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Yes, I Hate the Cable Company Too
Townhall.com ^ | April 9, 2014 | John Ransom

Posted on 04/09/2014 5:49:02 AM PDT by Kaslin

Heavyweight conservatives and banterweight conservatives are lining up on both sides the Comcast/Time Warner merger.

The heavyweights, which include Grover Norquist at Americans for Tax Reform, Wayne Crews at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Duane Parde at the National Taxpayers Union, have penned a letter to influential Senators including Mike Lee, Chuck Grassley and Ted Cruz, urging them to look past the politics and approve the merger between the two cable giants on traditional grounds—you know, the grounds under which the anti-trust laws were written and passed in the first place?

“As advocates for a free market,” the heavyweights write, “we believe that the Sherman and Clayton antitrust laws require the government to abstain from intervening in such transactions on antitrust grounds absent any clear showing of actual or potential market failure of which there is none here.”

And they are right.

Let me make it clear: I don’t like Comcast’s politics. I once ran a company that was a competitor to Comcast and know full well what they can do to the competition. And I think they are at the sleazy end of the K Street shuffle.

But none of those reasons are reason enough for anti-trust policies to apply.

Anti-trust laws were created to prevent any company from so dominating the marketplace that they could damage competitive pricing for consumers. They were created to make sure that business combinations didn’t unfairly cooperate on prices too.

On both counts the Comcast/Time Warner merger clears the hurdle.

We have become so accustomed in this country, on both sides of the aisle, that all is fair in love and war and politics, that we have forgotten that laws are not meant to be used as hammers against people we disagree with, but rather are made to be enforced, under the Constitution for the expressed purpose for which they are enacted.

And those protections should apply to everyone.

The bantamweighters, which include Judson Phillips with Tea Party Nation, Colin Hanna with Let Freedom Ring and Stephen Demaura with Americans for Job Security, are arguing that Comcast and Time Warner merger would provide less diversity of thought, amongst other things, which is not what the law was meant to ensure.

They cite the First Amendment to the Constitution as a “guarantee of a diversity of viewpoints.”

The First Amendment does no such thing as guarantee diversity of thought. Only a liberal would argue such. Their argument is not just wrong historically, but a very different plain meaning than our Founders intended for the First Amendment.

In essence, the arguments the "liberty" people make are political arguments that conservative interests might be harmed by the merger.

It always pains me when I have to point out to good, faithful conservatives that they didn’t invent the Constitution even if some of them just discovered it six years ago.

In their discovery, they should be careful not to twist it as our liberal friends would do.

The Comcast/Time Warner deal might have some hidden problems that the Senate Judiciary Committee will have to sort out.

But from here, it looks like neither the Sherman and Clayton anti-trust provisions nor the First Amendment to the Constitution would be violated.

I’m not a big fan of cable either.

But if you have problem with it you can change the channels just as well at DirecTV.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: banterweight; chuckgrassley; comcast; comcasttwc; doj; duaneparde; firstamendment; grovernorquist; johnransom; mikelee; tedcruz; timewarnercable; twc; waynecrews
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1 posted on 04/09/2014 5:49:03 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

I have Netflix and Hulu running through a Roku device. No need for cable TV at all.


2 posted on 04/09/2014 5:51:38 AM PDT by SamAdams76
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To: Kaslin

The big-government/big-corporate crony-fascist complex doesn’t care what you want.


3 posted on 04/09/2014 5:52:10 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("A man who damns money obtained it dishonorably; a man who respects it has earned it." --Ayn Rand)
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To: Kaslin

We dumped Charter cable 8 months ago. The only thing we get from now from them is high-speed internet. We’re doing just fine with an air antenna, Roku3, Hulu+, Netflix, & Amazon Prime. We’ve got more than enough to watch and we dropped our cable bill by $100/month. And we watch WHEN we want to watch....no schedules...


4 posted on 04/09/2014 5:54:40 AM PDT by Mopp4
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To: Kaslin
sleazy end of the K Street shuffle.

Or, as we say here in their home state, they are FOFER.
Friends of Fast Eddie Rendell

Don't hardly get no sleazier than that.


5 posted on 04/09/2014 5:58:21 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: SamAdams76

I have DirecTV and a computer on my system. I cut the cable cord long ago.


