” The people are the rightful masters of both congresses and courts – not to overthrow the Constitution , but to overthrow the men who pervert it “
” Okay, ever since our big Net Neutrality Crowdfunding, we’ve had some new readers who aren’t as familiar with the details and issues — yet we’ve been mostly writing as if everyone is informed of the basics. So, we figured it only made sense to take a step back and do a bit of an explainer about net neutrality.
What is net neutrality?
This is not an easy answer, actually, which, at times, is a part of the problem. The phrase, first coined by law professor Tim Wu, referred originally to the concept of the end-to-end principle of the internet, in that anyone online could request a webpage or information from any online service, and the internet access provider (usually called internet service providers or ISPs) in the middle would deliver that information. At the time, the ISPs were starting to make noises about how they wanted to “charge” service providers to reach end users, effectively setting up toll booths on the internet. This kicked off in earnest in October of 2005, when SBC (which became AT&T) CEO Ed Whitacre declared that internet companies were using “his pipes for free.”
The phrase has been warped and twisted in various directions over the years, but the simplest way to think about it is basically whether or not your ISP — the company you pay for your internet access (usually cable, DSL or fiber, but also wireless, satellite and a few others) — can pick winners and losers by requiring certain companies to pay the ISP more just to be available to you (or available to you in a “better” way). John Oliver probably summarized it best by arguing that it’s about “preventing cable company fuckery” (though, to be clear, it goes beyond just cable companies).
The internet access providers claim that service providers, like Netflix and Google, are getting a “free ride” on their network, since those services are popular with their users, and they’d like to get those (very successful) companies to pay.
Wait, so internet companies don’t pay for bandwidth?
They absolutely do pay for their bandwidth. And here’s the tricky part of this whole thing. Everyone already pays for their own bandwidth. You pay your access provider, and the big internet companies pay for their bandwidth as well. And what you pay for is your ability to reach all those sites on the internet. What the internet access providers are trying to do is to get everyone to pay twice. That is, you pay for your bandwidth, and then they want, say, Netflix, to pay again for the bandwidth you already paid for, so that Netflix can reach you. This is under the false belief that when you buy internet service from your internet access provider, you haven’t bought with it the ability to reach sites on the internet. The big telcos and cable companies want to pretend you’ve only bought access to the edge of their network, and then internet sites should have to pay extra to become available to you. In fact, they’ve been rather explicit about this. Back in 2006, AT&T’s Ed Whitacre stated it clearly: “I think the content providers should be paying for the use of the network – obviously not the piece for the customer to the network, which has already been paid for by the customer in internet access fees, but for accessing the so-called internet cloud.” In short, the broadband players would like to believe that when you pay your bandwidth, you’re only paying from your access point to their router. It’s a ridiculous view of the world, somewhat akin to pretending the earth is still flat and at the center of the universe, but in this case, the broadband players pretend that they’re at the center of the universe.”
Read the whole thing at TechDirt and arm yourselves with the facts .
” Ayn Rand wrote an influential book, Atlas Shrugged, in the ’50s that seems to resurface in popularity with each new wave of government intrusion on the lives of our overregulated, overtaxed citizens. The book describes a world that was on a slow but steady path toward ever more central planning by meddling bureaucrats interfering with the entrepreneurial class who relied on one another for their production of output. As the pages of the book are turned, this “road to serfdom” (a phrase I borrow from Friedrich Hayek) reaches a peak with the last of a small subset of productive entrepreneurs dropping out of their respective professions and sealing themselves off in a secret location created by John Galt. Their isolation from government interference in Galt’s secret hideaway was designed to allow this subset of creative, hard-working individuals to pursue their dreams and live in a rational way, trading value for value with one another. The vision of Galt in his hidden refuge is consistent with the Ayn Rand objectivist philosophy that she advocated her entire life as an immigrant to America from the Soviet Union.
