Archive for September 23, 2011
A petition to abolish the TSA has appeared on the White House.gov website, with the massive response evidence of how infuriated Americans have become at being groped not only at airport, but also highways, sports stadiums and at other public venues.
The petition appears on the “We The People” section of WhiteHouse.gov, a new feature intended to be “a new, easy way for Americans to make their voice heard in our government.”
The petition already has almost 8,000 signatures, and has already passed the 5,000 mark required for it to receive some kind of response from WhiteHouse.gov.
It is entitled “Abolish the TSA, and use its monstrous budget to fund more sophisticated, less intrusive counter-terrorism intelligence,” and the full text reads as follows.
The Transportation Security Administration has been one of the largest, most expensive and most visible blunders of the post-9-11 homeland security reformation. It has violated countless constitutional rights of average Americans, caused miserable and expensive delays in an already-overburdened air travel system, and allowed multiple known instances of harassment, theft, extortion and sexual abuse by its employees. It has failed approximately 70% of undercover efficacy tests, and for all its excesses, has been unable to catch even a single terrorist since its creation. In our current economic situation, we can no longer afford to continue wasting taxpayer dollars on this kafkaesque embarrassment. Let us instead invest in saner, more effective solutions.
Sponsored Link: Why retirees should be worried about “Capps’ Law”. Learn how to protec
The FCC has finally officially published long-delayed rules prohibiting cable, DSL and wireless internet companies from blocking websites and requiring them to disclose how they slow down or throttle their networks.
The so-called Net Neutrality rules (.pdf), passed along party lines in late December last year in a 3-2 vote, were published in the Federal Register Friday and will go into effect on November 20.
The basic outlines of the rules, which differentiate between fixed broadband (e.g. cable, fiber and DSL) and mobile broadband (the connection to smartphones and mobile hotspot devices):
The Commission adopts three basic protections that are grounded in broadly accepted Internet norms, as well as our own prior decisions.
First, transparency: fixed and mobile broadband providers must disclose the network management practices, performance characteristics, and commercial terms of their broadband services.
Second, no blocking: fixed broadband providers may not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful dlobbying, Skype, Verizon, evices; mobile broadband providers may not block lawful websites, or block applications that compete with their voice or video telephony services.
Third, no unreasonable discrimination: fixed broadband providers may not unreasonably discriminate in transmitting lawful network traffic.
One of the more contentious debates, left unresolved to either side’s liking, is whether wireless companies should be forced to play by the same fairness rules as cable and DSL internet providers do. Online activists argue that in absence of such rules, wireless carriers will throttle innovative services — while the carriers maintain that their networks are more congested and that competition will prevent any unfair behavior on their part.
Verizon and MetroPCS filed suit in January to block the rules, but the suits were dismissed as being too early. Now that the rules have been officially published in the publication of the government’s business, telecoms are free to challenge the rules — which they almost certainly will do.
The Obama FCC, making good on Obama’s campaign promises, set out to strengthen rules established by the Bush FCC that guaranteed Americans the right to use the devices and online services of their choice online. But those “rules” were set up as the FCC chose to deregulate cable and DSL internet service providers — and were thrown out in court when the FCC tried to order Comcast to not block peer-to-peer file sharing.
The court found that by choosing to deregulate ISPs, the FCC lost the right to regulate ISPs.
The FCC then faced the choice of re-regulating ISPs by putting them back in the same regulatory bucket as phone service, which gives the FCC clear authority to require ISPs not to block services like Skype and to require them to let users connect to any website they like — the same as phone companies must let users call any number they like.
But that avenue turned out to be politically poisonous, with Republicans clamoring nonsensically that amounted to regulation of Internet content.
So instead the FCC says it found new authority to regulate ISPs that it has deregulated, though it’s not clear that the new authorities, which look cobbled together with Legos and Lincoln Logs, will hold up under scrutiny, especially if the telecoms get their way and have the suits heard by the same federal court that demolished the old rules.
In that case, the fights, lobbying and political posturing will start all over again.
