D.C. Kabuki Theater Feature: "Democrats Want Net Neutrality."

On December 13, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission, an agency established under "Old Democrat" Franklin D. Roosevelt, voted to repeal the net neutrality rules that the FCC had adopted during the administration of New Democrat Barack H. Obama. Now, Congressional Democrats are proceeding with a resolution under a statute that allows Congress to reverse a ruling of a federal agency, such as the FCC, with "only" a majority vote--if done within sixty days. As Democrats knew very well before formulating word one of their resolution, the resolution will fail because Republicans hold majorities in both houses of Congress. Nonetheless, headline after headline (published by people who also know better) asserts that Senate Democrats have a plan to save net neutrality. Welcome to D.C. Kabuki Theater. Tickets are far from free, but the good news is that the price of admission is included in your federal taxes and fees!

As male lead of D.C. Kabuki Theater's production of Democrats Want Net Neutrality, Democrats cast Massachusetts Senator Edward J. Markey, who has been in one House or another of Congress since 1976. Recently emoting to net neutrality advocates outside the Capitol Building, Markey called out dramatically, "Whose side are you on? Do you stand with the big-money corporate interests and their army of lobbyists?” Of course, Markey's call and response effort was, at best, "irony adjacent:" Democrats make big donors and lobbyists "super delegates;" and multi-millionaire Democrat Hillary Clinton's recent Presidential campaign cost well over 1.2 billion dollars, much of it collected from "big money corporate interests" (not counting either "soft" or "dark" money).

Theater investors, aka "angels" Big political donors don't care about Kabuki Theater legislation designed only to make politicians on "the other side" look bad, with no chance in the heavens of becoming law. So, the Democrats' theater prop of a resolution stands to gain the admiration of members of the audience in the cheap seats without alienating the angels--a dream scene for Democratic actors. But, bottom line, Trump undid yet another good deed of Obama's, right? Weeeelllll, yes and no. Pulling the curtain aside to reveal machinations audiences were never intended to grok is rarely easy or quick, but here goes:

This paragraph is THE key to understanding this particular plot: If the FCC seeks to regulate an industry heavily, such as by requiring net neutrality, the FCC must first classify members of that industry as "Common Carriers." However, initially, the FCC classified broadband providers as "Providers of Information Services," rather than as "Telecommunications Providers," Telecommunications Providers being among the groups already classified by the FCC as "Common Carriers." Nonetheless, at any time, the FCC could have reclassified broadband providers as Telecommunications Providers/Common Carriers: As a 2005 Supreme Court case states, courts defer to the FCC's classification of broadband providers because the statute is ambiguous on that point.

Coincidentally, also in 2005, a unanimous FCC policy statement endorsed net neutrality principles that Republican FCC chairs had articulated. Those supporting net neutrality included public interest groups; venture capitalists; wireless carriers, such as Sprint; a coalition including Google and Twitter; "edge providers," such as Amazon (Prime); and others. Predictably, dominant internet service providers, such as Comcast and Verizon, opposed net neutrality. In 2008, responding to complaints from consumers, the FCC ordered Comcast to cease slowing a specific kind of internet service. One could say that the FCC required net neutrality of Comcast. Comcast sued the FCC, claiming that the FCC lacked power to issue the order. The FCC claimed it had "ancillary authority."

While Comcast v. FCC was making its way through the "swift" U.S. justice system, Democratic President Barack H. Obama, whose campaign promises had included net neutrality, took office. Serving as acting chair for the first six months of the Obama administration was FCC Commissioner, Michael Copps, a vigorous advocate of net neutrality who was eminently qualified to chair the FCC--had anyone wanted an FCC chair who balanced industry interests with the public interest. However, Obama's nominee for FCC chair was Julius Genachowski, a "revolving door" Clintonite who had been, among other things, the executive responsible for creating the Fox Broadcasting Company. Supposedly, both Genachowski and Obama were pro net neutrality. (From where I sit in D.C. Kabuki Theater, nominating Genachowski instead of Copps or another more balanced chair was Act One of Democrats Want Net Neutrality.)

The U.S Circuit Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit decides FCC appeals. In an opinion dated April 6, 2010, that Court held for Comcast. The opinion, however, distinguished clearly between the FCC's ineffective attempt to assert "ancillary jurisdiction" and the FCC's legal ability to regulate Common Carriers heavily. FCC Commissioner and former Acting Chair Copps quickly and publicly urged immediate reclassification of broadband providers. However, as a 2010 article written about the Comcast decision noted: "The FCC has intentionally kept its authority over broadband vague, in hopes that looser regulation might spur growth in the market for Internet services." (emphasis added). Another alleged potential disadvantage of classifying internet providers as Common Carriers was "stifling investment."

