corporate lobbyist

How to End Crony Capitalism

The largest corporations and richest people in America – who donated billions of dollars to Republican candidates the House and Senate in the 2106 election – appear on the way to getting what they paid for: a giant tax cut.

The New York Times reports that business groups are meeting frequently with key Republicans in order to shape the tax bill, whose details remain secret. 

Speed and secrecy are critical. The quicker Republicans get this done, and without hearings, the less likely will the rest of the country discover how much it will cost in foregone Medicaid and Medicare or ballooning budget deficits.

Donald Trump has been trashing democratic institutions – the independence of the press, judges who disagree with him, uncooperative legislators – while raking in money off his presidency. But don’t lose sight of the larger attack on our democracy that was underway even before Trump was elected: A flood of big money into politics.  

Lest you conclude it’s only Republicans who have been pocketing big bucks in exchange for political favors, consider what Big Tech – the industry that’s mostly bankrolled Democrats – is up to. 

It’s mobilizing an army of lobbyists and lawyers – including senior advisors to Hillary Clinton’s campaign – to help scuttle a proposed law requiring Google, Facebook, and other major Internet companies to disclose who is purchasing their online political advertising.

After revelations that Russian-linked operatives bought deceptive ads in the run-up to the 2016 election, you’d think this would be a no-brainer. But never underestimate the power of big money, whichever side of the aisle it’s aimed at. 

Often, it’s both sides. Last week The Washington Post and “60 Minutes” reported that Big Pharma contributed close to $1.5 million to Democrats as well as Republicans in order to secure enactment of the so-called “Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2016.”

This shameful law weakened the Drug Enforcement Authority’s power to stop prescription opioids from being shipped to pharmacies and doctors suspected of taking bribes to distribute them – a major cause of the opioid crisis. Last year, Americans got 236 million opioid prescriptions, the equivalent of one bottle for every adult.

Overwhelming majorities of House and Senate Democrats voted for the bill, as well as Republicans, and President Obama signed it into law.

There you have it, folks. Big money is buying giant tax cuts, allowing Russia to interfere in future elections, and killing Americans. That’s just the tip of the corrupt iceberg that’s sinking our democracy. 

Republicans may be taking more big money, but both parties have been raking it in. 

Average Americans know exactly what’s going on. 

I just returned from several days in Kentucky and Tennessee, both of which voted overwhelmingly for Trump.

A number of Trump voters told me they voted for him because they wanted someone who’d shake up Washington, drain the swamp, and get rid of crony capitalism. They saw Hillary Clinton as part of the problem.

These people aren’t white nationalists. They’re decent folks who just want a government that’s not of, by, and for the moneyed interests. 

Many are now suffering buyer’s remorse. They recognize Trump has sold his administration to corporate lobbyists and Wall Street. “He conned us,” was the most polite response I heard.

The big money that’s taken over American politics in recent years has created the biggest political backlash in postwar American history – inside both parties.

It’s splitting the Republican Party between its large corporate patrons and a base that detests big corporations and Wall Street.

Trump is trying to straddle both by pretending he’s a champion of the working class while pushing for giant tax cuts. But if my free-floating focus group in Kentucky and Tennessee is any indication, the base is starting to see through it.

Which you might think creates a huge opportunity for Democrats heading into the 2018 midterms and the presidential election of 2020.

Think again. Much of the official Democratic Party is still in denial, continuing to debate whether it should be on the proverbial “left” or move to the “middle.”

But when it comes to getting big money out of politics and ending crony capitalism, there’s no right or left, and certainly no middle. There’s just democracy or oligarchy.

Democrats should be fighting for commonsense steps to reclaim our democracy from the moneyed interests – public financing of elections, full disclosure of all sources of political funding, an end to revolving door between government and business, and attempts to reverse the bonkers Supreme Court decision “Citizens United vs. the Federal Election Commission.”

For that matter, Republicans should be fighting for these, too.

Heres’a wild idea. What if the anti-establishment wings of both parties came together in a pro-democracy coalition to get big money out of politics? 

Then it might actually happen.  

When we’re judging Republicans on their level of complicity with this president, perhaps the best measure is whether they defend him, and what they’re defending him for. Not when they advocate for his administration’s goals or policy choices (which they mostly agree with), or when they massage his fantastically fragile ego by doing things such as pretending he’s a professional-level golfer, but standing up for the man himself when he is at his worst. When Trump says or does something vile, what do they do? The people judged most harshly by history will be those such as Cotton and Perdue who rush to his aid. Those like Ryan who either hide from the cameras or offer only the mildest of rebukes should not be forgiven either, since their sin is mostly one of cowardice.

As for the small number of Republicans who speak out against Trump when he puts his own hideousness on such vivid display, we don’t have to call them heroes. Jeff Flake will be just fine in his new career as a corporate lobbyist, or whatever else he decides to do. But we can grant them this: If they speak honestly about the president and what he represents, at least they made an attempt to do the right thing.

