Internet

Save the Internet From Al Franken

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How do you work this thing, anyway?

Last time we checked in with Senate not-so-funny man Al Franken and his ongoing crusade to save the Internet by enforcing net neutrality, he was confusing wireless data networks like the ones that connect Blackberries and iPhones to the Internet with home-based wi-fi connections like you might set up in your office. Whoops! But Franken has never been one for details, as even his defenders admit: In his response to his warning that we're on the way to a corporate-driven Internet in which "the Fox News website loads five times faster than Daily Kos?," a Daily Kos diarist explained that what Franken really managed to show was that "he really didn't understand network neutrality."

Since then, the FCC has passed brand-spankin'-new net neutrality regulations. And though the rules are not as strict as the most diehard neutrality advocates hoped for, they give the FCC its first foothold in the core of the Internet

But apparently, he's not about to let either victory or a few minor technical mixups throw him off the trail. Trouble is, he still doesn't seem to have a clue. From Politico:

"I came here to warn you, the party may be over," Franken said. "They're coming after the Internet hoping to destroy the very thing that makes it such an important [medium] for independent artists and entrepreneurs: its openness and freedom." Net neutrality, he added, is "the First Amendment issue of our time."

Sorry, but the First Amendment guarantees that the government won't interfere with anyone's speech. It's not a license to say anything you want using anyone else's property. And it certainly isn't a guarantee that private Internet Service Providers will be forced to operate their networks according to the whims of a handful of federal bureaucrats.

…"Unfortunately one thing these big corporations have that we don't is the ability to purchase favorable political outcomes," he said. "Big telecoms have lots of [lobbyists], and good ones, too. …The end of net neutrality would benefit no one but these corporate giants."

Funny, but if the big corporations who operate the web's core infrastructure are so intent on taking over the Internet by opposing net neutrality regulations, and if it's so easy for them to buy political outcomes, then how come they ended up with neutrality regulations that they oppose so strong that they are now suing to get rid of them?

Franken said talk of a "government takeover" of the Internet by net neutrality critics has as much credibility as claims of "death panels" in the health care legislation and claims that "Obama's a Muslim," calling them a "pantheon of lies."

I will say this: An all Black Eyed Peas future would be very bad.

Is it a government takeover when a federal agency asserts unprecedented power to regulate the core business practices of an industry? 

Franken finished up his half-hour speech by imploring the crowd to preserve net neutrality to avoid a future in which they're "stuck listening to the Black Eyed Peas and reminiscing about the days before you had to sell out to make it."

"Let's not let the government sell us out," he said. "Let's fight for net neutrality. Let's keep Austin weird. Let's keep the Internet weird. Let's keep the Internet free."

As much as I deeply, deeply despise every song ever recorded and released by the Black Eyed Peas, I am still not convinced. Net neutrality or no, the all-Black Eyed Peas future of my nightmares is not in any way upon us, praise Pitchfork. If anything, most signs point to an info-drenched future in which the Internet continues to expand the unique commercial and non-commercial ways that individuals can express themselves, make friends, create art, goof off, and generally have a grand old time doing whatever the hell they please. As for the existential threat of prioritized web traffic services, they're no more a threat to artists and individualists of any political stripe than prioritized deliveries via UPS or FedEx were a threat to anything other than mail-delivery's inefficient, government-run incumbent. If there's anything like a digital apocalypse nigh (and I don't think there is), it's in the possibility that federal bureaucrats—or worse, clueless politicians like Franken—might be put in charge of the way the Internet is run.

Watch Reason.tv on net neutrality:

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  1. People who put retards like Franken in charge really need to feel pain.

    1. Nuke Minnesota?

      1. Maybe Obama could enforce a no fly zone.

        1. I would support that.

    2. He won by only a handful of fraudulent ACORN votes. The fucker shouldn’t even be a senator.

      1. “Unfortunately one thing these big corporations have that we don’t is the ability to purchase favorable political outcomes,” he said.

        I was going to ask who purchased Franken, but maybe you’ve answered that. I keep forgetting that influence peddling is only wrong when the other guy does it 🙂

  2. Sorry, but the First Amendment guarantees that the government won’t interfere with anyone’s speech.

    Yeah, like the Bill of Rights was meant as a stop on the state doing something to its citizens. That doesn’t even make sense.

    1. But the government is the people. Limiting government power wouldn’t make any sense, since that would mean limiting the people’s exercise of power, which would de facto be minoritarian tyranny.

      Well, I take that back. I guess you could say it makes sense insofar as the document was written over a hundred years ago by aristocratic white slaveowning males who thought blacks were three fifths of a person.

      1. Well, I take that back. I guess you could say it makes sense insofar as the document was written over a hundred years ago by aristocratic white slaveowning males who thought blacks were three fifths of a person.

        Spoken like a true idiot.

      2. “But the government is the people.”

        I’m sorry, did you say something after that?

  3. Happy Patty’s Day!

    1. A/S/L

  4. Is their anything this dickhead ever did that ever made anyone laugh?

    1. …like using wrong word forms ‘n stuff…

    2. It’s Pat! *BARF*

      1. I’m afraid you’ve got Franken and Julia Sweeney mixed up.

        1. That’s easy to do.

  5. “I came here to warn you, the party may be over,” Franken said. “They’re I’M coming after the Internet hoping to destroy the very thing that makes it such an important [medium] for independent artists and entrepreneurs: its openness and freedom.” Net neutrality, he added, is “the First Amendment issue of our time.”

