Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Free Speech About To Get More Expensive

Obama and his fellow liberal fascists are constantly harping on a news and opinion "level playing field." That means one tilted to the far left. But there are a few holdouts, most notably talk radio, Fox News Channel, and the people's forum--the internet. The new Obama Novelty Czar (his official title is "policy adviser for innovation"), Ben Scott, has some innovative ideas, all right.

At least they're fairly innovative for America. Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union used them for decades. Scott and his good buddy card-carrying Marxist Robert W. McChesney have recently teamed up to write articles in the far left magazine Tikkun. Their thesis is simple. We must have "net neutrality." That is leftist Newspeak for quashing speech and silencing the opposition. Scott's very first recommendation to Barack Obama: "Increase government spending for public and community broadcasting." He must be angling for the future position of Minister of Propaganda.

I never lose my astonishment at how very good the left is at couching its fascist agenda in touchy-feely terms that it would be hard to object to. "Net neutrality." Now how could any fair-minded patriot not want that? No government intrusion, the market free to operate, and citizens free to express unpopular and even anti-government opinions without being hounded by government agents or censorship. But like nearly all leftists slogans, "net neutrality" means exactly the opposite of neutrality. In fact, it means highly-partisan left wing Democratic messages being foisted on and paid for by the taxpayers while freedom of speech is left to its own devices.

"Now wait," they say. The government has a duty to protect its citizens from offensive speech and "inform the people of the truth." It must do so to counter the evil media moguls (that's the attack word for this century that replaces the nineteenth century "robber barons"). Tikkun and its far left editor Rabbi Michael Lerner hate Israel, despise the freedoms of America, and will do anything to unravel the entire course of western civilization in their pursuit of government control of every facet of our lives. Czar Ben vigorously supports those positions, and is determined to get the government to pay for messages to counter those media moguls (and all those not-so-mogulish individuals who dare to differ on the internet).

Says Czar Ben: "Whatever issue tops your list of priorities, real progress will be impossible unless we first change our media system. Currently, access to communications and control over media content are vested in the hands of corporate titans. Yes, indeed folks, Andrew and I are fat cat corporate titans, spending freely of our millions to publish this blog, along with hundreds of thousands of other corporate titans of the internet. You see, unlike the MSM, which is totally neutral, the net is controlled by greedy, rich, right-wing media moguls like us.

And that means the net must quickly be brought into line so that neutral people like Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Van Jones and their ilk can counter us billionaire publishers of non-conforming opinion. After all, we are rich and the government is poor, so they must get the rich taxpayers to pay for the truth to offset the gazillions we spend on our daily blogs and opinion sites.

Czar Ben intends to leave no field unleveled, so while he's neutering (oops, I mean "neutralizing") the internet, he figures he must also guarantee that the presently- compliant MSM doesn't stray. Here's the agenda:

1. "Restore the original mission" of the Federal Communications Commission as a guardian of the public interest. And as we all know, the government's interest is the public's interest.

2. Support ownership limits and public oversight to foster (here it comes) more diverse, competitive, and local ownership of radio, TV and cable channels. Again, as well all know, the best promoter of genuine competition is the federal government. And nobody promotes diversity (aka "disunity") better than the Democrats.

3. QUINTUPLE the federal funding for public and community broadcasting, at least. And let us not forget "earmarking money for children's and public affairs programming." And lest the playing field not be level enough, what the taxpayers don't pay for will be paid for by "fees paid by commercial licensees to the public airways." I'm not sure if the media mogul commercial licensees will pay their fees before or after taxes.

4. Ban all advertising on broadcast and cable TV programs where over 33% of the viewers are under the age of 12. This is accompanied by the inevitable "this is similar to rules in many European nations." Well, if they'll call Michelle Obama food-fascism "advertising" and ban it as well, I'll go for it. Of course, if there's no advertising, the gummint and the taxpayers will pay for 100% of children's programming, and I suspect I know where that will lead. "Obama, mmmm, mmmm, mmmm."

