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FEATURE NEWS

Republicans May Come To Rue The Day They Killed Net Neutrality
December 15, 2017



Chronicle opinion
By Rex D. Cain
 
(WASHINGTON, D.C.)  --  There appear to be many sound reasons, with more advancing weekly, that billionaire Donald Trump remains the most unpopular president of the modern era, with public approval ratings that sink lower with the passage of time.
 
Trump, it seems,  isn't getting any better, any smarter, any more competent in the job. He's simply getting worse all around. Likewise there are  good reasons the vast majority of Americans continue to tell pollsters this country is on the wrong track.
 
There are ample reasons the Republican controlled Congress also has public approval ratings lower than whale dung.
 
There are many sound reasons that most people in America, according to polling, do not like and do not want the "tax reform" legislation this Republican congress is about to heap on Americans because the American people are not quite that stupid. Yet.
 
They see clearly this thing for what it is: a huge giveaway to the donor class, the rich and corporations -- a transfer of wealth from the bottom up that will have grave repercussions for working class people and the poor going forward.
 
There are many interesting reasons outfits like the KKK and neo-nazis love what's happening in Washington right now and wildly support the Trump administration.
 
And then we get down to Thursday's disastrous but predictable 3-2 vote by the FCC - a Republican controlled FCC - to simply give away defacto control of the Internet to a few rich and powerful media corporations by killing the net neutrality rule.
 
This is one horrendous decision that the extremist (yes extremist) Republicans now controlling Washington may well come to regret for years on end because millions of Americans are mad as hell about it (particularly young people) and they may just surprise the dickens out of everybody come the mid term elections and during the next Preisdential race.
 
What should you do? Well, as the man once said: don't get mad. Get even. As you move along through this piece you'll come to understand one route to that goal.
 
But first a look at the crime scene and the killers of net neutrality
 
The New York Times hit the nail on its proverbial head with an Opinion piece on Thursday called, 'What if You Couldn’t Access This Page?'
 
"To taste a future without net neutrality," wrote Nick Frisch. "Try browsing the web in Beijing. China’s internet, provided through telecom giants aligned with the Communist Party, is a digital dystopia, filtered by the vast censorship apparatus known as China’s Great Firewall. Some sites load with soul-withering slowness, or not at all. Others appear instantly. Content vanishes without warning or explanation."
 
"The culprit is rarely knowable. A faulty Wi-Fi router? A neighborhood power failure? Commercial sabotage? A clampdown on political dissent? To most Chinese netizens, the reason matters little. They simply gravitate to the few sites that aren’t slowed or blocked entirely: the Chinese counterparts of Facebook, Google, and Twitter. But these Chinese platforms come with heavy government surveillance and censorship by corporate and party apparatchiks. For the Communist Party and its commercial allies, this is win-win, cementing respective monopolies on political markets and consumer power."
 
You getting the picture now what Trump's FCC really did yesterday?
 
Frisch also notes correctly that this disastrous move by the FCC, "Not only imperils fair play and free speech; it will also empower foreign entities with substantial market-making power, like China’s government, to meddle in American public discourse on a scale dwarfing Russia’s recent cyber-chicanery. Worse, abolishing net neutrality gives American corporations the means, motive and opportunity to become accomplices in selling out our freedom of speech."
 
Fortune magazine (Fortune.com) said, "In essence, the FCC has given ISPs the legal power to blackmail any content provider that does not pay them with the threat of a slowdown in service delivery. The FCC clearly has put the ISPs profits above the benefits of consumers and of the overwhelming majority of businesses."
 
"So, what could the Internet of tomorrow look like", asks that same piece?  And then this answer: "Take Google and Bing, who are rival search engines. AT&T could offer to put each one in the fast lane (that is, not to slow them down) if they pay a fee. Both companies know that consumers may not wait for their search results before switching to the other engine, and therefore both companies would pay AT&T. AT&T could collect these new fees without making its service any faster than it already was."
 
Ergo, thanks to the Republicans that control congress, the rich get richer and the little guys get hosed.
 
CBS News noted how truly insidious and hypocritical the FCC's action was because the vote not only rolls back, "restrictions that keep broadband providers from blocking or collecting a toll for services they don't like -- it also bars states from imposing their own rules."
 
But wait: don't Republicans love states rights?
 
Oh yes. All this federal FCC over-reaching from a group of sneering, cynical Republicans who are forever bitching and moaning about their sacred "states rights" whenever they feel the feds "over reach." Which is all the time.
 
Republicans love states rights -- when they can allow them to construct legal voter suppression laws that make it harder for black folks and poor people to vote.
 
But let states have their "states rights" now, today in order to protect their people from the disastrous, over-reaching GOP controlled Federal government in this instance? No no no.
 
No rights for you guys now because we, the hypocritical corporate-empowering Republicans are in power and we determine what states rights we like and will allow.
 
But wait: Super Bob is on the job
 
So thank God for guys like Washington state's Attorney General Bob Ferguson who said yesterday, "Today, I am announcing my intention to file a legal challenge to the FCC's decision to roll back net neutrality, along with attorneys general across the country. We will be filing a petition for review in the coming days. Allowing Internet service providers to discriminate based on content undermines a free and open Internet. Today's action will seriously harm consumers, innovation, and small businesses."
 
Bro Bob notes that he and his band of merry pranksters are 5-0 against the Trump Administration, "Because they often fail to follow the law when taking executive action. There is a strong legal argument that with this action, the federal government violated the Administrative Procedure Act — again."
 
Here's what you can do for payback
 
Right now, without further delay please shake off any political complacency you might suffer from and get down to the business of figuring out which person or persons running for office in the mid term elections you can get behind and bust out a strategy to support those candidates with your money, time and passionate labor.
 
Get neighbors and friends together at your house or apartment. Do it as a group. Look at it as war, because it is.
 
Because if you don't, by the end of the next three years you the people will not own one un-charred acre of this nation. In fact, you the great unwashed barely own it now as it is rapidly slipping away from your grasp. As you know, there's pretty good evidence that America is already a plutocracy, no longer a democracy.
 
You have no choice any longer but to get busy and get active in the game because saving democracy is no longer for sideline watchers.
 
The extremist wing of the Republican party (nowhere near Ronald Reagan's party) now owns and controls for all intents and purposes everything that matters going forward and that wing has made it clear who it works for: the super-rich, mega corporations, big business, a handful of billionaires, "economic nationalists" (wink-wink at Mr. Bannon's ilk) and guys like former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke who's a big fan of what is going on in the Trump administration these days.
 
America has gone off the rails. We are in Alice in Wonderland where bottom is up and lies are truth. Where war is peace, stupid is considered intelligence, denigration and marginalization of women and people of color is fashionable and meanness, cynicism and Commie-loving sycophants are considered good governance and polite American values.
 
If you're not on board the Trump-GOP extremist train you're considered excess baggage, collateral damage, expendable dog meat.
 
You do not exist and you are not important Bubba.
 
So get on to the business of gettin' even, hear?





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