6 posted on 04/09/2014 5:58:21 AM PDT by SpeakerToAnimals (I hope to earn a name in battle)
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To: Kaslin

In 1980 we had fifty major media companies in this country. Now its six Media Corporations. All that power and influence concentrated into the hands of a few men. Do you think the men that run those Corporations have any love for traditional America or have they done everything they could to undermine it? The last thing we need is for those Corporations to get larger and more powerful.


7 posted on 04/09/2014 5:58:31 AM PDT by Count of Monte Fisto (The foundation of modern society is the denial of reality.)
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To: SamAdams76

Sam, that’s what we have too. We disengaged from cable last year, and we couldn’t be happier. And it costs SO LITTLE. I hate the cable companies - ‘You have to have it for two years, you can’t have this station, you have to have that one.’ And they are unions, to boot, so you’re probably paying for their life-long pensions and who knows what else?


8 posted on 04/09/2014 6:00:17 AM PDT by bboop (does not suffer fools gladly)
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To: Kaslin
Notice how the rinos and wealthy libs want free enterprise whenitbenefits them and then they stab us in the back in the front and every other way they can. No, no no. As long as immigrtion laws are not enforced and as long as the media treat us the way they do and as long as limousine libs and rinos make war on conservatives it is pure folly to let them have anything we should be opposed to them on everything until things change. Just s they are opposed to us.
9 posted on 04/09/2014 6:01:47 AM PDT by amnestynone (Lindsey Graham is a feckless, duplicitous, treacherous, double dealing backstabbing corksucker.)
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To: Kaslin

We have Charter at the Outer Banks of NC, the only game in town. They recently converted to digital on March 4 and were ‘forced’ to rent a set top box to get a usable signal. They charge $6.99 a month for each box. I was tempted to go the outside antenna route; but the reception is terrible.


10 posted on 04/09/2014 6:03:29 AM PDT by duckman (I'm part of the group pulling the wagon!)
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To: Kaslin
We have become so accustomed in this country, on both sides of the aisle, that all is fair in love and war and politics, that we have forgotten that laws are not meant to be used as hammers against people we disagree with, but rather are made to be enforced, under the Constitution for the expressed purpose for which they are enacted. And those protections should apply to everyone.

The bantamweighters, which include Judson Phillips with Tea Party Nation, Colin Hanna with Let Freedom Ring and Stephen Demaura with Americans for Job Security, are arguing that Comcast and Time Warner merger would provide less diversity of thought, amongst other things, which is not what the law was meant to ensure. They cite the First Amendment to the Constitution as a “guarantee of a diversity of viewpoints.” The First Amendment does no such thing as guarantee diversity of thought. Only a liberal would argue such. Their argument is not just wrong historically, but a very different plain meaning than our Founders intended for the First Amendment. In essence, the arguments the "liberty" people make are political arguments that conservative interests might be harmed by the merger.

It always pains me when I have to point out to good, faithful conservatives that they didn’t invent the Constitution even if some of them just discovered it six years ago.

PFL

11 posted on 04/09/2014 6:05:32 AM PDT by Alex Murphy ("the defacto Leader of the FR Calvinist Protestant Brigades")
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To: SamAdams76

> I have Netflix and Hulu running through a Roku device. No need for cable TV at all.

I do too, for about 4 years now, but it would be nice if HBO-Go was available to non-cable subscribers.


12 posted on 04/09/2014 6:08:20 AM PDT by BuffaloJack (Freedom isn't free; nor is it easy. END ALL TOTALITARIAN ACTIVITY NOW.)
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To: SpeakerToAnimals
I have DirecTV ... I cut the cable cord long ago.
Can't fool you.
13 posted on 04/09/2014 6:10:00 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: Count of Monte Fisto
I wouldn't mind a merger that controlled costs for providing access without cutting service. This wouldn't meet the test. Less call centers, less local contact with service problems, less attention to problems in smaller markets. That always hurts smaller individual markets in mergers.

It isn't just access. I get minimum cable TV, though instead just getting a better antenna for over the air stations is tempting. The problem is they control what I see. Why am I stuck with a religious-themed station, two stations of people gibbering in hispanic, and only stations which toe their line? It will only get worse and the offerings even less geared to local offerings if they merge. Remember back when cable TV started out? It was supposed to provide access for local, innovative programming in studios and channels they provided.

14 posted on 04/09/2014 6:10:15 AM PDT by grania
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To: Kaslin

As a Time Warner customer for years, I hate to see this merger. We have just gotten them to be a really good provider.


15 posted on 04/09/2014 6:15:14 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: BuffaloJack

WHy? As part of my new arrangement with TW, they gave me all of the HBO stations free. There is nothing there that I want to watch.

