The US Federal Communications Commission website reported technical difficulties because of heavy traffic this week hours after comedian John Oliver called on viewers to share their thoughts with the agency about what he called “cable company fuckery”.

I invite you to watch John Oliver below and then express your thoughts to the FCC-- which is now under the control of a lobbyist for the cable industry-- by visiting and commenting on Proceeding #14-28.

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That thing about Apple putting Mein Kampf in the itunes user agreement? It's not a joke. They could actually get away with that. That's why people nee to pay more attention to "boring" politics. Because that's where the fate of your life is being decided.

Radical free market capitalists who express their utter love for economic anarchy seem to be utterly silent and unbothered by cable and telecom monopolies. It is a mystery of mysteries.

Perhaps because the cable monopolies are only monopolies because governments forbid competition.  And local landline phone service too.  Generally only one company in an area is even allowed to offer cable. In return for which they are supposed to consent to having their rates regulated.  They then proceed to either a) lobby the regulator (this is called "regulatory capture") or provide shoddy service.  Or both.  Because they can get away with it because no one else is even allowed to compete with them.  How is this "anarchy"?  The government is very much involved.

You might remember them howling when satellite began to be offered.  Another company trying to do an end run around their government guaranteed monopoly!  End of the Gravy Train!  Of course, the cable companies themselves started as an end run around local broadcast stations.  OMG, someone might watch channel 7 out of Denver instead of channel 13 here in Colorado Springs! 

In other words cable and telecom monopolies are hardly "economic anarchy."  A "radical free market capitalist" would be overjoyed to tell you that this is what you get when you DON'T have a free market. (In point of fact cable is one of the paradigmatic examples used to support their claims.)  But competition is illegal in those markets--and making something illegal is the last thing that could happen in "anarchy," by definition.

Unfortunately you never hear a radical free market capitalist complain about this. They complain about environmental regulation, minimum wage and social programs but are fairly silent when it comes to telecoms and cable companies. So silent it is an utter mystery.

You haven't been paying attention to the right ones then.  Nor for as long.  To be sure, they don't give nearly as much attention to this as they do to the things you have mentioned, because your list is of a bunch of items that are hot issues today.

I've actually dedicated a lot of my life to studying the discourse of free market radicals. I wish that issues that had consequences for people with low incomes came up as often as "broader" issues. There is nothing "new" about the issues that I've mentioned. They have been perennial targets and obsessive topics of conversation by free market radicals.

Another disappearing post.

That was great LOL

Go ahead and write them. I did. Told them that for once perhaps they could look out for the interest of us middle class working slobs and not the interest of monopolies like the cable company's. I give them too much of my money already.

Here is their response:

Thank you very much for contacting us about the ongoing Open Internet proceeding. We're hoping to hear from as many people as possible about this critical issue, and so I'm very glad that we can include your thoughts and opinions.

I'm a strong supporter of the Open Internet, and I will fight to keep the internet open. Thanks again for sharing your views with me.

Tom Wheeler
Federal Communications Commission

Cable has been crap for a long time, that's why I haven't had cable service since the mid-90s.  I don't do phone contracts or smart phones either; basic phones with Tracfone (200 minutes will last me 2 months).  For me, the minimalist lifestyle is a lot more rewarding and hassle-free.


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