The FCC heads toward full control of the internet [Reader Post]


When he took office, Barack Obama began installing whacko after whacko in important positions. One such move was to make Julius Genachowski Chairman of the FCC. Genachowski was a fundraiser for Barack Obama in the 2008 campaign. His latest actions appears to be one more effort by the Obama adminstration to bypass Congress and rule by executive fiat.

It also smells funny.

The more I read about it the more I hear in my head

“I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

The story in a nutshell is that Genachowski wants to take all the innovations and work done by a few in developing the internet and let everyone profit equally from them.

Yet I do not believe for one second that that is the only goal. Some of us believe that it is this adminstration’s goal is Federal control of the internet.

Genachowski recently unveiled a revised draft of his 2009 Net neutrality proposal that would put the Internet under a New Deal-era communications bureaucracy. Under the guise of protecting consumers from being forced to pay for varying levels of delivery access and speed, Genachowski proposes to drag the Internet under the same regulatory authority that puts the FCC in charge of radio, telephone and television broadcasting.

Genachowski see himself as a cop:

Genachowski said his proposal will make the FCC “the cop on the beat” ­bringing justice and fairness to the Internet on behalf of consumers. The cop is needed, he said, because too often service providers have “prevented consumers from using the applications of their choice. The framework is designed to guard against these risks while protecting the needs and interests of providers.” In other words, Genachowski is from the government and he is here to help us.

Justice and fairness. I hate it when I hear those words from anyone in this adminstration because it inevitably means taking fruits of labor from some and giving them to others.

Redistribution. (That ring a bell?)

This FCC vote would ostensibly give the FCC the power to regulate the internet except for a small detail:

In fact, Genachowski does not have the authority to regulate the Internet. Making his agency the cop on the digital beat would be like sending a Department of Agriculture meat inspector to arrest a college admissions director for charging out-of-state students more than those who live in the state.

In April, a U.S. appeals court ruled that in the absence of explicit congressional authorization, the FCC currently lacks authority to impose a Net ­neutrality requirement on Comcast, one of the largest service providers. Worse for Genachowski, a bill drafted by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, and designed to give that authority to the FCC never made it out of the panel this year.

One does wonder if anyone in Congress is going to take notice that.

The American Consumer Institute released a report concluding that net neutrality would discourage innovation and investment. This is akin to allowing someone to spend a fortune obtaining a patent and then forcing that person to equally share the royalties with everyone.

In a article for The Street, Anton Wahlman makes an interesting argument against net neutrality:

Indeed, why limit the net neutrality legislation to broadband networks? Shouldn’t all products and services in society benefit from the egalitarian principle of nobody being able to purchase a preferred service or product? Take an airline, for example. Let’s establish an air neutral policy of prohibiting business class and the practice of charging people based on supply and demand for seats. Each airline seat will have a fixed price and there will be no multiple classes of service. Air neutrality will prevail in the same nirvana as on the net utopia envisioned by the Federal Communications Commission.

What are the most important products in society? Food, shelter and clothing. Without them, we would die relatively soon. We can manage without broadband, air travel, and even health care in many cases over an entire lifetime. Let’s apply the net neutrality principle to food. Nobody should be able to buy “preferred” food of higher quality and better taste than anyone else. This dictates a government bureaucracy dispensing identical rations to all citizens. Think Mao’s Chinese cultural revolution and great leap, and 50 million dead.

The net neutrality principle applied to shelter? Equal apartments to all. Nobody should be able to pay for a better house than anyone else. That is, except for the political elite. Did you ever pay a visit to a Moscow suburb in the 1980s?

Robert McDowell, a Republican Commissioner on the FCC also opposes Net Neutrality regulation:

Nothing is broken and needs fixing, however. The Internet has been open and freedom-enhancing since it was spun off from a government research project in the early 1990s. Its nature as a diffuse and dynamic global network of networks defies top-down authority. Ample laws to protect consumers already exist. Furthermore, the Obama Justice Department and the European Commission both decided this year that net-neutrality regulation was unnecessary and might deter investment in next-generation Internet technology and infrastructure.

Analysts and broadband companies of all sizes have told the FCC that new rules are likely to have the perverse effect of inhibiting capital investment, deterring innovation, raising operating costs, and ultimately increasing consumer prices. Others maintain that the new rules will kill jobs. By moving forward with Internet rules anyway, the FCC is not living up to its promise of being “data driven” in its pursuit of mandates—i.e., listening to the needs of the market.

McDowell notes that in spite of being smacked down by the Courts and being opposed by Congress the FCC seems bent on continuing its goals.

And that is a gigantic red flag.

Then there’s another Copp(s) to deal with.

Michael Copps

Copps is the Democratic FCC commissioner today let it be know that he would not obstruct the new guidelines.

You need to know something about Copps:

( – Acting Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Copps says he doesn’t support bringing back the controversial Fairness Doctrine, but he does think government has a role in enforcing media “diversity.”

That role includes re-examining licensing and other regulations for radio stations — including AM stations dominated by talk radio — to make them “more reflective” of public interests.

Copps, chosen by President Barack Obama to be acting chairman until a permanent replacement is named, said that he thought the Fairness Doctrine – a policy that critics say amounts to censorship – was an old fight that “didn’t need to be rehashed.”

His denials remind one of the environmental groups. It’s not warming any more. It’s “climate change.”

It’s not the “Fairness Doctrine,” it’s “media diversity.”

The bottom line is that this is the beginning of full government regulation of the internet and it needs to be stopped ASAP. Hopefully the Republican House will take note that the FCC needs the approval of Congress to institute any of these regulations.

Regulation of the internet could come in real handy for a guy who once skirted the disclosure rules about campaign finance and who is running for re-election soon.

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Thank goodness for Windows.
If I am forced to look at garbage like Daily Kos or DemocratUnderground or any of those I can simply open a window, put it ”up” and then use other windows to view what I really want to spend my time reading.
Or am I missing something?
Only 1/2 tongue-in-cheek.

“Food, shelter and clothing”

I have many different providers to chose from when I want to buy those services. The same can not be said about Internet service. So how do you fix that?

Does anyone really have a problem with the way the Internet is today (i.e. with net neutrality in place)?

You guys hate the “old media.” You know, the media controlled by pointy head intellectuals and Hollywood Jews and Ivy League MBAs and social science majors.

