You can also contact them via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
And don’t forget to contact your members of Congress about the issue, just for good measure.
The administration’s plan to create a “free and open Internet” means, as usual, the opposite of what it says. As Gordon Crovitz explains in the Wall Street Journal, it is really a monumental, bare-faced power grab.
The permissionless Internet, which allows anyone to introduce a website, app or device without government review, ends this week. On Thursday the three Democrats among the five commissioners on the Federal Communications Commission will vote to regulate the Internet under rules written for monopoly utilities.
No one, including the bullied FCC chairman, Tom Wheeler, thought the agency would go this far. The big politicization came when President Obama in November demanded that the supposedly independent FCC apply the agency’s most extreme regulation to the Internet. A recent page-one Wall Street Journal story headlined “Net Neutrality: How White House Thwarted FCC Chief” documented “an unusual, secretive effort inside the White House… acting as a parallel version of the FCC itself.”…
The more than 300 pages of new regulations are secret, but Mr. Wheeler says they will subject the Internet to the key provisions of Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, under which the FCC oversaw Ma Bell.
The specifics of the grab don’t matter as much as the direction in which things must inevitably move. Regulation is an absorbing state like the Hotel California. You can try to check out any time you like, but once inside you can never really leave. Three hundred pages of regulation will become 301… 302… A new administration might slow down the rate of growth, but it can never reverse it.
The very success of the Internet doomed its independence. Like any rich, glittering center of wealth that springs up in the desert sands, it would inevitably be coveted by nearby chieftains. And if there’s anything this administration – and to a lesser extent any administration – hankers after it is power. So a-raiding they will go. So here is prince Barack, at the tech city gates, demanding the keys. Not that he will know what to do with it after obtaining them. But possession of the bauble is in the first instance enough.
There is the notion, often reticiently expressed but frequently glimpsed in news stories, that the key to the future World Order is information. Lawfare, the use of sanctions – in fact every application of ”smart” policy – implicitly depends on information dominance. Information is the key to the Western elite’s power. It is probably the administration’s idea that possession of tech will open the gates to this new World Order.
The “other side” – whatever you want to call them since they cannot be referred to as the ‘enemy’ know this too. They understand or guess that the world is dividing into wired and unwired spaces. Their basic strategy is to base themselves and expand in the ungoverned – and coincidentally the unwired – spaces of the world where they operate in conventional ways; with armies, trucks and outlandishly uniformed men. But in the wired West, their strategy is totally different to suit the conditions.
There Lawfare is waiting to defend the West with surveillance. Homeland Defense doesn’t really rely on screeners at airports or border crossings who are there only to impress the rubes. The real defense of the realm depends on ever increasing amounts of domestic monitoring. The cracked encryption on your SIM; the data retained on your ISP, the real-time machine monitoring of conversations, the proposed sharing of data collected by Silicon Valley these are all bricks in the wall that keep the Jihadis out. They are also bricks in the invisible prison that surrounds you. But a brick is a brick and the information sharing the president proposes will naturally enough be put under Homeland Security rather than the NSA.
The “other side” understands this and therefore employs “lone wolf” tactics against the West for two reasons. First, singletons are difficult even for the wired world to detect; and second, they encourage the metastatic growth of more wires to prevent the next attack. The joint product of political correctness, lawfare, surveillance and lone wolves is to essentially create fascism and discontent in the West. The president’s response to the lone wolf problem will essentially be to watch everybody. In that way nobody is profiled. Everyone is suspected equally. This suits the every players’ book. The El-Shabab threatens to attack the malls and Jeh Johnson gets a billion dollars more. What’s not to like?
This happy cycle can go on indefinitely until eventually the the world is divided into two distinct spaces: a West completely crisscrossed by a “free and open” Internet and Internet of Things governed by a man called Hussein and 8th century badlands governed by other men called Hussein. Welcome to the 21st century. So are we doomed? Probably. But critically not in the way you might think and perhaps more importantly, not in the way president Obama thinks.
The actual effect of government control is to institutionalize incompetence. The more Obama controls, the more he destroys. Take Obamacare. Hardly a day goes by when we don’t read that 80 million records have been stolen by Chinese hackers from Obamacare provider Anthem; or that Obamacare itself is sharing information with third party providers. Only the other day the public learned that 800,000 wrong tax forms were mailed to Obamacare policy holders because they used the wrong year in the computation; that after 3 years the backend isn’t finished.
