Sunday, March 1, 2015

More On FCC and The Internet

For John, BLUFThe question is what could possibly go wrong.  Time will tell.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

We have addressed this one already, yesterday, here, where Craig H left a pretty thorough comment on whey he thinks some are over-reacting.  However, Mr Robert McDowell, a former member of the five member panel of the Federal Communications Commission, writing in USA Today, calls the FCC Internet ruling wrong.
Thursday marked the largest government intervention into the Internet ecosphere in American history.  By equating the dynamic 21st century Internet to the telephone system of 1934, the Federal Communications Commission has thrust powerful but antiquated utility-style regulations onto the U.S. tech economy. . . .

The FCC’s power grab discards the bipartisan light-touch regulatory framework laid out during the Clinton administration.  That hands-off approach made the Net the greatest deregulatory success story of all time.

History teaches us that utility-style regulation raises costs to consumers, reduces investment and innovation, and creates uncertainty due to the politics-driven nature of “mother may I innovate” government mandates. Regulation only grows.  Now the Internet cannot escape that fate.

The ultimate result of more government encroachment will be something akin to the sagging European Internet market, where investment in broadband infrastructure is only one-fourth of America’s due to heavy-handed regulations.  Even worse, this new power grab could trigger expanded intergovernmental powers over the Web through existing telecom treaties, jeopardizing Internet freedom.

What many in Silicon Valley don’t understand is that, according to the Supreme Court’s 2005 Brand X decision, nearly any “tech” company that builds a telecom-style network to deliver its content and apps has the potential to be captured by the FCC’s new rules.  If the agency tries to exempt some companies but not others, it will be choosing the politically favored over everyone else.

Then Professr Reynolds comments:
Well, that’s the whole point of this exercise, one suspects.  I mean, isn’t it always?
On the other hand, Mr Gideon Lichfield, writing for Quartz, thinks the is the right move, and will protect the Internet from Government interference. Regards  —  Cliff

  Craig H is a thoughtful (as opposed to dogmatic) person from the high tech sector with a libertarian bent.

Boycotting Bibi?

For John, BLUFThis represents an interesting divide for Democrats (I doubt Mia Love is boycotting).  Nothing to see here; just move along.

I admit to being a little surprised to find this item listed in Memeorandum.  But, listed it was—"Black pastors urge CBC not to skip Netanyahu speech".  The source is The Washington Times.  "CBC" is Congressional Black Caucus.

The most interesting paragraph was this:

“And yes, black caucus, I’m saying you have gone against Israel when you decide to protest the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, from coming and speaking on the behalf of the nation of Israel,” Mr. Sanders said.  “That is a slap in the face to the people of Israel, and not only that, it’s a slap in the face to God.  And not only that, it’s also a slap in the face of all Bible-believing African-American people in this country.”
Within the Black population in these United States there appears to be some diversity of thought on some issues.

Hat tip to Memeorandum.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Target Lebanon

For John, BLUFThis will get worse before it gets better.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Freelance Reporter Michael Totten, writing in World Affairs talks about Lebanon as "ISIS' Next Target".
ISIS has announced that Lebanon will be the next state to fall under the sway of its “caliphate.” According to Beirut's Daily Star newspaper, the only reason ISIS hasn't attacked yet in force is because they haven't decided on the mission's commander.

The Lebanese army is one of the least effective in the Middle East—and that's saying something in a region where the far more capable Syrian and Iraqi armies are utterly failing to safeguard what should be their own sovereign territory.

So France is going to send a three billion dollar package of weapons to Lebanon and the Saudis are going to pay for it.  It won't solve the problem any more than a full-body cast will cure cancer, but it beats standing around and not even trying.

Reporter Totten is optimistic over the long run, mentioning seventeen invading armies that came a cropper in Lebanon.  But in the short term the Christians, Shia and Druze who make up Lebanon's population will face the genocidal tendencies of Daesh.  The Daesh enjoy killing like Pol Pot and his Khymer Rouge, or Mao, or the 1939 Armies of Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany taking down Poland and destroying the Polish Intelligentsia.