The New Media is equality for all. Flopping Aces has the same potential to reach eyeballs as the New York Times. Zuckerberg started out as a college sophomore with no resources and grabbed a half billion pairs of eyeballs in 5 years.

Give Time Warner control over the Internet and you’re going to see Time Magazine and Warner Brothers again controlling the flow of information. It’ll start out innocuously enough — but, eventually, the people with the bandwidth are going to be the people with the $$$$$.

How do you think the old media got to be the old media? If pure unfettered capitalism was so darn great, then what do you suppose was the fatal flaw in market economics which allowed the entire old media, practically, to be “controlled” by Lib Dims?

You guys are gullible suckers. Give control to bandwidth to pure unfettered capitalism, and you’ll have the same result as you saw when pure, unfettered capitalism governed the rise to the top of the old media — newspapers, magazines, network television.

There’s one born every minute.


“In one slide, the companies proposed charging a Vodafone customer $0.02 per MB for using Facebook, three Euros to use Skype, and $0.50 monthly for a speed-limited version of YouTube.”

You really want this? Are you mad???

– Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach, CA

Larry Weisenthal, #3:

“You guys are gullible suckers. Give control of bandwidth to pure unfettered capitalism, and you’ll have the same result as you saw when pure, unfettered capitalism governed the rise to the top of the old media — newspapers, magazines, network television.

“There’s one born every minute.”

Evidence suggests that the rate might now be around two per minute.

A free market will apparently exist only when special interests have at last become free to totally dominate it.

Dear openid: No, “net neutrality” is not already in place. Right now it’s still legal for your ISP to charge you for the bandwidth you liberal wankers use watching streaming video p-o-r-n 24 hours per day. Being a prog, of course, you want the rest of us to pay for your perverted habits. No thanks.

Greg my dear: You speak of “free markets”. Would those be the ones where all aspects of the business are dictated by the federal government as they are with the telecommunication companies? I just love it how you progs scream, “The free market has failed – we need more government!” when your socialist schemes don’t work out. Liberalism truly is a mental illness.

I guess the FCC doesn’t like it that sites like this don’t carry the any of the liberal progressive message…Does that mean BB will have to start lying too? (Just when you thought you could find the trutht about something and the govt. goes and screws it up…hmm…there’s a message in there somewhere…)

Newspeak, all you will access is newspeak. And we say you will like

Solution dissolve the FCC … What use is it anymore? What did it ever do useful?

Should this go into effect, the folks at the FCC might want to keep their head on a swivel. Never know what might be coming their way.

You guys hate the “old media.” You know, the media controlled by pointy head faux intellectuals and Hollywood leftists , elitest Ivy League MBAs and control freak social science majors.

Tweaked it for you Delusional Larry to reflect reality.
Your true colors come out. We “peasants” hate our “betters” because they are “intellectuals” and part of the upper crust. Also because they are JOOOOS! You aren’t a liberal after all. You are a leftist bigot.
As for being suckers, that accusation might carry some weight if you weren’t such a mindless obama whore.

The not-so-underlying reason the left wants control of the internet…it has become the principle avenue of fact and truth for the American public. Unlike NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC and nearly all of the print media, the web is NOT under the thumb of and wholly populated by the democrat party and its decidedly Marxist minions. The first rule for the destruction of a free people–control the spread of information.

Speaking of the lamestream media, the tax bill that just passed continued their huge tax breaks that the Internet media don’t get:

Special Expensing Rules for Certain Film and Television Productions. The Act extends, from December 31, 2009, the special expensing rules for certain film and television producers to qualified television or film production costs beginning before 2012. The deduction is generally applicable to the first $15 million of qualified television or film production costs.


Well it’s official, they just adopted the rule by a 3/2 partisan vote.

The not-so-underlying reason the left wants control of the internet…it has become the principle avenue of fact and truth for the American public. Unlike NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC and nearly all of the print media, the web is NOT under the thumb of and wholly populated by the democrat party and its decidedly Marxist minions. The first rule for the destruction of a free people–control the spread of information.

I shake my head in bewilderment. The government doesn’t control the MSM. Distribution of the MSM is entirely capitalistic. Until the Internet came along, it wasn’t possible for average people like Curt to reach a mass audience. Because of net neutrality, the de facto position up to the present time (but a position which the corporations controlling the Internet infrastructure want to change), it’s been possible for average folks to reach a huge audience, in a marketplace where ideas and not just capital resources, reign supreme.

The reason the GOP is against net neutrality, is that the GOP, as always, is squarely on the side of corporate America, and corporate America wants the corporations which build and control the infrastructure to be able to control the flow of content.

What you guys want to see happen is for Corporate America to have the same control over Internet content as they have over print media and broadcast media and cable TV media. Maybe you think that cable TV is OK, because you’ve got Fox. But Fox is an outlier and wouldn’t exist as it does without an eccentric Australian billionaire. Were it not for Rupert Murdoch, you’d have nothing of consequence in the cable world, and you’d be limited to Talk Radio, which is, in any event, ecclipsed by NPR, listener-wise.

The Internet, as it exists today, is a beautiful thing. But the corporations want to change it. The net neutrality laws want to keep it open.

Right now, I can make a 10 minute video for youtube or an hour long video for vimeo and get my message out, if I’m clever enough to have a message which goes viral. Once net neutrality is gone, I’ve lost the chance to compete on the world stage to reach a mass market for my ideas.

Technology is advancing. The average person will be able to create amazing content in the future, but will lack the resources to pay the infrastructure providers to have the content reach a national audience. Infrastructure providers would also love to kill innovations like Skype (see my earlier comment in this thread, #3).

Government regulation is a bad thing when it is used to pick winners and losers, but it’s a good thing when it creates rules which apply equally to everyone, to create a level playing field for competition. Internet infrastructure providers who can’t make a buck in a net neutral world will be replaced by more innovative and efficient providers who can make money and provide a platform which is equally accessible by all and in which the audience will be determined by the quality of the content and not by the size of the bankroll which buys the bandwidth.

– Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach, CA

Bureaucrats making laws. Nothing new there. At last count, the Won now has 35 czars who are all bypassing Congress. Yes, my friends, Obumma has made the Judicial Watch list again(top 10) for sleaze and corruption. Back room dealing and his regulatory czars are his MO.

