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Government Politics

Congressmen Send Letters, Hope For Net Neutrality Fades 427

Posted by kdawson
from the making-sausage dept.
The odds of the FCC implementing net-neutrality rules just got much longer. "A bipartisan group of politicians on Monday told FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, in no uncertain terms, to abandon his plans to impose controversial new rules on broadband providers until the US Congress changes the law. Seventy-four House Democrats sent Genachowski ... a letter saying his ideas will 'jeopardize jobs' and 'should not be done without additional direction from Congress.' A separate letter from 37 Senate Republicans, also sent Monday, was more pointed. It accused Genachowski of pushing 'heavy-handed 19th century regulations' that are 'inconceivable' as well as illegal. ... [U]nless something unexpected happens, the fight over Net neutrality will shift a few blocks down Independence Avenue from the FCC to Capitol Hill. (In an editorial Monday, The Washington Post called for just that.)"
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Congressmen Send Letters, Hope For Net Neutrality Fades

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  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @09:36PM (#32344314)

    The jobs at risk are the congressdroids' - they are fearful their corpocleptocractic campaign donors will support someone else if they don't stop this return to normalcy. Fuckers don't even realize they are acting against their own interests - just wait until they end up having to pay extra to all the ISPs so that the voters can get to their own campaign websites.

  • Obvious. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fuji Kitakyusho (847520) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @09:38PM (#32344330)
    The government MUST control the flow of information. Otherwise, the balance of power could rest with the people.
  • The way I see it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @09:39PM (#32344332)
    The way I see it, net neutrality needs to be mandated for ISPs using state or federal funds to "modernize" America, if they use substantial portions of public lands they also need to use net neutrality. If they use no public funds or public land, let them do what they will. But since most ISPs use public land or funds, we, the taxpayers have a say in their operations.

    This isn't about "regulations" its about getting what you paid for: to "modernize" America with faster internet access, not access to a handful of sites, no non-traditional ways of getting content, etc.
  • ...to save jobs. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Gaian-Orlanthii (1032980) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @09:41PM (#32344344)
    Also in a similar self-important whiny voice of proprietary authoritarianism....
    Think Of The Children!
    Your Country Needs You!
    The War On [Insert Topical Cultural Demon Here] Must Go On
    Burn The [Insert Topical Cultural Demon Here]!!

    There are of course loads more. Anyway, it all sounds as if no-one has moved on since the 11th century so let's remind those that order soldiers around that you can't always get what you want and usually, you regret what you wish for.

  • by Jyncus (690528) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @09:44PM (#32344358)
    They've bought congressmen. No need to invest any of that profit in infrastructure when you can just pay some lobbyists to ensure that your consumer-raping-business-model doesn't get threatened.
  • by Shakrai (717556) * on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @09:45PM (#32344370) Journal

    They've bought congressmen.

    What happened to the hope, change and a new kind of politics?

  • You actually believed that? *snickers*
  • by Megaweapon (25185) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @09:50PM (#32344404) Homepage

    Kind of like modern IP laws...

  • by Vekseid (1528215) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @09:51PM (#32344410) Homepage
    Making a viable third party in this country would require a staggering amount of time, effort, and money. Any such third party would have to have a pretty solid message, with some pretty solid heads on its shoulders, to have a hope of getting anywhere. The rank level of dissatisfaction with the current party structure means that yes, it is probably possible. But if you're going to tell me to vote for and possibly help promote a third party, you'll get a much better reaction if you show me some damned smart people working on some damned smart platforms. Most third parties are not run by the best and the brightest that this nation has to offer.
  • by Lunix Nutcase (1092239) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @09:53PM (#32344422)

    It's not as if net neutrality really had a chance. The incumbent ISPs were going to buy enough politicians off to get the concept killed.

  • by Sir_Lewk (967686) <sirlewk@gmai l . com> on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @09:54PM (#32344428)

    Clearly he didn't. Anyone who did believe it has either 1) Conveniently 'forgot' about it, or 2) Still believes they are getting it.

  • Re:Correct (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @09:54PM (#32344438)

    The problem is that the approach Genachowski wants to use means adding ISPs into the existing structure used to regulate telcos. While this would insure net neutrality it would also open a giant can of worms in applying the rest of a giant regulatory structure to ISPs.

    Funny, it sure seemed to work just fine up until the Brand-X ruling [wikipedia.org] in 2005.

