Late in 2017 I contacted U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, a Democrat for Florida, and U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz, a Republican of Florida's 1st District, about net neutrality (Internet neutrality issues) which were coming to a head at the time.
On December 5th, 2017, I received a concise and to the point letter from Senator Nelson indicating that he had a clear understanding of what is at stake and that he consequently is on the side of reason and long term benefit.
One week ago today on April 5th, 2018, I received what I perceive to be a ludicrous letter from Congressman Gaetz primarily focusing on "red herrings" presumably to sell ill-advised Republican Party lines.
In any case the reply was wretched enough to be considered almost insulting so a rejoinder seemed in order. Here is that reply:
Dear Congressman Gaetz:
Thank you for your reply to my concerns about H.J. Res 86 and related legislation.
However Congress in general and the Republican Party in particular appear to be buying into misinformation and serving very well-heeled corporate interests at the expense of free and open information flow.
The very real issue of concern to many of us is the fact that Tom Wheeler's classification of broadband Internet as a "common carrier service" should never be rolled back because it is extraordinarily wise and in the best long term interests of both national security and individual Internet users, particularly those of us who value freedom of speech as an ideal.
The roll-back approach casts aside traditional common carrier service rules and permits entities you appear to perceive as ISPs and edge networks to become unregulated censors of information flow and to select what content their customers might view and at what speeds and at what costs. Clearly this is dangerous considering the limited broadband on-ramps available in our heretofore great nation.
Despite the protestations of your letter, access to broadband—especially in Florida's first district and other essentially rural areas—is nowhere near commodity status. Currently there are only three ways to access broadband—cable companies, telephone companies, and satellite providers like the Hughes Network. None of these are small operators and competition is essentially non-existent within captive geographical areas. Typically those providers are de facto monopolies, especially outside large urban areas.
Having spent a quarter century professionally in the computer field I was somewhat taken aback by what I perceived to be rampant disinformation in your email to me. So I asked a friend who is a current expert and practicing executive level consultant in the telecommunications industries to assess its content. He was less kind than I.
Understanding that there are no IT tests for Members of Congress, nevertheless we both suggest that you might be better served by your Constituent Services group than you were by those who provided this particular email for your signature.
With kind personal regards, I suggest that both you and your party are on a very wrong side of this issue.
April 4th marks the 51st anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's "Beyond Vietnam" speech which he delivered from New York's Riverside Church in 1967.
Any day is a marvelous day to revisit that extraordinarily praiseworthy speech since its content is as germane today as it was five decades ago. Only chronological changes are needed to make it 100% contemporarily correct—updating country names for example (i.e. Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Libya instead of Vietnam - or Syria and Libya instead of Laos and Thailand). We encourage everyone to visit the above link and once again drink-in Dr. King's eloquence and benevolence with studied reflection.
Dr. King addressed some realities of war and several irreparable legacies. He incidentally noted then [as now] the U.S. to be "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today" and stated that as the violence continues "there will be no doubt in my mind and in the mind of the world that we have no honorable intentions in Vietnam [today substitute Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Venezuela, or anywhere else in the world we might provide belligerence instead of diplomacy]".
Before closing, Dr. King characteristically made a case for peace and suggested only a "genuine revolution of values" will give rise to solutions. He also provided incentive for individuals' "rededicating" themselves "to the long and bitter, but beautiful, struggle for a new world", and noted that "We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence or violent coannihilation"—and that was five decades ago.
Obviously some things never change.
Now keep in mind that wars don't suddenly materialize. They're planned, orchestrated, sold to the citizenry, and executed. War is an instrument of national policy and wars are not initiated to defeat enemies. Wars are initiated to create conditions favorable to national policy interests. Propping-up Wall Street traditionally is in the interests of national policy—as are the acquisitions of foreign resources and geographical spheres of influence.