Reagan had 1 regulatory czar, that he brought in for the War On Drugs. He was investigated and approved by a non partisan Senate. I’m not saying that it worked, but at least he respected the political system and your Constitution.

Obama should be feeling real proud of himself about now. This year he’s managed to nationalize the health care industry, the food industry from the farmer to the supermarket, furthered the nationalization of the airline industry that Bush began, and now he’s taken over the Internet. I guess that’s why Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro love the guy so much.


Several points of contention with your posts.

The government doesn’t control the MSM. Distribution of the MSM is entirely capitalistic.

Hence, the reason that the MSM is failing to hold on to market shares they used to enjoy. The big tv news channels are losing out to those people actually want to see. The MSM newsprint is a dying breed, particularly when the net itself has Drudge, Breitbart and others showing the truth in stories that the “old guard” newspapers won’t print. Capitalism at it’s finest, IMO. And guess what? There is no colossal dominant media tycoon out there telling people what to think.

The reason the GOP is against net neutrality, is that the GOP, as always, is squarely on the side of corporate America, and corporate America wants the corporations which build and control the infrastructure to be able to control the flow of content.

Not sure about the GOP, as I am not a member of said group. I belong to the group of conservative-minded people, some of them registered dems or republicans. We share one goal, and that is for the feds to keep their hands off of the issues we care about. Are the leading net news providers corporate “cronies”? Not a chance. It is almost a guarantee though that if the feds get their grubby hands on net regulations, then the highest “bidding” corporate companies’ will be in control of your news. As it stands now, you have the choice to go to any particular website of your choosing to receive the news and info you covet. Do you seriously believe that gov. control of the net will allow you the same?

Technology is advancing. The average person will be able to create amazing content in the future, but will lack the resources to pay the infrastructure providers to have the content reach a national audience. Infrastructure providers would also love to kill innovations like Skype (see my earlier comment in this thread, #3).

Hah! How many mobile providers are there? The ones offering the most are the ones doing the best in market shares. Guaranteed that if a mobile service company tries this that the other providers will gain market shares. Hmm, capitalism at work?

Government regulation is a bad thing when it is used to pick winners and losers, but it’s a good thing when it creates rules which apply equally to everyone, to create a level playing field for competition.

Nice to believe, but is also not reality. Too many times government regulation is used as a hindrance to certain groups instead of truly opening doors for all. There is no level playing fields when government regulation and intrusion is involved. Only the picking of the “winners” and the “losers”. A truly free market society allows for anyone to succeed. You, and your brethren, choose to cite examples where gov. intrusion has actually caused a market dominance, and then present them as anecdotal evidence of the free market not working.

The net, right now, at this very moment, is about as free as it ever will, or can be. I have the choice of going to anywhere I want to, to receive whatever news I wish. A “Net Neutrality” will actually force my viewing of unwanted content, even while the proponents of it claim the opposite. Get this, my friend: If you don’t wish to view certain info/topics/vids/pics/news/etc., then you don’t have to. You are not required to come here and discuss issues with us. You willingly do so of free choice. Freedom and liberty is a great thing, isn’t it?

The reason the GOP is against net neutrality, is that the GOP, as always, is squarely on the side of corporate America, and corporate America wants the corporations which build and control the infrastructure to be able to control the flow of content.

What you guys want to see happen is for Corporate America to have the same control over Internet content as they have over print media and broadcast media and cable TV media. Maybe you think that cable TV is OK, because you’ve got Fox. But Fox is an outlier and wouldn’t exist as it does without an eccentric Australian billionaire. Were it not for Rupert Murdoch, you’d have nothing of consequence in the cable world, and you’d be limited to Talk Radio, which is, in any event, ecclipsed by NPR, listener-wise.

The Internet, as it exists today, is a beautiful thing. But the corporations want to change it. The net neutrality laws want to keep it open.

Did you miss the med today?

First, the GOP is against net neutrality but doesn’t want the internet changed and for it to remain as it is, which you said is beautiful but the GOP is wrong because it wants the internet to stay beautiful and unchanged.


Net neutrality CHANGES the internet. It does not keep it unchanged.

There is absolutely NO doubt in my mind that this is a stepping stone to controlling net content and frankly one has to be an idiot to doubt that.

The Internet was on the verge of big time change. The providers were going to start pricing based on bandwidth use. Additionally, wireless providers were going to restrict competitors, such as Voip services. As I understand it, the neutrality regulations which passed were a compromise.

Anyway, it was one of Obama’s campaign promises (which he’s done a remarkably good job of keeping, especially as regards the big ticket issues).

For example phone companies that are Internet providers cannot interfere with legal Web alternatives its customers want to use, such as Skype; likewise, cable companies that provide Internet access cannot slow down the connection speed of its customers when they access sites like Netflix.

Times staff writer Jim Puzzanghera explained that “Democrats, online activists and large Internet companies such as Google Inc. have pressed for tough rules to guarantee continued open access to the Internet. President Obama was an early supporter of net neutrality and made it part of his 2008 campaign.

“But Republicans, free-market advocates and telecommunications providers have strongly opposed net neutrality regulations, contending that they aren’t needed and could damage the Internet economy. Still, AT&T Inc. has said the FCC rules are less restrictive than what many advocates have called for and that it could support them as a way of reducing the uncertainty about what the commission might do.”

P.S. : You say: “A “Net Neutrality” will actually force my viewing of unwanted content, even while the proponents of it claim the opposite.”

This one sailed over my head. Can you explain/give an example?


The Internet was on the verge of big time change. The providers were going to start pricing based on bandwidth use. Additionally, wireless providers were going to restrict competitors, such as Voip services. As I understand it, the neutrality regulations which passed were a compromise.


Let me ask you a question. If I drive 200 miles in a week and you drive 10, should you pay the same for gas as I pay?

Should I get HBO for free?

Just wonderin’

(above): HBO is content. Time Warner cable is infrastructure. Of course, providers of content should be able to charge whatever they want for content. Infrastructure is different, and the Internet is unique infrastructure. Cable providers have a monopoly. Besides that, the power of the internet today is that, as I wrote earlier, I can reach an audience through simple writing, like this, or through elaborate multimedia (increasingly at the disposal of even the technically unsophisticated). When Time Warner starts charging customers more for watching youtube and vimeo, then this greatly restricts my ability to reach an audience. In the future, technology will increasingly give multimedia an advantage over word blogs, and I believe that it’s important to protect the access of the common man to the Internet, just as the common man has equal access to the Interstate Highway system.