But I do love a new channel that they are providing — Ovtions!


16 posted on 04/09/2014 6:19:31 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; cardinal4; ColdOne; ...

If ya thought NY state hated conservatives before, just wait until we’re portrayed as and/or perceived as being in favor of the Comcast takeover of TW.

As a disgruntled ex-customer of the bait and switch operation in question, I’d vote for Obama before I’d favor this “merger”.

Thanks Kaslin.


17 posted on 04/09/2014 6:19:50 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; cardinal4; ColdOne; ...

And seriously, Grover Norquist is in favor of it.

http://www.freerepublic.com/tag/grovernorquist/index


18 posted on 04/09/2014 6:21:09 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Kaslin

Our local power utility has fiber optic cable. Their cheapest internet package is about 5 times faster than Comcast’s best. I would go without before I went back to Comcast. I am amazed that literally anyone at all still has Comcast around here. Seriously, I don’t get how they still have even a single customer.


19 posted on 04/09/2014 6:22:56 AM PDT by cdcdawg (Be seeing you...)
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To: duckman

My bride’s cousin has a condo out in the Outer Banks. She is very upset with that, and has been looking to go to a dish. Except the condo association banned dishes.


20 posted on 04/09/2014 6:24:04 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: SamAdams76

Amen.

http://www.amazon.com/G-Box-Midnight-MX2-Android-Streaming/dp/B00CH643A8/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1397050055&sr=1-2&keywords=matricom+g-box+mx2


21 posted on 04/09/2014 6:27:20 AM PDT by mylife (Ted Cruz understands the law, and is not afraid of the unlawful.)
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To: BuffaloJack

I miss the HBO content as well and I’d pay for it if it were offered separately. However, there’s enough content between Netflix and Hulu Plus to make up for it. The thing I missed the most this past year was NFL football but after a while, I got used to doing other things on the weekend. I did go to Buffalo Wild Wings to catch a game here and there.


22 posted on 04/09/2014 6:29:41 AM PDT by SamAdams76
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To: SamAdams76

I dumped TV in 1997.

And having been away from it for that long, the world I live in, which is obviously affected by TV, has clearly gone mad.

No. I am not joking.


23 posted on 04/09/2014 6:33:18 AM PDT by cuban leaf
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To: afraidfortherepublic

I called Comcast as my bundled bill had now gone over $200.
They said I could have HBO.and cut my bill down to $139.
I told them I didn’t like HBO and I’d like to watch less TV not more,They gave me Starz instead.
My 1st bill came to $150.The second bill is up to $172.
I’m quitting this cable one of these days and keeping the internet only.The phone service is lousy and the only shows I seem to watch are ELRaymond and Andy Griffith show.


24 posted on 04/09/2014 6:48:51 AM PDT by peteyd (A dog may bite you in the ass,but it will never stab you in the back.)
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To: Kaslin

I think Al Franken’s running the hearing. What a tool he is.


25 posted on 04/09/2014 7:05:33 AM PDT by b4its2late (A Progressive is a person who will give away everything he doesn't own.)
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To: redgolum

My brother has a condo there as well. Charter simply stopped service to all units. Condo owners have to open a new account and arrange to have Charter send a tech to install set top boxes. Charter admitted that they are overwhelmed by condo requests and can’t commit to a service appointment. Problem is my brother rents his place out. Renters want their TV.


26 posted on 04/09/2014 7:13:28 AM PDT by duckman (I'm part of the group pulling the wagon!)
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To: SamAdams76

Actually, you can subscribe to on-line access to all NFL games. I got frustrated near the end of last season with the selection of regional games on the traditional networks, and purchased a partial year subscription for $39.99, as I recall. It was great. For the remainder of the season, through the playoffs, I could stream any game. I rarely watch live, network TV any more. We have only bare bones TV via Charter, because it is bundled with Internet. There aren’t a lot of alternatives for the latter in my area, otherwise I would ditch Charter entirely!


27 posted on 04/09/2014 7:13:48 AM PDT by Wheelman81
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To: peteyd

Gee! I thought my husband did well negotiating with TW. LOL. My cable was out and rebooting did not solve the problem. So, he went down to the sevice center and they gave him 2 new boxes — one of them was a DVR. They cut my price from $216 to around $180. The DVR is free. They gave my husband the NFL channel and gave us HBO and either Starz or Showtime. I haven’t found anything on HBO that I want to watch — a lot of it is soft porn. I’ll have to use a channel blocker before the grandchildren show up here!

