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NRA Gives Ajit Pai 'Courage Award' and Gun For 'Saving the Internet' (arstechnica.com) 563

The National Rifle Association (NRA) today gave its Charlton Heston Courage Under Fire Award to Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. "Pai was about to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland when the award presentation seemed to catch him by surprise," reports Ars Technica. "The award is a handmade long gun that could not be brought on stage, so it will be housed in the NRA museum until Pai can receive it." From the report: "Ajit Pai, as you probably already know, saved the Internet," American Conservative Union (ACU) Executive Director Dan Schneider told the audience. The ACU is the host of CPAC; Schneider made a few more remarks praising Pai before handing the award presentation over to NRA board member Carolyn Meadows. Pai "fought to preserve your free speech rights" as a member of the FCC's Republican minority during the Obama administration, Schneider said. Pai "fought and won against all odds, but the Obama administration had some curveballs and they implemented these regulations to take over the Internet." "As soon as President Trump came into office, President Trump asked Ajit Pai to liberate the Internet and give it back to you," Schneider added. "Ajit Pai is the most courageous, heroic person that I know."

The signature achievement that helped Pai win the NRA courage award came in December when the FCC voted to eliminate net neutrality rules. The rules, which are technically still on the books for a while longer, prohibited Internet service providers from blocking and throttling lawful Internet traffic and from charging online services for prioritization. Schneider did not explain how eliminating net neutrality rules preserved anyone's "free speech rights."
Right Wing Watch posted a video of the ceremony.
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NRA Gives Ajit Pai 'Courage Award' and Gun For 'Saving the Internet'

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  • Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mister Transistor ( 259842 ) on Friday February 23, 2018 @10:12PM (#56179803) Journal

    Just wow. I really hope these motherfuckers have a good view of each other when they're burning in hell.

    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

      by JoshuaZ ( 1134087 ) on Saturday February 24, 2018 @12:05AM (#56180175) Homepage
      There is no justice but what we make. Instead of wishing for some deity that likely doesn't exist, or is at best indifferent, work to turn them out of power. Donate to the groups that support net neutrality like the Electronic Frontier Foundation https://www.eff.org/ [eff.org], and support candidates who will work on net neutrality and sane gun laws. Right now, approximately most Americans support background checks for buying guns http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/374692-poll-97-percent-support-background-checks-for-all-gun-buyers [thehill.com]. You can help out with both these issues by donating to Conor Lamb's election https://conorlamb.com/ [conorlamb.com]. Lamb is running as the Democrat in Pennsylvania's 18th district for the upcoming special election to replace Tim Murphy. Lamb is in favor of net neutrality and is in favor sensible gun restrictions. He's a former Marine, and a former prosecutor, which gives him a healthy appreciation for guns (and let's be honest many Dems probably can't tell the difference between different guns other than that if they look scary they must be an "assault weapon"). He's a reasonable moderate and is running in a close election. Don't hope for hell, work to put better people in charge.
    • I feel sick. sick to my stomach.

      the ghouls are running things, they are happy as pigs in shit and they have ZERO idea that they are living in an opposite-world of reality.

      this proves - more than anything - that we have 2 (or even more) countries in the US. we'll NEVER meet in the middle. it has not happened and we are drawing even farther apart as each day passes.

      I see a civil war happening.

      I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think I am.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        >they have ZERO idea that they are living in an opposite-world of reality

        Nope. They know damn well wtf they are doing. Playing dumb is a very effective strategy.

        Continuing to insist down is up creates doubt in reality that can be exploited. Milions of people are buying what they are selling.

        It's that "I see four lights!" shit.

      • by GNious ( 953874 )

        I see a civil war happening.

        I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think I am.

        Roger Stone, Trumpy advisor, already warned that getting rid of The Donald would result in Civil War.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 24, 2018 @06:29AM (#56180365)
      Posting anon on purpose.
      NRA doesn't seem to grasp the purpose of the second amendment, IMHO.

      The sole purpose of keeping and bearing arms for the public is so they can overturn a government that doesn't serve the people.

