They Call It Net Neutrality

Posted by Tina

You can count on it like you can count on death and taxes. Radical leftists always hide their true intentions behind some innocuous sounding word like “fair” or “equal”. This time the word they’ve chosen is “neutrality” and their target is the internet. Behind this first regulatory step is a plan that calls for the eventual government usurpation of all forms of media communication. John Fund, writing for the Wall Street Journal, has the background story. Clearly there is nothing “neutral” about what these folks have in mind:

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.

President Obama promised to transform the United States of America. He is certainly on track with his plans. This move is one among many others that is part of the Democrat desire to control the political message in the next election and for-ever. Another is a plan to shut down conservative talk radio. Al Sharpton has been talking with the radicals at the FCC to create hearings and compell Rush Limbaugh to testify. Read about that effort in The American Spectator

If you care about the Constitutionally guaranteed right of free speech and a free press you will pay close attention to the maneuverings of the radical left to transform the media over the next couple of years. We need to learn everything we can about the web of players behind the FCC’s new rules as well as other schemes to control political speech. We should also be aware of the nice sounding words they use to describe these power grabs.

They now have their foot in the door…it will be up to the new Congress to kick them back to the curb! They won’t do that without support (and constant nagging) from we the people.

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10 Responses to They Call It Net Neutrality

  1. Quentin Colgan says:

    Wow! Tina!
    Terrific report!
    Uhm, can you tell us anything at all about what net neutrality would do for the average American?
    I mean, do you have any–oh, I don’t know–facts?

  2. Chris says:

    I’m kind of with Quentin on this one. Most people don’t know a whole lot about what net neutrality means, and this article does nothing to help. Instead of talking about the merits or lack thereof of the policy, it just makes ad hom attacks and associates the phrase “net neutrality” with some shadowy Marxist figure. If you’re trying to give your audience a Pavlovian, knee-jerk fear response, then this article is probably quite effective at that. Unfortunately we already have too much of that in our public discourse, and not enough factually accurate and informative reporting.

  3. Tina says:

    WOW! Quentin!

    Terrific comment!!!

    Before I respond to your question would you, pretty please, make a comment on the following statement, which exemplifies the essence of this post:

    “At the moment, the battle over network neutrality is not to completely eliminate the telephone and cable companies…but the ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control.”

    If not I won’t bother to indulge your typically thin veiled ridicule disguised as a question.

    Oh and for the record, Mr. Fund is a well respected journalist who absolutely does his homework!

    FACT:

    Mr. Genachowski’s press secretary at the FCC, Jen Howard, used to handle media relations at Free Press.

    FACT:

    The FCC’s chief diversity officer, Mark Lloyd, co-authored a Free Press report calling for regulation of political talk radio.

  4. Quentin Colgan says:

    Terrific facts!
    Do they have anything, anything at all to do with “net neutrality?” Does that have anything at all to do with his views on the internet? I am not stupid enough to infer how someone might think based upon the job someone who works for them now used to do. Are you? Oh wait . . .
    I will answer your question.
    “get rid of the media capitalists.” Is rightwing codespeak to monger fear of socialism.
    “Capitalists” is what the right wing calls corporatists–those who put the corporation above all–including the right of others to live.
    I am all for getting rid of media corporatists.
    I am not at all oppposed to getting rid of media capitalists.
    I answered your question.
    Can you pretty please give your readers some facts about net neutrality?

  5. Tina says:

    Chris: “Most people don’t know a whole lot about what net neutrality means, and this article does nothing to help.”

    That’s true…but is it necessary for now? What I suggest is that this administration and Democrats need to be watched because of their true intentions. Obama telling “Joe the Plumber” that he thought spreading the wealth around was a good thing was a slip…something he wouldn’t have said in prepared remarks. It revealed his true Marxist opinion and belief about other peoples property…that their money (property) is governments “right” to take it and use as it sees fit. This is a similar warning about what the FCC might be up to in writing these regulations in defiance of a court ruling and in ignoring the legisaltive branch.

    “Instead of talking about the merits or lack thereof of the policy, it just makes ad hom attacks…”

    Chris I agree there is an abundance of ad hominem attack.

    There is also an abundance of information that remains in the background unless it is brought forward as John Fund has, and then shared by word of mouth. Here at PS I often engage in word of mouth posting.

    “…and associates the phrase “net neutrality” with some shadowy Marxist figure.”

    The man in question, Robert McChesney, is hardly a “shadowy” figure. Two people who worked with him at the Free Press now work at the FCC under Genachowsky.

    I emphasized the word neutrality in the headline…perhaps it would have been better had I left the word “net” out of it.

    Once the actual content of the regulations have been made public I’m sure we will revisit the concept of net neutrality, it’s pros and cons and what the regulations might mean for all of us. Right now this is a little like health care legislation…they’ve voted on it but we haven’t yet seen what is in it.

