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?

54 Responses to “Danger Will Robinson: Free Speech Threatened by Terrorism Forum and Net Neutrality”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. Dong

    Regret (389c70)

  3. i don’t see the problem: they are obviously smarter than the rest of us, or they wouldn’t be in charge, right?

    redc1c4 (269d8e)

  4. “Ding.” “Dong.”

    See? This is the kind of robust back and forth that will disappear once the FCC gets its claws into the Web.

    Patterico (82f8fa)

  5. Every crisis is an opportunity.

    nk (dbc370)

  6. As soon as I read about Holder setting up this “international forum” on “violent extremists” to prevent them from “radicalizing, recruiting, or inspiring individuals or groups … to commit acts of violence,” I thought about his recent statements about “right-wing”, anti-government groups – progressive “dog whistles” for limited-government, pro-constitution types. Only in Obama’s America could one who believes that the US Constitution means what it says be considered a threat to the government.
    By the way, would Holder count this as an act of anti-government violence?

    Eric Holder himself personally participated in an armed takeover of an ROTC office at Columbia University in the 1970s as part of his participation in the black consciousness movement.

    Yeah, I don’t think so, either.

    Walter Cronanty (f48cd5)

  7. #3, red, I agree. I’ve been to TEA Party rallies and can attest to just how dangerous a threat those people represent to our bloated federal government. The self-identified TP participants don’t include many welfare cheats, drug dealers, or union thugs, nor are the ostentatious displays characteristic of wealth and privilege in evidence – and I don’t see any Hollywood celebrities hanging around either – if there actually are a few country/western singers in the crowd they keep a low profile.

    So, a TEA Party rally isn’t really much of a diverse crowd, not in any politically correct ideological way. But there are all kinds of people, different ages, different colors, different educational levels, different backgrounds, different national origins. Yet, they all subscribe to the few common elements inherent in the TEA Party’s name – Taxed Enough Already.

    In Short the TEA Party is middle America. The Taxpayers. The dwindling middle-class. The backbone of America. The people who obey the law, graduate from the public schools, go to work, serve in the armed forces, buy homes, and raise families. The ones who’re disgusted to see their country hijacked by corrupt Democrat politicians, media whores, poverty pimps, union thugs, special interests, the educational and cultural elite, and Islamic radicals (and their witting accomplices) masquerading as American patriots.

    The TEA Party is America, the real America, and it represents a clear and present danger to the continued expansion of Washington DC and the selfish rule of it’s parasitic cabal of tyrants and leaches.

    ropelight (bfe794)

  8. If the FCC proposes a rule (correct me if i’m wrong but i think Congress can overrride any FCC proposal) that sets up N.N. for the peering only, then I’m not going to worry too much.

    seeRpea (3cc998)

  9. The FCC is another of Obama’s drones that threatens to shoot down the opposition, sort of the way the NLRB shot down the Boeing plan to relocate to South Carolina. Congress may object but there is always the veto.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  10. re #9: huh? The NLRB backed off from suing Boeing about S.C.

    seeRpea (3cc998)

  11. nk #5…wasn’t that our good buddy Raum Emmanuel who said “never let a crisis go to waste“?

    I enjoy hearing progressives carry on about net equality. They actually think that the MSM has no bias. Thus, one cannot respond by agreeing with them and cheering future “equal time” on network news for right of center ideas.

    The motto, as always: it’s different when I do it!

    It’s “Animal Farm,” always.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  12. Well, they kept the conservatives (the ultra-far-right nationalists, that is) from the march in France.

    It just occurred to me there is a consistency and method to their madness (not in general, I already know that, but a particular). In saying they/we are not at war with “radical Islam” but with terrorists abusing Islam, perhaps that helps them marginalize the tea party as well, they aren’t “real Republicans” or “real Conservatives” or even “real Christians” (like Obama, who knows how to emphasize the importance of the Sermon on the Mount and put ‘trivial verses from Romans in their place”) at all.

    Orwell example #56,383,789,738,683,638 (I think)

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  13. We’ve always had Net Neutrality.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  14. Yes, Simon, that’s whom I had in mind, Da Mare of Chicago. 😉

    nk (dbc370)

  15. My understanding is that Boeing backed off part of the move and agreed to expunged in Washington, as well as SC.

    This year, they are moving more but it is a slow process and no doubt has cost them millions.

