Verizon Files Net Neutrality Suit Against FCC

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Internet, Legislation, Republicans

In my opinion, any company that opposes net neutrality is nuts. Because what they’re proposing is treating different web sites as if they were cable channels. That means they could make you pay more to visit sites that aren’t in their approved list of preferred sites.

Newsflash…give me 2 minutes and I can create a website. The Internet isn’t cable. Why Verizon and others think it should be treated as such isn’t hard to figure out…they’re greedy. And that’s fine. Fight that fight. But they’re wrong and will not win this fight. So I don’t even know why they’re trying to challenge it.

Here’s more from Politico:

“Today’s filing is the result of a careful review of the FCC’s order,” Michael Glover, a Verizon lawyer, said in a statement.

“We are deeply concerned by the FCC’s assertion of broad authority for sweeping new regulation of broadband networks and the Internet itself,” he said. “We believe this assertion of authority goes well beyond any authority provided by Congress, and creates uncertainty for the communications industry, innovators, investors and consumers.”

Let’s parse this. Verizon wants to limit which sites you can visit…so they can charge you more money. On the other end of the spectrum…the government wants to make sure they can’t do that so you can visit the BILLIONS of websites that exist. That’s very different than the HUNDREDS of cable channels.

Understandably, Republicans praised Verizon’s decision to actually regulate and limit the internet…even when they’re claiming that the FCC is doing it…

“We welcome the decision by Verizon, and hopefully others … to block the FCC’s misguided attempt to regulate the Internet,” House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said in a joint statement with Reps. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Lee Terry (R-Neb.) “Between our legislative efforts and this court action, we will put the FCC back on firmer ground.”

Seriously, this is absolutely crazy. Net Neutrality is a no-brainer for consumers. This is such a bad move by Repubs. Oh well.


This entry was posted on Thursday, January 20th, 2011 and is filed under Internet, Legislation, Republicans. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

29 Responses to “Verizon Files Net Neutrality Suit Against FCC”

  1. Simon Says:

    It was inevitable that the challenge would be filed, although it’s not as likely to have a good outcome as the Comcast case. In any event, I work in the industry. The adopted net neutrality rules are a bad, but since you’ll simply dismiss it as partisanship rather than professional opinion, I’ll leave it at that.

  2. Jacob Says:

    Simon,

    I won’t dismiss it as partisanship. What kind of work do you do in the industry and why do you think the adopted rules are bad?

    What do you think they should be?

    Thanks

  3. kranky kritter Says:

    I’m pretty sure that sweeping requlations like this will bring both pluses and minuses. Conceivably, they’ll stifle some sorts of innovation,

    But I’m still broadly in favor of the particular type of consumer protection that Justin is talking about. We’re running into all sorts of irritating anti-consumer developments these days where the market maker is also a market player. Instead of simply making the market as free as possible to maximum shopper choice, the maker conspires with the sellers against buyer choice.

    So you end up with a situation like, say, not being able to buy 9-lives canned cat food at Walmart. Which you can always find a conservative to patiently explain is really good for you.

  4. Simon Says:

    Jacob, there are basically three substantive rules, all problematic and I would also characterize one of the procedural rules as a defect. Essentially the new rules say that you can’t discriminate against any legal traffic or block it entirely, and you must disclose virtually everything about how you handle traffic.

    I usually favor disclosure rules, but these are sweeping and invasive; and while the Commission pays lip service to “allow[ing] flexibility in implementation of the transparency rule,” FCC R&O 10-201 (Dec. 23, 2010), at 34, it goes on to make clear that the disclosure it expects is onerously comprehensive. As to traffic: well, start with the obvious. How do you determine what traffic is legal? What does it mean to discriminate against traffic–if you discriminate in favor of certain traffic (voice, for example), you ipso facto discriminate against all other traffic. Violation? And come to think of it, why shouldn’t we discriminate against some kinds of traffic? If one file sharing asshole is degrading the service for everyone else on a POP, why shouldn’t we throttle back his service? If the goal of the rule is consumer welfare, ask the customers who it screws whether they approve. Speaking of file sharing, this puts us in a real bind vis-a-vis 17 U.S.C. 512. The most direct route to satisfy section 512 is to simply block file sharing globally or for specific customers. The new rules take that option off the table; the result will be that more customers must be disconnected rather than simply losing one service. Who is better off?