And in other news let’s not forget that Snowden stole the crown jewels from the NSA. In fact, Glenn Greenwald was on hand to collect the Oscar given by Hollywood to the documentary depicting the theft.
The administration’s proposal has been called Obamacare for the Internet. What Obama’s Internet grab will do is activate the Law of Unintended consequences. The princes may be attracted to the glittering city in the sands but they don’t know a thing about running it. Never having governed before, they haven’t learned that the wires can strangle them also. Once they lose information – and cover it up in the habitual way – the loss can have deadly consequences. To see how this can happen, let’s take a trip back in time to 1920 and the review destruction of the Cairo Gang.
The Cairo Gang was a special British intelligence unit dispatched to Ireland to finish the IRA. ” Its members lived in boarding houses and hotels across Dublin, where they lived unobtrusively while preparing a hit list of known republicans. However, the IRA Intelligence Department (IRAID) was one step ahead of them and was receiving information from numerous well-placed sources, including Lily Merin, who was the confidential code clerk for British Army Intelligence Centre in Parkgate Street, and Sergeant Jerry Mannix, stationed in Donnybrook. Mannix provided the IRAID with a list of names and addresses for all the members of the Cairo Gang”.
This is a simple example of what it means to lose information. The IRA got inside the wires. The IRA hunters were themselves killed on “morning of 21 November 1920 by the IRA in a planned series of simultaneous early-morning strikes engineered by Michael Collins”. Now imagine if you will, some enemy power getting inside the ramshackle empire of Homeland Security and getting a list of all the people who really matter in American defense and doing a Michael Collins. Or think about a monumental takedown of a powergrid, or the compromise of a vital SCADA system.
Many of the administration’s supporters don’t understand that they are making themselves, not just others, vulnerable. Once you put the wires in the hands of Barack Obama, what could go wrong? Ambassador Stevens must have trusted the administration. Where is Stevens now?
In some ways, leaving the Internet alone has the same advantages as leaving all the P-40s at Pearl Harbor in their original revetments. Readers will recall that as a security measure against sabotage, military authorities ordered all the P-40s in Hawaii taken out of their shelters and parked in the center of the runways in order to better guard them. That was how the Japanese found them on December 7, 1941.
Will the administration give you a “freer and more open Internet” than you have now? Or more to the point, will giving it over to the feds enhance security? We are in all probability doomed by this move. The difference is we know it. The administration has not yet figured out that in incompetent hands even the finest weapon can be turned around to face its hapless wielder.
As the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Election Commission toy with regulating aspects of the Internet, critics on those agencies are warning that speed and freedom of speech are in jeopardy.
In a joint column, Federal Communications Commission member Ajit Pai and Federal Election Commission member Lee Goodman, leveled the boom on the Obama-favored regulations, essentially charging that it will muck up the freedom the nation has come to expect from the Internet.
In one key passage of the column published in Politico, the duo wrote Monday that heavy-handed FCC regulations like those imposed in Europe will significantly slow down Internet speech.
“These Internet regulations will deter broadband deployment, depress network investment and slow broadband speeds. How do we know? Compare Europe, which has long had utility-style regulations, with the United States, which has embraced a light-touch regulatory model. Broadband speeds in the United States, both wired and wireless, are significantly faster than those in Europe. Broadband investment in the United States is several multiples that of Europe. And broadband’s reach is much wider in the United States, despite its much lower population density,” the two wrote.
They also joined to warn about the Democrat-chaired Federal Election Commission eyeing regulation of political speech on the Internet.
Noting recent votes on the issue that ended in a political deadlock, the two wrote, “these close votes and the risk of idiosyncratic case-by-case enforcement inevitably discourage citizens and groups from speaking freely online about politics.”
Bottom line, they warned: “Internet freedom works. It is difficult to imagine where we would be today had the government micromanaged the Internet for the past two decades as it does Amtrak and the U.S. Postal Service. Neither of us wants to find out where the Internet will be two decades from now if the federal government tightens its regulatory grip. We don’t need to shift control of the Internet to bureaucracies in Washington. Let’s leave the power where it belongs – with the American people. When it comes to Americans’ ability to access online content or offer political speech online, there isn’t anything broken for the government to “fix.” To paraphrase President Ronald Reagan, Internet regulation isn’t the solution to a problem. Internet regulation is the problem.”