5. Establish "Network Neutrality" rules that guarantee free speech and a free market on the Internet by prohibiting discrimination, manipulation and interference by network owners like Comcast or AT&T. I'm still trying to digest this one. Have Comcast and AT&T been conspiring to control speech? If so, I haven't heard about it. They'll take almost anything from almost anybody so long as it's paid for, not obscene, or a clear and present danger. And even a few of those have slipped through. If they actually mean the ISPs, I know for a fact that the entire ownership and management of Google is extremely liberal, yet they own Blogger, and we haven't had a single comment edited or censored--yet.

6. Restore competition to the market in high-speed Internet access to break the hold of the cable-telephone duopoly of the nation's broadband infrastructure. Well, I'd like to see some of that myself. But Government Motors and Government Banks don't need to be joined by Government Internet. This sounds a lot like "increasing competition in the health care market" by destroying the ability of anybody to compete with the government. We had to kill the patient to save him.

7. Authorize the license of more noncommercial, low-power FM radio stations in communities nationwide. Communities? What communities? The Amish community? The homeless community? The children's community? The Obama-organized community? What the hell does this mean? Best guess--government propaganda paid for by the ultraliberal "foundations" most of which have gone completely off the rails from their original missions.

8. Establish antitrust divisions for the FCC and open antitrust investigations into vertically-integrated media companies that control production and distribution through anti-competitive policies. Don't we already have the Sherman Antitrust Act to take care of that?

Now lest you think I'm reading socialist philosophy into the entire Obama-Czar Ben agenda, consider this. In their joint articles, Czar Ben and the aforesaid Robert W. McChesney have laid out their plan, so don't take my word for it. Czar Ben authored The Future of Media, which was both edited and praised by McChesney. McChesney is also a professor at the University of Illinois (friendly with Bill Ayers?), and the former editor of, no kidding, the Marxist Monthly Review.

In February, Czar Ben and McChesney laid out their joint plan: "In the end, there is no real answer but to remove brick-by-brick the capitalist system itself, rebuilding the entire society on socialist principles." Now I realize I took my logic courses back in the 60s, but I'm afraid I just can't figure out how destroying the capitalist system encourages competition.


Joel Farnham said...


Now is the time to befriend a website guru, just in case. There are a few out there. They are insular, reactionary, iconoclastic, and grumpy. In short, they are loners. Best typified by the two computer geeks(I am not talking about the kids) in WarGames and Jamie Harrold in The Score.

Their interests are more in hacking and getting around barriers because the barriers are there.

Oh, and it is easier said than done about Net Neutrality. The internet would have to go through a radical redesign for it to be totally contolled.

Iran accomplished it because they had relatively few choke points, and still they have problems with news that they don't want to get out. The US network isn't as constrained.

Do you know that each and every computer with a hard drive and a modem can be converted into a website overnight? It could be done with out you knowing it. :-) Your speed would be slowed down, but you could easily chalk that up to age of the computer, or a virus that you can't seem to get rid of.

Net Neutrality will mean slower downloads, which screws up Video for kids and hackers who won't put up with it long. That in turn showers the Progressives/Democrats with sulfur-smelling month-old eggs.

This administration doesn't know who they are dealing with anymore. They think that the peons will accept their graciousness with the scraps they toss from the piled high tables. When the reality is they are 7 year-olds with sharp sticks poking a half-starved tiger whose tail is slowly lashing about.

Joel Farnham said...


I screwed up and didn't realize you were the author of this fine piece.

One more thing, the Internet grew like a kudzu vine. The difference is most people don't want to control it like these liberal idiots do.

Unknown said...

Joel: This administration frequently doesn't have a clue as to what it's doing, how to do it, and the unintended consequences of their actions. They take their orders from the socialist handbook, and that's it. There can be no deviation, and facts, technical impossibilities, and practical reality have nothing to do with it. If the socialist handbook says that regulating the net must be done, then it must be done, regardless of facts and science. Remember, socialism is a secular religion--you just have to take it on faith despite all evidence to the contrary.