The belief that wars are initiated to defeat enemies is a popular misconception perpetuated by warmongering politicians and corporate owned media who use the notion advantageously in rallying patriotic support for the next desired standoff. MSM's complicity in selling war to taxpayers is not mentioned in Dr. King's speech however the once widely heralded and now largely debunked "Gulf of Tokin Incident" precipitated America's "formal" Southeast Asia invasion. Analogous bogus and partially-bogus narratives coupled with synergetic emotions have drawn American troops into this millennium's Middle East and North African conflicts as well.
Noam Chomsky calls those MSM propaganda thrusts "manufacturing the consent of the governed". That manufacturing currently is apparent in Western media's fashionably contemptuous treatment of all things Russian. Unsubstantiated innuendo and Western speculative allegations assign blame and are immediately hyped worldwide as fact using that sophisticated Western propaganda apparatus which was well maintained and essentially unchallenged for years following WWII.
Nowadays the Russian owned RT news organization clearly has become a threat to Western MSM yet a breath of fresh air to Western audiences. RT became so popular so quickly in the West that for the past 4 or 5 years a prominent war hawk and well known U.S. senator has spearheaded efforts and movements to get RT off Western airways—so much for American free speech.
Last week it was announced that the suppression of truth and the elimination of alternative views won a major battle by having RT's broadcast provider eject RT from its broadcast lineup effective today [purportedly because of RT's newly acquired status as "foreign agent"]. The details are a bit more complex and have been in the making for quite some time. They include the provider's auctioning-off RT's broadcast frequencies presumably to thwart critics and lawsuits. .
Several months ago the U.S. "justice" department forced RT to register as a foreign agent and subsequently RT lost Capitol Hill Press Credentials. Before that, ROKU wireless TV had dropped the RT channel from its lineup and even before that Google had begun penalizing RT search results. All of this seems traceable to U.S. State-orchestrated pressures "in the interests of national security". Apparently government forces cannot afford to allow American citizens to learn anything beyond the scripted reports presented by Winky, Blinky, and Nod on U.S. State-controlled TV.
The real issue of course is that America's "intelligence" community activities and U.S. foreign policy thrusts are underpinned almost entirely with deceit—which is precisely why there are so many "national security" classifications of official information. Consequently publicly aired reports of episodes in those areas necessarily consist largely of half truths, hype, and outright lies. Alternative narratives are breaths of fresh air.
The truth about both U.S. war activities and U.S. anti-Russian "intelligence" claims serves Russian interests very well, For example: the U.S. continuing presence in Syria is blatantly illegal by any standard and RT is not afraid to report that fact in detail and depth. The most recent U.S. economic sanctions on Russia target new Russia-to-Europe gas pipeline construction.so that U.S. interests can successfully tout higher-priced U.S. LNG to Europeans. Ill-advised arguments "justifying" those ludicous sanctions were manufactured and sold to the public. The arrogance of U.S. foreign policy is legendary and arguably the root cause of both international terrorism as it is known today and the greatest European refugee crisis in recorded history.
Truth is relatively easy to defend yet quite difficult to defend against. Consequently American MSM cannot compete effectively with RT on a level playing field—failing Dr. King's "genuine revolution of values"—so killing RT with propaganda and a sympathetic Deep State seems easier. Last week's US-led final Western pressures silencing Julian Assange instantly eliminated another major news source—that one with a track record of 100% accuracy. Narrative dominance seems all-important to a nation in decline and promoting very rickety information...
Hear the words of Vaclav Havel (deceased playwright, poet, political dissident, and head of state).
"Because the regime is captive to its own lies, it must falsify everything.
It falsifies the past. It falsifies the present, and it falsifies the future.
It falsifies statistics.
It pretends not to possess an omnipotent and unprincipled police apparatus.
It pretends to respect human rights. It pretends to persecute no one.
It pretends to fear nothing. It pretends to pretend nothing".
Most assuredly we can do better following Dr. King's "genuine revolution of values"—but not likely before.