By 2010, how much incentive for growth or investment did the US "market for internet services" really need? At that point, even the Unabomber would have demanded wifi access at his forest cabin. (Too soon?) Besides, the FCC has a statutory duty to consumers, not only to industries. In May, 2010, Genachowski, ignoring the very broad hint given the FCC by the Comcast Court, instituted a costly, time-consuming, rule-making process to impose net neutrality rules on all broadband providers without also using that same rule-making process to reclassify broadband providers as Telecommunications Providers/Common Carriers! Did Genachowski, a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School, somehow believe that the same Court that had not allowed the FCC to require net neutrality of Comcast without re-classification would allow the FCC to impose net neutrality rules on the entire broadband industry without re-classification? Or was this "fore-doomed" rule-making process Act Two of Democrats Want Net Neutrality?

In any event, in December, 2010, the FCC jaw-droppingly adopted new rules without reclassifying broadband providers as Telecommunications Providers/Common Carriers. Before long, a major broadband provider (Verizon) sued the FCC, a move that should not have surprised even the most clueless student at the worst law school in the U.S. Of course, Verizon's suit, filed in September, 2011, cited, among other cases, Comcast v. FCC.

Also in 2011, Obama nominated as FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, whose c.v. was similar to that of Genachowski--revolving door user, connected to the Clinton administration, telecommunications lobbyist, etc. (Act Three). BTW, Comcast complied with the FCC's order despite winning the lawsuit it claimed to have filed only "to clear its good name." However, by the time the 2010 decision in Comcast v. FCC came down, Comcast was eyeing a merger that needed FCC approval. Approval came in 2011, with only Copps voting against Comcast (citing public interest). At the end of that same year, Copps, who is currently a special adviser to the Media and Democracy Reform Initiative at Common Cause, left the FCC. On May 12, 2012, the U.S. Senate confirmed Ajit Pai (whom Senator McConnell had recommended to Obama in the first instance).

In March 2013, while the Verizon suit was still pending, Genachowski announced that he would be leaving the FCC (for the Carlyle Group). To replace him, Obama nominated Thomas Edgar Wheeler, a venture capitalist and lobbyist for the cable and wireless industry, who had been, among other things, President of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association and CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (Act Four). Wheeler took office in November, 2013. For the FCC's legal department, Wheeler hired lawyers who had worked for internet providers and had opposed net neutrality while in the private sector (Act Five). Meanwhile, the FCC was not re-classifying broadband providers and Capitol Hill Democrats were not complaining.

January 2014 saw the decision in the Verizon case. In the very first sentence of its opinion, the Verizon Court noted that it had decided the very same issue only four years earlier, in the Comcast case, a theme on which the Court dwelt during the first part of its opinion. (To me, the Court's annoyance with the FCC seemed palpable.) Surprising no one, the Court found for Verizon, repeating that, in order to require net neutrality of broadband providers, the FCC would have had to re-classify broadband providers as Common Carriers. Soon after the decision, former Commissioner Copps wrote a post entitled The Buck Stops With the FCC. His post stated, among other things, that the FCC had the power to re-classify broadband providers as Common Carriers without any additional legislation and should do so ASAP. Copps' post also urged public activism and included a sample internet petition.

On February 19, 2014, FCC Chair Wheeler issued a statement about the Verizon case, saying that the FCC would be promulgating new rules allowing broadband providers to "tier" services by offering "fast lanes." By putting discussion of the Verizon decision in the same announcement as the new rules, Wheeler's statement left many with the false impression that the Verizon decision required this move, or, at a minimum, precluded net neutrality (Act Six). The statement prompted an avalanche of articles by net neutrality advocates criticizing Wheeler, Obama and/or the FCC.

On April 23, 2014, Wheeler issued another statement, saying that critics had misunderstood the proposed rules, but that the FCC would not be promulgating them after all. However, Wheeler's statement said nothing about re-classification. The very next day, an article by internet expert, Columbia Law professor and former FCC advisor Tim Wu entitled The End of Net Neutrality appeared in a post at The New Yorker. Wu accused President Obama of having broken firm campaign promises about net neutrality. Objections from consumers, from owners of web sites and many others proliferated. (Inexplicably, in his form response to consumers, Wheeler spoke of tiered services and internet neutrality as though the two were not inconsistent with each other.)

