Shun the frumious net neutrality...
July 2, 2006 9:32 AM   Subscribe

Net neutrality hurts consumers, and Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) gets it completely: "I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday. Why?" Huh? Enlightening audio of the entire Jabberwocky-esque speech here, as he "explains" why he voted against a proposal that would have required broadband providers to give their competitors the same speeds and quality of service as they give to themselves or their partners.
posted by youarenothere (74 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ow, my head.
posted by allen.spaulding at 9:48 AM on July 2, 2006


Was he having a seizure or a brain aneurysm or something? It sounds like someone reading in a foreign language they don't understand.
posted by papakwanz at 9:51 AM on July 2, 2006


MetaFilter: Not just something you dump something on.

That's some pretty stunning talk there. I mean, I'm stunned.
posted by Wolfdog at 9:57 AM on July 2, 2006


Ted Stevens is awesome.
posted by JWright at 9:57 AM on July 2, 2006


"It's a series of tubes."

So the internet is plumbing. And plumbing is full of s___.
posted by casarkos at 10:00 AM on July 2, 2006


The problem is that they haven't build that bridge to nowhere yet, and hence the internet couldn't be driven across the water fast enough for the magic computer dust to be sprinkled on it.

Duh.
posted by bardic at 10:02 AM on July 2, 2006


That was awesome. It's a good thing the US decided to maintain control of the internet. Phew!
posted by furtive at 10:05 AM on July 2, 2006


No one can charge anyone for massively invading this world of the internet
MASSIVE totally so, mannn ! Let's defend teh internets !
They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the internet. And again, the internet is not something you just dump something on. It's not a truck.
Show me some more respek for my internet, you crazy dog ?
It's a series of tubes.
NOOOOOO fooo reeeal ? Nigga pleaaase !
And if you don't understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and its going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.
What you gon' do with all that junk, All that junk inside youtubes ?
posted by elpapacito at 10:09 AM on July 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


Unforunately, no mention of whether he was wearing his Hulk tie.
posted by camcgee at 10:09 AM on July 2, 2006


Wait, people are streaming whole books? OMG! They're clogging up the internet! BURN THEM, the HEATHENS!
posted by Hildegarde at 10:16 AM on July 2, 2006


Don't worry, in 50 years these n00bs will be dead, and the children today who have grown up with the internet will hopefully have some better sense on how to legislate it. Much like marijuana. You just have to wait for the idiots to die off.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:18 AM on July 2, 2006


MetaFilter -- You Just Go To A Place On The Internet

thanks for the post
posted by matteo at 10:20 AM on July 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


Is marijuana legislation more sensible today than it was 40 years ago?
posted by Zozo at 10:20 AM on July 2, 2006


No one can charge anyone for massively invading this world of the internet

Unfortunately, I haven't been on enough raids to support real-internet PvP. This Dell Laptop I got may fit into the trinket slot, but only ends up giving me a +1% chance to crit.
posted by thanotopsis at 10:24 AM on July 2, 2006


elpapacito you made my day.

What you gon' do with all that junk, All that junk inside youtubes ?



posted by nola at 10:30 AM on July 2, 2006


Forget Al Gore -- Ted Stevens invented the internets!
posted by pretzel at 10:32 AM on July 2, 2006


The Good News: Bush is not the dumbest person in Washington.

Also the Bad News.
posted by fungible at 10:35 AM on July 2, 2006


The audio of that man speaking is one of the most painful things I've ever heard.
posted by sklero at 10:36 AM on July 2, 2006


It's not a truck.

It's a series of tubes


Ted Stevens owes me a new scone. He should also clean the crumbs out of my keyboard.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:39 AM on July 2, 2006


Is marijuana legislation more sensible today than it was 40 years ago?

