The Federal Trade Commission has been on the march. Over the past month, the Commission has held two “open” meetings, rescinded two major bipartisan agreements by party-line vote, and positioned itself to write regulations for the first time in decades.
In the words of a former commissioner, the current FTC is “Icarus flying without the constraints of history, economics, or law.” He predicts that its “regulatory overreach…will end with the FTC’s wings melting in the courts.”
Yet one of the most consequential expansions of Commission authority has flown largely under the radar.
Section 5 of the FTC Act tasks the Commission with preventing “unfair or deceptive acts or practices.” What exactly is an unfair or deceptive act or practice? The answer has, perhaps purposely, evaded the FTC and courts for decades. Wielding Section 5 authority, the FTC has targeted all manner of industries, including health supplements, shoemakers, and even social media influencers. Recently, the Commission rescinded a bipartisan policy statement on this issue, giving American businesses even less notice as to what conduct might be considered a violation.
A central principle of American jurisprudence is that defendants are not presumed liable until a court of law determines otherwise. Correspondingly, defendants cannot be compelled to pay claimed damages until a court first finds liability.
In the Alice-in-Wonderland world of FTC investigations, legal principles were sometimes turned on their head. “Damages” were seized by the FTC long before the defendant had its day in court, and long before any finding of liability for Section 5 violations, thanks to a peculiar interpretation of another section of the FTC Act: Section 13(b).
Section 13(b), by its text, authorizes the FTC to seek temporary and permanent injunctive relief in federal court for Section 5 violations. Section 13(b) does not and has never mentioned anything about monetary damages. Yet for decades, courts looked beyond the text of the statute and held that Section 13(b) inherently empowered the FTC to seek monetary damages.
Under this extraordinary interpretation, the Commission could and did go directly to federal court and request monetary damages from accused parties. Accused parties never had the opportunity to present a defense. Sometimes the damages sought by the FTC were in excess of the total assets a defendant had, leaving it with scant resources to mount a legal defense.
Defendants in FTC investigations faced a Hobson’s choice: negotiate a settlement with the FTC and face financial ruin; or fight the FTC in court and, even if damages were never awarded, face financial ruin.
Such was the case with Vylah Tec, a Florida start-up accused of selling “unneeded” services to its customers. Without any prior notice or administrative proceeding, the FTC sued the company for millions of dollars, alleging Section 5 violations. Prior to trial, a federal court granted the FTC’s request for a preliminary injunction, freezing the assets of both the company and the owners personally, as well as transferring over $670,000 in assets into a receivership account. After the trial concluded, the court denied the FTC’s request for monetary damages. Yet after receivership and attorneys’ fees, only $34,500 was returned to the company.
Fortunately for the rule of law, these FTC abuses were recently curtailed. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court struck down the prior, atextual interpretation of Section 13(b). In doing so, it affirmed that “permanent injunction” does not mean “monetary damages,” and that, as currently written, Section 13(b) of the FTC Act does not empower the Commission to seek monetary damages for Section 5 violations.
But as the Court observed in its opinion, the FTC already has a better arsenal of administrative powers to protect consumers and seek consumer redress. Section 19 of the FTC Act already empowers the FTC to seek monetary damages for Section 5 claims. Section 19 focuses on actual harm, applying only when a reasonable person would have known under the circumstances that the conduct at issue was dishonest or fraudulent. Section 19 requires the FTC to provide actual notice to prospective defendants of their alleged illegal conduct via an administrative proceeding and issuance of a “cease and desist” order before seeking monetary damages in federal court. And perhaps most importantly, before the court may award damages, Section 19 requires the FTC to prove the defendant is liable in court.
FTC administrative hearings allow parties wrongly or mistakenly accused of wrongdoing to present exculpatory evidence. They’re a vital element of the rule of law that affords important notice and due process protections to American businesses trying to navigate the often-Kafkaesque modern administrative state. Even if the administrative hearing should reach an adverse decision, parties can appeal to a court of law.
