One of America's leading authorities on technology and telecom policy, Motley is a writer, television and radio commentator, political and policy strategist, lecturer, debater, activist, and policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.
Latest posts by Seton Motley (see all)
- 5G Wireless Makes Net Neutrality Even Dumber Policy - September 16, 2019
- When Deregulation – Actually Makes Things Worse - August 29, 2019
- Localities Shouldn’t Be Dictating (Inter-)National Policy - July 17, 2019
The Left doesn’t like acquiescing to the will of We the People. They like – to degree that they can pull it off – to PRETEND to acquiesce to the will of We the People.
The Left’s agenda has never really resonated with us. So they’ve looked for as many ways as possible to circumvent us – and our Constitutional process of self-governance.
Here’s how things are supposed to work in Washington, D.C.:
The officials we elect to the Legislative Branch – legislate. They draft and pass laws. On which We the People can exert influence – via our First Amendment right “to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
The President (whom we also elect) then signs the laws – and then his/her Executive Branch executes them. The Judicial Branch – our court system – adjudicates legal disputes between parties.
Via this process did the Founding Fathers render it quite difficult to grow government. Which has always irked the Left – so the Left started end-running this process.
As much as they possibly could, they started having the Executive and Judicial Branches pretend to be the Legislative – and write laws rather than implement or arbitrate them.
Born was “judicial activism.” Where judges and Justices ignore the plain text and context of our Constitution and laws – and instead unilaterally write and impose new laws they wish the Legislative Branch had. Under the guise of “judicial rulings.”
And out of the vast, ever-expanding Executive Branch – arose the bureaucratic power grab. The Executive Branch is made up of a laundry list alphabet soup of acronym agencies – filled to the rafters with bureaucrats. Who over the last several decades have spent less and less time implementing laws – and more and more time pretending to be legislators and writing them. Which they disguise as “regulations.”
To make these power grabs appear less power grabby, the agencies have devised the rule-making process – during which they have “Comment Periods.” Where the Executive again pretends to be the Legislative – this is their lame attempt to replicate our “petition(ing) the Government to redress our grievances.”
Except we didn’t elect these bureaucrats – so we can’t un-elect them. So it is decidedly unlikely that they care a whit what we think. They’re regulators – they sought out gigs that give them power over us. They like to regulate. And again, they aren’t at all accountable to us.
So no matter what happens during the fake democracy “Comment Periods” – they’re going to do what regulators do. Government will grow.
And these “Comment Periods” are about as unscientific, manipulatable – and thus untrustworthy – as just about anything going. It’s whomever, wherever – filing “Comments” online.
Thus they are nothing more than an online poll – which are notoriously un-valuable. But don’t take our word for it – ask The New York Times:
Why You Shouldn’t Trust ‘Polls’ Conducted Online: “Professional pollsters use scientific statistical methods to make sure that their small random samples are demographically appropriate to indicate how larger groups of people think. Online polls do nothing of the sort, and are not random, allowing anyone who finds the poll to vote. They are thus open to manipulation from those who would want to stuff the ballot box.”
These ridiculous “Comment Periods” are no less farcical in the rare instance when a bureaucracy is rolling back a precedent power grab. As the Donald Trump Administration’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is in the process of doing – undoing the Barack Obama FCC’s regulatory expansion over the Internet so as to then impose the ridiculous Network Neutrality.
The Left is in full-on freak out mode at this massive shrinkage of government. And they have poured much of their inanity and insanity – into the FCC’s “Comment Period.” With all the absurdity that one should have by now come to expect.
<GASP> It’s the Russians – influencing DC policy. Oh – except it’s in opposition to Trump, so the Left-Media (please pardon the redundancy) will remain steadfastly uninterested. Sort of like Trump bombing Russia-ally Syria.
You can drop the all the words before the comma – and become even more precisely accurate:
“More than 465,322 pro-net neutrality comment submissions…appear to have been submitted under questionable circumstances. In many cases, commenters used email addresses that obviously belonged to someone else. Often, the same email was used to file multiple comments – in some cases thousands of times.
“Over 100,000 examples of identical comments using language from an Electronic Frontier Foundation letter program were submitted from what appeared to be a fake email generator program using as many as ten different email domains. A spot check of dozens of the 100,000 comments also revealed that the submissions included fake physical addresses and maybe even fake names.
“Comments submitted from multiple filers using various foreign and U.S. email addresses that appear to have been culled from spammer and hacker databases available on the public. Thousands of other pro-net neutrality filers used what appear to be other people’s private email addresses.
“Based on our analysis, the email addresses appear in many cases to have either been culled from spam and hacker databases available on the open web, or from other publicly available files found on the open web such as PDF files – some not even in the U.S. In one case, an email address and name that appears to have been pulled from an Islamic hacker database on the public Web was associated with seven different individuals submitting comments.”
So, again, not only are these “Comment Periods” an attempt to put a democratic veneer (and we’re actually a republic) on naked government power grabs – they are completely absurd messes, totally devoid of any actual value:
“What the net neutrality comment debacle underscores is that the Internet age may mean the collapse of the public comment process, at least for significant public policy issues.”
No truer Comment has ever been filed.
[Originally Published at RedState]