    You also have to read between the lines a little. The rule does not mandate service providers to eliminate network congestion, the commission reassures us; They “do not find it appropriate to interpret our rule to impose a blanket prohibition on degradation of traffic more generally,” because they “recognize that some network congestion may be unavoidable” and since “[c]ongestion ordinarily results in degredation of traffic, … such an interpretation could effectively prohibit broadband providers from permitting congestion to occur on their networks.” Id., at 39 n.204 (emphasis added). Notice that this is framed as an interpretation of the rule, not as a qualification of its scope; it appears that the commission understands this to be a kind of friendly concession, a volitional underenforcement of the rule, a smearing of Vaseline on the regulatory lens, so to speak. The implication is that the terms of the rule do impose such a mandate, leaving the commission free to revisit its interpretation in the adjudicative process. I know Justin doesn’t like military metaphors any more, but this is akin to mining the harbor entrance.

    What’s more, the commission majority (this was a disputed decision; two commissioners dissented) and its supporters fail to recognize that not every ISP is Verizon or Comcast. The burdens of compliance fall with equal weight on not only giant operations with full time compliance departments staffed with dozens of lawyers with nothing better to do, but also on small operations like ours, and on one man bands, for that matter. We don’t have a compliance department. We are already too busy. In practice, it’s going to fall on me to see that any changes are promptly translated into “plain language” and disclosed (id at 34).

    Finally, and personally, my biggest beef is the FCC’s conscious decision to enlist every do-gooder everywhere to enforce these rules. People who have no stake in the matter–people who aren’t and couldn’t become customers–can initiate an action with the FCC. Id., at 90-91; see id., at 32, 34, 37. I can drag your ISP through the wringer (cf. id., at 50), and you can drag mine. Traditionally, legal relief was premised on personal stake, and you can’t generally litigate a third party’s legal rights; hence article III standing. This isn’t the administrative state’s first departure from that principle, but it’s particularly obnoxious.

    I’m going to stop now.

  5. Jacob Says:

    Simon, thanks.

    I don’t always agree with you but I have lots of respect for your thoroughness and knowledge.

    When you say “We don’t have a compliance department. ” who are you talking about? Do you operate a local ISP? Does it have anything to do with SF?

  6. Simon Says:

    Jacob, yes, I’m with a local ISP and tech services company. We have a staff of just under twenty to get everything done. In practice, I end up handling most compliance issues because, well, who else can? And although Comcast probably has a hundred or more staff just in their legal department, the FCC makes no distinction between a goliath like that and us.

    I can reduce the insanity to a single nugget, actually. The new rules go into effect sixty days after OMB signs off on one provision in the FedReg. So when do the new rules go into effect again? The FCC effectively sentenced each ISP’s compliance department to read the FedReg every day from December 23d (merry Christmas!) until whenever OMB publishes its approval. Except we don’t have a compliance department. That means I’m the compliance department. Do you think I have time to read the FedReg every day? And in the litigation. I’m doomed to following this case and similar cases to find out whether the rules are in effect (stay granted? Upheld on appeal?) and the content of several key terms in the rules that will inevitably be questioned.

    Not SF-related, btw. :)

  7. Jacob Says:

    Simon:

    I’m in a similar position. We have a small business that does a lot of work with the state. Any compliance issues fall on me – also any computer/network issues, shipping issues, etc. The beauty of a small operation!

    Frankly, if I ever have “cases that need to be followed” I’m calling you.

  8. WHQ Says:

    And although Comcast probably has a hundred or more staff just in their legal department, the FCC makes no distinction between a goliath like that and us.

    I favor net neutrality as a general concept, but don’t know the specifics of the FCC rules. At any rate, this sounds pretty sucky, even to a net neutralist like me.

    First, because, as Simon says (heh), the big boys have the staff to wade through the regs, whereas the little guys don’t. Second, because it’s the big boys that I think advocates of net neutrality are concerned with in the first place.

