What Concrete & WiFi Have In Common
Allow me to explain — as I understand things — why the big corporations that are lobbying for an end to net neutrality are full of shit.
AT&T’s flacks, for instance, earlier this year in a public comment to the FCC said the Obama-era net neutrality ruling was “an unprecedented regulatory overreach for which there is no economic or marketplace justification.”
No. Not really.
The simplest analogy is the automobile. You go out and buy whatever hot rod you see fit, depending on your tastes and budget and your belief in advertisements that imply you’ll be able to get laid every day and night of the week if you buy our model station wagon. So now the car is yours. You start it up and drive on any road — every road — you wish to whatever destination you care to go. You can drive to Wal-Mart, Hopscotch, McCormick’s Creek State Park, Mount Rushmore, the hospital, a Nevada bordello, a Colorado pot store, or even around courthouse square a thousand times in a row, should you be so inclined. With rare exceptions (toll roads and bridges, etc.), everyone gets to access every roadway for the same price (usually free).
Call it pavement neutrality.
Now let’s look at the internet. You go out and buy whatever computer and modem you wish, depending on your tastes and budget. You plug the shebang into the internet and — voila! — you’re in contact with pretty much everybody else in the world. You can surf sites like this global communications colossus, Wonkette, Lawyers, Gun & Money, Xhamster (this one’s hard core porn; if you need to check it out, do your own search for it), Bleed Cubbie Blue, InfoWars, TheBlaze, WorldNetDaily, Democracy Now!, PolitiFact, ProPublica, Zappo’s, Abe Books, The Oatmeal — the list goes on seemingly forever. With rare exceptions (paywalls, etc.) everyone gets access to every website for the same price (whatever your monthly broadband bill is).
That’s net neutrality.
The marketplace rules for cars are so designed that the pavement is accessible to the vast majority of people who can afford gas, insurance, and upkeep. Under net neutrality, the internet is accessible to the vast majority of people who can shell out the monthly broadband fee.
Over the 120 or so years that cars have been roaring across our planet’s landscapes, laws have been written, government regulations enforced, economic strictures adhered to, and traditions upheld in the service of ensuring free access to the pavement for (almost) all.
The end of net neutrality will surely give license to predatory ISP’s to fleece customers trying to get to sites that are either necessary in this modern world or that people are aching (for whatever reason) to get to. That’s the way capitalism works.
It’d be like Bloomington making you pay a hefty fee to drive up the 100 block of North Walnut Street or Chicago charging you to cruise the Magnificent Mile — which would happen if we let private outfits own and control the streets.
So, AT&T, unprecedented? Uh-uh. You’re full of shit.
Pay To Pave
One more thing: governments — local, state, and federal — built all those roads just so you can hop in your Corvette and dash over to the Circle K for a box of Pop Tarts™ whenever the mood strikes you. If we really wanted to follow precedent, our cities, counties, states, and the entire US would be engaged in a massive construction project, wiring every inch of this land for internet service, à la the century-plus long building project that has resulted in a network of streets and highways from one end of this holy land to the other.
Whose Ox Is Gored?
BTW: this one’s a slam dunk: When it comes to politicians being named in the current corporate media rage for workplace sexual bullying, if it’s a Republican being fingered, the Left-leaning alternative news sites go all giddy over it, and if it’s Dem, the Right-side polemicists, jump for joy.
Correspondingly, the behavior of the Left’s heroes who grab tits and pressure young maidens for sex are rationalized or otherwise excused. Same thing, vice versa.
There are a few news and opinion outlets that come down hard on accused perpetrators from both sides of the aisle but, honestly, they’re about as rare as a billionaire with a soul.
It makes you want to stay away from social media, where each side’s alternative news sites’ screaming headlines are posted to the brink of nausea. And, yeah, I do often take a few days’ break from social media. I consider it time off for mental health.
I Want To Thank You