Rand never wrote a sequel to Atlas Shrugged, but I wonder where she would pick up after the first novel ends. We’re left with John Galt and his band of entrepreneurial cohorts waiting to eventually reenter the failed utopia created by central planners. Taking a peek out of his libertarian lair, I wonder what Galt would think of America today. Some of the current dismal economic statistics seem consistent with the world Ayn Rand created in her fictional novel. The latest Census Bureau figures show a larger percentage of people receive some form of means-tested public assistance than work full-time. Would this be a rock-bottom entry point where Galt and his band of entrepreneurial cohorts can once again return to the world and begin rebuilding America based on principles of limited government and free markets? Not quite yet. One last worn-out shoe has yet to drop: the U.S. stock market.
Unlike the beaten-down real economy, activity on Wall Street continues to flourish. Large banks and their institutional clients have benefited from the artificial stimulation promulgated by the Federal Reserve. By keeping interest rates near zero percent for the last five years, middle-income families receive next to nothing off their life savings, while institutional clients can borrow money at bargain rates from large banks. In a classic example of crony capitalism, banks have rewarded their institutional clients with cheap loans, enabling them to use borrowed money and speculate on stocks, driving valuations to levels not seen since before the bank bailout in 2008. The governor of the Bank of England recently commented that “banks operated in a privileged heads-I-win-tails-you-lose bubble.“[i] I believe Galt would be disgusted at this unintended consequence of government intervention that is driving a wedge between the elite on Wall Street and the average American struggling to make ends meet on a beleaguered Main Street. If Galt were a stock investor, would he trade in some of his gold for fiat currency, cozying up to this collection of institutions buying large-cap stocks on margin? At these nosebleed valuation levels, Galt would probably “flip the bird” at Mr. Market before sliding back into his hidden sanctuary until greener pastures emerged in the equity investment arena. Galt strikes me as the kind of independent investor that would keep his libertarian powder dry until the current statist experiment ran its complete course, waiting patiently to scoop up the right kind of stocks at a great price. Assuming the skeleton infrastructure of an organized stock exchange still remained on the day of Galt’s return to the investment arena, what stocks would he select from the rubble left on the corner of Broad and Wall? A review of the character’s profile might give us a few clues. Let’s go through a few stock categories I believe John Galt would avoid. Buying large company stocks would probably be out of the question for Galt. In the recent past, these stocks were the economic football the large institutions speculated on with borrowed money. As already mentioned, savers deposited hard-earned money in their bank accounts and received close to a zero percent interest rate, while money was loaned out in a speculative frenzy to the bank’s institutional buddies. Adding insult to injury, not only do retirees earn about the same interest rate as preppers get off of canned goods stored in their bomb shelters, their principal is being debased from continuous quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve. The stench coming off this large-cap football used by highly leveraged institutions in stock speculation would be too much for Galt to muster a bid order. “
” The countdown has begun. Atlas Shrugged: Who is John Galt? hits theaters in 44 days. Help spread the word – Like and Share this post.”
” “Who is John Galt?” Teaser Trailer featuring sand art by Joe Castillo.”
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Freedom to blunder or free stuff to plunder … the choice is yours … but there’s no going back …
” This morning, the Supreme Court announced two unanimous decisions, both of them defeats for the Obama Administration and victories for the Constitution.
In the first, Canning v. NLRB, the Supreme Court struck down President Obama’s “recess appointments” to the powerful National Labor Relations Board. The question was simple: Was the Senate in recess or in session when it was in a so-called “pro forma” session. The Supreme Court’s conclusion was sensible:
In our view, however, the pro forma sessions count as sessions, not as periods of recess. We hold that, for purposes of the Recess Appointments Clause, the Senate is in session when it says it is, provided that, under its own rules, it retains the capacity to transact Senate business. The Senate met that standard here.
We represented the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, in the case, filing a brief on his behalf. The case represented a key victory for the Speaker and the House itself, since the House has a high degree of control over even the Senate’s schedule.
