Considering the fact that I went through my blogroll earlier today and found several bloggers wouldn't blog for any price (including blogging for free), I doubt many of you would tolerate a "blogging fee" - you'd probably see my posts once a month AT BEST - and although a good argument could be made against "poopy diaper" posts, the point is that the blogosphere would be a much quieter (and much more boring) place.
Imagine having to pay a toll for every blog. Imagine that your ISP blocks my site from you because I talked shit about your ISP; imagine that your favorite band's downloads at shitmusic.com are much slower than downloads by Lame Ass Country Dorks because the latter paid to allow their downloads scream (and so, potentially, make you give up on your favorite band); imagine that your Google searches drag but searches on SuckAssSearches download immediately - even though SuckAssSearches loads its top 100 searches with paid searches.
Sucks, huh? Well, it's not sciencefuckingfiction but reality unless YOU (yes - YOU) get busy demanding that your Senators support the Net Neutrality amendment. The vote in committee is Thursday and although we in Colorado don't have a dog in that fight, it's important that ALL of you are watching to see who supports Big Business vs. Net Neutrality. Some of you may have heard that corporate shill Mike McCurry (on the anti-Net Neutrality side) had his ass handed to him Friday by Amazon.com's Paul Misener at a debate hosted by George Washington University. If you haven't watched the debate, you can see the entire video at Politics TV (or just watch the Q&A where McCurry really gets slaughtered). You can also read ">some the transcript at SaveTheInternet to see how the Telco's argument does it's counter-clockwise spiral down the bowl but the entertainment value of seeing McCurry get soundly spanked is worth watching.
If you're unsure about how the Net Neutrality goes, here's the down & dirty talking point. The big Telcos (AT&T, Bell South, Verizon, etc.) claim that unless they can run the internet their way, innovation is dead, and the internet will suck forever. The big Telcos are calling Net Neutrality "regulating the internet".
What a crock of shit. What the big Telcos want to do is create a monopoly for themselves, rake in money on services that are currently free (by setting up "toll booths" for those services - such as blogging, video streaming, etc.) and potentially determine which content will be provided to users. In order to argue this, McCurry and the Telcos have resorted to outright lies, claiming that Net Neutrality is an issue advocated by the far left and that if the Net Neutrality amendment passes, traffic on the internet will bog down in an increasingly overwhelmed network.
Both Big Business claims are nonsense, desperate words to cover fatcat asses. Net Neutrality is supported across the political spectrum, as Eli Parser points out,
Telecom companies also like to paper Congress with propaganda implying that Internet freedom is somehow a left-wing issue. Tell that to the Christian Coalition, Gun Owners of America, Instapundit, the business executives, and the many libertarians who are fighting right along with MoveOn, the inventors of the Internet, thousands of bloggers, and the SavetheInternet.com Coalition in support of Net Neutrality.
As Craig Fields of the Gun Owners says, when the left and right agree on an issue like Internet freedom, "it's been my experience that what Congress is getting ready to do is basically un-American." On the proposal to destroy Net Neutrality, most Americans would probably agree.
The canard that internet traffic will slow to a crawl (and will squelch innovation) is a laugh, pure and unadulterated bullshit. In fact, there is so much infrastructure in place, the companies decades away from using it all. As Fiber Optic Association (FOA) president Jim Hayes said to streamingmedia.com,
"The backbone was terribly overbuilt. Ninety-three percent of all the fiber that’s been installed is still unused."
However, you can decide for yourself and read S 2917 in its entirety.
Like I said, those of us in Colorado don't have dog in this fight. Those of you in other states just might. Via Firedoglake, you can contact your Senators and give them a piece of your mind:
Chairman Ted Stevens (AK): (202) 224-3004; (202) 224-2354 FAX
John McCain (AZ): (202) 224-2235; Fax: (202) 228-2862
Conrad Burns (MT): 202-224-2644; Fax: 202-224-8594
Trent Lott (MS): (202) 224-6253; Fax: (202) 224-2262
Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX): 202-224-5922; 202-224-0776 (FAX)
Olympia J. Snowe (ME): (202) 224-5344; FAX (202) 224-1946
Gordon H. Smith (OR): 202.224.3753; Fax: 202.228.3997
John Ensign (NV): (202) 224-6244; Fax: (202) 228-2193
George Allen (VA): (202) 224-4024; Fax: (202) 224-5432
John E. Sununu (NH): (202) 224-2841; FAX (202) 228-4131
Jim DeMint (SC): 202-224-6121; Fax: 202-228-5143
David Vitter (LA): (202) 224-4623; Fax: (202) 228-5061
Co-Chairman Daniel K. Inouye (HI): 202-224-3934; Fax: 202-224-6747
John D. Rockefeller (WV): (202) 224-6472; (202) 224-7665 Fax
John F. Kerry (MA): (202) 224-2742 - Phone; (202) 224-8525 - Fax
Byron L. Dorgan (ND): 202-224-2551; Fax: 202-224-1193
Barbara Boxer (CA): 202-224-3553
Bill Nelson (FL): 202-224-5274; Fax: 202-228-2183
Maria Cantwell (WA): 202-224-3441; 202-228-0514 - FAX
Frank R. Lautenberg (NJ): (202) 224-3224; Fax: (202) 228-4054
E. Benjamin Nelson (NE): Tel: (202) 224-6551; Fax: (202) 228-0012
Mark Pryor (AR): (202) 224-2353; Fax: (202) 228-0908
I assume you are smart enough to either figure out how to call or email me in order to emial your Senator; if you're not smart enough to do either, are you smart enough to vote?!?
It's your internet - for now. If you don't call or email, you have no one to blame but yourself if you start getting charged "tolls" and find that you can't access your favorite site. You have the power but you have to fight to keep it.