Monday, November 10, 2014

The American corruptocracy, the ISPs, and the coming destruction of net neutrality

"I'll give it to you any way you like, honey,
as long as you pay for it. I'm a lawmaker."
Prostitution is now legal. 

Oh shut up and stop telling me I’m wrong. Prostitution is not only legal, it’s a leading pastime in Washington. It just depends on what you’re selling.

Are you selling a Congressman? A Senator? A commission chairman? How do you want him or her? Nekkid? On his knees with his mouth open? Hanging from the ceiling by chains? Ready to talk dirty about coal, or oil, or taxes, or guns? Or to submissively whine and snivel about the hardships of the rich and how life isn't fair to them? No problem.

Harlotry, the FCC
and net neutrality

The latest manifestation of red blooded American harlotry is the coming destruction of net neutrality by the Chairman of the FCC, Tom Wheeler. And it has to do with a matter that generally provokes barely stifled yawns. Net neutrality. No no, don’t run away. Come back here and pay attention, damnit! 

Net neutrality simply means that nobody using the Internet can have a leg up on anybody else – or any corporation else – that also uses the Internet. With net neutrality, you can’t be thrown off the Internet because your Internet service provider doesn’t like your politics. The content you read or watch can't be blocked. The company that feeds you movies can't be charged a king's ransom – aransom that eventually gets passed along to the consumer.

For example, if you transmit movies the way Netflix does, net neutrality means you can’t gain a monopoly by paying to make sure your movies get seamless transmission, while your competitor gets his transmissions so badly slowed down that the film keeps being interrupted – forcing the audience to stare at a little turning wheel until they give up and stop watching.

And so, if we manage to preserve net neutrality, Netflix, or Google, can’t gain a virtual monopoly, or near-monopoly, on movies and then charge whatever sum pops into their greedy heads.

And Comcast and Verizon can’t decide to throw any blogger off the Internet who doesn’t walk around in a bra and spiked heels, praising how well Comcast and Verizon are hung.

Utility shmootility! 
The ISPs want to control you.

The easiest way to preserve net neutrality is to treat every Internet Service Provider as a utility. Listen, your electric company can’t decide to cut your service because you’re using their juice to watch MSNBC or Fox. The movies you subscribe to shouldn’t be made unwatchable by Internet slowdowns because the movie provider’s president didn’t pay the Internet Service Providers their vig.

Or to quote President Obama, “Simply put: No service should be stuck in a ‘slow lane' because it does not pay a fee.That kind of gatekeeping would undermine the level playing field essential to the Internet’s growth.”

But there are some people out there who don’t like net neutrality. And yes, you can round up all the usual suspects: AT&T, and Verizon, and Comcast, and Time Warner Cable. They want to control the toll bridge to and from your mind, your eyeballs, your ears and your wallet. 

And their pet hooker at this moment is Chairman Wheeler. How he got his job in the first places is very nearly a puzzlement, since his last job was as a lobbyist for the very industry he’s supposed to be regulating now. Do you detect a whiff of conflict of interest there?


I am ashamed to say that Wheeler is an Obama appointee. But at least President Obama seems to be having second thoughts.

Razzle-dazzle ‘em 
with soporific language

Wheeler’s thought? Delay and obfuscate and take a “hybrid approach.” Obfuscate how? Prop your eyelids open with toothpicks, boys and girls, because Wheeler wants to make sure you're asleep while this matter is considered. He recently explained...
“Whether in the context of a hybrid or reclassification approach, Title II brings with it policy issues that run the gamut from privacy to universal service to the ability of federal agencies to protect consumers, as well as legal issues ranging from the ability of Title II to cover mobile services to the concept of applying forbearance on services under Title II.”
Thank you for that edifying and reassuring thought, Chairman Wheeler. 

You can try parsing Wheeler’s prose line by line if you want. But the executive summary is simply this: the public and democracy are screwed.

And if you think most of your senators and Congresswhores are going to step in and legislate net neutrality if Wheeler succeeds in killing or crippling it, have another think. This is a corruptocracy we live in, child. The people with money buy the laws and regulations they want. Congress, like Wheeler, simply works for the whorehouse.

Somehow what comes to mind is a filthy song we used to sing at the student pub at the University of Leeds student union, way back in my exchange student days in England. This blog doesn't limit obscenity very much. But I’ve got to have at least a little bit of propriety. So I’ve taken the liberty of plucking a few verses from the old pub song more-or-less out of context here – and presenting them to you, with the most vulgar of the four-letter words replaced. 

All the same, pay attention. This is where the United States is going. Or are we already there?

It’s the same the whole world over
It’s the poor wot gets the blame
While the rich has all the pleasures
Isn’t it a crying shame?

See him in the House of Commons
Making laws for all mankind
While the victim of his dirty rotten pleasures
Has to live off her behind.

If you’re rich, randy, and rotten
You can buy whomever you wish
While the poor put out for pennies
Let ‘em starve, ‘cause life’s a bitch.

It’s the same the whole world over
It’s the poor wot gets the blame
While the rich has all the pleasures
Isn’t it a crying shame?

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