Well, in some states, sure. And in other countries, most definately. The Fed moves as swiftly as a comatose brontasaurus with a hangover.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:39 AM on July 2, 2006


Oi. This was my homestate senator while growing up. I apologize, ya'll.
posted by Juggermatt at 10:44 AM on July 2, 2006


This internets... is it something I'd need tubes to understand?
posted by ninjew at 10:45 AM on July 2, 2006


Ted Stevens doesn't care about The Tubes.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:46 AM on July 2, 2006


Careful with the generalizations...
"I strongly believe that the prolonged indefinite imprisonment of persons without charges is inconsistent with the traditions and values of the United States and that it will continue to cause difficulty in our relations with other nations, including the allies that we rely upon in confronting the threat of terrorism." - Senator Stevens
However, he is obviously embarrassing himself speaking about the subject at hand.
posted by jaronson at 10:47 AM on July 2, 2006


Don't worry, in 50 years these n00bs will be dead, and the children today who have grown up with the internet will hopefully have some better sense on how to legislate it.
posted by Civil_Disobedient


There are plenty of legislators who are not so ignorant about the Internet, abut who go against Net Neutrality anyway. Those who understand the issue need to write and call congressional reps, especially if the reps are Republican.

Let's talk about you and me. We use this Internet for communication. We're not using it for commercial purposes. We're not earning anything by going on that Internet. I'm not saying you have to discriminate or you want to discriminate against those people. I'm just saying we haven't seen anything yet that indicates there is discrimination, and until you can define it, I'm opposed to the concepts [applied] by your recommendation.... - Sen. Stevens

As long as they can get away with arguing that big corporations will to benefit at the expense of the ordinary little guy, they will win. Verizon is just looking out for us, right?
posted by zennie at 11:00 AM on July 2, 2006


I got and sell tubes on the internets



jaronson writes "However, he is obviously embarrassing himself speaking about the subject at hand."

And that is revealing , mockery aside. Clearly he has little understanding of what is going, yet he feels compelled to argue why , in his opinion, something is either good or wrong. Obviously nobody expects him to be omniscient or even well-informed on every topic, but one wonders : does he get any information before opening his mouth ? Or who writes his stuff ?
posted by elpapacito at 11:02 AM on July 2, 2006


Holy crap - the audio. It's like Elmer Fudd meets a buggy version of Max Headroom.
posted by icosahedral at 11:07 AM on July 2, 2006


elpapacito writes "he feels compelled to argue why , in his opinion, something is either good or wrong. Obviously nobody expects him to be omniscient or even well-informed on every topic, but one wonders : does he get any information before opening his mouth ? Or who writes his stuff ?"

Perhaps the scariest part of the audio is when you hear him berating (however incomprehensibly) the idea of a two-tiered internet with absolutely no awareness of: 1) the fact that net neutrality is opposed such an idea; and 2) he just essentially voted for exactly that. In all sincerity, I think he read the wrong memo or something. You hear him bumbling on about the protecting consumers and avoiding a tiered net, only to be shocked when you hear him denounce net neutrality. Perhaps he confused the telcos' astroturfing with our grassrooting?
posted by youarenothere at 11:16 AM on July 2, 2006


...I think he read the wrong memo or something. You hear him bumbling on about the protecting consumers and avoiding a tiered net, only to be shocked when you hear him denounce net neutrality. Perhaps he confused the telcos' astroturfing with our grassrooting?

posted by youarenothere at 1:16 PM CST on July 2

The correct memo is still stuck in the tubes.
posted by ninjew at 11:31 AM on July 2, 2006


If twice-elected-mandated-decider George W. Bush wants Ted Stevens drive a tube truck full of Internets, let's all put plastic flags and troop-support stickers on that truck.

We should support our president and the equally articulate Senator Stevens in the Republican war on Internet evil doers.

Send Internets to all your neocon friends today!
posted by BillyElmore at 11:40 AM on July 2, 2006


/waits patiently for mashup involving Steven's voice.

thanks for this thread... the comments are great.
posted by rmm at 12:00 PM on July 2, 2006


Maybe there is a place for a commercial net but it's not using what consumers use every day.

Maybe, Ted.

Maybe.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:06 PM on July 2, 2006


Those who understand the issue need to write and call congressional reps, especially if the reps are Republican.


