Walmart, Comcast Celebrate Gay Pride

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

“Homo is Healthy” was one of the signs on the official gay pride website for the big march celebrating the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage on Sunday, June 28, in New York City. It was brought to you, in part, by Walmart, a high-level Platinum sponsor that happens to be America’s largest private sector employer. The giant retailer was among a “Who’s Who” of corporate America that also included sponsors Coke, Netflix, Hilton, PBS, Macy’s and Comcast Universal (NBC).

Pete Leather Bar

Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth covered the event, publishing photos of nearly naked men and a “leather” contingent on a truck, among other scenes of debauchery. He said hundreds of children could be seen either marching in or watching the parade. “This is the evidence of why gay marriage and gay parenting are wrong,” LaBarbera told Accuracy in Media.

One photo showed a big rainbow flag being unfurled as the Walmart logo could be seen in the background.

LaBarbera said the scenes of nudity and vulgarity that he photographed at the pride march in New York City provided evidence of how the homosexual lifestyle is something America should not celebrate or make into protected status under law.

For its part, Comcast celebrated June as gay pride month with short films targeting “LGBTQ youth” and “LGBTQ teens.”

Comcast boasted, “In 2013, 2014, and 2015, the company earned a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index and was named a Best Place to Work for the LGBT community.”

Nowhere is homosexual influence more pronounced than Hollywood. However, a new film on homosexual influence in Hollywood, “An Open Secret,” is having a hard time getting distributed, with those involved with the film saying that financial interests in Hollywood have been trying to suppress it. This film, however, does not celebrate “gay pride.” Rather, it exposes victims of sexual abuse in the entertainment industry. The homosexual pedophiles exposed in the film include Marc Collins-Rector, a major figure in the entertainment business who is a convicted child abuser and now a registered sex offender. The film is directed by Amy Berg, who also directed the 2006 American documentary film about a pedophile Catholic priest, Oliver O’Grady, called “Deliver Us From Evil.”

The decision by Walmart to embrace the homosexual rights movement is a case study of how the powerful interests who run the movement have worked their will on corporate America.

Quartz, a digital native news outlet, noted that “When Sam Walton started the company [Walmart] in 1962 in Rogers, Arkansas, he imbued the chain with a certain small-town conservatism. For instance, it long drew ire for its reluctance to sell music with explicit lyrics.”

Although Walmart still portrays itself as family-friendly, LaBarbera points out that the company is now publicly pro-homosexual and has been giving major grants to homosexual/transgender events and organizations, including $25,000 – $50,000 in 2014 to the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, a group that helps elect “out” homosexuals to political office. (Most of them are Democrats.)

The group’s 2011 annual report reveals that openly gay Obama ally, Terry Bean, co-founder of the major homosexual lobby, the Human Rights Campaign, has been a major supporter of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund as well. Bean took a leave of absence from the Human Rights Campaign after he was arrested on sexual abuse charges involving sex with a minor.

Corporate supporters of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund in 2011 included Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Bank of America, Southwest Airlines, AT&T, Shell Oil Company, Microsoft, Wells Fargo and the Nuclear Energy Institute.

Wells Fargo achieved notoriety this year by becoming the nation’s first bank to run a national ad including a homosexual couple.

Labor union sponsors of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund included the Service Employees International Union, the National Education Association, and the AFL-CIO.

Meanwhile, open homosexuals in the media, such as Edward Snowden mouthpiece Glenn Greenwald, have opened fire on Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia for exposing the Court’s gay marriage ruling as a “judicial Putsch” that stole the democratic system away from the American people.

Writing on the website of First Look Media, financed by billionaire French-born Iranian-American Pierre Omidyar, Greenwald hailed the ruling and noted that “Harry Hay created the Mattachine Society,” the first homosexual rights organization in the U.S. However, Greenwald failed to point out Hay’s membership in the Communist Party and support for the North American Man-Boy Love Association. Greenwald is one of several media figures on Out Magazine’s list of “most influential LGBT people in American culture.” Others include Anderson Cooper of CNN, Shepard Smith of Fox News, Robin Roberts of ABC, Don Lemon of CNN, Harvey Levin of TMZ, Rachel Maddow and Thomas Roberts of MSNBC, and Kara Swisher of CNBC.

On the conservative side, support for homosexual marriage seems to be growing—or at least coming out of the closet. Mary Katharine Ham, a Fox News commentator and editor-at-large of HotAir.com, has declared herself in favor of same-sex marriage. She has written a book with homosexual political commentator Guy Benson, a Fox News contributor who serves as political editor of the TownHall.com website.

HotAir and TownHall are owned by Salem Media Group, a Christian firm. Salem has refused to respond to questions about its employees becoming advocates for or activists in the homosexual movement.


The Continuity of Government – The Mystery of Peters Mountain

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton
Hat Tip: Trapper Pettit

A friend sent me an article from Zero Hedge that I find intriguing and it raises far more questions than answers.

I did not know that there was something called a PreparAthon held by FEMA on April 30th. Did you? Supposedly the nationwide drills are for – get this – the catastrophic consequences of global warming. Right. Sure it is. I suspect that propagandic line is for the rubes, when in fact what the feds fear the most is an EMP attack or a massive cyber attack. DHS was just all abuzz over this drill evidently.

But what caught my attention, was the movement and inclusion of activities around a real underground bunker north of Charlottesville, Virginia on Peters Mountain. This not-so-secret bunker may just be the hidey-hole for feds and our nation’s intelligence operations when the Schumer hits the fan. It is the perfect bunker to protect those elitists and power mongers that matter, while everyday America devolves into barbarity and the die-off begins.

Meanwhile, FEMA and DHS held their PreparAthon aimed at severe weather events due to climate change. Talk about a massive waste of money… unless of course those exercises provide cover for drills for threats of a much more serious and dire nature. Preparations for continuity of government and all that entails once the barbarians breach our gates for real.

Would it surprise anyone that the government was stocking their bunkers and preparing for the worst? With nationwide riots, escalating nuclear threats, imminent global war, ISIS terrorist cells planted in every state, the growing threat of crippling cyber attacks and the all too real EMP catastrophe looming, it’s a virtual certainty that the government is preparing to save their own and ensure that they can continue to rule the roost even if the roost is devastated.

These massive preparations include our intelligence agencies – can’t go on existing without spies, now can we? I first learned of Peters Mountain from author and friend, Trapper Pettit and his fantastic book The Osprey Vendetta. Hugely entertaining, but aside from a great read, Peters Mountain was woven into the storyline in that series of books as well.

For the very first time this year, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence made public that it would partake in the PreparAthon employing something vaguely named the National Intelligence Emergency Management Activity (NIEMA). The Director of National Intelligence merely describes NIEMA as providing “the framework, platforms, and systems to enable the Director of National Intelligence to lead an integrated and resilient [intelligence community] enterprise capable of sustaining the ‘intelligence cycle’ under any crisis or consequence management event, both at our headquarters and at our alternate operating locations.” Peters Mountain anyone? I highly doubt the DNI is shaking in his spiffy boots over climate change – but there is a whole host of real threats overshadowing the US that make preparation and fortification of utmost importance to spooks.

From Zero Hedge:

But job descriptions, contracting documents, insider resumes, and furtive discussions with Washington sources reveal that this little-known “activity” is a $100-million-a-year disaster playpen. At its 24/7/365 Response Operations Center (at a classified location), watch officers provide what’s referred to as “situational awareness and crisis support” to the nation’s leaders; and when that fails, they evacuate to their classified alternate facility, which sources say is in Albemarle County in central Virginia.

There is really only one candidate—a mysterious facility atop Peters Mountain, roughly 16 miles east of Charlottesville—and it’s undergone a $61 million plus renovation since 2007.

What follows are some intriguing photos of Peters Mountain. This is property owned by AT&T, but it is government land. Oh, so many questions there… Not only has AT&T leaked our private conversations and information to the government, they are fully in bed with them as this would seem to most certainly attest to. On top of the mountain, on a helicopter pad, is the AT&T logo for the world and Google to see.

The plot of land is strangely listed as “vacant residential land” of no value. However, it does belong to AT&T. Land with no value that has had 10’s of millions of dollars of improvements over the last several years. Hmmmm.

Zero Hedge points out that the building permits submitted since 2007 amount to $61,124,583.00 for interior and exterior alterations, including the building of the helicopter pad, a new bunker entrance, “alteration to interior spaces” and installation of two new satellite dishes.

I would say it is safe to assume that this property is something ‘other’ than residential and houses something deep inside. Why else would you need a bunker entrance? There are also a number of other buildings on the property along with a rather large parking lot. Just what is AT&T and the government up to?

Google and Bing each have satellite views of the mountain top, showing the same structures and the progress of construction since 2007. And I find these pictures just fascinating. On the right hand side you can see the parking lot and the bunker entrance. The two large building like structures could be air purification installments and ventilation. Just a guess. The structure must be buried deep within the mountain to protect from bombing etc. Dirt is an excellent protector. Although it doesn’t sport an outwardly military appearance, it reeks of it.

The two large structures on top of the mountain, to the left of the helicopter pad, are assumed to be vent stacks and hardened power and communications antennae. Two satellite dishes added after 9/11 are also now apparent, suggesting autonomous and enduring communications. Starting to get that ‘military’ feel yet?

Consider the Mormon’s Granite Mountain Vault for document storage and how massive that is. You might also want to consider Perpetual Storage Inc.’s vault in Utah as well, which houses computer equipment, digital records, etc. Neither of these are set up as actual living bunkers. The scale inside Peters Mountain must be massive to provide for human living, food storage and growth, waste elimination, supplies of water and electricity, computer processing, medical provisions, defense provisions, etc. for hundreds, if not thousands, of people

There is nothing that refers to NIEMA, the DNI or the intelligence community on record in that county. But of all the places that could hold hardened fortification, Peters Mountain more than fits the bill. Sources, according to Zero Hedge and Gawker, describe the national Warning, Alert and Mobilization System (WAMS) which would alert a select group of civilian executives from across the intelligence community to deploy to the bunker. The alert would come from “The Communicator” Automated Notification System and would take two forms: alerts for everyone and alerts for the “core” participants. Because Washington is notorious for traffic congestion, those so-called core participants, those who have to move away from Washington within minutes of notification, would congregate and board helicopters which would take them to the bunker.

Gawker even sent a driver to go up the road on the mountain. But when he encountered a “Road Closed – No Trespassing – Private Property” sign, he decided he would go no further. I guess he didn’t want to be shot or arrested.

It appears to me that exercises at this bunker occur frequently and that along with Mount Weather, Raven Rock and the Olney bunkers, it’s stocked, primed and ready at a moment’s notice for those who would be fortunate enough to be invited in should the very worst happen.

Yep, I know this is the stuff of conspiracy theories… but ask yourself, with everything that is happening in America, do you honestly believe our government isn’t providing an escape plan for our so-called select leaders? Peters Mountain raises far more questions with me than answers. But the aerial footage is pretty self-explanatory to an extent and even their work permits specified a ‘bunker entrance.’ It doesn’t get much more obvious than that.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has looked around and has noticed the government buying up food and weaponry, as well as supplies, etc. I keep wondering why the hurry? Do they know something we don’t? Why is the Fed fortifying its building in Chicago? And the kicker… NORAD just returned to Cheyenne Mountain. In a refreshing twist, NORAD comes right out and says it is because of the EMP threat.

From NewsMax:

“Why the return?” write Henry F. Cooper and Peter Vincent Pry. “Because the enormous bunker in the hollowed-out mountain, built to survive a Cold War-era nuclear conflict, can also resist an electromagnetic-pulse attack, or EMP.”

While the Pentagon is moving to shield its global air defense command from being knocked out by an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, the Obama administration has failed to act on urgent recommendations to protect the country’s civilian electronic infrastructure from a similar catastrophe, they write.

“An EMP strike, most likely from the detonation of a nuclear weapon in space, would destroy unprotected military and civilian electronics nationwide, blacking out the electric grid and other critical infrastructure for months or years,” Cooper and Pry write.

“The staggering human cost of such a catastrophic attack is not difficult to imagine.”

The likeliest source of such an attack would be North Korea or Iran, according to Cooper, former director of the Strategic Defense Initiative, launched by the late President Ronald Reagan, and Pry, executive director of the EMP Task Force on National and Homeland Security and a veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Iran is a nuclear-ready state with ballistic missiles capable of striking the United States now, Cooper, Pry and and two other Reagan administration alumni wrote in an op-ed for Newsmax in February.

In the Journal, Cooper and Pry reiterate that “Iran should be regarded as already having nuclear missiles capable of making an EMP attack against the U.S.,” noting, “Iran and North Korea have successfully orbited satellites on South-Polar trajectories that appear to practice evading U.S. missile defenses, and at optimum altitudes to make a surprise EMP attack.”

So, consider this… if the military fears an EMP from Iran (or Russia or China) and is prepping like hell for it, why is our President striking deals with them? That’s treasonous in my book. These same leaders who make fun of bloggers warning on the power grid and its vulnerabilities and preppers who preach preparedness, are the same leaders who won’t harden the electric grid and take it off the Internet where it is vulnerable, while prepping bunkers where they can run to when it all goes south. Sounds to me as if the elitists are all for the continuity of government and the fall of America… right into the clutches of a global government construct.


Net Neutrality: “Young fool … Only now, at the end, do you understand.”

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

Emperor Palpatine. Photograph: Allstar

We keep hearing, from the saviors in Washington, DC, how government regulation is the answer and how “evil monopolies” (created, incidentally, by other government regulations) are responsible for all our trials and tribulations and the “fundamental unfairness” of the Internet as she is currently wrote.

Obligatory movie quote:

“No. No government. I know those people. Absolutely not.” – Col. Ira Kane

Yeah, it’s a movie. It’s also absolutely right.

The founder of Broadcast.com, Mark Cuban, has recently been vociferous in his opposition to so-called “Net Neutrality” with his most recent public appearance on the subject in an interview where he breaks it down. His effort to “plain-language” the argument notwithstanding, and frankly, it’s a subject that should not be oversimplified, he laid out the unintended consequences dominoes and how this “everything is equal” push plays out in terms of common services.

Now, you might want to shrug Mark Cuban off as “some rich guy who owns a sports team” and clearly that’s being done a lot, but don’t forget how he got rich: he pioneered live broadcasting over the Internet. He’s not some political hack, evil cable company exec, or mushy thinking me-too “fairness uber alles” flag waver. He is, for once, someone who knows what the hell he’s talking about.

Net Neutrality, like so many political labels, is a “fair sounding” name that hides the actual motives and consequences of the real world implementations we will experience after the seemingly inevitable adoption of this latest government overreach.

It won’t be fair. It won’t be optimum. And the right answer will never even be mentioned, never mind entertained: deregulate the cable and broadband space to eliminate the protected monopolies.

The broadband space needs more competition, not less; needs less regulation, not more. Companies like Google laying fiber? Cox, AT&T, Verizon and Comcast suddenly no longer have a free pass.

Otherwise? The cynical and dystopian view?

One of the unavoidable dominoes will be broad censorship. Once the deprioritization of broadcast packets leads to the epic traffic jam that will reduce the Web’s US speeds to worse than those found in Europe, the government of the day will, once again, have to “save us” from this “unforseen” outcome and their clever plan will include limiting who can “legitimately” have bandwidth preferences, since clearly “legitimate” news outlets need to bypass the buffering jams that will afflict TV signalling and once dot-gov starts adjudicating who’s a “real” news or other “essential” service, licensing will naturally follow, and then “standards” of what is “acceptable” traffic.

At which point, whichever political party is in power at that time will have the distinct advantage of licensing whomever they deem to be more politically correct in their eyes. “Neutrality” on the ‘Net? Yeah, not so much.

We’re in the hands of fools and corrupt bureaucrats. Last Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission held a faux meeting on open Internet rules and access to broadband Internet. Commissioner Ajit Pai made a statement before the FCC vote to take unprecedented control over the internet with a secret plan. Yes, secret. Secret as in no exposure to the public or Congress prior to its enactment. What follows is the transcript of his comments – in echoes of Obamacare, this had to pass before we could know what was in it. Except, they are still keeping it under wraps. It must be very, very bad indeed.

From Breitbart:

“The Wall Street Journal reports that it was developed through ‘an unusual secretive effort inside the White House.’ Indeed, White House officials, according to the Journal, functioned as a parallel version of the FCC. Their work led to the president’s announcement in November of his plan for internet regulation, a plan which the report says blindsided the FCC and swept aside months of work by Chairman Wheeler toward a compromise. Now, of course, a few insiders were clued in about what was transpiring. Here’s what a leader for the government-funded group Fight for the Future had to say, ‘We’ve been hearing for weeks from our allies in D.C that the only thing that could stop FCC chairman Tom Wheeler from moving ahead with his sham proposal to gut net neutrality was if we could get the president to step in. So we did everything in our power to make that happen. We took the gloves off and played hard, and now we get to celebrate a sweet victory. Congratulations. what the press has called the parallel FCC at the White House opened its door to a plethora of special interest activists. Daily Kos, Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, Free Press, and Public Knowledge, just to name a few. Indeed, even before activists were blocking the chairman’s driveway late last year, some of them had met with executive branch officials.

“But what about the rest of the American people? They certainly couldn’t get White House meetings. They were shut out of the process altogether. They were being played for fools. And the situation didn’t improve once the White House announced President Obama’s plan, and ‘asked’ the FCC to implement it. The document in front of us today differs dramatically from the proposal that the FCC put out for comment last May, and it differs so dramatically that even zealous net neutrality advocates frantically rushed in, in recent days, to make last-minute filings, registering their concerns that the FCC might be going too far. Yet, the American people, to this day, have not been allowed to see President Obama’s plan. It has remained hidden.

“Especially given the unique importance of the internet, Commissioner O’Rielly and I ask for the plan to be released to the public. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune and House of Representatives Chairman did the same. According to a survey last week by a respected democratic polling firm, 79% of the American people favored making the document public. Still, the FCC has insisted on keeping it behind closed doors. We have to pass President Obama’s 317-page plan so the American people can find out what’s in it. This isn’t how the FCC should operate. We should be an independent agency making decisions in a transparent manner based on the law and the facts in the record.

“We shouldn’t be a rubber stamp for political decisions made by the White House. And we should have released this plan to the public, solicited their feedback, incorporated that input into the plan, and then proceeded to a vote. There was no need for us to resolve this matter today. There is no immediate crisis in the internet marketplace that demands immediate action. now. The backers of the president’s plan know this. But they also know that the details of this plan cannot stand up to the light of day. They know that the more the American people learn about it, the less they will like it. That is why this plan was developed behind closed doors at the White House. And that is why the plan has remained hidden from public view.

“These aren’t my only concerns. Even a cursory look at the plan reveals glaring legal plans that are sure to mire the agency in the muck of litigation for a long, long time. but rather than address them today, I will reserve them for my written statement. At the beginning of this proceeding, I quoted Google’s former CEO, who once said, the internet is the first thing that humanity has built, that humanity doesn’t understand. This proceeding makes it abundantly clear that the FCC still doesn’t get it. but the American people clearly do. The proposed government regulation of the internet has awakened a sleeping giant. I’m optimistic we’ll look back on today’s vote as a temporary deviation from the bipartisan consensus that’s served us so well. I don’t know whether this plan will be vacated by a court, reversed by Congress, or overturned by a future commission, But I do believe its days are numbered. For all of those reasons, I dissent.”

Pai warned that the public and Silicon Valley were in for an unpleasant surprise. While that was being said, Demand Progress and Free Press, headed by Robert McChesney, flew a 2,000 square foot banner over the towering corporate headquarters of the cable giant Comcast, in Philadelphia, that showed Grumpy Cat and the legend: “Comcast: Don’t Mess With the Internet. #SorryNotSorry.” Referring to Pai’s comments, Evan Greer, Campaigns Director at Fight for the Future, had this to say: “What they didn’t know is that when they struck down the last rules we would come back more powerful than they could possibly imagine.” And that is exactly what happened – the Left surged, with Obama’s help and guidance and $196 million from George Soros, to come in and nationalize the Internet and communications. Obama has nationalized the banks, student loans, housing, healthcare and now the Internet. Americans walk around fancying that they live in a Republic that is no more. Marxism rules the red, white and blue now.

Not only will this stifle innovation and raise taxes massively, as well as costs… it opens us to UN intervention, which is exactly what Obama has in mind. You will see that basically your TV and Internet will become one as a utility. Higher costs, with slower speeds and horrid customer service await us. Not to mention, the Fairness Doctrine. Many of our blogs, such as this one, may cease to exist under these fascist rules.

Heed the words of Republican FCC commissioner Mike O’Rielly, when he states: “When you see this document, it’s worse than you imagine.” Of that, I have no doubt. I knew this was coming, but when it happened last week, a very cold shiver went down my spine. For the first time, genuine fear wormed its way into my being. I immediately squashed it and went back to work. I’m not that easily defeated.

The FCC on Thursday voted through strict new rules to regulate broadband and protect net neutrality – the principle that all information and services should have equal access to the internet. That is pure Socialism and worse. Few have seen the actual regulations – a number of Leftist organizations have, the White House who crafted this monstrosity in secret has, and Google who rewrote a portion of it has. We won’t get to see this baby until next week at the earliest.

From The Guardian:

Pai said the new rules would mean “permission-less innovation is a thing of the past”. The new rules will ban broadband providers from creating fast lanes for some or slowing the traffic of others for commercial reasons. They will also give the FCC the power to police conduct by broadband providers on a case-by-case basis.

Internet service providers will not be allowed to “unreasonably interfere with or unreasonably disadvantage” consumers’ access to content and services.

O’Rielly said this would mean that any company looking to start a new service would have to seek permission ahead of time. He said anybody looking for new business opportunities in the document would be best off becoming a “telecoms lawyer”.

While the wording seems to confine this permission-first model to “services” such as NetFlix, Hulu, and things of that sort, what it will likely mean tomorrow, as scope creep is engaged, is that you would no longer just be able to start a new business or even a blog online, unless you get permission from the government. Is that the “change” everyone wanted? Well, here it is. This echoes the nationalization of the press in Venezuela and other dictatorial provinces.

From National Review:

Net neutrality’s goal is to empower the federal government to ration and apportion Internet bandwidth as it sees fit, and to thereby control the Internet’s content,” says Phil Kerpen, an anti-net-neutrality activist from the group American Commitment.

The courts have previously ruled the FCC’s efforts to impose “net neutrality” out of bounds, so the battle isn’t over. But for now, the FCC has granted itself enormous power to micromanage the largely unrestrained Internet.

It’s not just the conservative Right that now fears these moves… Will Marshall, head of the Progressive Policy Institute, issued a statement that net neutrality “endorses a backward-looking policy that would apply the brakes to the most dynamic sector of America’s economy.” This will destroy the last domain of true freedom in America. Right on target for a Communist agenda.

Robert McChesney, the Marxist head of Free Press, made his stance on his goals crystal clear: At the moment, the battle over network neutrality is not to completely eliminate the telephone and cable companies,” he told the website Socialist Project in 2009. “But the ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control.” Earlier in 2000, he told the Marxist magazine Monthly Review: “Our job is to make media reform part of our broader struggle for democracy, social justice, and, dare we say it, socialism.” McChesney has come a long way… the Marxists know that if they get control of the military and communications, they can change the political structure of the US into a bonafide dictatorship. We’re here folks, they’ve done it.

We’re not done yet though… I suspect there will be a massive fight in Congress over this. If they can’t overturn it legislatively, they will try and starve it through funding. And the lawsuits and legal problems for the Marxists who have orchestrated this go on forever. The Republicans so far have been a massive, deadly disappointment. They better find their spines and stand against this. Between all the scandals, Amnesty, 2nd Amendment issues and this, the country is on the very edge of a civil uprising.

When the quislings in Silicon Valley finally wake up after this, they aren’t going to like what they have wrought. There will be unintended consequences galore and they’ll proclaim: “We couldn’t have seen this coming!” Oh, but you could have if you had any foresight at all. Quoting Emperor Palpatine, Republican Ajit Pai, a member of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), said: “Young fool … Only now, at the end, do you understand.”


Congress Fiddles While the World Burns

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

The Obama administration may be on the same side as the Muslim Brotherhood, but at least we know where they stand. Congress, by contrast, sounds tough and does nothing.

Consider the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), who has issued a “seven-point plan” to defeat Islamist terrorism that includes countering Islamist ideology. He gave a speech at the American Enterprise Institute called, “An American Strategy for Victory in the War Against Islamist Terror.” Unfortunately, he had the opportunity to go on the offensive more than two years ago when he rebuffed requests to hold hearings into Al Jazeera’s expansion into the United States.

Once known as the mouthpiece for al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, Al Jazeera has earned the label “Jihad TV.”

There used to be a time when the U.S. was on-guard against foreign influence and propaganda. During World War II, we had a congressional panel known as the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC), which exposed the Communists, the Nazis and their agents operating on American soil. A particular focus of HUAC was foreign propaganda activities.

Just two years ago, when the Chinese bought AMC movie theaters, they went for approval to a federal panel known as CFIUS, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. The Chinese Dalian Wanda Group Co., known as Wanda, announced after the review that it had received all necessary regulatory approvals in the U.S. and China for the planned acquisition of AMC.

Wanda is described as China’s largest investor in cultural and entertainment activities. AMC operated 346 theaters with 5,034 screens, primarily in the United States and Canada.

One can argue that AMC should have been barred from such a purchase. The legitimate fear is that China is using its entertainment operations in the U.S. to propagandize the American people. Selwyn Duke, in an article on China’s increasing power and influence in Hollywood, has a list of films in which characters or plot lines have been changed to accommodate the Chinese regime and its censors.

By contrast, Al Jazeera completely bypassed the CFIUS process. McCaul’s committee should have held hearings into evidence that Al Jazeera is not a legitimate news operation but rather a conduit for propaganda from terrorist groups. McCaul had received a letter—signed by media critics, journalists, academics, and national security and Middle East experts—requesting hearings on Al Jazeera’s purchase of Al Gore’s Current TV. In a display of arrogance, he didn’t even bother to respond.

The issue is not Al Jazeera’s small audience. It’s the nature of that audience and the ability of the channel to reach terrorist-minded Muslims with anti-American messages.

Foreign channels do not have the right to provoke terrorism on American soil. If they are legitimate news operations, they may have the right to broadcast in the U.S. But they are also required under the law to register as foreign agents and label their broadcasts as foreign propaganda. Al Jazeera has not been forced to comply with the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). The law was originally passed to counter Nazi propaganda activities, but applies to all foreign entities that attempt to manipulate an American audience.

Now that awareness is growing about how terrorists are being inspired and recruited, McCaul is sounding concerned. He should be. He was AWOL in 2012 when Al Jazeera was dramatically expanding its operations in the U.S.

There are two dangers with Al Jazeera. One is the transmission of pro-terrorist propaganda. The other is that the channel could be serving as cover for agents of foreign terrorist groups to operate as “news” personnel while gathering intelligence and recruiting agents.

In his remarks explaining his new strategy, McCaul noted the case of “a would-be attacker who wanted to target the U.S. Capitol here in Washington D.C.” He added, “The barbarians, I believe, are at the gate…and it is time for this nation to confront them.”

We don’t know if the ISIS sympathizer, Christopher Cornell, was a fan of Al Jazeera. That’s something which should be examined. But it is interesting to look at Al Jazeera’s coverage of this case. The channel ran an “analysis” piece by Ehab Zahriyeh suggesting that the culprit wasn’t a jihadist, but instead had “social and emotional issues” and was a victim of entrapment by the FBI. By contrast, in the North Carolina case, where a truly deranged individual killed three Muslims over a parking space, Zahriyeh reported that the attack was evidence of “Islamophobia.”

Al Jazeera’s Zahriyeh had also reported that Houston’s Quba Islamic Institute “was set ablaze,” in another apparent “Islamophobic” act. It turned out the culprit was a homeless person with an extensive criminal history for charges like drug possession and prostitution. It appears that he started the fire to stay warm and it got out of control. Zahriyeh featured the comments of Ibrahim Hooper, communications director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim Brotherhood front. CAIR can always be counted on to find evidence of “Islamophobia,” even when none exists.

So this is how Al Jazeera “reports” the news. It is designed to inflame, provoke and mislead.

It turns out that Zahriyeh worked previously at Press TV, an English-language Iranian government propaganda channel. He was at Columbia University in New York City to cover the opening of the Center for Palestine Studies, an outfit characterized by “hostility toward Israel.”

McCaul had a chance to investigate Al Jazeera more than two years ago and he balked. As we documented at the time, Al Jazeera and its sponsor, the government of Qatar, hired several lobbying firms to stop any probe of Al Gore’s deal with the Muslim Brotherhood channel.

Hence, McCaul’s new proposal to take the fight to the enemy by countering “domestic radicalization” and undermining “the insidious ideology at the core of Islamist terrorism” has to be taken with a grain of salt. No plans have been announced to probe Al Jazeera.

We have consistently argued that allowing Al Jazeera to operate in the United States, during a global war against Islamic terrorism, is akin to fighting the Nazis while allowing their spokesperson, Axis Sally, to run a broadcasting operation in the U.S. In this war, by contrast, McCaul and others treat Al Jazeera as a legitimate news organization deserving of First Amendment protections. They refuse to investigate its links to the Muslim Brotherhood and various terrorist groups.

Yet McCaul wants people to think he’s going to get the bottom of the global jihad problem. In his headline-grabbing speech, McCaul said, “Overseas terrorist groups aren’t yesterday’s extremists, moving messages between couriers and caves. They are tailoring their hateful ideology toward Western audiences on social media, recruiting homegrown fanatics, and fueling a ‘jihadi cool’ subculture. Already, their propaganda is leading to an uptick in homegrown terrorism. For example, there have been more than 90 homegrown terror plots or attacks in the United States since 9/11—and nearly three-fourths of them have taken place in the past five years. Many of the suspects were radicalized at least in part by online Islamist propaganda, including the Boston Marathon bombers.”

McCaul doesn’t mention Al Jazeera. Yet, the channel is available on DIRECTV, Comcast / XFINITY, Time Warner Cable, DISH, AT&T U-Verse, Verizon FiOS, and Bright House Networks.

McCaul declares that “…we must defend the Homeland against domestic radicalization,” adding, “We are entering an era of ‘do-it-yourself’ jihad, and terrorists are finding it easier to encourage individual attacks rather than sneak operatives into our country. But we are alarmingly unprepared to address the threat of homegrown terrorism.”

On the latter point, he’s correct. But he’s been part of the problem. He’s talking about himself and his committee.


Net neutrality a looming threat to free speech

By: James Simpson

The Federal Communications Commission will vote on a new “net neutrality” regulatory framework for the Internet on Feb. 26. FCC has already been stopped in its tracks twice by federal courts which have ruled that the FCC has no authority to impose such regulations. Not to be thwarted, the Obama administration has doubled down, declaring the Internet a public utility subject to regulation under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934.

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While 64 percent of journalists believe the government has spied on them, the FCC’s looming net neutrality decision could have repercussions for free speech online.

While the administration promises a bonanza of new benefits, this regulatory framework will stifle innovation, hobble Internet startups, and ultimately place the heavy hand of government on both accessibility and new media content.

What is Net Neutrality

Mention that name and eyes glaze over. In concept, net neutrality is the idea that the Internet should be equally accessible, i.e. “neutral,” to all comers. Thus, a blogger should have equal access to Internet speed and capability as say Netflix, for example. Under contemplated net neutrality rules, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Verizon and Comcast would not be allowed to charge higher prices for more access.

Thus companies like Netflix—which utilizes about 35 percent of total Internet traffic at peak times—could not be charged a premium. Small startups would have the same kind of access. So the argument goes that net neutrality will encourage competition and facilitate the growth of new Internet startups.

What’s the matter with that? In concept, nothing. In practice, everything.

Access to the Internet and Internet speeds are enabled by bandwidth, i.e. the amount of instructions that can be carried across an Internet cable or wirelessly at a given time. Like everything else in the real world, supply of bandwidth is limited, and expanding bandwidth capacity is expensive.

Bandwidth also requires electrical energy– the more used, the more power required. Those companies whose products require massive amounts of bandwidth, like Netflix, pay higher prices, one way or another. ISPs also charge different rates for residences and businesses and charge different rates for faster download/upload speeds.

This is like paying a higher price for overnight versus two or three-day mail delivery. Netflix is, in effect, purchasing a different product than, say, Joe Blogger. The market has always rationed supply of goods and services this way, and it is the most effective method for equitably distributing limited resources. It is the reason the American economy flourished for 200 years, and why the Internet, largely unregulated for the past 20 years, has experienced explosive growth.

The Heavy Hand of Government

Enter the FCC. Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 was applied to the telecommunications industry in its infancy. It brought us Ma Bell and AT&T, regulated monopolies that stifled innovation in telecommunications for decades. It was not until microwave technology offered an alternative to traditional long line telephone service that the regulated monopoly began to crack. Now the FCC wants to impose the same kind of regime on the Internet.

Net neutrality is being sold as a method to make broadband access inexpensive, but to paraphrase P.J. O’Rourke, “If you think [the Internet] is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free.” Net neutrality is a form of price control, and price controls everywhere distort the market. By affording equal access to all comers at below cost, demand will skyrocket while supply dries up. If an ISP cannot provide Internet access at a profit, it will go out of business. The government will then step in to take its place.

And it won’t be cheap. FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, who opposes the plan, recently warned that it will give FCC power to micromanage virtually every aspect of the Internet. “If you like dealing with the IRS, you are going to love the President’s plan,” he says. According to Pai, this is what’s coming:

  • Billions of dollars in new taxes, higher prices and hidden fees
  • Reduced investment in broadband networks, slower internet speeds and less access
  • A move from a largely unregulated Internet to a regulated monopoly

Pai’s predictions are not theoretical. Local governments all over the country have experimented with creating government-run ISPs using money obtained from President Obama’s stimulus and other taxpayer financing. They have been unqualified disasters.

Just as Obamacare will slowly squeeze private insurers out of the market, with the ultimate objective becoming a government-run, single-payer health care system, private ISPs will find it increasingly difficult to compete with taxpayer-subsidized government ISPs. The ultimate outcome will be complete government control of the Internet.

Net neutrality has been called socialism for the Internet.  Robert McChesney, co-founder of the left-leaning Free Press and author of Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism Is Turning the Internet Away from Democracy, made this explicit in an interview with the Socialist Project:

What we want to have in the U.S. and in every society is an Internet that is not private property, but a public utility… At the moment, the battle over network neutrality is not to completely eliminate the telephone and cable companies. We are not at that point yet. But the ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control.

McChesney explains why getting rid of the “media capitalists” is so important:

It is hard to imagine a successful left political project that does not have a media platform… Instead of waiting for the revolution to happen, we learned that unless you make significant changes in the media, it will be vastly more difficult to have a revolution. While the media is not the single most important issue in the world, it is one of the core issues that any successful Left project needs to integrate into its strategic program. (Emphasis added).

This viewpoint is not about having “equal access.” It’s about having an information monopoly. The interrelated goals of net neutrality are thus to first seize control of the Internet, then influence content.

A Pew Research survey published on Feb. 5 reports that fully 64 percent of journalists believe the government has spied on them, and 80 percent think that being a journalist makes them a target of such spying. Given the administration’s demonstrated hostility to news media, and its heavy reliance on it to craft the president’s image, would one expect more freedom of expression following the planned government takeover of the Internet, or less?

If that question doesn’t keep you awake at night, the Federal Election Commission held a hearing on Wednesday to discuss contemplated new regulation regarding political speech on the Internet.

This article was written by a contributor of Watchdog Arena, Franklin Center’s network of writers, bloggers, and citizen journalists.  Thanks to Seton Motley of Less Government.org and Watchdog.org’s Josh Peterson who contributed to this report.