      That was fine at the time the constitution was written, but now it's not enough to own a rifle if you want to make sure the government doesn't oppress it's people.
      Internet, social media and mobile phones has made mass surveillance and profiling of the entire population almost a trivial task.
      Want to know who has opposing political views? Want to know who their friends are?
      Want to know who they meet?
      It's just a query away.

      Mass surveillance is now a much more dangerous tool for those wanting to oppress a population than guns ever was. And having one yourself doesn't help at all. The Arab-spring let people to believe that social media empowered people, but that is only true if the ones that oppress do not control all platforms. Turned against the people it's a scary tool.

      The NRA should not get involved on the corporate side of regulating the internet. If they want to protect the 2nd amendment and it's true purpose then they should consider who they publicly support. A guy who wants to take away the right for people to use the internet outside of the walled gardens of corporations does not have the people best internest at heart.
    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

      by stephanruby ( 542433 ) on Saturday February 24, 2018 @07:38AM (#56180507)

      What happened to that wounded security guard who was first to confront the gunman in Las Vegas? Shouldn't he be the one getting the 'courage award' from the NRA?

      Aji Pai will be getting millions for fucking over the American people. And now, he's getting around the clock protection from the Secret Service. What he did doesn't require courage.

      That security guard in Vegas, on the other hand, was probably getting paid barely above minimum wage for confronting a gunman with multiple assault weapons.

    • by kick6 ( 1081615 )

      Just wow. I really hope these motherfuckers have a good view of each other when they're burning in hell.

      I know right? Zuckerberg's power to shape political discourse - at no cost - was getting out of hand. Wait...those are the motherfuckers you were talking about, right?

    • by jwhyche ( 6192 )

      Damn Straight. An I hope that there is a position open for tour guide. "Off to the left fellow deceased slashdotters, you see Ajit Pail. Please feel free to piss on him as we go by."

  • I'm sorry to say, (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jenningsthecat ( 1525947 ) on Friday February 23, 2018 @10:12PM (#56179805)

    that I honestly laughed at this. It came across so powerfully as a funny parody, and I found myself laughing both before and after I realized that they're actually fucking serious. There are no words. Stick a fork in the ass of American social discourse and turn it over, because it is well and truly done.

    • Here in Europe we're used to seeing people giving each other meaningless feel-good awards for meaningless accomplishments. But this one is hilarious. Really takes the cake. The only way to top this would be to have actually given Hillary that Grammy for her read of Fire & Fury at the awards.
    • by Megol ( 3135005 )

      In my opinion this goes against what they usually claim NRA stands for. It's not funny - it's crazy.

      Perhaps this will have the positive effect that the NRA is split into reasonable people and the absolutely crazies. Probably not.

  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) on Friday February 23, 2018 @10:15PM (#56179823)

    What's next, a lifetime achievement award for Harvey Weinstein?

  • This is satire right? Isn't it? I keep looking for the tag but I can't find it.
    Early April Fools prank? No? FFS what is going on?

    • by jep77 ( 1357465 )

      Oh... they're just trolling us right? They weren't serious... they couldn't be. Right?

  • ...a lot of gun owners don't like the NRA. They seem to think the R stands for Republican.

  • Follow the money (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 23, 2018 @10:20PM (#56179861)

    Sadly this is not off topic:


    The FBI is investigating whether a Russian banker with close ties to Vladimir Putin funneled money through the National Rifle Association to support Donald Trumpâ(TM)s presidential campaign....The NRA spent at least $30m to back Trumpâ(TM)s 2016 campaign for president...News outlets have been examining ties and meetings between NRA leaders and Russia for months, including a 2015 NRA delegation to Moscow that included meetings with influential Putin allies....

    You get the picture?

  • Not The Onion? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HangingChad ( 677530 ) on Friday February 23, 2018 @10:22PM (#56179871) Homepage

    At first I thought this had to be an Onion piece. The two most corrupt dirtbags, in the most corrupt political system outside a third world dictatorship, giving each other a hand job at CPAC.