Do you believe your letter will matter compared to this:
TED STEVENS (R-AK)
Top Contributors
1 News Corp $47,250
2 Boeing Co $41,900
3 Verizon Communications $36,550
4 Veco Corp $31,750
5 Viacom Inc $23,000
6 AT&T Inc $22,500
7 General Electric $20,000
7 Walt Disney Co $20,000
9 BAE Systems $19,000
10 Northrop Grumman $18,000
11 Cubic Corp $17,250
12 Mantech International $16,500
13 Intergraph Corp $15,600
14 Cassidy & Assoc/Interpublic Group $15,569
15 General Dynamics $15,000
15 Lockheed Martin $15,000
15 Northern Lights PAC $15,000
15 Teamsters Union $15,000
19 Science Applications International Corp $14,500
19 Sprint Nextel $14,500
Write stevens off as the typical bought and paid for senator hiding behind "corporate rights and smaller government" talking points red america loves to hear.
posted by skallas at 12:19 PM on July 2, 2006


That was...wow.

I hope my listening to that audio didn't make the internet from his staff arrive late to him.
posted by birdie birdington at 12:40 PM on July 2, 2006


Would someone kindly tell Senator Stevens to use his inside voice?
posted by JT at 12:41 PM on July 2, 2006


He has an interesting voice, actually. But yeah it's like he's having a breakdown. Maybe he should have written this stuff down before saying it.

And it's bizarre. He clearly opposes a 'two tier' network, but that's exactly what he's legislating for. Does he realize that net-neutrality is the principle the internet was built on?
posted by Paris Hilton at 12:59 PM on July 2, 2006


He's like the bizarro Howard Beale.
posted by any major dude at 1:08 PM on July 2, 2006


Do you believe your letter will matter compared to this:

TED STEVENS (R-AK)
Top Contributors
1 News Corp $47,250
2 Boeing Co $41,900
3 Verizon Communications $36,550
4 Veco Corp $31,750
5 Viacom Inc $23,000
6 AT&T Inc $22,500
7 General Electric $20,000
7 Walt Disney Co $20,000
9 BAE Systems $19,000
10 Northrop Grumman $18,000
11 Cubic Corp $17,250
12 Mantech International $16,500
13 Intergraph Corp $15,600
14 Cassidy & Assoc/Interpublic Group $15,569
15 General Dynamics $15,000
15 Lockheed Martin $15,000
15 Northern Lights PAC $15,000
15 Teamsters Union $15,000
19 Science Applications International Corp $14,500
19 Sprint Nextel $14,500

Write stevens off as the typical bought and paid for senator hiding behind "corporate rights and smaller government" talking points red america loves to hear.
posted by skallas


And Verizon reputedly has a lobbyist for every Senator, and I've got a book of lobbyists that's 800 pages thick. That doesn't mean we should roll over and give up. There are thousands of lobbyists representing various interests, but there are still millions of the rest of us. Maybe constituents can't take the Senators to lunch, but they can still lobby for themselves, and the letters and phone calls do matter. Most people feel too disenfranchised to believe that they can make a difference, but if they talked to the Congressional staffers, maybe they would.

Beside that, unless you live in Alaska, you're probably not trying to reach Stevens anyway.
posted by zennie at 1:46 PM on July 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


Careful with the generalizations

Even a broken clock is right twice a day.
posted by papakwanz at 1:49 PM on July 2, 2006


Well, that explains why my net is so slow sometimes - those Senators keep sending each other the internet!
posted by Deoridhe at 2:08 PM on July 2, 2006


This is the product of a culture that does not value eloquence, that views language as a blunt instrument and articulateness as sissified. The mainstream American view of public expression reminds me of mainstream American view of food; it's fuel, it's functional, something you scarf down while driving or while walking down the street. No art to it. Nothing special or refined, in either case.
posted by jason's_planet at 2:28 PM on July 2, 2006


Okay, smug snarkiness aside, the congested tube analogy is something that connects with people. That's bad, because the analogy is completely wrong. It's not that the tubes are stopped up, like a hair clog in a pipe. It's that the very last bit that connects the spigots are tiny: like sucking through narrow straws.