At this point, Obama (a Columbia U. graduate) was in his second term as President, was over three years into a Republican vow to block his every move, and was looking toward 2014 mid-terms after two elections that had been disastrous for Democrats at every level but his own, and was also looking toward his legacy (after a less than stellar launch of Obamacare). In February 2015, the FCC finally reclassified broadband providers as Common Carriers, as it should have done years earlier. At no time prior to 2015 had Democrats on Capitol Hill, as a group, advocated for re-classification of broadband providers.

Less than two years after re-classification, Trump was inaugurated President. Consistent with tradition, Wheeler, resigned from the FCC, to be succeeded as FCC Chair by his fellow Obama FCC nominee, Ajit Pai. And, currently playing in D.C. Kabuki Theater is Act Seven of Democrats Want Net Neutrality, starring Senator Markey (whom I do respect for his environmental advocacy). And, that brings this essay full circle. Ironically, Wheeler will likely go down in history as pro net neutrality, along with fellow kabuki stars, Obama, Genachowski, Markey and the rest of the current Democratic Congressional contingent.

up
17 users have voted.

Comments

dkmich's picture

up
11 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

@dkmich

ETA: However, I do think they gave a rat's ass: They wanted to avoid net neutrality while seeming to support it. I think that, by 2015, Obama was not ready to keep fighting it on the sly. And, now, all they want to do about it is make Republicans look bad and seem to the public like champions of net neutrality. They don't actually want net neutrality reinstated because of their actions. (Public position versus private position.)

up
10 users have voted.

@HenryAWallace @HenryAWallace It’s another of these things that if it mattered so much to the Dems, they/Obama wouldn’t have actively done things to take us to the point we are now. I really hate the Short Attention Span Theater that tries to portray the Dems as heroes now when this is all Kabuki and they know it.

Edit for typos.

up
9 users have voted.

@Dr. John Carpenter

I shake my head whenever I see posts asserting that Democrats just don't get it or that they are clueless. They're as innocent as the fox in the hen house. But, I can't cast too many stones from my glass house. It took me a long time to get it.

up
6 users have voted.
QMS's picture

@Dr. John Carpenter great analogy. Mind if I borrow it?

up
1 user has voted.

Intelligence is being redefined as the ability to repeat ever more complex instructions.

@QMS Actually, I borrowed it myself:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_Attention_Span_Theater

up
0 users have voted.

@dkmich The internet is in many ways what killed her coronation. I'm sure she cannot wait to throttle down all of us peons who look shit up.

up
8 users have voted.
Wink's picture

@lizzyh7

up
4 users have voted.

the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-1.9) All about building progressive media.

@lizzyh7

up
4 users have voted.

@HenryAWallace

The lot of them, inseparable at the hips, eternally joined in fucking over the public in ever way possible.

Just to add:

If there is anyway possible, this needs to be (re)read in full, at source. It's lengthy, but well worth it.

https://theintercept.com/2016/04/22/googles-remarkably-close-relationshi...

The Android Administration
Google’s Remarkably Close Relationship With the Obama White House, in Two Charts

David Dayen

April 22 2016

... Over the past seven years, Google has created a remarkable partnership with the Obama White House, providing expertise, services, advice, and personnel for vital government projects.

Precisely how much influence this buys Google isn’t always clear. But consider that over in the European Union, Google is now facing two major antitrust charges for abusing its dominance in mobile operating systems and search. By contrast, in the U.S., a strong case to sanction Google was quashed by a presidentially appointed commission. ...

... The Intercept teamed up with Campaign for Accountability to present two revealing data sets from that forthcoming project: one on the number of White House meetings attended by Google representatives, and the second on the revolving door between Google and the government.

As the interactive charts accompanying this article show, Google representatives attended White House meetings more than once a week, on average, from the beginning of Obama’s presidency through October 2015. Nearly 250 people have shuttled from government service to Google employment or vice versa over the course of his administration. ...

... According to an analysis of White House data, the Google lobbyist with the most White House visits, Johanna Shelton, visited 128 times, far more often than lead representatives of the other top-lobbying companies... ...(The accompanying chart reflects 94 Shelton visits; it excludes large gatherings such as state dinners and White House tours.)

The information, Weismann said, “will help the public learn more about the company’s influence on our government, our policies, and our lives.” ...