    This is the pathetic level to which conservatives have sunk.

  • by burtosis ( 1124179 ) on Friday February 23, 2018 @10:25PM (#56179879)
    It should be obvious by now that guns didn't save our net neutrality, nor have they been saving us from a steady erosion of rights and freedom. Unfortunately, the fact this isn't obvious to many is the reason we have the problem. If things keep going this way, in 50 years autonomous weapon systems will render guns completely worthless with respect to resisting the government which was supposed to be the point.
  • by Jeremi ( 14640 ) on Friday February 23, 2018 @10:26PM (#56179885) Homepage

    AFACT, absolutely nothing, other than that they both hold policy positions that antagonize liberals.

    The fact that they are giving each other awards suggests to me that the only thing holding the Republican Party together these days is their collective urge to "piss on the other team".

    Fun, in a sort of Lord-of-the-Flies, junior-high-locker-room-towel-snapping sort of way, but not exactly a viable long-term philosophy for running a first-world country. Hopefully when the Republicans get their asses handed to them by voters this fall they will remember that they are expected to serve the country's interests, not just snap towels at the nerds.

    • I understand their urge.

      Democrats are seeking to widen their support among most vocal, most politically active minorities in increasingly fast changing world of Western ethics.

      The acceleration of this progress could only increase blow back from people who 50 years ago hardly could be called "old conservative" farts.

      If in older times only 60 year olds hold their now conservative views from the times of their youth, nowadays it shifted to 35-40 years old.

      Liberal acceleration of social ethics change recruits y

  • with a bar of soap.

  • by DumbSwede ( 521261 ) <slashdotbin@hotmail.com> on Friday February 23, 2018 @10:38PM (#56179933) Homepage Journal

    Listening to CPAC on CSPAN today I couldn’t believe how deranged these people all seem. I really feel like the NRA was threatening armed insurrection if Donald Trump is removed from office. Core beliefs: there is no Global Warming (or doesn’t matter much); Democrats and liberals are part of a Socialist plot to take all our rights away; immigrants are destroying our culture; everyone who needs (deserves) healthcare will have it (only lucky well-paid working people deserve it); luck and privilege are not factors in obtaining wealth, only hard work is.

    When Trump goes down (and he will) I fear what these groups will do. They’ve made it clear what their guns are for when push comes to shove.

    • by shilly ( 142940 )

      The good news is that most gun-owners are strongly authoritarian. That's pretty much their motivating essence. So it's possible to get them to do stuff by appealing to authority effectively. It's what the NRA et al have been doing for the past thirty years. It just needs a ju jitsu move to use the same tricks in the other direction.

  • I think this post is bull. There's NOTHING on the NRA's website about this. You'd think there would be.

  • Fascism at work (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 23, 2018 @10:39PM (#56179949)

    Here you have it folks, a perfect example of fascism at work. Corporations slowly but surely establishing their power over governement and the people. Legislators, media, weapons, etc. All the tools necessary to enforce totalitarism.

    And they'll succeed, too, because a little more than half of the population are too ignorant, clueless and gullible to see what's going on.

    "All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing". And these days, I see a hell of a lot of good men doing a hell of a lot of nothing.

  • ...when digital stream services start dropping NRAtv and they complain about large media companies censoring them.

  • by RPI Geek ( 640282 ) on Friday February 23, 2018 @10:57PM (#56180013) Journal
    I shot competitively for a few years and I was a member of the NRA to keep track of my progress. I didn't agree with them 100%, but I supported their defense of the 2nd amendment in principle - and on a number of their talking points - so I was fine with paying for membership. Then they started going in the direction of being a mouthpiece for the far right with shit like this [youtube.com].

    There are many moderates and even *gasp* liberals who like guns! If my experience is an indication of the rest of the country's gun-owning-but-not-far-right population, the NRA is going to continue losing membership and support. I may consider renewing my membership if they ever go back to what they used to be, but in the meanwhile I'll direct my money and energies elsewhere.
    • by bussdriver ( 620565 ) on Friday February 23, 2018 @11:38PM (#56180073)

      The NRA is owned by industry, the issue group front is just to make them more powerful lobbyist. The drug industry would love to hijack the AARP like the NRA has been.

