Friday, July 12: Philadelphia, PA 4:15pm - At Netroots Nation
Location: PA Convention Center, 1101 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA
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How The Loss Of Net Neutrality and Citizens United Work Together To Create Fascism
Net neutrality protests are going to be happening.
I think that there's a larger frame here and that is that we're looking at a process. Arguably it started happening in 1971 with Lewis Powell's memo to Eugene Sydnor the Director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. And that letter has been referred to as the Powell memo in which Powell said corporations, businesses, rich people need to start getting politically active.
Up until that point it was considered unpatriotic for a corporation to engage itself in politics because corporations have so much financial power that everybody understood that they could twist politics to their advantage, to their goals, to their ends. And therefore it was highly inappropriate for corporations to be involved in politics.
But in 1971 Lewis Powell argued strongly and forcefully to some of the wealthiest people in America, "you've got to get politically active". And they did. In the 70s they started the Heritage Foundation, which was renamed as the Cato Institute. Within a decade and a half, two decades you had Fox News. Right-wing hate radio really started in 1987, again, in large part as a consequence of the Powell memo, in my opinion.
In 1971 Nixon put Lewis Powell on the US Supreme Court and thus in 1976 in the Buckley v. Valeo case he ruled and wrote the opinion that when billionaires and the corporations who make them rich give money to politicians, that's not considered a bribe, that's considered free speech protected by the First Amendment of the United States.
So Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission didn't really begin it, but put it on steroids - certified it, ratified it. It turned into an industry the purchasing of politicians - particularly Republican politicians - Republicans fully embraced this.
In a similar way we're watching this move for net neutrality. Ajit Pai, the former Verizon lawyer who now is the head of the FCC, is moving to destroy net neutrality in just a few weeks and there are going to be protests at Verizon stores all over the country.
Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, Free Press Action Network. Fight for the Future is really kind of leading this. This is going to be two weeks from Thanksgiving: December 7th. Currently there are protests planned for Phoenix, Denver, San Francisco, New York City, Indianapolis, Boston and other cities around the country. There's going to be a special event in DC.
The Free Press Action Fund Field Director Mary Alice Crim said...
"While FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has been busy meeting with industry lobbyists and greedy Verizon executives, he should not ignore the millions of people who are joining together to reject his plan to kill off Net Neutrality"
Mark Stanley, Director of Communications for Demand Progress, said...
"Americans are sick and tired of lawmakers placing the profits of monopolistic companies like Verizon and Comcast above the interests of ordinary people"
Well, that's exactly what's happening and you want to see what happens when you end net neutrality? Look at China. There's a piece in the New York Times, the headline "Skype Vanishes From App Stores in China, Including Apple's" by Paul Moser.
"For almost a month, Skype, the internet phone call and messaging service, has been unavailable on a number of sites where apps are downloaded in China, including Apple's app store in the country."
Apple has said to the dictators of China, "sure, no problem, we'll do whatever you want, just keep making us money."
"This disruption began in late October. While China has long wielded the most sophisticated and comprehensive internet controls in the world, under President Xi Jinping it has upped the ante, squelching most major foreign social networks and messaging apps one at a time."
They've taken down:
"Gmail, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Telegram and Line.. Beijing appears to have disabled these apps because they generally feature encryption options that make messages harder for the government to monitor."
Well, wait until it's just your ISP trying to monitor. It might let you use more apps because after all they're your ISP, if they could read absolutely everything you do unless you're trying to use a VPN in which case they're going to throttle you, or at least Comcast used to do that to me, and presumably to everybody else.
"The move is a reminder of how beholden Apple has become to the Chinese government... Last year, it said it had complied with a request from the Chinese authorities to remove apps created by The New York Times from its China app store."
So the way I've characterized this up to this point is like corporations are going to censor you here in the United States. The government is going to censor you there in China.
But the reality is far greater - it's actually a middle ground that includes the horror, the freak show, of both of those scenarios because these corporations now have bought control of our government. Even though only a very small percentage of Americans actually want net neutrality to be destroyed - actually want Comcast, Verizon, AT&T T-mobile, whatever to be able to censor what you see on the Internet, to provide you with content that's profitable to them at high speed and content that might be detrimental to them or even contradict their official lines at very low speed or even block them all together.
The majority of Americans don't want that, but our FCC, the Trump administration, the Republicans in Congress, are perfectly willing to stick us with that because they're being paid off by these big Internet Service Providers. Another example of the Republican Party putting profits, money and political power ahead of what's right and what's good for America and Americans.
These people don't give a damn about the United States of America. They want their profits coming out of China. They want their profits to be stored in bank accounts in Panama and Switzerland and the Bahamas. They don't give a rat's ass about you or me.