Rush Limbaugh Explains Net Neutrality

Rush does a good job in explaining the countering info to all the scare tactics of the Left about “net neutrality.”

Net Neutrality – Ma Bell

Here is a comment via my LIVELEAK (rough language warning):

Pai is right. The neutrality storm is being shilled up by the content providers that are scared they will have to actually start paying market rates for their access. The loudest is Netflix, and anybody with at least two brain cells (and a functioning ability to give a shit) know that’s the bunch that melted down a lot of peering among the major networks while screaming for those same networks to increase Netflix’s transit capacity for free. They stir the ignorant masses up with bullshit about ‘equal access’ while their data accounts for up to 70% of the total internet bandwidth demand and 90/10 asymmetrical peering transits. They talked the weak Obama administration into legislation to favor their business, calling it “Net Neutrality” and are now pissed they are about to lose that favoritism. 

The stupid sheep are screaming that ISPs will fuck them over with fees and blocked content while the fat cat content providers sit back and grin at how easy it is to manipulate their minions. The internet was created and ran just fine for twenty years before the unnecessary Obama “Net Neutrality” doctrine. The doomsday claims of the NN bunch are belied by the facts. 

Wanted to get this portion of an important article here — via THE MISES INSTITUTE:

The Natural-Monopoly Myth: Telephone Services

The biggest myth of all in this regard is the notion that telephone service is a natural monopoly. Economists have taught generations of students that telephone service is a “classic” example of market failure and that government regulation in the “public interest” was necessary. But as Adam D. Thierer recently proved, there is nothing at all “natural” about the telephone monopoly enjoyed by AT&T for so many decades; it was purely a creation of government intervention.”54

Once AT&T’s initial patents expired in 1893, dozens of competitors sprung up. “By the end of 1894 over 80 new independent competitors had already grabbed 5 percent of total market share … after the turn of the century, over 3,000 competitors existed.55 In some states there were over 200 telephone companies operating simultaneously. By 1907, AT&T’s competitors had captured 51 percent of the telephone market and prices were being driven sharply down by the competition. Moreover, there was no evidence of economies of scale, and entry barriers were obviously almost nonexistent, contrary to the standard account of the theory of natural monopoly as applied to the telephone industry.56

The eventual creation of the telephone monopoly was the result of a conspiracy between AT&T and politicians who wanted to offer “universal telephone service” as a pork-barrel entitlement to their constituents. Politicians began denouncing competition as “duplicative,” “destructive,” and “wasteful,” and various economists were paid to attend congressional hearings in which they somberly declared telephony a natural monopoly. “There is nothing to be gained by competition in the local telephone business,” one congressional hearing concluded.57

The crusade to create a monopolistic telephone industry by government fiat finally succeeded when the federal government used World War I as an excuse to nationalize the industry in 1918. AT&T still operated its phone system, but it was controlled by a government commission headed by the postmaster general. Like so many other instances of government regulation, AT&T quickly “captured” the regulators and used the regulatory apparatus to eliminate its competitors. “By 1925 not only had virtually every state established strict rate regulation guidelines, but local telephone competition was either discouraged or explicitly prohibited within many of those jurisdictions.”58

Conclusions

The theory of natural monopoly is an economic fiction. No such thing as a “natural” monopoly has ever existed. The history of the so-called public utility concept is that the late 19th and early 20th century “utilities” competed vigorously and, like all other industries, they did not like competition. They first secured government-sanctioned monopolies, and then, with the help of a few influential economists, constructed an expost rationalization for their monopoly power.

This has to be one of the greatest corporate public relations coups of all time. “By a soothing process of rationalization,” wrote Horace M. Gray more than 50 years ago, “men are able to oppose monopolies in general but to approve certain types of monopolies. … Since these monopolies were ‘natural’ and since nature is beneficent, it followed that they were ‘good’ monopolies. … Government was therefore justified in establishing ‘good’ monopolies.”59

In industry after industry, the natural monopoly concept is finally eroding. Electric power, cable TV, telephone services, and the mail, are all on the verge of being deregulated, either legislatively or de facto, due to technological change. Introduced in the United States at about the same time communism was introduced to the former Soviet Union, franchise monopolies are about to become just as defunct. Like all monopolists, they will use every last resource to lobby to maintain their monopolistic privileges, but the potential gains to consumers of free markets are too great to justify them. The theory of natural monopoly is a 19th century economic fiction that defends 19th century (or 18th century, in the case of the US Postal Service) monopolistic privileges, and has no useful place in the 21st century American economy.