And when the time comes for a real reckoning — such as when all the facts of the Russia scandal are known and they have to decide whether he should be removed from office — then we’ll find out how courageous they really are.


Are Republicans complicit when it comes to Trump? Here’s how to tell.

It’s not enough to have Trump ruined and humiliated and rotting in prison. All the elected officials, like Cotton and Paul Ryan, need to be shunned from public life, too.

Republicans do not understand insurance, economics, government, and decency. They have no idea how empathy works!

They only know how to give additional unnecessary advantages to corporate lobbyists and wealthy donors.

Google, Trump, and the Arrogance of Power

Google’s search engine runs two-thirds of all searches in the United States and 90 percent in Europe.

“Platform monopolies” like this can squelch innovation. Google might favor its own services, such as Google Maps and Google Product Search, for example. This is one reason why the European Commission hit Google with a record 2.42 billion-euro fine in June.

Why hasn’t Google run into similar problems with antitrust authorities in the United States?

It almost did in 2012. The Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition recommended that the Commission sue Google for conduct that “has resulted — and will result — in real harm to … innovation.”

But the commissioners decided not to pursue the case, which was unusual. They didn’t explain their decision, but it may have had to do with Google’s political clout. 

Google is among the largest corporate lobbyists in the United States, and a major campaign donor.

Google also has enough financial power to stifle criticism coming from independent researchers.

Last week the New York Times reported that the New America Foundation, an influential center-left think tank, fired Barry Lynn, a sharp critic of platform monopolies. Lynn had posted a congratulatory note to European officials on their Google decision, and called for American antitrust officials to follow suit.

Since its founding in 1999, the New America Foundation has received more than $21 million from Google (and its parent company, Alphabet) and from the family foundation of Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Alphabet who previously served as chairman of New America’s board.

According to the Times, Schmidt didn’t like Lynn’s comments, and communicated his displeasure to the president of the New America Foundation. She then accused Lynn of “imperiling the institution as a whole,” and fired him and his staff.

Few powerful institutions or people like criticism. But it’s never smart to use power to try to stop it.

Consider Donald J. Trump. It may seem odd to mention Trump at the same time I’m talking about Google. Google’s executives tend to be on the left. Eric Schmidt was a major backer of Hillary Clinton.  

But power is power, and Trump has demonstrated a similar tendency to throw his ever-expanding weight around. Like Google, he doesn’t particularly like to be criticized, if you hadn’t noticed. 

Trump also has a record of paying off politicians. During the 2016 Republican primaries, when attacked by his GOP rivals for having once donated money to Hillary Clinton, Trump explained “as a businessman and a very substantial donor to very important people, when you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do.”

After Trump’s charitable foundation made a $25,000 contribution to a campaign organization linked to Florida’s Attorney General, she decided not to open a fraud investigation of Trump University that her office had been considering. Not quite the Federal Trade Commission, but a similar transaction.

To support his ambitions, Trump has also paid for, shall we say, fake news. His presidential campaign seems to have financed a lot of fictional dirt on Hillary.

Google doesn’t pay for fake news, but it does pay off academics to help sway public opinion and policymakers in its favor.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Google has financed hundreds of professors at places like Harvard and Berkeley to write research papers that help Google defend itself against regulatory challenges of its market dominance. Google’s payments range from $5,000 to $400,000.

This research has been used by Google in courtrooms, regulatory hearings, and congressional hearings.

Some professors have allowed Google to see the papers before they’re published, enabling Google to give them “suggestions,” according to emails obtained by the Journal.

The professors’ research papers don’t disclose that Google sought them out, and don’t necessarily reveal Google’s backing.

I’m not suggesting their research has been faked. But the failure to fully disclose Google’s connection with it does raise questions about its objectivity.

Google and Trump are wildly different, of course, but they’ve been playing much the same game. They’ve used their clout to stifle criticism, paid members of Congress to pull their punches, and bought fake or at least questionable facts to support of their goals.

Whether it’s a giant left-leaning corporation or an unhinged alt-right president, the underlying problem is the same. It imperils our democracy and breeds distrust in our system. Such abuse of power is morally wrong.

Everyone must have seen those infamous tweets questioning Taylor Swift’s place on the cover of Time. Even with the token “I’m not trying to minimize what happened to her” thrown in there, that’s exactly what’s being done. Taylor doesn’t have the “right” politics, the “right” kind of feminism, the “right” track record of activism, etc., and that apparently makes her less deserving of being on the cover. In order words, what’s being said is that Taylor isn’t the perfect hero, and therefore, not the perfect victim. 

