Breaking: Appeals court rejects FCC authority for Net Neutrality

posted at 12:05 pm on April 6, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

The DC circuit Court of Appeals gave the Obama administration a big dash of cold water on the limits of its authority to impose rules on communications networks today.  In essence, the court recognized Comcast’s property rights to determine its own terms of service for Internet use, and the implications could affect Barack Obama’s plans to mandate broadband expansion as well (via Story Balloon):

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the Federal Communications Commission lacks the authority to require broadband providers to give equal treatment to all Internet traffic flowing over their networks.

The ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia is a big victory for Comcast Corp., the nation’s largest cable company. It had challenged the FCC’s authority to impose so-called “net neutrality” obligations on broadband providers. …

The decision also has serious implications for the massive national broadband plan released by the FCC last month. The FCC needs clear authority to regulate broadband in order to push ahead with some its key recommendations, including a proposal to expand broadband by tapping the federal fund that subsidizes telephone service in poor and rural communities.

The decision was unanimous, and it substantiates a warning from an FCC commissioner who declared the 2008 ruling “unlawful,” as Declan McCullagh reports for CNet:

Because the FCC “has failed to tie its assertion” of regulatory authority to any actual law enacted by Congress, the agency does not have the authority to regulate an Internet provider’s network management practices, wrote Judge David Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Even though liberal advocacy groups had urged the FCC to take action against Comcast, the agency’s vote to proceed was a narrow 3-2, with the dissenting commissioners predicting at the time that it would not hold up in court. FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell, a Republican, said at the time that the FCC’s ruling was unlawful and the lack of legal authority “is sure to doom this order on appeal.”

Tuesday’s decision could doom one of the signature initiatives of current FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, a Democrat. Last October, Genachowski announced plans to begin drafting a formal set of Net neutrality rules — even though Congress has not given the agency permission to begin. (Verizon Communications CEO Ivan Seidenberg, for instance, has said that new regulations would stifle innovative technologies like telemedicine.)

In fact, Democrats have been singularly uninterested in pursuing the kind of legislation that the FCC needs to extend its authority.  They certainly campaigned on the issue, and progressives expected action on it in this session of Congress.  Unfortunately, Democrats fumbled the health-care bill so badly that they probably have no time left to consider net neutrality, or for that matter, the stomach for another hard-Left agenda item before the midterm elections.

The lack of jurisdiction may also doom White House plans to dictate broadband expansion.  It doesn’t look promising, although the opinion by Tatel doesn’t appear to completely close the door on the notion.  He writes that the FCC has to show that its attempt to impose “ancillary authority” on a private company’s network-management practices derives from a “reasonably ancillary” part of its overall mandate.  The FCC and the Obama administration may find more solid ground in arguing that expansion of access is “reasonably ancillary” to the FCC’s mission of encouraging the broadest possible reach of American communication services.

This decision does make it clear that the courts are willing to act when executive-branch agencies attempt to arrogate authority and jurisdictions without Congress granting them in law.  That will be useful in this administration.


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If they can control the internet, they can tax the internet.

Abby Adams on April 6, 2010 at 12:28 PM
They also want to ban content and political speech.

They will eventually use Chavez style methods.

tetriskid on April 6, 2010 at 12:34 PM

Exactly, they will of course tax it like they are taxing everything but their primary goal is to silence the opposition by making it more difficult for them to operate.

Someone posted that Comcast could regulate the use on their networks. The primary disincentive for that is how it might affect their bottom line. One of the beautiful things about capitalism is that maximizing profit trumps everything else.

docdave on April 6, 2010 at 1:02 PM

Pretty sure conservatives are for the free market, not for corporate control.

Caiwyn on April 6, 2010 at 1:02 PM

Not sure I like this…but the decisions has been legitimately made through the proper channels, and I’ll just have to live with it.

Dark-Star on April 6, 2010 at 12:21 PM

At least you’re a reasoned Communist.

The same thing that would keep them from deliberately filtering political sites they didn’t like: NOTHING. If we thought the Microsoft monopoly was bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Dark-Star on April 6, 2010 at 12:40 PM

I know it is difficult to see with the blindfold of liberalism wrapped around your face, but what Microsoft has done for society is on par with the assembly line, the light bulb, internal combustion engine, the wheel, etc…

In a few short decades, the world has seen technological advancement that our parents and grandparents could only dream of in scifi movies and books. Microsoft did more to advance personal computing and business networks, creating a far more efficient and wealthy people than anything anyone in Gov’t has every done or will do. Ever.

Call them evil if you must, but it makes you sound retarded.

uknowmorethanme on April 6, 2010 at 1:05 PM

The FCC’s 2008 vote to punish Comcast stems from a request from Free Press and its political allies, including some Yale, Harvard, and Stanford law school faculty.

hummmm…law schools faculty who had to have know it was illegal….hummmm

TheBigOldDog on April 6, 2010 at 1:05 PM

One of the beautiful things about capitalism is that maximizing profit trumps everything else.

docdave on April 6, 2010 at 1:02 PM

And one of the greatest ironies about capitalism is that if everyone who supported it actually followed it faithfully…our nation would be a Darwinistic dog-eat-dog hellhole. Think Rapture without the underwater element.

Fortunately, we the people have the recourse of telling our government to intervene when the profit motive gets out of hand. Unfortunately, we can’t seem to find any balance between letting corporations run riot (and run our government) and having total statist control of everything.

Dark-Star on April 6, 2010 at 1:06 PM

How dare the court interfere with the true will of the people. Yes we can. /

Mojave Mark on April 6, 2010 at 1:06 PM

Quick lesson on conservatism, YYZ:

Control by ‘the government’ = bad.

Control by corporations = good.

Dark-Star on April 6, 2010 at 12:43 PM

Every now and then an absolute gem like this gets posted, illustrating perfectly what liberals don’t understand the difference between the government and corporations, which is that governments have a legal monopoly on the use of force in order to control people, whereas corporations do not. It’s absolutely incredible that so many liberals miss their important distinction as they embrace big government and smear private business, but there you go. These are the same people who think that governments create wealth.

Sharke on April 6, 2010 at 1:08 PM

My apoogies for the typos above.

Sharke on April 6, 2010 at 1:08 PM

Hug0 Maobama will use the Insurrection Act to save America from We The Accidental Spitters. Ostrangler will stop at nothing. He is craven beyond the wildest dreams of 95% of the semi-comatose living among us.

Western_Civ on April 6, 2010 at 1:12 PM

And one of the greatest ironies about capitalism is that if everyone who supported it actually followed it faithfully…our nation would be a Darwinistic dog-eat-dog hellhole. Think Rapture without the underwater element.

Dark-Star on April 6, 2010 at 1:06 PM

And your evidence for this is what? All capitalism needs is a legal system in order to enforce contracts and protect the rights of the individual. Unfortunately, liberals have absolutely zero chance of understanding this as they don’t even understand what rights are (or more accurately, what they’re not).

Sharke on April 6, 2010 at 1:12 PM

My apoogies for the typos above.

I saw what you did there. Clever.

YYZ on April 6, 2010 at 1:13 PM

Quick lesson on conservatism, YYZ:

Control by ‘the government’ = bad.

Control by corporations = good.

Dark-Star on April 6, 2010 at 12:43 PM

What a silly oversimplification. In this case, it would be government control of corporations’ private property and services they provide. In the private sector, government control almost always serves as a barrier to entry, thus making for less competition. Conservatives like competition. Competition makes for lower prices, better service and product/service innovation.

ROCnPhilly on April 6, 2010 at 1:13 PM

The FCC’s 2008 vote to punish Comcast stems from a request from Free Press and its political allies, including some Yale, Harvard, and Stanford law school faculty.

hummmm…law schools faculty who had to have know it was illegal….hummmm

TheBigOldDog on April 6, 2010 at 1:05 PM

No, it’s more like law school faculties who think the constitution is a “living document,” and like to make law by taking test cases.

They appeared to fail the test here. And the DC Circuit does not have the reversal rate of the Ninth Circus, and the DC Circuit is an acknowleged expert in regulatory cses, given all the agencies in DC.

Wethal on April 6, 2010 at 1:13 PM

Not having “Net Neutraility” will not shut down a single website. Remove the tinfoil hats, people.

BradSchwartze on April 6, 2010 at 12:49 PM

Its not about shutting down. Its about how far can a provider leverage their monopoly status (remember, this market is FAR from free…there is no perfect information, nor perfect choice…not even CLOSE). Can they leverage it to the point that preferred corporate sites get preferred treatment over the network, regardless of the bandwidth guarantees sold to both the site admin and any customers accessing it?

ernesto on April 6, 2010 at 1:14 PM

Anyone know how this effects the EPA’s over reach on things like carbon dioxide control?

obladioblada on April 6, 2010 at 12:09 PM

Courts have already ‘ordered’ EPA to regulate CO2…

phreshone on April 6, 2010 at 1:20 PM

And one of the greatest ironies about capitalism is that if everyone who supported it actually followed it faithfully…our nation would be a Darwinistic dog-eat-dog hellhole. Think Rapture without the underwater element.

Fortunately, we the people have the recourse of telling our government to intervene when the profit motive gets out of hand. Unfortunately, we can’t seem to find any balance between letting corporations run riot (and run our government) and having total statist control of everything.

Dark-Star on April 6, 2010 at 1:06 PM

You seem to get great pride of demonstrating your ignorance of capitalism and the free enterprise system that drives it. Almost everything you posted exists in the opposite of what you stated. Many competitors trying to maximize their profits assures that there is some equivalence in wealth distribution as many get a piece of the profit pie. It’s only when there are monopolies, like government healthcare, that the dog-eat-dog hellhole occurs as many are trying to get the same bone whereas the free enterprise system assures that there are as many bones as there is incentive to create them.

docdave on April 6, 2010 at 1:23 PM

Awwww man there go those brand new EPA dreamed up CO2 rules as well. Shucks, can you say no grant from Congress, no statue, no tickee … no regulations?

BTW, the SC did not give the EPA the authority to regulate CO2, it simply said they may if …

The court is now starting the Fascists FDR stuff down and rollback.

tarpon on April 6, 2010 at 1:25 PM

our nation would be a Darwinistic dog-eat-dog hellhole

Maybe we should pass an anti-dog-eat-dog rule.

Good Lt on April 6, 2010 at 1:25 PM

Comcast and others should not abuse their position to try to control what their customers do with a network connection they pay for. I support the principle of an open internet.

Which is why I’m happy to see this ruling. It’s good to know that the courts properly ruled that the FCC had no authority to regulate in this area, regardless of how “good” the intentions might be.

Net neutrality should be “enforced” by customer demand rather than government fiat.

tom on April 6, 2010 at 1:27 PM

Its not about shutting down. Its about how far can a provider leverage their monopoly status (remember, this market is FAR from free…there is no perfect information, nor perfect choice…not even CLOSE). Can they leverage it to the point that preferred corporate sites get preferred treatment over the network, regardless of the bandwidth guarantees sold to both the site admin and any customers accessing it?

ernesto on April 6, 2010 at 1:14 PM

What monopoly?

katy the mean old lady on April 6, 2010 at 1:29 PM

Quick lesson on conservatism, YYZ:

Control by ‘the government’ = bad.

Control by corporations = good.

Dark-Star on April 6, 2010 at 12:43 PM

Note the differences.

Competing corporations or one government dictating tyranny?

cntrlfrk on April 6, 2010 at 1:32 PM

ernesto on April 6, 2010 at 1:14 PM

Golly, where did you learn to ‘think’ so incoherently? Oh, I forgot. What you wrote doesn’t have to be lucid as it is typical liberalspeak.

docdave on April 6, 2010 at 1:35 PM

I had no idea that conservatives were supposed to be opposed to net neutrality. I just assumed that most people who cared about the future of the Internet supported NN.

YYZ on April 6, 2010 at 12:42 PM

Quick lesson on conservatism, YYZ:

Control by ‘the government’ = bad.

Control by corporations = good.

Dark-Star on April 6, 2010 at 12:43 PM

Fair enough. Past experience shows it’s a whole lot easier to get corporations to listen to their customers.

tom on April 6, 2010 at 1:35 PM

Its about how far can a provider leverage their monopoly status (remember, this market is FAR from free…there is no perfect information, nor perfect choice…not even CLOSE). Can they leverage it to the point that preferred corporate sites get preferred treatment over the network, regardless of the bandwidth guarantees sold to both the site admin and any customers accessing it?

ernesto on April 6, 2010 at 1:14 PM

What provider has a monopoly?

Why would a paying customer have no recourse if the provider didn’t deliver on a contractual agreement? I’m sure any preferences received by a preferred customer would be paid for by that customer. Any negative impacts on others would also be actionable by those harmed if it’s in violation of their contract.

ROCnPhilly on April 6, 2010 at 1:36 PM

What monopoly?

katy the mean old lady on April 6, 2010 at 1:29 PM

It is highly probable that you only have one cable and/or phone provider in your town. Municipal governments across the country have to grant access to those providers to run their wires across government property (along roadways, beneath sewers, etc.). Most municipal governments only grant that power to a single company. That company get monopoly control of that localized market. In exchange, the city can get up to a 5% surcharge from the cost of the services that company provides. So the city gets its money from a charge passed directly to consumers, and the provider gets to operate competition-free.

Caiwyn on April 6, 2010 at 1:37 PM

:) That’s good news

gophergirl on April 6, 2010 at 1:37 PM

I should stress that this is not a monopoly that occurs because a company has successfully outdone its competition. This is a monopoly granted by the government.

Caiwyn on April 6, 2010 at 1:39 PM

Pretty sure conservatives are for the free market, not for corporate control.

Caiwyn on April 6, 2010 at 1:02 PM

What the hell do you think corporations are, you idiot? Corporations are legal entities run by PRIVATE CITIZENS for the benefit of PRIVATE CITIZENS. Government has become the ENEMY of private citizens, and we’re g%d%mn sick of it.

God, liberals are such morons!!

Fishoutofwater on April 6, 2010 at 1:42 PM

Every now and then an absolute gem like this gets posted, illustrating perfectly what liberals don’t understand the difference between the government and corporations, which is that governments have a legal monopoly on the use of force in order to control people, whereas corporations do not. It’s absolutely incredible that so many liberals miss their important distinction as they embrace big government and smear private business, but there you go. These are the same people who think that governments create wealth.

Sharke on April 6, 2010 at 1:08 PM

+1000. You hit the nail on the head.

Caiwyn on April 6, 2010 at 1:43 PM

This is a monopoly granted by the government.

Caiwyn on April 6, 2010 at 1:39 PM

Where almost all monopolies are created and supported. The market is only completely free when there is no government involvement.

docdave on April 6, 2010 at 1:44 PM

Caiwyn on April 6, 2010 at 1:37 PM

Er, no. One has many choices through the phone line, cable, or satellite. Don’t like att.? go to earthlink,aol,etc.

katy the mean old lady on April 6, 2010 at 1:45 PM

What the hell do you think corporations are, you idiot? Corporations are legal entities run by PRIVATE CITIZENS for the benefit of PRIVATE CITIZENS. Government has become the ENEMY of private citizens, and we’re g%d%mn sick of it.

God, liberals are such morons!!

Fishoutofwater on April 6, 2010 at 1:42 PM

I think you’re misreading my point.

Dark-Star was accusing conservatives of wanting corporations to “control” us. I’m simply refuting that argument. Conservatives are for the freedom of the individual. We are indeed against government control of our daily lives, but that doesn’t mean we are for corporate control of our daily lives, either. We are for OUR OWN control of our daily lives. We favor a free market that ensures our own freedom just as much as the freedom of any corporation. Am I wrong?

Caiwyn on April 6, 2010 at 1:47 PM

docdave on April 6, 2010 at 1:35 PM

Translation: I don’t know what you mean by admins and customers, so let me call you names

ernesto on April 6, 2010 at 1:48 PM

Microsoft did more to advance personal computing and business networks, creating a far more efficient and wealthy people than anything anyone in Gov’t has every done or will do. Ever.

Call them evil if you must, but it makes you sound retarded.

uknowmorethanme on April 6, 2010 at 1:05 PM

You give Microsoft way too much credit. The PC industry and networking were built by the IBM clone industry. The fact that virtually anybody could create PC hardware and start a business created intense competition, and drove prices down until everyone could afford a PC.

In short, the fact that IBM could not control the market they created is what gave us the PC revolution. The principle need is a free market.

Microsoft became huge because they were able to fill the software needs created by the booming PC market with an OS compatible to IBM’s OS. They managed to attach themselves to the market through contracts with the PC manufacturers that gave them a percentage of all hardware sold, whether it had their software on it or not. This effectively meant that no manufacturer could ever have a profit incentive to install any other OS but theirs.

Very clever and foresighted of them, you’ll have to admit. But they did not create the PC revolution themselves.

Openness leads to a bigger marketplace. We’re seeing a lot of the same forces work in the cell phone industry. The iphone is already starting to lose ground to the influx of Android phones. Which probably explains the introduction of the ipad, to try to recapture the magic.

tom on April 6, 2010 at 1:52 PM

And one of the greatest ironies about capitalism is that if everyone who supported it actually followed it faithfully…our nation would be a Darwinistic dog-eat-dog hellhole. Think Rapture without the underwater element.

Dark-Star on April 6, 2010 at 1:06 PM

You read too many Howard Zinn novels in high school, kid.

Speaking of which, did you ever find a credible definition of the word “war” that also includes the word “murder”?

No, I didn’t think so.

Del Dolemonte on April 6, 2010 at 1:57 PM

Excuse me, but it’s my right to be provided internet service. I expect the government to enforce my rights in whatever way they must.

I also want a mushroom & pineapple topped pizza. Stat!

Worthless government. I will not be satisfied until I can roll out of my government provided bed in my government provided house and get on my government provided computer with government controlled internet access so I can read the government sponsored news about the dangerous, rabid elements of our society that is trying to destroy my right to government care and force me to be personally responsible for myself. (Which is obviously immoral)

ButterflyDragon on April 6, 2010 at 1:58 PM

So, if your cable company can pull ABC or Fox News because of a dispute, what’s to stop an ISP in the future from blocking (or slowing) to Google or a torrent site?

YYZ on April 6, 2010 at 1:58 PM

ernesto on April 6, 2010 at 1:48 PM

I called you names?? Where? I was clealy only criticizing your comment. I believe it started out with:

Its not about shutting down. Its about how far can a provider leverage their monopoly status

and rambled from there. Pray tell, which internet providers have a monopoly? Name just one and why you think they have.

docdave on April 6, 2010 at 2:01 PM

Conservatives are for the freedom of the individual. We are indeed against government control of our daily lives, but that doesn’t mean we are for corporate control of our daily lives, either. We are for OUR OWN control of our daily lives. We favor a free market that ensures our own freedom just as much as the freedom of any corporation. Am I wrong?

Caiwyn on April 6, 2010 at 1:47 PM

The only time a corporation can “control” you is when they are in bed with a powerful government. This is what the Left wants: control of the private sector…so they pick winners and losers. You see it happening now, as throughout all of modern history. When a corporation partners with the government, indeed, a corporation has some “control” of your life as dictated by the full force of the government.

Now if a corporation is not in bed with government, they can’t control anyone. Can a corporation enslave you? Can a corporation force you to buy anything? Can a corporation put you in jail? Can a corporation deport you? Can a corporation confiscate your private property? Etc.

visions on April 6, 2010 at 2:03 PM

“…whatever power you give the State to do things for you carries with it the equivalent power to do things to you.” ~ A. J. Nock

Sharke on April 6, 2010 at 2:05 PM

So, if your cable company can pull ABC or Fox News because of a dispute, what’s to stop an ISP in the future from blocking (or slowing) to Google or a torrent site?

YYZ on April 6, 2010 at 1:58 PM

Contracts, customers, competitors.

ROCnPhilly on April 6, 2010 at 2:06 PM

So, if your cable company can pull ABC or Fox News because of a dispute, what’s to stop an ISP in the future from blocking (or slowing) to Google or a torrent site?

YYZ on April 6, 2010 at 1:58 PM

Not a thing except that pesky customer service thingy. Don’t know about you, but if I’m unhappy,I’m gone.

katy the mean old lady on April 6, 2010 at 2:06 PM

So, if your cable company can pull ABC or Fox News because of a dispute, what’s to stop an ISP in the future from blocking (or slowing) to Google or a torrent site?

YYZ on April 6, 2010 at 1:58 PM

Change ISP’s.

ButterflyDragon on April 6, 2010 at 2:13 PM

So, if your cable company can pull ABC or Fox News because of a dispute, what’s to stop an ISP in the future from blocking (or slowing) to Google or a torrent site?

YYZ on April 6, 2010 at 1:58 PM

Nothing. But internet access is not a right, nor is it even essential for human survival. So you are quite free to seek your internet access elsewhere, or if there is no elsewhere, refrain from purchasing internet access altogether (economic boycott). You have the freedom to start a grasroots movement and organize thousands or perhaps even millions of like minded individuals in order to use non-violent means to either persuade existing companies to change their behavior, or persuade potential providers that a viable market exists for people who want 100% net neutrality. All this is possible without having to grant more powers to a government who can just as easily turn those powers against you.

And remember, internet connections are not limited to underground wires. It can be transmitted wirelessly, even by satellite.

Sharke on April 6, 2010 at 2:15 PM

Er, no. One has many choices through the phone line, cable, or satellite. Don’t like att.? go to earthlink,aol,etc.

katy the mean old lady on April 6, 2010 at 1:45 PM

Earthlink and AOL still have to run through a phone or cable line placed by the monopoly provider in your area. Those companies do not provide the communications infrastructure, just the service that runs over the lines. In fact, the only reason you have those options is because the FCC requires infrastructure companies like AT&T to allow it.

Caiwyn on April 6, 2010 at 2:21 PM

The only time a corporation can “control” you is when they are in bed with a powerful government. This is what the Left wants: control of the private sector…so they pick winners and losers. You see it happening now, as throughout all of modern history. When a corporation partners with the government, indeed, a corporation has some “control” of your life as dictated by the full force of the government.

Now if a corporation is not in bed with government, they can’t control anyone. Can a corporation enslave you? Can a corporation force you to buy anything? Can a corporation put you in jail? Can a corporation deport you? Can a corporation confiscate your private property? Etc.

visions on April 6, 2010 at 2:03 PM

I absolutely agree with you. That’s why I’m saying it’s not true that conservatives want corporate control. In a free market, corporations CAN’T control you.

Caiwyn on April 6, 2010 at 2:24 PM

Not a thing except that pesky customer service thingy. Don’t know about you, but if I’m unhappy,I’m gone.

katy the mean old lady on April 6, 2010 at 2:06 PM

That is definitely how it should work in a competitive free market. But that’s why a government-granted monopoly can be so damaging. We’re lucky that new technologies like IPTV allow your phone company to compete against your cable company for TV service, and internet telephony (i.e. “digital phone”) allows your cable company to compete against your phone company for phone service. This was not always the case. So there are loopholes, but it’s important that we recognize them as loopholes and not truly free market competition.

I’m not saying net neutrality regulation is the proper answer. I’m just saying it’s a response to a very real problem that conservatives ought to find an answer to.

Caiwyn on April 6, 2010 at 2:30 PM

Control by ‘the government’ = bad.

Control by corporations = good.

Dark-Star on April 6, 2010 at 12:43 PM

Control by private entities that I can hire and fire at will, and are forced by competition to give me service the way I want it = good

Control by government monopoly with the power of the state, sovereign immunity, etc that can’t be sued or fired, and can toss my butt in jail if I don’t give them service the way THEY want it = BAD!

Sekhmet on April 6, 2010 at 2:34 PM

The real problem is the complete lack of competition among Internet providers.

Ortzinator on April 6, 2010 at 2:48 PM

It’s not a complete lack of competition. In New York and Los Angeles there are at least two choices. It’s not much, but it’s getting better. We can’t very well force companies to give up the infrastructure they’ve built. The technology just has to continue to improve.

Anyhow, hooray for judicial review, this day!

JKahn913 on April 6, 2010 at 2:54 PM

One can only imagine what would be going on in our country today with out the internet and talk radio. We would be like mushrooms–In the dark and covered with manure.

Herb on April 6, 2010 at 3:22 PM

One can only imagine what would be going on in our country today with out the internet and talk radio. We would be like mushrooms–In the dark and covered with manure.

Herb on April 6, 2010 at 3:22 PM

I don’t think the situation would be any worse if the TR idiots – of ALL stripes – were off the air; they’d just migrate to the Internet to run blogs and/or electronic versions of radio.

But take away the ‘net, and we would indeed be in trouble. The ‘news’ networks are increasingly useless.

Dark-Star on April 6, 2010 at 3:28 PM

“Oh, great…now how do we get around this?…hmmmm…” -Obama & Co.

Dr. ZhivBlago on April 6, 2010 at 3:39 PM

You give Microsoft way too much credit. The PC industry and networking were built by the IBM clone industry. The fact that virtually anybody could create PC hardware and start a business created intense competition, and drove prices down until everyone could afford a PC.

Understood.

I think my point was more along the lines of Henry Ford didn’t invent the car, but he was a large player in getting it out to the masses affordably.

uknowmorethanme on April 6, 2010 at 4:08 PM

Quick lesson on conservatism, YYZ:

Control by ‘the government’ = bad.

Control by corporations = good.

Dark-Star on April 6, 2010 at 12:43 PM

Quick lesson on conservatism Dark-Star:

Control by ‘the government’ = bad.

Control by ‘the corporations’ = bad.

Control by individual citizens = good.

Write that down on a post-it note and stick it to your bathroom mirror so you are reminded every morning.

percysunshine on April 6, 2010 at 4:26 PM

percysunshine on April 6, 2010 at 4:26 PM

Except the right doesn’t seem to have any problem with corporations in control. The mantra is always “but you’ll have a choice if it’s a corporation”…which is only true some of the time, and is no excuse in the first place.

Dark-Star on April 6, 2010 at 4:34 PM

phreshone on April 6, 2010 at 1:20 PM

Not quite. SCOTUS order the EPA to determine if CO2 needed to be regulated as a health hazard. They did not order them to regulate CO2.

chemman on April 6, 2010 at 4:37 PM

The mantra is always “but you’ll have a choice if it’s a corporation”…which is only true some of the time, and is no excuse in the first place.

Dark-Star on April 6, 2010 at 4:34 PM

You still have a choice. Use it or not use it…at least until ObamaCare orders you to buy something from one when you don’t wish to, but then again, that is the government ordering you, not the corporation.

mwdiver on April 6, 2010 at 4:45 PM

And one of the greatest ironies about capitalism is that if everyone who supported it actually followed it faithfully…our nation would be a Darwinistic dog-eat-dog hellhole. Think Rapture without the underwater element.

Fortunately, we the people have the recourse of telling our government to intervene when the profit motive gets out of hand. Unfortunately, we can’t seem to find any balance between letting corporations run riot (and run our government) and having total statist control of everything.

Dark-Star on April 6, 2010 at 1:06 PM

Well, I reject your whole premise.
If capitalism was followed faithfully, as you say, life would be as close to utopia as possible. For each individual would pursue what was profitable, to themselves.
No individual would waste time on things that were not profitable, unless they chose to.
Corporations are not, of themselves, evil. A corporation can be either good or bad, depending on how it is run. But if it wanted to continue making profits, in a society where everyone followed capitalism faithfully, then they would have to be doing everything possible at all times to please their customers. Because if they didn’t, the other corporation, or group of individuals, or individual with a better idea, would take their customers and ultimately, all of their business.

Capitalism is not just another a system. Capitalism, I believe, in it’s purest form is the absence of any system at all. It is when people are left to decide for themselves, as freely as possible, how and when where to build, invent, market and profit from whatever work or product they want. But, it then also needs customers who have the same freedoms.

In pure capitalism, the seller and buyer are equal partners. Both need capital. Both need freedom. It’s a beautiful thing.

JellyToast on April 6, 2010 at 4:48 PM

Except the right doesn’t seem to have any problem with corporations in control.

Conservatives do. That is why the Sherman Act was a landmark.

You have been brain washed by a leftist cult.

percysunshine on April 6, 2010 at 4:49 PM

You still have a choice. Use it or not use it…

Some ‘choice’…but you are right in that the principle still stands.

at least until ObamaCare orders you to buy something from one when you don’t wish to, but then again, that is the government ordering you, not the corporation.

mwdiver on April 6, 2010 at 4:45 PM

The order itself will come from the government, yes, but lobbyists had a big part in getting it made into law in the first place.

Of course, they plan to yank the rug out from under their fellow conspirators and institute total gov’t control later on…so perhaps the whole point is moot.

Dark-Star on April 6, 2010 at 4:49 PM

Why is the government exempt from the prohibition against forming monopolies?

percysunshine on April 6, 2010 at 4:52 PM

Some ‘choice’

I had the same thought when I had to choose between Obama and McCain.

The order itself will come from the government, yes, but lobbyists had a big part in getting it made into law in the first place.
Dark-Star on April 6, 2010 at 4:49 PM

mwdiver on April 6, 2010 at 4:54 PM

The order itself will come from the government, yes, but lobbyists had a big part in getting it made into law in the first place.
Dark-Star on April 6, 2010 at 4:49 PM

Premature post. Sorry.

You will never hear me defend the lobbyists part in our government.

mwdiver on April 6, 2010 at 4:56 PM

I had the same thought when I had to choose between Obama and McCain.

mwdiver on April 6, 2010 at 4:54 PM

Ditto. I was so disgusted by them both, and McCain had destroyed his own campaign so much by the time it came to vote, that I just voted 3rd party.

If it comes down to that choice again I’ll HAVE to vote for him. Even if it means electing that dipsy-doodle snowbilly in with him. A possible failure is better than a known failure.

Dark-Star on April 6, 2010 at 4:57 PM

Benito Musollini undertook a corporate/government economic experiment where private risk was transfered to the public sector, but private profit stayed in the private sector.

He was the original inventor of Fanny and Freddie.

Fascists are where you find them.

percysunshine on April 6, 2010 at 5:00 PM

Except the right doesn’t seem to have any problem with corporations in control. The mantra is always “but you’ll have a choice if it’s a corporation”…which is only true some of the time, and is no excuse in the first place.

Dark-Star on April 6, 2010 at 4:34 PM

Feel free to provide an honest example instead of this dishonest straw man you keep pushing.

Caiwyn on April 6, 2010 at 5:14 PM

Benito was a ‘straw’ man. He lasted what…a few years? The butt of every WWII joke…

percysunshine on April 6, 2010 at 5:21 PM

Pretty sure conservatives are for the free market, not for corporate control.

Caiwyn on April 6, 2010 at 1:02 PM

And what is the difference between corporate control and the free market of which corporations are the corner stone of?

Net neutrality is the exact opposite of what it sounds like. It is a race to the bottom not a race to the top.

Customers are all treated equal except for those who are more equal than others. ????

Money talks and if someone wants to pay for higher performance on the Internet, all the more power to them. In the end we all benefit.

Government control means no innovation, no competition. Only government creates monopolies. AT&T was a monopoly for many years because they lobbied Congress into making them one. It was not until deregulation that phone services really expanded.

Dasher on April 6, 2010 at 5:33 PM

This thread has morphed into a forum for adamantly agreeing with your debate opponent.

Cool.

percysunshine on April 6, 2010 at 5:43 PM

BAM! Looks like Hugo Chavez Jr. just got bitch slapped.

elderberry on April 6, 2010 at 5:43 PM

Sorry, Scooter. The Supreme Court said that we’re still a free country. Now let’s see what they’ll do about your unconstitutional health insurance mandate with the IRS stealing our refunds if we don’t get insurance.

kingsjester on April 6, 2010 at 6:06 PM

So, if your cable company can pull ABC or Fox News because of a dispute, what’s to stop an ISP in the future from blocking (or slowing) to Google or a torrent site?

YYZ on April 6, 2010 at 1:58 PM

Go satellite or to a competitor.

CWforFreedom on April 6, 2010 at 9:20 PM

This decision does make it clear that the courts are willing to act when executive-branch agencies attempt to arrogate authority and jurisdictions without Congress granting them in law. That will be useful in this administration.

From your keyboard to God’s ear! I hope free speech can survive the evil doers who would tear down every freedom we have.

I simply cannot get what motivates them. How can they really believe that good is bad and bad is good?

They are fighting on the side of evil.

petunia on April 6, 2010 at 11:11 PM

A possible failure is better than a known failure.

Dark-Star on April 6, 2010 at 4:57 PM

Good…for the change of heart… but the choice really was
between an incompetent, doddering old capitalist or a incompetent (thankfully!) young, lie-through-your-teeth Communist!

Sometimes the choice of less bad, is really much, much, less bad!

petunia on April 6, 2010 at 11:14 PM

Guess which appeals court is getting front-row tickets to the next State of the Union speech.

29Victor on April 6, 2010 at 11:22 PM

I should stress that this is not a monopoly that occurs because a company has successfully outdone its competition. This is a monopoly granted by the government.

Caiwyn on April 6, 2010 at 1:39 PM

I know that you understand this, so I am saying it for the benefit of others: too many people operate under the delusion that the crony capitalism you are referring to is somehow representative of the free market. It is anything but.

Many of the ISPs have become has huge as they are because of various forms of government favoritism, and they’ll be darned if anyone now wants a piece of what they were gifted.

Bizarro No. 1 on April 7, 2010 at 12:51 AM

Many of the ISPs have become has huge as they are because of various forms of government favoritism, and they’ll be darned if anyone now wants would receive a piece of what they were gifted.

Bizarro No. 1 on April 7, 2010 at 12:51 AM

FIFM

Bizarro No. 1 on April 7, 2010 at 12:54 AM

New video of U.S. military gunning down civilians in Iraq.

They had no RPGS, no weapons, and were not insurgents.

Spathi on April 7, 2010 at 2:14 AM

New video of U.S. military gunning down civilians in Iraq.

They had no RPGS, no weapons, and were not insurgents.

Spathi on April 7, 2010 at 2:14 AM

Nope, that’s not what happened.
It was an engagement of the hostile enemy!
This is the 3rd thread on HA where I’ve found you going off-topic with this video, Spathi.
Are you spamming all of hot air with your anti-military propaganda?

Jenfidel on April 7, 2010 at 2:32 AM

It was an engagement of the hostile enemy!

Not according the CNN military analyst who said the rules of engagement were broken on multiple fronts. Zero insurgents there.

The U.S. military says it doesn’t have the video anymore so maybe they got rid of it to try to cover it up from the families relatives.

Spathi on April 7, 2010 at 2:41 AM

Not according the CNN military analyst who said the rules of engagement were broken on multiple fronts. Zero insurgents there.

The U.S. military says it doesn’t have the video anymore so maybe they got rid of it to try to cover it up from the families relatives.

