Patterico's Pontifications


Danger Will Robinson: Free Speech Threatened by Terrorism Forum and Net Neutrality

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:27 am

Those who worry about the federal government stomping on conservatives’ free speech have good reason to be worried today. Obama’s upcoming “international forum” on terrorism, together with a renewed push for Net Neutrality, together form a terrible but largely undiscussed threat to the speech of conservatives, in particular Tea Partiers.

Let’s start with the terrorism forum. As mentioned by Dana here, the New York Times reported yesterday:

Mr. Holder announced that the White House would convene an international forum on Feb. 18 to discuss new means of countering terrorism. The White House, in a statement, said the meeting would address domestic and international measures “to prevent violent extremists and their supporters from radicalizing, recruiting, or inspiring individuals or groups in the United States and abroad to commit acts of violence.”

You know what this administration means when they talk about “violent extremists,” right?

Tea Partiers.

And what “inspires” Tea Partiers more than dangerous talk on the Internet about the problems inherent in big government?

Better rein in that talk pronto!

There’s not much of a way to do that . . . yet. Government still has little direct control over the Internet . . . yet.

In unrelated news (OK, I already told you it is related), Politico reported Thursday: FCC’s Tom Wheeler in step with Barack Obama on net neutrality (cached link):

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler offered his strongest endorsement to date of tough net neutrality rules, aligning himself with President Barack Obama’s vision for an open Internet.

Speaking here at the 2015 International CES tech trade show, Wheeler repeatedly hinted he favors reclassification of broadband as a public utility, which would subject Internet providers to some of the same rules that govern old phone companies. The approach is already drawing heavy fire from Republicans and telecom giants who warn it will lead to burdensome regulation.

The FCC has slated a vote for February.

Listen up, people.

Once the federal government is in control of the Internet, it is just a matter of time until it imposes oppressive policies that will burden those who criticize government. All in the name of “fairness” and “equality,” of course.

Remember the “Fairness Doctrine” that threatened to push Rush Limbaugh off the air — because it would have required radio stations to fill their airwaves with three hours of dreary leftist droning to “balance” the highly entertaining Limbaugh? That was in the interest of “fairness.” I categorized some other FCC-related thuggery in this 2010 post, and it’s worth clicking through these links if you think that it’s a good idea to give the FCC power over the Internet:

Whether it’s Democrats’ threatening to pull Fox News’s broadcast license because they don’t like the content; or Harry Reid & Co. writing a mafia-style letter threatening ABC’s broadcast license over “The Path to 9/11”; or the DNC threatening Sinclair Broadcasting’s broadcast license over an anti-Kerry documentary; or Obama’s thugs threatening networks’ broadcast licenses over criticism from the NRA; or, most recently, Kathleen Sebelius suggesting that insurance companies had better not claim they’re raising rates because of ObamaCare, or they may find themselves regulated out of existence . . . based on these examples and many more, the public has a special need to fear Democrats’ bringing down the hammer when they engage in free speech.

Note how many of those examples involve politicians using the threat of action by the FCC: the very bureaucracy that would gain regulatory authority over the Internet if Net Neutrality becomes reality.

But hey. If it prevents a lot of that dangerous talk from those Tea Party extremists, then it’s all for the public good. And you wouldn’t be against the public good, now — would you, comrade?

John Kerry: You People Quit Criticizing This White House About The Paris March (Video Added: Josh Earnest Being Grilled By Ed Henry )

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:36 am

[guest post by Dana]


Secretary of State John Kerry called criticism that no top U.S. officials attended Sunday’s massive march against terrorism in Paris “quibbling” Monday, even as he announced a trip to the French capital later this week for talks on countering Islamist violence.

When asked about the White House not sending any high-ranking official, Kerry responded:

“I really think that this is sort of quibbling a little bit in the sense that our Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland was there and marched, our ambassador [to France Jane Hartley] was there and marched, many people from the embassy were there and marched.

Except that Nuland was at the Washington march.

Kerry also announced his travel plans:

Kerry said he is going to France to reaffirm U.S. solidarity with America’s oldest ally. He said as soon as he heard about the march, he asked his team what the earliest time was that he could go.

“That is why I am going there on the way home and to make it crystal clear how passionately we feel about the events that have taken place there,” he said. “I don’t think he people of France have any doubt about America’s understanding about what happened, about our personal sense of loss and our deep commitment to the people of France in this moment of trial.”

“I want to emphasize that the relationship with France is not about one day or one particular moment,” Kerry said. “It is an ongoing longtime relationship that is deeply, deeply based in the shared values, and particularly the commitment that we share to freedom of expression


UPDATE: Ed Henry grills Josh Earnest today at 1:43 in. I almost felt sorry for the White House spokesman as Henry is relentless. As he should be.

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