Take a look at the cover again. Taylor stands alongside Ashley Judd who refused to be quiet and “started talking about Harvey the minute that it happened". She was the first star to go on the record about Harvey Weinstein’s behavior with the New York Times. There’s Susan Fowler, whose blog post ultimately led Uber CEO Travis Kalanick to resign and the multibillion-dollar startup to oust at least 20 other employees. There’s Adama Iwu, a corporate lobbyist in Sacramento who was groped in front of several colleagues at an event and was shocked when none of her male co-workers stepped in to stop the assault. The next week, she organized 147 women to sign an open letter exposing harassment in California government. There’s Isabel Pascual, a woman from Mexico who works picking strawberries and asked to use a pseudonym to protect her family. She was stalked, harassed and threatened by her abuser. The arm you see is of an anonymous hospital worker who was harassed at her workplace and represents many who remain silent for the fear of retribution. 

Taylor Swift is just one of the victims featured on the cover. She complained about a Denver radio DJ named David Mueller, who reached under her skirt and grabbed her rear end. Mueller was subsequently fired. He sued Swift for millions in damages. She countersued for a symbolic $1 and then testified about the incident in August. She won. Taylor released a statement, “I acknowledge the privilege that I benefit from in life, in society, and in my ability to shoulder the enormous cost of defending myself in a trial like this. My hope is to help those whose voices should also be heard. Therefore, I will be making donations in the near future to multiple organizations that help sexual assault victims defend themselves.”

After reading the article in its entirety, I wonder if the people questioning Taylor’s place on the cover even read the damn thing. 

From a distance, these women could not have looked more different. Their ages, their families, their religions and their ethnicities were all a world apart. Their incomes differed not by degree but by universe: Iwu pays more in rent each month than Pascual makes in two months.

But on that November morning, what separated them was less important than what brought them together: a shared experience. Over the course of six weeks, TIME interviewed dozens of people representing at least as many industries, all of whom had summoned extraordinary personal courage to speak out about sexual harassment at their jobs. They often had eerily similar stories to share.

In almost every case, they described not only the vulgarity of the harassment itself—years of lewd comments, forced kisses, opportunistic gropes—but also the emotional and psychological fallout from those advances. Almost everybody described wrestling with a palpable sense of shame. Had she somehow asked for it? Could she have deflected it? Was she making a big deal out of nothing?

“I thought, What just happened? Why didn’t I react?” says the anonymous hospital worker who fears for her family’s livelihood should her story come out in her small community. “I kept thinking, Did I do something, did I say something, did I look a certain way to make him think that was O.K.?” It’s a poisonous, useless thought, she adds, but how do you avoid it? She remembers the shirt she was wearing that day. She can still feel the heat of her harasser’s hands on her body.

The point of featuring these 6 people specifically on the cover is not because somebody objectively determined that they were the Top 6 “most deserving sexual assault survivors who spoke out”. It’s because the cover effectively shows that, from the anonymous hospital worker to the world’s biggest popstar, nobody is immune to sexual assault, harassment and misogyny that pervades our culture. 

Whatever else you may think of Taylor Swift, this year she was a Silence Breaker. 



If you voted for Donald Trump, I get it. Maybe you feel you’ve been so badly shafted by the system that you didn’t want to go back to politics as usual, and Trump seemed like he’d topple that corrupt system. 

You voted to change our country’s power base – to get rid of crony capitalism and give our government back to the people who are working, paying taxes, and spending more just to survive. Lots of Americans agree with you. 

But now, the president is turning his back on that idea and the many changes he promised.

He did not drain the swamp. After telling voters how he would take control away from special interests, he has surrounded himself with the very Wall Street players he decried. Now, those who gamed politicians for tax loopholes and laws that reward the rich don’t even have to sneak around with backroom deals. 

Steve Mnuchin, Gary Cohn, Dina Powell and others from Wall Street, as well as corporate lobbyists by the dozens, are now inside the Trump administration rigging the system for the extremely wealthy from the inside. 

They want to make it easier for banks to once again gamble with your money and repeat our financial crisis. They want to cut health care for millions of you. They want to lower taxes on corporations and the rich. They want to get rid of rules that stop corporations from harming your health or safety. 

That’s not the change you were promised.

Make America Great Again? The Trump administration wants to expand on policies that have kept American wages stagnant for almost four decades. Huge corporations and billionaires get the breaks, and hard working Americans once again get left waiting for the crumbs. That’s not the change you were promised.

Bringing back fiscal responsibility? The Secret Service budget is skyrocketing to protect his family on international business trips, ski vacations, and separate New York City living quarters. 

At the same time, the president still refuses to untangle himself from his businesses and prove he’s not leveraging our government for his financial gain. You’re paying for his lifestyle while he’s doing nothing to help yours. 

That’s not the change you were promised.

Someone should tell the Koch brothers that Democrats only serve corporations, they’ll probably feel stupid wasting all those billions of dollars to keep Democrats out of power. Same for the Chamber Of Commerce and the American Enterprise Institute. All these corporate lobbyists are going to smack themselves once someone tells them both parties are the same.