    1. They control the schools but they need to control the media. That’s why they’re always pushing for the “fairness” doctrine.

  6. He must be taking pointers from Carolyn McCarthy regarding pushing legislation that you don’t even understand yourself.

    Q: “Senator, What’s a wi-fi network?”

    A: “It’s a shoulder thing that goes up.”

  7. You know, when I used to see him on SNL in the late 1970s/early 1980s, I never knew he was SUCH a huge fucking asswipe.

    1. You mean late 80’s, early 90’s, right? Or did he have two retarded stints on SNL?

      1. Nah, I’m just old and can’t remember when he actually was on that show.

      2. Yes, he had two retarded stints on SNL. He left the show, failed at some other stuff for a while, and then came back.

    2. Two words: that is all you need to know concerning Al Franken…

      Stuart Smalley.

  8. This is why libertarians and progressives will NEVER see eye to eye–the latter can’t resist the urge to indulge their fetish for social engineering and overweening state control on a regular basis.

    1. But it’s for the children

    2. What exactly do you suppose is the oppressive motive behind net neutrality? The entire argument against it seems to be that government is doing something, therefore it must be bad.

      1. First its that the government is trying to fix something that isn’t fucking broken. More importantly though, it’s about an unelected bureaucratic letter soup making up rules and taking unprecedented power when the Supreme Court told them they couldn’t and the Congress couldn’t pass a law to make it so.

        1. This is very important. If congress had passed a law about net neutrality, that would be one thing. But this is just a power grab by unelected bureaucrats.

        2. Well, when you’re paying Comcast or Roadrunner to access YouTube, instead of paying YouTube for YouTube, you’ll figure it out.

      2. You have to take the long view, Tony. Perhaps having the government under Obama control the Internet doesn’t seem so bad to you. But try imagining the government under a Bush or a Cheney or a Palin–or somebody fucked-up that we don’t know now but will rise up in the future–doing that. Is it still okay?

        Christ, we saw what Bush ’43 was like and how he pissed on our rights. That’s more than enough to convince me. Why isn’t it enough to convince you? You’re not a secret Bush admirer, are you?

        1. I don’t see how inaction by the Obama government will prevent a future Republican government from doing whatever it damn well pleases. My basic solution for preventing bad policy is never voting Republican.

          1. You could at least try NOT enabling them.

            Oh, and you’re sure that every Democrat from now to eternity will respect your rights? Good luck with that.

            1. No, not to eternity. With any luck, at least one party will be in existence at a given time that doesn’t see it as its duty from God to fuck up as much of the planet as possible.

              1. Well, at least you understand that it’s a matter of luck. That’s a start. Although why you would blindly trust to luck to protect you from unscrupulous mediocre hacks is beyond me.

              2. From what I can see, both parties feel the same duty.

          2. Permanent reductions in government power would stop those Republicans from endangering your rights. Nothing else will.

          3. Do you vote Democrat?

            1. Yes, do I have a viable third option?

              1. So you think you prevent bad policy by voting democrat?
                HAHAHAHAHAHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH
                * Oh, God*
                HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

      3. They’re placing a group of people that actively engage in censorship in other media in charge of keeping the internet “free”, they’ve openly discussed killswitches, they’ve attempted to restrict political blogging under campaign finance laws, they have a history of using the power of law to restrict the capacity for speech of those they perceive as hostile (fairness doctrine, Citizens United, etc.), and they’re completely beholden to the major content industries who have a huge vested interest in policing the internet and squelching speech that they believe cuts into their profits.

        The more reasonable question is why anyone would assume that they wouldn’t attempt to use this power to restrict and undermine speech on the internet? (Well, brainless partisanship and government-worship aside).

        1. (Well, brainless partisanship and government-worship aside).

          Tony’s biggest fault (well, besides his lack of basic math skills), as with all progressives, is that government will always act benevolently if “the right people” are in charge. It’s the same goddamn fallacy they’ve employed since the Wilson era.

          You’d think a bunch of spergs who thought they represented “the voice of the people” would have a little more faith in the people to determine their sources of information. But then again, 20th century progressivism never was intellectually consistent.

  9. …a “pantheon of lies”

    Every God that was ever worshipped on this planet is in those lies..

    …a future in which they’re “stuck listening to the Black Eyed Peas and reminiscing about the days before you had to sell out to make it.”

    While I understand the BEP hate, I don’t get the “selling out” part. Who honestly thinks Fergie, given total creative freedom, would be making music like Can or Mars Volta or Thelonious Monk, etc.?

    1. Franken doesn’t even understand that selling out is not the same thing as being talentless, or else he’d be a sell out, too.

      1. Becoming a Senator is selling out.

        1. Well, its selling out AND being talentless. Hence Franken’s inability to comprehend the difference.

    2. Mars Volta. That’s some brain melting sound!

    3. sell out = not sponging off parents or state

      Hey, hipsters… Wallace Stevens had a job, what’s your fucking excuse?

      1. I met a boy
        Wearing Vans
        501s
        And a dope Beastie tee
        Nipple rings
        New tatoos…

          1. Was that from ’92…the first EP?

    4. I am positive that given total creative freedom Fergie would be worth the $250/hr PSE.

      1. For the real GFE?

  10. federal bureaucrats?or worse, clueless politicians like Franken?might be put in charge of the way the Internet is run.