I’m sure that my goals, your goals, and Obama’s goals are all the same. Keep the Internet open to all, the way it is today. There seems to be an honest disagreement whether the greater threat is not to regulate it at all and just allow infrastructure providers to operate it the way they want, or to regulate it and risk having the government screw it up in some heretofore undefined ways.

I personally think that government regulation of transportation, broadcast media, and telecommunications (including the original breakup of AT&T) has been, by in large, pretty well done and has fostered competition, rather than restricting it.

P.S. I don’t have confidence that competition alone will/would prevent wireless providers from killing Voip services. It’s the same reason why airlines stopped offering free meals on long flights and started charging for checked baggage. It’s basically unspoken collusion. Voips are bad for the wireless providers, period. When Verizon starts charging lots of money for using Skype, the rest of the wireless carriers will follow suit.

@ drjohn, #17:

There is absolutely NO doubt in my mind that this is a stepping stone to controlling net content and frankly one has to be an idiot to doubt that.

The fact that I have NO doubt in my mind about something isn’t evidence that what I believe is correct.

If we removed all speed limits from our streets and highways, would it be reasonable expect that nothing negative would happen? (At one time there were no speed limits. As automobiles began appearning, it seemed totally reasonable to impose speed regulations.) If all environmental regulations were done away with, how would industry likely react?

In the absence of net neutrality, corporations in a position to control the flow of digital information will control that flow to their own advantage, and to the disadvantage of anyone whose services are in direct competition with their own. Innovation will be resisted unless it’s their own, and there will be less innovation of their own because it will sometimes be more profitable simply to handicap a competitor who might offer it.

Basically, what net neutrality guarantees is that people who own the highways can’t level a selective toll on the competition’s trucks based on the nature of the cargo. Every truck carrying the same weight for the same number of miles pays an equal user’s fee, and gets to travel on the same highway at the same speed. How does this not make perfect sense? How much more obvious could it be that the owners of the highways will take full advantage of their monopolistic control, if no such neutrality exists?

re: #20, PS:

I have no doubt (ahem) that Comcast, my ISP, would very much like to complicate matters for MagicJack. I’m paying them for a year of long distance service only a bit more than Comcast would charge me for a single month. I rent access to the Comcast data highway. What does it matter if I’m on the phone, or using the same bandwidth connected to YouTube?

I’ve seen how big companies can react when annoyed by the competition. I went through a series of relatively inexpensive “10-10-220”-type long distance access providers where I live. One by one they were bought out and then shut down, or their minute rates raised to match the higher rates of the companies that took them over.

Love the straw man by larry that the GOP is in bed with big business. God forbid they want to let them do what they want with what they own. It’s called freedom Larry. You know, the thing folks like you are against. It’s also funny he thinks the dems aren’t in bed with big business. 🙄
I see he’s letting his liberal fascist side out to play today.

@ Hard Right #22:

God forbid they want to let them do what they want with what they own.

Corporate America doesn’t own the internet. So far they only aspire to. This is the time when that is being decided.

Reagan is proven right yet again: Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.

There is a bigger issue at play here. The FEC’s decision highlights a gaping, systemic problem with the operation of our government. We are increasingly coming to resemble a bureacratic socialist state in the mold of the EU – where major policy decisions are made by unelected bureaucrats. It was a year ago that we were treated to the EPA taking a step that Congress refused to do – declare plant food (CO2) a pollutant subject to EPA’s authority to regulate. And now today’s decision by the FEC to begin regulation of the internet, an act taken without any sort of authorization from Congress.

Possibly the most important step we could take is to require Congress to vote on all federal regulations before they become binding and enforcable. There should never be another power grab by bureaucrats that we, the people, do not have some say in through the ballot box.

@GW: With due respect to your favorite President R, I’ve got another President R for you to consider. If you want to look at the good old days, before government regulation of Corporate America, you might read a good Theodore Roosevelt (the “father of government regulation”) biography.

Teddy was a Republican who ended up on Mount Rushmore, for goodness sake.

– Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach, CA

OpenID – I am not arguing for an end to regulatory bureaucracy, if that is what you are suggesting. That said, are you suggesting that it is acceptable, in our form of government, that major policy decisions be made outside our elected representatives? I doubt you will find any direct support for that in the Constitution. I could well imagine Thomas Jefferson, a Democrat appearing on Mount Rushmore, spinning in his grave at the thought of such a bastardization of the democratic process.

@GW: Terrific comeback. Well done.

I understand now that your objection is more that Congress hasn’t granted the President authority to regulate the Internet than it is to the regulations, per se. It’s a good point, though I’d be interested in comparing and contrasting the extent to which different recent administrations attempted and succeeded in expanding the power of the Executive Branch, in the absence of Congressional approval and/or oversight.

– Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach, CA

LW –

Regardless of what I think about the merits of the FCC action – and I think it wrongheaded – I am far more concered with the degeneration of the democratic process.

The phrase “Executive Branch” is a bit amorphous. By “Executive Branch” power, are you refering to the Presidency, or are you including in your definition of the “Executive Branch” the entire the entire panapoly of the federal government not otherwise a part of the legislative branch?

Assuming it is the former, there will always be a gray area in which Congress and the President vie for power and control. Presidential signing statements, once villified by Obama, now practiced by him, are an obvious manifestation. This tug of war has been ongoing since George Washington turned down the offer to be named King and opted for the presidency. There will always be an ebb and flow within fairly well defined limits. That said, I am not sure how that might be germane to the question of whether policy in our Republic should be driven by unelected bureaucrats seemingly in contravention of the will of our elected representatives.

This debate about Net Neutrality definitely has two sides…. and each one has a modicum of viability. To see some of the debate comments between the supporters, Save the Internet, Open Internet Coalition, and Public Knowledge vs opponents, Cato Institute and Hands off the Internet, visit a page set up on Opposing Views. Yeah… slightly weighted in favor of the rah rah cheerleaders, but then Cato think tank can generally count as two in holding their own… LOL)

For me, I see this as a technical issue that is not solved by government intervention, but compounded by it’s attempt to be “fair”, and cast this argument.. disingenuously… as a consumer rights issue.