Let me caveat this next excerpt by saying I am NOT a fan of the New American Magazine. They are a John Birch publication, and my understanding of this organization is intimate, and so are my ultimate rejection of many of it’s positions. THAT BEING SAID, I thoroughly enjoyed this article (minus the NWO crap!) — THE BREAKUP OF MA BELL:

….Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone on March 7, 1876, but initially it was considered no more than a passing novelty. In fact, Western Union passed up the opportunity to purchase the Bell patents for $100,000. But when those patents held by American Telephone and Telegraph Company expired in 1894, competition entered the market and the availability of telephone service and the number of telephones exploded. The telephone moved from novelty to necessity. According to Adam Thierer of the Cato Institute, there were, at the time, more than 3,000 telephone companies vying for customers. Author G. W. Brock, in his book The Telecommunications Industry, pointed out the difference competition made:

After seventeen years of monopoly [thanks to the patents held by AT&T from 1877 – 1894], the United States had a limited telephone system of 270,000 phones [mostly concentrated] in the centers of the cities, with service generally unavailable in the outlying areas. After thirteen years of competition [1907], the United States had an extensive system of six million telephones, almost evenly divided between Bell and [its competitors], with service available practically anywhere in the country. [Emphasis added.]

Writing in The New Telecommunications Industry, authors Leonard Hyman, Richard Toole, and Rosemary Avellis concluded that “competition helped to expand the market, bring down costs, and lower prices to consumers.” Because of the negative impact upon AT&T by its competitors, the president of AT&T, Theodore Newton Vail, changed the focus of the company from competition to consolidation. As noted by Thierer, “Vail’s most important goals upon taking over AT&T were the elimination of competitors, the befriending of policymakers and regulators, and the expansion of telephone service to the general public.” Vail’s belief in the superiority of a single monopolistic system was reflected in the company’s new corporate slogan, “One Policy, One System, Universal Service.” In the company’s 1910 annual report, Vail wrote:

  • It is believed that the telephone system should be universal, interdependent and intercommunicating, affording opportunity for any subscriber of any exchange to communicate with any other subscriber of any other exchange…. It is believed that some sort of a connection with the telephone system should be within reach of all…. 
  • It is not believed that this can be accomplished by separately controlled or distinct systems nor that there can be competition in the accepted sense of competition…. [Emphasis added.] 
  • It is believed that all this can be accomplished to the reasonable satisfaction of the public with its acquiescence, under such control and regulation as will afford the public much better service at less cost than any competition or government-owned monopoly could permanently afford…. [Emphasis added.] 
  • Effective, aggressive competition and regulation and control are inconsistent with each other, and cannot be had at the same time.

Author R.H.K. Vietor, writing in Contrived Competition, said, “Vail chose at this time to put AT&T squarely behind government regulation, as the quid pro quo for avoiding competition. This was the only politically acceptable way for AT&T to monopolize telephony.” In fact, without government regulations eliminating the competition, the reinstitution of the AT&T monopoly would have been impossible. The Kingsbury Commitment (named for one of Vail’s employees) was an agreement with the Attorney General and the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1913 that essentially codified the playing field which allowed AT&T to regain monopoly control of the industry.

In 1934, the power to regulate the telephone industry under the ICC was transferred to the new Federal Communications Commission. Enacted by the Roosevelt Revolution during the Great Depression, the Communications Act of 1934 created the FCC “for the purpose of regulating interstate and foreign commerce in communication by wire and radio so as to make available, so far as possible, to all the people of the United States a rapid, efficient, nation-wide, and world-wide wire and radio communication service with adequate facilities at reasonable charges.” In other words, according to Thierer, “every American was henceforth found to be entitled to the right to telephone service, specifically cheap telephone service.” The FCC’s powers included the power to regulate rates and restrict entry by competitors, all in the name of preventing “wasteful duplication” and “unneeded competition.”…..

MORE

Steven Crowder and Ben Shapiro Discuss “Net Neutrality”

WIRED MAGAZINE had a great article back in 2015… here are three of the many points it makes:

….”That Won’t Work”

Will the new order affect the woman’s ability to Skype with her son in Turkey? No. Will it affect her broadband bill? Yes.

Unfortunately, regulating net neutrality under Title II will almost certainly raise your broadband bill. A range of state and local fees apply only to common-carrier telecommunications services—which is what the FCC just made your broadband internet service.

Wheeler’s approach creates a host of other problems. Most important, it allows the FCC to regulate not just your (hated) broadband provider, but also your favorite internet services.

You were sold a bill of goods when activists told you net neutrality was all about protecting “the next Facebook” from evil ISPs. Think about it: If you’re “the next Facebook,” who do you think is more worried about you? Your ISP, or Facebook itself? If the problem is between Facebook and its potential challengers, hamstringing ISPs is an awfully roundabout way of dealing with it. Especially because we already have a regulatory apparatus to deal with issues related to competition: antitrust laws.

But consider this irony: Now that ISPs are regulated under Title II as common carriers, the Federal Trade Commission can’t enforce its consumer protection laws against them anymore.

That doesn’t mean there won’t be antitrust enforcement, but we did just hobble our most significant and experienced consumer protection authority. That seems like a mistake if we’re enacting rules that purport to protect consumers.