The bottom line is simple: The President will not be able to circumvent the Senate’s “advise and consent” through recess appointments without the consent of both houses of Congress.
Today is a good day for the separation of powers.
It is also a good day for free speech and the pro-life movement.
In the day’s second decision, McCullen v. Coakley, the Court struck down Massachusetts’ buffer zone law, a law that prohibited any person within a 35-foot radius of an abortion clinic entrance or driveway from approaching another person “for the purpose of passing a leaflet or handbill to, displaying a sign to, or engaging in oral protest, education, or counseling with such other person.”
Justice Roberts wrote the opinion for the Court, and once again the Court’s reasoning was sensible and constitutionally sound:
Petitioners wish to converse with their fellow citizens about an important subject on the public streets and sidewalks—sites that have hosted discussions about the issues of the day throughout history. Respondents assert undeniably significant interests in maintaining public safety on those same streets and sidewalks, as well as in preserving access to adjacent healthcare facilities. But here the Commonwealth has pursued those interests by the extreme step of closing a substantial portion of a traditional public forum to all speakers. It has done so without seriously addressing the problem through alternatives that leave the forum open for its time-honored purposes. The Commonwealth may not do that consistent with the First Amendment.
This case is a watershed in the movement to undo the infamous “abortion distortion,” the judicial distortion in free-speech jurisprudence that effectively denies full free speech rights to the pro-life movement. At the ACLJ we have a decades-long history of battling for pro-life free speech at the Supreme Court, and today’s victory sends an important message.
The Obama Administration and pro-abortion state governments are on notice: pro-life speech is free speech, fully protected by the First Amendment. The pro-life movement is now more free to take its life-saving message to the people who need to hear it the most.”
Add these victories to the recent decision voiding the practice of warrantless cell phone searches and you have a great week for liberty from the Supreme Court .
” I write often about the paramilitarization of American law enforcement, while always vaguely assuming it will never get too near my own corner of rural New Hampshire. But who knows? Reid Smith writes today about his particular hometown in Pennsylvania:
Haverford straddles the border between Delaware and Montgomery Counties, some ten miles west of Philadelphia. According to Wikipedia, it’s most notable for being home to the renowned Haverford College and the Merion Cricket Club. The former is best known for its intellectual rigor and Quaker antecedents; the latter for its beautiful grass tennis courts.
The local geography gets a little tricky, but a portion of the unincorporated town of Haverford is part of greater Haverford Township in Delaware County (affectionately known as “Delco”).
Today a friend sent me an article from a local webzine. This is the sort of digital publication that usually leads with headlines about “Cast-Iron Cookware Restoration with Apple Cider and Elbow Grease” and heartfelt features on do-gooding business leaders.
But not today. Instead The Haverford-Havertown Patch’s editor Alison Smith is enthusing over the local constabulary’s purchase of a 2014 Lenco “BearCat” ballistic-engineered, armored-response vehicle (see picture). Everyone’s happy. The County Council:
” As businesses continue to expand here in Delaware County, we are continually committed to making sure that our police have the ability to address new threats,” said Delaware County Council Chairman Thomas McGarrigle.
Who knew a thriving business community presented such a threat to the security environment? Hey, it’s not just businesses, it’s also the local grade-school:
” We now have the ability to protect our police officers as they approach homes, businesses and schools while taking direct fire,” said District Attorney Jack Whelan.
The SWAT ONE can “carry up to ten people, and has night-vision optics, a gas-injection system and a battering ram. It can withstand hits from a .50-caliber projectile”. Why would anyone buy anything so superfluous? Ah, well:
The vehicle, a 2014 Lenco “BearCat” ballistic-engineered, armored-response vehicle, was purchased with Homeland Security grants under FEMA’s Urban Area Security Initiative program.”