The good news, according to our Secretary of State, John Kerry, is that we have never been safer.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  I wonder what or who he was thinking about when he wrote "it beats standing around and not even trying".

The Internet Diminished

For John, BLUFA solution in search of a problem.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the White House on "Net Neutrality", a topic recently in the news from the Federal Communications Commission decision, 3 to 2 to make the Internet a Utility.  And here is what the FCC thinks it said.  And here is the trace of the story by the Newspaper of Record, The Old Grey Lady

Here are some notes I cribbed from someone else:

On the contrary, I think this is the deathknell for free and open Internet.  Because instead of being the global "Internet"—with a capital "I"—so-called "net neutrality" treats the internet as an "internet" US utility to be regulated by the nationstate.  This is important as China and Russia push their concept of "internet sovereignty."  If the US can regulate their internet, why can't Russia and China regulate their Internets?

What is the problem that the FCC was trying to fix here?  Are Internet speeds getting slower?  Has unfair competition caused the Internet economy to dwindle in United States?  Did Congress change the law to allow regulation of the Internet?  Or, did three unelected appointees make a decision to unilaterally expand federal power?

The idea of a free and unencumbered Internet, one that could be used to support the Arab Spring or some [name the color] revolution in some nation facing oppression, is going away.  In a lot of ways it never existed, in that strong nations, with money and technological savvy, have been limited search engines and social media.  But, the Internet was a global concept, struggling to be free.

Now the US has signed on to the idea that the internet is a domestic utility, to be used by each nation as that nation sees fit. Remember, it isn't the first order consequences one needs to worry about, with its obvious goodness.  The problem is the second and third order effects.  The ones few anticipate.  Unfortunately, there are few Daniel Patrick Moynihans and the few there are tend to be shouted down by all the Progressive do-gooders who are going to make our lives better.

Another way to look at it is that every solution contains within itself the seeds of a new problem.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, February 27, 2015

Dogma v the US Constitution

For John, BLUFIf they do this they will eventually come for your weapons.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Washington Examiner we have this headline, "Obama to ban bullets by executive action, threatens top-selling AR-15 rifle".
As promised, President Obama is using executive actions to impose gun control on the nation, targeting the top-selling rifle in the country, the AR-15 style semi-automatic, with a ban on one of the most-used AR bullets by sportsmen and target shooters.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives this month revealed that it is proposing to put the ban on 5.56 mm ammo on a fast track, immediately driving up the price of the bullets and prompting retailers, including the huge outdoors company Cabela’s, to urge sportsmen to urge Congress to stop the president.

OK, so maybe this is just someone's fantasy.  On the other hand, if one wanted to ban guns, this would be a way of taking s bunch of them out of the hands of law-abiding citizens.  And, without doing intrusive house searches.  By banning the sale of ammo the ability to fire the weapon would soon dry up.  Shooting is a somewhat perishable skill.

Hat tip to Memeorandum.

Regards  —  Cliff

Rahm Emanuel has to go to Round Two

For John, BLUFNon-partisan election, but still with corruption.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Chicago Mayor "Rahm Emanuel faces runoff in re-election bid".
Emanuel, who raised about $15 million for the campaign, finished first in the five candidate field, but fell far short of garnering the 50% plus one vote he needed to win outright and avoid a runoff election.  He will now face the second place finisher, Cook County Commissioner, Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, on April 7.

With 95.7% of precincts reporting, Emanuel had 45.3% of the vote and Garcia had 33.9%.

Here is an editorial on the election and on Chicago, and Illinois, politics.

NB:  Sure, the election was Tuesday and this is Friday, but this is relatively prompt.  If it was really important to you, you would have been following it on Drudge.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Down to the Sea in Ships

For John, BLUFGlobal Trade means shipping by sea.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

I found this 1:40 video pretty interesting.  From NPR, it shows a snapshot of shipping around the world.  One thing it shows is the heavy concentration of shipping traffic in Southeast Asia, where the video begins.

And, there is this:

It's a good reminder that about 90 percent of all the goods traded globally spend at least some of their transit time on a ship.
Regards  —  Cliff