    As sure as the Internet is a series of tubes, you can count on it. 8-(

  11. The class clown is a Senator. Turns out the smart ass underachiever in the back of the room underachieves because he’s not actually that smart or clever.

    1. And he is NOT funny.

      I bet he is big time jealous of Rush.

  12. Doesn’t Franken understand that Al Gore should be able to dictate the use of his own invention?

  13. If SXSW attendees were truly the iconoclasts they think they are, they would immediately start buying Black Eyed Peas albums.

    On vinyl, though. Baby steps.

  14. No need to answer the following question:

    Does Al Franken have the slightest clue that festivals like SXSW would not have achieved their size and scope were it not for the existence of the Internet exactly in the unregulated state he so opposes?

  15. As much as I deeply, deeply despise every song ever recorded and released by the Black Eyed Peas…

    can we go one further and want them all dead? Pleeeeeeeese?

    1. Violent rhetoric!!!!

      SCREEEEECH!!!

      < pointing at GILMORE, in the style of Donald Sutherland at the end of Invasion of the Bodysnatchers >

      1. Ahem. Kevin McCarthy, not Donald Sutherland.

        1. Hey, Sutherland’s screech was excellent. He may not have originated the role, but he excelled at screeching. And superb finger-pointing. Besides, he’s Donald Sutherland, which is almost at Bowie levels of cool.

    2. I’ll see you a bunch of Black Eyed Peas and raise your four Hot Chili Peppers…

      1. They had their moments. And Flea is a pretty cool dude. I’d settle for them just not making any more music as the Chili Peppers.

        1. Give it away, give it away, give it away, give it away now!

      2. Fuck you guys all. Red Hot Chili Peppers are one of the better long-lived bands. And I would take them being here for as long as they had over Nirvana (or similar music) having survived the 1990s.

        1. Agreed, gB.

          Even if you hate RHCP’s music, Flea, John Frusciante and Chad Smith are all very, very good musicians. Comparing them to BEP on a talent level is ridiculous.

  16. Does this mean I get my kill switch?

    1. I don’t think “kill switch” means what you think it means…

    2. You don’t get to touch the kill switch anyway, dumbass, that belongs to Michelle.

    3. I’ve never understood the reasoning behind the kill switch. Isn’t a massive denial of service (which is what a “kill switch” would do) about the worst attack on the internet possible?

      1. Isn’t it illegal? I’d like laws like that to apply to all entities–private and public alike.

    4. Only if it’s like the kill-switch in Time Enough for Love.

  17. But I thought electrons were negative, and protons positive, and neutrons neutral? So if we make “net neutrality” teh LAWZ, does that mean that the protons and electrons are evicted from the electricity, and are now homeless, and therefore need housing subsidies from Fanny and Freddy?

    And probably food stamps, too?

    I’m so confused…

    /Franken

    1. Two hydrogen atoms are walking down the street.

      One says to the other, “I just lost an electron.”

      The other says, “Are you sure?”

      The first one says, “Yes, I’m positive.”

  18. I hereby solemnly swear that anyone who’s ever uttered the tiresome slogan “Keep _____ Weird” was never weird or clever or even remotely interesting themselves.

    Fuck you, Al Franken, you talentless, unfunny also-ran.

  19. Since then, the FCC has passed brand-spankin’-new net neutrality regulations.

    Does the FCC actually “pass” anything? More mandates by non-legislative statute, isn’t it?

  20. Al Franken is a joke without a punch line. Al Franken writes jokes without punch lines. Therefore, Al Franken does not exist.

    Whew…

  21. “Sorry, but the First Amendment guarantees that the government won’t interfere with anyone’s speech. It’s not a license to say anything you want using anyone else’s property. And it certainly isn’t a guarantee that private Internet Service Providers will be forced to operate their networks according to the whims of a handful of federal bureaucrats.”

    I can imagine the FCC ruling that trolls must not have their comments deleted.

    1. Oh, the lulz I could have with that. Not that I’d really go an troll other boards. Trolls are scum.

      1. I meant to say only leftard trolls.

  22. If you want to side with CATO, Grover Norquist, and the telecom industries and be against net neutrality, fine. But don’t pretend you’re advocating for more freedom. Net neutrality means that nobody, including government, can restrict access based on content. Just because it might take a law to ensure that the internet is kept as it is (and do any of you find something wrong with it?) doesn’t mean it’s evil government meddling. It would be an attempt to prevent meddling.

    I understand why reason advocates that whatever industry wants = freedom, but I don’t understand why normal people who aren’t underwritten go along with it.

    1. Shorter Tony:

      Let me explain to you how this works: you see, the corporations finance Reason(drink!), and then Reason(drink!) goes out… and the corporations sit there in their… in their corporation buildings, and… and, and see, they’re all corporation-y… and they make money.

      1. From Wiki, on the subject of net neutrality:

        Five of the biggest telecom corporations in the country?Verizon, Time Warner, AT&T, Comcast, and Qwest collectively lobbied $218 million to Representatives and gave $23.7 million in campaign contributions from 2006?2008.

        You people can find a government conspiracy to oppress you in a slice of toast. Why do you willfully ignore the fact that corporations can also find ways to limit your freedom? That their freedom to make more profits might not have anything to do with your freedom as a person?