  6. Quentin Colgan says:

    Here is some word of mouth for you:

    Although Chairman Genachowski’s draft Order has not been made public, early reports make clear that it falls far short of protecting net neutrality.
    For many Americans — particularly those who live in rural areas — the future of the Internet lies in mobile services. But the draft Order would effectively permit Internet providers to block lawful content, applications, and devices on mobile Internet connections.
    Mobile networks like AT&T and Verizon Wireless would be able to shut off your access to content or applications for any reason. For instance, Verizon could prevent you from accessing Google Maps on your phone, forcing you to use their own mapping program, Verizon Navigator, even if it costs money to use and isn’t nearly as good. Or a mobile provider with a political agenda could prevent you from downloading an app that connects you with the Obama campaign (or, for that matter, a TEA PARTY group in your area).
    It gets worse. The FCC has never before explicitly allowed discrimination on the Internet — but the draft Order takes a step backwards, merely stating that so-called “paid prioritization” (the creation of a “fast lane” for big corporations who can afford to pay for it) is cause for concern.
    the draft Order would have the effect of actually relaxing restrictions on this kind of discrimination.

    What’s more, even the protections that are established in the draft Order would be weak because it defines “broadband Internet access service” too narrowly, making it easy for powerful corporations to get around the rules.

    Here’s what’s most troubling of all. Chairman Genachowski and President Obama — who nominated him — have argued convincingly that they support net neutrality.

    But grassroots supporters of net neutrality are beginning to wonder if we’ve been had. Instead of proposing regulations that would truly protect net neutrality, reports indicate that Chairman Genachowski has been calling the CEOs of major Internet corporations seeking their public endorsement of this draft proposal, which would destroy it.

    No chairman should be soliciting sign-off from the corporations that his agency is supposed to regulate — and no true advocate of a free and open Internet should be seeking the permission of large media conglomerates before issuing new rules.

    After all, just look at Comcast — this Internet monolith has reportedly imposed a new, recurring fee on Level 3 Communications, the company slated to be the primary online delivery provider for Netflix. That’s the same Netflix that represents Comcast’s biggest competition in video services.

    Imagine if Comcast customers couldn’t watch Netflix, but were limited only to Comcast’s Video On Demand service. Imagine if a cable news network could get its website to load faster on your computer than your favorite local political blog. Imagine if big corporations with their own agenda could decide who wins or loses online. The Internet as we know it would cease to exist.
    That’s why net neutrality is the most important free speech issue of our time.

  7. Tina says:

    Q: “Do they have anything, anything at all to do with “net neutrality?”

    The point is they might. Do you object to questioning the possible motives of those who have the power to limit our freedom and take our property? Do you think it unwise to keep an eye on those same people?

    “Does that have anything at all to do with his views on the internet? I am not stupid enough to infer how someone might think based upon the job someone who works for them now used to do.”

    See above. I think it is wise and indeed my respobnsibility to question the motives of those who have the power to take my property and limit my freedom. You see it never ends with one persons freedom…it grows into even YOUR freedom. You apparently don’t believe that the laws we have against corporate monopoly, for instance, are sufficient in this case to protect you from corporations…I’m not sure that is the case. I think government has proven to overstep in the past century much more often than it has failed to protect. We have too many laws and regulations and they are redundant and at cross purposes and almost impossible to meet or understand.

    Net neutrality as a concept or ideal is a great thing. Government management of the same will prove to be an entirely different animal.

    “‘get rid of the media capitalists.’ Is rightwing codespeak to monger fear of socialism.”

    Who suggested getting rid of media capitalists? Or corporatists for that matter? I think you must be addressing your own agenda, indignations, or fears!

    As for fear of socialism you’re worries can end dear boy. It isn’t fear. It is indignation! Socialism is not consistent with the Constitution. Freedom and property rights are a couple of pillars I don’t want to see destroyed (further) and in fact would like to reverse or phase out many of the unsustainable socialist programs we have foolishly adopted.

    “Can you pretty please give your readers some facts about net neutrality?”

    I don’t have a lot of time now and as I wrote (to Chris) the particulars of the new regulations have not yet been released. But I will offer a few links and a quick definition…just for YOU.

    Net neutrality is the principle that data packets on the Internet should be moved impartially, without regard to content, destination or source. Net neutrality is sometimes referred to as the “First Amendment of the Internet.”

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2374638,00.asp

    The basic news is that the Federal Communications Commission approved net neutrality rules yesterday and those rules give the commission the authority to step into disputes about how Internet service providers are managing their networks or initiate their own investigations if they think ISPs are violating its rules. ** One important thing to note is that the FCC hasn’t actually released the full text of its net neutrality rules yet. The Republican commissioners voted against the plan yesterday, and according to FCC procedures, the commission must respond to any dissent before releasing its rules.