“To Solve a Problem That Doesn’t Exist”

One would think that after a decade of debate there would be a strong economic case for net neutrality. But there isn’t. According to Commissioner O’Rielly—one of the few people who’s actually read the order—“[t]here is not a shred of evidence [in the order] that any aspect of this structure is necessary.” The record leading up to last week’s vote contained evidence of only five instances in the history of the internet where ISPs may have thwarted content providers’ access to end-users, none of which required heavy-handed net neutrality rules to address.

The world in which internet innovators have to ask permission to operate is imaginary. Or it was, until Wheeler regulated it into existence.

The new catch-all provision may well apply to internet companies that now think they’re not subject to the rules. Title II (which, recall, is the basis for the catch-all) applies to all “telecommunications services”—not just ISPs. Now, every time an internet service might be deemed to transmit a communication (think WhatsApp, Snapchat, Twitter…), it either has to take its chances or ask the FCC in advance to advise it on its likely regulatory treatment.

That’s right—this new regime, which credits itself with preserving “permissionless innovation,” just put a bullet in its head. It puts innovators on notice, and ensures that the FCC has the authority (if it holds up in court) to enforce its vague rule against whatever it finds objectionable.

And no matter how many times this Chairman tells you that for now the rules won’t apply to internet service X, he can’t guarantee that they won’t next year (or next month). And he certainly can’t make that guarantee for the FCC’s next chairman.

One of life’s unfortunate certainties, as predictable as death and taxes, is this: regulators regulate. It would be crazy to think the FCC adopted these rules and will just to let them lie fallow if tomorrow’s internet boogeyman is a non-ISP company.

Even staunch net neutrality supporters like EFF worry about the breadth of the FCC’s new “general conduct” standard. Couple that with language that invites complaints and class action lawsuits, and suddenly a regulation claimed to ensure “just and reasonable” conduct becomes a rent-seeking free-for-all.

But surely ISPs have it in for Netflix, right? Actually, Comcast is the only ISP (out of the literally thousands that are now regulated under Title II) that competes with Netflix. And the evidence shows that the problems allegedly arising from that competition were caused by Netflix, not Comcast. Did we really just enact 300 pages of legally questionable, enormously costly, transformative rules just to help Netflix in a trivial commercial spat?

“Using Legal Authority the FCC Doesn’t Have”

For last week’s “victory” to stand, the FCC must win in court on all (or nearly all) of a host of difficult legal questions.

Most obviously, the rules will be challenged as “arbitrary and capricious” under Supreme Court precedent that makes clear that agencies may not adopt rules that “run[] counter to the evidence before the agency,” or are simply implausible.

Last year, the Supreme Court took the EPA to task for “tailoring” provisions from the Environmental Protection Act to rewrite an outdated statute. The FCC’s effort to do the same thing with Title II will likely fall prey to the same result……

Read the five more critiques of Net Neutrality at THE DAILY WIRE:

1. The instances of ISPs slowing down or blocking data to favor certain sites over others are few and far between. Ian Tuttle notes at National Review that when the FCC first attempted net neutrality regulations in 2010, they were only able to “cite just four examples of anticompetitive behavior, all relatively minor.” Cell phone networks, which are not subject to net neutrality-esque regulations, don’t engage in such anticompetitive behavior.

There’s a reason for this: such behavior doesn’t cut it in a free market. As Ben Shapiro wrote in 2014, “Consumers would dump those ISPs in favor of others” if those ISPs slowed down or blocked data as favoritism toward certain sites.

“Competition ensures that companies do not have the leverage to discriminate against particular websites,” Shapiro added.

There has never been an urgent need for net neutrality regulations.

[…..]

6. It’s crony capitalism in favor of web giants like Facebook and Google. That’s why they support net neutrality, since it targets their competitors.

Net Neutrality Flashback

Net Neutrality Explained:

I have an older post with Professor Hazlett explaining the issue more in-depth, HERE

I recently watched a classic movie… 1984. And language is used as a weapon of propaganda. For instance, here are some famous quotes:

NATIONAL REVIEW LINKED IN PIC

  • “War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength” | the three slogans of the English Socialist Party (“INGSOC” for short) of Oceania.

Here, you see the same language misuse used to make a point (really, a non-point):

On Monday, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai told Fox & Friends that net neutrality protesters have targeted his home and his children. One neighbor of Pai’s tweeted that signs protesters brandished named Pai’s children; others accused him of “murdering DEMOCRACY in cold blood,” still others asked how his children could look him in the eye. (DAILY WIRE – emphasis added)

This isn’t “democracy”! The public didn’t vote on it. It wasn’t even “passed” per our Republic… those representatives we voted into office never voted on it.

…The FCC has voted 3-2 along political lines to extend the government’s reach and regulate the internet via net neutrality.

The vote to institute net neutrality rules marks the first time the government has stepped into the world of internet regulation. Proponent’s of the net neutrality rules say that the move allows the government to stop companies from controlling too much of the internet, while opponents view it as a scary example of government control and an impediment of private business.