Unfortunately, Congress may give the FTC the power to seek damages without any due process. The House recently passed H.R. 2668. The authors of this bill seek to reimplement the prior Section 13(b) regime by explicitly empowering the FTC to seek monetary damages under this section once more.
But at its core, this proposed Section 13(b) still lacks the vital requirement of proving liability in court over the defense of accused parties before seeking damages. The proposed 13(b) also has none of the procedural safeguards of Section 19.
In lesser countries, government agencies seize property, destroy businesses, and disrupt lives without due process of law, but instead with the consent of a judiciary unwilling to check administrative excesses. America should not be one of those lesser countries; the FTC should not be one of those lawless agencies; and our judiciary should not be put in a position of awarding damages without first demanding proof of liability over the defense of accused parties.
American Patriots Uniting to Fight Tyranny from, Well, Everywhere
We’re building a new conservative news network. Based on responses from fellow patriots, we’re heading in the right direction.
It may be hard to believe based on what we’re seeing around the nation today, but there are many reasons to be hopeful. First and foremost, the false narrative that most of America hates traditional values or the foundations of our nation are finally being proven false. Despite the best efforts of globalists and Neo-Marxists, patriotic Americans are starting to unify in droves. Meanwhile, Joe Biden can barely muster a half-filled auditorium to deliver his message to the scant few watching CNN and the paid shills in the “crowd.”
The “silent majority” that drove Donald Trump to victory in 2016 and 2020 (yes, he won by a landslide but was robbed along with the American people) is finally starting to realize we cannot stay silent any longer. We used to win with our votes, but those are being stolen. We used to win with truth, but the radical left and their agents in mainstream media, Big Tech, and academia are building a post-truth society to drown out reality. Today, we are waking up to the realization that only through direct action and fearlessly spreading the truth can we overcome the nefarious forces working against us.
We are proud to be working our way up to the tip of the conservative media spear. Our network is growing. We’re establishing strong partnerships with like-minded news outlets and courageous journalists. Even as Big Tech suppresses us, the honest messages they’re trying to quash are finding their way to the eyes and ears of patriots across the nation. With the help of new content partners like The Epoch Times and The Liberty Daily, we’re starting to see a real impact.
Our network is currently comprised of nine sites:
- NOQ Report
- Conservative Playlist
- Truth. Based. Media.
- Freedom First Network
- Based Underground
- Uncanceled News
- American Conservative Movement
- Conservative Playbook
- Our Gold Guy
Some of our content is spread across all of these sites. Other pieces of content are unique. We write most of what we post but we also draw from those willing to allow us to share their quality articles, videos, and podcasts. We collect the best content from fellow conservative sites that give us permission to republish them. We’re not ego-driven; I’d much rather post a properly attributed story written by experts like Dr. Joseph Mercola or Natural News than rewrite it like so many outlets like to do. We’re not here to take credit. We’re here to spread the truth.
The slow and steady reopening of America is revealing there was a lot more economic hardship brought about from the Covd-19 lockdowns than most realize. While we continue to hope advertising dollars on the sites go up, it’s simply not enough to do things the right way. We are currently experiencing a gap between revenue and expenses that cannot be overcome by click-ads and MyPillow promos alone (promo code “NOQ” by the way).
To overcome our revenue gap and keep these sites running, our needs fluctuate between $2200-$7800 per month. May, 2021, for example, was amazing and we almost broke even. June, revenue was sluggish at best and we had to make up a big difference out of our pockets. But we’re not just trying to get out of the red. If and when we start getting enough contributions to expand, we will do just that. Very few get into journalism to try to get rich and we’re definitely not among those who do. Our success is driven by spreading the truth, profitable or not.
The best way you can help us grow and continue to bring proper news and opinions to the people is by donating. We appreciate everything, whether a dollar or $10,000. Anything brings us closer to a point of stability when we can hire writers, editors, and support staff to make the America First message louder. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal or Bitcoin as well. Bitcoin: 3A1ELVhGgrwrypwTJhPwnaTVGmuqyQrMB8
Time is short. As the world spirals towards radical progressivism, the need for truthful journalism has never been greater. But in these times, we need as many conservative media voices as possible. Please help keep NOQ Report and the other sites in the network going. Our promise is this: We will never sell out America. If that means we’re going to struggle for a while or even indefinitely, so be it. Integrity first. Truth first. America first.