    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/12/chairman-genachowski-s-next-net-neutrality

    http://research.lawyers.com/blogs/archives/10346-What-is-Net-Neutrality.html

    The controversy will be around for awhile so I’m sure we will revisit this subject on Post Scripts. In the mean time, anyone who is interested can google “net neutrality” and research it for themselves…our readers are smart, Quentin, and interested or they wouldn’t be reading Post Scripts!

  8. Tina says:

    Q…thanks for the FABULOUS “word of mouth” post. I’ll post it here for now. If I have time tomorrow I’ll put it on the front page…or maybe Jack will.

    We still won’t necessarily know what the FCC has wrought for a few days.

    Now…I gotta catch some zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  9. Chris says:

    Tina: “What I suggest is that this administration and Democrats need to be watched because of their true intentions. Obama telling “Joe the Plumber” that he thought spreading the wealth around was a good thing was a slip…something he wouldn’t have said in prepared remarks. It revealed his true Marxist opinion and belief about other peoples property…that their money (property) is governments “right” to take it and use as it sees fit.”

    Tina, wealth is spread around in every economy, from the most socialist one to the most libertarian. Taxation by definition involves a transfer of wealth from the taxpayers to some kind of government project. Money has to spread through a system in order for an economy to thrive, otherwise it becomes stagnant. Saying that we should spread the wealth around is not a “Marxist” opinion, and the use of such aggressive and inaccurate terminology by the right wing is playing a big role in the dumbing down of American public discourse.

    “Do you object to questioning the possible motives of those who have the power to limit our freedom and take our property?”

    But HOW is net neutrality going to “limit our freedom and take our property?” It is wise to keep an eye on those in power. But it is unwise to make implied accusations against them unless you have evidence to back the accusations up.

    Quentin, thanks for the info. Interestingly enough, there has already been a case of Apple blocking a conservative application. The app allows users to sign their names to an anti-gay marriage petition called the Manhattan Declaration. Apple decided that the app was discriminatory, and chose not to allow access to it on iPhones, iPads and other devices. With net neutrality, Apple would not be able to do this.

    http://familyscholars.org/2010/12/20/on-apples-decision-to-refuse-the-manhattan-declaration-app/

    Should they be allowed to? That is an interesting question, and a complicated one at that. As a private business, Apple can allow or disallow any program it wants. But as an increasingly important tool of communication, perhaps Apple products should be regulated to ensure that people have access to the same modes of information and communication.

  10. Tina says:

    Chris: “Saying that we should spread the wealth around is not a “Marxist” opinion…”

    That depends. When Obama says it ti does mean an ideology based on from each according to his means to each according to his need. he has said as much on other occasions. He does believe it is governments JOB to take from producers and distribute it to others.

    This is the fundamental argument that divides America. Our country was founded on the principles of freedom and private property. It was not founded on the principle of redistribution and central control. Obama, a leftist, is in favor of redistribution and central planning…Marxist to the core! He is restrained only by the Constitution and the checks and balances of Congress and the courts.

    “Money has to spread through a system in order for an economy to thrive, otherwise it becomes stagnant.”

    There is a very big difference between government spreading your wealth around and you spreading it around yourself. Given what we are currently going through with debt for future generations spiking swiftly to incredible never before seen heights I would think this would be a painfully clear.

    “and the use of such aggressive and inaccurate terminology by the right wing is playing a big role in the dumbing down of American public discourse.”

    Those of us old enough to have noticed the Marxist drift that has occurred over the past sixty years realize that it’s well passed time to sound off. It’s important to define things as they are. What we have now in the Democrat Party is a group of people who believe in the Marxist model and will move in that direction every chance they get.

    “But HOW is net neutrality going to ‘limit our freedom and take our property?'”

    I didn’t say net neutrality would limit our freedom and take our property…I said the FCC, run by an Obama appointee with Marxist views is worth watching because, “there is nothing “neutral” about what these folks have in mind”. I said that based on statements he and others in this administration and the Democrat Party are saying.

    “is unwise to make implied accusations against them unless you have evidence to back the accusations up.”

    I did not make an “implied accusation”. I asserted that Marxist views might be driving the FCC and the evidence I gave to support was a direct quote from a man that by close association has direct influence at the FCC. I also offer as evidence for caution the ideology that inspires the President as being similar in nature.

    “Apple decided that the app was discriminatory, and chose not to allow access to it on iPhones, iPads and other devices.”

    Now why would Apple do that? Think about this carefully! Could it be they fear discrimination lawsuits and being brought before Congress for one of their infamous show trials?

    I think we can all agree that net neutrality as a concept is a very good thing. I’m certainly not interested in government (FCC) stupidly regulating the internet and interfering in ways that cause monopolies or the stifling of speech and innovation. Which is why the FCC has no business writing regulations. If they are to be written at all it should be in the legislative branch where the checks and balances of representative government have a chance at constructing sensible regulation that protects consumers and keep competition open and transparent in business. (Hopefully the process in the new Congress will not be modeled after the unscrupulous methods used by Pelosi and Reid)

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