L'Ordre

L'Ordre

They’re trying to break the Internet again, and Title II is still the solution

posted by Harry J. Bentham

Les hommes de génie sont des météores destinés à brûler pour éclairer leur siècle.

Men of genius are shooting stars destined to burn to light their century.

Napoleon Bonaparte


Once again, the Battle for the Net is at a critical juncture.

Please don’t turn away from this post. This concerns your Internet, your one historic refuge from powerful government and corporations.

The Internet is at war. Although it is winning, it is still at risk of being suffocated by special interest groups hellbent on curtailing democracy. If you don’t stop them, they’ll slow your Internet to a crawl. If the Internet isn’t protected by the law, cable companies will be able to create “fast lanes”, making the Internet go the way the television networks already are: an utterly useless medium to anyone but that bunch of super-rich, 0.01% scumbags who get all the attention.

Big cable companies are hiring their natural allies, members of the right-wing lunatic fringe, to protect their desire to slow the Internet down and serve the interests of those giant companies at the expense of everyday American consumers and smaller businesses. Their story now is that Title II reclassification of the Internet in the United States, which President Obama and the vast majority of the American public support, will result in greater taxes on consumers. Some big morons on the blogosphere have even bought this sugar-coated poison pill and thus hired out their bodies and souls to corporate greed. Whether or not they are being paid by Comcast to do this performance, or just idiots who have no comprehension of the facts, is irrelevant. What they are saying is a blatant lie. An example of the ads that have targeted lawmakers and constituents, as shown on callcomcast.org:

To prevent this humongous lie from gaining more recognition and acceptance among lawmakers, Internet freedom activists have called upon the general public to bombard the industry shills and their political puppets in Congress with the truth. Title II reclassification, as supported by the President, is the only way to go to protect the Internet as a public necessity.

From callcomcast.org:

Comcast’s lobbyists are spreading lies to destroy the Internet. Stop them.

Comcast and their lobbying group NCTA have lost the debate, so now they’re blanketing Washington DC with advertisements that lie, to trick Congress into killing net neutrality. We can’t let them subvert democracy.

Call them now!

You don’t have to take it from Team Internet activists, the experts on Internet freedom, or me. The reality is confirmed by none other than the writer of the Internet Tax Freedom Act, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden:

The claim: If the FCC reclassifies broadband Internet access as a “common carrier” under Title II, consumers could be stuck with new taxes by state and local governments.

In a word: Baloney.

The facts:

  1. Net Neutrality is not going to invalidate the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA).
    My colleagues and I knew people would try to tax the Internet if they could. So in ITFA Congress broadly defined the term “Internet access.” It is illegal to tax the internet. Under Title II or otherwise. The FCC could define the Internet as a series of tubes and ITFA would still prohibit taxes.

  2. The “grandfather clause” in ITFA will not allow cities to suddenly open the Internet up to telecom taxes. If the FCC reclassifies broadband Internet, it will not change if states taxed Internet access before 1998. The FCC has broad authority, but it cannot rewrite history.

So there it is. The choice is either to trust the law and the elected officials entrusted to maintain it, or to trust the promises of the lobbying group NCTA, which represents the very cable companies whose greedy designs on the Internet have led to this need for stronger laws protecting its openness and its tradition as an engine of the alternative media.


By Harry J. Bentham

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The L’Ordre blog visits YouTube

posted by Harry J. Bentham

Ainsi, presque tout est imitation.

Thus, almost everything is imitation.

Voltaire


YouTube Preview Image

This post is dedicated to a new medium that I am once again going to use to share my thoughts.

That’s right. I have published videos to YouTube in the past, under another channel name, during my student years. You might even find one or two of them still out there if you try, but I doubt it. This time, I am returning to that approach, only now via the name of the L’Ordre blog you are reading here at Beliefnet.

Don’t worry. This isn’t going to replace my written work or be used to substitute other posts. However, for today, the time normally assigned for carefully crafting a written post was invested in recording and editing this video. The video was unscripted, and was edited purely for clarity purposes and to make the video shorter and more user-friendly on YouTube.

I am unaware of whether my videos will be as effective in delivering my ideas as my written articles and blog posts, so I will consider this an experiment.

Any feedback on this video contribution would be welcome, and would inform whether I choose to use the medium in future posts. I am aware of how little time many people have to read lengthy articles. I myself tend to only read long essays and editorials on the smartphone when there is nothing else to do. Perhaps these videos will help to modernize and enhance my work on the blogosphere and allow me to reach a different niche of viewers, specifically those without the time to read longer articles or posts. You be the judge.


By Harry J. Bentham

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Billions on “democratization” buy new dictators for the people of Egypt and Ukraine

posted by Harry J. Bentham

Il arrivera, donc. ce moment où le soleil n’éclairera plus. sur la terre. que des hommes libres. et ne reconnaissant d’autre maître que leur raison.