Simple fact is the increasing amount of data streaming that sucks up bandwidth is creating a bandwidth crunch. For those that are tapping into the peer to peer services (like Napster, as one of the first), or surviving on a heavy, daily diet of streaming videos, it slows down my service when I’m not engaging in the same.

Let’s face is… not all Internet use is equal. And just like supply and demand, paying for what you get in service lies at the heart of capitalistic endeavors. There is a reality that not all Internet users actually demand the same of their cyber services.

While the argument can be made that we all have the same potential to abuse the system with heavy data downloads, it’s rather like going to an all you can eat buffet, paying the same as the group who’s constantly flooding the line at the trough so you can’t get to the buffet… or when you do, there’s not much left to pick from.

Technical management of the existing bandwidth is not an expertise of the elected ones. We’ve already watched them screw up real estate, lending, appraisals, health care and financial reform. Why on earth should we expect them to have the solution for what is, at it’s base, technical in nature?

Then there’s the talking points… most of which mask what’s really going on. Most “blocking” that I’ve seen in today’s cyber world is being conducted by AOL filters, and or by the cellular providers. While again, we see no proposal as it’s concocted by civil appointees behind closed doors, the last I heard this wasn’t applying to the cellular providers.

And when you stop and think of it, the complaints about tiered services seem disingenuous as well. You have tiered service fees in just about every aspect of private enterprise… your text charges on your cell plan, your differing bank fees from bank to bank and their different account plans, hang… even the local car wash offers tiered services. Even those with Hughes Net or air cards for their laptops are aware that some packages are based on useage. What on earth is so heinous and alien about this concept? And why are those ignored, but this addressed?

Speaking of those tiered services, the most cogent point I saw made in the debate was by Cato. They rightly pointed out that … as is usual with just about everything Congress sticks it’s nose into.. there are the unintended consequences with their badly written laws and nanny intents because of the nature of corruption in government.

Just as with the railroads and the ICC back in the late 1880s, what was intended to be a government agency that was supposed to prevent discrimination became the railroads whipping boy. Telecoms already own the FCC.

Even worse, the telecoms could do what the railroads did a century ago and transform network neutrality regulations into a barrier to entry for new firms. Filing network neutrality complaints against competitors could become a useful harassment technique, forcing entrepreneurs to waste valuable time pleading their case before the FCC. This, too, has ample precedent. For example, during the 1960s, AT&T used regulatory barriers to delay the entry of MCI into the long-distance market by about a decade.

Our top priority in the broadband market should be to promote more competition. We should therefore be wary of enacting new regulations that could tie up new entrants in red tape. There is no reason to think that network neutrality is in imminent danger, and so it would be foolish to enact major new regulations based on purely speculative dangers.

Also an issue mentioned by Cato was the definition of those subject to the regulations… was an Internet wifi cafe drawn into the regulations net as well?

Hands off the Internet correctly points out that – aside from the increased litigation in the wake of implementation – these regulations will force add’l costs of improved and enhanced network upgrades onto the net users themselves.

ISP’s are investing $24 billion in network upgrades this year to handle the oncoming crush of video streams, movie downloads and other online traffic. But given the surging growth of online data, even this by itself won’t be enough. We need smart networks capable of differentiating between a movie stream that needs prioritization and an email that can be delayed a few seconds.

But Net neutrality’s complex pricing regulations would create a legal loophole that pushes the huge cost for tomorrow’s Internet entirely onto the Net user. A net neutrality law would let Google, Amazon and other large online companies avoid paying anything toward the cost of deploying these networks.

Again, and like the “loud commercial” nonsense, the industry has already been turning it’s attention to the technical quandary. But I suspect it’s about something no one’s talking about…. the ARRA push to become a government ISP rural provider of substandard quality.

i.e., when Craig Settles released his article about broadband competition early this month, he noted a study that tho there is competition in names available for ISP providers, not all were created equal in features, service, etc. And, in fact, increasing “competition” doesn’t always create quality in it’s wake, if all any of them can do is sell you a bicycle, when you’re shopping for a truck.

Well duh…. and Net Neutrality does what for “competition”? It, in fact, can impede the growth of smaller competitors.

Which all brings me to the 800 lb gorilla I think is hiding out in the closet…. and casually mentioned in the Craig Settles “Myths” article I linked above.

What type of competition matters

What defines this adequate service that few providers seem capable of delivering? From D.C. to the farthest corners of the U.S., broadband is touted as a main driver to improving economic development, both for businesses and individuals (workers, home-based entrepreneurs, students seeking higher education, etc.). Working with the International Economic Development Council, I surveyed 300 economic development professionals to get their take on how broadband can impact this area.

Over 55% believe speeds of 100 Mbps or more are needed for businesses AND individuals within three years. Only 8% think the FCC’s goal for rural areas of 4 Mbps makes any sense for driving local economies. Looking at these needs, then reviewing the available services from the incumbents who control most of the market share state by state, the industry’s claims of “a vibrant competitive marketplace” is ‘B.S.’ indeed.

It’s not just speed that matters. It’s about having providers that compete to deliver service to an area where advertised, compete to have the most reliable service, compete to have sufficient customer service. It’s about the state laws and backroom deals that enable incumbents to stifle rivals and install government-sanctioned protectionism.

Regardless of the National Broadband Plan’s many good points, one of its most glaring flaws is its failure to address the lack of competition and the barriers to competition. This is a failing too of the broadband stimulus program. Like it or not, communities must be the ones to step into the breach to affect change. Better get your waders on, though, ‘cause there’s a lot more crap to work through in order to reach that goal.

What, pray tell, might this push for Net Neutrality have to do with implementing a piss poor, underperformance broadband system for rural areas that isn’t worth the taxpayer cash it will take to construct, I wonder?

Yes, I have to agree… fed regulators are not going to foster competition worth a hoot. It will take the local community business world to foster than competitive spirit. But I fear the only competition the government wants to promote is it’s own entry into the industry as a mediocre broadband service provider.

@GW (#28). You are a thoughtful conservative. I’ve read your blog. Count me as a fan.

@mata (#29): — Whatever.

– Larry W/HB

Uncalled for rudeness noted, Larry. Another snitty mood, I see.

Whatever Larry? As usual you dismiss that which you don’t want to hear. Like I said, your true colors are showing. Liberal fascist.