Photo: Cables running to and from servers. Camknows/Flickr
Major Media Are Part of the Problem
Eugene Robinson’s column in the September 20 Washington Post began with this: ” ‘Class warfare!’ scream the Republicans, in a voice usually reserved for phrases such as ‘Run for your lives!
‘Spare us the histrionics. The GOP and its upper-crust patrons have been waging an undeclared but devastating war against middle-class, working-class and poor Americans for decades. Now they scream bloody murder at the notion that long-suffering victims might finally hit back.”
This is partly true: an undeclared and devastating economic war has been waged against the middle class, working class, and the poor for decades. In the process, many, many people have become new millionaires.
But who is really behind this? It is Democrats as well as Republicans. It is the US Federal Reserve and other central banks. It is the major media who have condoned and covered up.
It is all those public figures who have been using Keynesian economic policies as an excuse for the most flagrant crony capitalist policies, the kind of policies one would expect from today’s Russia, not the US. These crony capitalist policies have made millionaires, often super millionaires of anyone with a special tie to the government or to the government’s money. They have betrayed and impoverished everyone else.
Eugene Robinson has identified a problem. But he is part of that problem himself. He is part of an elite who have utterly failed the average American. No wonder there is a tremendous populist backlash today which is threatening politicians on both left and right.
Hunter Lewis 9-23-2011
In a political season marked by warfare between Democrats and Republicans, the White House and Congress, haves and have-nots, GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul has built staunch support among voters who are furious at the federal government — from emo-kids to retirees.
But in Thursday’s debate, as candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Perry tore into each other, Mr. Paul showed once more that he isn’t particularly upset with, or allied with, anyone. This week, the Texas congressman said he seldom even mentions President Barack Obama, though he’s picking up support from some of Mr. Obama’s disillusioned backers.
Mr. Paul says he doesn’t mind that Texas Gov. Perry has borrowed from Mr. Paul’s anti-Federal Reserve platform. “That’s how politicians operate, they reflect people’s views,” the Texas congressman said. Nor was he offended, like some supporters were, when Mr. Perry grabbed Mr. Paul in a killer arm-grip after one of the last debates: “That’s just him, every time he sees you, he grabs you…friendly.”
Unlike most candidates this season, Mr. Paul isn’t targeting the media, which routinely ignore him despite his third-place ranking in the polls: “I don’t take it personally…I think a lot of people don’t understand what I’m talking about…that’s what I work on the most, trying to refine my message.”
So what does frost the 76 year-old former obstetrician? Any suggestion that his position–he’s for a highly limited government, a non-interventionist foreign policy, and an overhaul of the federal monetary system—isn’t politically practical.
“If you give up on your principles I don’t think that’s being pragmatic,” says Mr. Paul, whose support ranges from 9% to 13% in recent polls. “Doing the wrong thing, even partially, isn’t being practical…if you have the right ideas and are forceful enough…I think you can get the support you need.”
As proof, he cites his work with Democratic Reps. Dennis Kucinich (Ohio) and Barney Frank (Mass.) and independent Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) to stop the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and fight government curbs on civil liberties.
During Thursday’s debate, Mr. Paul declined to name a potential vice-presidential running mate, saying that as soon as he moves from his current third place to the “top tier, then I will start thinking along that line.”
So who would be in President Ron Paul’s cabinet? “People who agree with me,” he said. Would the anti-war Mr. Kucinich become his secretary of state?
The candidate smiled. “He wants to be secretary of peace.”
Saturday, September 24 · 9:30am – 6:30pm
Murfreesboro TN, MTSU BAS State Farm Room S102
|For||Young Americans For Liberty MTSU|
Young Americans for Liberty MTSU is proud to host Micheal Badnarik’s famous Constitution class – FREE of charge, compliments of YAL.
Come braced for an afternoon that will turn what you learned about the Constitution in grade school on its head.
Micheal Badnarik is a former Presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party, author of the book “Good to be King: The Foundation of our Constitutional Freedom”, and has offered commentary in documentaries such as “Don’t Tread on Me: Rise of the Republic”.
Here is a MTSU map for those unfamilar with the campus, http://www.jsmt.org/Intro/