The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) finally laid the notion of the Fairness Doctrine to rest this week when it eliminated more than 80 media industry rules. According to The Blaze, “The doctrine, that sought to ensure inclusiveness of different viewpoints broadcast on the airwaves, was officially erased by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski on Monday.”
Since its implementation post-World War II, the Fairness Doctrine mandated that those with broadcast licenses present controversial issues in a manner dubbed by the commissioner to be fair and balanced. At the time the doctrine was put in place, there were less than 3,000 radio stations in existence, as opposed to the 14,000 today.
As noted by The New American’s Daniel Sayani, while much of the regulation pertaining to the Fairness Doctrine was repealed in the 1980s under FCC Chairman Fowler, the doctrine technically remained on the books.
Efforts by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) to regulate the Internet may become irrelevant if the new technology being developed succeeds as expected. When the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled against the FCC last December, the FCC rewrote its rules to allow them to regulate the Internet anyway through the whitewash called “net neutrality.” Verizon immediately filed suit to overrule the new attempt, and a House subcommittee in March voted to invalidate the actions of the FCC. But the new rules remain in place until the issue is decided.
All of which may be irrelevant as new technology, called Telex, is being developed as a “work-around” for any such attempts by the FCC. Alex Halderman, an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Michigan, is one of the developers of the software. In a recent interview he explained that people living under Internet censorship are already able to connect to third-party servers outside their country, but that it doesn’t take long for the government to find these servers and block them. Telex, on the other hand, turns the entire internet into an anti-censorship device. He says:
President Obama’s pledge to recover the economy has taken a long and winding detour, but his 2008 campaign pledge to regulate corporate America is right on course — despite the fact that In January, the White House issued an executive order to review regulations for all federal agencies, with the intent to root out oppressive regulations on American businesses.
The initiative ordered agencies to review regulatory procedures and ensure that all rules "promote predictability and reduce uncertainty" and "identify and use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends."
But the Washington Times observed that during the past several months, the President’s edict has gone nowhere:
Media coverage of the NATO war in Libya has been marked by so much disinformation, lies and deception that it is becoming hard to tell fact from fiction, with both sides engaging in what is termed “psychological operations” to confuse and demoralize their opponents.
Blatant examples of the strategy occurred in recent days as President Obama claimed the Libyan regime was finished even as Gaddafi and his sons vowed to continue fighting “for years” if necessary. Wildly conflicting accounts — often from reporters on the scene — make it almost impossible to tell what has really been going on in Tripoli this week.
“The Gadhafi regime is coming to an end, and the future of Libya is in the hands of its people,” Obama claimed in a televised speech on August 22. Two days later, the embattled Libyan ruler made a public statement vowing to fight and urging residents of the capital to “free Tripoli” from the “devils and traitors.”
In Rick Perry’s August 13 presidential announcement speech in South Carolina the Texas Governor stated:
.…we have led Texas based on some just really pretty simple guiding principles. One is don’t spend all of the money. Two is keeping the taxes low and under control. Three is you have your regulatory climate fair and predictable.
Later in his speech he claimed:
I’ve cut taxes. I have delivered historic property tax reductions. I was the first governor since World War II to cut general revenue spending in our state budget.
But Perry’s record on taxes reveals something entirely different. Especially for Texas businesses, where things are far from fair and predictable.
The state of Nevada was the fortunate recipient of a $490,000 federal grant to grow trees and plants — and of course, to "stimulate" the state’s economy. The only problem is the stimulus spawned a whopping 1.72 permanent jobs. In 2009, the U.S. Forest Service awarded the federal money to Nevada’s Clark County Urban Forestry Revitalization Project with the intent of enlivening urban areas of the county with trees and plants, and of providing green-industry training.
However, the project yielded not even two permanent jobs, and created only 11 short-term jobs, according to the Nevada State Division of Forestry. "Looking at the failure of the stimulus to live up to its promises, not just in Nevada, but throughout America, I think the question becomes, ‘Is there any good use of stimulus money?'" asked Douglas Kellogg, communications manager for the National Taxpayers Union.
"If the question is ‘was this a job-creating project?’ the answer is 'no, it wasn't,'" contended Bob Conrad, an officer for the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Since its inception almost a century ago, the Federal Reserve has enjoyed a cloak of secrecy that has grown more opaque over the years. When the economy imploded in 2008, Bernanke’s Fed swung into action behind the scenes, handing out immense sums in bailouts to a host of ailing financials, through direct loans to the very biggest banks — what Robert Litan, a former Justice Department official, called “the aristocracy of American finance.” The exact figures, however, have been a closely guarded secret, until now.
It took a Freedom of Information Act request, months of litigation, and even an act of Congress, but dogged investigators at Bloomberg News finally gained access to the figures, and, after crunching the numbers, concluded that the Fed — unilaterally and with zero congressional oversight — had doled out as much as $1.2 trillion in taxpayer monies. That's about $500 billion more than the separate, hotly contested, and widely publicized $700 billion bailout pushed through Congress at the same time.
The Nullify Now! tour continues to attract support as it makes its way across the United States. Last Saturday, the tour stopped in Kansas City, Missouri, where a number of prominent speakers spoke on the dangers of a growing federal government and encouraged the use of state nullification to overrule unconstitutional powers acquired by the federal government.
Thomas Jefferson once said, “Whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers ... a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy.” The Tenth Amendment Center recognizes that this is a viable option against the growing Leviathan that is the United States federal government and believes it is a policy that should be revisited by the American people. Therefore, it launched the Nullify Now! tour as a means to highlight Jefferson’s philosophy and emphasize the constitutional basis for such an option.
At the Kansas City event, which took place at the Truman Auditorium in the Kansas City Library Plaza Branch, best-selling author Thomas Woods, Jr. appeared as the keynote speaker.
In 1941, the United States was first assigned the so-called “triple A” or AAA rating, a reflection of the widespread belief, at least in the free world, that the United States government could be relied upon absolutely to pay its debts. At the time, the United States had recently grown into the world’s largest economy. The dollar, after the end of the Second World War, became the world’s reserve currency under the terms of the Bretton Woods agreement. Other hard currencies were to be convertible to U.S. dollars, which were in turn convertible (for international investors, at least) into gold (the so-called “gold exchange standard”).
The general perception of the dollar as the world’s backstop currency and of U.S. government debt as being as good as gold survived President Nixon’s closing of the “gold window” in 1971 and the decade of economic malaise — which included significant inflation — that followed. This is surprising in hindsight because Nixon’s action certainly fulfilled the criteria for a partial default, being motivated by the inability of the United States to service debts incurred in the Vietnam War.
Every four years, the two major political parties choose their nominees for President of the United States. The Republican and Democrat standard-bearers, like the political parties themselves, then represent the opposing sides of the political divide between conservatism and liberalism — or so we are told. In truth, though the major-party standard-bearers certainly appeal to different constituencies, the substance of what they would do as President is much more similar than their rhetoric suggests.
For too many years, regardless of whether the occupant in the White House is a Republican or Democrat, the President has generally pursued a course of more socialism at home and more interventionism abroad. Consider the TARP bailout of the big financial institutions: GOP Senator John McCain and Democrat Senator Barack Obama both voted for the TARP legislation prior to the 2008 election — an election that supposedly pitted an opponent of redistributing the wealth (remember how McCain embraced “Joe the Plumber”?) against an advocate of socialism. Despite the rhetoric, if McCain were elected President in 2008, he could have been expected to continue supporting socialist bailouts, just like the last GOP President, George W. Bush, did.