  • Re:Obvious. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Narcocide (102829) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @09:55PM (#32344450) Homepage

    No, the problem is that if the government does not control the flow of information in a fair and balanced way FOR the people, the balance of power will rest briefly in the hands of the people before it gets stolen from them by the corporations, which will then go to war against each other leaving the people in their wake stranded in a marketplace that is a proverbial post-apocalyptic wasteland.

  • Re:Obvious. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @09:56PM (#32344454)

    Would you say that traffic potentially critical to an ambulance service should not be prioritized over traffic potentially critical to a porn site?

  • Re:Obvious. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by copponex (13876) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @09:56PM (#32344458) Homepage

    You seem to be unaware that you are responsible for who is in government. Law is how a civilized society addresses grievances between it's citizens without resorting to violence or terroristic threats. You don't just throw the whole idea out because you're too lazy to participate.

    "Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people.” -Lincoln

  • by Nugoo (1794744) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @09:59PM (#32344476)
    Don't be ridiculous. The 19th century had much saner IP laws.
  • Re:Obvious. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Narcocide (102829) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @10:00PM (#32344484) Homepage

    Come on if net neutrality doesn't pass do you really think ambulance services will suddenly gain top priority?? That's not profitable... think about it, who has all the money? Porn sites, spammers and related advertising agencies.

  • Re:what jobs? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) * on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @10:04PM (#32344516) Journal

    Congress is protecting phantom jobs that don't exist!

    That's not true. There's the pilot who flies the CEO around. There's the undocumented laborers that maintain his property. Toss in a few lawyer friends from University for good measure.

    Look at all these little things! So busy now! Notice how each one is useful. A lovely ballet ensues, so full of form and color. Now, think about all those people that created them. Technicians, engineers, hundreds of people, who will be able to feed their children tonight, so those children can grow up big and strong and have little teeny children of their own, and so on and so forth. Thus, adding to the great chain of life.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @10:06PM (#32344534)

    Net neutrality is like the GPL for the Internet, where leftists define "neutrality" or "freedom" as you being controlled by them instead of something they oppose.

  • Re:End run (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EdIII (1114411) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @10:18PM (#32344612)

    That's exactly the fucking way to do it too. It will never ever EVER be encouraged by government or corporations either.

    For one, government would just create those "long haul" infrastructure points at considerable cost without any national-security-I-can-see-you benefits. The most they could hope for is setup massive analysis points along the way to deep scan packets and possibly decrypt them. That's not possible too. For all the NSA's scariness and bluster they can't slice and dice their way through AES256 for each and every citizen in real time. I would give them credit for having the resources to do it in a reasonable time frame on a very small scale, but not at a national one. Without the ability for the National Security apparatus to at least isolate where the communication is coming from they can't be motivated to proceed. Look at Clipper and Carnivore. I seriously doubt the government would go along with the creation of any infrastructure that created technological obstructions to carry out the ideals of such data interception programs.

    The other very serious issue for law enforcement is that mesh networking would have no way to establish, without any doubt, the business-customer relationships where money was exchanging hands, and consequently, there would not exist a 1) Fairly consistent and reliable information about the customer paying the bill and 2) Reliable way from a networking perspective to establish the identity of the customer.

    Mesh Networking is the Holy Grail of Freedom, Anonymity, and Privacy on networks for average citizens. It would be extremely hard and time consuming to identify a single one person on it, especially if you added some TOR/Freenet/Darknet to the equation . At that point all the citizens in a densely populated urban area might as well be a single citizen.

    There would be so much pressure against us to get that started I sincerely doubt it could ever get off the ground. The moment that Mesh networking gets serious at all watch how fast from local municipalities up to Federal Government makes it illegal and uses the FCC to make such transmissions dangerous.

  • by OldHawk777 (19923) * <adelovantNO@SPAMverizon.net> on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @10:19PM (#32344622) Journal

    The letter confirms The Corporate Welfare state that replaced the Social Welfare state provides reason to stupidity.

    We pay for what we get, what the government gets, what the business C*Os get, and what our government gives to business with privileges, tax breaks, civil rights, kick-backs-by-proxy....

    Corporate Institutions are more enfranchised than private citizens in the USA a pure plutocracy of the entitled of Corporate American Governance.

  • Re:Obvious. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by blackraven14250 (902843) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @10:20PM (#32344634)
    The government is the balance to a corporate system, and both together provide fairness. Get with it, man.
  • Government by employed, thieving, body-snatchers.

  • by tpstigers (1075021) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @10:25PM (#32344650)

    But since most ISPs use public land or funds, we, the taxpayers have a say in their operations.