Mata you may have missed this post by Larry:

“You guys hate the “old media.” You know, the media controlled by pointy head intellectuals and Hollywood Jews and Ivy League MBAs and social science majors.”

I find the anti-semite slur very offensive. He sounds like Jon Ryan.

Naw, I read the entire thread, HR. While I believe that Larry is sucked in by the pretty words of “neutrality” and the proponents attempting to pass this off as some sort of preservation of content freedom, I don’t know him to be anti-semite in the least.

But considering there was nothing in my post that addressed him specifically, nor was degrading to his personal point of view, I found his personally snippy and snide remark not only uncalled for (save to toss a personal barb), but rude. And yes… I noticed.

You lost me. I meant he called US anti-semites merely for disagreeing with him.
His response to you was also rude and uncalled for. I expect that when responding to me, not you.
The funny thing is he could have left the Hollywood Jew part out and I wouldn’t have been offended. He could have called me 4 letter names directly, and it wouldn’t have bothered me especially since I am hard on him for his more out there views. But calling us anti-semites? He crossed a line.

John Fund at WSJ has an interesting article on the genesis of the FEC drive to regulate the internet. It seems to have little to do with “consumer rights” or problems of access.

LW – thanks for the kind words.


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.”

This is exactly how they got campaign finance reform through, the very same people were behind that. They basically created the issue, used unions and their quirky groups and millions to manipulate Congress and watch dog groups as well, with pro-support messages, CFR never had public support, neither does this.

Ryan Sager of the New York Post broke the Pewgate story on March 17, 2005:

The Shadow Party emerged from the cauldron of corruption known as the Pewgate Scandal. Most Americans have never heard of Pewgate, yet all are affected by it’s results.
“…the McCain-Feingold Act—officially known as the Bi-Partisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002(BCRA)–was pushed through Congress by fraud. Beginning at least as early as 1994, and perhaps earlier, Sager reported a group of non-profit foundations began bankrolling “experts” and front groups whose purpose was to bamboozle Congress into thinking that millions of Americans were clamoring for “campaign finance reform”–even though they were not.

Sean Treglia, a former program officer of the Pew Charitable Trusts was the mastermind in the CFR plot. Ryan Sager writes about and quotes Treglia from a videotape from the Annenberg School for Communications conference:

proponents of “campaign finance reform” faced a problem–Americans did not want the kind of “reform”they were proposing. The movement “had lost legitimacy inside Washington because they didn’t have a constituency that would punish Congress if they didn’t vote for reform,”

They used money from front groups to generate outcries for CFR, existing nonprofits were also paid to “climb on the campaign finance reform bandwagon.”

The New York Post reports that, from 1994 to 2004, Pew and its allies dispensed $140 million to promote campaign finance “reform” of which 88 percent–$123 million–came from just eight foundations, as follows:

Pew Charitable Trusts $40.1 million
Bill Moyers’ Schumann Center $17.6 million
for Media and Democracy
Carnegie Corporation of New York $14.1 million
Joyce Foundation $13.5 million
George Soros Open Society Institute $12.6 million
Jerome Kohlberg Trust $11.3 million
Ford Foundation $8.8 million
John D. and Catherine T $5.2 million
MacArthur Foundation
Total $123.2 million

They also funded ‘ahem’ public watchdogs”

Center for Public Integrity, $1.7 million,….Public Campaign, $1.3 million,….Alliance for Better Campaigns, $650,000,….Common Cause, $625,000,…Democracy 21, $300,000,…Public Citizen, $275,000,…Center for Responsive Politics, $75,000………from George Soros.

Carnegie Corp paid American Prospect $132,000 to write a pro CFR article. NPR spent at least $860,000 of Pewgate funds on programs spotlighting the role of money in politics.

Bill Moyers’ was the #2 donor:

However, as a journalist, Moyers also received Pewgate money and also promoted front groups funded by Pewgate foundations.

All this and more from the Opening the Door chapter in The Shadow Party, How George Soros, Hillary Clinton and Sixties Radicals Seized Control of the Democratic Party, by David Horowitz and Richard Poe.

Opening the door indeed. Sean Treglia spilled the beans on motive and methods with their successful CFR effort, these groups are still using the same game plan but this time they were able to go around Congress through FCC. Probably saved them some money. 🙄

You see, this is why Beck is correct in his assertion that Cass Sunstein may be the most dangerous man in American government now- he writes the regulations, and fashions the “Executive Orders” which is how Obama will be able to go around the will of the American people for the next two years.
For us on the net, this could mean, for this site as an example, you would be required to closely monitor ALL posts, and have “balance”- and if you were found not to have done these things, you could be shut down WITHOUT ANY HEARING OR COURT PROCEEDING, because this is a “regulation” with the force of law, but without the legal need to proceed as if it were a “real” law requiring a jury or open court.

If Barack Obama gets re-elected you won’t recognize America by the time he’s done.

We’ll be Venezuela.

In my honest opinion, the heart of the matter here lies in what is generally regarded as “consumer choice”.

As Mata has stated above, there is tiered service in nearly all of life’s consumer choices out there. We have the choice to partake of, or to exclude from our lives, consumer choices that we do not agree with, or that we cannot pay for, or even ones that are more than we generally need.

I made a choice in the past year to change my net provider from the cable company to a DSL line. For me, it was an economic choice to do so, and even with that, I looked at the pros and cons of making the change with regards to net speed, availability, bandwidth limits, etc. One thing that is often overlooked is the availability of choices in the market place, which includes the cost viability of obtaining certain services, the limits one might have imposed on their usage, and the overall number of net providers available to one.

If I become unhappy with my current service, I can, and most likely will, make the change to one I feel more comfortable with. The choices that we all have regarding this one particular issue, but not limited to it, are not driven by corporate desires, but are consumer driven. Example: Cell providers are nearly all allowing the accumulation of air-time minutes into a bank that one has available to them. It all started with one company doing it. It has even gotten to the point that not just the minutes, but the seconds themselves are being counted. This is all consumer-driven, and allows for more choices for the consumer themselves to make the choices on services and goods to their best benefit.

In a heavily regulated area of consumer activity, the choices become limited and driven more by the fed regulations involved and the corporate decisions made regarding those regulations rather than what the consumers actually desire.

In a simple, concise thought, in a truly free-market economy, consumers drive the engine that allows for numerous choices to be made. In a heavily regulated economy, such as the type that liberals and progressives desire, the choices become limited to the consumer, many times to the detriment of the actual content of the services rendered or goods provided.

