The Coming War on Net Neutrality

Donald Trump and the Republican Party won't need U.S. Senate approval to destroy net neutrality in America.

While Trump has signed a flurry of executive actions this week, the media has completely ignored Trump's appointment of Ajit Pai to chair the Federal Communications Commission.

And because Pai is already a member of the FCC, he won't need Senate approval for his new position.

Pai is a staunch opponent of FCC regulations.

He recently spoke at the Free State Foundation about removing so-called "unnecessary" regulations, declaring that "We need to fire up the weed whacker and remove those rules that are holding back investment, innovation, and job creation."

But net neutrality doesn't threaten freedom or hold back investment -- net neutrality keeps the Internet the way we've always known it: everyone's online content and services are treated the exact same way as anyone else's, no matter whether the creator is a tech-savvy high-school drop-out or a giant multinational like Microsoft.

You're not hearing about this in the mainstream media in large part because MSNBC and CNN are owned by Comcast and Time Warner, two companies that stand to cash in big if net neutrality is destroyed.

A reddit user named Quinky created a graphic several years ago showing how without net neutrality, a fictional service provider named Telco might offer a basic service for $29.95 a month, but that will only get a user access to very, very basic websites.

Want to do a little research under Telco's plan? That'll cost you another $5 a month to use any search engines.

Want to read USA Today? That's another $5 package for US news, and if you want to read the BBC? That'll be another $5 for foreign news.

How about your favorite sports and cat videos on ESPN and YouTube? Guess what? That's another $10.

Want to do some online shopping? It'll cost you $5 to even see what's in stock on Amazon or Ebay.

If Americans are struggling to stay informed now, wait until people have to budget their hard earned money between reading the news, online shopping or watching YouTube.

We used to live in a world where only the rich could afford to be informed before Benjamin Franklin established the Library Company in Philadelphia, books were only available to the rich and wealthy. But Franklin's Library allowed anybody, regardless of class, access to information stored in books.

In the 21st century, the information infrastructure of the Internet has largely replaced old brick-and-mortar libraries, so much so that Canada's telecom agency recently declared that high-speed internet is a basic service "necessary to the quality of life" of all Canadians.

So why are Trump and the Republicans trying to take us back to a time when only aristocrats could afford to be informed?

Comments's picture
dlittle75@earth... 7 years 21 weeks ago

Thom- This is about the investigation Trump wants on voter fraud- which includes double voting- voters registered in two states. How do we get someone like Mark Shields or Leslie Stahl to interview Greg Palast and Kris Kobach. Whatever happened to his investigations? Tonight the suggestion was made on PBS that the voter fraud could have, if true and substantiated, worked to swing the votes in the swing states by 20, 30,000 votes. Why don't the PBS folks know about "crosschecking" ? The two officials interviewed said there is absolutely no evidence of voter fraud and that President Trump is making a fool of himself pursuing this line of inquery. What do you think?

deepspace's picture
deepspace 7 years 21 weeks ago

The inexorable march to fascism is now at ...double-time ...hut! Anybody who has been in the military knows WTF that means -- things are going to get a whole lot worse before they get better.

Lock and load, rock and roll, boys and girls!

Now ... just gotta figure out who the bad guys are...?

BlackKnight's picture
BlackKnight 7 years 21 weeks ago

The fox is now guarding the henhouse. So much for the egg production....'s picture 7 years 21 weeks ago

To answer Thom's rhetorical question: It is obvious why conservatives want to restrict the distribution of information. First of all, Donald Trump stated on the campaign trail that he loves "low information voters." It's obvious that the less information a person has to work with, the more likely he is to watch Fox News and vote Republican. Second of all, if you can deny education to the bulk of the people, then only the wealthy will have a voice. Hence the emphasis upon Charter Schools.

Jussmartenuf's picture
Jussmartenuf 7 years 21 weeks ago

Wagnesr9 - Sadly it won't end with charter schools. Betsy DeVos is a fundamentalist Christian who would have our tax dollars flowing to church schools as well. The churches will teach pseudo-science and non-science creationism. Of course the dumber the population is the more susceptible to propaganda.