    If some little ISP won’t let, say, Vonage traffic through, people who want to use Vonage won’t stay with that ISP. (I’m assuming little ISPs don’t enjoy monopolies, or, at least, if they do, they can be subject to stricter rules.)

    It’s Verizon and Comcast favoring their own internet-based services over those of others that scares people (me, anyway).

    Generally speaking, I don’t care if people have to pay for a certain maximum available bandwidth or even number of total bits over the course of a month (or a combination of the two), be it up or down, as a content provider or consumer. I just worry that ISPs will restrict based on content or source/destination (independently of the aforementioned bandwith/total bits considerations). And I don’t know how that plays into traffic considerations in the big cloud, where things aren’t (may not be?)under the control of any particular source or destination ISP.

  9. kranky kritter Says:

    I am also sympathetic to the problem of onerous regs that place a greater burden on smaller operations.

  10. Jeremy Says:

    Let’s see, Verizon and Comcast are against Net Neutrality? BIG surprise there.

    “Opponents of net neutrality characterize its regulations as “a solution in search of a problem”, arguing that broadband service providers have no plans to block content or degrade network performance.[7] In spite of this claim, certain Internet service providers have intentionally slowed peer-to-peer (P2P) communications.[8] Still other companies have acted in contrast to these assertions of hands-off behavior and have begun to use deep packet inspection to discriminate against P2P, FTP and online games, instituting a cell-phone style billing system of overages, free-to-telecom “value added” services, and bundling.” – Wikipedia

    For all the talk of “hands off” by the mega media corporations, that;s just silly. We know that their “hands off” promise is rhetoric meant to disarm the rightfully suspicious internet public at large. Once they’ve obtained carte blanche both over the access and distribution system they will slowly impose their will on the helpless consumer. It’s a surefire way to decapitate the already meager egalitarianism that exists on the internet. One needn’t be a genius to understand a power move. The monopolistic company always seeks to gain further privileges so that it may leverage those privileges to gain further profit. Not rocket science. To tell you the truth, I’m surprised the lap-dog FCC hasn’t already caved to their masters yet. I have no idea how many letters I just typed but I;m sure it is taxing the hell out of the COX cable backbone it’s going to travel over once I hit this ‘Submit’ button. I suppose I’m just a free-loadin’ text hippie unwillingly to pay my share to the multi-billion dollar corporate behemoths that are “just getting by by the crack of their asses ;)” If you really care to educate yourself on what happens when you hand over total control to an industry take a look at the beer industry and its ostensibly “neutrally controlled” three-tiered system of alcohol distribution.

  11. Simon Says:

    Something else occurs to me. The rules forbid blocking or degrading legal traffic unless necessary to protect the integrity of the network, 47 C.F.R. §§ 8.5, 8.7, and 8.11(d), as amended by FCC 10-201, supra, at 88-89. But user experience isn’t network management, and Spam is legal traffic from an ISP standpoint. You can thank the CAN SPAM act for that; volumes have been written explaining why it effectively licenses spam as legal traffic with exceptions that ISPs can’t possibly monitor. So the next time someone asks me if we can block the person sending them spam, am I required to say “no”? If one of our users has a virus and is sending oodles of spam, don’t the new rules say that we can’t do anything to block it? That seems to be the upshot. Come to think of it, even though our spam filtering is provided by a company that isn’t affected by the rules, are we violating the rules by contracting them in the first place? I have no idea what the answer to these questions are, and I doubt that the commission does either. I do know, however, that anyone on the planet can drag us before the commission to answer for our answer, see 47 C.F.R. §§ 8.12 and 8.13(c), as amended FCC 10-201, at 90-91; see also id., at 32, 50. So what is an ISP to do?

    Ah, but as Jeremy and all those who have no idea what they’re talking about are hasty to tell us, this is all about protecting consumers from evil corporations. And critics of the policy are just tools of those evil corporations. Uh huh.

  12. Jeremy Says:

    Uh hrrrm! and I suppose all those late nights snuggled up next to FCC regs in a Nutshell has equipped you better than all of the rest of us mere earthlings. If you’re trying to say “money” isn’t at the crux of the issue you really must be from another planet.