This is important, because the telco argument in favor of tiering is predicated on congestion in the network. The problem isn't the network; the problem is the crappy, overpriced broadband connection service.
posted by chipr at 2:49 PM on July 2, 2006


jason's_planet:

As an American citizen and a graduate student in highly prized field of English literature I find your comments to be completely... well, OK, maybe you have a point.
posted by papakwanz at 3:37 PM on July 2, 2006


Reminds me that the White House didn't even have dial phones until Clinton insisted on them. Representative legislators are so 18th century.
posted by telstar at 4:20 PM on July 2, 2006


"Maybe there is place for a cuh, commercial, ah, net, but it's not using what the consumers are using everyday. It is not using the messaging service that is essential, I think, to this, this small business, that is essential to our operation of... the, the families...the whole, whole, whole concept is, uh, uh, that we, uh that uh, we should not go into this until someone shows that there's something that's been done that really is a violation of net neutrality that is You and Me..."

The net is, uh, Family, You & Me.
posted by eegphalanges at 4:44 PM on July 2, 2006


Dear Senator Stevens,

I just finished listening to your "speech" in front of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee regarding net neutrality. I put the word speech in quotes because, after listening to your rambling nonsense for more than ten minutes, I still do no know whether you favor or oppose net neutrality.

Your presentation was bumbling and incoherent. Were you possessed by the spirit of Porky Pig?

In the future, please do not attempt to take a position on an issue that you clearly know nothing about.

Regards,
A. Taxpayer
posted by oncogenesis at 5:04 PM on July 2, 2006


Ah, come on guys... It's so simple. Maybe you need a refresher course.
Hey! It's all tubes nowadays...
Now, you prepare that Fetzer valve with some, uh, 3-in-1 oil and some gauze pads.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:07 PM on July 2, 2006


In other news: Spy Agency Sought U.S. Call Records Before 9/11, Lawyers Say
posted by homunculus at 5:37 PM on July 2, 2006


What you all don't know is that there is a secret plan afoot to sell Alaska back to the Russians. That's what all the ANWR hype in the last decade has been about: convince the Rooskies that there's even more oil hidden in Alaska, when the real truth is that there's about 5 gallons left. Without that black gold all number 49 has to offer is dismal Inuit handicrafts, and those simply aren't the economic powerhouse they used to be.

Stevens knows about this plan and he's pissed. This speech, the bridge to nowhere, the oft replayed "NOOO!!!" screamed like a toddler on the senate floor: all a plot to make selling the state a losing proposition. The man is so fiendishly clever that I suspect he spends his off hours lounging around an opium den, thinking of ways to thwart Nayland Smith.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:38 PM on July 2, 2006


Also in other news: Burma bans Google
posted by homunculus at 7:23 PM on July 2, 2006


Sounds like Sen. Stevens is in a snit because he got his tubes tied.
posted by mazola at 8:25 PM on July 2, 2006


It's nice to see schitzophrenics get involved in government.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:29 PM on July 2, 2006


The scary thing is that the vast majority of Senators probably have as much of an understanding of the Internet as Sen. Stevens.
posted by gyc at 9:29 PM on July 2, 2006


Metafilter: It's not a truck.
posted by pompomtom at 9:30 PM on July 2, 2006


Mr. Stevens,

What you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul
posted by slapshot57 at 9:49 PM on July 2, 2006


but one wonders : does he get any information before opening his mouth

As Harry Frankfurt pointed out, for bullshitters like Stevens whether something is true or not is irrelevant; all that matters is that they get their way with their rhetoric.

His only interest in the issue at hand is serving those who have caught his ear (via $$$ or whatever), and the facts do not concern him at all.
posted by moonbiter at 10:40 PM on July 2, 2006


After listening to the audio, all I could think of is that the senator sounds a lot like Porky Pig. Where are my tubes dammit?!?!