[….]

“The FCC is not Congress. We cannot make laws,” said Republican Commission Robert McDowell, describing Tuesday as “one of the darkest days in FCC history.” He also suggested that new rules may be in for a court battle….

(THE BLAZE)

Up is Down in la-la-land.

Here is part of John Fund’s article via the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER:

The Federal Communications Commission’s new “net neutrality” rules, passed on a partisan 3-2 vote Tuesday, Dec. 21, represent a huge win for a slick lobbying campaign run by liberal activist groups and foundations. The losers are likely to be consumers who will see innovation and investment chilled by regulations that treat the Internet like a public utility.

There’s little evidence the public is demanding these rules, which purport to stop the non-problem of phone and cable companies blocking access to websites and interfering with Internet traffic. Over 300 House and Senate members have signed a letter opposing FCC Internet regulation, and there will undoubtedly be even less support in the next Congress.

The FCC has approved rules that would give the federal government authority to regulate Internet traffic and prevent broadband providers from selectively blocking web traffic. WSJ’s Amy Schatz explains what the new rules really mean.

Yet President Obama, long an ardent backer of net neutrality, is ignoring both Congress and adverse court rulings, especially by a federal appeals court in April that the agency doesn’t have the power to enforce net neutrality. He is seeking to impose his will on the Internet through the executive branch. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, a former law school friend of Mr. Obama, has worked closely with the White House on the issue. Official visitor logs show he’s had at least 11 personal meetings with the president.

The net neutrality vision for government regulation of the Internet began with the work of Robert McChesney, a University of Illinois communications professor who founded the liberal lobby Free Press in 2002. Mr. McChesney’s agenda? “At the moment, the battle over network neutrality is not to completely eliminate the telephone and cable companies,” he told the website SocialistProject in 2009. “But the ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control.”

A year earlier, Mr. McChesney wrote in the Marxist journal Monthly Review that “any serious effort to reform the media system would have to necessarily be part of a revolutionary program to overthrow the capitalist system itself.” Mr. McChesney told me in an interview that some of his comments have been “taken out of context.” He acknowledged that he is a socialist and said he was “hesitant to say I’m not a Marxist.”

For a man with such radical views, Mr. McChesney and his Free Press group have had astonishing influence. Mr. Genachowski’s press secretary at the FCC, Jen Howard, used to handle media relations at Free Press. The FCC’s chief diversity officer, Mark Lloyd, co-authored a Free Press report calling for regulation of political talk radio.

Free Press has been funded by a network of liberal foundations that helped the lobby invent the purported problem that net neutrality is supposed to solve. They then fashioned a political strategy similar to the one employed by activists behind the political speech restrictions of the 2002 McCain-Feingold campaign-finance reform bill. The methods of that earlier campaign were discussed in 2004 by Sean Treglia, a former program officer for the Pew Charitable Trusts, during a talk at the University of Southern California. Far from being the efforts of genuine grass-roots activists, Mr. Treglia noted, the campaign-finance reform lobby was controlled and funded by foundations like Pew.

“The idea was to create an impression that a mass movement was afoot,” he told his audience. He noted that “If Congress thought this was a Pew effort, it’d be worthless.” A study by the Political Money Line, a nonpartisan website dealing with issues of campaign funding, found that of the $140 million spent to directly promote campaign-finance reform in the last decade, $123 million came from eight liberal foundations.

After McCain-Feingold passed, several of the foundations involved in the effort began shifting their attention to “media reform”—a movement to impose government controls on Internet companies somewhat related to the long-defunct “Fairness Doctrine” that used to regulate TV and radio companies. In a 2005 interview with the progressive website Buzzflash, Mr. McChesney said that campaign-finance reform advocate Josh Silver approached him and “said let’s get to work on getting popular involvement in media policy making.” Together the two founded Free Press.

Free Press and allied groups such as MoveOn.org quickly got funding. Of the eight major foundations that provided the vast bulk of money for campaign-finance reform, six became major funders of the media-reform movement. (They are the Pew Charitable Trusts, Bill Moyers’s Schumann Center for Media and Democracy, the Joyce Foundation, George Soros’s Open Society Institute, the Ford Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.) Free Press today has 40 staffers and an annual budget of $4 million.

These wealthy funders pay for more than publicity and conferences. In 2009, Free Press commissioned a poll, released by the Harmony Institute, on net neutrality. Harmony reported that “more than 50% of the public argued that, as a private resource, the Internet should not be regulated by the federal government.” The poll went on to say that since “currently the public likes the way the Internet works . . . messaging should target supporters by asking them to act vigilantly” to prevent a “centrally controlled Internet.”

To that end, Free Press and other groups helped manufacture “research” on net neutrality. In 2009, for example, the FCC commissioned Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society to conduct an “independent review of existing information” for the agency in order to “lay the foundation for enlightened, data-driven decision making.”…..