  13. Simon Says:

    No, Jeremy: working in the industry in a job directly affected by the regulations, having written the internal precis on what the new rules require, and being the person who will implement them, are what better equips me to comment on the rules than most other people here. Whether I want to be or not, I am unusually well-positioned to know quite well what the rules say and what their practical effects would be. It’s not that I’m better than you, it’s that I’m better informed on this issue. That’s why I’ve made specific points and you have (a) failed to refute them and (b) spoken in trite partisan cant. It’s a tell. People who won’t deal in specifics usually can’t.

    There isn’t “FCC regs in a nutshell,” by the way, because the new rules were only issued on December 23rd. That’s one of those things you’d know if you were remotely equipped to comment on the issue.

    If you’re not a legal beagle or work in the industry, you’d better have some pretty convincing analysis to contribute. You can start by reading the R&O.

  14. Jeremy Says:

    So I have to buy into your little “I have read all that the FCC has put forth game?” Or the “I have read all that the media conglomerates have put forth game?” All they put forth is legal jargon a mile high. In the end it is the flow of money that decides the “best coarse of action.” It sure as hell isn’t the American people at large that are get the first shake. The FCC are politicians. All politicians are bought off by American corporations. I love how you put up the virtuous front of egalitarian rule. “Egalitarianism” exists for the highest bidder, and that will never be the American people. If you want to continue to pretend that all is well and money isn’t the main thrust of legislation then you are truly a deluded individual.

  15. Simon Says:

    Jeremy Says:

    In the end it is the flow of money that decides the “best coarse of action.”

    Course. The best course of action. You’re really establishing your bona fides to contribute meaningfully to the debate.

    And yes, you have to buy into my “game”—viz., “know anything at all about what you’re talking about”—in order to be taken seriously.

  16. WHQ Says:

    Simon, you seem to have plenty of substance with which to argue your case. You’re only cheapening it with the spelling flame. Focus, man. Focus.

    What I’d like to know is what you think of the general concept of net neutrality, as opposed to the sausage of the rules. It’s not that the actual rules aren’t important (obviously!). It’s just that I’d like to get a sense of where you’re coming from when starting your analysis of the rules. For example, are you opposed to preventing, say, Verizon from blocking, say, Vonage traffic for the purpose of gaining a business advantage in providing telephone services (for a profit, natch)?

  17. Simon Says:

    WHQ, I think your vonage example cuts right to the heart of it. That is precisely what legitimate network neutrality policy is really about. Very few ISPs only offer internet connectivity (that’s why the “can we even block spam now” problem arises), so what happens if a company offers applications that can also be obtained from third parties, but it’s in a position qua ISP to stack the deck in favor of its own offering by degrading traffic to the third party? That’s where regulation—especially disclosure requirements—can be efficiency-enhancing, as I’ve said before.

    But what kind of regulation?

    The FCC’s approach is sweeping and general, even though we can articulate a pretty specific formulation of the problem we want to address. Why not, then, address that problem specifically? Why not simply have a disclosure requirement and a rule which says: “No broadband service provider (‘BSP’) shall block or degrade traffic between a subscriber and a service offered by competing provider if that service is also offered by the BSP”? Come to think of it, why not treat it as a sub rosa species of tying, which is already an antitrust violation? (The Clayton Act forbids companies to “lease or make a sale or contract …, or fix a price charged therefor…, on the condition, agreement, or understanding that the [customer] shall not use or deal in the … [services] of a competitor or competitors of the lessor or seller, where the effect … may be to substantially lessen competition or tend to create a monopoly….” Sure, you’d need to do some deep tissue doctrinal massage to make it work, but isn’t that basically what we’re after?)

    Another advantage of a more granular rulemaking is that it would smoke out some folks who have attached to the network neutrality bandwagon despite having quite different agendas. For instance, the Comcast case originated in the most common sidecar: file sharing. If people want to argue for requiring ISPs to allow file sharing—an activity of negative net worth to society and which ISPs are already required to police, as I mentioned above—then a granular approach will force them to make that argument by itself, without the support of the much more palatable network neutrality bundle. People will eat kale if you stick it in a sandwich or colcannon, but few will swallow it by itself.