It will happen, then, in the moment the sun is brightest upon the world, that men will be free and they will recognize no other master than their reason.

Nicolas de Condorcet


We need to reconsider something curious that US President Obama mentioned in his State of the Union address. This was the subject of America’s commitment to human rights and free speech.

Obama claimed that the US government firmly stands up for free speech, the rights of political prisoners, and the interest of women, ethnic minorities and sexual minorities. In reality, I would argue that the US  only brings up these issues when it needs some fuel to criticize the countries opposing its hegemony. It doesn’t really value such things as free speech or human rights at all, or it might be more committed to such values in its own country. The US is persecuting its own country’s dissidents such as Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden, and the US under Obama is responsible for supporting more repressive dictatorships around the world than any other country.

It is especially strange, in view of the recent torture report which disclosed the CIA’s crimes to the public, that the US government would profess to be the biggest advocate in the world for things like human rights and free speech. It is especially rich of the US government to condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin as an autocrat, when their own record on human rights and free speech seems so much worse than Putin’s.

Officially, the CIA cannot tell us where their torture “black sites” are because it doesn’t want to endanger the personnel working at those facilities. The US government doesn’t value the lives of its personnel. The real reason the government can’t afford to disclose the locations of its black sites is that we would see they are all located in various repressive countries in Eastern Europe and the third world, proving the CIA is guilty of most of the domestic repression and torture applied by repressive regimes against their subjects today. Such a disclosure would shatter the myth that the United States is fighting tyrants, and confirm that the United States is actually supporting tyrants.

We only have to look to the events in Ukraine to realize that the United States government doesn’t really favor a liberal democratic transition for other countries, but military dictatorship.

It’s time to stop falling for the scam that the US is interested in expanding the zone of freedom (“free trade”, perhaps) and democracy (more like, NATO membership) in the world. The only interest the US has in other countries is about spreading the methods and technologies of tyranny, torture and repression. The US only cynically uses liberal democratic ideology as a kind of propaganda “wedge strategy” to start justifying its infection of other countries with its political influence, with the goal of ultimately ousting democratically elected rulers and replacing them with executioners and dictators trained by the CIA. It is a strategy of staging coups, as old as the 1950s:

  1. The US criticizes the democratically-elected ruler as someone on a possible slippery slope to autocracy (e.g. Morsi in Egypt or Yanukovich in Ukraine), like it does regarding Vladimir Putin
  2. The US starts supporting an “all means necessary” coup against the quasi-autocrat. It befriends anyone willing to destabilize the country, including the neo-Nazis it supported in Ukraine and the al Qaeda terrorists it supported in Libya and Syria
  3. Once the CIA’s coup team has stormed the capital, the new US puppet dictators take the first actual constitutional steps to make the country autocratic: they outlaw all opposition parties and independent media in the country, as Sisi did in Egypt and Poroshenko did in Ukraine. They build the more sordid and autocratic regime than the original one they were complaining about when they started to interfere
  4. This is the most ridiculous part: the US government will take the sudden and baffling step of saying democracy isn’t important anymore and they are just committed to the new regime’s security instead (right after convincing the US taxpayer to waste billions of dollars, and often thousands of lives in the target country, supposedly trying to spread democracy in previous stages of the coup)

The most recent victims of this kind of CIA conspiracy have, as given in the examples above, been Egypt and Ukraine. In both of those countries, the CIA brought new abominable dictators to power who were worse than their predecessors: Sisi and Poroshenko. Both of them have outlawed opposition and independent media – two crucial steps in the consolidation of power of a totalitarian state. Somehow, the US was able to recognize Morsi and Yanukovich’s alleged autocratic tendencies, but is incapable of seeing anything autocratic about the new CIA-backed thugs and dictators liquidating lawmaking bodies, banning and beating up opposition politicians and journalists, and ruling by decree.

It is equally true that if the Bashar al-Assad regime was overthrown in Syria, the US would suddenly switch priorities and only talk about the new Syrian state’s security, saying democracy doesn’t matter anymore. Democratization, so called, is just a sorry excuse for the US government to begin meddling in other countries, whereupon it will only be interested in establishing a new dictatorship. Imagine it, hundreds of thousands of Syrians have died, listening to America’s empty promises of democracy, when all the US was ever interested in was replacing Assad with a new dictator who is on their payroll. They wouldn’t care if the civil war continued, either – as it did in Libya. They just want the head of state to be a puppet, to obey their commands, like Sisi in Egypt or the new dictatorial general they are backing in Libya.

We should all be appalled by how most of our media are very selective in their coverage of repression in other countries. Specifically, they only ever talk about repression when it helps the US undermine its political or military rivals, and they simply avoid all recognition of repressive policies if the dictator is on the side of the Pentagon.