(read the rest)


Toon Break



WIRED MAGAZINE had a great article back in 2015… here are three of the many points it makes:

….”That Won’t Work”

Will the new order affect the woman’s ability to Skype with her son in Turkey? No. Will it affect her broadband bill? Yes.

Unfortunately, regulating net neutrality under Title II will almost certainly raise your broadband bill. A range of state and local fees apply only to common-carrier telecommunications services—which is what the FCC just made your broadband internet service.

Wheeler’s approach creates a host of other problems. Most important, it allows the FCC to regulate not just your (hated) broadband provider, but also your favorite internet services.

You were sold a bill of goods when activists told you net neutrality was all about protecting “the next Facebook” from evil ISPs. Think about it: If you’re “the next Facebook,” who do you think is more worried about you? Your ISP, or Facebook itself? If the problem is between Facebook and its potential challengers, hamstringing ISPs is an awfully roundabout way of dealing with it. Especially because we already have a regulatory apparatus to deal with issues related to competition: antitrust laws.

But consider this irony: Now that ISPs are regulated under Title II as common carriers, the Federal Trade Commission can’t enforce its consumer protection laws against them anymore.

That doesn’t mean there won’t be antitrust enforcement, but we did just hobble our most significant and experienced consumer protection authority. That seems like a mistake if we’re enacting rules that purport to protect consumers.

“To Solve a Problem That Doesn’t Exist”

One would think that after a decade of debate there would be a strong economic case for net neutrality. But there isn’t. According to Commissioner O’Rielly—one of the few people who’s actually read the order—“[t]here is not a shred of evidence [in the order] that any aspect of this structure is necessary.” The record leading up to last week’s vote contained evidence of only five instances in the history of the internet where ISPs may have thwarted content providers’ access to end-users, none of which required heavy-handed net neutrality rules to address.

The world in which internet innovators have to ask permission to operate is imaginary. Or it was, until Wheeler regulated it into existence.

The new catch-all provision may well apply to internet companies that now think they’re not subject to the rules. Title II (which, recall, is the basis for the catch-all) applies to all “telecommunications services”—not just ISPs. Now, every time an internet service might be deemed to transmit a communication (think WhatsApp, Snapchat, Twitter…), it either has to take its chances or ask the FCC in advance to advise it on its likely regulatory treatment.

That’s right—this new regime, which credits itself with preserving “permissionless innovation,” just put a bullet in its head. It puts innovators on notice, and ensures that the FCC has the authority (if it holds up in court) to enforce its vague rule against whatever it finds objectionable.

And no matter how many times this Chairman tells you that for now the rules won’t apply to internet service X, he can’t guarantee that they won’t next year (or next month). And he certainly can’t make that guarantee for the FCC’s next chairman.

One of life’s unfortunate certainties, as predictable as death and taxes, is this: regulators regulate. It would be crazy to think the FCC adopted these rules and will just to let them lie fallow if tomorrow’s internet boogeyman is a non-ISP company.

Even staunch net neutrality supporters like EFF worry about the breadth of the FCC’s new “general conduct” standard. Couple that with language that invites complaints and class action lawsuits, and suddenly a regulation claimed to ensure “just and reasonable” conduct becomes a rent-seeking free-for-all.

But surely ISPs have it in for Netflix, right? Actually, Comcast is the only ISP (out of the literally thousands that are now regulated under Title II) that competes with Netflix. And the evidence shows that the problems allegedly arising from that competition were caused by Netflix, not Comcast. Did we really just enact 300 pages of legally questionable, enormously costly, transformative rules just to help Netflix in a trivial commercial spat?

“Using Legal Authority the FCC Doesn’t Have”

For last week’s “victory” to stand, the FCC must win in court on all (or nearly all) of a host of difficult legal questions.

Most obviously, the rules will be challenged as “arbitrary and capricious” under Supreme Court precedent that makes clear that agencies may not adopt rules that “run[] counter to the evidence before the agency,” or are simply implausible.

Last year, the Supreme Court took the EPA to task for “tailoring” provisions from the Environmental Protection Act to rewrite an outdated statute. The FCC’s effort to do the same thing with Title II will likely fall prey to the same result……

Read the five more critiques of Net Neutrality at THE DAILY WIRE:

1. The instances of ISPs slowing down or blocking data to favor certain sites over others are few and far between. Ian Tuttle notes at National Review that when the FCC first attempted net neutrality regulations in 2010, they were only able to “cite just four examples of anticompetitive behavior, all relatively minor.” Cell phone networks, which are not subject to net neutrality-esque regulations, don’t engage in such anticompetitive behavior.

There’s a reason for this: such behavior doesn’t cut it in a free market. As Ben Shapiro wrote in 2014, “Consumers would dump those ISPs in favor of others” if those ISPs slowed down or blocked data as favoritism toward certain sites.

“Competition ensures that companies do not have the leverage to discriminate against particular websites,” Shapiro added.

There has never been an urgent need for net neutrality regulations.

