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Friday, February 27, 2015

Lesbian Goddess Threesome to Celebrate Net Neutrality

Ah, Friday, Day of Freyja, or day of Frigg, with perhaps a touch of Venus thrown in there - depending on who you talk to. The day of lesbian goddess threesomes.

People who know me know that I'm not thrilled with President Obama and Obamacare - or more precisely, I'm not thrilled with the mainstream worship and ideology that glosses over the flaws and hypocrisy of many of his policies. But when something right gets done, I have to give the man credit. So I'm raising my tall mug of tripple-shot k-cup espresso to Net Neutrality finally being passed.

Look, I have strong libertarian leanings. But I've come to realize over the years that no one system is perfect. We need checks and balances in both our government and the corporations that run our daily lives. Some regulations are just necessary. You don't want poisonous drinking water, you don't want food that's going to cause you cancer, you don't want your landlord or boss to fornicate you if he or she chooses, you don't want you car to explode if you get in a fender bender... and you don't want the ISPs to choke and bleed your internet access dry to increase their profit margins.

I've made this comparison before, but if you've read Atlas Shrugged you'll get it: The ISPs are NOT Taggart Transcontinental, as they keep trying to paint themselves, they're Associated Steel. They did not build the internet from the ground up with their blood, sweat, and tears. Instead, they have raked in billions of government money (which came from us, the taxpayers, on top of the record profits they've received from their customers) and used all their lobbying to squash competition. This is why Comcast and Time Warner have a stranglehold on internet access in the United States, and are allowed to screw their customers regularly.

So what will change now? Nothing, except perhaps other ISPs will have a chance to compete. Why do I say that "nothing" happening is a good thing? Because the ISPs plan was to throttle down the internet access of those who used competing services. (Like Netflix, for example.) The "fast lane" access was not a plan to build a better and faster infrastructure and charge more for those who wanted to use it - it was to make the existing infrastructure more expensive, and throttle the use of those who didn't want to pay even more.

Think of it like a highway. Pretend that the ISPs own all the roads, and already charge you for their use- including the side-streets. The ISPs did not plan on building a new superhighway that would cost more to use. They planned on putting higher tolls on existing highways (which, let's be honest, ain't that great) adding tolls to highways that had no tolls before - and blasting potholes and blocking traffic in the side-streets - which you already pay to use - to make them virtually undrivable.

Is it perfect? No. I have to admit I'm a little suspicious. FCC Chairman Wheeler is a former NCTA and CITA lobbyist who has always fought against this very thing, so I always assumed President Obama's appointment of him was to keep the current oligarchy in place. His about-face now is definitely worrying. Most of all, I'm worried that this is a trade-off for TPP, (The Trans-Pacific Partnership, which will seriously fuck us all over if it gets passed.) We'll have to wait and see. But credit where credit is due, and a tip of the hat to President Obama is in order- for now, anyway.

TTFN
-Tony

For your viewing pleasure, here is a rat's nest of wires, hovering in the ceiling, waiting to leap down and envelop an unsuspecting electrician's soul:

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