Last Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to advance new regulations that would disembowel any semblance of net neutrality. The term, “net neutrality” means that all digital data is accorded similar treatment. Thus a small, startup business has the same advantage regarding Internet use (access to high-speed, efficient service) as a huge conglomerate. The end of net neutrality means the end to equal opportunity for all but the largest, wealthiest organizations. In other words, those who can pay for better, faster service will get it, while those on a more limited budget will need to settle for less.

Readers may well remember when President Obama was campaigning, he said that he would “… take a back seat to no one in my commitment to net neutrality.” The trouble now is, the president isn’t living up to his campaign promises. But given the list of other broken promises, this should come as no surprise.

If the FCC gets its way, only those who can afford it will have super-fast access to the Internet. That would leave municipalities, schools and even hospitals holding the short end of the stick. All kinds of innovative, modern devices depend upon high-speed Internet service. But by letting Internet Service Providers (ISP) set the rules (that, too, is part of the proposal), that will certainly change.

It should also come as no surprise that the vote to go forward with the net-neutrality-killing proposal glided along on party lines. Democrats supported it, Republicans opposed it. Of course any Democrat would be crazy not to support the proposed rule, because one of its outcomes would be that the government would treat the Internet as a utility and as such, would have total control over it. That is a Democrat’s dream come true and to freedom-loving Americans, it is the greatest threat of all.

But again, we, as conservatives, know that the greatest threat to all our lives comes from within, not without. America’s greatest minds, luminaries such as Washington, Jefferson and Reagan, all warned of the threat posed by an overreaching federal government. President Reagan’s tongue-in-cheek quip about, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help,” neatly summarizes the sad truth that when government gets involved in something, that thing will never be the same. Also true is that whatever the government gets a hold of, it will never let it go.

This whole idea of a government-regulated Internet is disturbing to conservatives. I had always thought that the International Computer Network, the Internet, was out-of-bounds for government interference. But the idea of some single entity controlling some worldwide system is not at all farfetched. Recently, the United Nations spoke of its desire to regulate the world and everyone in it. If this sounds like something from H.G. Wells or some other sci-fi writer, it is not. This actually happened.

While the U.N. represents a great threat to freedom worldwide, we Americans have a federal government that, it seems, knows no bounds. Couple that with state governments assuming dictatorial roles over their citizens, and we can clearly see that our ideas of personal freedom and liberty are at great risk.

Limited government is the only kind of government that our founders wished for us. The various amendments to the U.S. Constitution were added to preserve that wish. As conservatives, we know that the people, the citizens of our country, are wise beyond measure. But liberals, as represented by the Democrat Party, have different views. They feel that government knows best. The people, for their own good, should be subservient to the government.

The FCC’s hope of transforming the Internet to a government-controlled utility is not yet a done deal. Much testimony has yet to be heard and a final vote taken. But it’s a sad fact that what the government wants, the government eventually gets. Stay tuned for more on this, because it is sure to become a prominent, running battle between big government and the people it is supposed to serve.

Heartless bureaucracy

A gut-wrenching item in the news recently caught my attention. A recently-widowed woman in Beaver, Pa., was denied her appeal to cancel the forced 2011 sale of her home over $6.30 in unpaid interest. Although the home sold, Battisti was allowed to remain in it pending appeals. She lost her last appeal.

The widow, Eileen Battisti, said that her husband always handled tax matters. When he passed away, she was set adrift in the complex world of taxes and finances and given the heartbreak of her loss, she found herself owing taxes that she was unaware that she owed.

Before the sale, Battisti had paid down her debt to $235, which included interest and fees. This, too, was eventually paid down, except that somehow, Battisti had neglected to pay the magnificent sum of $6.30 in interest.

Judge Gus Kwidis wrote that a notice of sale (because of the $6.30 debt) was sent to Battisti by first-class mail, but the grieving widow failed to return the notice. All bureaucrats involved agreed that the government was within its legal bounds to advance the sale of the home. The law is the law and the government adhered to it.

The photo of a weeping Battisti that accompanied the news article broke my heart. To think that a government in this United States would allow such a tyrannical situation to continue and then defend itself on the grounds that it was only following the law sends chills down my spine.

As per taxes, particularly property taxes and more particularly property taxes on elderly, childless individuals, the system as we know it is flawed. We automatically enroll those who enter this country illegally in welfare programs. We endow them with an income, free medical care, free food and free housing. But when some poor widow in Beaver, Pa. defaults on a $6.30 tax interest bill, we sell her home from under her. What has become of our collective soul?

The government that persecutes poor, helpless widows is a gom (Irish for fool) and a mindless gom at that. And the government in Beaver, Pa. should be ashamed of itself.