At Thanksgiving, 91 percent of Americans will be eating turkey, the President gets to pardon a turkey, and on this blog a Turkey of the Year is crowned.
The competition this year was steep, as the number of people in our society vying for the prize of top turkey seems to increase each and every year. However, there is one man who exemplifies the purpose of this award. That man is a Washington DC bureaucrat named Ajit Pai.
Who the hell is Ajit Pai, you ask?
Ajit Pai is the current chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, and by current, I mean he might as well be appointed for life with all the damage he could do. Pai was appointed chairman by Donald Trump earlier this year, and will be serving a five year term as head of this agency.
What could Pai have done to deserve the “honor” of the Turkey of the Year award? Glad you asked. To put it simply, Ajit Pai wants to limit your freedom of speech so that Comcast, Verizon and AT&T can have more freedom of speech. We live in a world where corporations are people, so you should expect that a lot of your rights will be limited to make way for corporate rights.
Pai has set his sights on Net Neutrality and has been wanting to dismantle it for as long as he’s been on the FCC commission. He voted against it in 2015 and now that he’s the head honcho, he wants to destroy it. If you know what Net Neutrality is, you already know who Pai is and you’re steaming about it. But, let me back up just a second and explain it to the other 80 percent who don’t pay attention unless a celebrity is talking.
Put simply, Net Neutrality means that your Internet service provider can’t slow down access to certain websites or apps or charge you more to access parts of the Internet it deems premium. With Net Neutrality, you get access to all the information you want for a monthly fee. Nix Net Neutrality, and Comcast can start charging you $5 extra per month to use Facebook, $10 for Youtube, and an additional $30 for those websites you don’t admit you go to.
Pai says this is a first amendment issue, and it is, but not the way he thinks it is. Pai isn’t a big fan of government regulation, and as a fan of smaller government, I can respect that, but there are times when regulation is necessary and this is one of them. Pai claims that to regulate Internet providers is to limit their freedom of speech, but the government is also Constitutionally prohibited from regulating or infringing upon the right to free speech of the American people. Pai is siding with businesses and giving your rights away to them.
How? Think about how you use the Internet.
If we start letting third parties limit access to websites and apps, a business or –god forbid — the government, can start regulating what information you are privy to online.
If you’re Comcast, you could prevent access to any website that posts something negative about you. If you’re AT&T, you can block access to Comcast, Verizon, or any competitor so that customers can’t price check you or sign up for a competitor’s service.
Don’t like a certain political candidate or political party’s views? Make consumers by a “news” package that only allows access to sites you agree with. Want to make sure the political candidate you’ve bought off wins an election? Make their opponent’s website and any site mentioning their opponent load incredibly slow.
Pai is essentially lifting a regulation off of businesses that will allow those businesses to regulate what you can access on the Internet.
Consumers have complained for years that they dislike cable because their cable bill is too high and they have 500 channels they don’t want but have to pay extra for the channels they do want. If you want cable companies to do that with your Internet access, then Pai is a great American. If you’re a normal functioning American, you realize that Ajit Pai is nothing more than a tool and a turkey.
One side note, it is easy to blame the Trump administration for Pai’s quest to end Net Neutrality, and Pai being appointed FCC chair is clearly on Trump. But we have Obama to thank for this fiasco, as he is the one who in his infinite wisdom appointed Ajit Pai in 2012. There is plenty of blame to go around for this particular turkey.
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