... Google’s dramatic rise as a lobbying force has not gone unnoticed. The company paid almost no attention to the Washington influence game prior to 2007, but ramped up steeply thereafter. It spent $16.7 million in lobbying in 2015, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, and has been at or near the top of public companies in lobbying expenses since 2012.

But direct expenditures on lobbying represent only one part of the larger influence-peddling game. Google’s lobbying strategy also includes throwing lavish D.C. parties; making grants to trade groups, advocacy organizations, and think tanks; offering free services and training to campaigns, congressional offices, and journalists; and using academics as validators for the company’s public policy positions. Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, was an enthusiastic supporter of both of Obama’s presidential campaigns and has been a major Democratic donor. ...

... Google doesn’t just lobby the White House for favors, but collaborates with officials, effectively serving as a sort of corporate extension of government operations in the digital era.

In just the past few years, Google has provided diplomatic assistance to the administration through expanding internet access in Cuba; collaborated with the Department of Housing and Urban Development to bring Google Fiber into public housing; used Google resources to monitor droughts in real time; and even captured 360-degree views of White House interiors.

But perhaps most salient here is the fact that modern life requires so much information technology support that a sprawling operation like the White House has turned to tech companies — often in the form of ex-Google employees — when faced with pressing IT needs.

Practically every part of the government makes available some form of technology, whether it’s the public-facing website for a federal agency, a digital mechanism for people to access benefits, or a new communications tool for espionage or war.

Somebody has to build and manage those projects, and Silicon Valley firms have the expertise needed to do that. White House officials have publicly asked Silicon Valley for aid in stopping terrorists from recruiting via social media, securing the internet of things, thwarting cyberattacks, modernizing the Defense Department, and generally updating all their technology. We can reasonably expect yet more things are being asked for behind closed doors. ...

... Meetings between Google and the White House, viewed in this context, sometimes function like calls to the IT Help Desk. Only instead of working for the same company, the government is supposed to be regulating Google as a private business, not continually asking it for favors. ...

...Another potential conflict arises from the enormous amount of data that Google and the government each have stored on American citizens. Google recently acknowledged having mined the data of student users of its education apps, and has been accused repeatedly of violating user privacy in other contexts. An overly close partnership risks Google putting its data in the government’s hands or gaining access to what the government has collected.

When the federal government and a private company share the same worldview, get the same insights from the same groups of people, the policy drift can occur with nobody explicitly choosing the direction. It just seems like the right thing to do. ...

... In 2012, staff at the Federal Trade Commission recommended filing antitrust charges after determining that Google was engaging in anti-competitive tactics and abusing its monopoly. A staff report that was later leaked said Google’s conduct “has resulted — and will result — in real harm to consumers and to innovation in the online search and advertising markets.”

The Wall Street Journal noted that Google’s White House visits increased right around that time. And in 2013, the presidentially appointed commissioners of the FTC overrode their staff, voting unanimously not to file any charges.

Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, said the administration “has been a huge help” to Google both by protecting it from attempts to limit its market power and by blocking privacy legislation. “Google has been able to thwart regulatory scrutiny in terms of anti-competitive practices, and has played a key role in ensuring that the United States doesn’t protect at all the privacy of its citizens and its consumers,” Chester said.

At a congressional hearing earlier this month, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, citing the possibility of consumer harm, called on the FTC to reconsider the kind of antitrust charges against Google recently filed in Europe.

But Obama has argued that European regulators are being too aggressive toward Google out of a desire to protect companies that aren’t as capable. “In defense of Google and Facebook, sometimes the European response here is more commercially driven than anything else,” he told Re/code in February. “We have owned the internet. Our companies have created it, expanded it, perfected it, in ways they can’t compete.” ...

... The government and Google shared engineers, lawyers, scientists, communications specialists, executives, and even board members. Google has achieved a kind of vertical integration with the government: a true public-private partnership.

Ex-Google staffers may not be directly involved in setting policy that affects Google, but they have access to decision-makers. They maintain ties to their former bosses. And Google employees with government experience have a network of friends and colleagues at federal agencies, House and Senate offices, the West Wing, and practically everywhere else.

So, what do you call a lawless corporate/military/government intermingling which runs faked 'elections', spies upon, propagandizes, strips rights from and otherwise drains the public for corporate control and their continual 'disruption'/invasion/attack of other people's countries, while using their own civil forces and 'adapted' law against them? Mine has too many swears in front of the 'fascist' part to fit on here...

up
2 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

@Ellen North @Ellen North

up
0 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@dkmich Oh, they care. They need to stop dissent, I mean fake news. Destroying net neutrality is good for that.