By Harry J. Bentham

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The war on terror is over: we lost

posted by Harry J. Bentham

La guerre est toujours le premier vœu d’un gouvernement puissant qui veut devenir plus puissant encore.

War is always the first wish of a powerful government that wants to become even more powerful.

Maximilien de Robespierre


The war on terror is lost. That’s why the phrase is no longer in use and we’re all withdrawing from Afghanistan.

This is a point I have articulated in a new article at ClubOfINFO by the title of “ISIS: the Envy of NATO”. I am not here arguing that the ISIS organization is a true state or legitimate government, nor that it represents Islam. I  am using the fact that we can’t compete with it, to illustrate just how weak our governments and armed forces are. The entire combined might of the West’s armies cannot defeat a terrorist organization, and it indicates not the strength of ISIS but the utter weakness and inevitable collapse of our own state machinery, beginning with the ultimate failure of our countries’ armed forces to suppress a single organization in Iraq:

We have lost our way. The liberal democratic model of state, which we are hugging tighter to in our misguided sense of security that we are better than the Islamic State, is militarily and morally stunted and will never overpower the Islamic State. While France could barely muster fifty combatants to fight the Islamic State in Iraq, the Islamic State recruited well over a thousand soldiers from France’s own so-called nation.

Our governments cannot save us from the Islamic State because they have lost the ability to wage war, or even conduct politics adequately. Other than occasional air strikes aiming to “influence” or “tip” the outcome of conflicts that are nothing to do with us, the armed forces of so-called Western democracies are now completely emasculated and will never carry out a successful ground war again.

A large part of this is the “ageing” or “greying” of Europe and North America, as our populations are reduced to isolated, frustrated, delusional Daily Mail readers whose future has long since been lost to the growing migrant populations now inhabiting Europe and North America. These migrant populations, who are an integral part of the so-called nation, do not and cannot share the old-fashioned nation-state allegiances that our governments relied on to survive. This is why there is so little will to war, such poor armed forces recruitment levels in Britain and other so-called nations, and now ever more impressive numbers from our own population flocking to join the Islamic State.

What has happened to us? What has happened to the so-called West (the liberal democratic countries and their armed forces), that makes more of our “people” travel to Iraq to work for the so-called Islamic State (IS, also ISIL, ISIS and Daesh) than are willing to travel there to fight that menace? Mine is obviously not the case for more “boots on the ground”, as many senile conservative pundits want. The public is rightly disillusioned with dated concepts of military conquest that proved to be so devastatingly ineffective in the aftermath of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. The events in Iraq today have erased every notion of American military power and have negated the sacrifice of thousands of American soldiers, rendering their bravery worthless and unavailing, as is the entire so-called war on terror that they were made to fight in.

Decades of the combined armed strength of NATO have proven futile, impotent to curtail the growth and legitimization of the latter-day caliphate that al Qaeda and its affiliates intended to build in the Middle East. We must retreat from the Middle East region, and our governments must give up their maniacal and impossible goals to protect Israel in the region. If we do not, the brave armed forces of Britain, America, France and the other allies will only be further humiliated and demoralized when the day finally arrives that we must admit to squandering billions of dollars, decades of talking and fighting, and hundreds of thousands of civilian and military lives, for nothing.

We won’t see another “boots on the ground” war waged by our weak governments and their NATO alliance again.

The demographic collapses of our countries and the growing half-loyalties of the youth (including me, for my experiences make me more sympathetic to the Internet than I am to my “country”) makes it hard to convince people to sacrifice for their so-called nation. This is one of the reasons we see such a deterioration in military recruitment levels in countries such as Britain. The people who would have enlisted are now just too old to actually be of any use to the state. The youth doesn’t believe in the nation. It is a hemorrhage of loyalty that the government cannot survive.

I have only been conveying what I already know from sociological theories that inform my writing. The fact is that our governments will continue to fail to attract volunteers to their causes, steadily losing their ability to incite wars or enforce laws until this degradation starts to undermine their capacity to protect themselves on their own territory. This has already started to happen in the United States, where officials are increasingly seen as arbitrary and cruel, and they are not believed to be in the business of protecting or serving but of fearing the people. As terrorists and mafias are likely to fill the vacuums left by collapsing states around the world, the international system is due to go through “hell on earth”, escalating through the coming decades. It would have happened anyway, but the failed wars waged by the United States are making it happen faster and with a much more humiliating character.

Loss of “stateness” (military and policing legitimacy) is part of the crisis of the world-system.

Delegitimization of states will continue. I don’t know what it will look like in the end, or whether we can survive it when the consequences get too heavy. Whatever happens, our nation-states will not survive the transition in their current form. At the very best, what is left of them will end up living in “Green Zones” in their own capital cities, hiding from the the vast majority of the people they have designated as “potential threats”, “terrorists” and “traitors”. The government is becoming allergic to the people.


By Harry J. Bentham

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