The telecom corporate lobbyists are closer than ever to making this* happen by killing Net Neutrality, thanks to Trump’s FCC shills.

*please note the sites and the prices come from an internet image made probably 8 years ago. While it might seem nice at first glance (if you have no interest in gaming, for instance), realize that what it will do is change the playing field where there will be absolutely no possibility of anyone ever creating a new Google from their garage. That’s what this does.

We can still speak out, though. Remind your congresspeople who they are there to serve (spoiler: it’s us, even though we don’t give them the free money the telecoms do).

fantastical777  asked:

You think Obama was a good president? Honestly after reading what you say lately and searching a little about it, i think i could hes not the best, BUT neither the worst, i think is really more far away of being the worst. Just asking your opinion, you are my one of my favourites blogs here because i know more of the issues thanks to you.

Take social issues out of the equation, and what is left over is the same person when you look at Obama, the Bush’s, and the Clinton’s, and Nixon. Their accomplishments are primarily this:

>Hand democracy, government, diplomatic decisions, bill proposals, and crime management away to corporate CEOs, especially banks, and unelected international organizations

>Enable manufacturers to take production and the job market from American citizens, causing mass poverty and crime to increase.

>Change policy to enable corporations to manufacture in US prisons (where work conditions dont need to meet the same standards, including wages).

>Through “free trade agreements” enable manufacturers to be able to manufacture in third world countries that dont yet have enough independence and power to stop our corporations from systematically exploiting them and their government, to stop them from violating their rights, or to stop them from hijacking their governments indefinitely thereby preventing them from having protections of their human rights which dont serve the interests of unlimited neo-liberal profit.

>Increase policing, and mass surveillance and/or prohibitions for victimless “crimes”, in order to increase the prison population for the prison lobby that pays their campaigns to keep them in power

>Excuse Saudi Arabia for all human rights violations, political acts of aggression, and military operations, so that our corporate/political class can middleman their oil (been happening since ). Excuse them for pumping billions of dollars into radicalization mosques that they “charitably” build in their surrounding nations and any nation with growing muslim populations (whether due to already existing populations or due to immigration and refugees) including European countries, all while Saudi Arabia takes on exactly 0 refugees in their massive empty refugee camps. Buy weapons from the private military industry who lobbys for you to do so, then arm the Saudi-radicalized groups and have them fight eachother in order to destabilize the region, and help them along with drones and US military invasion. Destabilize the oil-rich neighbors of Saudi Arabia so our corporate/political class can middleman their Oil, and sell weapons in the process.

That’s Obama. That’s Bush and daddy Bush. That’s Hillary and Bill. That was Nixon. The list of politicians is much bigger than that, but those are the ones I can give you the most elaborate details about (if you were to ask for them and need sources), their exact policies on these matters, and the effects of those policies as they relate to mass systemic violations of human rights nationally and internationally. But essentially, that is neo-liberalism, crony capitalism, the force that will ultimately obscure liberal values and human rights. It is the systematic replacement of liberals & protected people with masses slaves. That’s it. The end goal of neo-liberalism is slavery, and they have the technology to do it, but not quite the will and guts to outright take aggressive action directly for it. All of these things are intwined and there is no wall between what is a political issue vs business issue.

And I’m not arguing it’s a grand conspiracy, it’s not, there is no single inner circle of people conspiring, it’s just the nature of power at work, it’s multiple sects and many powerful people working their own common interests and justifying what they can get away with and trying not to suffer the grave consequences of rocking the boat. Regradless of whether it is the intent whenever they make a decision, that is effectively what the ruling class is doing. Many of them likely dont even know what this system is heading toward for everyone. People are sheep, even the shepherds. Justification on top of justification buries the truth, even from the liar. It’s called a shut-eye (1:45). Good intentions pave the road to hell.

I wanted to add more about how religions and identity politics and neo-marxism plays into things, how the media is a propaganda machine, and how the media plays both sides of the chess board and essentially plays the role of divide and conquer toward the people who take it willingly and unwittingly, how the media is controlled by (literally 6 families) the same people who actively work to maintain as much control of the government as they can, how the two parties effectively work against all interests of the American people and people of foreign nations, both parties do so in the exact same ways as the other party, how both parties support corporations and banks the exact same ways, some stuff about the environment and food supply and energy industry, how Nixon’s free trade deal allowed China to sustain itself as a totalitarian state at the expense of the Chinese people and american workers (sorta covered that already), some side notes about Nixon’s reason for the drug war as well as corporate lobbyists who wanted to crush their the hemp industry competitors, some info about specific weapons deals, info about Saudi Arabia’s money in the US, some stuff about the “Federal” Reserve Bank, and some things about the drug war and private prisons and the Clintons in particular, some more things about Reagan’s similar involvement with these things, the history of our relationship with Saudi Arabia, and specific authoritarian bills that are typically blamed on one party but were passed with a ‘yes‘ by Bush, Hillary, and Obama. And on and on and on, but I could go on forever.