"Well, That's All Folks!"
posted by spacelux at 11:28 PM on July 2, 2006


Making English the official language of the US failed. For those such as Senator Stevens who do not speak or understand English that failure must have been welcome.
posted by Cranberry at 11:30 PM on July 2, 2006


T3D 5t3v3n5 r0x0rz!
posted by psmealey at 6:50 AM on July 3, 2006


you see, being from the UK, i wasn't too sure what net neutrality was all about either. now it's a lot clearer: it's not about the trucks, it's about the tubes. thanks again metafilter!
posted by tnai at 7:38 AM on July 3, 2006


Help Desk
posted by matteo at 7:49 AM on July 3, 2006


To think that this guy is a member of the US Senate tell me about as much as I want to know about Alaska.
posted by clevershark at 8:01 AM on July 3, 2006


Last one with a "It's a series of tubes!" T-shirt is a rotten egg!
posted by Occams Hammer at 8:16 AM on July 3, 2006


I skimmed both the thread and the article (I tried to get through it, but was like talking to my skitsophrenic brother) but I really hope that by the time I'm old and grey, people who grew up with the interenet and really understand it (and hopefully like it's freedoms) will have taken power and that these who don't understand will have been too ignorant to be anything but ineffectual.

I see it very similar to the same way the gay rights movement will happen because people are growing up with gay friends/relatives and will view them as equals not a "growing base of perverts"
posted by Brainy at 8:38 AM on July 3, 2006


Senator Stevens apparently was one of the few people in the US to actually put a plastic bag over his phone on Internet Cleaning Day.
posted by bashos_frog at 8:44 AM on July 3, 2006


MetaFilter: Just Wait for the Idiots To Die Off
posted by effwerd at 8:58 AM on July 3, 2006


The scary thing is that the vast majority of Senators probably have as much of an understanding of the Internet as Sen. Stevens.

Seriously. It's too easy to imagine, as background to that speech, a hundred men in suits sitting around Stevens, slowly nodding their heads in the manner typically associated with comprehension.
posted by voltairemodern at 9:11 AM on July 3, 2006


Perhaps he was reciting Vogon poetry.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:25 AM on July 3, 2006


I'm convinced that Dubya won the 2004 election, because he referred to the "Internets" as a plural in one of his debates with Kerry. I can just imagine a whole bunch of aging hausfraus from Kansas or Ohio or Alabama, thinking to themselves, "Bush must be OK. He thinks computers are as skeeeery as I do. And that Kerry, he probably knows how to use a computer everyday. The elitist French bastard..." It's sheer genius. It had to have been cooked up in one of those focus groups that originate in the dark satanic mills of Karl Rove's brain (or Dick Cheney's vas deferens).
posted by jonp72 at 10:37 AM on July 3, 2006


voltairemodern writes "It's too easy to imagine, as background to that speech, a hundred men in suits sitting around Stevens, slowly nodding their heads in the manner typically associated with comprehension."

Slowly nodding? I'm thinking more "periodically emitting slow guttural grunts" in between sessions of grooming one another.
posted by clevershark at 12:41 PM on July 3, 2006


"What you all don't know is that there is a secret plan afoot to sell Alaska back to the Russians."

Canada should buy it. I've always been ticked that we turned it down in the first place.

But you can keep your senator.
posted by exon at 1:26 PM on July 3, 2006



as evidenced from his homepage, in addition to being totally 1337 this man is also a panda sympathizer.
posted by dminor at 4:23 PM on July 3, 2006


Are you sure the guy wasn't Ray Stevens? Cuz that's comedy there.

I guess W was prescient when he talked about teh internets because there'd have to be more than one if you can send someone an internet or have private ones, no matter how long the tube takes. My octogenarian grandmother who did without the wonders of indoor plumbing and electricity until some time in the '50s understands the friggin Internet better than this twerp.
posted by Fezboy! at 11:20 AM on July 4, 2006


I hear an exasperated "Oh my god," from someone at 6:45.

But maybe I've watched too much Ghost Hunters.
posted by evil holiday magic at 5:10 PM on July 5, 2006


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