The Watering Hole, Monday, March 2, 2015: How The Right Gets Net Neutrality Wrong

This past Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to change the way the nation’s internet service providers are regulated. After their proposed regulation, Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet, is published on the federal register in a few weeks, it will take effect sixty days later. This has some prominent right wing luminaries upset, even though it’s apparent they have absolutely no understanding of what net neutrality is. All it means is that all internet content must be treated equally by the internet service providers (ISPs). Comcast can’t slow down your Netflix streaming video just because they would prefer you use their subsidiary company’s product, Hulu. The ISPs aren’t happy, but you should be overjoyed. Don’t listen to these people.

People like Pat Robertson. Like many Conservatives, Robertson calls the new FCC regulations a “takeover” of the internet, and he adds that this is all part of a socialist agenda to take control of everything. As with most things Pat Robertson says, nothing could be further from the truth. The government is not taking over the internet which it created (and which Al Gore helped bring into the civilian world.) The government is simply making sure no private corporation can take over the internet and deprive you of content that might come from a competitor, or charge you extra to get higher speed internet for some content, and slower speeds for content like the blog you’re reading right now.

Robertson says the government wants to regulate the internet using a law written in 1934. That is false. They are using a law written in 1996 which updated the law written in 1934. He’s also wrong about the PP/ACA being a takeover of the healthcare industry. Conservatives frequently mischaracterize things in order to scare you into thinking something is happening which isn’t. And the goal of the fear mongering is the fear itself. People who are afraid often make bad decisions, and one of those bad decisions is voting for Conservatives.

Don’t listen to people like Rush Limbaugh, either. Limbaugh also thinks the government is trying to take over the internet it once created, but for a completely different reason. He thinks the government wants to ban bullets. I know it just flows so logically. You see, Rush is afraid of ISIS, and he’s afraid because they’re recruiting from all over the United States and Rush says “the government must have control of the Internet if we are to be safe.” (Projection.) Rush thinks the government is going to resort to extraordinary measures to fight ISIS, and that will include the banning of bullets. Except the government is not trying to ban bullets, they are trying to regulate armor-piercing bullets. And they won’t ban the ones that are “primarily” used for sporting purposes, so if a bunch of sovereign citizens decide today is the day the government is coming for their guns, they’ll still be able to shoot them with armor-piercing bullets.

And don’t listen to people like Ted Cruz, either. (It could result in brain damage. For you, not Ted. He’s already gone.) Somehow, Ted has it in his tiny little mind that regulating the internet will deprive you of your freedom.

“We do that fundamentally by standing with the people and not with Washington.”

For all their talk about Freedom, Conservatives still do not understand the concept that our federal government IS “We the People.” Then again, they never liked that from the beginning. It was Conservatives, those heavy on the “States’ Rights” idea (even though the Articles of Confederation proved the concept unworkable), who objected to the first three words of the Constitution. They felt it should have read “We the States.” And they haven’t given up that fight since.

“Washington wants Obamacare. The people want liberty.”

Here, and in the subsequent sentences, Cruz is using the term “The people” to refer only to Conservative Americans, and “Washington” to refer to everyone else. Conservatives do not view non-Conservatives as being “true Americans.” In fact, they see us as the Enemy, much as they did in 1776 when Liberals decided they wanted to explore the freedom of not being British citizens. Conservatives wrongly believe the individual mandate is both unprecedented and unconstitutional. (This despite the fact that President John Adams wrote a law requiring all mariners to buy health insurance, and despite the fact that SCOTUS ruled the law constitutional.) They don’t like it precisely because it does bring us incrementally closer to having Single Payer which, in their minds, equates to a total loss of freedom for everyone. Completely untrue, of course. It would only deny corporations the right to cheat you out of your life savings. But since corporations are not really poeple, that shouldn’t matter.

“Washington wants amnesty. The people want rule of law.”

This is a reference to the president’s immigration policy, announced in the wake of House Republicans refusing to do anything (like pass the bill the Senate did.) It’s not an amnesty program, like the one announced under President Reagan, no matter how many times they say it is. And even if it was, it wouldn’t be unconstitutional because the president has the constitutional authority to grant amnesty. And it’s not illegal, which they’ll learn when the SCOTUS upholds it. They just hate seeing anyone get help from the government. They don’t believe government exists to serve the people of which it’s comprised.

“Washington wants power over the internet. The people want freedom online.”

Conservatives have a hard time believing that anyone in government would want to do something that protects people from unscrupulous corporations. That’s because they believe the purpose of government is to protect unscrupulous corporations from the people. They want ISPs to be able to set up a multi-tier system of various speed options. They want it to be possible for ISPs to block content that competes with their own. The only possible way one could interpret net neutrality as taking away your freedoms is if you think corporations are people with the same rights as people. But to believe that, you would have to believe that corporations should have the right to terminate the existence of a subsidiary corporation still in the process of being created without government interference. IOW, to have an abortion.

