12 Dec 2017 The year 1981, Corporations becoming People and ‘Father Of The Internet’ Skewers FCC: ‘You Don’t Understand How The Internet Works’ (Huffington Post, Dominique Mosbergen)
Hello to you. I have been doing a lot of active meditation with the God of my understanding via my chalkboard etc. the past couple of days. Since I don’t have much picture space here even after starting to cull pictures, I’m unable to share pictures of everything with you but it has been interesting! Something that came up with my meditations was a penny from 1981. The date felt significant to me so I used the internet to look up what was significant about that year. On my mind was Ronald Reagan and my feeling it was about then corporations started to truly infiltrate government activities.
These are personal rights accorded to corporations. To many, the concept of corporations as people seems odd, to say the least. But it is not new.
The dictionary defines “corporation” as “a number of persons united in one body for a purpose.” Corporate entities date back to medieval times, observes Columbia law professor John Coffee, an authority on corporate law. “You could think of the Catholic Church as probably the first entity that could buy and sell property in its own name,” he says.
Indeed, having an artificial legal persona was especially important to churches, says Elizabeth Pollman, an associate professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.
“Having a corporation would allow people to put property into a collective ownership that could be held with perpetual existence,” she says. “So it wouldn’t be tied to any one person’s lifespan, or subject necessarily to laws regarding inheriting property.”
By the 1800s, the process of incorporating became relatively simple. But corporations aren’t mentioned anywhere in the Constitution, leaving the courts to determine what rights corporations have — and which corporations have them. After all, Coca-Cola is a corporation, but so are the NAACP and the National Rifle Association, and so are small churches and local nonprofits.
“All these truly different types of organizations might come under the label ‘corporation,’ ” Pollman observes. “And so the real difficulty is figuring out how to treat these different things under the Constitution.”
In the early years of the republic, the only right given to corporations was the right to have their contracts respected by the government, according to legal historian Eben Moglen.
The great industrialization of the United States in the 1800s, however, intensified companies’ need to raise money.
“With the invention of the railroad, you needed a great deal of capital to exploit its purpose, ” Columbia professor Coffee says, “and only the corporate form offered limited liability, easy transferability of shares, and continued, perpetual existence.”
In addition, the end of the Civil War and the adoption of the 14th Amendment provided an opportunity for corporations to seek further legal protection, says Moglen, also a Columbia University professor.
“From the moment the 14th Amendment was passed in 1868, lawyers for corporations — particularly railroad companies — wanted to use that 14th Amendment guarantee of equal protection to make sure that the states didn’t unequally treat corporations,” Moglen says.
Nobody was talking about extending to corporations the right of free speech back then. What the railroads sought was equal treatment under state tax laws and things like that.
The Supreme Court extended that protection to corporations, and over time also extended some — but not all — of the rights guaranteed to individuals in the Bill of Rights. The court ruled that corporations don’t have a right against self-incrimination, for instance, but are protected by the ban on warrantless search and seizure.
Otherwise, as the Cato Institute’s Ilya Shapiro puts it, “the police could storm down the doors of some company and take all their computers and their files.”
But for 100 years, corporations were not given any constitutional right of political speech; in fact, quite the contrary. In 1907, following a corporate corruption scandal involving prior presidential campaigns, Congress passed a law banning corporate involvement in federal election campaigns. That wall held firm for 70 years.
Still, for decades, candidate elections remained free of direct corporate influence under federal law. Only money from individuals and groups of individuals — political action committees — were permitted in federal elections.
Then came Citizens United, the Supreme Court’s 5-4 First Amendment decision in 2010 that extended to corporations for the first time full rights to spend money as they wish in candidate elections — federal, state and local. The decision reversed a century of legal understanding, unleashed a flood of campaign cash and created a crescendo of controversy that continues to build today.
It thrilled many in the business community, horrified campaign reformers, and provoked considerable mockery in the comedian classes.
But there are serious people on both sides of this issue.
Cato’s Shapiro sees all corporations, when they spend on political campaigns, as merely associations of like-minded people.
“Nobody is saying that corporations are living, breathing entities, or that they have souls or anything like that,” he says. “This is about protecting the rights of the individuals that associate in this way.”
Countering that argument are those who note that individuals are perfectly free to give money to candidates with whom they agree, and to spend unlimited amounts independently supporting those candidates. They shouldn’t need a corporation to express themselves, the argument goes.
Some critics, like Pollman, see a difference between for-profit and nonprofit corporations. A nonprofit corporation formed to advance particular political views is one thing, she says. A large for-profit corporation is something else entirely.
