After careful inspection and all due consideration, I’ve come to the conclusion that the repeal of something called “net neutrality” doesn’t mean a tinker’s dime to me.

I have lived more than half of my life without the internet, without email and without a cell phone (and to those of you who occasionally ask, I still do not have a cell phone).

Life goes on.

While I understand the business and personal communication conveniences of the internet and cell phones, I’ve never considered either a necessity.

In fact, if I had to choose between fire and the internet, I’d choose fire. (Yes, I know. Feel free to insert your “get used to the heat” jokes any time.)

As Grog, the first caveman, realized when he accidentally dropped a big rock onto a smaller rock at just the proper angle, thereby sending a small spark that ignited his woolly mammoth rug, “Fire Good.”

Without fire, there would be no outdoor fire pits. There would be no indoor fireplaces. No barbecue grills. No smokers. No wood-burning stoves. No campfires. No lighters for my Monte Cristos or Macanudos.

For the first three decades of my life, I got along just fine without the internet. In fact, I did not send an email until I was 34 years old. My first email was sent to my uncle, Jim Ruhl, in northern California. I think it read “Hi, Jim. Let me know if you get this.”

So forgive me if I really don’t care that the Federal Communications Commission this week repealed the Obama “net neutrality” rules.

According to an Associated Press report, major telecommunications companies lobbied the feds to overturn the Obama-era rules. Supposedly, under the new rules approved on Dec. 14, companies like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T, etc. would be “free to slow down or block access to services they don't like. They could also charge higher fees to rivals and make them pay up for higher transmission speeds, or set up ‘fast lanes’ for their preferred services – in turn, relegating everyone else to ‘slow lanes.’”

How about that.

Guess what? I don’t care. The repeal of “net neutrality” simply puts the free market one small step in front of big government.

If the prime players play preferred provider ploys (pardon the alliteration), consumers will go elsewhere for services. Period.

* * *

Sen. John Kennedy just might be my new favorite member of that largely ignoble body known as the United States Congress.

The Republican senator from Louisiana had an incredible Q-and-A with some possible shyster named Matthew Petersen, a Trump nominee for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

When I first read the story, two of Trump the Tweety Bird’s favorite words came to mind: Fake news.

This HAD to be fake news. It was just that ridiculous. But even the president’s favorite news channel reported it.

Here’s a recap from The Washington Post’s Derek Hawkins at

Petersen, who is a member of the Federal Election Commission and a lawyer with no trial experience, responded to relatively simple questions from Sen. Kennedy.

In a Dec. 13 hearing, Kennedy started by asking Petersen and the four other nominees who appeared with him: “Have any of you not tried a case to verdict in a courtroom?”

Petersen raised his hand.

Kennedy then asked if Petersen ever handled a jury trial?

“I have not,” Petersen replied.

Civil? "No." 

Criminal? "No." 

Bench trial? "No." 

State or federal court? "No."

How many depositions had he taken? Fewer than five?

“Probably somewhere in that range,” Petersen said.

Had he ever argued a motion in state court? Federal court? No on both counts.

“As a trial judge, you’re obviously going to have witnesses. Can you tell me what the ‘Daubert standard’ is,” the senator asked, referring to a critical rule on using expert testimony in federal court.

“I don’t have that readily at my disposal,” Petersen said…

The exchange between Kennedy and Petersen is readily available online. Or you can just wait for the “Saturday Night Live” version. They won’t need to change one thing.

* * *

Lastly, on the political front this week, there was this gem from Congressman Steve Chabot, a Cincinnati Republican, on the Alabama senator's race:

"So how should Republicans view the Alabama race? It could’ve been worse. Had Moore won, the constant barrage of questions about him would have been a complete distraction. But that’s not to say it’s clear sailing for Republicans in the upcoming election cycle. Far from it. When one party wins the White House, the other party usually does very well in the next congressional election cycle. So Republicans have to plan for the worst, and hope for the best. Pass legislation that’s good for the American people (like the upcoming tax bill.) And then get ready for what could be a tough election cycle.

"And stop nominating stupid candidates."

Rory Ryan is publisher and owner of The Highland Press.