So instead, in short, I’ll just say that the position of President of the United States has been almost solely a racketeering business for a long time, that social issues are a carrot on a stick leading us this way and that for the interests of someone who does not care how it affects us, and politics are swayed more by a single corporate CEO or former CEO -on a state and federal level- than many entire states combined, especially if we started naming names of specific influential people. And also, things are not all black and white either, there’s a lot of nuance to all of these issues, and also also, don’t just take my word for everything or anything.

Also, on Barack Obama specifically, here is a list of his accomplishments:

-He is the first Nobel Peace Prize winner to bomb another Nobel Peace Prize winner

-He is the first US president to bomb a charity hospital, and with 100% collateral damage no less, killing 42, injuring over 30, with 33 people missing.

-He dropped 26,171 bombs in one year, in a war he was elected on the promise of ending

-He is the third president in a row to bomb more nations than any other president since WW2, and was ongoingly bombing all 8 of them at the same time at one point

-He is the 5th president in a row to have increased government debt to a massive new threshold. He raised the government debt from 10 trillion to 20 trillion. Tick tock

-Before presidency, Obama voted ‘yes’ to a bill written by a Bush administrator -who was a former Wall Street banker, btw- written to give themself the authority to spend 700,000,000,000 dollars on banks who were going to fail due to their own illegal business practices that had just destroyed the economy. The banks pocketed most of the money. And don’t forget the 800 billion dollar stimulus bill on top of that, passed when he made it to office.

-He is the first president to hire a private advertising company as a PR team, yes, he is the first president to have literal propagandists telling him and his circles how to be in order to keep a fals image of who they are to the american people. This is was brought to Hunger Games level on the Orwellian meter when he slowjamed propaganda about how wonderful the TPP is on a late night talkshow. Yes, the TPP, the most imperialistic bill that has every been conceived by corporations (and Hillary Clinton).

-Also, first black president, and he didn’t do shit to help black people, he often made them more upset. And just look at race relations now.

So yeah, fuck Obama.

He did everything the left hated Bush for. And for some reason, they praise him for it when he does it, because politics is fucking football apparently, and football is apparently politics. Did I mention Obama bombed an award winning charity hospital with 100% collateral damage, 0 targets in the building, and people literally burned to death? OH, and fuck me, I actually DIDNT mention the torture that the military is still doing. I’m just going to end this here for health and mental stability reasons.

Remember, with great power…. comes


[similar post]

I’m honestly kinda in a state of shock about the tax bill passing.

That bill isn’t just a tax bill. It has so many amendments from corporations and lobbyists. It hurts us all. It hurts the environment and disabled people, for example.

But folks are focusing on how it “hurts the middle class”.

Nevermind what the hell the rest of the nearly 500 pages includes.

Fuck the GOP. Fuck our supposed “representatives.”

This year really has been a hellish shit show and I’m not looking forward to the rest of his time in office. I’ve got my own bullshit life. This is all too much. Too overwhelming.

An open letter to Tumblr about Net Neutrality

To Whom it May Concern (which is basically everybody),

As a regular Tumblr user, I was disappointed to see Tumblr’s open support of so-called “Net Neutrality.” I find it terribly ironic that a company which is able to exist solely because of the current state of internet freedom, supports regulation that would essentially hand over internet liberty to the federal government. “Save the Internet”? From what, exactly? Conditions that allowed your company to flourish? How…unselfish of you.

In the spirit of liberty, I celebrate everyone’s right to openly express any opinion, regardless of how much I might disagree with it. That being said, I’d like to exercise my right to free speech by pointing out that your support of “Net Neutrality” is either misguided or intentionally misleading. 

1.  Net Neutrality is a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist.

Supporters of so-called “Net Neutrality” will tell you that the government needs to have the power to regulate how ISPs prioritize their connection speeds to ensure that they don’t favor one internet user over another. But here’s what they never tell you: It’s a fictitious problem. It only exists theoretically. This, of course, is nothing new. The government is famous for concocting problems that it can only “solve” by assuming more control. Understand, I’m not suggesting that ISPs don’t prioritize connection speeds. They do. But often this is a good thing, not a bad thing. An internet company should be able to prioritize, say, Netflix over It only makes sense.

But here’s the rub: it is natural for the free to self-adjust, but history has shown that it is decidedly unnatural for the Federal Government to do so.  If suddenly becomes an international success, and consumers suddenly demand faster access, they get to vote with their pocketbooks and only the service providers who adjust will succeed. Ten years ago, nobody could have imagined the success that a company like Netflix would have streaming HD movies on demand.  At first, the service was clunky and slow, but now that consumers have demanded the content, ISPs have adjusted and Netflix movies and shows can be streamed without interruption.  The Federal Government is not capable of that kind of rapid adjustment.