    A quaint and interesting idea. In this scenario, we should have a say in how all of our tax money gets spent. What do you suppose would happen if we all declared that we wanted our tax money to go to public education and welfare rather than the military-industrial complex?

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @10:29PM (#32344688)

    Running for an office in the US, at least when you want to run for one that surpasses the office of mayor, requires a metric ton of money to get off the ground. It's pretty hard to afford that, especially given the risk and the minuscle chance of succeeding.

    That's the basic problem of the rampart lobbyism. To get anywhere in the US politics, you need money. To get money, you have to sell out to some or many corporations. If you want to eliminate the bribery, you'd first of all have to change that system.

  • Re:Obvious. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by copponex (13876) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @10:30PM (#32344700) Homepage

    So you can't think of any oppressed group in America's history that has fought the "structures that are" and beaten them?

    The landless poor got the right to vote. Then the slaves earned their legal freedom, though they were still denied it for decades. Then the workers united in the early 20th century and fought bitterly for better wages and working conditions, and got them. Then the women's suffrage movement won their democratic rights. Then the Civil Rights movement finally resulted in the beginning of true equality for all Americans.

    The battles are still being fought for gay rights, reproductive rights, immigrant rights, indigenous rights, and now the middle class is demanding rights (though they seem to be unaware of who took them.)

    The structures can be beaten if you have a populace willing to sacrifice material comfort for real freedoms, but it seems that willful ignorance, apathy, and materialism are the most powerful structure our democracy has yet faced.

  • Re:This November.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @10:31PM (#32344704)

    What's better? Voting for the lesser evil, knowing that it's still evil and basically the same turd sandwich, or voting for someone who you know can't win but would be the right candidate for you?

    I keep hearing the myth of the "lost vote". Voting for someone who has no chance of winning is "throwing away" your vote. Know what? Casting it for someone I don't want is throwing it away.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @10:31PM (#32344706)

    Whatever the excuses used to sell or whatever the details of the initial net neutrality regulations or legislation are, the end game is to give the government control over the flow of information.

    Even those who think that being paid with tax dollars automatically makes a person wiser and more ethical than someone paid with money earned by running a successful business will be outraged if and when the government succeeds in gaining the authority to micromanage the internet and internet traffic. No one should believe that regulators will be motivated by a desire to make consumers happy.

    Despite the histrionics of the usual /. bashers of the free market, the best way to provide high-quality, affordable service to consumers is to open up competition, not smother the industry with mountains of regulations and legions of government bureaucrats.

  • by OldHawk777 (19923) * <adelovantNO@SPAMverizon.net> on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @10:33PM (#32344726) Journal

    The USA only has Corporate Citizens, the human has been disenfranchised.

    USA and EU Democracy is simply periodic insubstantial public fanfares, China saves millions by avoiding the public fanfare.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @10:33PM (#32344730)

    I still believe it, but you shouldn't mistake the republican version for the one that Obama actually ran on. See, republicans want you to believe in Obama as some sort of savior, and then be disappointed when that fails. What Obama actually ran on was that the populace should have more hope, and the populace should enact the change. He wanted people to get involved in government again.

    So maybe you should quite your partisan wining and actually DO something about net neutrality.

  • by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @10:33PM (#32344736)

    How can we download an entire movie within, say, one minute? Getting the speed up is more important than deciding how to allocate it.

    Is it? Who gets to decide how much speed is allocated to the connection between you and the site you're downloading from? Without net neutrality, the answer will be "whoever pays your ISP". In other words, the only sites that will see decent bandwidth are those to which you've subscribed in some way, probably - because it's those sites that will be able to bribe your ISP.

    So where are you getting this movie? Also note, since you made the movie example, that in the absence of net neutrality, the MAFIAA will be even stronger - they'll pay your ISP to throttle non-cartel sources of music/movies in favor of their own offerings.

  • Re:Obvious. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by copponex (13876) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @10:49PM (#32344788) Homepage

    Is this the level of discourse in your imagined adult world? "No, YOU shut up"?

    Sorry guy. You sound like an unhappy person who also happens to be a failed lawyer, judging from your grammar structure and argumentative acumen.

  • MOD PARENT UP (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @10:55PM (#32344816)
    I work in politics (not in the USA) and this is EXACTLY what is required. The system is a democracy, its just that the lobbyists are getting to more voters than we are. So unless you get off your ass and start telling people about this, and not just the regular crowd of believers but your family and friends about how important net neutrality is then there won't be any change. Obama doesn't have any power of his own, the only power he has is the millions of people who agreed with him and who said they would support those things.
  • by Cylix (55374) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @11:01PM (#32344842) Homepage Journal

    You missed the best part.