A poll done and reported today on NPR (which Trump is going to defund and Republicans don't listen to) said that when shown the pictures of the Mall crowds for both the Obama and Trump inaugurals, 15% of the Trump voters said the 2017 picture had more people. And Trump has started his campaign of voter suppression by lying about the so called 2-3 million illegal votes. We are in for a hard ride.

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 7 years 21 weeks ago

#3 - Don't forget your guns now!

ginico55's picture
ginico55 7 years 21 weeks ago

Was Comey in Trumps pocket? Trump blew him a kiss on TV and Comey came running with a smile on his face. Do he purposely frame Hillary?

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 7 years 21 weeks ago

Regarding the election that just took place....We all knew that if the illegal seizure of our government was successful, the future of the entire planet would end up in deep peril. Weeks of opportunity went by to legally correct and redirect this evil back to where it came from. I'm still outraged the election wasn't declared invalid. It seems not a single Dem including Obama nor our Justice dept. cared to step up and do what was right for humanity. Obama wouldn't even fire Comey.

Sure, we've turned a blind eye to election fraud before, and it got us into endless war that is still costing trillions, not to mention a crashed economy. This time however it's far more evil. The entire planet is about to get sodomized by a few bloated old wheezers/sniffers with bad hair dye, and it seems we are all just standing by and watching the assault unfold.

How many years do the Koch's have left, a couple at best???? ....and how many more billions do they need?

Just in case you haven't figured it out yet, I'm sure most have....Trump has the same type of mental illness that Hitler had. Standing in his shadows are Pence, Ryan, and McConnell ... just plain old SS type dumb- asses, all totally ignorant of the magnitude of what is about to unfold.

I sure hope I'm wrong, but I'm afraid the only way to stop this now is the old fashion way. Crack open your history ain't pretty.

stecoop01's picture
stecoop01 7 years 21 weeks ago
Quote Thom:So why are Trump and the Republicans trying to take us back to a time when only aristocrats could afford to be informed?

Because an uninformed and uneducated populace is easier to deceive and control, and those two actions go hand-in-hand. We Americans have gotten so stupid, we can't even program our own VCR's. What happened to the good old days when we were the standard bearers for good, quality education; when foreigners would come to this country for a good education? America will die in ignorance.

stecoop01's picture
stecoop01 7 years 21 weeks ago
Quote 2950-10k:I sure hope I'm wrong, but I'm afraid the only way to stop this now is the old fashion way. Crack open your history ain't pretty.

You are, of course, referring to REVOLUTION! Perhaps, we should try the French method this time around. I'll sharpen up my guillotine.

kre8peas 7 years 21 weeks ago

My sentiments exactly. I am still angry for the very same reason. Being polite was more important than the survival of our democracy?!? Then, seeing photos of the Dems at the inauguration, smiling as though everything was peachy-keen, made me scream. There was a photo of Nancy Pelosi standing with others around Chump as he was seated, signing something. She had a big old cheesy grin on her face. What is wrong with these people?! We just had a Corporate take-over of our government....?!? The conflicts-of-interests are simply blinding yet it is as if everyone is trying to pretend it's a normal exchange of power...."let's wait & see how it goes...maybe there's something we'll agree on...?!?!" The resistance should have started at the top from Day One, when all this crap started happening.

Now, the illegit prez wants to investigate non-existent voter fraud here yet Russian interference (as determined by our various intelligence agencies) is never even mentioned!

It is all so mind-boggling.

I can remember wondering, as many have through the years, how the German people allowed for a Hitler to take over their country. I think many in this country had judgement in their hearts too, thinking, "WE would NEVER allow that." Well, guess what? Maybe we are going to learn the hard way how that happened. An unstable egomaniac has grabbed the reins. Only this time, he's also part of the Corporate Elite so it is a new American version of fascism. Authoritarian & nationalistic right-wing system of government. Did our fellow Dems not see this coming?!?

Instead of creating pot-holes, they rolled out the Red Carpet.

DFMM's picture
DFMM 7 years 21 weeks ago

Worst than the fox guarding the hen house

Things are worse than the fox guarding the hen house; the fox can only eat his fill and no more, the greedy one percent and their minions never get enough. It was bad enough when they were buying politicians, now the robber barons are in government.

