The Watering Hole, Monday, May 8, 2017: Preserve Net Neutrality

The new FCC Commissioner, whoever he is, doesn’t believe in protecting net neutrality. And why not? He used to be a lawyer for Verizon. (The president who appointed him doesn’t even understand the concept of net neutrality, so there’s no help there.) On last night’s “Last Week Tonight”, John Oliver explained why ISPs were now able to be governed by the FCC. In short, ISPs were re-classified as businesses that could be governed under Title II of the Communications Act, instead of under Title I where the Supreme Court said the FCC lacked that authority. This new commissioner doesn’t seem to understand why it was necessary to do that, and thinks it’s really bad and should be changed. You must tell them No. In addition to contacting your Members of Congress, you can leave a comment on the FCC’s Comments page, if you can find it. Since it was changed from the much simpler comment system from three years ago, one has a right to assume they deliberately want to make it harder for you to complain and then say later, “Well, nobody used the comment system to complain.” This was how Fox News Channel defended their star host, Bill O’Reilly, from claims of sexual harassment – that nobody used the internal complaint system to complain, so they have a hard time believing any of it happened. John Oliver explained the tedious process of what you would now have to go through just to get to the FCC’s comments page. He and his great staff wanted to make it easier for you to get there, so they created this website:

go fcc yourself dot com

It skips through the confusing pages and inconveniently located links to get to where you can leave a comment to tell them to preserve net neutrality and Title II. If it works. I tried it and it seemed to go to a mostly blank page except for a little blue circle with a person’s outline in it. Maybe he crashed the FCC’s commenting system just like he did three years ago. Well, his viewers did.

Now, please go there and tell them to what to do, and then enjoy today’s open thread.

17 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Monday, May 8, 2017: Preserve Net Neutrality

  1. Even with the link, it is insane how slow and inefficient the ECFS system is. You click on the “express” button to enter a comment, and then you sit there

    … and sit there …

    … and sit there …

    And finally you’re permitted to enter a comment. But be careful! Don’t make any mistakes! I used my Roboform to autofill the standard entries, but the ECFS system would not permit the state field to be filled that way. Instead, they told me I had to make an entry in the state field, but refused to permit me to do so. So I had to start all over again.

    When I finally got all the way through to the “submit” button (having re-entered all my data by hand, and the comment (which, fortunately, I’d saved to notepad), it was literally 30 minutes from the time I hit “submit” to when the system confirmed that my comment had been entered. All told, it took me something like an hour to get my comment into the system.

  2. At dinner on Saturday evening, my brother in law, who in the past has displayed fairly conservative political viewpoints, made the statement that the only way forward with health care is single payer. His older brother started in with the ‘In Canada people die waiting for their operations’ bullshit, and younger brother retorted, ‘at least they can afford their insurance!’
    I was pleasantly shocked to see little brother stand up to older brother, as it is not common in Vietnamese culture for younger brother to do so.
    Younger brother went on to astutely predict that the R’s in congress are NOT going to be able to pass anything, and will continue to underfund ACA, so as to make it fail…
    Looks like people are waking up to reality…nice.

    • That’s the whine that is so irritating. They make it sound like once we have Single Payer, everything else will cease to exist. No privately purchased insurance by those who can afford it, medical facilities will no longer accept cash, yadda, yadda. Its the same skeery claptrap they said about Social Security back in the 30’s. and the retirement investment industry. Its hard to see reality through the polyps.

  3. It’s the big cable companies who really want net neutrality gone, mainly because the future of TV is no longer cable subscriptions, but is fast becoming internet streaming. In fact, our local phone/cable/internet provider’s HMFIC has said to me that he definitely thinks cable’s days are numbered, that virtually the entire future of television is in streaming. And today’s cable companies want to control, if not entirely own, the internet and every aspect of it. That’s where the money will be.

    We haven’t had cable for close to fifteen years, decided way back then that it wasn’t worth wasting money on. A few years ago we discovered the little streaming gadget called a Roku, a little device that offers a wide variety of streaming sources. We pay a small monthly price for each Netflix and Amazon — together, a fabulous source of movies and TV series/offerings. Plus, we can choose between CBS, ABC, CBS, & PBS (FOX also, but we’re not THAT stupid) for news — not always live and up to the minute, but close enough. The only thing we lack, so far, is sports of any kind — not a problem at all, more like a blessing, in fact. Everything the Roku offers comes via the internet, of course, and that ain’t exactly cheap anymore. Still, for about $120 a month we get our land line phone, 50 meg internet, Netflix, Amazon, and all the news that’s fit to watch (plus, of course, a hell of a lot that’s NOT worth watching). If/when net neutrality goes, however, I’ll be damned surprised if those Yuge cable providers (Comcast, Verizon, et al) don’t wind up grabbing the entire of the internet and controlling it completely — and charging for everything, period. No more “free” stuff anywhere. Everyone will suffer, save for the oligarchs of course.

    Couple up the demise of net neutrality with the destruction of the EPA, of healthcare, the potential breaking up of National Monuments and Parks, the handing off of every resource to the corporate world, and understand that soon enough, Trump Fascism, not healthcare, will be “Universal” here in Amurkkka – Land of the Rich and Home of Teh Stupid (Republicans, i.o.w.).

  4. Yes, our prezidunce is a megalomaniac.
    noun: megalomaniac; plural noun: megalomaniacs
    a person who is obsessed with their own power.
    •a person who suffers delusions of their own power or importance.
    adjective: megalomaniac
    exhibiting megalomania.
    Before firing Comey, Trump was reportedly so angry about the Russia case he’d ‘scream at television clips’

    Can we just get started with the impeachment?

      • Speaking of which, our little girls will finally get spayed in the near future. We’re starting with a new vet, after 26? years with our first vet. Our first appointment will be on Friday, Squiggy and Luna have both been sneezing the last day or two, so they’re priority.

          • Ha! I guess that was a bit of a non-sequitur! The girls, Luna and Blaze (who I occasionally call “Lursa and B’Etor” when they plot to intercept Squiggy’s toys as I throw them) will be spayed soon, but will have to wait until after we take care of the two sneezers.

            No, both Luna and Blaze have displayed the usual signs of going into heat. Horny little things!

        • No, that’s female hu-mons you’re thinking of – the onset of the estrous cycle triggers an allergic reaction in the female, thus causing her to sneeze frequently. I read about it in a Texas Sex Education textbook, so it’s gotta be true, right?

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