        1. Maybe italics will help:

          Let me explain to you how this works: you see, the corporations finance Reason(drink!), and then Reason(drink!) goes out… and the corporations sit there in their… in their corporation buildings, and… and, and see, they’re all corporation-y… and they make money.

          1. Just naming the magazine does not call for a drink. You have to say something like “for a magazine called reason…” Are you stupid or something?

            1. Just saying that big companies have lobbied for something doesn’t justify the conclusion that the thing that they lobbied for is bad.

              1. But it does contradict the claim that there’s nothing that needs fixing–clearly they have an interest here. So the question is, is the policy telecom corporations want so that they can increase profitability the same thing as more freedom?

                1. Go suck a diseased cock, Tony.

                2. Now you’re just obfuscating. Do you really think the corporations are lobbying to keep things the way they are? I guaran-damn-tee you that they are lobbying for net neutrality because they want to stifle competition (thus increasing their profitability). Just like the Big Three colluded with the State to fuck over Tucker.

                  1. Net neutrality IS the way things are, and the telecoms want to change that for their own purposes. Can you think of a different way to structure access to Internet content that would be better than what we have now?

                    1. Net neutrality IS the way things are…

                      Where in hell’s blazes did you come up with this idiotic notion?

                    2. How about the government not mandating who can provide service to which area so I have a choice between AT&T, Crapcast, TWC, Dish, etc.

                  2. I loves that reference

                3. So the question is, is the policy telecom corporations want so that they can increase profitability the same thing as more freedom?

                  No, the question is, if they get what they want, how does it limit freedom?

                  You’re the one who wants to pass a law, you fucking explain why it’s necessary. Otherwise, refer to capitol l’s “corporation-y” post, because it fits.

                  1. Because the content-dumb way internet access works now seems to be the freest possible system.

        2. Re: Tony,

          “They lobbied! You see? You see? Unbelievers!”

          Tony, the modern day Cassandra… Or at least as he fancies himself.

          1. Do you think Verizon and Comcast give an ounce of a shit about your individual freedom?

            1. Please don’t feed the troll.

            2. The Internet as Tony understands it:

              Tony’s Macbook —> big, blue Comcast branded Ethernet cable —> Reason.com!

            3. Re: Tony,

              Do you think Verizon and Comcast give an ounce of a shit about your individual freedom?

              You mean… you mean… They don’t love me???

              By the way, individual freedom does not mean “unrestricted access to their wares.” That would be welfare.

        3. Five of the biggest telecom corporations in the country?Verizon, Time Warner, AT&T, Comcast, and Qwest collectively lobbied $218 million to Representatives and gave $23.7 million in campaign contributions from 2006?2008.

          What does this have to do with the price of fish?

          1. Think they’re spending money because they want to keep the Internet the way it is?

            1. I’m trying to understand what you think that AT&T et al are going to do to the internet in absence of new legislation.

              1. They want to impose a tiered service model–meaning they have the ability to “control the pipeline”–creating artificial scarcity and removing competition.

                1. You people statists can find a government corporate conspiracy to oppress you in a slice of toast.

                  FIFY.

            2. Of course not. They are pushing Net Neutrality so they can keep competition out. And people like you have bought it hook, line, and sinker.

        4. Maybe if state and local governments did not establish local monopolies on cable and DSL internet services, then you could just choose a company that does not restrict your access to websites. No, I don’t like them blocking access to Netflix or any other sites, but it is their servers. If I don’t like them, I can go to someone else. Oh, wait, I can’t because the ****ing government says I can’t. And people like you, Tony, prop them up for their monopolistic protections.

    2. …but I don’t understand why normal people who aren’t underwritten go along with it.

      When I purchase service from an ISP I’m “underwritten” to the extent that I’m participating in a voluntary economic transaction and don’t appreciate it when impotent little turds from the government attempt to meddle under the guise of concern for my well being. How much fucking clearer does that have to be before it sinks into your thick skull?

      1. So the way the Internet works now, with all content treated equally–do you find that oppressive and restrictive of your choices?

        1. If there’s anything you’ve taught me it’s that I’d never cut it as a special ed teacher.

        2. If the internet works fine and dandy now, i.e. “all content treated equally,” would you admit that net neutrality is a solution in search of a problem?

          1. It’s no secret what the telecoms want to do.

            1. It’s also no secret what the government wants to do. I’m sure they appreciate your help.

      2. “How much fucking clearer does that have to be before it sinks into your thick skull?”

        Given the incredibly Boring comments that Tony posts here, it will NEVER sink into his thick skull. Good ol’ one note Tony. Boring.

    3. Re: Tony,

      If you want to side with CATO, Grover Norquist, and the telecom industries and be against net neutrality, fine. But don’t pretend you’re advocating for more freedom.

      Sie sind mit uns oder gegen uns!

      Siding with CATO or the telecom corporations does not mean one is not in favor of freedom. Net Neutrality hsa NOTHING to do with “freedom,” but with gerrymandering.

      1. Gerrymandering? You’re gonna have to explain that one. And siding with CATO and telecom corporations doesn’t mean you’re in favor of freedom either.

        1. Re: Tony,

          Gerrymandering? You’re gonna have to explain that one.

          The same way politicians gerrymander a district, you can gerrymander Internet access to your political unconditionals.

          And siding with CATO and telecom corporations doesn’t mean you’re in favor of freedom either.