    As of July, Boeing employed more than 8,000 people in South Carolina, and more than 80,000 in Washington state.
    The South Carolina facility is set to open later this year and is one of 11 in the works or already established globally.
    As well as South Carolina, Boeing is opening a new R&D center in Seattle, Alabama, Missouri and California. For all but Washington and California, that means more jobs. California is slated to lose 200 to 300 jobs.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  16. I know leftists who think it should be a prison offense to say that Islam is a religion of intolerance.

    pst314 (ae6bd1)

  17. It’s crazy. I think this is a bridge too far, even for them. Average people might think the TEA Party is out there, but they are not killing people. The terrorists screaming Allah Akbar are the ones who were killing people. Also, I’m not seeing many people wanting the government controlling the internet. The only reason net neutrality is getting anywhere is that ISPs like Comcast are hated vehemently, and it supposedly is a method to stop exploitative practices.

    By the way, the next GOP president needs to engage in a massive purge of the federal bureaucracy. Seriously, every damn agency seems to have been corrupted.

    OmegaPaladin (a0e77e)

  18. Maybe commenters here can help this forthcoming multiculti beer summit on how not to offend people produce a more effective outcome by assembling a list of what topics people should not write or talk about. I was very surprised to find out we had so many terror apologists commenting on the blog suggesting that that certain topics are best avoided lest that anger or offend certain segments of people, never mind that people have a choice of what media to consume or people with whom they interact. To me that means the fraudsters promoting multicultural tolerance have won and we need to help the beer terrorism summit come to a successful conclusion by doing our part. I’ll start the ball rolling:

    White privilege
    Global Warming
    Structural Racism
    Moderate Islam

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  19. Patterico, you are too young to use that phrase.

    Kevin M (56aae1)

  20. I think Mike K is right about Boeing and South Carolina:

    What [Boeing CEO Ray Conner] said about unions, though, and in particular about the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers effort to organize the Boeing plant in South Carolina, was particularly interesting as it relates to Washington state.

    “If I could, I think it’s important to tell you a little story about the union,” Conner said. “I testified before the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) two years ago trying to keep this facility open, to keep progressing as the (union) had filed a petition to shut this down. And I don’t think people should forget that. I feel it’s a little bit ironic that here we are today when we had to fight so hard to keep this place going … and now we’re having a conversation about the same people who tried to shut this down.”

    Here he was referring to a complaint filed with the NLRB by the Machinists International, which contended that Boeing’s 2009 decision to open a plant in North Charleston was “retaliation” for earlier Machinists labor actions, including strikes, in the Puget Sound area.

    The Machinists dropped the complaint in 2011, as part of the pact through which Boeing committed to building the 737Max in Renton [Washington], and the union agreed to a four-year contract extension.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  21. President bad sport stompy foot unfortunately has another acolyte. (Former) Gov. Quinn D of Illinois refused to attend the inauguration of his successor, now Gov. Rauner R of Illinois today. Really. What kind of person does this? Who doesn’t understand that at least symbolically honoring — even if not celebrating– the orderly transition of elected government is still important to most people in this country?

    elissa (6f3d07)

  22. Speaking of “free speech” and the net:

    The Twitter account for U.S. Central Command was hacked Monday while President Barack Obama was delivering an address about cybersecurity at the Federal Trade Commission.

    Now, if it wasn’t such a serious issue, the timing of that is one heck of a practical joke.
    Reminiscent of Baghdad Bob, even.
    (From politico via PowerLine.)

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  23. As I understand the theory, government needs to monitor the internet so the public won’t get bad information.

    NBC’s Big Paris Mistake.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  24. I should add, the government thinks Big Media is doing just fine.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  25. MD in Philly #22 – it is seeming more and more as though what we havev been calling the “Gore Effect” may perhaps more properly merit being called the “Democrat/Progressive Latent Irony Effect” …

    Thus, when Fortunately-Not-Quite-President Gore speaks on Anthropogenic Global Warming and the area where he is speaking has record-cold climate-change, that is just some Democrat/Progressive LIE …

    And when Pres’ent Obama tells us repeatedly that “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor ! “, that is just another example of the Democrat/Progressive LIE …

    Alastor (2e7f9f)

  26. “havev” – obscure Scoto-Glendalien digital dialect variant on the more customary “have” …


    Alastor (2e7f9f)

  27. Well, Alastor, the last of your examples, while honestly an example of dishonesty, does not have the pointed irony of this episode, though you are completely correct about the Gore Effect.

