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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Net Neutrality (and Your Gonads) Explained

I never thought I would need to write about this, because I kind of assumed that in general, people know what net neutrality means. Of course, if everybody knew everything, then I wouldn't be teaching in a university now, would I? (I'm still shocked when I watch my students write down everything I say. "Wow," I think, "you didn't know that?" I guess they didn't. Actually, what I really think is, "Wow. You think what I'm saying is important? My mother never did." But I digress.)

I just finished my routine of catching up on Jon Stewart's Daily Show and Stephen Colbert's Whatever Show. On Stewart's show, he revealed what I did not know (because I try not to listen to Republican mouth pieces if I can avoid it), and that is that Republicans are lying through their teeth AGAIN. I really should not be shocked at this, because whereever money flows into a Republican's pocket, there shall be his or her platform. And so, all the corporate media behemouths are bound and determined to block net neutrality in order to secure enough money so they can pay off more Republicans (oh, and to be fair, several Democrats, I'm sure) to make sure the media conglomerates can continue to make ludicrous amounts of money off of us.

The lies are typical - spreading enough fear to shrink the gonads of regular gullible Americans so that they run to their elected representatives and scream at them to save them from socialism, gayness, government control and terrorists against marriage, oh and tea bags too, just for good measure.

So, let me try and explain net neutrality to you, in case your gonads have climbed up into your asshole and you're busy building an underground fallout shelter just in case Obama's Socialist Secret Soldiers come knocking on your door demanding your soul and push their way into your very own living room so that they can turn your children into gays.

In a perfect world, net neutrality means that the Internet is neutral to the content that travels upon its "tubes." The Internet is just a vehicle or conduit for content. It passes no judgment nor imposes restrictions on that content. It sends your porn video bytes (Not bites folks. Settle down.) to you the same way it sends that video of Sarah Palin getting exorcised by her crazy-ass preacher. The internet doesn't look at Sarah Palin and decide to download her faster than your porn (Thank The Lourd). No. It sends both videos to you (because there are people out there that watch BOTH Sarah Palin AND porn videos, and you know who you are) at the same speed.

Here's another example. Your car is also a neutral vehicle. If you buy a Ford, you aren't restricted to buy only Exxon gas. Your Ford is neutral when it comes to the fuel it uses to get from one place to the other. Both your fuel and your car are neutral. Neither one gives a rat's ass if you drive home to your wife or across town to your Mistress. The car doesn't go any faster or slower based on which person you will be visiting. The fuel doesn't spark more or less based on where you go either. Your Ford passes no judgment on you. Only we pass judgment on you for driving one.

Your computer is mostly neutral (I say mostly because Bill Gates tried to control how you used your computer through limitations in your browser and Microsoft applications). No matter where you go, you can plug it in to an electrical socket and charge it. The electrical socket doesn't give a shit what you do on your computer. It just sends electricity to your computer to keep it running. It won't DENY electricity because you are using your computer TOO MUCH, or looking at the WRONG things.

Your computer is neutral in another way. You can get the Internet on your computer from any Internet Service Provider (ISP) out there. Your computer doesn't slow down or speed up based on which ISP you're using. You can go online via cellular, wireless, wired, satellite, cable, T1, dialup or DSL. Your computer couldn't care less which one you choose. These different providers are inherently slower (Dialup) or faster (T1) based on their physical limitations, but not based on some human deciding to fuck with you and make your internet slower.

That's what the people against net neutrality want to do. They want to fuck with you based on how you use the internet and what content you choose to access over the internet. They want to make judgments about what you do on the internet and punish your ass because of it. If you're a superuser, you get slowed down, unless you pay a premium to get faster speed. If you're a superuser AND a schlub with no money (like me), you won't be able to pay the premium, so you're stuck with slower access.

Without net neutrality, if you watch lots of video online or play massive-multi-player games online, your ISP can detect that, and slow your ass down. Or, if your ISP gets PAID by some content provider to FAVOR their content over somebody else's, then when you access the other content, it'll be as slow as molasses. If you go and pay a premium to download the favored content, it'll be faster than a speeding bullet (to the brain).

In other words, your ISP, like Comcast for instance, will have (and in the case of Comcast, already has) you by the gonads.

Here's an example of something that is NOT neutral: your cell phone. Your cell phone should be like your computer, but it isn't. You buy an iPhone from Apple and in the US they force you to use AT&T as your carrier. Apple locks the phone (that you paid a fortune for - isn't that nice?) and you can't use any other provider. In Europe, that's against the law. That's because in Europe, they are more consumer-centric, versus corporate-centric. They actually care about the consumer. So, when I bought my iPhone here, I had a choice between three carriers: Orange, SFR and Bouygues. Of course, if I go back to the states, I can't just slip a SIM card from an American carrier into my iPhone. Because Apple made sure I couldn't do that. Steve Jobs sold his soul to the devil on this one.

Your ISP, like Comcast, and their partners who wish to make more money off of you, are the ones trying to destroy net neutrality. It's THEM that you should be afraid of. It's THEM that wish to control you. It's them that want to stick their noses into your private life and regulate you and based on what you do online, punish you with higher fees. It's THEM that can be bribed by anybody to make sure that you only see THEIR content, versus the content you want to see.

It is NOT our government who wants to control your life in this situation, OK?

Yell loudly at your representatives to VOTE FOR net neutrality, or Big Brother (in the form of your ISP) actually will be looking over your shoulder, very, very soon (If they aren't already). (Your gonads should be tiny little rocks right now, but for the right reasons this time.) Learn more at wearetheweb.org and/or savetheinternet.com. And take all the actions suggested on those sites (email your representative, sign petitions, etc.). If you want to read what the guy who invented the internet thinks about net neutrality, go here.