          No, just as siding with my wife does not mean I favor dresses. You’re an idiot, Tony.

          What I argue is that siding with CATO or the companies does not make one “anti-freedom.”

          1. Ah, so you don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re just resting on “government=bad” as usual.

            The whole point is to prevent “gerrymandering.”

            1. Re: Tony,

              Ah, so you don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re just resting on “government=bad” as usual.

              Ah, I don’t think like you, Tony, in such simplistic, child-like ways.

              http://thehill.com/blogs//hill…..-internetq

              “Net Neutrality” would give the FedGov power to grant or restrict access to certain political groups or voices. For instance, the FCC could easily deem certain websites as “pornography” and shut them down, whether they show pornography or not. That’s how one can gerrymander the Internet. It’s not simply “government = bad”; it’s “government = evil.”

              1. Ah, I don’t think … in such simplistic, child-like ways.

                Really more adolescent than child-like, I would agree, what with all the black and white, us versus themness to how you approach things. I imagine part of this comes from growing up in Mexico, where you have a good example of the dangers of corrupt government. But, of course, governments do not all operate as poorly as the one in Mexico. It takes vigilance by the people to keep it a government from developing into the kind of kleptocracy that Mexico is burdened with. But when those dangers are presented without acknowledging that it is specific kinds of potential actions by government that are evil (rather than government = evil), you work against the credibility of your position.

                Rothbard looms large in all of your points.

            2. And who do you think will have more say in just how the government controls the internet? You’re falling face-first right into the trap.

          2. You’re an idiot, Tony.

            Nothing more needs to be said, really.

            1. A Boring idiot…don’t forget, boring. Tedious, tiresome, monotonous, vapid, insipid………

    4. Yeah, cause the government regulating and keeping an eye on an industry so that everything is fair never turns into a monopoly. NOT EVER.

      1. Government traditionally has a monopoly on basic infrastructure. The reason this is good is that it ensures equality of access. We don’t give favored corporations special access to highways, for example. Anyone can use them to engage in commerce as they see fit.

        1. The thing is, that at this point in time, there is no favored access. Unless you live in a state where the government has decided that only certain companies can provide service to certain areas. (In the part of the city where I live, only AT&T can provide service.)

        2. Re: Tony,

          Government traditionally has a monopoly on basic infrastructure.

          You can call anything “basic infrastructure” and then argue that the government has a monopoly on it. That’s how thieves and shysters think, people.

        3. ROADS!!!!!!!!!1

        4. I wasn’t talking about government monopoly on infrastructure. I was talking about government created monopolies, ie: KV Pharma getting sole rights to the premie drug.

        5. “Anyone can use them to engage in commerce as they see fit.”

          What, like Mexican truckers?

    5. “If you want to side with CATO, Grover Norquist, and the telecom industries and be against net neutrality, fine. But don’t pretend you’re advocating for more freedom. Net neutrality means that nobody, including government, can restrict access based on content.”

      Ohhh…let me try:

      If you want to side with PEPSI and be against product neutrality, fine. But don’t pretend you’re advocating for more freedom. Product neutrality means that nobody, including PEPSI, can restrict access to competing brands. No longer will Taco Bell be allowed to favor PEPSI products over Coca-Cola products. See? We’re PROTECTING freedom!

      In a related story, I’m starting a public campaign against the NYT for not printing my articles. They’re restricting my freedom of speech! Viva la resistance!

    6. It would be one thing if Congress (emphasis on Congress, the people who actually have the power to make rules, not unelected bureaucrats) prevented vertical integration of raw IP service and higher level services altogether, and then (and this is critical), put those higher level services explicitly outside of the FCC’s jurisdiction while granting it authority to enforce non-favoritism in the very low-level transport layer.

      But that’s not what’s happening at all.

    7. If that was all net neutrality was I doubt you would see many complaints. A more accurate description would be the internet fairness doctrine.

      1. The fairness doctrine is a steaming pile of shit too.

    8. You only say this because you think providing the service you want to provide for the price you want to provide it is freedom. Libertarians just happen to think that ISPs have rights as well as their customers, and if you don’t like what they’re selling, don’t buy it. But you knew that because it’s been explained to you a billion times.

    9. Tony|3.17.11 @ 10:08AM|#
      “…But don’t pretend you’re advocating for more freedom.”

      Followed by:
      “Net neutrality means that nobody, including government, can restrict access based on content.”
      Gold in the Self Contradiction event.

  23. As for the existential threat of prioritized web traffic services, they’re no more a threat to artists and individualists of any political stripe than prioritized deliveries via UPS or FedEx were a threat to anything other than mail-delivery’s inefficient, government-run incumbent.

    If Suderman says so, it must be. However his analogy makes no sense; UPS/Fedex trucks don’t get prioritized traffic services.

    1. Overnight/one day/two day shipping was an innovation of those companies. That’s the priority Peter’s talking about. USPS only really had first class, which meant they only delivered your package in a theoretically timely manner.

      1. There is a long history of new, innovative internet companies displacing old, crappy companies, without having prioritized web traffic services.

        Network neutrality is about keeping the playing field level; prioritized web traffic services will allow existing companies to create higher barriers to entry for new competition.

        THis is why the analogy sucks. Fedex isn’t better than USPS because they paid for their trucks to be able to drive faster than USPS trucks, but because of innovation and creativity in finding an underserved market for faster shipping.

