Rand and Ron Paul have penned an Internet Freedom manifesto that is pretty terrible. It pans the idea of net neutrality, arguing that the phone companies who receive gigantic government handouts in the form of cheap (or free) rights of ways and hold natural monopolies over our connectivity should be able to use that government largesse to run a protection racket in which any website that doesn’t pay for “premium carriage” will be slowed down when you or I try to visit them. They also denounce the public domain as a collectivist plot, and argue that government monopolies over knowledge should be extended, and that tax-dollars should be used to enforce them. TechDirt’s Mike Masnick has some choice words for the Pauls:
“Washington is filled with people making other people’s arguments for money. Anyone trying to do anything of good purpose is in a constant struggle to keep from drowning in the river of steaming bullshit served up by lobbyists and politicians and pundits and PR firms. They bend statistics, they do impressions of people who believe what they say, and all the while the country burns. And it is the height of arrogance to decry what’s happened to our politics when you are a bonded practitioner of what’s happened to our politics. You want to be a pitchman for warlords? You want to carry the Devil’s water in Washington? Go for it. But just don’t tell me how to fucking talk.” – Jon Lovett, former speechwriter to President Barack Obama in the White House.
“How dare the president travel to Afghanistan to talk about ending a war that has ensnared the U.S. and caused the deaths of both American soldiers and Afghan civilians and that has cost this country hundreds of billions of dollars to wage,” said Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, before adding “What a cheap political stunt!”