But in all this fussing around, I found a new channel — Ovations. I just love the programming. It’s not PBS — but I call it PBS for grown ups and there are some really good shows there. I record them on the DVR and watch them when I’m sick of Fox News!

My new favorite is “The Artful Detective”. It is set in 1890 Toronto and is about a straight laced, Jesuit educated, detective who uses science to solve crimes. We have really come to love that show and we watch it instead of O’Reilly who has become insufferable. The ads for the Artful Detective describe Murdocch (the main character) as “19th century threads with 21st century creds”.

My daughter has watched the Artful Detective series on Netflix because Comcast doesn’t carry it. Her family loves it too.


28 posted on 04/09/2014 7:15:47 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: Kaslin
Anti-trust laws were created to prevent any company from so dominating the marketplace that they could damage competitive pricing for consumers.

You mean like when there is only one cable company to "choose" from?

29 posted on 04/09/2014 7:16:27 AM PDT by sportutegrl
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To: Kaslin

Streaming on-demand is almost ready for prime time (pun slightly intended) - I think in another 2 years, the old cable model will be “dead man walking” in that they’ll still have the lion’s share of customers, but their days will be officially numbered, and they will suffer ever-decreasing customer bases as people cut the cord.


30 posted on 04/09/2014 7:17:20 AM PDT by kevkrom (I'm not an unreasonable man... well, actually, I am. But hear me out anyway.)
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To: Kaslin

Grover Norquist Turns to Progressive Media in Crusade Against Ted Cruz... Grover is the Muslim Brotherhood’s best friend. Note his Muslim wife and ..

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3084869/posts

Abdurahman Alamoudi, the Boston bombers, and Grover Norquist .

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3012061/posts


31 posted on 04/09/2014 7:18:59 AM PDT by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: redgolum
Except the condo association banned dishes.

I thought that was illegal? They can restrict the size and location, but must allow even exceptions to the location rules if an acceptable signal can't be gotten otherwise.

32 posted on 04/09/2014 7:21:08 AM PDT by kevkrom (I'm not an unreasonable man... well, actually, I am. But hear me out anyway.)
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To: SamAdams76

me too - I have amazon as well - good movies and tv shows ala carte / no commercials


33 posted on 04/09/2014 7:24:07 AM PDT by Revelation 911
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To: duckman

Same situation she is in.

There were a lot of people who rented out houses and condo’s for March maddness, with no TV.

Charter sounds like a great company


34 posted on 04/09/2014 7:24:48 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: kevkrom

The condo association can do just about anything. The justification is that they don’t want the dishes flying during hurricanes, and that the condo’s don’t all face the right way.


35 posted on 04/09/2014 7:26:02 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: redgolum

There can be one dish to service all the condo’s. Just have to get the right installer. Call DirecTV and get a commercial installer.


36 posted on 04/09/2014 7:30:09 AM PDT by US_MilitaryRules (Tastes like Heaven, Burns like Hell! Mmmmmm. What is it?)
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To: kevkrom

Our time warner/brighthouse cable kept spiking and this week they sent a letter saying another increase is coming. So I cut back to an $89 bundle with tv, internet and phone and only added HBO (would miss such shows as Temple Grandin and Game of Thrones), and so far we don’t miss the multitude of channels we never watched OR digital and HD.

Daughter’s family went to roku and are very happy with it.


37 posted on 04/09/2014 7:31:32 AM PDT by varina davis
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To: Kaslin
Anti-trust laws were created to prevent any company from so dominating the marketplace that they could damage competitive pricing for consumers. They were created to make sure that business combinations didn’t unfairly cooperate on prices too.

On both counts the Comcast/Time Warner merger clears the hurdle.

No it doesn't. In our neighborhood, Comcast is the only game in town for internet services. They also scramble the signals so over-the-air antenna don't work and you are forced to buy their basic cable box or subscribe to their internet service if you want to use Roku, Chromecast or other internet based service.

The reason they get away from this crap is, shall we say, good interface with the local politicians who permit it.

38 posted on 04/09/2014 7:43:11 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: Kaslin

Wrong, wrong and wrong yet again.

Who writes for this Townhall site? Whose pocket are they in?

Comcast and TWC are already without competition and the horrible service and product by both is legendary. And this would remove even ore competition. That is anathema to Capitalism. Capitalism does NOT mean permitting business to do whatever it wants as it will turn into the seven headed hydra. No. Competition must be fostered (tax breaks an obvious example).