    The downside to a granular approach, it will be argued, is that you’re then only tackling a specific manifestation of the problem. But why is that a bad thing? It would be a stronger point if we were talking about Congress, which has limited time and thus greater incentive toward “one and done” solutions, but the FCC has time to burn, and the whole point of administrative agencies is to allow a finer-grained control managed by greater expertise. Why is it a bad thing if the FCC identifies a specific problem, tackles it with a specific rule, and then tackles the next specific problem as it appears? If a larger pattern emerges that can be addressed with a fairly specific rule, that’s fine too. The kind of extremely generalized and ill-conceived rulemaking that they’ve used, however, is no good.

    Lastly: The internet is a fascinating place. Every day I see people whose first language isn’t English, and it’s impressive how much they get it right. And every day, by contrast, I see native speakers rattling off schoolboy malapropisms. I’m not talking typos, I mean real mistakes. Just this weekend, I read that someone’s curiosity had been peaked. Well, this is a written medium. Poor writing detracts from how seriously someone is taken, just as an inability to speak good English detracts from how seriously someone is taken in a verbal debate, and appropriately so: Foggy, mushy, error-laden prose typically follows from—and so blows the cover of—foggy, mushy, error-laden thinking. As William Zinsser put it, “clear thinking becomes clear writing; one can’t exist without the other.” I urge people to get a usage dictionary—Fowler, Garner, and Partridge are the best—and use it often. Don’t think that I don’t.

  18. WHQ Says:

    Thanks, Simon. That sounds reasonable enough.

  19. kranky kritter Says:

    A colcannon? Is that like a hoagie? Or a grinder?

    Care to explain the sense in which file sharing is of negative net worth to society?

  20. Simon Says:

    Sure. File sharing, which is just barely a superset of illegal file sharing, sucks up large amounts of bandwidth, breeds disrespect for intellectual property (and to an extent encourages a scofflaw’s mindset), and by limiting the ability of good music to support itself, exacerbates the entertainment industry’s version of gresham’s law. It forces me to waste my time running down infringement claims made by copyright holders, and from time to time requires us and the customer to lose out by forcing the termination of accounts. (That’s the requirement of 17 USC 512; the alternative is to expose ourselves to liability for contributory infringement, and while I truly doubt a copyright holder could win such a case, cf. Sony Universal City Studios, 464 U.S. 417 (1984), I’d hate to be a test defendant. It has no gross benefit—people claim that it helps them discover new bands, but the argument was negated by the rise of YouTube, and its use for legitimate distribution is wholly redundant—so the net impact is entirely negative.

    Colcannon is a mix of buttery mashed potato and cabbage or cale. I’d throw in some garlic and chopped sausage or bacon bits, personally.

  21. Jeremy Says:

    “Lastly: The internet is a fascinating place. Every day I see people whose first language isn’t English, and it’s impressive how much they get it right. And every day, by contrast, I see native speakers rattling off schoolboy malapropisms. I’m not talking typos, I mean real mistakes. Just this weekend, I read that someone’s curiosity had been peaked. Well, this is a written medium. Poor writing detracts from how seriously someone is taken, just as an inability to speak good English detracts from how seriously someone is taken in a verbal debate, and appropriately so: Foggy, mushy, error-laden prose typically follows from—and so blows the cover of—foggy, mushy, error-laden thinking. As William Zinsser put it, “clear thinking becomes clear writing; one can’t exist without the other.”” -Simon

