Stop Listening to the Shriekers: Nothing Will Happen Because Net Neutrality Rules Are Gone

Based on what you’re reading on Twitter, Facebook and elsewhere, the world is coming to an end. No, not because of tax cuts. Those are only going to kill people. The world will come to an end because FCC Chairman Ajit Pai will do away with rules put in place by the FCC in 2015. Those rules effectively created the net neutrality so many have been seeking for nearly ten years.

The question, naturally, is “Why?” I’ll be damned if I know.

I’ll hand it to those who started the debate. Net neutrality sounds great. “Hey, why shouldn’t the internet be neutral? FREEEEEEDOM!!!”

When you dig deeper, you’ll find the term doesn’t have much meaning. It’s not a legal term, and it came about mainly because some people began hyping the notion ISP’s were going to try and corner the market and take over the internet and price it according to their whims and desires. The result would be content providers having to charge consumers exorbitant amounts of money for access.

If you search the hashtag #NetNeutrality on Twitter today, you’ll see ridiculous examples of people claiming we’ll be paying for access to Twitter and Facebook as well as paying a fee to stream each movie we want to watch on Netflix as opposed to a flat monthly fee. Imagine Dr. Venkman, from Ghostbusters: “Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together…..mass hysteria!” 

Except it’s all overblown poppycock. 

Just think about this for a moment. President Obama took the internet, which blossomed between 2000 and 2015, creating an environment where people could do almost anything online and do it with super fast speeds at relatively low prices. Along comes the government savior, telling us the best thing for consumers is to subject the internet to rules under a law from 1934, created at a time when people couldn’t make a phone call without the use of two hands. 

There’s no reason to get into the amazingly dull legal details of why the Obama administration did this. Let’s just say they tried in 2010 to regulate the internet one way under FCC rules. The Supreme Court said, “Sorry, dude. Only Congress can do that.” Obama and his flunkies went back to the drawing board and five years later (by which time, the internet continued to flourish as did content providers and ISP’s) they got the bright idea to regulate the internet as a utility. They did so under antiquated rules that make it easy to impose taxes — oops — fees that would no doubt be passed on to consumers (just like mobile phone carriers do).

The rules were put in place to solve a problem that didn’t exist. 

That is the bottom line. People cannot tell you why the rules were necessary. They can only offer hypotheticals as to why the rules are necessary. But that’s like a cop pulling over a person with a new sports car and writing them a ticket because they might drive 125 mph in a 70 mph zone two weeks from that moment.

The internet didn’t require the nanny state before 2015. The system thrived in a competitive environment. People have so many choices in determining what content they want to watch and how they want it delivered. Everybody benefits. Everybody will continue to benefit once the rules get lifted.

If the ISP’s do what the fearmongers claim, then the government can deal with it if necessary. Until then, sit back, relax and enjoy.

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Actress Salma Hayek Pens New York Times Op-Ed Defining Her Repeated Harassment From Harvey Weinstein

Actress and producer Salma Hayek published a stunning New York Times article accounting her relationship, personally and professionally, with Harvey Weinstein throughout the 1990’s and 2000’s.

In the article, Hayek discusses how, as a Mexican actress, she knew she was shooting for the stars in aspiring to become famous and a leading lady in Hollywood.

Hayek writes she had to say no to constant and continuous overtures and harassment from Weinstein.

In my naïveté, I thought my dream had come true. He had validated the last 14 years of my life. He had taken a chance on me — a nobody. He had said yes.

Little did I know it would become my turn to say no.

No to opening the door to him at all hours of the night, hotel after hotel, location after location, where he would show up unexpectedly, including one location where I was doing a movie he wasn’t even involved with.

No to me taking a shower with him.

No to letting him watch me take a shower.

No to letting him give me a massage.

No to letting a naked friend of his give me a massage.

No to letting him give me oral sex.

No to my getting naked with another woman.

No, no, no, no, no …

And with every refusal came Harvey’s Machiavellian rage.

I don’t think he hated anything more than the word “no.”

She describes how her life took a turn for what she thought was an amazing opportunity, but ultimately ended up as a nightmare dealing with Harvey Weinstein.

The range of his persuasion tactics went from sweet-talking me to that one time when, in an attack of fury, he said the terrifying words, “I will kill you, don’t think I can’t.”

When he was finally convinced that I was not going to earn the movie the way he had expected, he told me he had offered my role and my script with my years of research to another actress.

In his eyes, I was not an artist. I wasn’t even a person. I was a thing: not a nobody, but a body.

She goes on to describe the Herculean feats Weinstein made her achieve to get the movie “Frida” made. Ultimately, he would insist upon her performing a lesbian love scene with fellow actress Ashley Judd in order for Miramax to complete the film Hayek had raised millions on her own to make and called in many favors from fellow actors.

He offered me one option to continue. He would let me finish the film if I agreed to do a sex scene with another woman. And he demanded full-frontal nudity.