    They basically said the need for regulations was rubbish because ISP's would always act in the best interest of their customers. However, they seem to be neglecting the concept that in most places it's a monopoly with regards to the ISP infrastructure. At best, the choice is two fold and I don't see either side lining up to do what is in the public's interest.

    At least he tried very seriously to make a change. I'm a bit shamed congress was bought and paid on this day.

  • Re:Obvious. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NotQuiteReal (608241) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @11:19PM (#32344940) Journal
    I agree. People should be free, whether they want it or not. So I can be free.

    Or else, put me in charge, at least.
  • by jonwil (467024) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @11:38PM (#32345018)

    If the FCC has the authority to classify ISPs as "telecommunications providers" instead of "information providers" it should do so regardless of what Congress says.

    I wish more people in Washington had the guts to do what Julius Genachowski is doing and stand up to those "suits" in their fancy leather chairs in the executive offices at Comcast, AT&T, Time Warner, Cox, Verizon, Sprint, Qwest and the other ISPs. Those ISPs do NOT have a right to make profit at the expense of consumers and I applaud the FCC for having the guts to do something about it.

    Here's a tip for Comcast... Instead of blocking BitTorrent, just charge those customers who use more bandwidth (regardless of what they use it for) more money each month. And implement QoS that shoves BitTorrent packets to the back of the queue to give everything else a chance.

    Of course, if they actually did that, people might stop paying for expensive cable channels and start downloading the content instead. Cant have that now can we :P

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @11:40PM (#32345028)

    not disenfranchised, relegated. relegated to the status of livestock.

    Humans need livestock to feed off, corporations need humans to feed off.

  • by buchner.johannes (1139593) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @12:00AM (#32345120) Homepage Journal

    I bet not 20 slashdotters wrote any politicians that this issue was important to them and why.

  • Re:This November.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by T Murphy (1054674) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @12:22AM (#32345206) Journal
    TLDR: read the third paragraph.

    Voting for third party candidates isn't so much about what policies you want to see in place now, as much as it is about wanting a long-term change in the voting system. In other words, your strategy is not based on winning this election, it is about just trying to win some election in the future.

    People may want to vote for third parties, but don't because they don't expect others to- it's basically a reverse tragedy of the commons. People interested in third parties may be willing to vote for such a party after seeing them get 10%, 15%, etc. of the popular vote- more additional voters would be expected as you increase how many votes you get. In that sense, it is rational to vote for a third party candidate, as you would be helping to trigger this snowball effect. Your only rational way to improve the odds of a third party eventually winning, is to continually vote for them and encourage others to follow suit (voting reform would be more helpful, but not likely until third parties get involved).

    I would love to vote for a candidate I actually agree with, but doing so right now would guarantee I will never get a good candidate in office. What we must do is pick green or libertarian and vote for them regardless of whether we agree with their platform. Don't stop until the two party system is thoroughly broken. Chances are, we will need voting reform before we move beyond 4 viable parties- we won't get that reform until we have at least 3 parties.

    In short, you aren't voting for a candidate. You are simply voting against the two party system.
  • by Bigjeff5 (1143585) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @12:25AM (#32345216)

    Hehe, that's what I was going to say.

    28 year copyrights with an optional one time renewal of 28 years, that's what they had in the early 1900's. It wasn't until 1976 that it went up to life of the author + 50 years. That's just insane (inspired by the French, no doubt). Then the Sonny Bonno act bumped it up to life + 70 and made copyright automatic. That's right, you actually had to apply for copyright for most of the 1900's. We have whole genres of music that almost certainly wouldn't exist today (soul, rap, rock, just to name a few) thanks to the loose copyright laws.

    The old laws actually made sense. Hell, I'd be willing to make the renewal unlimited so long as the rights ended at the author's death, provided there was some moderate fee - say $10,000 inflation-matched. That way they have to decide if it's actually worth more than $10k to renew, and if it is, then great! It obviously means it was a rare huge success.

    100% of modern culture is locked up by copyright. Everything from the 70's should be public domain today, yet we can't even get stuff from the 40's. We can get stuff from the 30's for anybody who died around the time they produced the work, but nearly everything from 1900 to the present is locked away by copyright. That is absolutely insane.

  • Re:Obvious. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lloyd_Bryant (73136) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @12:42AM (#32345298)

    You seem to be unaware that you are responsible for who is in government. Law is how a civilized society addresses grievances between it's citizens without resorting to violence or terroristic threats. You don't just throw the whole idea out because you're too lazy to participate.

    "Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people." -Lincoln

    "I don't care who does the electing, so long as I get to do the nominating." - Boss Tweed [wikipedia.org]

    The "people" haven't been in control of our government during my lifetime, simply because we're only allowed to pick a name from a list that someone else prepares. I don't expect this to change anytime soon, and see no way the citizens can change it short of armed revolution (which is all to likely to result in something worse).

  • by calmofthestorm (1344385) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @12:49AM (#32345330)

    Bad analogies are like pigs eating ice cream, they both float through a sea of orange soda.

  • Re:This November.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cryptoluddite (658517) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @12:52AM (#32345338)

    What's better? Voting for the lesser evil, knowing that it's still evil and basically the same turd sandwich, or voting for someone who you know can't win but would be the right candidate for you?

    That's a false choice. What's better is voting. Vote in every election for every office, from President to sanitation commissioner. If you've every missed an election because you were too lazy to get off your ass then you are the problem.

    But what's better still is voting for somebody good that can also win. That means voting for a Republican or Democrat for higher office, and voting Libertarian or Green for local offices.

  • by MadCat221 (572505) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @12:55AM (#32345354)
    No, he said "So maybe you should quit your partisan whining and actually DO something about Net Neutrality".
  • No it won't. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jd (1658) <{moc.oohay} {ta} {kapimi}> on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @01:13AM (#32345406) Homepage Journal

    Because if Network Neutrality goes, the companies get to censor you. They get to censor anyone they feel like, and there's not a damn thing the Constitution will do for you. It only applies to the Government, not private companies. If there's no Network Neutrality, the regional provider will tell you where you can and cannot shop. So you change provider, right? Wrong. There's not much in the way of competition at tier 1 and you don't get to pick what tier 1 your ISP uses. Besides, with much of the redundancy cut out of the Internet as it stands, there IS no way for you to circumvent such restrictions. Oh, and that means that if one backbone provider blocks vendor X, then vendor X will be essentially blocked from ALL backbone vendors downstream of that location. A puritanical backbone provider in one State can impede the commerce in another.

    Sure, sure, the providers claim they can't handle the sheer volume of Internet traffic and some small fraction of users use most of it. They can use QoS. ECN, Hierarchical Fair Service Curve and an adaptive packet-dropping scheme like BLACK would be sufficient. (There are a number of schemes, including BLACK, that are designed to prevent packet streaming from clogging up the network. ECN messaging allows the network to tell servers and clients when they need to throttle back. HFSC ensures that nobody can game the system and take unfair advantage of the resources.) This would not be contrary to Network Neutrality, as it ensures that all users are treated absolutely as equals. The networks would be true Common Carriers, rather than Mafia bosses.

    Oh, and that reminds me, have you considered that when the RIAA and MPAA started to form and seize power, there were probably people - in all innocence - saying that the industry should take care of itself, that interference would cause problems, that the corporations needed all this extra power for the benefit of the poor, starving artists. Given that the money collected by the RIAA and MPAA never gets seen by said artists, and no serious opposition to this exists, do you seriously expect me to believe that the ISPs and backbone providers will spend the money they rake in through the ultimate protection racket will ever get seen by the poor, starving engineers? Give me a break. You'd have to be insane.

  • Re:Obvious. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by copponex (13876) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @01:23AM (#32345430) Homepage

    That kind of idealistic gullibility would be laughed out of even a high school civics class.

    I recommend you give a test run in the morning to see if you're right.

    There is no evidence that law implies civilization, and more than a few counter examples: Most of the middle east, much of central Africa, Texas.

    You have confused culture with civilization. Any sufficiently complex religious or political organization is called a civilization. There are good civilizations, bad civilizations, and likewise, there are good laws and bad laws. The existence of a legal code does not presuppose any form of government. The rulers who claimed they were Gods were simply above the law when they wanted to be.

    Equality before the law, without kings or holy men outside of it, is an ideal that has been pursued since the time of ancient Greece, and one that was partially realized in the US Constitution. It's been trampled since then, but I've never run across anyone who denied it's significance as a major step towards legal equality.

    More abstractly, *all* government power to enforce laws is derived from one of two sources: Willingness of the people to go along with it, or violence. The former does not scale beyond the most local levels, leaving the latter for most state and federal laws. Before you claim that is not the case, think of what would happen to the schmuck who breaks one of these laws and decides that he's not going to cooperatively go to prison.

    And mob justice is somehow superior? Or divine justice? Would you like to submit to the authority of the Pope as the arbiter of the One True Religion, or to an Imam, or to some Hindu priest? Do you really understand the differences between barbarous tribalism and civil society? Government overreach of it's authority to use force is certainly an injustice, but also entirely within the power of a democratic society to be altered.

    The entire purpose of laws is to collectively trade some liberties for some security

    No, law is there to remove uncertainty and enable progress. You establish sets of standards, like weights and measures and the width of roads. You establish how property is owned and sold, and most importantly, how citizens go about seeking justice when they feel they have not received it. As long as it is mostly functional, it's vastly superior to the injustices of mob violence, blood feuds, and totalitarianism.

    Unfortunately, when a society stupidly allows itself to fall into a fox/henhouse situation like we have in the U.S, the "rule of law" becomes no longer sacrosanct, and instead becomes a vehicle for the corruption to spread virally.

    You can't blame our modern ideals about law for human failings. This is exactly analogous to blaming fidelity because your wife had sex with someone else. The problem isn't with the standard of fidelity or law, it's our constant failure to meet the standards that have been set.

    When they are allowed to make end-runs around any methods to stop them that the people who might object to this situation might have, they have little reason to be concerned with the will of the people anymore. That's the situation the US is in now.

    Your problem is not with the ideals of equality before the law. Your problem is with the current US Government, which not incidentally, I also hate and despise. But I haven't confused this particular iteration of judiciary and political power with the ideals of Enlightenment.

  • by hairyfeet (841228) <.bassbeast1968. .at. .gmail.com.> on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @01:23AM (#32345432) Journal

    Well I can tell you I didn't, and here is why. I tried that with my senators and congressmen/woman three times and you know what? Three times I got back a generic "vote for me!" form letter, and they went against the public interest. And pleeease don't give us that tired "vote the bums out!" bullshit, because we done been there and done that and they only get replaced with a shill with a different letter in front of their name. A two party system simply can't work in a modern society because the megacorps can simply buy the winner and then take it off of their taxes.

    So you can write your little letters, have little tea party protests, whatever, but unless your message comes with a check with a whole lot of zeroes on it your interests will be filed right where my letters were...the little round filing cabinet.

  • by pushing-robot (1037830) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @01:42AM (#32345468)

    The United States is not a dictatorship and one person cannot, by law, rule unilaterally. Obama tapped Julius Genachowski [slate.com] to head the FCC, and thus had done more than anyone reading this thread to promote network neutrality. When you consider the myriad issues facing the USA, and how intractable most of them are, it's remarkable a single person is expected to fix even a fraction of them.

    Indeed, it's a miracle that politicians accomplish anything at all considering the electoral minefield they enter every time they attempt anything of consequence. Many of these people entered politics with dreams of saving the world, then learned that votes come not from sound policies but from hyperbolic promises and expensive ad campaigns. They learn that trying to do their jobs right garners nothing but controversy, disapproval, and well-funded enemies; play-acting for the cameras, pork-barrel projects, screwing the future for short-term gain, and funding their campaigns with corporate-sponsored bills are the secret to staying in office.

    And for that, the blame can squarely be laid upon the people. It's called a representative democracy for a reason: The quality of the government reflects the quality of the voters. The voters by and large are ignorant masses that vote for whatever politician promises the world and asks for no sacrifices in return. Later, when the politician fails to deliver on the impossible promises—the ones he had to make to get elected in the first place—the voters toss him out in favor of the next guy with fancy TV commercials and exactly the same promises.

    If you want to change the representatives, you need to change the voters. Start a campaign to educate your community about the truth behind important issues. Get them to ask tough questions and to expect real answers instead of sound bites. Get them to vote not for the candidate with the biggest promises but the one who offers detailed policies. Explain the federal budget and where tax monies really go, and how it might be fixed. Explain the issues that matter most to you. And if you can't find anyone to represent your views in congress, run for office yourself.

    But if you can't be arsed to do anything but make hollow demands, expect your representatives to do nothing but make hollow promises.

  • by KDR_11k (778916) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @02:03AM (#32345518)

    Let's not forget that the US voting system robs people of all hope for third party candidates so most vote for a guy they don't like but still don't hate as much as the other.

  • More like "Hope and Change!" /fine print/ We Hope you don't wake up and notice that the only Change! is a Democrat cashing the checks and sucking the corporate cock instead of a Republican.

    The only nice thing about it is after 8 years of Obama (because the repubs will run a tea party kook) it should finally silence all those fools that say "You can change it by voting!" and get them to finally accept what many of us already know, that short of armed revolution all you can do is take every dime you possibly can get from mommy government and wait for the whole thing to collapse.

    It does make me wonder if this is what the Romans felt like during the last decades of their empire, as the wealthy looted while the government tried to keep them passive with bread and circuses. Were they this apathetic? Did they see their empire was falling apart and simply realize it was beyond hope? Of course our empire has a shitload of weapons (pretty much the only thing we are #1 at any more) so it will probably be a whole lot nastier. But Obama should have finally drove a stake through the lie that votes matter, they don't. Only big fat checks and cushy corporate positions after "public service" matter anymore.

    As for TFA, did ANYBODY here actually believe the FCC had a chance in hell against an entire congress full of corporate blowing whores? Hell I'm surprised they got as far as they did. In today's climate if it is good for the people but bad for a corporate bottom line the answer will always be NO, period. When was the last time you saw congress pass anything that was truly "for the people"? Can you even remember back that far? And please don't say health care, because that was an insurance company wish list granted by the government. If it was for the people we would have had a single payer option and a cap on drug prices like the sane countries do.

  • by mldi (1598123) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @02:06AM (#32345534)

    However, they seem to be neglecting the concept that in most places it's a monopoly with regards to the ISP infrastructure...

    Exactly. And in most cases in any decent-sized city, these are legal monopolies enabled by cities giving them exclusive access to infrastructure.

    If there is competition, it's luck, or it's DSL vs. Cable. Not much of a choice there anymore.

    Really, if we didn't already regulate this... thing and effectively blow away any competition from even entering the market, we wouldn't need to be voting on net neutrality because ISPs wouldn't have a choice but to give consumers something decent, just so they could stay competitive.

    Don't get me wrong, I believe you have a right to make a profit. In this case, smaller companies are essentially stripped of that right because of stupid legal monopolies like these. They don't even have a chance, and therefore, neither do we.

    The bastards.

  • by clarkkent09 (1104833) * on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @02:24AM (#32345604)
    Wow how naive can you be? Obama came to power with an agenda to implement certain things that left had wanted to do for years and finally got their chance (no 1 being the healthcare bill). That's the change he was talking about. According to any poll, majority of people were against the bailouts, majority of people were against the stimulus, majority of people were against Obamacare, majority of people are in favour of Arizona type immigration control. I guess the change the according to you the populace should enact would be very different to the change that he is actually enacting. Dems were elected simply because people were sick of Bush and neo-cons, they never got the mandate or popular support to do any of those things they are doing.
  • by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @02:39AM (#32345670)

    Believe it or not, constituent sentiment is taken into account.

    If every single constituent sent a nasty letter to their congressman you can bet they would think long and hard before jeopardizing their seats. Unless they *really* strongly believed in it and were willing to sacrifice election chances they will bend in the wind of public opinion.

  • by gink1 (1654993) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @06:26AM (#32346514)

    This and other results bear our your thesis.

    The same was true with the "Corporate" Healthcare Bill. Almost all of the Democrats had their hands out for the Corporate Millions.
    And they voted predictably.

    If possible the Democrats may actually be More Corrupt than the Republicans.

  • by Shakrai (717556) * on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @06:49AM (#32346634) Journal

    Unless they *really* strongly believed in it and were willing to sacrifice election chances they will bend in the wind of public opinion.

    Then how do you explain the fact that the health care "reform" legislation passed when a large majority of Americans were opposed to it?

  • by digitalunity (19107) <digitalunityNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @06:59AM (#32346710) Homepage

    I reached this conclusion many years ago when I wrote a paper about the damaging effects of a 2 party system. Having two parties is the worst possible number because it is so easy to polarize issues. There is no room for moderates when there are two parties and on every issue they frame it as right/wrong, left/right, black/white.

    I hope the tea party does well, if for no other reason than we need another serious political party. I don't give two shits about what they stand for, I just want more than 2 parties.

    Kinda sad that the only way out of a two party system is instant runoff voting, and congress will never ever enact voting reform that jeopardizes the two party system. We are beholden to our masters we vote for every 2 years, because Americans are a bunch of pansy asses who individually only vote for one party.

  • by digitalunity (19107) <digitalunityNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @07:07AM (#32346766) Homepage

    Making a profit isn't a right, you have to earn it by competing.

    Does anyone remember before broadband? Every metro region had dozens of dialup ISP's and they all competed on service and the prices were very reasonable. At first they charged by the minute or hour, then it was by bandwidth, then it was unlimited. Prices started high and slowly fell.

    These are all indications of a normal, healthy, competitive market. What we have now is the exact opposite - ISP's don't always run their own mail servers, prices go up, newsgroup access is a rarity, DNS lookup failures are sold to the highest bidder(bing/google/whatever). There is no competition and consumers are paying the price.

  • by moeinvt (851793) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @07:15AM (#32346820)

    "The sad thing is that I can't see how this changes without bullets . . ."

    This system is going to collaps under its own weight. We've been printing and borrowing to avoid dealing with recession ever since the beginning of the Bush administration, and it has only accelerated in the last two years. Every day that they continue this nonsense makes the day of reckoning worse. This year alone the Federal government will borrow and spend at least $1.5 trillion. That's almost 10% of GDP. Then, they'll release official BS statistics which claim that the economy "grew" by 2-3%. Remove the unsustainable debt spending, and the economy clearly shrank. Furthermore, if they balanced the budget tomorrow, it's an immediate 9+% drop in GDP.

    It won't take bullets to change things, just another few years of the status quo.

    When the asshats in D.C. refuse to deal with a glaringly obvious fiscal crisis, why should we have any hope that they're going to do something like network neutrality?

  • Re:Obvious. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AltairDusk (1757788) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @07:50AM (#32347120)

    You seem to be unaware that you are responsible for who is in government. Law is how a civilized society addresses grievances between it's citizens without resorting to violence or terroristic threats. You don't just throw the whole idea out because you're too lazy to participate.

    "Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people.” -Lincoln

    The largest problem with our system is that the politicians can outright lie to the public with no intention of following through just to get elected and a majority of the public will believe them. If you have a solution for either getting the politicians to stop lying or educating the public enough to see through the lies you could be a national hero. So far one has not been found.

  • Re:Obvious. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by atamido (1020905) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @08:23AM (#32347514)

    The battles are still being fought for... immigrant rights

    I keep hearing this, but I can't figure out what rights immigrants are fighting for. I know lots of immigrants, and they all seem to be doing just fine.

    Or are you talking about those people whose very presence in this country is a federal crime?

  • by Culture20 (968837) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @08:36AM (#32347692)

    [Obama] wanted people to get involved in government again.

    And do what, vote?

    No, he wants people to apply government jobs and/or government cheese.

  • Re:Obvious. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @09:19AM (#32348248) Homepage Journal

    The landless poor got the right to vote.

    Self-earned.

    Then the slaves earned their legal freedom, though they were still denied it for decades.

    They didn't earn their own freedom, it was handed to them. Big difference. Not claiming it was unjust however. They were prevented from regaining their own freedom by everyone in the country who was profiting from slavery, which was nearly everyone. Of course, there have been many policies since the abolitions of slavery and segregation which are designed to maintain the imbalance and punish people for not being white...

    Then the workers united in the early 20th century and fought bitterly for better wages and working conditions, and got them.

    True.

    Then the women's suffrage movement won their democratic rights.

    Also true.

    Then the Civil Rights movement finally resulted in the beginning of true equality for all Americans.

    Not from where I'm sitting. The new division is monetary, same as the old division. If you have more money, you have more rights.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @09:36AM (#32348490)

    Wow how naive can you be? Obama came to power with an agenda to implement certain things that left had wanted to do for years and finally got their chance (no 1 being the healthcare bill). That's the change he was talking about. According to any poll, majority of people were against the bailouts, majority of people were against the stimulus, majority of people were against Obamacare, majority of people are in favour of Arizona type immigration control. I guess the change the according to you the populace should enact would be very different to the change that he is actually enacting. Dems were elected simply because people were sick of Bush and neo-cons, they never got the mandate or popular support to do any of those things they are doing.

    Actually, if you look at the polls, a majority of people had no fucking idea what they were talking about on any of those subjects. Not the first clue. We have got to have one of the least informed electorates in existence.

  • by Shakrai (717556) * on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @11:10AM (#32349658) Journal

    a government takeover of healthcare, which Obamacare is most certainly not

    Sure it was. The Government will control what kinds of coverages insurance companies can offer and will mandate that we purchase it. It's actually worse than a pure government takeover -- it's a government takeover via for-profit middlemen.

"Never give in. Never give in. Never. Never. Never." -- Winston Churchill

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