    First of all, my spelling mistakes were just that. I was typing quickly, so if you’d please forgive me. Secondly, in the quote you make some very fine points and you helped make mine. We had a president of the United States of America that was in practical terms illiterate. Need I name him? My point is that the most prestigious, important position in our political system can be, and has been bought off before. There is no reason someone like G. Bush Jr. should have held office if he had been vetted correctly. But as you stated yourself the typical American is an imbecile that can hardly even spell. So it is moneyed interest that take advantage of this lack of common intelligence. Corporations spend money in order to figure out how to appeal to the lazy man in us all. They’ve succeeded beyond any imagination. I don;t think the FCC is any different than any other part of our very venal political system. The money provides traction. And traction is given where money is applied. A great deal of “traction” has been given to the mega media conglomerates in this country for one reason. Their money gets the people that are supposed to regulate them elected. You want to go off on an acronym soup tangent. Apparently reading and knowing code and regulation by heart and being “inside” the industry qualifies you to dismiss a very real complaint of corruption. Really, if we are going to be honest here–how is it that these long and verbose legal codes are derived at? Is it meant to truly enlighten the “average joe-blow American” are is it intended to deceive and obfuscate what’s really going on behind the scenes? Which is to say, the money transferring from one hand to another. Call it lobbying or whatever euphemism want. In the end it is nothing but corruption. I don’t care what the FCC has to say about anything. They’ve proved themselves to be useless in their original mandate. To overSEE. They do however, overLOOK very well.

  22. kranky kritter Says:

    We had a president of the United States of America that was in practical terms illiterate.

    Who can take folks who say such things seriously? I hate to say this, but you’re making Simon’s point about mushy imprecise thinking. Clearly you are too lazy to even try to accurately describe that which you object to.

    Bear i mind that I say this as someone who has contended more than once that GW Bush was in some respects overmatched by the job of being President.

  23. WHQ Says:

    Well, say what you will about poor writing and poor thinking, but spelling flames (an others) often result in a degradation of the discourse. People get testy, which makes them behave rashly, which makes them get sloppy.

    If something good were to come of it, maybe it would be a discussion about what types of writing errors imply what types of thinking errors, if any, and to what degree, and what the best responses are, if any.

  24. Simon Says:

    WHQ, typos are one thing. They hapen al th tme. It’s malapropisms that concern me; Eric Partidge’s heirs found a memorable headline: “women supercede [read 'surpass'] men in scholarship.” When I see it, the natural inference is that the writer doesn’t know the difference and isn’t choosy about words. The result is sloppy, flabby writing, and pursued all the way down to the bottom, the result is Glenn Greenwald.

    No one is a natural. It takes work. Me too: If you go back and look at early entries at SF, many of them are badly written; I’ve worked hard over the last few years to get better. And if I can do it, any idiot can. Nevertheless, it fascinates me that in writing—and only in writing—is indifference to the basic tools of the trade thought acceptable. Imagine a juggler being unable to tell the difference between pins and chainsaws! Of course, it’s not quite the same. Writing errors can be dangerous and aggravating, but the juggler is mostly armless.

  25. WHQ Says:

    I’ve worked hard over the last few years to get better.

    We are all works in progress in many, many ways. Some of us are further along than others in some of them. The question is, should you have been dismissed for yous previous poor writing? Were you unable to contribute meaningfully to discussions?

    Is there a different standard for blog comments, where we don’t have copy editors or proof readers and limited means of editing after finding our own errors, as opposed to, say, the Wall Street Journal? How much time and care should we spend on our writing while maintaining the flow of conversation, which allows us to ask one another for clarification if necessary?

    Nevertheless, it fascinates me that in writing—and only in writing—is indifference to the basic tools of the trade thought acceptable.

    Who thinks that, and in what sense of acceptability? How does one reliably differentiate between simple mistakes and such indifference?

  26. Simon Says:

    Jeremy says:

    We had a president of the United States of America that was in practical terms illiterate.

    Who was.” The Presidency is a thing; a President is a person.

    My point is that the most prestigious, important position in our political system can be, and has been bought off before.

    So what? What do you propose to do about it?

    There is no reason someone like G. Bush Jr. should have held office if he had been vetted correctly.

    Right, Bush wasn’t vetted properly. Obama was, sure, but Bush wasn’t vetted properly. Bush’s meteoric rise, fawning press, and alarming cult of personality prevented the vetting from happening.

    But as you stated yourself the typical American is an imbecile that can hardly even spell.