Of course it also means a lot of small businesses and people doing things other than politics online will have their enterprises ruined, I mean get inconvenienced by slower feeds, but you can't have a resistance without breaking some eggs.

up
3 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

snoopydawg's picture

This is a great description of the game playing democrats who always seem to be just a few votes short of passing or blocking any legislation that we the peeps want. It looks like it is going to be left to the states to decide if they want to keep net neutrality or not. Many state's AG's have signed up to sue for it, but Washington State is going further. Good for them. I would think that the big consumer folks would be up in arms over the threat to their streaming services. Amazon, Google/YouTube, ect.

Washington State Sets Net Neutrality Showdown As Governor Signs Law

“This is not a partisan issue,” said state Rep. Norma Smith, a Republican who backed the new state law. “This is about preserving a fair and free internet so all Washingtonians can participate equally in the 21st century economy. Net neutrality is an issue of tremendous importance that will matter today, tomorrow and generations from now.”

For over 8 months I have been receiving frantic emails telling me to call my representative and ask them to sign on to the 'save net neutrality' legislation. Gee, if my rep was going to sign on to the bill because he thought it was the right thing to do, he would have already.

Thanks for this great explanation, HAW

up
9 users have voted.

Our culture is gutter. We celebrate deviancy. We are corrupt. We are broke. We are holding a gun at the rest of the world’s head. We demand what is not justly ours

@snoopydawg

Thanks for reading. I know it's a lot, but I couldn't make it shorter. As the essay said, pulling aside the curtain is not easy or quick, especially when people are skilled at deception. Either you sum it up in one line, as dkmich did, or you show it painstakingly, as my essay did.

I so agree: "Tell your rep" is a joke. As if our selected unrepresentatives don't know that we don't want to pay internet providers more just to get what we have now. What Americans want and care about is not that difficult to discern. Maybe one day, I will do an OP about that, too!

up
9 users have voted.

@HenryAWallace when you're going somewhere, that's how long it takes. Thanks.

up
5 users have voted.

@Snode

up
2 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

this is what we were after:

Nonetheless, at any time, the FCC could have reclassified broadband providers as Telecommunications Providers/Common Carriers: As a 2005 Supreme Court case states, courts defer to the FCC's classification of broadband providers because the statute is ambiguous on that point.

up
5 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Yet another issue as to which the two evils were on exactly the same page.

up
2 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

We don't know what will happen in the future. I don't know about any of you, but if C99 went away, especially if other sites like JPR and BAR went too, I would be pretty well isolated with my two partners in a sea of propagandized Hillbots punctuated by a smaller number of Trump-can-do-no-wrong shoals.

up
6 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

As for message boards, if I were POTUS, I might want disaffected people to sit at their devices, posting with people who live several states away from them, signing internet petitions and emailing their representatives. It's when we all get up and gather outside with our neighbors that the PTB are discomfited.

I've known that for years and have posted it before. However, I finally got it, deep in my viscera. On many levels, there's a lot to be said for think global, act local (emphasis on "act").

up
2 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@HenryAWallace I agree with that.

I know that for many of us, who first came on the Internet in the 90s or early oughts, there is a strong though unspoken respect of privacy, and, indeed, anonymity. That was one of the first rules of decent behavior on the internet: if somebody didn't offer inroads into their real life, don't ask.

I understand where that comes from, and still respect it, but given the circumstances, I think we ought to consider at least exchanging email addresses. After all, it's fairly easy to create a new email addy, and it doesn't have to include information about your offline life (IOW, I don't have to share my gmail account that contains my real name).

