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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The (Mis)education of Ted Stevens

I know that often I expect too much of politicians. Example: I expect them to actually know something about the things they are making decisions about. And I'm often disappointed when they (and their staffs) display their ignorance.

So, here we go again ...

Here are the actual words of a politician with real power over the Internet in America:
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.
Who is this genius? Ted Stevens, an 85-year old Republican Senator from Alaska. Unfortunately, he is also the Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, a committee with great influence over legislation about the Internet. The full audio of his comments is here. Listen and you will see that I am being kind with my remarks about him.

These are the people making decisions and policies about the Internet, technology and, in this case, net neutrality. It is probably a similarly sad situation in every country.

I am not a supporter of term limits for legislators, but I am beginning to think that a mandatory retirement age is a good idea.

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