Oh, right. Maybe the Afghan war only makes sense if you look on it as a dry run for Pennsylvania… As Laura Rosen Cohen says:
“This is not a police force, it’s a bloody army and the guns are being turned against you.”
As usual read it all
” Charles and David Koch will use their political action committee to unleash at least $125 million on a grass-roots, broadcasting, and data operations for conservative candidates in the 2014 midterm elections, and have outlined a longer-term battle vision.
The expenditure by the conservative billionaire brothers’ Americans for Prosperity will be aimed at boosting free market candidates while hammering Democrats, and the vast expenditure will alone exceed the combined total spending of all of the official party organizations in the 2012 elections, Politico reported.
The funds are expected to transform the organization’s already sprawling field operation and deploy a new “closed-loop data system in which volunteer and membership information is automatically updated” for access by phone bank workers and canvassers going door-to-door with the latest technology, such as tablets.
Beyond the 2014 elections, the move is designed to jump-start a longer-term operation to expand the influence of conservatives into new states and broaden the movement’s base of support to include millennials, Hispanics, and low-income voters, an aim the Republican Party has been vexed about achieving as a condition of its survival.
The group has already spent more than $35 million on ads attacking vulnerable Democrats in key Senate and House Races, including those of Sens. Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, and Mark Pryor of Arkansas.”
Newsmax has more
” Automatic license plate readers can scan plates at a rate of one per second. Nationwide, several hundred million plate/location records have been captured and stored by a variety of contractors. Mathematics alone says mistakes will be made. Except when mistakes are made with ALPRs, they tend to put citizens on the bad side of men with guns.
According to the Prairie Village Post, earlier this month lawyer Mark Molner was driving through a Kansas City suburb on his way home from his wife’s sonogram. All of a sudden, his BMW was blocked in front by a police car as another officer on a motorcycle pulled up behind him. (His pregnant wife witnessed the incident from a nearby parked car.)
According to what Molner told the Post, one of the officers then approached his car with his gun out.
“ He did not point it at me, but it was definitely out of the holster,” Molner told the Post. “I am guessing that he saw the shock and horror on my face, and realized that I was unlikely to make (more of) a scene.”
The mistake prompting this guns-drawn approach of Molner’s video could have been made by anybody. The ALPR read a “7” as a “2” and returned a hit for a stolen vehicle. The hit also returned info for a stolen Oldsmobile, which clearly wasn’t what Molner was driving. But that could mean the plates were on the wrong vehicle, which is also an indication of Something Not Quite Right.”
Read more about this near tragedy here and after reading you may want to check out some of these potential methods of gaining back your lost privacy . The spray from phantomplate.com is advertised as a method of fighting red light cameras but given that it works by making any photo of the plate overexposed we assume that would also work on ALPR equipment .
As we’ve stated before , for every leap of technology that serves to boost Statism there will be corresponding growth in the methods available to combat the loss of liberty by enterprising individuals … call it the domestic harm’s race .
” Sheriff David Clarke Jr. may not be a household name…yet. But he’s well on his way after his rousing speech at the 2014 NRA convention. Consider the standing ovation he received after revealing the seven words he would add to the Second Amendment: “Keep your hands off our guns, dammit.” “
Thanks to the Federalist Papers
” Famed cowboy poet and Nevada rancher Waddie Mitchell , who spoke with Newsmax TV last week about the clash between Bundy and the BLM, has made the standoff the subject of his latest poem. He shared the piece, “A Call to All,” with Newsmax:
This poem is not about a cowman who refused to give up rights
Or how the Feds have treated him and started all these fights
And it’s not about what side I’m on for a tortoise or some fees
This is all about our government out doing as it please
A Call To All
Americans, listen up and fear
About what’s happening out here
How our bureaucracies do anything to win
They stomp all over rights
Starting State and local fights
Stealing land and property from citizens
How the bureau of mis-management
Doesn’t even have to get consent
To spend six million to put one lone rancher down
Cuz, a tortoise might get stepped on
And some fees they disagree on ,,
Make it worth Gestapo force with guns and hounds?
