Rest in peace Mr. Nimoy. A part of my childhood dies with you sir.
Let me tell you this. Yesterday, the FCC voted to enact “Net Neutrality”. It is really a case of snake oil sold to the American people under the guise of “fairness”. In reality, it’s very far from that. The following article is an excellent take on what net neutrality is really about.
A triumph of “free expression and democratic principles”? How stupid do they think we are?
It’s been painful to watch the gradual tightening of government control in the name of net neutrality. The Federal Communications Commission’s decision to rewrite the rules and declare the Internet as a public utility seals the deal. It cartelizes the industry and turns a “Wild West” into a planned system of public management — or at least intends to.
All the rest is a veneer to cover what is actually a power grab.
This whole plot has had all the usual elements. It has a good name and its supporters say it is about stopping private and public control. It’s had the backing of all the top names in content delivery, from Yahoo to Netflix to Amazon. It’s had the quiet support of the leading Internet service providers. The decision to impose the rule has been declared by a tiny group of unaccountable bureaucrats operating with the support of the executive lame duck.
The opposition, in contrast, has been represented by small players in the industry, hardware providers like Cisco, free-market think tanks and disinterested professors, and a small group of writers and pundits who know something about freedom and free-market economics. The public at large should have been rising up in opposition but people are largely ignorant of what’s going on.
Here’s what’s really going on. The incumbent rulers of the world’s most exciting technology have decided to lock down the prevailing market conditions to protect themselves against rising upstarts in a fast-changing market. To impose a new rule against throttling content or using the market price system to allocate bandwidth resources protects against innovations that would disrupt the status quo.
What’s being sold as economic fairness and a wonderful favor to consumers is actually a sop to industrial giants who are seeking untrammeled access to your wallet and an end to competitive threats to market power. One person I know compared the move to the creation of the Federal Reserve itself: the creation of an industrial cartel in the name of improving the macroeconomic environment. That’s a good comparison.
Let’s back up and grasp the position of the large content providers. Here we see the obvious special interests at work. Netflix, Amazon, and the rest don’t want ISPs to charge either them or their consumers for their high-bandwidth content. They would rather the ISPs themselves absorb the higher costs of such provision. It’s very clear how getting the government to make price discrimination illegal is in their interest. It means no threats to their business model.
By analogy, let’s imagine that a retailer furniture company were in a position to offload all their shipping costs to the trucking industry. By government decree, the truckers were not permitted to charge any more or less whether they were shipping one chair or a whole houseful of furniture. Would the furniture sellers favor such a deal? Absolutely. They could call this “furniture neutrality” and fob it off on the public as preventing control of furniture by the shipping industry.
But that leaves the question about why the opposition from the ISPs themselves (the truckers by analogy) would either be silent or quietly in favor of such a rule change. Here is where matters get complicated. After many years of experimentation in the provision of Internet services — times when we went from telephone dial-up to landlines to T1 connections to experimenting with 4G data coverage — the winner in the market (for now) has been the cable companies. Consumers prefer the speed and bandwidth over all existing options.
But what about the future? What kind of services are going to replace the cable services, which are by-and-large monopolies due to special privileges from states and localities? It’s hard to know for sure but there are some impressive ideas out there. Costs are falling for all kinds of wireless and even distributed systems.
If you are a dominant player in the market — an incumbent firm like Comcast and Verizon — you really face two threats to your business model. You have to keep your existing consumer base onboard and you have to protect against upstarts seeking to poach consumers from you. A rule like net neutrality can raise the costs of doing business but there is a wonderful upside to this: your future potential competitors face the same costs. As an established player in the market, you are in a much better position to absorb higher costs than those barking at your heels. This means that you can slow down development, cool it on your investments in fiber optics, and generally rest on your laurels more.
But how can you sell such a nefarious plan? You get in good with the regulators. You support the idea in general, with some reservations, while tweaking the legislation in your favor. You know full well that this raises the costs to new competitors. When it passes, call it a vote for the “open internet” that will “preserve the right to communicate freely online.”
But when you look closely at the effects, the reality is exactly the opposite. It closes down market competition by generally putting government and its corporate backers in charge of deciding who can and cannot play in the market. It erects massive new barriers to entry for upstart firms while hugely subsidizing the largest and most well-heeled content providers.
So what are the costs to the rest of us? It means absolutely no price reductions in internet service. It could mean the opposite. Watch your bills. I predict that it is not going to be pretty. It also means a slowing down in the pace of technological development due to the reduction in competition that will immediately follow the imposition of this rule. In other words, it will be like all government regulation: most of the costs will be unseen but the benefits will be concentrated in the hands of the ruling class.
