Thursday, May 04, 2006

Political Punditry...

Before I get to the substance of this post, the "Grey Area" in print is making its last appearance in the Forum.

I can't figure out whether politics today is anything more than an exercise in futility. But we have to ask what the concept of politics in America truly is. When I think about politics, I think about the process of disagreement between the inefficient bipartisan system, or posturing for the purpose of winning an election. This leads to a variety of bills that are typically presented (though never passed) in the Congress. Many of these bills look woefully useless, ineffective, or Unconstitutional. Tim Wu at has an interesting piece explaining why net neutrality is so important. The debate has fueled the creation of two competing bills. The first bill would effectively do away with net neutrality by ignoring it with some minor annual oversight. Generally, the law creates an FCC committee that reviews the state of internet access and information, which is then reported to Congress. While it appears this qualifies as oversight and possibly a neutral net, the bill really presupposes deregulation. The hands off nature of the FCC's task, and the fact that the reports and changes are only suggested to occur annual demonstrate that any regulation does little to actually regulate. The second bill does exactly the opposite by preventing the establishment of a telecommunications monopoly. This just goes to show how ineffective the operation of politics really is. This is politics, not acts of legislation. The finite distinction comes down to the purpose of the acts. The first bill may be legislative in its intent, but it appears to be something of a compromise. The second bill aims to bring the issue to light, so while it stands very little chance of becoming law, it brings the important facts of the issue to the senate floor. What makes the situation worse is that congress reintroduced a law that revives the broadcast flag. This was a bad idea once, since it was ruled unconstitutional. Its amazing the lengths at which some representatives will go to get a law passed. Anti-neutrality, and anti-consumer, this legislation demonstrates how the ineffectiveness of politics and how we have lost of the fundamental idea that the government exists for the people, by the people. Its more likely government for big business, by deep pockets. The way to fix it is simple, call your congress-person, explain your position, then make it clear that this is a vote worthy issue.

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