Spathi on April 7, 2010 at 2:41 AM

Go spam some other blog where they’re dumb enough to take their talking points from CNN and/or Ron Paul.

Jenfidel on April 7, 2010 at 2:48 AM

Reading posts here from leftists who portray businesses as if they were evil, I’m starting to understand the pathology behind the nutters who claim that the Apollo moon landings were shot in a TV studio.

It takes a special form of intense self-deception to maintain the twisted world view that casts the engines of human progress as evil. The wheel wasn’t invented by a cave-man government bureaucrat. It was invented by someone who was looking for something that would increase his or her survival potential. In other words it was invented by someone inspired by the profit motive. The leftists don’t understand this because they are the unintended consequence of a world where losers are no longer culled from the gene pool. Civilization trumps natural selection.

The world is not a perfect place, and it never will be. Human beings are flawed and limited and some are quite evil and mad. This is reflected in the nature of our institutions, including everything from governments to companies to country-clubs. This is why power must be limited, why checks and balances are essential, and why each individual must ultimately be empowered to defend his or her own liberty from the forces of tyranny whether they come from a corrupt government or a corrupt business.

The view of leftists that casts government as the white knight protector of the people against the irrational predations of private enterprises is ridiculously sophomoric. These people know nothing of the nature of evil. They unwittingly rail against a cartoon concept of villainy, often at the behest of real villains. Reading their comments and getting a glimpse into the way they think is like hanging out with a bunch of middle schoolers. Kids really do say the darndest things!

leereyno on April 7, 2010 at 5:03 AM

Next on the docket,
The EPA’s power grab
On Global Warming…

Haiku Guy on April 7, 2010 at 5:38 AM

Jenfidel, you are what alternative media, REAL ALTERNATIVE MEDIA like Prison Planet call a bloodthirsty neocon. Deep inside your bowels is an agenda to promote globalism and the New World order by staging terror attacks…AND TYPICAL LIKE ANY GLOBALIST YOU ATTACK THE ONLY PERSON WHO GETS IT IN RON PAUL…READ THE CONSTITUTION, OPEN YOUR MIND MORE AND YOUR LEGS LESS AND YOU WILL SOON REALIZE THIS “WAR” IS A TOTAL VIOLATION OF THE CONSTITUTION.

BobAnthony on April 7, 2010 at 7:09 AM

BobAnthony on April 7, 2010 at 7:09 AM

Those caps really lend an air of authority to your little ad hominem screed. Some proof might work better, not that there is any to support your position.

gitarfan on April 7, 2010 at 8:51 AM

Except the right doesn’t seem to have any problem with corporations in control. The mantra is always “but you’ll have a choice if it’s a corporation”…which is only true some of the time, and is no excuse in the first place.

Dark-Star on April 6, 2010 at 4:34 PM

Feel free to provide an honest example instead of this dishonest straw man you keep pushing.

Caiwyn on April 6, 2010 at 5:14 PM

Especially since corporations only exist as legal fictions CREATED BY GOVERNMENT IN THE FIRST EXPLETIVE DELETED PLACE.

Corporations were regarded as evil by laissez-faire capitalists for just that reason, in contrast to the limited-liability companies and individual entrepreneurship that created modern capitalism.

ebrown2 on April 7, 2010 at 9:25 AM

Ed, a comment of mine just plain disappeared after I entered it here yesterday. This seems to be happening more and more frequently. Either the software is bad, or I’ve crossed some silent line. Attempts to repost get the “you’ve already said that” message.

unclesmrgol on April 7, 2010 at 11:32 AM

Corporations were regarded as evil by laissez-faire capitalists for just that reason, in contrast to the limited-liability companies and individual entrepreneurship that created modern capitalism.

ebrown2 on April 7, 2010 at 9:25 AM

Please explain the difference in your mind between a “limited liability company” and a corporation. I don’t think there is any — they both exist to shield owners’ personal assets from confiscation in the event of a judgement. The only difference is in tax law: LLC’s avoid the double-taxation of earnings, while corporate profits get taxed twice — once on the earnings themselves (as does an LLC), and once on distribution to the shareholders.

Neither entity is a person, and the liability shield makes their behaviors similar.

In fact, most doctors have gone from proprietorrships to LLCs exactly for that reason — the personal liability shield is much higher when a patient contracts with an LLC for their medical services rather than with the doctor directly.

That said, both are creatures of the Government.

Pretty sure conservatives are for the free market, not for corporate control.

Caiwyn on April 6, 2010 at 1:02 PM

I agree with your entire train of thought. Given that a monopoly has profited from Government interference with their competitors, I see a strange double-standard when that monopoly chastises the Government for ordering them to live up to their contractual obligations to the consumers they monopolize.

unclesmrgol on April 7, 2010 at 11:45 AM

“Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
-C.S. Lewis

ebrown2 on April 7, 2010 at 11:53 AM

New video of U.S. military gunning down civilians in Iraq.

They had no RPGS, no weapons, and were not insurgents.

Spathi on April 7, 2010 at 2:14 AM

Assuming this is true, you’re going to find some bad people in every sector of the world, including the military.

The question is, what do you think this proves?

TheUnrepentantGeek on April 7, 2010 at 12:13 PM

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