Missed that John Fund WSJ article, @DrJohn. There’s no dearth of linkage to the stealth plans, hidden within the ARRA stimulus bill.

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.”

Per the TITLE VI: Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, eligible applicants for the grant funds are to be either state/government entities or non-profits or… from the law’s verbage direct… “…any other entity, including a broadband service or infrastructure provider, that the Assistant Secretary finds by rule to be in the public interest.” uhmmmm… an appointee’s determination that an entity is in the best “public interest”??

As the NTIC (Nat’l Telecommunications & Information Admin) notes on their website:

State Broadband Data and Development Program Launched in 2009, NTIA’s State Broadband Data and Development (SBDD) Program implements the joint purposes of the Recovery Act and the Broadband Data Improvement Act, which envisioned a comprehensive program, led by state entities or non-profit organizations working at their direction, to facilitate the integration of broadband and information technology into state and local economies. Economic development, energy efficiency, and advances in education and health care rely not only on broadband infrastructure, but also on the knowledge and tools to leverage that infrastructure.


Since accurate data is critical for broadband planning, another purpose of the SBDD program is to assist states in gathering data twice a year on the availability, speed, and location of broadband services, as well as the broadband services that community institutions, such as schools, libraries and hospitals, use. This data will be used by NTIA to update a public searchable, interactive national broadband map once it is completed by the agency by February 17, 2011.

Additionally, any such government controlled broadband service to we poor, country bumpkins will be required to “…”in coordination with the Commission, publish the non-discrimination and network interconnection obligations that shall be contractual conditions of grants awarded under this section, including, at a minimum, adherence to the principles contained in the Commission’s broadband policy statement (FCC 05-15, adopted August 5, 2005).” (from ARRA legislative text)

Including, ” at a minimum”?? So take govt funds as a non profit or state entity to provide broadband, and be prepared to be dictated to INRE interconnection obligations.

No thanks… think I’d spring for HughesNet.

This becomes especially interesting when there are instances of those, using business servers, that find themselves unable to connect to sites that are related, for example, to gun rights and the RKBA. Granted, stick yourself to your company server, and they’ve certainly got the right to put into place their own filters for employee surfing. But expand that to a system that is a government funded non profit service provider, and where do we go from there?

Add the fact that WikiLeaks now has one world govt types at the UN, mulling Internet regulations, and we’ve got an ugly trend in the making.

In July 2010, the CRS put out a report on the Net Neutrality debate. What is especially clear is that there “…is no single accepted definition of “net neutrality.”

What, if any, action should be taken to ensure “net neutrality” has become a major focal point in the debate over broadband regulation. As the marketplace for broadband continues to evolve, some contend that no new regulations are needed, and if enacted will slow deployment of and access to the Internet, as well as limit innovation. Others, however, contend that the consolidation and diversification of broadband providers into content providers has the potential to lead to discriminatory behaviors which conflict with net neutrality principles. The two potential behaviors most often cited are the network providers’ ability to control access to and the pricing of broadband facilities, and the incentive to favor network-owned content, thereby placing unaffiliated content providers at a competitive disadvantage.

My my… we return to that argument about “tiered pricing”, don’t we? A concept as common throughout our free market, across a plethora of industries, as a hamburger is in American cuisine.

As further evidence that Net Neutrality has been built into the ARRA, the CRS report also says:

The FCC has also been called upon to address net neutrality principles within the context of the implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA, P.L. 111-5). Provisions require the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), in consultation with the FCC, to establish “nondiscrimination and network interconnection obligations” as a requirement for grant participants in the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). These obligations were issued July 1, 2009, in conjunction with the release of the notice of funds availability (NOFA) soliciting applications for the program.27 The NOFA requires that recipients of both ARRA programs (the Rural Utilities Service Broadband Initiative Program (BIP) as well as the mandated BTOP program) adhere to these requirements, and expands requirements beyond those contained in the FCC’s 2005 Internet Policy Statement.

Let me repeat that phrase… “…and expands requirements BEYOND those contained in the FCC’s 2005 Internet Policy Statement.” Or, in other words, the current regs, and then some… whatever suits their most recent legislative fancy.

Now, in case you didn’t know it, the FCC has a National Broadband Plan under this POTUS… including their own website (linked in this sentence). I’m always leery of anything that touts “national” as it’s goal. And, as we can tell by the conditions attached to grants/funds, and the eligibility requirements, you take government cash and you agree to bend over when ever they change their whims and demands via mandates.

When it comes to phone service and energy, it’s private sector save in local communities where they may opt for (energy, at least) a PUD system. But that’s local – a state’s right – not federal. Nationalizing a government Internet system is not a direction I would entertain under any circumstance.

Nope… smoke and mirrors, IMHO. Count me with drj on this one. (are you in shock? LOL) This net neutrality, handily aided by Obama’s not-so-stimulating “stimulus” is a push for government, getting into the ISP service business. As Hands off the Internet @noted above in my comment, such an implementation diverts the cost of the network infrastructure onto the taxpayers, while the big players, like Google and Amazon, get off scott free to enjoy that infrastructure. Is it any wonder they are “for” the plan?

And yet some libs think it’s the GOP who’s in the pocket of “big business”….. sigh

One more add… in case any of you are in doubt of the Obama admin’s attempts to enter the government ISP provider world…. In the last paragraphs from the ARRA legislation, that is now law:

The Assistant Secretary shall develop and maintain a comprehensive nationwide inventory map of existing broadband service capability and availability in the United States that depicts the geographic extent to which broadband service capability is deployed and available from a commercial provider or public provider throughout each State.

Yup…. Obama wants to officially enter the ISP biz, and already got that ability to do so laid down in law thru a 407 pg piece of crap spending frenzy.

@ MataHarley, #42:

It seems logical to me that there should be a comprehensive map of all broadband services.

There are already publicly-owned ISPs. LUS Fiber in Lafayette, Louisiana, for example. They’re a 100% fiber-optics system, offering download and upload speeds that totally blow away most commercial providers.

Of course there are government ISPs, Greg… i.e. dot gov portals/servers. But they enter the internet highway just like any other private entity does, save they have filters in place. They didn’t lay their own cyber infrastructure, save thruout their building wiring.