        1. The net neutrality issue is something that I come down on a very simple way: when the government gets involved in a business model, the service will always get worse.

          Why do I believe this? Observation.

          Government will go from keeping net traffic from being prioritized to deciding what and how things are prioritized. Mission creep is the definition of government “services.” Social Security, Medicare, FDA, FCC, Federal Reserve, etc, etc, etc… small programs for specific “fixes” to the market that have become arrogant and monstrous huge.

          But when the government fucks up the ISP business model, someone will come along–and it might very will be you–and rant about “market failure.” And the cycle will continue.

          1. Network neutrality (also net neutrality, Internet neutrality) is a principle proposed for users’ access to networks participating in the Internet. The principle advocates no restrictions by Internet service providers and governments on content, sites, platforms, the kinds of equipment that may be attached, and the modes of communication.

            above from Wikipedia.

            No restrictions. Network Neutrality is keeping the internet the way it has always been.

            1. Yes, because government never, ever, ever exceeds its mandate. Never, ever.

              1. I agree the government exceeds its mandates — hell the government almost never even has true mandates.

                What exactly is the problem you see with how the internet has worked for its existence? In what way does treating packets the same way no matter their source or destination cause a problem? The Internet has always seemed much closer to a “free market” than any other part of our society.

                1. I don’t see a problem with it. What I see a problem with is the insane notion that government involvement is either going to keep it as free or somehow make it freer.

                  In the land of gumdrops and lollipops, government good intentions might work out. Where the rest of humanity live, that is never the case.

    2. You’re either high, oblivious to how freight actually works, or purposefully being obsequious. Most likely that thar one in the middle.

      1. LOL, that was to doomboy, not you Sugar. i r high, apparently.

      2. obsequious

        I do not think that word means what you think it does.

        1. Probably meant obtuse, or maybe refudiate.

          1. It means exactly what I meant it to mean. Obedient to an extreme degree. In this case, to the left’s Net Neut point of view.

            Sounds like you need some brushing up, Inigo, er, doomboy.

            1. Whatever you say, Humpty-Dumpty.

              1. prepare to die

              2. So…you admit you were either 1) wrong, 2) ignorant of the proper meaning of the word, or 3) both 1 and 2?

                It isn’t every day an internet debate can so cleanly be won, but it does happen. Regardless, arguing on the internet is lot like the special olympics, yadda, yadda, yadda…

    3. If Suderman says so, it must be. However his analogy makes no sense; UPS/Fedex trucks don’t get prioritized traffic services.

      Your analogy makes no sense.

      Roads are publicly owned. The Internet is privately built and owned. See the difference?

      If you want a completely neutral network, you’re free to make the multi-billion $ investment and build your own. Until that point, what you are doing is asking the state to subsidize your lifestyle by restricting the property and rights of others, assuming you are a NN proponent.

      1. Privately built and owned? Hardly.

        1. Privately built and owned? Hardly.

          [citation needed]

          Here are mine:

          http://advice.cio.com/node/209
          http://www.caida.org/projects/…..e_history/

        2. Also, learn how it actually works, if you’re so inclined:

          http://arstechnica.com/old/con…..ansit.ars/

  24. If you don’t like the way your ISP treats you get another one… oh unless you live in one of those areas where the gov’t restricts entry.

    Where I live I have a choice between Time-Warner, Surewest, ATT and Sprint Wimax.

    1. Indeed. The consumer has a lot to say about this issue. Importantly, what I pay an ISP to do is to provide me with similar access to any and all content I might want to have access to. When comcast decides it doesn’t want me to have access to content from its competition in as timely a fashion as I get from other places, they are breaking (at least) the spirit of the contract I signed with them. If only a few large companies dominate the ISP market, and all use this practice then the problem can become a real one for consumers. A simple regulation saying that Comcast can’t do this provides a boundary condition in the market that benefits the consumer. It would be easy for the FCC to go too far in regulating the internet. But a simple rule does not a “take over” make.

      1. Re: Neu Mejican,

        If only a few large companies dominate the ISP market, and all use this practice then the problem can become a real one for consumers.

        Gotcha – so we need a monopoly of force that does not compete with anybody nor allows anybody to compete with it, to force competition on the few competitors there are.

        Because that is what Net Neutrality is all about. Up is down.

        But a simple rule does not a “take over” make.

        Yeah… just as touching is not really rape.

        Same shit.

        1. Yeah… just as touching is not really rape.

          Same shit.

          Are you arguing that touching is rape?

      2. Again–

        So net neutrality is a solution in search of a problem???

      3. Everything you just said is predicated on an “if”.

        1. I was aware of that.

          1. We shouldn’t be in the business of making far reaching (ya know mission creep and all that) regulations or legislation on the basis of what might happen.

    2. Honestly, in some areas your list of choices would be considered a luxury.

  25. Net neutrality, he added, is “the First Amendment issue of our time.”

    But Rachel Maddow told me that Citizens United was the First Amendment issue of our time–of the year –of the week.

  26. You can’t just turn off you’re att connection. Have you never heard of service contracts? You also say that none of the ISP’s have done anything to warrent the need for neutrality, I would say youve been living under a rock. Comcast has been caught throttling and they are already charging NetFlix extra so that they can stream movies to their customers. Why do you wish to spread this misinformation? how much are the telcos paying you for your participation in this misinformation campaign?