This our daily open thread. Thanks to Obama’s FCC, you’ll still have access to this blog at the same speed as the big name corporations get. Use it wisely, and talk about anything you want.

36 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Monday, March 2, 2015: How The Right Gets Net Neutrality Wrong

  1. Uncle Pat said he doesn’t want to live under a dictatorship.
    hmm, Pat you and your crazy religious zealots are attempting to dictate what women can and can not do!

  2. Hey all, I’m back in Oregon.

    What was one of the first things I saw when I crossed out of Washington and into Oregon? A dumbfuck in a pickup with a ridiculously high lift kit, speeding down the middle of the road with a full-sized Confederate flag flapping in the breeze — Oregon plates. 🙄

  3. Per the OP:
    The Right fought for decades to eliminate ownership limits on newspapers, radio stations, and TV stations. Just when it looked like they had succeeded in creating near-monopoly conditions in media ownership, along comes this new media called the internet. They began to move into acquiring near-monopoly conditions in that too. Net neutrality, combined with municipal (city-owned) broadband, with really high speeds, eliminates the need for over-the-air signals entirely. Once my city has really high speed internet, and I can get my racing, college football, and news/political shows without cable, I won’t need Comcast for anything. Then, all the ‘assets’ bought up by big media will be worthless, and they know it, so they are feeding all this insane sounding rhetoric to the right-wing tools through their PR outfits.
    Of course, this doesn’t explain Pat Robertson. He’s just fucknuts.

  4. WASHINGTON—In a concerted effort to ease growing tensions between the two nations, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu assured his critics Monday that he still has the utmost respect for U.S. money. “Relations between our two countries have at times been strained, but I promise you all that the entire Israeli government, myself included, still holds a high opinion of the United States’ cash,” said Netanyahu, emphasizing that his speech to Congress was not intended to show any disrespect for American funding whatsoever. “I appreciate everything U.S. money has done for Israel. Though we come at this issue from different perspectives, I have no doubt that we can overcome this disagreement and maintain positive relations between Israel and U.S. economic aid, as we always have.” Netanyahu added that he also maintained great respect for the U.S. military’s weapons.

  5. Lies come in and the lies go out….. you can’t explain that Bill…. now it’s his time in Northern Ireland “I saw terrorist bombings….” – yeah so did I every night on the news back then or in the paper.

  6. A Brewing Problem

    “I don’t have one. They’re kind of expensive to use,” John Sylvan told me frankly, of Keurig K-Cups, the single-serve brewing pods that have fundamentally changed the coffee experience in recent years. “Plus it’s not like drip coffee is tough to make.” Which would seem like a pretty banal sentiment, were Sylvan not the inventor of the K-Cup.

    • She is certainly in line for a white jacket that crosses the arms and ties in the back!

      “Stupid, stupid people! Our lives are on the line and all they can think of is skin color!” she insisted. “You know, all of us are going to turn black if we end up in a cage on fire!”
      Andrea Shea King

      Just a week ago:

      Ron Paul: Congressional Black Caucus opposes war because they want food stamps

      Apparently a memo went out to attack the Black Caucus.

    • She’s the same one who said that Obama’s putting his foot on his desk and showing the bottom of his foot was a “secret signal” to the Muslim Brotherhood, as it is offensive to the Arab culture (not just Muslims) and it was directed at the American people.

      Why it couldn’t have been directed at the Muslim Brotherhood, and acted as a “secret signal” to the Muslim haters in America is beyond me. It’s not the least bit offensive to us.

  7. via Monterey Bay Aquarium

    Can you see where Rosa stashes her extra snacks? Sea otters have pockets under each arm–perfect for keeping paws free to hunt during a dive! Watch our otter cam: (Photo: Christopher Michel)

  8. Someone needs to take Uncle Pat back to The Home.

    Pat Robertson: Smoking pot is ‘slavery to vegetables,’ but God can ‘set you free’

    Vegetable are good for us, Pat!

    • hmm, I’m a bit skeptical/sceptical (UK spelling).
      The bird would not have complete control flying with the weasel on its back and the claws placed where the wing should/would flap…
      just hmmm.

      (the woodpecker’s eye looks more like a taxidermied bird… just doesn’t seem right
      , to me. Seems the bird would do ‘rolls’/flying side to side to attempt dislodging the ‘passenger’)

      • I stand corrected. Saw the other photos – one where the woodpecker did a roll to try and dislodge his passenger.
        Audubon is stating real.

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