Yes I saw someone recording it

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After hearing that song 1000 times: 1) didn’t know it was about Bard 2) never had seen a video performance, joyous 3) best referential use of song nominee, another potential award for Matt this year.

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Are you going to discuss the new powers granted to the FCC via the new "digital equity" bill that gives them full control over all aspects of internet infrastructure, that it gives them powers to require censorship tools be added by every internet provider?

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Hell yeah! Please keep doing this. This kind of engagement is so crucial to getting the conversation going about this. It would be great to see these kinds of things in the western US too.

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