    1. Do you have any idea the strain that Netflix, or other streaming websites put on the system? Why the fuck shouldn’t they be paying more?

      1. BullShit. Comcast is creating a tax (much like microsoft does) on a business they compete with. Camcast wants me to use their streaming service, on-demand. Since they cannot compete in the areas that matter they’ve resorted to whining how unfair the world is.

        1. I didn’t consider that angle. But couldn’t Netflix just sue Comcast?

      2. “Do you have any idea the strain that Netflix, or other streaming websites an ISP’s customers put on the system?”

        FTFY.

        1. So they should charge consumers based on the amount of data they use instead of just a flat rate?

          1. So they should charge consumers based on the amount of data they use instead of just a flat rate?

            They would prefer not to do this, because then customers could chose to get their content from other content providers. Their interest is in stifling competition in the content market by using their ISP service as the lever. Net neutrality is really about saying that his is an unethical practice that should not be allowed.

  27. What they did to washing machines.

    How Washington Ruined Your Washing Machine

    The top-loading washer continues to disappear, thanks to the usual nanny state suspects.

    It might not have been the most stylish, but for decades the top-loading laundry machine was the most affordable and dependable. Now it’s ruined?and Americans have politics to thank.

    In 1996, top-loaders were pretty much the only type of washer around, and they were uniformly high quality. When Consumer Reports tested 18 models, 13 were “excellent” and five were “very good.” By 2007, though, not one was excellent and seven out of 21 were “fair” or “poor.” This month came the death knell: Consumer Reports simply dismissed all conventional top-loaders as “often mediocre or worse.”

    How’s that for progress?

    The culprit is the federal government’s obsession with energy efficiency.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/…..on_LEADTop

    – The Gobbler

  28. But net neutrality advocates warn that without federal intervention, corporate giants won’t leave it this way for long; they will begin setting up pricey, priority-traffic toll roads across the Web.

    From the linked article.
    And, of course, this began happening recently. It was done because existing companies have an interest in creating barriers to competition. This competition is particularly robust among content providers.

    1. And, of course, this began happening recently. It was done because existing companies have an interest in creating barriers to competition. This competition is particularly robust among content providers.

      And since competition is limited through state and local restrictions, the big players are able to do this. Allow all players in an industry to compete in all areas and watch the prices go down.

      Net Neutrality is one more government solution to address the other failures of government solutions.

      1. And since competition is limited through state and local restrictions, the big players are able to do this. Allow all players in an industry to compete in all areas and watch the prices go down.

        That is a possible outcome. It is also possible that a single, established player will dominate and prices will go up…among a host of other possibilities.

        1. That is a possible outcome. It is also possible that a single, established player will dominate and prices will go up…among a host of other possibilities.

          What barriers would be preventing competitors from entering the market? Providing a lower price is an enormous selling point. Don’t see the monopoly scenario being plausible.

          1. What barriers would be preventing competitors from entering the market?

            Infrastructure costs, primarily.

  29. “Let’s not let the government sell us out,” he said. “Let’s fight for net neutrality. …. Let’s keep the Internet free.”

    ::Nomad explodes::

    1. Maybe he said it on Opposite Day.

  30. So the way the Internet works now, with all content treated equally–do you find that oppressive and restrictive of your choices?

    Nope. But net neutrality will require that I buy a service that include (or subsidizes for others) unlimited downloads.

    That is restrictive of my choices. I don’t download or stream very much at all, really, and I don’t want to be forced to pay for a service I don’t use.

    See how this works? The current free market doesn’t oppress me or restrict my choices. Government mandates do.

  31. Comcast has been caught throttling and they are already charging NetFlix extra so that they can stream movies to their customers.

    The freely-entered-into business arrangement between NetFlix and ComCast allows ComCast to charge NetFlix extra if it exceeds certain volumes.

    The fact that ComCast is doing so affects consumers positively; if it did not charge NetFlix for the surplus load it places on the infrastructure, it would have to charge its customers to do so. Now, NetFlix and its customers will pay some semblance of the freight for their usage; this strikes me as appropriate. Making others pay the freight for their usage doesn’t.

    Network infrastructure isn’t free, and NetFlix doesn’t have the right to a free ride on infrastructure paid for by others.

    1. Who the hell do you think pays the fee Comcast charges Netflix? I do not use Comcast for any service yet I have to pay for their infrastructure? BULLSHIT. Who the fuck do you think pays for that infrastructure? I pay for it when I pay for internet access and I pay for Netflix service, which in turn they use to pay for their access. Where the fuck do you get off puking up the same retarded bullshit about freeloading? How fucking ignorant are you?

      1. Get a differnet ISP then retard. What, you can’t? Oh yea, government won’t allow upstarts.

      2. Who the fuck do you think pays for that infrastructure?

        Not you, that’s for sure. You only rent the pipe, boy. It isn’t yours to sell.

        You might want to actually learn how the Internet works before shooting your mouth off more and looking even more like an uninformed noob. Helpful links are above.

  32. It is a massive stretch to lay the foundation of the Internet’s creation on private industry alone.

    That point aside, the video brings up my biggest complaint about Internet services: It needs to be metered. And I say that as someone who uses a fair amount of bandwidth. We’d see better prices, more innovation, and much better competition if these companies had the balls to ditch flat rate pricing. But the problem is that they make a killing off of the light bandwidth users and they don’t want to lose that gravy train just yet.