    BTW, are YOU the “True Scotsman” everyone likes to argue about…

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  28. Elissa – It is rather pathetic, no?

    JD (86a5eb)

  29. The Twitter account for U.S. Central Command was hacked Monday while President Barack Obama was delivering an address about cybersecurity at the Federal Trade Commission.

    And the people doing it claimed they were from ISIS. BBC: US Centcom Twitter account hacked by pro-IS group I think we’re getting a lot of false flag operations.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  30. Elissa,

    What kind of person marks leaving the White House by acts of petty vandalism? The Democrat kind of person.

    C. S. P. Schofield (848299)

  31. A lot of feel-good gobbledygook from people who don’t understand what they’re talking about. They will break it, regulate it to death.

    mojo (5c8ea5)

  32. They will break it, regulate it to death.

    These people can’t even back up a mail server. Can you imagine what would happen if ALL the hard drives on the intertubes crashed?

    Kevin M (56aae1)

  33. More good news: Largest Islamic Body in the World Calls For More Anti-Free Speech Laws In Wake of Charlie Hebdo Attack

    This crap has been aided and abetted by the Obama Administration all along.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  34. Elissa, not only did Quinn refuse to attend the inauguration of Governor Rauner, but he spent his final hours in office making appointments to boards and giving jobs to some of his political cronies, while vetoing a bunch of legislation. Frankly, if he had worked this hard, while in office, on issues that mattered, we here in Illinois would have been better off.

    With Quinn, it’s just been sour grapes ever since he lost.

    rochf (f3fbb0)

  35. rochf (f3fbb0) — 1/12/2015 @ 2:43 pm

    not only did Quinn refuse to attend the inauguration of Governor Rauner, but he spent his final hours in office making appointments to boards and giving jobs to some of his political cronies

    Sounds like President John Adams on March 3, 1801.

    But Quinn knew for a while he was a lame duck.

    Usually governors or presidents issue pardons at the last minute. Why did he have to wait to make the appointments? Keeping his options open?

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  36. It looks like it’s just his effort to find some Democrats jobs

    rochf (f3fbb0)

  37. Here’s my message to Obama, Holder and the FCC

    Freedom Unlimited Can Keep Your Opinion Unregulated

    Stephen Macklin (5f3e56)

  38. rochf #34 – can the incoming Governor turn round and replace these lame duck appointees ? Does anyone here know if those appointees serve at the pleasure of the Governor ?

    Alastor (2e7f9f)

  39. 37. Do you know what the 1-800 nunber for is??

    Easy to remember, if you know what it spells out.

    A portmanteau word.

    The first part is F1 for help.

    Then they use the F again.

    1 800 F1- ^!&@ YO(u)

    You can’t beat that.

    They didn’t change it this year.

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  40. #34 #38. I would guess that Gov Quinn did not waste his time making those kinds of appointments., but made only appointments with fixed terms that a governor couldn’t revoke.

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  41. MD in Philly #27 – I tend more towards the role of the “Noh True Scotsman” – although I tend more to the role of waki rather than the principal role … (not-so-innocent grin)

    In my latter example, the irony involved is that the acronym-as-a-word *describes* what Pres’ent Obama knowingly and intentionally told …

    Alastor (2e7f9f)

  42. Alastor, it’s a little complicated. This is Illinois, after all.

    In case you don’t like to click links, four Quinn appointees with big political plum jobs on a redundant patronage board, confirmed the appointment of a Quinn aide to a smaller redundant patronage plum job, namely head batboy at Sox Park. He’s protected by the terms of his contract for its duration.

    nk (dbc370)

  43. Alastor, re Quinn: a few of the bigger appointments require senate approval. Most of the appointments today are considered “temporary late appointments” and will not/can not exist beyond 90 days into the new governor’s term. But that’s not what this was about. If the the appointee is already a state employee in some capacity (which is pretty much a given) and if the quickie appointment is at a higher salary, (also almost a given) even if the job lasts only a week or so the person’s pension may get a sizable bump via this patronage game-playing. And of course, the Illinois pension fund is in suuuuch great shape and so well funded–not!

    elissa (d9a964)

  44. So this is all for people who want to retire soon?

    Or does someone get a pension based on the highest salary they ever earned?

