Online Opinion Outpost: July 15

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The Online Opinion Outpost features opinions and commentary on the latest hot topics from national news sources. As much as you love hearing from The Universe, we thought you might like to hear from journalists around the nation.

Internet ‘fast lane’
Yancey Strickler, The Washington Post

One thing we didn’t have to worry about: access to the Internet. We didn’t have to negotiate a deal with a cable company or other Internet service provider (ISP).
Such roadblocks would have created enormous logistical and financial hurdles — ones so big they might have shut us down before we got started. But that’s the world that start-ups will be born into if the FCC moves forward with its proposed rules allowing paid prioritization — a system where Internet carriers can charge for access to a “fast lane.”
Once a fast lane exists, it will become the de facto standard on the Web. Sites unwilling or unable to pay up will be buffered to death: unloadable, unwatchable and left out in the cold. It won’t be enough anymore to have a great idea and to execute it well. New entrepreneurs will have to pay their ISP tax, too.
This proposed system would incentivize entrepreneurs to divert resources from their customers and staff and into paid deals with ISPs. Trading healthy competition for deep pockets is a terrible way to create an innovative, competitive economy.

Gaza rockets
Wall Street Journal

JERUSALEM — Over the past two days, Gaza militants have sent rockets deeper into Israel than ever before, raising the stakes of Israel’s own air campaign against the territory’s Hamas leadership.
Palestinians have fired recently acquired long-range M-302 rockets for the first time, Israel’s military said. With a range of 93 miles, one of them struck Hadera, a coastal city between Tel Aviv and Haifa that is 73 miles north of Gaza.
Israel’s bombardment has killed at least 61 people in Gaza since Monday, Gaza Health officials said.
The range of Gaza’s rockets demonstrated this week caught the Israeli public off guard.

Border kids
USA Today

When tens of thousands of unaccompanied children from Central America started showing up at the U.S. border, Republican lawmakers were quick to pounce.
Yet now that Obama is proposing a fix to the problem — asking Congress for $3.7 billion for new detention centers and more judges and legal officers to expedite the deportation process — congressional Republicans are balking.
Under anti-trafficking legislation enacted before Obama became president, no minor from a nation not contiguous to the USA may be deported without a full hearing on his or her application for asylum or refugee status.
The lengthening wait, combined with the skyrocketing number of kids, has overwhelmed the few existing centers to house these children. That means most will be sent to live with relatives, where they might or might not be heard from again.
Congress, to be sure, does have a right and responsibility to uncover problems and make changes if necessary. It can ask whether $3.7 billion is too much or too little to get the job done.

Conservative box office
Jonah Goldberg, Los Angeles Times

The left rolls its eyes at ‘family values,’ but family values are at the heart of most successful sitcoms and dramas.
Sure, Hollywood is generally very liberal but America isn’t.
The left may be anti-military, but such movies tend to do poorly, which is why we see more pro-military films. Similarly, it’s a safe bet that Hollywood liberals loathe guns. But you wouldn’t know that by what they produce. Not many action stars save the day by quoting a poem. The left rolls its eyes at “family values,” but family values are at the heart of most successful sitcoms and dramas.
One explanation is that while it is true that culture is upstream from politics, reality — and, I would argue, morality — are upstream from culture. Good stories must align with reality and a sense of justice. They can be set in space or Middle Earth, but if they don’t tap into something real about the human condition, they will fail.

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