Saturday, August 14, 2010

Neutrali-Tea for Tools

A few weeks back I was having a very spirited discussion with a friend about the relative merits of the Tea Party, with the argument presented to me that they're just average folks who are defending the Constitution in the spirit of good ol' Thomas Jefferson, and not the ignorant boobs the media has made them out to be. The problem with this line of reasoning, of course, is that inclusion in the first category doesn't automatically preclude inclusion in the second.  This is how we end up with things like the Tea crowd actually choosing up sides against network neutrality after this week's word of a potential Google-Verizon pact that could deal the concept a fatal blow.

Now, bear in mind that net neutrality -- something that's advocated by folks on either side of the political divide -- would preserve the Internet as we've come to know it and prevent corporations from turning it into a "tiered" system like we have with cable TV.  With premiums charged to access certain content at certain speeds, the web would effectively be robbed of the very democratic underpinnings you'd think the Tea types would support.  However, in their typically Kafka-esque worldview, any attempt by the FCC to prevent a corporation from preventing free-speech is an infringement on the corporation's First Amendment rights. If you're feeling dizzy right about now, don't worry, that just means you're not jaundiced by imagined leftist conspiracies lurking under every stone.

Heck, don't take my word for it, here's Jamie Radtke, chairperson of the Virginia Tea Party Federation, on the effort to get the FCC to enforce net neutrality:
“I think the clearest thing is it’s an affront to free speech and free markets.”
Wow.  Just wow.

Oh, but it gets better.  Radtke continues:
“There are so many assaults on individual liberties — the EPA, net neutrality, cap-and-trade, card-check; the list goes on — that sometimes the Tea Party doesn’t know where to start its battles.”
Too true, Jamie.  Too true.

1 comment:

Omar A. said...

Nice tying together of recent events in the tech industry to recent political issues!