My apologees to anyone who has only one gonad, or no gonads at all. You know who you are.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Healthcare: Listening For What's Not Being Said

I haven't heard anyone say that Medicare is broke(n).

I haven't heard my mother or father bitch about "that godamned Medicare." Ever. And they call everything else godamned at least 20 times a day. My mother has Fox news on mute, all day long, so she can hear herself yell, "Oh shut your godamned mouth!" to any liberal that has the gonads to step foot upon the sacred ground of O'Reilly's Christian (and Christmas!) Vibratorlandia. She doesn't turn the sound back on to hear what the guest commie has to say. She already knows that he/she is a hippie ass and all he/she is saying is crap! and he/she needs to get his/her ass kicked.

So if my mother doesn't bitch about Medicare? That's something.

My dad figures out how to get his catheters cheaper. And conspires with his doctor's nurse to get them covered by Medicare, along with the cute little alcohol towelettes that come in boxes of 300 and something. So he's kinda sorta workin' the system. Kinda sorta like those welfare whores that he and my mother hate so much. Kinda sorta sucking off the government tit. So, why would he bitch about Medicare?

I guess because it works for him.

I haven't heard anyone say that Medicare is on the brink of running out of money. But they sure do say it all the time about the Socialist Security Program started by that New Deal bastard Roosevelt in 1935. They've been telling us that Social Security will run out of money - tomorrow! - for about 20 years, or as long as I can remember, which lately, is 5 minutes ago.

It's like that promise I used to see behind the bar in Cave Creek, Arizona - "Free beer. Tomorrow." I kept going back to that bar, every day, and for some godamned reason, it was never tomorrow.

I haven't heard anyone say that Medicare has single-handedly pushed this country down the slippery slope of socialism on the way to the Siberian gulags of communism and sooner than anyone of us dare to even think, straight into the everlasting, singeing, smoking fires of Hades. Medicare is taking us straight to hell. We will not pass go. We will not collect any insurance redemption. We certainly will have no fucking virgins. I haven't heard anyone say any of that.

I also haven't heard that Medicare will lead us to corpse fucking. I'm actually surprised at that. But the guy that was obsessing about gay marriage leading to corpse fucking on the Senate floor (well, actually, he was just talking about gay marriage leading to corpse fucking - I can't get enough of that phrase, frankly - he wasn't talking about actually DOING it on the Senate floor, he was just talking ABOUT IT on the Senate floor - phew! Glad I clarified that!) is on a government-paid healthcare plan, much like...er...Medicare. He's also conspiring with his doctor's nurse, to get free shit through his godamned socialized medicine plan, and probably asks her some pretty pointed questions about corpses while he's at it.

I HAVE heard some people say that Medicare costs less to maintain than private health insurance. Maybe once. On some late, late, late, late night blogger radio show.

So....why is a public health care option, a single payer option, something just like, um, Medicare, such a freaking problem?

I think it's always a good exercise to cut through all the hysteria and chatter and try to hear what isn't being said. It can be quite illuminating.


And, by the way, I haven't lost interest in starting our own Progressive Country. I'm just cranking out content for work right now and experimenting with creating a Facebook page for one of my classes. Once I'm done with that, I'll know how to create a page for our new country. Then maybe we can discuss whether or not people can marry corpses. Or marry more than one corpse. As the first Queen of the Progressive Lands (we'll probably have Rotating Royalty), I will decree that you can marry as many corpses as you like. That would be big-o'-me, now wouldn't it?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Let's Start A New Country

I'm pretty fed up. The Republicans actually cheered when America lost the Olympics bid. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) just said that the Hate Crimes Bill Will Legalize Bestiality, Corpse-Fucking, Pedophilia, Lead To Nazism. Obama decided to continue illegal rendition. Obama continues to let the GLBT community down by not ridding us of the childishly ridiculous and shameful Don't Ask Don't Tell. That goofball dentist lawyer birther babe Orly Taitz is actually still getting press coverage. And healthcare? Don't get me started. These issues aren't just "Oh, darn, we lost that vote. Maybe next time!" These issues and events are disgusting! Ludicrous! And they are stuck in my craw and just won't go down, no matter how much Russian vodka I drink. (Thanks Anna!)

I woke up the other morning thinking that surely, surely, there's an island we can buy somewhere and start our own country? Even though it's just a fantasy, I'd rather start drafting my fantasy country's bill o' rights and constitution than continue to rant and rave at my newsfeeder about the insanity of my own country. It would be an interesting conversation, at least. Hell, I put way too much time into building my virtual farm in FarmVille on FaceBook. At least engaging with my other Progressive friends on a virtual country would be productive. Maybe we should just invent a game and stick it in FaceBook and see what ensues.

Perhaps, as Freud came to believe before he died, that humankind was just an uncontrollable mob, driven by deep-seated, unconscious evil tendencies and doomed to destruction unless they are controlled by a more intelligent elite, we might fail to get along too. But, call me Pollyanna, I just don't agree. Maybe that's why I spent all my time studying Jung and ignoring Freud.

Can we create a hierarchy-free country? I've witnessed 12-step programs working quite well all over the world, completely managed by volunteers with absolutely no hierarchy. It can be done.

How 'bout it, Arvan, Katharine, NewsWriter, Lori, Kim, Dana, Lisa - and any other interested party (I couldn't list you all, so don't feel left out) - wanna play? Should we start a FaceBook page and start drafting and voting on our own laws? Do you think we could get along better than our not-so-esteemed elected officials? At least we wouldn't have pockets full of cash from industry lobbies to distract us.