This would be a really great thing to do, and thanks for suggesting it; it doesn't require too much of people yet it enables us to stay in touch.

up
2 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

We can do that via pm. And yes, I have opened email accounts with fake names, but it doesn't matter. I disclose it is a fake name and the real me reads all the emails sent to my nom de keyboard.

up
0 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@HenryAWallace Just to clarify, I wasn't criticizing the idea of opening emails under fake names, but suggesting that as a strategy.

up
0 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

I understood that and agree. All my current email accounts were registered under fake names. The email addy I give family members and close friends enables them to recognize me as sender, but the name is fake.

up
1 user has voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@HenryAWallace I agree, of course. But I've never found it more difficult to find people IRL who are neither Trump nor Clinton supporters and who also have the time and energy to commit to, well, anything. Most people seem to me to be living on another planet; those who have similar views to mine are, I suspect, not talking much about politics (assuming those people exist). Even when my partner was attending a local sewing circle (handicrafts are the way she meets people), the Clinton-prop of it all was so strong that she realized after a few months that everybody there thought she was a right-wing Republican (hilarious since what she actually is is a non-dogmatic socialist). Inviting one of them over to dinner was an unbelievable social trainwreck, and no one in my family was talking politics (we had our good manners on). In short, the crazy is thick on the ground.

That's why meeting people here and then connecting with them, if not locally, then regionally, appeals to me. But whether it appeals to me or not is not really the point; the point is, will anybody show up?

The other way to go about things is to make one's own views public and see who, or what, comes out of the woodwork to join you, but that is a high-commitment and, shall we say, not low-risk, activity.

up
2 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

don't delve into politics, starting a buying coop, for example, could be a good thing.

I wouldn't even know what to label my politics anymore anyway. The last Democratic vote I cast, other than for Bernie in the 2016 primary, was in 2008. I've been voting Green, but I don't know if I am a true Green, either. I think I'd rather discuss issues and, more importantly, possible solutions, with people than how I or they vote.

However, I do know people who were very glad to vote for Bernie in the primary. The only reservation they had was the one Democrats had brainwashed into them, namely, "McGovern." Once I overcame that--and I did so by sending them links to posts I'd made elsewhere, they were very excited to vote for him. Some of them still are; some of them are more disgusted than ever, but that's irrelevant. Point is, they were thirsting for a leftist--and I'm talking an age range of those who came of age in the Sixties to those who came of age during this Millennium. Then again, there's only one Republican in my circle of friends and relatives.

up
1 user has voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@HenryAWallace While what you say is logical, their actions make it fairly clear that they don't feel that way, given things like PropOrNot, the entire discourse of "fake news," banning and shadowbanning of Twitter accounts and demonetizing and even occasional bannings from YouTube, to say nothing of Russiagate itself. All these efforts are aimed at shutting down online venues much like this one, only perhaps larger (my explanation for why they go after Black Agenda Report and Jackpine Radicals but not us).

up
0 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Democratic Underground. The founders of both those boards were connected to politicians.

Now, they are cracking down on content, but I still think they would rather see us posting, controlled content or not, than, for example, doing another Occupy across the country, much less an American "Arab Spring."

up
1 user has voted.
QMS's picture

@HenryAWallace y'all can pm me for address anytime.

up
0 users have voted.

Intelligence is being redefined as the ability to repeat ever more complex instructions.

@QMS

Like one person taking all the email addresses of anyone willing to provide one and then pming the list to everyone who provided an email address.

Would something else be more efficient?

I hope it would never be needed, though.

up
1 user has voted.
QMS's picture

@HenryAWallace some organization would help. Don't mind being the spear head. Not sure how to best advertise it. Could have used my open thread venue in retrospect. Maybe just throw it out there in some EB's, OT's and see what develops? Open to suggestions.

up
0 users have voted.

Intelligence is being redefined as the ability to repeat ever more complex instructions.

@QMS

If you are willing to spearhead, that's great.

JtC might be willing to (briefly) pin a post asking people if they want to pm you with their email addresses, just in case. Let them know that an email account registered under an alias is fine--the object is solely communicating via email, not id-ing anyone. Collect the addresses into a list, then send the list in a mass email to every name on the list. (I personally would not share the list with anyone who did not provide an address.If your view is otherwise, you could post the list, too.)

Those are my thoughts. What do you think?

up
1 user has voted.
QMS's picture

@HenryAWallace I'm fairly familiar with the regulars here. No matter if alias is used as a second cover. For me, my Mac is pretty secure, and if super sleuths get involved, the IP address I can't hide, so not worried about that too much. Can keep the amateurs away, I think. Let's set it up so we have another way to join without having to deal with the googles and worms of the world, just as a prevention.

up
0 users have voted.

Intelligence is being redefined as the ability to repeat ever more complex instructions.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@QMS This is great stuff, and as soon as my out-of-state guests leave, I'd like to start organizing this with one or more interested people. I'm sure JtC would be willing to pin some stuff, perhaps help in other ways.

I'll be back among the online living on Friday. Smile

up
1 user has voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti