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      So, back in the 80s, when I was young, green and wet behind the years, one of the great thinkers about how to help poor people was a guy named Hernando DeSoto. (Great name, aces on parents!) DeSoto, who was mostly concerned with Latin and South America had one big idea: the reason that poor people were fucked is they didn’t have clear ownership of what they […]
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Have it your way?

Net neutrality- the principle that affirms that all internet traffic is equal and should be delivered by your ISP (internet service provider, usually your cable company) without interference. After all, you’re already paying for the access connection and Netflix, WordPress, pornhub (my friends use it). There is no reason for the cable company to interfere with your internet service that doesn’t smell suspiciously like a conflict of interest.

Net neutrality was recently suspended by the FCC, lead by Trump appointee Ajit Pai. That’s because when ISPs started complaining about how they were losing money to streaming services and an increasing number of people who cut the cord, they wanted to be able to introduce tiered pricing so that some internet traffic would be slower than others unless the service coughed up the extra dough to use the cable companies’ fiber. So Obama’s FCC voted to treat ISPs like utilities. And let’s face it, it *is* like a utility. Some kids born in the 90s have never used a phone book or have had to write directions on a piece of paper, go to a library to research a paper, or apply in person for a job. And those kids who do still do are at a severe disadvantage.

Given the vital nature of the internet, and the WHOPPING fees of corporate welfare we have paid over the last 25 years to get the cable companies to reluctantly and with great slowness install faster fiber optic cable in our neighborhoods, it’s a great insult to us as consumers that that cables want to restrict our internet access until we or the services we use cough up more money to them. As if 20 million channels of reality TV and Fox News that you didn’t want in your cable TV package isn’t bad enough. Think about that for a second. Every time you pay the TV portion of your cable bill, you are actually subsidizing the ability of Fox News to delude your neighbor or spouse until they turn into self contradictory, word salad spewing, judgmental, mean and unpleasant philosophical zombies.

Anyway, the cable companies have been very supportive of the Trump administration. And they got net neutrality rescinded. But some people out there of good will may still not understand what that means to them personally. So some clever people have created a nifty ad imagining what it would be like at a Burger King without whopper neutrality. I think the actors in this ad are volunteers who didn’t know what they signed up for. Anyway, their reactions seem genuine. The cable company customer support people are going to love their jobs soon

Now, how can the cable company make your ISP service more like a cable package? Well, let’s use the Whopper again as an example.

If you want everything on your whopper like double patties, extra cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, mayo, ketchup and mustard, you can get it for $215/month, but you will need to rent the packaging and paper bag for another $21/month. But you will get everything.

What if you don’t want two patties because, just like reality TV, it’s bad for you. Or maybe you don’t want tomatoes because you are allergic to them. No problem! The cable company will have a number of packages for you to choose from. You can get the stripped down whopper without anything. That will be $125/month and package rental. But, you say, I just want a regular whopper. Ok, no problem, you can have that but it won’t come with a bun. Or you can get fries with a different package. But, you say, I’m already getting HBO Now fries on my iPhone at home. I don’t need it. Too bad, you need to pay for it twice. And extra for extra fries. See where I’m going? You’re never going to get ala cart where you can get the burger, ketchup but not mustard, and three orders or fries while using your own paper bag.

Isn’t this fun??

If this does NOT strike you as a good time had by all, you might want to contact your local hardass Republican Senator or Representative to tell them to cosponsor the bills going thru Congress now to enshrine net neutrality into law. Good luck with that!

November is Coming.