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Location: California, United States

I am a neolibertarian minded individual who feels that freedom and individual rights take precedence over the wants of government. I believe government exists to serve the people and not to protect us from ourselves. I am an advocate for private firearms ownership, smaller government, reduced taxes and freedom to live your life however you choose, providing you do not directly hurt others.

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Friday, July 14, 2006

Sen. Ted Stevens Clueless About Internet

The title link is to an .mp3 recording of comments made by U.S. Senator Ted Stevens. He is chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, and was a big reason why the so called "Net Neutrality" bill was shot down. This sound bite is part of his 11 minute speech against the Net Neutrality clause. Please click on the title link and listen to the 2.5 minute clip before reading further.

This is a typical example of how people in our government are regulating areas of our lives that they know absolutely nothing about.

Senator Stevens (recently famous for
Alaska's $320 million dollar bridge to nowhere), was born over 80 years ago and lived nearly all of his life before the internet even became accessible to the average consumer. It would be very surprising if he knew much about the internet, and his rambling speech proves that he knows absolutely nothing about how it works. Nevertheless, he, and people like him, are deciding on what kinds of regulations should be placed on the internet. This will affect how much people pay to use the internet and what kind of content consumers are able to access. It could even effect what content providers survive.

I find this very frustrating. There is no shame in someone from his generation and cultural context not understanding the internet, but it is infuriating that someone who can't even grasp the fundamental concepts is a key player in regulating what has become the most vital communication system in the world. The internet delivers information and entertainment to and facilitates commerce for nearly a 1.5 BILLION people and should not be regulated by those who aren't even vaguely familiar with it.

Why can't these politicians get some help from their staffers, do some basic research and actually learn about an issue before they start making policy? Either their egos are so bloated that they don't realize the magnitude of their ignorance or they are utterly owned by lobbyists and corporations and just make up stuff to defend the positions they are paid to take. Why do voters even allow jerks like him to govern us? Is Ted Stevens really the best that
Alaska has to offer as a senatorial candidate?

For those of you not familiar with the "
Net Neutrality Issue", here's a quick summary:

AT&T and other Network Infrastructure owners have expressed a desire to charge additional money from web sites and services that you visit/use in exchange for not blocking your access to access them. For example, your
ISP could tell someone like or to pay them extra money if they want to ensure that you and other users of that ISP/phone lines are able to view their content without undue slowness.

This is admittedly a biased oversimplification of the issue, but since most people who visit this site are fairly tech savvy, I don't want to spend too much time explaining all of the details of Network Neutrality in this post. If you'd like more information, try this
Wikipedia link.

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