[…..]

6. It’s crony capitalism in favor of web giants like Facebook and Google. That’s why they support net neutrality, since it targets their competitors.


More Toons


Biblical Roles In Family (Summer Sessions)

This is the first sermon in the summer session of 2017 at Faith Community. Over the summer Faith meets for only one service and has children as well as the parents sitting in the pews. This “kickoff” sermon discusses the issues of family and the roles of husband and wife, as well as the kids. A great connection is made to the roles of the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).

Why Progressives Need Control of the New Media

Firstly, for the sake of good conversation and clarity… we need [actually, Dr. DiLorenzo] to define socialism:

Here are some article headlines that will help encapsulate the quote:

FEC Democrat pushes for controls on Internet political speech ~ The FEC deadlocked in a crucial Internet campaign speech vote announced Friday, leaving online political blogging and videos free of many of the reporting requirements attached to broadcast ads — for now. While all three GOP-backed members voted against restrictions, they were opposed by the three Democratic-backed members…

Federal regulation of Internet coming, warn FCC, FEC commissioners ~ Democrats targeting content and control of the Internet, especially from conservative sources, are pushing hard to layer on new regulations and even censorship under the guise of promoting diversity while policing bullying, warn commissioners from the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Election Commission. “Protecting freedom on the Internet is just one vote away,” said Lee E. Goodman, a commissioner on the FEC which is divided three Democrats to three Republicans. “There is a cloud over your free speech.”…

[Editor’s note: that means blogs like mine of Gay Patriot’s could be considered “bullying” and to protect “freedom” they will be banned… the redefinition of the meaning of words is what allows these progressives to win in conversation.]

Leaked Memo: Soros Foundation Eyed Stronger Internet Regulation in TPP Negotiations ~ A leaked document from George Soros’s Open Society Foundations reveals the organization was seeking to influence the positions of Latin American governments in negotiating the Transpacific Partnership Agreement, or TTP…

You Media People Should Stop Reporting on Terrorism So People Don’t Know What’s Going On ~ …This new push by Kerry shouldn’t be surprising, after all it was just a few weeks ago when Kerry essentially argued the use of air conditioners and other appliances are bigger threats to the world than ISIS. Here’s the reality: Kerry doesn’t want the press giving attention to the issue of terrorism because it further exposes the failure of the Obama administration’s foreign policy over the past eight years….

[Editor’s note: you see, if the press would stop reporting on terrorism, then more people may actually take Kerry — and other politicians — serious when they say stuff like, “air conditioners… are bigger threats to the world than ISIS.]

Another example from a few years ago is the Fairness Doctrine. Just listen to Ed Schultz admit something in this radio excerpt (below-right ~ from an OLD POST).

You see, all this is a power play. In a society becoming increasingly more-and-more socialist… power and control over every aspect of life becomes more-and-more natural. Almost a necessity [inherent] on the part of the politician. Democrats think they are for freedom, but in fact they are the root cause for the constant attacks on freedom. That is, progressive liberalism… not classical liberalism.

And as a Christian I am concerned, ultimately, for truth [Truth]. Truth is what a free society strives for… and often getting to it means discussing all options. “Options” are anathema to socialism, to wit:

Because of the inevitable failure of socialist bureaucrats to “plan” an economy and a society better than the millions of individuals comprising the society can, there will be “dissatisfaction with the slow and cumbersome course of democratic procedure which makes action for action’s sake the goal,” wrote Hayek. “It is then the man or the party who seems strong and resolute enough ‘to get things done’ who exercises the greatest appeal” to the public. The public demands a “strongman” (or strongwoman) “who can get things done”—even if it means the abandonment of democ­racy.

[….]

Moreover, the socialist regime is likely to be popu­lated by “the worst elements of any society,” warned Hayek. Political demagogues (and socialists are always demagogues) have long understood that it is easier for the masses to agree on a negative program—a hatred of an enemy or “the envy of the better off” than on any positive program. In Bolshevik Russia, it was the capi­talists and monarchists and Christians and independent farmers and aristocrats who were the enemy, and against whom the masses could be swayed, and against whom violence could be inflicted in the name of “the people.” In the Europe of Hayek’s day it was the plutocrat and “the Jew who became the enemy….” “In Germany and Austria the Jew had come to be regarded as the represen­tative of capitalism,” and hence became the target of extreme hatred. In America, political demagogues tar­get “Wall Street” and the wealthy “one percent” as the objects of their hatred. [RPT’s addition: And the “fundamentalist that would dare question transgender normalization of bathroom use and female sports, etc.]

Hatred and violence, especially for the young, is justified in the name of idealism, however perversely understood. To a socialist, the ends justify the means (which is the reverse of traditional morality) and can justify any action desired by a socialist. To a social­ist, said Hayek, there is nothing “which the consis­tent collectivist must not be prepared to do if it serves `the good of the whole.’”  This socialist mindset accepts if not celebrates “intolerance and brutal sup­pression of dissent,” and “the complete disregard of the life and happiness of the individual,” because the “selfish” individual does not matter; the socialist will argue that what he does is “for the good of the whole.”