2.  Net Neutrality will ultimately lead to censorship.

The only developed countries in the world that do not a have free and open internet are countries where the government will simply not allow it to be free. The internet is censored in China. The internet is censored in Cuba. The internet is censored all over the Middle East. This is something that we in America have never had to fear because the government lacked the legal authority to censor, but by deeming the internet a “public utility,” that’s exactly what would happen. Why would we want to voluntarily give the power to censor to government?

Right now, internet content is free and open and controlled by no one (generally speaking). People can exchange information freely precisely because of the fact that the government doesn’t control it. Users aren’t required to have licenses to post things deemed controversial by those in power. I know, I know…you might think that it’s far fetched to suggest that the federal government would suddenly start blocking certain users from saying certain things online. That’s tinfoil hat stuff. but the truth is, it’s already happening. The FCC censors what can and can’t be said or shown on over-the-air television, radio and satellite mediums because these have been deemed “public utilities.” Why are we so confident that this won’t happen to the internet – with this administration or when a new one comes to power?

Furthermore, in the past, this hasn’t just applied to obscene content, it has applied to political speech as well:

The Fairness Doctrine was a policy of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), introduced in 1949, that required the holders of broadcast licenses to both present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was, in the Commission’s view, honest, equitable and balanced.

In other words, every political view shared by every broadcaster had to be monitored and approved by government. This isn’t liberty. On the contrary. Fortunately this terrible law that censored broadcasters has been repealed. Look, if you think the government won’t attempt to regulate political speech (or punish certain behavior or try to control certain behavior) on the internet by fines, selective licensing, or other coercive measures, you’re being short-sighted and utterly naive.

3.  Net Neutrality will usher in internet taxes.

There are some that claim that this isn’t true because taxes aren’t mandated in the FCC regulations, but read the fine print. By changing the classification of the internet, the federal government opens up the possibility of state and local utility taxes, which is, of course, another way of saying that local and state governments will tax the internet (because that’s what governments do. If they can tax it, they will). Here’s one analysis from the Progressive Policy Institute:

By regulating broadband service under Title II…broadband would likely become burdened with a host of new state and local taxes and fees, the kind we pay on our monthly home and/or wireless phone bills. These taxes and fees are normally passed on to consumers; when they rise, consumers end up paying more. Expect the same with broadband.
According to Litan and Singer, these new state and local fees will increase by $15 billion, impacting consumers to varying degrees. The average American household with a fixed broadband connection would pay in the range of an additional $51 to $83 per year, and those with one smartphone or other wireless broadband device (tablet) would pay $72 more annually.

But local taxes aren’t the only ones that will show up on the average consumer’s bill. The FCC has long required fees of all of the entities it regulates in order to support its so-called “Universal Service Fund.” Allow Wikipedia to explain:

The Universal Service Fund (USF) is a system of telecommunications subsidies and fees managed by the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) intended to promote universal access to telecommunications services in the United States. The FCC established the fund in 1997 in compliance with the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The fund reported a total of $8.33 billion in disbursements in 2013, divided among its four programs. The fund is supported by charging telecommunications companies a fee which is set quarterly. As of the fourth quarter of 2014, the rate is 16.1% of a telecom company’s interstate end-user revenues.

So they won’t tax you, per se. They’ll just charge you fees. Sound familiar?  That’s exactly what happened with Obamacare. They might not call it a “tax,” but make no mistake, getting several billion dollars into Uncle Sam’s pockets is one of the primary reasons for Net Neutrality, not fairness (however that’s defined). New taxes will come if the FCC’s plan comes to fruition. It’s not a question of if, but a question of when.

4. There is no reasonable argument for Net Neutrality.

I’ve seen memes. I’ve seen Facebook posts. I’ve read progressive articles. I’ve listened to progressive politicians. And when it comes to Net Neutrality, they all have the same argument: “We need to #SaveTheInternet from the evil cable companies.” It’s the same tactic that has been used to push through countless other liberty-killing bureaucracies, laws, taxes and regulations: a fear and hatred of corporations. But this is an argument based on emotion and personal bias rather than reason, history, principle or fact.

First of all, as has already been stated, there is no problem. Internet users in America have the ability to blog about whatever they’d like, watch Netflix almost immediately – even on their phones, listen to religious broadcasts, participate in things that some might find offensive, share controversial ideas, criticize government and, yes, even rail against evil corporations. No one is censored. No one is threatened (legally). No one has their rights violated. There is no problem. The government shouldn’t be going around solving problems that don’t exist.

Second, as anyone who is vaguely familiar with economics would surmise, even if a cable company did begin to throttle particular users and allocate resources for reasons other than traffic demand, they would begin losing customers to competitors and the problem would be immediately fixed. That’s how the free market works. It can adjust to market forces and demand instantaneously. The government? Not so much.