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)


    ED HENRY, FOX NEWS: You speak about taking on all forms of violent extremism.

    JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE: All forms of violent extremism would be discussed in the context of the summit. Obviously the most potent, and also the most graphically displayed in recent days is motivated by individuals who seek to invoke the name of Islam to carry out these attacks, and that is certainly something we want to work very hard to mitigate and we have a strategy we have been working on for some time to do that.

    HENRY: Why isn’t this summit on countering Islamic extremism?

    EARNEST: Because violent extremism is something we want to be focused on, it is not just Islamic violent extremism that we want to counter. There are other forms.

    HENRY: Paris, Australia, Canada. Isn’t that violent Islamic extremism?

    EARNEST: Certainly the examples you cite are individuals citing Islamic teaching — individuals have cited it.

    Actually, I think, all the other forms of violent extremism – the IRA the ETA, the Sri Lanka Tamil Tigers – are pretty much extinct.

    There’s the Latin American drug cartels, but they don’t tend to have an ideology. Even FARC really doesn’t.

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  46. In the 1980’s Pakistan’s rogue military intelligence agency also promoted terrorism by Sikhs. They downed an Air India plane in 1985 (the bomb for a second plane was discovered) and assassinated Indira Gandhi in 1984.

    All by Pakistani supported Sikhs, not Moslems.

    But that species also now seems to be extinct or is down to very few numbers.

    Maoist terrorist in nepal and other places also don’t seem to be doing much.

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  47. I just wonder what most sensible leftists think about the process of changing a regulation rule to gain regulatory power over entire industries. The very idea of circumventing the legislative branch gives me deep concerns.

    DejectedHead (08671b)

  48. I would imagine that epic sockpuppet flamewars that you used to see in the comments over at the AoSHQ will go the way of the dodo if Net Neutrality comes into being. God forbid that you don’t know the name, address and social security number of ALL internet commenters just in case any of them make a comment sympathetic to Proposition 8.

    Aaron Burr vs. Alexander Hamilton? Hitler vs. Stalin? Millard Filmore vs. William Howard Taft? Say goodbye.

    Russ from Winterset (30a992)

  49. Congress can defund any function of the FCC it wants to, including its lawyers and regulation enactment process. Let Obama veto the whole budget over it.

    nk (dbc370)

  50. Re the main point of Patterico’s post….here is a (relatively) far Leftist who agrees, albeit in a more general way.
    (He lives in NYC but is originally from Texas.)

    kishnevi (294553)

  51. Add to this the very real dependence the big companies have on winning State contracts and favorable regulatory regimes and you have an unstoppable recipe for the end of our republic. Just who will dare fight/rage against this evil?

    There is no avoiding a fully fascist country now, excepting…Only divine providence will save us now.

    Ed from SFV (3400a5)

  52. Looks like Governor Rauner will be able to block some of the appointments that Quinn made the day he left office–a couple of them require senate approval– but Quinn also signed an executive order, aimed at Rauner, requiring all future governors to make their tax returns public–the pettiness and mean-spiritedness just never ends.

    rochf (f3fbb0)

  53. The march to totalitarianism is unstoppable now. At least through voting. It might be weathered, though, if you prepare now.

    ErisGuy (76f8a7)

  54. ooh, I like what they did today:
    So you don’t have to give them links,

    The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday changed the definition of broadband to increase the threshold speed – a move that has already angered cable companies.

    In a 3-2 vote, the commission approved a measure that increases the minimum standard for broadband speed, giving the agency more power to force internet service providers to improve their service.

    The definition of broadband is set to be raised from 4 megabits per second (Mbps) to 25Mbps for downloads and 1Mbps to 3Mbps for uploads.

    With that speed as the benchmark, significantly fewer Americans have access to high-speed broadband. Under the previous definition, 19 million Americans were without access; the new definition means that 55 million Americans – 17% of the population – now do not have access to high-speed broadband, according to the FCC’s 2015 Broadband Progress Report, which is in the final editing process but was cited at the hearing.

    Under the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the FCC is responsible for ensuring that broadband “is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion”.

    YES! and about freaking time.

    seeRpea (181740)

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