In a socialist society, said Hayek, the only “power” worth having is political power, and to consolidate that political power government relies on propaganda, intimidation, and government domestic spying to dis­credit, bully, and eliminate possible opposition.

Socialism can lead to “the end of truth,” as Hayek called it, because socialists believe in indoctrinating people into “The Truth.” This is why socialist regimes have made us familiar with “reeducation camps” and rigid, totalitarian ideological conformity. Socialists believe that there are no legitimate, alternative view­points. Socialist propaganda must dominate the edu­cational system and the mass media so that, in Hayek’s words, “a pseudoscientific theory becomes part of the official creed” which “directs everybody’s actions.” Under socialism, “every act of the government, must become sacrosanct,” while minority opinions—or even majority opinions at odds with the official ideology—must be silenced and are demonized. This all sounds like a perfect definition of the “political correctness” that plagues American colleges and universities and which has gone a long way toward destroying aca­demic freedom both for students and professors.

“Truth” in a socialist society is not something to be debated; it is mandated and enforced by the Social­ist regime, from which there is no alternative and no appeal. Once socialist ideology takes over and respect for actual truth is destroyed, wrote Hayek, then all morals are assaulted because all morality is based on respect for the truth.

Thomas J. DiLorenzo, The Problem with Socialism (New Jersey, NJ: Regnery, 2016), 55-58.

Worth your while as well is this commentary by Ezra Levant on Venezuela a little over a year ago.

Professor Thomas Hazlett – Net Neutrality

GOOD NEWS! Fairness Doctrine No More

This is somewhat related to my newer posts such as:

Democrat Camille Paglia notes the undemocratic nature of Democrats — via CAN I JUST FINISH MY WAFFLE:

“I don’t get it.  I don’t get it.

The essence of the 1960’s was about free speech.  That’s what Lenny Bruce and Berkley were about.  It was about free speech.

And not for one second should the government be wandering into the surveillance or montoring of the ideological content of talk radio.

They have betrayed the soul of the democrat party to even mention this.

Every true liberal democrat should be standing up in defense of talk radio no matter how heinous they may think what is being said is.

This is immature — immature for people of one party to try to squelch or erase the thoughts of another.

Liberals have a strangle hold on the major media and have had for 50 years.

What more do liberals want?

Talk radio rose as a counter to that fact. And I talk as a democrat…

Here is some HERITAGE FOUNDATION background:

The fairness doctrine’s constitutionality was tested and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in a landmark 1969 case, Red Lion Broadcasting v. FCC (395 U.S. 367). Although the Court then ruled that it did not violate a broadcaster’s First Amendment rights, the Court cautioned that if the doctrine ever began to restrain speech, then the rule’s constitutionality should be reconsidered. Just five years later, without ruling the doctrine unconstitutional, the Court concluded in another case that the doctrine “inescapably dampens the vigor and limits the variety of public debate” (Miami Herald Publishing Co. v. Tornillo, 418 U.S. 241). In 1984, the Court concluded that the scarcity rationale underlying the doctrine was flawed and that the doctrine was limiting the breadth of public debate (FCC v. League of Women Voters, 468 U.S. 364). This ruling set the stage for the FCC’s action in 1987. An attempt by Congress to reinstate the rule by statute was vetoed by President Ronald Reagan in 1987, and later attempts failed even to pass Congress.

As an independent regulatory agency, the FCC has the power to reimpose the doctrine without congressional or executive action. So far, the Commission has taken no position on the Hollings-Hefner legislation or expressed an interest in reregulating on its own. Current FCC Chairman James Quello, though, has stated that, “The fairness doctrine doesn’t belong in a country that’s dedicated to freedom of the press and freedom of speech.” (Doug Halonen, “Twelve to Watch in 1993,” Electronic Media, January 25, 1993, p. 66.) The Clinton Administration has not taken an official position on the legislation.

Supporters of reviving the fairness doctrine base their argument on the very same three faulty premises that the FCC and most judicial rulings have rejected.

Faulty Premise #1: The “scarce” amount of spectrum space requires oversight by federal regulators.

Reality: Although the spectrum is limited, the number of broadcasters in America has continuously increased.

Supporters of the fairness doctrine argue that because the airwaves are a scarce resource, they should be policed by federal bureaucrats to ensure that all viewpoints are heard. Yet, just because the spectrum within which broadcast frequencies are found has boundaries, it does not mean that there is a practical shortage of views being heard over the airwaves. When the fairness doctrine was first conceived, only 2,881 radio and 98 television stations existed. By 1960, there were 4,309 radio and 569 television stations. By 1989, these numbers grew to over 10,000 radio stations and close to 1,400 television stations. Likewise, the number of radios in use jumped from 85.2 million in 1950 to 527.4 million by 1988, and televisions in use went from 4 million to 175.5 million during that period. (“The Fairness Doctrine,” National Association of Broadcasters, Backgrounder (1989).)