      They want you for the influence you can give them and nothing more.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by PopeRatzo ( 965947 )

      I shot competitively for a few years and I was a member of the NRA to keep track of my progress.

      There are other organizations that will track shooting scores without supporting school massacres.

      USPSA and Orion are two that come to mind.

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Friday February 23, 2018 @11:57PM (#56180141) Journal

    They really buried the lede in this story. See that part where it says the NRA gave Pai the rifle, but he couldn't bring it on stage with him at CPAC? Do you know why Pai couldn't bring his prize with him on stage at CPAC? Because CPAC, with all it's gunhumping and masturbatory 2nd Amendment cosplay is a gun-free zone.

    Got that? The "Conservative Political Action Conference" with its keynote from Wayne LaPierre and wild cheering for the notion of giving schoolteachers guns and for watering the tree of liberty, and a good-guy with a gun horseshit does not allow guns at its conference.

    Conservatives - there is just no bottom to their hypocrisy.

    https://i.redditmedia.com/vzdl... [redditmedia.com]

  • by mark_reh ( 2015546 ) on Saturday February 24, 2018 @12:21AM (#56180225) Journal

    They have and continue to support mass murder. Any politician, from any party, who accepts their money, should be thrown out of office. Once we've purged the parasite that is the NRA, we can start working on repealing the 2nd amendment.

  • by nospam007 ( 722110 ) * on Saturday February 24, 2018 @06:02AM (#56180315)

    They condemn the school guard who waited 4 minutes (sic) with his pistol outside.

    When 2 patrolmen see 1 guy wielding a revolver in a bank full of people, the call for reinforcement, block the streets, call SWAT, FBI and whatnot... and those guys have bulletproof vests, shotguns ...

    And this single guy was supposed to go against an unknown number of killing, suicidal shooters on speed, with armor, assault guns, large mags with armor-penetrating ammo with his pistol alone?
    And he didn't even know where in the building they were.

    Are they crazy?

    Same thing for arming teachers, what are they going to do?

    They will sit in a wardrobe with their .38 in hand shitting their pants and then accidentally kill the student who wants to seek refuge in the same wardrobe.

  • Correction Needed (Score:5, Informative)

    by blavallee ( 729704 ) on Saturday February 24, 2018 @06:06AM (#56180327) Journal

    Carolyn Meadows of the National Rifle Association (NRA), who is also and member of the American Conservative Union (ACU), gave the ACU's Charlton Heston Courage Under Fire Award to Ajit Pai.

    • They give that award out almost every year at CPAC. Sometimes it's presented by NRA people, sometimes by ACU people. LaPierre has given them out as well.
      Either way- my understanding is that it has always been an award from the ACU itself.. it just usually seems to be handed out by NRA executives.
  • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot@w o r f . n et> on Saturday February 24, 2018 @06:29AM (#56180363)

    Irony is that by celebrating the end of Net Neutrality, they're opening up the possibility for ISPs to block the NRA!

    I mean, gun owners are a fairly hard core group, so why shouldn't ISPs now create a "gun lover's package" or set of packages? Access to the NRA and other gun related forums all for another $50 a month? Less than what you spend on ammo a month!

    And the NRA's cheering the guy that's making it happen...

  • Circle Jerk (Score:2, Insightful)

    by thegarbz ( 1787294 )

    If anyone needed a practical real world example of the filthiest scum circle jerking while they slowly ruin the country, this is it. I expect Trump to come in and serenade them both with a speech on tax cuts.

  • by Zaiff Urgulbunger ( 591514 ) on Saturday February 24, 2018 @10:03AM (#56180767)
    I believe an Axis of Fuckwittery is emerging.

The last thing one knows in constructing a work is what to put first. -- Blaise Pascal