By Bob Bennett
In these uncertain times, one thing is certain: When the Obama Administration does something, you can be dead sure it’ll be bad for America, coercive and restrictive of freedom. And it’ll be underpinned with lies and misdirection.
You don’t have to spend months trying out whatever system they come up with, seeing how it works. I could use lots of space giving example after example, but just think Obamacare: an $834 million website built without a payment function. Is there a website on the planet costing that much? Millions were forced into the plan when their policies were cancelled, after years of lies promising that would not happen, period.
So do you really think the FCC takeover of the Internet will be beneficial? Do we have to test drive it to know it’s a lemon—or more accurately, a pineapple shoved where the sun don’t shine?
Of course, the purpose is to regulate content; do I even have to tell you? The new rules will regulate the Internet, in part under Title II of the Communications Act—so says the official Fact Sheet. It is declared that certain sections of the Title will apply; but what can the FCC not do?
“Congress requires the FCC to refrain from enforcing—forbear from—provisions of the Communications Act that are not in the public interest.”
Who do you suppose decides what’s in the public interest?
It’s notable that section 223 is not among those that will apply, according to the Fact Sheet; but it could be applied later, if it’s deemed in the public interest. Section 223 deals with content; here’s an excerpt:
“(a) Prohibited acts generally
(1) in interstate or foreign communications—
(A) by means of a telecommunications device knowingly—
(i) makes, creates, or solicits, and
(ii) initiates the transmission of, any comment, request, suggestion, proposal, image, or other communication which is obscene or child pornography, with intent to abuse, threaten, or harass another person;
(C) makes a telephone call or utilizes a telecommunications device, whether or not conversation or communication ensues, without disclosing his identity and with intent to abuse, threaten, or harass any specific person;
shall be fined in accordance with title 18 or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.”
If you have any doubt that this could be construed to suppress criticism of government, of any public figure or of Islam, [email protected], “a volunteer organization founded in 1997 to fight online harassment…” cites section C as a “Cyberstalking law.” In addition, I think A(ii) could be stretched by a zealous government to chill online commentary that might “offend.” And we have such a zealous government.
Kleinonlinecom believes we can see where the FCC is going by examining the people driving the movement:
“Mark Lloyd, who was the agency’s diversity officer until 2012… has been a principle advocate of Net Neutrality.
“Lloyd was also a senior fellow at the heavily influential Center for American Progress, or CAP, and served as a consultant to George Soros’ Open Society Institute.
Lloyd co-authored a 2007 CAP study titled ‘The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio.’
“The 40-page report … recommended radio station ‘ownership diversity,’ citing data claiming stations ‘owned by women, minorities, or local owners are statistically less likely to air conservative hosts or shows.’
“Lloyd called for new ‘ownership rules that we think will create greater local diversity of programming, news, and commentary.’”
Discoverthenetworks.org makes these points about Mr. Lloyd:
- Suggests that private broadcasters should pay an annual licensing fee in an amount equivalent to their total yearly operating costs; that money, in turn, should be redistributed to public broadcasting stations.
- Opposes virtually any private ownership of media
- Disciple of Saul Alinsky’s tactics for revolutionary social change
- Greatly admires Venezuela’s Marxist [former] President, Hugo Chavez
DTN notes that Lloyd co-authored a report, which stated:
“Because ‘91 percent of the total weekday talk radio programming is conservative, and 9 percent is progressive,’ the stations and networks that air such shows are failing to abide by Section 315 of the Communications Act of 1934…”
Kleinonline also says:
“Another Net Neutrality proponent has been Obama’s long-time “Internet czar,” Susan P. Crawford. She has been associated with a controversial, Marxist-led outfit calling itself Free Press, which advocates for more government control of the Internet.” Free Press co-commissioned Lloyd’s report, excerpted above. The founder of Free Press, Klein states, is “Robert W. McChesney, … an avowed Marxist who has recommended capitalism be dismantled.”
Another Obama associate, Cass Sunstein, has also opined about the Internet, particularly on the subject of what he called “false rumors.” Klein reports that in a 2009 book, “On Rumors,” “Sunstein argued websites should be obliged to remove ‘false rumors’ while libel laws should be altered to make it easier to sue for spreading such ’rumors.’”
Klein says the book categorized among “absurd” and “hateful” statements the assertion of an association between Barack Obama and William Ayers.
Sunstein also wrote in a paper that the government should ban “conspiracy theorizing,” such as “advocating that the theory of global warming is a deliberate fraud.”
Just as we can be certain Obama initiatives will be inimical to freedom, we can be certain that the Republicans we elected to rein in Obama will allow him to achieve his ends. In fact, they will help him achieve those ends. If we let them.
I don’t claim any special insight; I’m not a savant for knowing the true intent of this Internet takeover—you knew it too. You also know the Internet is a powerful instrument of freedom, where you can organize, speak out and learn what your government is doing to America. God knows, we have no press.
Yes, there is a caveat: you must verify reports, sift out untrue rumors. But the Internet is essential to preserve what’s left of our freedoms and to monitor the plans of America’s enemies, without and within.
Therefore, you must fight to keep the FCC’s hands off it. You have a phone and an e-mail account; Congress can still be made to fear us.
Bob Bennett is a New York-based writer who has written op-eds for the Wall Street Journal and the NY Post, and has appeared on Fox and Friends and America’s Newsroom. He has traveled widely and written travel pieces for the NY Post, a cover article for the Jewish Press, and an op-ed for the medical journal Cancer Biotherapy & Radioimmunotherapy. Bob was also award-winning producer of a travel radio show heard on New York stations: WMCA, WNWK and 50,000 watt WOR and the national Sky Angel Network. He now blogs on Tea Party Nation, Tea Party Community and Red State Diaries.