    1. “It needs to be metered.”

      Bullshit. The internet has congestion issues, not volume issues. Ideally, consumers would have access to multiple QoS tiers, with the lowest tier being uncapped. Customers’ programs could then have control over which tier they use, so that something like a torrent or large download could use low QoS, websites could use high to medium QoS, and games, streaming video, and other realtime apps would use high QoS.

  33. Libertarians have long been much more of a presence on the internet than in other areas of society, and people with libertarian leanings played large roles in the development of the internet, yet most of you are complaining about the way it works, bitching that large ISPs don’t have the right to fuck up the very principle that made it all work.

    Doesn’t anyone remember AOL? Or any of the other private gated variations on the internet that Apple, Compuserve, etc. ran? They all failed because of the open internet.

    Jesus. Unbelievable how libertarian has come to mean corporatist.

    1. I’m sorry. Eventually you’ll realize that your good intentions were being used to serve the interest of the content industry, and your choice of the “corporatist” label will feel bleakly ironic. Sadly, it will be too late to do anything about then.

  34. I’m confused. Arguing “that large ISP’s don’t have the right to fuck up the very principle that made it all work” is corporatist?

    Isn’t that being against mega corporations and their rent seeking?

    1. No, that is the opposite of what I meant (and thought I wrote clearly, but maybe not).

      The status quo is ISPs treat packets equally. That is the principle that has made the internet work as well as it has. Arguing against keeping that principle (ie., opposing network neutrality), particularly today when there are relatively few, very large ISPs, is corporatist.

      Corporatist is the opposite of being against corporations and rent-seeking.

  35. Doesn’t anyone remember AOL? Or any of the other private gated variations on the internet that Apple, Compuserve, etc. ran? They all failed because of the open internet.

    Then where is the problem? If the internet is open and is weeding out the less competitive models, then what is the value of regulation?

    Jesus. Unbelievable how libertarian has come to mean corporatist.

    Yeah, cause no one in this thread has made any mention of corporations using government to erect barriers of entry to competitors. Just shills for corporations, huh?

  36. Yeah, cause no one in this thread has made any mention of corporations using government to erect barriers of entry to competitors. Just shills for corporations, huh?
    reply to this

    A fair response to the accusation.

    I would point out, however, that government policy can both be a barrier to anti-competitive behavior by corporations and a facilitator of that behavior. The details matter. When discussing a specific government policy, it is important to distinguish between government actions that create barriers and government actions that protect against the creation of barriers. Net neutrality as a concept is about preventing the creation of those barriers. The specific policy and how it is implemented needs to be examined to determine if it will be successful in that regard.

    If competitive barriers are beginning to arise in the market, there may be a need for a specific policy. If they are not a problem, it is probably not needed. The debate is in part about whether or not this type of action is warranted. Comcast has begun to use its dual role as ISP and content provider to stifle competition among content providers. Whether this is a good enough indicator of a problem to warrant a specific policy is up for debate.

    On a side note: Al Franken is being used as a scapegoat here. Just because an idiot supports an idea, does not make that idea wrong, in principle. The rhetorical stance of this article is designed to stifle the discussion. Too bad.

    1. I think it indicates that ISP’s shouldn’t also be content providers, that might not be very libertarian though.

  37. Just naming the magazine does not call for a drink. You have to say something like “for a magazine called reason…” Are you stupid or something?

    Tony, I am so sorry if I somehow misrepresented what you were saying. I really meant no harm. I can be slow sometimes, so let me try again:

    Let me explain to you how this works: you see, the corporations finance Reason(drink!), and then Reason(drink!) goes out… and the corporations sit there in their… in their corporation buildings, and… and, and see, they’re all corporation-y… and they make money.

    After reading all of your posts it seems as if the above is what you were truly trying to say.

    1. I even added a blockquote to make it fancy.

  38. Wait, Obama’s a Muslim?

  39. 1). It’s because of government that we have the internet.

    2). Privately owned media gave us American Movie Classics that shows Jean Claude VanDamme movies, a History Channel that shows nothing but WWII footage and Nostradamus, a Discovery Channel that’s all about sharks and badly animated dinosaurs, and a cartoon network that’s mostly stopped showing cartoons. PBS, meanwhile, continues to show pretty much what it was intended to show without recourse to cheap sensationalism.
    3.”Funny, but if the big corporations who operate the web’s core infrastructure are so intent on taking over the Internet by opposing net neutrality regulations, and if it’s so easy for them to buy political outcomes, then how come they ended up with neutrality regulations that they oppose so strong that they are now suing to get rid of them?” Aside from being poorly written, that sentence doesn’t make any sense. You do realize that suing to get rid of a regulation is a way of opposing it, right?
    4). I like my internet just the way it is, if it is at all possible to keep it that way. If that takes government intervention, then I’m all for it. Unless the government intervention prevents innovation and improvements, which nobody seems to be claiming in this case.

  40. The US Post Office has indeed been threatened by bad jokes and reactionary bullshit like the above more than anything. I don’t want to pay $20 to mail a letter and still have it damaged or not delivered as by UPS or FED EX. I pay under 50cents and it gets there just fine. This is like NASCAR racers saying we’ll do whatever the hell we want and if Dale dies Dale dies. Fuck that.

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