Sunday, September 7, 2014

CCR 09-07-14: Net non-Neutrality

the   Controversial  Committee   Report
“We don’t raise sacred cows...we just butcher them.”

     Okay, class, let’s have a show of hands of all those who would like to have their cable rates increased…again this year.  Only two hands in the air?  Oh, would the two individuals — from Comcast and Time Warner — please put your hands down and leave the room?

     Sorry about that, but the seminar screeners were supposed to prevent any of the money sucking, greedy corporate cable folks from attending this information session designed for CCR readers only.

     Back to the issue at hand…Net Neutrality.  For the uninformed, let’s define, in a broad sense, what this term means: "Net Neutrality means an Internet that enables and protects free speech. It means that Internet service providers should provide us with open networks — and should not block or discriminate against any applications or content that ride over those networks."(1) (colored emphasis is the CCRs)  From all indications, Time Warner and Comcast may not be subscribers to this concept.

     Simply put, if Internet providers Time Warner and Comcast are allowed to merge and form a conglomerate cable empire, the short and costly end of this shiv-in-the-ribs will be thrust in all cable subscribers utilizing their services.   This new mega-corporation would be the first step in establishing a potential cable monopoly.  As has been proven in the past, any form of business operating in a monopolistic arena certainly doesn’t always have consumer wallets in mind as they go about their business of pumping up their bottom line.

     To achieve their goal, Time Warner and Comcast have petitioned the FCC (Federal Communication Commission) to rule in their favor for allowing the merger.  And remember, in a city where Time Warner operates (Irving for example) subscribers may not have Comcast also providing cable service to offer a competitive environment.  The combined effect of both cable providers utilizing this type of service matrix, in differing and maybe adjoining cities, will effectively squash competitive efforts by any other cable provider when it comes to any rate hike considerations.

     And how does any of this effect folks in ‘beautiful downtown Irving?’  Well, QueenB VD (known by her Washington, D.C. pals and cronies as mayor VanDuyne) and fifty-one of her other ‘good old boy’ mayors in the US Conference of Mayors signed a letter(2) to the FCC which declared their support of the merger.  What is not surprising is the queen signed the letter and did not consider the ‘advise and consent’ of the city council before affixing her signature.(3)  

     (Wouldn’t it be interesting to know if any US Conference of Mayors financial support comes from Time Warner or Comcast?  After all, the conference of mayors runs on bucks provided by member cities, organizations, and businesses.)  

     Did QueenB VD read the minds of the other eight council members, or just fall back on her self-assumed authority to sign this letter without any notification to the council?  After all, her signature was representative of the city of Irving in this endeavor.  Signing as the Mayor of the city of Irving infers, to even a casual reader, the entire governing body of the city is in agreement with what has been signed.  Therefore, the city of Irving now supports the merger of Time Warner and Comcast to create a potential price-fixing monopoly by virtue of the queen’s ink on parchment.  

     Do you agree with this proposition by favoring a merger of these two companies?  Does you council representative favor this merger?  When did Irving resort to an autocracy, sans Pet Rocks, form of government?

     Maybe QueenB VD could provide the CCR with the date and time she polled the other eight members of the council to receive a consensus before signing.  What, she didn’t do this?  And you are surprised, why?

     When previously questioned by a local blog poster as to why she signed the document of support being sent to the FCC for the merger of the two cable companies, her flimsy, fluffy and rambling rationale boiled down to: " …Time Warner has been a good corporate citizen to Irving…"  Wow!  What a flaky and tepid rationale for an issue so vast and costly to all cable subscribers in the city. 

     Is the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde syndrome affecting the queen’s thought processes in this matter?  When does "being a good corporate citizen" equate to taking a scalpel to the scalp of cable customers?

     To whit: Dr. Jekyll was a wonderful, good corporate citizen and surgeon in London.  He was well liked by all for his generosity to charities, organizations and the community as he healed the debilitated.  However, his chief enforcer and alter-ego ogre, Mr. Hyde — operating in the dark, under the covers, and behind the scenes — provided Dr. Jekyll’s needs for campaign contributions, PAC donations and having strings tied to all elected officials voting arms.  Since folks only saw the "good" Dr. Jekyll, they assumed anything he wanted or did was right for London.  And when something did go terribly wrong, the citizenry couldn’t indict the "good" Dr. Jekyll for their misfortunes or calamities!  He was a good corporate citizen!

     (Thinking a little deeper on this analogy, isn’t this the same pattern and mode of operation QueenB VD used for her election processes…sugar daddy contributors, special interest concerns and single source developers all operating under her covers like the mysterious Mr. Hyde?)

     By signing the letter to the FCC, as mayor of the city of Irving, QueenB VD has, in effect, unleashed Mr. Hyde to prey on all unsuspecting Irving cable subscribers.  The citizenry will have no choice but to pay higher cable bills or drop their service.  And who can they blame?  Mr. Hyde is nowhere to be seen or found!  And isn’t that Dr. Jekyll smiling as he takes an even larger deposit to the bank due to skyrocketing cable rates?

     While staff of the CCR didn’t think it possible, QueenB VD may have just added another personality trait to a potential list of citizenry-noticed disorders(4): NPD, AHD, PPP and now J&HS (Jekyll & Hyde Syndrome).  Isn’t it time for serfs and peons of her realm to request the queen think more about them than her corporate pals?  Higher cable rates and her faux tax rate reduction benefit corporate entities in Irving more than the citizenry!  

     (Irving’s current property taxes are 70+% corporate driven…so guess who gets the major benefit?  Let the queen know your thoughts at: )

     All of the queen’s activities of self-importance in this merger matter and many others recently make her flock of Flying Harpy enforcers look like a shimmer of hummingbirds!

……………………..Mark Holbrook

1)  "Save the Internet," FreePress,

2)  Letter signed by QueenB VD to the FCC regarding the merger of Time Warner and Comcast link:  Click on the item noted: signed letter

3)  Other than QueenB VD and her flock of Flying Harpies, does anyone remember her hissy fit and how her Flying Harpies went ballistic when the former mayor signed a letter, as mayor of Irving, for a local branch of a national organization without council authorization?  Does this mean, in goose cooking parlance, there is a different sauce required when it’s QueenB VDs ganders being basted?
4)  Detail of disorders available upon request.