SPEECH ON OBAMA’S PERSONAL HISTORY, CHARACTER AND IDEOLOGY
Click HERE to purchase Mr. D’Souza’s many good books on subjects ranging from the greatness of Christianity and America to racism and education in the U.S.
OBAMA’S AMERICA [FULL DOCUMENTARY]
In May of last year Republican Senator Ted Cruz released a definitive list of 76 “lawless Obama administration actions” and abuses of power. Titled “The Legal Limit Report No. 4, The Obama Administration’s Abuse of Power,” the original document spans 16 pages and explores details of President Obama’s executive actions and memoranda up to that point in time.
Some of these most readers will be familiar with while others, such as #42 which reminds us Obama dismissed charges filed by the Bush Administration against New Black Panther Party members or #72 which reveals Obama arranged for the supervised release of an illegal alien who later killed a nun while driving under the influence, may come as news to many. Actually, there are many of these which are eye openers and all of them are fully verifiable.
Cruz’s introduction is also a breath of fresh air after 6 years of a stagnant media, rooted in it’s own politically partisan convictions, which refuses to squarely report on the facts of the current ‘blue cloth’ administration’s shortcomings and instances of policy overreach.
THE LEGAL LIMIT: THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S ATTEMPTS TO EXPAND FEDERAL POWER
By U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) Ranking Member Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on The Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights
Of all the troubling aspects of the Obama presidency, none is more dangerous than the President’s persistent pattern of lawlessness, his willingness to disregard the written law and instead enforce his own policies via executive fiat.
The President’s taste for unilateral action to circumvent Congress should concern every citizen, regardless of party or ideology. The great 18th-century political philosopher Montesquieu observed: “There can be no liberty where the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or body of magistrates.” America’s Founding Fathers took this warning to heart, and we should too.
Rule of law doesn’t simply mean that society has laws; dictatorships are often characterized by an abundance of laws. Rather, rule of law means that we are a nation ruled by laws, not men. No one – and especially not the president – is above the law. For that reason, the U.S. Constitution imposes on every president the express duty to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”
Rather than honor this duty, President Obama has openly defied it by repeatedly suspending, delaying, and waiving portions of the laws that he is charged to enforce. When President Obama disagreed with federal immigration laws, he instructed the Justice Department to cease enforcing the laws. He did the same thing with federal welfare law, drug laws, and the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
In the more than two centuries of our nation’s history, there is simply no precedent for the White House wantonly ignoring federal law and asking others to do the same.
For all those who are silent now: What would they think of a Republican president who announced that he was going to ignore the law, or unilaterally change the law? Imagine a future president setting aside environmental laws, or tax laws, or labor laws, or tort laws with which he or she disagreed.
That would be wrong – and it is the Obama precedent that is opening the door for future lawlessness. As Montesquieu knew, an imperial presidency threatens the liberty of every citizen. Because when a president can pick and choose which laws to follow and which to ignore, he is no longer a president.
REPORT NO. 4: THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S ABUSE OF POWER
GOVERNING BY EXECUTIVE FIAT
1. Disregarded 1996 welfare reform law in granting broad work waivers for work requirements of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
2. Implemented portions of the DREAM Act, which Congress rejected, by executive action.
3. Ended some terror asylum restrictions, by allowing asylum for people who provided only “insignificant” or “limited” material support of terrorists.
4. Allowed immigrants in the U.S. illegally, who are relatives of military troops and veterans, to stay in the country and get legal status.
5. Extended federal marriage benefits by recognizing, under federal law, same-sex marriages created in a state that allows same-sex marriage even if the couple is living in a state that doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage.
6. Recognized same-sex marriage in Utah, even though the Supreme Court stayed the court order recognizing same-sex marriage in Utah and Utah said it would not recognize same-sex marriages performed before the stay.
7. Refused to prosecute violation of drug laws with certain mandatory minimums.
8. Issued signing statements, refusing to enforce parts of congressional-enacted statutes.
9. Illegally refused to act on Yucca Mountain’s application to become a nuclear waste repository.
10. Falsely portrayed the Benghazi terrorist attack as a spontaneous protest against an anti-Muslim YouTube video, and then lied about the White House’s involvement.
