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Paul W. Smith: Beware ‘help’ from government

Paul W. Smith

“Outta’ My Mind on a Saturday Moanin’”

The Federal Communications Commission passed net neutrality rules on Thursday with a 3-2 party line vote. The federal government now controls more of the formerly permissionless Web than at any point in its history. And now we know where they stand on this in Washington.

We just won’t really know what “this” is.

Some people are angry.

Some people are scared.

Some people are happy.

No one seems to be neutral about net neutrality.

Of course, I’m not sure anyone really knows what it is.

“We have to pass it to see what’s in it.”

Where have we heard that before?

How about, “If you like your Internet, you can keep your Internet.”

Oh boy, you can see where this appears to be headed.

One more to remember: “I’m from the government and I’m here to help”

Generally, the best reaction to that statement is to run.

OK, I know there have been government programs that have indeed been humane and even lifesavers.


But it seems that more oversight, rules and regulations on the Internet by a government controlled by one party or the other is not going to be good for anyone.

Except, I guess, for those who want to intrude even more into your life.

■We lost a great man when we lost our friend Hoot McInerney. Anyone who knew Hoot well has a million stories to tell; I can’t think of one that didn’t end with me either laughing hard or feeling compassion and amazement when I dragged out of him a story that ended up with him helping an individual or thousands of people in need, through his seemingly endless giving to so many worthy causes that he never talked about.

I miss Hoot.

As I’ve often suggested, we should tell people who we love, who are important to us, that, “I don’t know what I would do without you.”

For the kids who now have shoes, to the hungry who have been fed, the religious who have a place to pray, the medical researchers who he funded, and on and on, there is a collective response in the air, “Hoot, we don’t know what we will do without you.”

I wish I could have told him that.

Paul W. Smith is host of The Paul W. Smith Show on WJR-AM (760) from 5:30-9 a.m. Monday-Friday.