Lee at Black River News attended the Ameren dispersal of government mandated 5 million dollar fine yesterday, and I’m going to link to a couple of his posts:
From the post And the Winners are he writes:
Wildlife habitat received no funding. I’ll admit there were very few proposals, but you have to remember that if you were born and raised locally (like the majority of the panel) that wildlife falls into two categories, food and pests. And while some will try to stretch the concept, I feel that there were no funds for economic development. This is an area with high poverty and underemployment. I know a woman that drives to Farmington and back each day (100 miles) to work as a waitress. But still no real funds for economic development!
I’ve never seen a state where the people are so damn proud of being poor, as Missouri. I think, sometimes, the folks here equate being poor with moral purity, or perhaps as a form of religious aestheticism.
As for the critters, some day the complacent sons and daughters of Missouri are going to look past their green and white “Jesus” signs and see that the rivers are no longer pure, the critters are gone, and the trees and lands are dying. I suppose they can pray, Jesus, we’re sorry we pissed all you gave us away, or some such thing.
Lee’s proposal was to bring in Broadband for the area. The only option in that community is modem. There is no cellphone coverage, no cable, and no satellite enabled broadband. Modem is all that most of Missouri, outside of the city areas, have access to. From No Broadband Lee writes:
I’ll make a prediction, barring some new technology, I’ll bet that ten years from now that most of rural Missouri is still on dial-up. The vision I have of the future is rural Missourians hoarding old modems, because no one makes modems anymore. When you buy a new computer right now, they don’t come with floppy drives unless you pay extra for one. I’m sure it is only a matter of time until a modem won’t be included with a new computer, the numbers just won’t justify it.
Missouri is a low tax / low service state and proud of it. Other states have seen the value of encouraging the state wide roll out of Broadband, but I don’t think you will see that kind of leadership in this state.
What’s ironic about this is when all the proposals were first released at the Attorney General’s office, they were all packaged up in large files that were taking Lee hours to download. I downloaded them, unzipped the files and hosted the proposal PDFs, just so they could get access to the important documents.
Much of our information and other services are being pushed online because the assumption is that internet access is ubiquitous, and that most folks have access to broadband internet access. Schools communicate with parents, employers communicate with employees, small shops communicate with their customers, vacationers communicate with all their friends and family, the government communicates with all the people, and the people communicate back, and so on: the operative word here is communicate.
It seemed to me that it’s not in Ameren’s best interest to have a people who have access to good communication. After all, as it stands now, the community is almost completely dependent on the company, and I think it likes this just fine. Unfortunately, everything I’ve been reading about the government for this state, it isn’t in the best interest for it to give people access to good communication, either.