The roots from which this stems
Come from their rules, all wrote by them
And they enforce their rules, but if you disagree
Guess who judges the whole mess?
You don’t even have to guess
The monster’s growing folks, it’s hungry and wants feed
Shall we all just sit and watch
While they carve another notch
From the rights that they have whittled on for years
One more gouge might cut plumb through
Allowing government to rule
And that would be the summit of our fears
Do you want a wolf Bo Peep
That will kill and eat your sheep
Or a guard dog to protect the sheep you own?
The offensive they’ve unfurled
Is reminiscent of third world
Who have ever thought it’d happen here at home?
And the puppet bureaucrats
Who are supposed to have our backs
The gorilla tactics they employ, folks, just ain’t right
They are poking hornet nests
Causing anger and unrest
They’ve no idea the deep resolve of folks they’ll fight
And sheriff, what the Hell’s with you ?
Do what you were sworn to do
Your siding with the Feds on this seems odd
Which politician got to you?
You protect and serve just who?
We need sheriffs not afraid to do their job
For, if they get away with this
Our freedom’s thrown to the abyss
And we will all feel Big Bad Brother’s iron hand
We best get out of our chairs
Prove to them that we do care
For the rights and freedoms that have built this land
Makes sense, when there’s no other sense ‘
It’s a shame but sometimes people must stand strong
It worked for Civil rights and Vietnam
And for the rights that women won
And,in each case, it proved the government was wrong
And how did the Feds respond?
Well, they went so far beyond
And murdered citizens for how they think and feel
How many wars, of late, have we been in
Because they lied and fed their spin?
And we lost soldiers, reputation and billions in the deal
You good folks who do not live out here
It’s best you listen close and fear
The systems rigged and now they’re wanting more
They’ve shown willingness to kill
For things against the peoples will
As Americans are we to take much more?
And this ruling with force and fear
Seems to escalate each year
Friends,they are nothing more than ‘enemies of state’
Why would they come with thugs and snipers
Taze and threaten folks like vipers
If what they’re doing is at all legitimate?
And for the mess that we have got
Follow the trail way up the top
They need arrested where they haven’t spread their claws
We go get individual crooks
That are juggling the books
Why does a government job protect them from the law
And accomplices should do time
For participating in the crime
Just as bank robbers, armed and acting tough
I can’t conceive what kind of minds
Would condone these kinds of crimes
Against neighbors just saying, “that’s enough”
And the puppet bureaucrats
Alibi- ing shameful acts
Like the guards did from the concentration camps
Claim “We just do what we are told”
That willingness make tyrants bold
All agencies and powers need revamped
It’s sad but true, it’s come to this
Our government has gone amiss
Just when last did the Senate do its job?
Have they earned thIs kind of clout
Or even your benefit of doubt?
We’d be better off if we dealt with the mob
Remember, Waco, Ruby Ridge, Kent State ?
Will you allow that be our fate?
While we stand up for the rights of me and you
The facts are there, folks, you discern
Stand and show that you ‘re concerned
For the nightmare of Big Brother’s coming true!
And don’t believe there’s “Public Ground”
That just has a pleasant sound
Folks it’s “federal” when they when they want to lock the gate
And our taxes pay for all their crimes
As they grow bolder all the time
Don’t let a police state with a ruler be our fate?”
Newsmax has more
Thanks to the Right Scoop for bringing us this clip
” New York gun owners who possess firearms classified as assault weapons under a new state law have until the end of Tuesday to register their guns — or face potential criminal charges.
The requirement is part of a provision of New York’s so-called SAFE Act, the package of tighter gun restrictions signed into law in Albany months after the Sandy Hook school massacre. The law broadened the state’s “assault weapons” ban to cover more kinds of semiautomatic weapons.