Even if it may once have been possible to monopolize the airwaves, and to deny access to certain viewpoints, that is impossible today. A wide variety of opinions is available to the public through radios, cable channels, and even computers. With America on the verge of information superhighways and 500-channel televisions, there is little prospect of speech being stifled.

Faulty Premise #2: “Fairness” or “fair access” is best determined by FCC authorities.

Reality: FCC bureaucrats can neither determine what is “fair” nor enforce it.

The second fallacy upon which the doctrine rests concerns the idea of “fairness” itself. As defined by proponents of the doctrine, “fairness” apparently means that each broadcaster must offer air time to anyone with a controversial view. Since it is impossible for every station to be monitored constantly, FCC regulators would arbitrarily determine what “fair access” is, and who is entitled to it, through selective enforcement. This, of course, puts immense power into the hands of federal regulators. And in fact, the fairness doctrine was used by both the Kennedy and Nixon Administrations to limit political opposition. Telecommunications scholar Thomas W. Hazlett notes that under the Nixon Administration, “License harassment of stations considered unfriendly to the Administration became a regular item on the agenda at White House policy meetings.” (Thomas W. Hazlett, “The Fairness Doctrine and the First Amendment,” The Public interest, Summer 1989, p. 105.) As one former Kennedy Administration official, Bill Ruder, has said, “We had a massive strategy to use the fairness doctrine to challenge and harass the right-wing broadcasters, and hope the challenge would be so costly to them that they would be inhibited and decide it was too expensive to continue.” (Tony Snow, “Return of the Fairness Demon,” The Washington Times, September 5, 1993, p. B3.)

Faulty Premise #3: The fairness doctrine guarantees that more opinions will be aired.

Reality: Arbitrary enforcement of the fairness doctrine will diminish vigorous debate.

Of all arguments for the reinstitution of the fairness doctrine, the most inaccurate and insidious is that it will permit a greater diversity of opinion to be heard. By requiring, under threat of arbitrary legal penalty, that broadcasters “fairly” represent both sides of a given issue, advocates of the doctrine believe that more views will be aired while the editorial content of the station can remain unaltered. But with the threat of potential FCC retaliation for perceived lack of compliance, most broadcasters would be more reluctant to air their own opinions because it might require them to air alternative perspectives that their audience does not want to hear.

Thus, the result of the fairness doctrine in many cases would be to stifle the growth of disseminating views and, in effect, make free speech less free. This is exactly what led the FCC to repeal the rule in 1987. FCC officials found that the doctrine “had the net effect of reducing, rather than enhancing, the discussion of controversial h of public importance,” and therefore was in violation of constitutional principles. (“FCC Ends Enforcement of Fairness Doctrine,” Federal Communications Commission News, Report No. MM-263, August 4, 1987.) Even liberal New York Governor Mario Cuomo has argued that, “Precisely because radio and TV have become our principal sources of news and information, we should accord broadcasters the utmost freedom in order to insure a truly free press.” (Mario Cuomo, “The Unfairness Doctrine,” The New York Times, September 20, 1993, p. A19.)……

Here is a classic example of the debate in the 80’s:

 

Verizon Suing the FCC-Right On!

Big Government has this GREAT story, makes me happy to be a Verizon customer:

Verizon Communications has become the first of what many expect to be many, to sue the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to undo its voting themselves Internet Overlords on December 21st.

This is an FCC self-inflicted wound; they flung wide open the door to lawsuits aplenty with their dictatorial vote – and the sloppy, self-contradicting and unauthorized order on which they voted.

The FCC decided to again usurp authority over the Internet – so as to then impose Network Neutrality – in a manner similar to the one it attempted in 2007 with the Comcast-BitTorrent situation.

A manner which the D.C. Circuit Court last April unanimously said the FCC is not statutorily authorized to execute.

A manner which FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski himself – just two months before calling for the vote and casting an “Aye” – readily acknowledges he and the FCC don’t have the juice to execute.

For their outrageously outsized part – completely unqualified “Public Interest” Group (PIG) Free Press was cited in the FCC order a ridiculous 53 times – the Media Marxists were livid with the order, somehow asserting that the FCC didn’t go nearly far enough outside its clearly demarcated legal bounds.

Leftists, after all, never allow facts to get in the way of a good beating.

And these PIGish Media Marxists were caught utterly unawares by Verizon’s lawsuit, which (as an admitted non-attorney) I find to be some of the best lawyering we’re likely to see for quite some time.

In layman’s terms, Verizon claims in their suit that the FCC order alters wireless licenses (which it certainly appears to do).  A clause in the 1996 Telecommunications Act stipulates that if the FCC alters someone’s wireless license and that someone sues, they are guaranteed an expedited hearing in – the D.C. Circuit.

…(read more)…