Thank you and God Bless,
Big Pharma’s Five Major Minions that Everyone, Vaxxed or Unvaxxed, Must Oppose
This is not an “anti-vaxxer” article, per se. It’s a call for everyone to wake up to the nefarious motives behind vaccine mandates, booster shots, and condemnation of freedom.
The worst kept secret in world history SHOULD be that the unquenchable push for universal vaccinations against Covid-19 has little if anything to do with healthcare and everything to do with Big Pharma’s influence over the narrative. Unfortunately, that secret has stayed firmly hidden from the vast majority of people because of the five major minions working on behalf of Big Pharma.
What’s even worse is the fact that Big Pharma’s greed is merely a smokescreen to hide an even darker secret. We’ll tackle that later. First, let’s look at the public-facing ringleaders behind the vaccine push, namely Big Pharma. But before we get into their five major minions, it’s important to understand one thing. This is NOT just an article that speaks to the unvaccinated. Even those who believe in the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines must be made aware of agenda that’s at play.
Let’s start with some facts. The unvaccinated do NOT spread Covid-19 more rampantly than the vaccinated. Even Anthony Fauci acknowledged the viral load present in vaccinated people is just as high as in the unvaccinated. This fact alone should demolish the vaccine mandates as it demonstrates they have absolutely no effect on the spread of the disease. But wait! There’s definitely more.
This unhinged push to vaccinate everyone defies science. Those with natural immunity may actually have their stronger defenses against Covid-19 hampered by the introduction of the injections which fool the body into creating less-effective antibodies. Moreover, the push to vaccinate young people is completely bonkers. The recovery rate for those under the age of 20 is astronomical. Children neither contract, spread, nor succumb to Covid-19 in a statistically meaningful way. What they DO succumb to more often than Covid-19 are the adverse reactions to the vaccines, particularly boys.
All of this is known and accepted by the medical community, yet most Americans are still following the vaccinate-everybody script. It requires pure cognitive dissonance and an overabundant need for confirmation bias to make doctors and scientists willingly go along with the program. Yet, here we are and that should tell you something.
Before I get to the five major minions of of Big Pharma, I must make the plea for help. Between cancel culture, lockdowns, and diminishing ad revenue, we need financial assistance in order to continue to spread the truth. We ask all who have the means, please donate through our GivingFuel page or via PayPal. Your generosity is what keeps these sites running and allows us to expand our reach so the truth can get to the masses. We’ve had great success in growing but we know we can do more with your assistance.
Who does Big Pharma control? It starts with the obvious people, the ones who most Americans believe are actually behind this push. Our governments at all levels as well as governments around the world are not working with Big Pharma. They are working for Big Pharma. Some are proactive as direct recipients of cash. Others may oppose Big Pharma in spirit but would never speak out because they know anyone who does has no future in DC.
This may come as a shock to some, but it’s Big Pharma that drives the narrative and sets the agenda for the “experts” at the CDC, FDA, WHO, NIH, NIAID, and even non-medical government organizations.
Most believe it’s the other way around. They think that Big Pharma is beholden to the FDA for approval, but that’s not exactly the case. They need approval for a majority of their projects, but when it comes to the important ones such as the Covid injections, Big Pharma is calling the shots. They have the right people in the right places to push their machinations forward.
That’s not to say that everyone at the FDA is in on it. Big Pharma only needs a handful of friendlies planted in leadership in order to have their big wishes met. We have seen people quitting the FDA in recent weeks for this very reason. The same can be said about the other three- and five-letter agencies. Too many people in leadership have been bribed, bullied, or blackmailed into becoming occasional shills for the various Big Pharma corporations. Some have even been directly planted by Big Pharma. That’s the politics of healthcare and science that drives such things as Covid-19 “vaccines.”