11 Illegally revealed the existence of sealed indictments in the Benghazi investigation.
12. Failed to enforce the Magnitsky Act as required by law, by not adding Russian human rights abusers to a list of people not permitted to travel to or do business in the U.S.
13. Killed four Americans overseas in counterterrorism operations without judicial process.
14. Continued to give Egypt aid after the military took over its government, even though federal law prohibits aid to Egypt in the event of a coup.
15. Granted a “hardship” exemption from the individual mandate for people whose health plans were canceled because their plans weren’t Obamacare compliant.
16. Delayed the individual mandate for two years.
17. Allowed individuals to buy health insurance plans in 2014 that did not comply with Obamacare. Extended this delay until 2016 – past the mid-term elections.
18. Extended the deadline to enroll in Obamacare.
19. Illegally granted businesses a waiver from Obamacare’s employer mandate. Twice.
20. Illegally continued the Obamacare employer contribution for congressional staffs.
21. Illegally delayed the Obamacare caps on out-of-pocket healthcare payments.
22. Illegally delayed Obamacare verification of eligibility for healthcare subsidies.
23. Illegally required people to violate their faith via the Obamacare contraception mandate.
24. As of May 2011, over 50% of Obamacare waiver beneficiaries were union members (who account for less than 12% of the American work force).
25. Ordered Boeing to fire 1,000 employees in South Carolina and shut down a new factory because it was non-union.
26. Implemented a moratorium on offshore drilling after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill without statutory authority, and continued to enact new versions after federal courts repeatedly invalidated the moratorium.
27. Treated secured creditors worse than unsecured creditors in the Chrysler bankruptcy.
28. Terminated the pensions of 20,000 non-union Delphi employees in the GM bankruptcy.
29. Had SWAT teams raid a Gibson guitar factory and seize property, on the purported basis that Gibson had broken India’s environmental laws – but no charges were filed.
30. Government agencies are engaging in “Operation Choke Point,” where the government asks banks to “choke off” access to financial services for customers engaging in conduct the Administration does not like – such as “ammunition sales.”
EXECUTIVE NOMINEES AND PERSONNEL
31. Made illegal “recess” appointments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the National Labor Relations Board when Congress wasn’t in recess. Ignored the rulings of three federal courts of appeals that held those nominations unconstitutional.
32. Appointed czars to oversee federal policy specifically because czars do not require Senate confirmation, earning criticism from stalwart Democrats such as West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd and Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold.
33. As of January 2012, 36 of the President’s executive office staff owed $833,970 in back taxes.
34. As of 2011, 311,566 federal employees or retirees owed $3.5 billion in taxes.
FREE SPEECH AND PRIVACY
35. Illegally targeted conservative groups for heightened IRS scrutiny.
36. Circumvented the Freedom of Information Act, by requiring White House Counsel review of all documents to be released under the Freedom of Information Act that the Administration believed pertained to “White House equities” – and then delayed in producing many of these documents by FOIA’s statutory deadline, or didn’t produce them at all.
37. Got secret permission from the FISA Court to reverse restrictions on the National Security Agency’s use of intercepted phone calls and emails, permitting the NSA to search American’s communications in its databases.
38. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is seeking to monitor about 80% of U.S. credit card transactions.
39. Targeted Fox News reporter James Rosen by falsely labeling him a possible “co-conspirator” in a criminal investigation of a new leak.
40. Secretly obtained phone records from staff at the Associated Press.
41. Had meetings with lobbyists in coffee shops near White House to avoid disclosure requirements.
OTHER LAWLESS ACTS
42. Aided drug cartels instead of enforcing immigration laws – as found by a federal judge. Border Patrol agents, multiple times, knowingly helped smuggle illegal immigrant children into the U.S.; “the DHS is encouraging parents to seriously jeopardize the safety of their children.”
43. Illegally sold thousands of guns to criminals, in the operation known as Fast and Furious and then refused to comply with congressional subpoenas about the operation.
44. Dismissed charges filed by Bush Administration against New Black Panther Party members who were videotaped intimidating voters at a Philadelphia polling station during the 2008 election.
45. Argued for expansive federal powers in the Supreme Court, which has rejected the Administration’s arguments unanimously 9 times since January 2012.