“There’s no reason to believe that the people involved — shareholders, employees, even the directors or managers — have come together for an expressive purpose related to anything other than really what the business is doing,” she argues.
And shareholders and employees, Pollman observes, have no real recourse if they disagree with how corporate money is spent in campaigns.
And then there is the money-is-not-speech argument. The problem for First Amendment believers, Moglen says, arises not because they think corporations shouldn’t have rights so much as they think money isn’t equal to speech.
“And we are now winding up using constitutional rules to concentrate corporate power in a way that’s dangerous to democracy,” he says.
That, of course, is not how the Supreme Court majority sees its decision. The court has said that because speech is an essential mechanism of democracy, the First Amendment forbids discrimination against any class of speaker.
It matters not, the court said just this year, that some speakers, because of the money they spend on elections, may have undue influence on public policy; what is important is that the First Amendment protects both speech and speaker, and the ideas that flow from each.
When I looked it up yesterday, this is what came up: January 19 – United States and Iranian officials sign an agreement to release 52 American hostages after 14 months captivity. Jan 20- Ronald Reagan succeeds Jimmy Carter as the 40th President of the United States.
10 Dec 2017 Jackie Wygant outdoor meditation about our worlds progression to today Alvarado TX DSC_0005
11 Dec 2017 – My blackboard meditation in exploring numbers and letters.
For this morning, perfectly in alignment with the subject of the pending FCC Net Neutrality ruling on my mind this morning:
1981 Many notable technological advances happened in 1981 one of the most exciting was the First Flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia. This was also the first year that the Word Internet was mentioned and MS-DOS was released by Microsoft along with the first IBM PC.
In an open letter published Monday, more than 20 industry leaders and pioneers skewered the FCC over its plan to repeal net neutrality rules, which require internet service providers (ISPs) to treat all content equally.
“It is important to understand that the FCC’s proposed Order is based on a flawed and factually inaccurate understanding of Internet technology,” the letter, addressed to lawmakers with oversight of the FCC, reads. “These flaws and inaccuracies were documented in detail in a 43-page-long joint comment signed by over 200 of the most prominent Internet pioneers and engineers and submitted to the FCC on July 17, 2017. Despite this comment, the FCC did not correct its misunderstandings.”
The comment referred to in the letter detailed numerous technical mistakes in the FCC’s proposed order, including a flawed understanding of the differences between ISPs and edge providers (content companies like Netflix), and how firewalls function (described in the document as “a stunning lack of technical knowledge”).
The engineers and experts who penned the comment warned that repealing net neutrality could have “dangerous consequences, including stifling future innovation and depressing future investment in the wealth of Internet services that drive such a large part of the U.S. economy.”
(Since I’m low on picture room, I remembered I had this drawing and it looks a lot like Mr. Cerf!)
20 Nov 2017 – This man showed up in the chalks. He kind of looks like the Architect from the Matrix to me.
KENZO TRIBOUILLARD via Getty Images Vint Cerf, Google’s vice president and “father of the internet,” was one of more than 20 tech luminaries who wrote a letter to lawmakers this week urging them to push the FCC to cancel its vote on net neutrality.
This sentiment was echoed in Monday’s letter, whose signatories included Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Mozilla Foundation Executive Chairwoman Mitchell Baker and Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle.
The letter detailed how the FCC has not just ignored experts’ warnings but also the millions of public comments that have been submitted on the issue. The FCC, the letter noted, has also not “held a single open public meeting to hear from citizens and experts about the proposed Order” ― a break from “established practice.”
The letter’s authors urged lawmakers on the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, and the House Energy Subcommittee on Communications and Technology to push FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to “cancel the FCC’s vote,” scheduled for Thursday.
“The FCC’s rushed and technically incorrect proposed Order to abolish net neutrality protections without any replacement is an imminent threat to the Internet we worked so hard to create. It should be stopped,” the letter concluded.
He called out Twitter specifically, contending that it takes action — such as suspending accounts or removing their “verified” status — against conservatives more frequently than liberals. He didn’t specify who he was talking about, but Twitter this month “unverified” the account of white nationalist Richard Spencer .
Final thought on this matter:
When you have people as addicted to such a substance such as the Internet and all it’s gadgets and you threaten to throttle, control or restrict access….you are going to have a big problem on your hands. Does America need a “withdrawal” or an “intervention” measure like this? Is this potential ruling a humanitarian gesture on the part of the United States government or something else entirely? Is this the infiltration of Fascism by taking out our many ways to communicate freely to each other? We shall see.