He had been constantly asking for more skin, for more sex. Once before, Julie Taymor got him to settle for a tango ending in a kiss instead of the lovemaking scene he wanted us to shoot between the character Tina Modotti, played by Ashley Judd, and Frida.

But this time, it was clear to me he would never let me finish this movie without him having his fantasy one way or another. There was no room for negotiation.

I had to say yes. By now so many years of my life had gone into this film. We were about five weeks into shooting, and I had convinced so many talented people to participate. How could I let their magnificent work go to waste?

I had asked for so many favors, I felt an immense pressure to deliver and a deep sense of gratitude for all those who did believe in me and followed me into this madness. So I agreed to do the senseless scene.

I arrived on the set the day we were to shoot the scene that I believed would save the movie. And for the first and last time in my career, I had a nervous breakdown: My body began to shake uncontrollably, my breath was short and I began to cry and cry, unable to stop, as if I were throwing up tears.

Since those around me had no knowledge of my history of Harvey, they were very surprised by my struggle that morning. It was not because I would be naked with another woman. It was because I would be naked with her for Harvey Weinstein. But I could not tell them then.

My mind understood that I had to do it, but my body wouldn’t stop crying and convulsing. At that point, I started throwing up while a set frozen still waited to shoot. I had to take a tranquilizer, which eventually stopped the crying but made the vomiting worse. As you can imagine, this was not sexy, but it was the only way I could get through the scene.

By the time the filming of the movie was over, I was so emotionally distraught that I had to distance myself during the postproduction.

Hayek explains how despite the critical acclaim for the film, the handful of Academy Awards and two Oscars “Frida” added to Weinstein’s company’s resumé, he never again put Hayek in a leading role. Because, as she states, “It was

Because, as she states, “It was soul-crushing because, I confess, lost in the fog of a sort of Stockholm syndrome, I wanted him to see me as an artist: not only as a capable actress but also as somebody who could identify a compelling story and had the vision to tell it in an original way.”

Hayek closed by saying that she believes predators will have a home in show business “until there is equality in our industry, with men and women having the same value in every aspect of it.”

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Yet, ANOTHER PBS Host Suspended for Sexual Misconduct

And on and on and on it goes.

Following closely behind Matt Lauer, and his fellow PBS host, Charlie Rose, Tavis Smiley is about to take an extended vacation, after being suspended from his self-titled broadcast, due to sexual misconduct allegations.

An outside law firm investigated, finding what they deemed “credible evidence” that Smiley had engaged in sexual relationships with subordinates.

From the Washington Examiner:

“Effective today, PBS has indefinitely suspended distribution of ‘Tavis Smiley,’ produced by TS Media, an independent production company. PBS engaged an outside law firm to conduct an investigation immediately after learning of troubling allegations regarding Mr. Smiley,” a PBS spokesperson said in an email to the Washington Examiner on Wednesday.

“This investigation included interviews with witnesses as well as with Mr. Smiley. The inquiry uncovered multiple, credible allegations of conduct that is inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS, and the totality of this information led to today’s decision.”

The witnesses in the investigation included both men and women, who suggested that Smiley’s behavior created a threatening environment, and that they feared retaliation. Some even believed their employment hinged on their willingness to engage in a sexual relationship with him.

Smiley’s show has had a 13 year run. It will be interesting to see how many victims he managed to rack up in that time.

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Trey Gowdy Beats Rod Rosenstein Like A Rented Mule Over Special Counsel Conflicts of Interest

While the political press was fixated on the smoldering aftermath of Mitch McConnell’s chicanery in Alabama and the smoking ruin of Roy Moore’s political career, other fun stuff was going on. In particular, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was on Capitol Hill testifying before the House Judiciary Committee on Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Gowdy opens this way:

There are a lot of issues I’d like to ask you about, Mr. Deputy Attorney General. We had the terrorist incident in New York this week. We have 702 reauthorization that is pending in Congress. Gun violence. The opioid epidemic. Criminal justice reform. But when I go home to South Carolina this weekend, trust me when I tell you that no one is going to ask me about any of those issues. They’re going to ask me what in the hell is going on with the Department of Justice and the FBI.

And then he launches:

The reason we have special counsel is because of a conflict of interest…We don’t like conflicts of interest because it undermines people’s confidence in both the process and the result…There was either a real or preceived conflict of interest that would either impact the result or people’s confidence in the process…And then, lo and behold, those that are supposed to make sure there are no conflicts of interest seem to have a bit of their own.

And then Gowdy lays out everything from political donations, to “fawning and obsequious emails sent to a fact witness,” to the infamous text messages sent by Mueller’s senior FBI agent on the probe.

It is a thing of beauty. When Rosenstein tries to run away from the anti-Trump FBI agent, Gowdy points out that Department of Justice was not forthcoming with Congress about why the guy was removed and three months elapsed before the truth came to light.

My apologies for the lack of a transcript but my heart couldn’t take the excitement. Watch the video. I can guarantee you won’t be bored.

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