Cities want to opportunistically lay fiber lines during big digs, but Koch dark money is trying to stop them


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/12/16/kentuckywired.html


#2

What is it that frightens them about this? That people are doing something without their permission that might lead to rising expectations, or the idea of infrastructure that they don’t own?


#3

Well that was a refreshingly optimistic story.


#4

Look, guys, you’ve made your money. Now it’s time to get out of the way and let others have a go.


#5

it’s not enough that they succeed, others must fail.


#6

The Kochs, like most American Libertarians, understand a few key facts:

  1. An informed and educated public is their enemy, whether it’s voters who can look up the lies of their duopoly party or consumers who can discover whatever scam a corporation is trying to foist on them. The less financial or social capital a member of the public has, the more true this is.

  2. They don’t want their investments in incumbent semi-monopolies to be impacted by more efficient, cheaper and more consumer-friendly competitors. That’s especially true of competitors who can demonstrate that the pretexts for those semi-monopolies being granted (e.g. only telcos can lay fibre) are BS.

  3. They can’t have their often self-fulfilling (via underfunding) prophecies about government being evil and bad discredited by a successful project that doesn’t involve the military, police or other guard labour.

For that these businessmen are willing to pretend they don’t know anything about cost-cutting efficiencies that benefit (human) taxpayers like the one described here.


#7

While I enjoyed this article, I’d find it great if language like this were accompanied with links to sources, and were not so evaluative/emotional (“lavishly funded”, “dirty fights to carry water”). It otherwise resembles pretty much the kind of allegations with no factual backing whatsoever that you find in right-wing media. You know, polarization of the public and such.


#8

Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Taxpayers Protection Alliance Foundation Inc (new)


#9

I’m fine with calling out astroturfing grifters with that kind of language in an editorial article. No-one thinks this Alliance actually exists to Protect human Taxpayers and, as @RickMycroft points out, documents exist that can trace the funds back through Koch front orgs as Wired and Propublica describe.


#10

Hmm, not quite. The Form 990s don’t really say where their money is coming from. You’d have to guess where it was coming from and check their Form 990s, if any. Or start at the top of the Koch pyramid and work down.


#11

It’s our freedom, we owe them rent on it. Simple as that.


#12

it has our name on it not theirs.


#13

The point is, dig enough using public documents and you can trace the source of the funds. That’s what Propublica did with these scumbags. This is why both investigative journalism and public access to records are key factors in preserving liberal democracy (and why oligarchs like the Kochs want to do everything they can to impede them).


#14

Now watch for state government to step in and outlaw the project, because they’re governed by the party of small government.


#15

They want to control the narrative. If the public gets too upset they have a thumb to press down on discussions of organization.


#16

what is the Koch interest in telecom monopolies?


#17

#18

too metaphorical - you need to 'splain


#19

Not mention the fact that authors of this site are notorious for misrepresenting things to the point of harming their own argument. Heaven help you if you took these headlines for gospel.

Having said that, I’ve lived in Louisville for the past 10 years. And it does seem especially segregated. Tangentially related, it’s school busing program is bazaar, too.

On the plus side, it’s hacker community is strong. If you visit, stop by the hackerspace, LVL1.


#20

fair enough. I think the internet is an analog to the ToB, which is to say I know others think that. Whether biblically or just a metaphor, it’s a potent prophecy / idea. And they don’t want that power elsewhere. Does that make more sense of my truly unexplained point?