Look, just because you own a car, and can get on an entrance ramp to the freeway, doesn’t mean you get to dictate the highway rules. Yet the government is advocating just that for their “national broadband plan”. The price country bumpkins will have to pay for their service, and the price you… as a citizen not even in their service district… are paying via the ARRA.

And it’s not just “a map”…. read a bit more, and get back to us.

BTW, Greg… there are no federal government service providers (i.e. ISP)… which would be why the 110th Congress attempted to pass the Community Broadband Act of 2007, which said no state regulation or requirement shall prevent a public provider from offering broadband services, and prohibited a municipality from discriminating against competing private providers. Neither the Senate nor House bill made it out of committee.

Remember, too, that I noted that there are local PUD electrical and water co’ops thru out the states. Which brings us to your LUS Fiber, their lawsuits, and a community financed fiber optics system. A few details…

1: FCC has yet to rule on a lawsuit filed by LUS Fiber against NCTC. A district judge threw it out, noting it’s FCC who has exclusive jurisdiction. LUS claims that the National Cable Television Cooperative is unfairly denying them membership, thus depriving the Lafayette utility from millions of dollars in savings when buying television programming. NCTC isn’t one of those evil corporates, but a Kansas non-profit who functions as a programming and hardware purchasing organization for it’s membership.

Their membership requirements are here on their application, as well as noted on their their website page. Apparently, for a reason I haven’t looked into in depth, the LUS Fiber system didn’t pass muster. And my first guess is because they are not likely to meet the definition of a “cable system” facility per 47 U.S.C. Section 522(7) because they are simply retransmitting. Apparently, if this is true, Lafayette wants the FCC to force the non profit to change their membership rules….. okay.

2: It’s a bit confusing about the rates they are touting, because without the NTCT package, it’s not very competitive when you consider the programming they can offer with independent negotiations. Otherwise, why bother with the Kansas NCTC co’op at all? Even as of this writing, all of those paying for the government municipality don’t have access to the service. But my guess is, they are paying for it with taxes.

3: What about those citizens who don’t have a computer, or perhaps are like my 86 year old mother who doesn’t need lightning download speed or megabyte transfers? Those people are stuck paying for everyone else’s habit. How nice….. There’s some choice for the 38% of local taxpayers who did not vote for this project. Considering that LA has the 2004 Local Government Fair Competition Act, which regulates the entry of local municipalities into the telecommunications business, it was a battle all up the courts. The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal ruled that LUS’s bond ordinance was in violation of the Act. The LA Supreme Court overturned it but after there was a rewrite of the bond ordinance following the 3rd Circuit appellate ruling. The resident, who had taken it that far, didn’t take it any higher.

Needless to say, some of those 38% aren’t thrilled with paying for something they didn’t want. All in all, smells a lot of O’healthcare to me. Get everyone to pay for the medical services of the few. Perfect example of why it shouldn’t be a government endeavor. Totally eliminates choice, and again forces participation if, by nothing else, by creating a special assessment tax.

But then, it’s a local battle. And that’s where those battles should remain… local. Feds have no business getting into the internet provider service industry. Unless, of course, you’re a statist who thinks the feds should own/control not only cable, but phones, electric, etc. In which case, I’m sure Venezuela would welcome you with open arms.

ADDED: If you look up LUS’s domain (which is now under via Whois, you’ll find their ISP is AT&T, unlike others like Comcast and Verizon, who are their own ISPs.

uh oh… looks like the November bills for the LUSFiber folk went up, and is now more in line with the competitor, Cox. Seems the bigwigs are saying it’s because of the increase costs in obtaining programming, and their ongoing lawsuits. Hummm… not much differerent than the come on prices for bundling you see for a year, and then they nail you. Surprise surprise. Oh yes, add the price of the infrastructure for a couple decades too.

Here’s a side by side comparison of standard price plans between Cox and LUS, although other factors, such as the channels themselves, the number of High Definition channels and special features, also vary between the plans.

LUS Basic $17 Cox TV Starter $15.55
(20 channels) (up to 43 channels)

LUS Expanded Basic $46.95 Cox TV Essential $52.99
(80+ channels) (up to 87 channels)

LUS Digital Access $54.95 Cox Advanced TV $61.98
(150+ channels) (up to 171 channels)

LUS Digital Plus $67.82 Cox TV Premier $70.98
(180+ channels) (up to 282 channels)

LUS also is increasing prices for its premium channels. Cinemax will go to $7.78 per month, Starz/Encore will go to $10.85 per month, Showtime will go to $12.11 per month and HBO will go to $14.81 per month. Cox charges $13.99 a month, $22.99 for two premiums, $29.99 per month for three, and $35.99 per month for four premium channels.

Just got this in an email. Thought some here might relate:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for:

1.1.1 an environmentally conscious, infinitely recyclable, socially
responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, and wholly
inclusive celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within
the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion(s) of your
choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the
religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their
choice not to practice religious or secular traditions of any kind

1.1.2 a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically
uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted
calendar year 2011, but not without due respect for the calendars of
choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped
make America great, (not to imply that America is necessarily greater
than any other country or is the only “America” in the western or
eastern hemisphere), and without regard to the race, creed, color,
age, physical ability, religious faith, choice of computer platform,
or sexual preference of the wishee.

Have a great holiday and Happy New Year.

Note to Hard Right: It was only offered as politically incorrect caricaturization, with an homage to Mel Gibson, but I do accept your, on this occasion, valid criticism.

And Merry Christmas to all.

– Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach, CA

I find this statement funny as hell “and you’d be limited to Talk Radio, which is, in any event, ecclipsed by NPR, listener-wise.” Reason you ask? This is why:

Seems to me the NPR thing is wishful thinking.

First, the FCC is not an “enforcement” org.- it was just to parcel out limited bandwidth. Now that there is almost unlimited bandwidth, they seek more power through bogus regulations, and the enforcement of such regs.
This is how the Obama admin will seek to govern- through regs, for they know that The House will not stand for more grasping for more power through legislation. This is why Obama and his minions have tried their best to make Congress irrelevant, and they had Congress doing a good job of shooting itself repeatedly, thus making regs the go-to “Law of the Land”.


Where have you been? The FCC has been operating as a regulation enforcement agency for decades. Any Ham radio operator or broadcast company can fill you in on that.