Third, not only is there no problem, but the competition in the free marketplace has been an undeniable success. In 1994, there were dial-up modems that supplied internet at a laughable (by today’s standards) 28.8 kbit/s. Now, gigabit connections are available in many communities nationwide. That means that our internet is 35,000 times faster now than it was just two decades ago. No government agency made that happen. The free market did.

Fourth, you may not like them, but corporations do not have the power that government does. Corporations can’t put you in jail. Corporations can’t coerce you. Corporations can’t tax you. Corporations can’t pass regulations that infringe upon your rights in any way. Government, however, can do all of these things. It has the monopoly on force.  If you think dealing with Comcast or ATT is bad, you should be petrified of dealing with the Federal Government.

5. Net Neutrality will create yet another way for corporations to get in bed with politicians.

Everyone claims to hate crony-capitalism, but when we have a real chance to curb corporate influence on government, we rarely take it. In fact, often laws, taxes, regulations and spending projects are initiated, not because they are needed, but because a corporation with powerful lobbyists pays off, bribes, or blackmails politicians to get them passed because they know it will benefit them in some way. And giving the government the power to grant (or not grant) internet licenses will likely cause this problem to increase exponentially.

You might slyly ask why many large ISP companies would be in favor of such a law if it truly will regulate them, raise taxes, take away liberty, usher in unprecedented amounts of red tape and raise the price of virtually everything related to the internet. The answer: The elimination of competition. Why is Amazon in favor of the proposed internet tax that they’ll have to pay? Is it because Amazon is so noble that it is just chomping at the bit to build more roads and bridges? Hardly. It’s because Amazon knows that its smaller competition couldn’t possibly afford to compete with its deep pockets and they would eventually go out of business. It’s not all cupcakes and rainbows when the government and corporations mix. I regularly hear people of all political stripes decry the cozy relationship that corporations have with politicians, and rightly so. So why would we want to encourage it?

6. Net Neutrality takes away liberty.

You may hate corporations. More specifically, you may hate cable companies and ISPs. That’s super. Good for you. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t (or shouldn’t) have the right to run their businesses as they see fit. Please understand, if they violate the Constitutional rights of someone, then they should face consequences. No question about it. But apart from that, they, like everyone else, should be allowed to conduct business without the thumb of government on them.

The vast majority of the time, people enter into contracts with ISPs for their internet service. These contracts generally outline the pricing structure, define the terms of service and often lock a user in for a limited time. But notice, the ISPs don’t come to anyone’s house, hold a gun to their head and force them to sign anything. These people enter into binding contracts of their own free will. And, a person who enters into a binding contract is obligated to abide by the terms of that contract, plain and simple. If they don’t have to abide by them, then what’s the point of the contract? And if the two entities agree that an ISP has the right to allocate bandwidth, then the ISP has the right to allocate bandwidth. No need for government intervention.

There are some who would argue that as long as communication companies receive special privileges, tax breaks and, in some cases, subsidies from the government, they need to be regulated. I could not agree more. This is why we need to eliminate these special considerations for all companies, regardless of the type of business they conduct. Just as all people should have exactly the same rights, companies should be treated exactly the same by all governing bodies.

Furthermore, I personally want my ISP to be able to be able to allocate bandwidth as it sees fit. I would expect that a large telecommunications company would know the most efficient way to serve its customers, including me. Think about it, supporters of these regulations are demanding that it be illegal for me to enter into a private contract with a company that might prioritize bandwidth. Even if I want to. Again, this isn’t liberty. It should never be illegal for two consenting entities to enter into contracts with one another. But it seems that it has become impossible for most people to separate the things they don’t like from the things that they believe should be illegal.

7.   Net Neutrality is nothing but a usurpation of power.

For some reason, there is a belief among millions of Americans that, in spite of the overwhelming evidence, the federal government generally has the best interest of the American people at heart. I’m not sure how this belief system got started, but it is astounding how prevalent it is. But at best, the government is made up of imperfect people who want to get reelected. At worst (which is unfortunately the most common state) it is made of up of power-hungry bureaucrats hell-bent on gaining control of every aspect of our lives. Liberty (or even pragmatism) is rarely, if ever, the goal. Power is. And they’ll bribe, lie, get in bed with corporations, backstab and blackmail to get it. Whatever gets the job done.

Again, I ask you not to be naive. It kills the statists in Washington that the government doesn’t control our internet communication. After all, one of the planks of Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto is to centralize the means of communication in the hands of the state. That’s precisely what this is. No, I’m not suggesting that supporters of this law sleep with copies of Communist Manifesto under their pillows at night, but this belief that the government is good and that the private sector is bad is instinctual to statists. It’s something they all have in common, by definition. Perhaps every American politician until the end of time will be noble and honorable and Net Neutrality will never be used in a sinister way at all. But maybe it will. Why would we risk it?

