If Senators Aren't Going To Understand Tech, Can They At Least Be Consistent?

from the this-is-a-surprise? dept

This one has been all over the internet since the weekend, but since it was submitted by more people than have ever submitted a story to Techdirt, we might as well post it for the three or four of you who might have missed it. In defending his vote against network neutrality legislation, Senator Ted Stevens (the same man who once wanted to blame file sharing networks for porn) gave an amusing layman's definition of how the internet works, and why net neutrality is bad: "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? Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the internet commercially... 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. It's a series of tubes. 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."

Of course, you can sort of understand what he's trying to say. In fact, as you read his explanation, you can probably back into what someone told him, and how his brain reinterpreted it into what he said. So, despite the folks using this as additional evidence that Congress doesn't get it, that's somewhat pointless. We already know that many members of Congress have no clue what they're talking about when it comes to technology. Instead, why not just use the good Senator's own actions and statements against himself. In that link above, he talks about why government regulation of the internet is a bad thing: "The regulatory approach is wrong," are his exact words. If that's the case, why was the exact same Senator so damn eager to regulate all aspects of cable TV last year, saying that the FCC needs to crack down on cable indecency -- even though the law is pretty clear that the FCC has no jurisdiction over privately built cable lines? Once again, it seems we've caught Senator Ted Stevens contradicting himself. It's one thing not to understand the basic technology that you're trying to regulate (or not). But, is it so much to ask that the good Senator try to be internally consistent on whether or not regulating these networks is good or bad?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    crazy eyes, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 5:15am

    first post! and he is consistent

    consistent in siding with the interests of who gave him the most mu-la!!!!!

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 5:29am

    Re: first post! and he is consistent

    I must say that the sentence, "We already know that many members of Congress have no clue what they're talking about when it comes to technology" is much too narrow. Members of Congress have no clue on most anything they talk about.

     

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  3.  
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    Goof Ball, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 6:16am

    STOP

    Hey everyone! You have to STOP circulating this article around the internet! Can't you see that it's clogging up all the internet tubes!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Michael, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 6:27am

    unclog?

    next the good senator will propose a bill that all ISPs contract with Roto Rooter to unclog those pesky internet tubes. (i use a plunger on my own computer -works wonders when my connection slows down.)

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Yet another Anonymous Coward, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 6:41am

    Re: unclog?

    Just download a podcast of you favorite conservative wag regularly. Don't listen to it, just download it. That should be a strong enough bunch of lye to clear your pipes.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 7:24am

    Re: Re: unclog?

    lol! polemical joke! you so funny!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 7:24am

    Re: Re: unclog?

    lol! polemical joke! you so funny!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Mike Mixer, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 7:40am

    That jackass

    Alaskans think he's a jackass too. I don't understand
    why there isn't some sort of test these yahoos have to take. They should have to understand what they
    are voting on before they vote. All they seem to be able to do right is get elected. Maybe I should run for the senate, wouldn't that be a hoot.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Mikester, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 8:36am

    Pork Barrel

    Don't forget this is the same senator that wanted $223 million for his Bridge to Nowhere. He just about blew a gasket when it was suggested the money might be better spent going towards Katrina relief. I mean, come on! How dare they?

     

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  10.  
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    JerseyRich, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 9:28am

    It's disappointing to see our elected representatives spout off nonsense about something as basic as the internet.

    I know that not everyone knows how it all works (myself included) but I would expect that one would take the time te get informed before attempting to fix a 'problem'.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Mikester, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 9:37am

    Re:

    Since when do politicians "get informed" on the things the lobbyists are paying them to speak out against (or for)?
    Wouldn't that get in the way of their vacation time?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 11:25am

    Someone needs to send him an internet for dummies book

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Starky, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 1:34pm

    Why, God, why?!

    Why do people who have no idea what they are talking about get to talk about it and have a voice in the matter. Why can't we get rid of these people?!

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Crobderg, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 2:28pm

    Re: Internet for Dummies

    Internet for Dummies sounds like a mighty advanced book.. Isn't there something more basic we could start him off with? ..like Breathing 101 or I can poop in the big boy toilet now!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    mike-ish, Jul 6th, 2006 @ 12:44pm

    Video Professor

    someone needs to get Senator Stevens a Video Professor lesson or twenty. oh go ahead, order the entire catalog for him.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Alok, Jul 17th, 2006 @ 3:45pm

    hilarious video on youtube

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Kimberly Ann Kubalek, Sep 15th, 2006 @ 2:21pm

    "Amusing layman's definition"?!! No, it is horrifying. When can we stop electing old, white men who, rather than educating themselves properly, choose to listen endlessly to lobbyists before retiring for a round of golf? What is worse is that this man will get re-elected as sure as the shit he is passing with that ridiculous definition.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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