46. Sued Louisiana to stop school vouchers and keep low-income minorities trapped in failing schools.
47. Threatened to arrest military priests for practicing their faith during the partial government shutdown.
48. Muzzled the speech of military chaplains.
49. Sued fire departments saying their multiple-choice, open-book written employment tests were racially discriminatory.
50. Gave 23,994 tax refunds worth more than $46 million to aliens here illegally using the same address in Atlanta, GA.
OTHER ABUSES OF POWER
51. Released a mentally ill Guantanamo detainee… who had been a high-risk al Qaeda fighter in jihad combat since the 1980s.
52. Backed release of the Lockerbie bomber, Abdel Baset al-Megrahi.
53. President Obama told NASA administrator to “find a way to reach out to the Muslim world.”
54. Claimed the Fort Hood shooting was “workplace violence” rather than terrorism.
55. Signed a stimulus bill that spent money on bonuses for AIG executives, and then acted shocked and outraged at the bonuses.
56. Gave $535 million to Solyndra, which went bankrupt; Solyndra shareholders and officials made substantial donations to Obama’s campaign.
57. Reneged on a campaign promise to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term in office.
58. Increased the national debt more in one term than President Bush did in two terms.
59. Extended mortgage assistance to people who bought multiple homes during the housing bubble.
60. Proposed rules that would have decimated family farms, by prohibiting children under 18 from doing many forms of farm work.
61. Former “safe schools czar” has written about his past drug abuse and advocated promoting homosexuality in schools.
62. Nominated Timothy Geithner – who had significant tax issues – to head the Treasury Department, which enforces tax laws.
63. Reneged on campaign promise to broadcast healthcare reform negotiations on C-SPAN.
64. Reneged on a campaign promise to wait five days before signing any non-emergency bill (at least 10 times during first 3 months in office).
65. Unilaterally, increased the minimum wage for federal contract workers from $7.25 to $10.10, via executive order.
66. Cancelled all White House tours after sequestration – purportedly saving $18,000 per week – even though President Obama had spent more than $1 million in tax money to golf with Tiger Woods one weekend a few weeks before.
67. Adopted pro-union “ambush election” rules.
68. Pressured Ford to pull an anti-auto-bailout TV ad.
69. Actively, aided in George Zimmerman protests.
70. Tried to seize a privately owned motel when guests used illegal drugs at the motel.
71. Shut down the Amber Alert website, while keeping up Let’s Move website, during the partial government shutdown.
72. Gave supervised release to a convicted criminal (an alien here illegally) who later killed a nun in a DUI.
73. Shut down an Amish farm for selling fresh unpasteurized milk across state lines.
74. Spent $7 million per household in “stimulus funds” to connect a few Montana households to the Internet.
75. Spent $205,075 in “stimulus” funds to relocate a shrub that sells for $16.
76. Fired an inspector general after investigating an $850,000 AmeriCorps grant received by a nonprofit run by former NBA star and Obama supporter Kevin Johnson (now mayor of Sacramento).
The original report, complete with hotlinked source footnotes to support Cruz’s claims, can be viewed here.
Democrats in the U.S. Senate blocked the Keystone XL pipeline bill from moving forward on Monday, but supporters of the project vowed to push ahead and eventually get a vote on the measure.
The Senate failed to get the 60 votes needed to limit debate, voting 53 to 39 on the measure.
The Keystone bill allows Congress to approve TransCanada Corp’s project to link Canada’s oil sands to refineries on the Gulf Coast.
Democrats, who lost control of the Senate as a result of November’s elections, flexed their muscles to deliver a message to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that he will have to deal with them even on bills that enjoy some bipartisan support.
McConnell has pledged that amendments to bills will be debated in an open process. But Democrats said McConnell cut off debate last Thursday on several amendments.
“He’s got to work with us and not try to jam us,” Senator Chuck Schumer said of McConnell. Democrats are not trying to delay the bill, but they don’t want McConnell to shut down the open process at his whim, said Schumer, the Senate’s third ranking Democrat.
Republicans have made passing the Keystone bill the first priority of the new Senate.
But the White House has said President Barack Obama would reject the bill, and Keystone supporters are four votes short of the 67 needed to overcome any veto.
Senator Lisa Murkowski, the chairman of the energy committee, vowed to work with Democrats on her panel to consider additional amendments.