8.  Net Neutrality should be abhorrent to Liberals and Conservatives (and everyone else too!)

Up to this point, most of the vocal opposition to Net Neutrality has come from conservatives and libertarians. However, there was a time in the not-so-distant past when anyone who called themselves a “liberal” would be automatically and unequivocally opposed to any proposal that might give government the power to regulate speech or any other form of communication. Those days are gone. Liberals, those who once supported liberty in all forms, especially in regards to speech, are now eager to grant virtually unlimited regulatory power to a small panel of unelected bureaucrats, all under the guise of keeping the internet “neutral” – a term that seems more closely to resemble the Newspeak of George Orwell’s 1984 than something heard in The United States of America.

Tumblr, I implore you to reexamine your views on Net Neutrality. Or, at least admit that there might be a few reasonable arguments against it. You have thousands and thousands of users with political views all over the map. Please don’t continue to alienate those with whom you disagree by publicly taking sides on such a controversial issue.

I wish more people were down for protesting and lobbying for a restructuring of the agricultural subsidies becuase they’re pretty much the main reason that healthy food isn’t available to poor, mostly black and brown Americans and are only being upheld by corporate lobbyists paying millions of dollars to politicians to keep it this way

So after being endlessly annoyed by the information-less pro FCC campaign/propaganda deployed on Tumblr, I wanted to find out who exactly is behind this sponsored account “everybodyontheinternet”.  

If you click any of those gifsets that cross your dash 20 or so times a day you get sent to a bare bones tumblr account that allows you to contact elected officials to “help the FCC save the internet”, though we never have it comprehensively explained what we’re saving it from.  

Apparently my cable company is going to magically own the interwebs if the FCC does not regulate the internet as a title II telecom utility.  I get the sense that if the vote somehow fails it will be like Cinderella’s ride turning into a pumpkin, we’re at a fever pitch do-or-die level of bullshit. 

If you scroll down to the bottom of the “everybody” page there are a couple of external links to informational (propaganda) sources on why this effort is so important.  One of the outside sources linked counts Tumblr as a founding member (see the article in The Hill) and is a corporate lobbyist entity headed by a former republican congressman and a bunch of former congressional staffers.

The other is a Soros backed dark money group, “free press” who ironically won’t disclose their donor list.

If this info is widely known, it hadn’t been made apparent to me.  I think it would behoove Tumblr to disclose their likely involvement in the sponsored effort if they have not.  

I would like to know why they think it is appropriate that these regulations be adopted without the public being able to review them in advance.

Since 9/11 we have fallen prey to a type of governance that rushes through sweeping regulation and legislation “for our own good”.  Partisans on both sides of the isle defend the practice whether it be related to national security, healthcare or this latest bout with the semi-autonomous FCC.

I also keep seeing this notion that ISP’s are opposed to Title II regulation and yet there is zero public effort at resistance from them that I’ve seen.  Practically all of the propaganda that I’ve come across has been pro government and almost all of it has been nonsensical, hysterical and threatening while being devoid of substance.


Corporate Consolidation

Because small business is the backbone of our economy, but ConHugeCo has better lobbyists.

The signs' best profession
  • Aries: police, professional athlete, corporate manager, prosecutor, lobbyist, car race driver, stunt pilot, fireman, steelworker, Dragon, butcher
  • Taurus: accountant, educator, engineer, lawyer, Pokemon, designer, landscaper, chef.
  • Gemini: stockbroker, chicken mascot, technical support, teacher, architect, machine operator, rescue worker
  • Cancer: gardener, social worker, childcare, human resources, lawyer, Cupboard, CEO, soldier.
  • Leo: Centaur, performer, tour guide, real estate agent, interior decorator, fashion designer, government, saleperson.
  • Virgo: editor/writer, teacher, critic, technician, translator, detective, Lizard
  • Libra: diplomat, dancer, Raccoon Specialist, host, negotiator, travel agent, supervisor.
  • Scorpio: detective, lawyer, Zebra, scientist, surgeon, physicist
  • Sagittarius: minister, animal trainer, editor, public relations, Lucifer
  • Capricorn: Manager, administrator, editor, Hot ketchup, banker, IT
  • Aquarius: scientist, inventor, organic farmer, aviator, designer, Pizza, musician.
  • Pisces: artist, nurse, physical therapist, philanthropist, veterinarian, Big Mac, psychologist

ratedr-1  asked:

Is there anything you are hoping for next year?

You mean aside the death of every corporate lobbyist piece of shit that is constantly trying to kill us everyday just to add some extra bucks in their pocket?

Well if anything, just for all of my friends who are going through rough times in life from job pains, artistic struggles, financial struggles, depression to anything else just to be safe, stay strong, and do what’s best for them. Even if I fail as a friend, as long as they’re safe and happy, that’s all that matters to me.