    I stated no such thing. I said that native speakers of English often come out with shockingly bad malapropisms, and are upstaged by the impressive ability of those writing in their second language. I suspect there’s a reason for that. Non-native speakers typically state their point directly in the plainest appropriate words, and when in doubt, are more likely to look the word up. Native speakers, however, are more likely to have misplaced confidence in their ability to use English (“I was always told that apostrophes are kind of like salt, just sprinkle them wherever you need flavor”; “never end sentences with a preposition”; and similar nonsense) and more apt to wrap a twenty cent thought in ten dollar words. (There is a spoof magazine called “The New Yorker” dedicated to lampooning this tendancy.)

    So it is moneyed interest that take advantage of this lack of common intelligence. Corporations spend money in order to figure out how to appeal to the lazy man in us all. They’ve succeeded beyond any imagination.

    You know how many votes Ted Turner controls, wth his vast business empire? One. His own. Corporations don’t vote. The myth of corporations controlling votes is partly fictitious and partly projection from the era when Democrats relied on unions and machine politics.

    I don;t think the FCC is any different than any other part of our very venal political system. The money provides traction.

    You could scarcely choose a worse example. The rules were adopted. The only reason we’re here is that the FCC adopted network neutrality rules, despite what I take to be your coy hint (“[t]heir money gets the people that are supposed to regulate them elected”) that corporations like Verizon will have tried to buy them off.

    You want to go off on an acronym soup tangent.

    This is so brazen that it’s brilliant. You branch off at a barely-coherent tangent from the subject at hand (dark corporate conspiracies and the like), throw some insults at a former President who has nothing to do with either issue, and then object to citation of legal materials relevant to the original subject as a tangent. Genius.

    Apparently reading and knowing code and regulation by heart and being “inside” the industry qualifies you to dismiss a very real complaint of corruption.

    I don’t know the code by heart, and I haven’t dismissed a “very real complaint of corruption”–none has been offered to dismiss!

    how is it that these long and verbose legal codes are derived at? Is it meant to truly enlighten the “average joe-blow American” are is it intended to deceive and obfuscate what’s really going on behind the scenes?

    Tell us again how Bush is functionally illiterate. After those two sentences, it’ll be good for a laugh.

  27. Jeremy Says:

    You’re an ass. A self-important, grammatical-Nazi. Just as a person need not be an auto mechanic to drive a car–I don’t need to be a Shakespeare to converse with others. You seem to think any person that doesn’t meet your ‘very’ high standards of literacy is irrelevant. No wonder the plebeians struggle to express their voice. Elitist shits like you are trying to dismiss their very voice, literate or not based on some highfalutin sense of legitimacy.

    “When red-headed people are above a certain social grade their hair is auburn.”
    — Mark Twain

  28. Jeremy Says:

    Simon, is this you in this video by any chance? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4vf8N6GpdM

  29. Simon Says:

    No, Jeremy, I think you’re irrelevant because you have contributed nothing of relevance, and what you have contributed betrays a shallow, soundbite-driven ideologue who tries at every opportunity to divert the conversation from the subject at hand to a more-or-less related topic more conducive to rattling off your canned talking points. . It has nothing to do with reading Shakespeare, and my standards aren’t particularly high. All I require is that people address themselves to the points actually at hand and express themselves clearly.

    And I don’t dismiss the voice of the plebian. I dismiss the inarticulate, rich and poor alike.

    Simon, is this you in this video by any chance? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4vf8N6GpdM

    No, I’m in the middle at 1:08 of this.

    Of course, if you’ve ever had the unpleasent experience of reading “Mein Kampf,” you’ll know that “grammar nazi” is an unfortunate and inapt slur. The nazis were atrocious writers!

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You must ALWAYS fill in the two word CAPTCHA below to submit a comment. And if this is your first time commenting on Donklephant, it will be held in a moderation queue for approval. Please don't resubmit the same comment a couple times. We'll get around to moderating it soon enough.


Also, sometimes even if you've commented before, it may still get placed in a moderation queue and/or sent to the spam folder. If it's just in moderation queue, it'll be published, but it may be deleted if it lands in the spam folder. My apologies if this happens but there are some keywords that push it into the spam folder.


One last note, we will not tolerate comments that disparage people based on age, sex, handicap, race, color, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry. We reserve the right to delete these comments and ban the people who make them from ever commenting here again.


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