Gun owners who lawfully possessed guns that are now on the banned list were allowed to keep their weapons, but had to register them with the state police. They were also given the option of selling their guns to a licensed New York dealer or out-of-state buyer by Jan. 15 of this year.
Those who fail to comply could face a misdemeanor charge or — if they were already disqualified from owning a gun because of a prior criminal conviction or other reason — a potential felony.
Some gun owners say they have no intention of obeying the edict, reports the Daily Gazette of Schenectady:
Fulton County Sheriff Thomas Lorey said he has attended pro-gun rallies in the Capital Region over the past year at which thousands of people from across the state said they do not plan to register their assault weapons.
“ So many people have said they won’t register their guns. I haven’t been told personally, but I’m sure there are some people who have not registered in Fulton County and some who have,” Lorey said. “But I think everyone who plans to register their weapons has already done so.”
Do not expect huge lines at your local State trooper barracks , as Sheriff Lorey says , whoever is going to register has most likely already done so , and we’ll wage it’s damn few .
” With tensions simmering in the standoff between Nevada rancherCliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management, a Bundy supporter wonders when federal agents are going to “fire the next shot heard around the world.”
Speaking this week before a packed town hall meeting in Moapa, Nev., with Bundy looking on, the unidentified man offered a gripping account of the dangers residents face, demonstrating why the impasse remains a powder keg waiting to explode, according to a video of his remarks.
Bundy has locked horns with the federal government because the rancher’s cattle are grazing on public land — the rights to which the family says has been handed down through generations. Now the Bureau of Land Management, insisting the “trespass cattle” have been allowed to graze illegally, is rounding up the livestock.”
BizPacReview has more
” Moving along to the subject of today’s absurdity, the tiny city of Washington, Iowa with a population of 7,000 and 11 police officers, will be receiving a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle. Yes, they will be employing one of these in the field:
These things normally cost $500,000, but will be given to Washington, Iowa for free under a Defense Department program that gives surplus military equipment to domestic law enforcement.
Matthew Byrd writes in the Daily Iowan that:
Sometimes the news is just so drearily awful that you have to sit back and almost appreciate the pure comedy induced by it.
Take this item from Washington, Iowa, where the local police have recently acquired an MRAP vehicle (short for Mine Resistance Ambush Protected) through a Defense Department program that donates excess vehicles originally produced for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to local police departments across the United States, including other Iowa towns such as Mason City and Storm Lake.
The MRAP weighs an impressive 49,000 pounds, stands 10-feet tall, and possesses a whopping six-wheel drive. Originally designed to resist landmines and IEDs, it sure seems like the MRAP will come in handy for the notorious war zone otherwise known as Washington County, Iowa.
If you’re having a bad day, I highly recommend watching a video produced by the Des Moines Register in which Washington police officials try to justify the possession of a vehicle it clearly has no use for. “
Read the rest at LibertyBlitzkrieg
Ted Cruz is a man of principle and he’s not afraid to show it … Bravo ! A Congress made up of men like this is what we had at the Founding and it is what we need now to save ourselves from following the Roman empire and all the other great civilizations into the dustbin of history .
As you watch this stellar performance by one of politic’s shining stars try to imagine John Boehner or Mitch McConnell addressing their peers with such passion and courage … It can’t be done . Spinelessness oozes from their every pore . Gowdy on the other hand can easily be envisioned as a compatriot of the Founders . Gowdy just exudes leadership .
Oh for a Congress full of men like this … Trey Gowdy is our modern day equivalent of Patrick Henry. One can very easily picture him standing at the podium exhorting his fellow statesmen to action and proclaiming “give me liberty or give me death” … God bless Trey Gowdy and please Lord , send us some more just like him .
What is most amazing to consider though , is the fact that at one time this country produced men of Gowdy and Henry’s quality in spades . Now they are looked upon with awe as something so seldom seen as to be almost unrecognizable to the average citizen . My how far we have fallen …