Resistance Begins at Ohm!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Regulating the free speech marketplace, the internet

And on the heels of how the government and Walmart monitor you, let us review how the FCC plans to regulate the internet. They do not have the authority (according to Congress and the courts) and they do not have a public or business consensus. But that doesn't stop progress (er, regress?) Do not be fooled by the stated objectives. This is not about preserving, innovating, investing or competition. And it is certainly not about free expression.

Just an example

You know you are in trouble when Al Frankin says it's a bad idea.

Are you suspicious why the FCC chair would chose December 21 for this vote? Maybe hoping that no one is looking?

This is the commission agenda item:
SUMMARY:  The Commission will consider a Report and Order adopting basic rules of the road to preserve the open Internet as a platform for innovation, investment, competition, and free expression.

Sorry I can't give you anyone to contact about this because the FCC isn't listening.

Wallstreet Journal op

Monitoring America(ns)

This is a Washpo series on homeland security. More specifically, how homeland security (DHS, state and local) collect and maintain information on Americans.

Your privacy is essentially meaningless. Not only does the federal government collect and maintain information on citizens who have done nothing illegal, it encourages the collection and submission on such data. This is DHS and the FBI constructing the haystack in which they hope someday to find a needle. But they haven't so far, unsurprisingly.

Read the article, browse the website. Now it is easy to understand why DHS has branded tea party groups as potential terrorist threats - they have all the data they need to support a preconceived notion, any preconceived notion. Antiwar protesters and environmentalist demonstrations are in the same bucket. This type of self-imposed paranoia has no party affliction other than the label on the current regime.

Be afraid, very afraid.

Monitoring America

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The omnibus spending bill

What a turkey that was. Sure, it was crafted by both democrats and republicans largely behind doors over the course of a year. With a lot of "I'll give you this if you give me that." All of that horse trading was to decide how to spend $1.1 trillion.
The problem really isn't 6000 thousand earmarks that micromanage how to divvy up the goodies. That process is symptomatic of a more-or-less pragmatic process otherwise known as making sausage. They have to get to the end game somehow.

The real problem is $1.1 trillion. Or how much sausage this country really needs.

Mitch Mc. said that republicans are now realizing there is something wrong with the process. Maybe. But what about tackling the budget in exactly the opposite way? Instead of saying (Mitch) let's start with $1.1 trillion and figure out how to spend it, what about let's start with 20% less and figure out what to cut?

A great learning experience would be to start with Congress' own budget, $5.42 billion. That's an 89% increase since 2000. OK, security does cost more, but hey - there are 535 senators and representatives. That is over 10 million for each one of them. Per year.

Sorry, was in a hurry to complete Christmas shopping and forgot to list citations.

Congressional operating costs: Congressional News Connection
Decent summary of what I heard myself on C-Span: Politico

Thursday, December 16, 2010

13% of Americans approve of the job Congress does

Gallup poll
What do you call that, the margin for error?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

We interrupt this budget rant for something really awful

This company was created by a couple of homeland security insiders (see about us).
They have a mobile app called the Patriot app. The gist is you can use a smartphone camera and text message features to rat out suspicious behavior - you know the "If you see something, say something" DHS method of security the homeland.
Or maybe you want to rat out your fellow employees for taking an extra couple of minutes coffee break, or tattle on government waste, or company littering. Whatever.
Kind of like a speed camera on steroids.

Here's a quote - one of their corporate goals:
Provide instruction and increase consistency in actions while decreasing variance in human behavior to mitigate risk and error

Why wait for China to foreclose on the US when we can act just like them now?

Citizen Concepts - ewwww! Patriot my patoottie!

Oh well, I guess in a free market economy, you get all kinds. I can't wait for this to show up at a Walmart near me. (By the way, if you don't know Walmart culture, this is just so apropos)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

GOP is stupid

Libs are freakin because Obama is giving in, caving, yadeya.
GOP is so focused on personal taxes, they can't see the tree for the leaves, let alone the forest.

Obama wins, here's why:
1) If the economy gets better in 2 years, then we will be able to afford a tax increase - and we certainly could use the money to reduce the deficit.
2) If the economy doesn't get better, then obviously the tax rate extension didn't work, and raise taxes to reduce the deficit. 2012 motto: I won. Again.
3) We just spent another near $trillion we don't have. So regardless what happens, repubs are responsible for even more deficit. How's that for performance and they aren't even sworn in yet. That will be another fine campaign issue.
4) No one is talking about cutting spending, which is the real problem. So he gets to keep his outrageous budget which is 20% over fy2008.

All the "I'm not happy and there is plenty in here to dislike" is just covering up a smirk.

Being without internet for 3 weeks....

Changes your perspective on things.