T_Rav said...

Oh, boy. Good to know the government will soon take up the responsibility of informing us of the truth. I can't wait until us evil liars all get sent to a re-education camp, I mean center.

Unknown said...

Joel: No problem. You're right. The internet is like Topsy--it just growed. And there is a new generation of rebel hackers out there just waiting for the gummint to try to regulate them.

Unknown said...

T_Rav: Isn't it comforting that we soon won't have to worry about things like facts? The gummint will tell us everything we need to know, and in the correct way. Their motto: "Who are you going to believe--us or your lying eyes?" And if we don't agree, they will have three hots and a cot waiting for us at the re-ed centers.

AndrewPrice said...

But Joel, Net Neutrality is a brave new world that's intended to stop big evil companies from slowing down downloads. . . yeah, right. That's all it is now, but give it a couple weeks and all the usual suspects will start clamoring to stop people who hurt children or promote things that are bad for us, and so on.

But like you, I do think there will be major problems with them implementing something like net neutrality because the internet isn't designed to be controlled the way the Democrats think it can. The technical challenge is enormous -- look at their inability to even stop spam.

And the irony of trying to control something like the interest is that it will only anger the very people who have the power to disrupt and destroy the controls they are trying to put into place.

Look at what happened with Wikileaks, where tens of thousands of people around the world banded together and took down several corporate websites in protest. There are programs you can buy now that let you network together thousands of computers into denial of service attacks and worse. Plus, the guys who know what they are doing have shown time and again that they are capable of many very bad things. Imagine if they decide in protest to simply create a virus (very easy) that destroys the operating systems of computers. So far, hackers haven't done that because they're more interested in stealing data or playing around. But what happens when the government pushes them too far? How happy would the world be if every couple days a million computers get destroyed and their data lost?

The government needs to be very careful about trying to throw it's weigh around the internet, because the internet has the power to push back.

Tennessee Jed said...

my hope is, at least, the House will be able to limit funding of this takeover. Perhaps some hearings as well.

Unknown said...

Andrew: Your final sentence nicely sums up the real problem for the government trying to rein in the internet. The net has millions of adherents, and a lot of computer whizzes who are much smarter than the government employees. This will not end well for the government if it tries this suppression. We are not a compliant people like the Chinese, and providers like Yahoo and AOL had better remember that fact.

Unknown said...

Tennessee: That would certainly help, if Obama and his gang of bureaucrats don't figure out how to use the FCC by circumventing Congress. This end-run strategy is going to be one of the major battles of the next two years.

Tehachapi Tom said...

I feel that our republic is in danger. The real danger is not bo. The fact that bo is incapable and is just one fool makes our Republic surviving him a not a major problem.

However the multiple of the fools who elected him in the first place the danger. If this multitude of free loaders does not see the light and gain some degree of understanding we are doomed.

The fairness doctrine or this Czar of media are just one small weed in the garden we have come to enjoy.

It is just mind boggling that all of these appointees bo has made are inexperienced fools just like their leader.

I suspect the only way this will get turned around is in the same manner a drug addict gets turned around. The present must get so bade that a major change in mind set and total surrender that it can not continue or we die.

Thomas Jefferson was probably more insightful than we really realize when he stated that the tree of freedom needs watering from time to time with the blood of patriots.

I hope this does not become the only way back up to a proper Republic.

Unknown said...

Tehachapi Tom: The control of the internet is a fool's errand that Obama is likely to pursue anyway. Radicals who know their history, know that for a government to have complete control, it must control all information received by its people. Then, any lie works. Part of Obama's electoral success was the near-complete (and free) assistance of the MSM. That is why the internet is so important to them. But this time they're going to bite off more than they can chew. The internet is not as easily manipulated as the New York Times. But having your own people passing on propaganda at the taxpayers' expense is still a dangerous concept.

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