This merger will D E S T R O Y competition and innovation. It is the flip side of Socialism. It is a merger that must be stopped. Many more of these “too big to fail” companies and kiss Capitalism goodbye.


39 posted on 04/09/2014 7:45:01 AM PDT by RIghtwardHo
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To: bboop; SamAdams76
"We disengaged from cable last year, and we couldn’t be happier"

Same here (been a little longer) And we can watch ALL the shows we watched before when we had cable and save over 1200 bucks a year doing it.

40 posted on 04/09/2014 7:50:17 AM PDT by Mad Dawgg (If you're going to deny my 1st Amendment rights then I must proceed to the 2nd one...)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Thanks.
Comcast is adding ISP in May and I just checked out Ovation and The Artful Detective will be on at 12mn tonight.
I’ll DVR the program.


41 posted on 04/09/2014 9:20:07 AM PDT by peteyd (A dog may bite you in the ass,but it will never stab you in the back.)
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To: duckman

We also have charter cable, but I remember when you could watch cable TV without needing a box as long as your TV was cable ready


42 posted on 04/09/2014 10:01:58 AM PDT by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: cdcdawg

Our local power utility has also fiber optic cable. We used to subscribe to it for about a couple of years, but they kept having problems so that we we went back to Charter again.


43 posted on 04/09/2014 10:07:11 AM PDT by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: peteyd

I hope you like it as much as we do. You have to watch the whole thing (and several episodes) to catch the humor and the subtlties.

Basically, he’s shy and he’s in love with the coroner, bt he’s always late in declaring his love and she goes off to do something else. He’s carrying a ring around in his pocket. She comes back, but I don’t know where it will end. My daughter won’t tell me, because she doesn’t want to spoil the story line.

A recurring pair of characters in the series seem to be a wealthy couple named “The Pendricks” who have a lot of influence around town. Murdoch thinks that James Pendrick is responsible for a murder for which they were never able to convict him. The Pendricks appear in about a quarter of the episodes I’ve seen.

Another feature of this series is that real historical characters appear from time to time as part of the story — Houdini, H.G. Wells, Tesla come to mind.


44 posted on 04/09/2014 10:23:24 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: Wheelman81
Actually, you can subscribe to on-line access to all NFL games

Where do you get that ? I want to disconnect DISH, but hubby likes his football even though we don't get much with DISH so having on-line access would be great.

Any help would be appreciated --- thanks

45 posted on 04/09/2014 10:34:54 AM PDT by coder2
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To: kevkrom

Amazon is pushing streaming hard!

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CX5P8FC/?tag=googhydr-20&ref=km_D1GOnzgQQ8Y5t9P9+AyZpw==&kw=fire%20tv


46 posted on 04/09/2014 11:40:52 AM PDT by mylife (Ted Cruz understands the law, and is not afraid of the unlawful.)
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To: All

Get an antenna and, Roku,G-box MX2,Pivos,Ouya,Apple TV,or Fire TV and kiss cable goodbye.


47 posted on 04/09/2014 11:50:26 AM PDT by mylife (Ted Cruz understands the law, and is not afraid of the unlawful.)
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And learn how to but XBMC on those streaming boxes!!

Just google it.


48 posted on 04/09/2014 11:51:26 AM PDT by mylife (Ted Cruz understands the law, and is not afraid of the unlawful.)
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To: SamAdams76

I’ve never had cable - use the digital converter box and bunny ears. I’m not sure what Roku is - does it let you get free TV? My biggest issue is that I’m going to be moving and don’t want to keep the landline....which means I’ll have to find a free-standing DSL so that I can do the internet. Or else maybe I’ll look into Straighttalk for a home phone “line” and resubscribe to Netzero DSL. But I’m sick of the high Verizon bills for a landline when I hardly call anyone.


49 posted on 04/09/2014 12:24:42 PM PDT by midnightcat
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To: midnightcat

Roku basically sits between your internet connection and your TV. You are basically streaming content through the Internet and having it display on your TV. Roku offers an interface for that. Once you hook it up, you can access the home page on your TV and use the remote to add internet channels as you see fit. Some of the channels you need to pay for such as Netflix and Hulu Plus. Many are free.

I also disconnected my landline and use cellphones or Skype only.


50 posted on 04/09/2014 1:03:25 PM PDT by SamAdams76
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