Dan, San Diego

schoty 7 years 21 weeks ago

This symbolism is very similar to 2003... remember the chainsaw? Deregulating housing loans was great wasn't it? I mean 2008/2009 were some of the best years ever!

Red tape cutting event with chainsaw. (James Gilleran of the Office of Thrift Supervision)

deepspace's picture
deepspace 7 years 21 weeks ago

Whether they admit it or not, most of the dirty-dealing fascists, like Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, their Wall Street toadies, the Rand Paul fringe of Libertarians, the revolting Tea Baggers in the House, and the whole sycophantic crowd of phony "conservatives" standing behind Herr Drumpf -- including the corporate Dem sellouts like Joe Manchin -- have a secret love affair with Ayn Rand and her hideously selfish philosophy of Objectivism, laissez-faire capitalism, "rational" (Yeah, right!) self-interest, egoism, and dishonestly romanticized rugged individualism.

Perhaps all of these modern-day "illustrious dunderheads" (The Illustrious Dunderheads -- 1942 by Frank Sullivan and Rex Stout) should take a cue from Ayn Rand's dopey fictional hero, John Galt, withdraw from our economy, and build their exclusive, rich-man's paradise somewhere far away from everyone else. Please!

Or, after the revolution, instead of facing firing squads, nooses, and guillotines, God's chosen few could be rounded up and enticed to "self-deport" beyond "The Great Southern Wall" and those poor little "brown people" all the way down to Antarctica with some, shall we say, poking and prodding. Then there wouldn't be any blue blood to sop up off the cobblestones in the town square. The butt of the planet should be far enough away to suit them and to leave the rest of us alone.

It's warming up really fast too, thanks to their oily enterprising ways. Maybe they'll even strike some black gold under the ice and snow to keep themselves happy for awhile. When it greens up a little, these towering geniuses should manage just fine, taking turns cooking, doing housework, tending the flock, and working the fields, without all of us disgusting common folks sucking on their teats.

(I suffered through "The Fountainhead" and "Atlas Shrugged" so that you don't have to. They were terrible reads by a horrible author!)

deepspace's picture
deepspace 7 years 21 weeks ago

Today, when asked how Republicans plan to pay for the scary clown's Great Southern Wall 15 billion dollar (minimum!) boondoggle, Paul Ryan responded by citing their usual magic fairy dust method of balancing the budget: "future economic expansion." He never explained, naturally, how the gargantuan bill would be paid if the future economy contracts, which is more likely.

More revealingly, he then stated with a straight face (a mug straight out of "The Munster Family" central casting) that they also would probably use the money freed up by "replacing Obamacare."

He must think everyone is as dumb as the brain-dead zombies who voted for The Pervert and his merry band of Republican reprobates.

"Oh, but Mexico will pay for it, believe me!" How many times did the Liar in Chief spit that whopper out? Lost track? Well, sorry, Enrique Pena Nieto is a real president and has a functioning cerebral cortex.

Paul Ryan's alternate translation: "Thousands of U.S. citizens will die every year from lack of healthcare in order to pay for a completely ineffective and unnecessary f--king fence!"

That's a pretty gawdamn high price to pay for fulfilling a stupid loudmouth's campaign promise of mister EGO MAN! I wonder how many piles of bodies stacked up in the hallways of our morgues will be Trump's gullible fools?

And how many will be those Dumbocrats who sat out the election or voted third party, because they bought into the right-wing smear campaign against Hillary, or because they were pouting about Bernie losing the primary?

Yes, Bernie should have won the primary; nevertheless, not voting for the top of the ticket in the general election is the same as preferring Trump over Hillary. Jesus H. Christ ... I bet all those "principled" liberals following their selfish consciences sure wish they could have that do-over!

As railroaders say after a derailment, "Well, it's too f--king late now, ain't it?"

stecoop01's picture
stecoop01 7 years 21 weeks ago
Quote deepspace:(I suffered through "The Fountainhead" and "Atlas Shrugged" so that you don't have to. They were terrible reads by a horrible author!)

Thank you for taking that bullet for the rest of us, but, please, seek therapy, before it's too late. You do know that Ayn Rand was posthumously diagnosed as a psychopath, right?

Normally, I'm against book-burning, but I would gladly heat my home on her works!

deepspace's picture
deepspace 7 years 21 weeks ago


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