There is an additional threat to how to the FCC has reclassified the internet as a public utility. It means a blank check for government control across the board. Think of the medical marketplace, which is now entirely owned by a non competitive cartel of industry insiders. This is the future of the internet under net neutrality.
If you look at how all this shakes out, this is really no different from how most every other sector in life has come to be regulated by the state, from food to money to medicine to education. It always shakes out this way, with a sleepy public believing the propaganda, an elite group of insiders manipulating the regulations for their own benefits, a left-wing intelligentsia that is naive enough to believe platitudes about fairness, and a right wing that is mostly ignorant and for sale to the highest bidder.
No, I don’t believe that this ruling means the end of times for the internet. But it does mean that progress going forward in the digital age will be slowed compared with what it would otherwise be. Future generations will laugh in bemusement: it was the dawn of a new age and yet they believed it could be controlled the same as all that came before. Fools.
Buy hey, I’m just a cop.
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Let me tell you this. Early on a cold, winter Sunday morning, just this past Sunday to be exact, I was driving my twelve year old son to his baseball practice. We were driving on the road parallel to Oyster Bay, when my boy saw this man out on the bay in his boat. I have lived just over a year in Oyster Bay, and I see men in boats daily, out on the bay practicing their trade. I am not entire certain exactly what these men are harvesting, but I believe it’s oysters. (*Edit: I have since been told they are harvesting clams not oysters) They can be seen with what appear to be rakes, raking the bottom of the bay from their boats. My son, likewise, has seen them doing this on multiple occasions, but on this particularity blustery morning, he felt compelled to say something.
“Hey Dad, that guy is crazy! It’s freezing, and it must be even colder out there on the water!”
I pulled over to take this picture. I looked at my son and said, “Well son, that’s his job. He probably has a family, and maybe even a son like you. That is how he earns his living. That is how he pays his bills and puts food on his family’s table. I agree, it is probably absolutely frigid out there, but that’s what people do. That’s what MEN do son. They provide for themselves and their family.”
My son looked at me, then back out at the man on the boat in the frozen bay.
“But Dad, it’s so cold out there! It must be really hard.”
I replied, “I’m sure it is son, but that’s his job.”
I was grateful that my son was able to appreciate just how hard this man, and the other men like him, work. I must admit, I’ve secretly thought similar things when seeing them out there every day, and I’ve always respected them for braving the elements as they do.
“Well son, look at you. You are on a baseball team, right? It’s the middle of the winter, and you can’t play baseball outside now, right?”
He shook his head, and said, “No, we can’t. We can’t play because all the fields are covered with snow.”
“But you still work hard, don’t you? You got up early on a Sunday to go practice, right?”
“Yeah”, was his response.
“Well son, you do that so you can play the best baseball you can for yourself and for your team. That man gets up early and goes to work so he can provide for himself and his family. My point is, you both work hard because that’s what men do: work hard to be the best you can be.”
It was clear by the smile that my son liked being compared with the hard working man on the bay.
“You worked hard too right Dad?”
“Yes, I did son.”
“You used to get up very early to go to work, right? And you worked in all kinds of weather too, right Dad?”
“Yes I did son. I’ve work in all kinds of weather. Snow, rain, wind, really hot days, and really cold days. Police work all the time in whatever weather there is, because we always need police.”
“And now you are retired, and don’t have to work anymore, right Dad?”
I chuckled, “Well son, that’s the plan, but we’ll see how that works out. If I have to go back to work, or if I decide I want to get another job, I will do whatever I have to do. Because that’s what people do son. That’s what MEN do. That’s what RESPONSIBLE MEN do.”
“Is writing on your blog work Dad?”
I chuckled again, “Sort of son, yes. I am practicing my writing just like you practice your baseball, and for the same reason: so maybe someday I can write a book. Then that will become my new job.”
“Writing isn’t the same as working in cold weather Dad.”
I laughed out loud this time and replied, “No, it’s not quite the same son, but it is still work. Not everyone is good at writing, and I’d like to get better. That is why I try to practice a lot, and write as often as I can. Think of it as what you do in school. It’s like school work.”
“Will you get famous Dad?”
I looked at him and smiled, “Probably not son, but you never know. It’s like you and your baseball. You could grow up and be a famous baseball player some day, but we both know how hard that is, and we both know the odds are not in favor of that happening, but you still practice hard all the time, and try your best. That’s what I plan on doing son. I plan on practicing a lot and trying my best.”
“Cause that’s what men do, right Dad?”
“That’s right son. That’s what men do.”
But hey, I’m just a cop.by
If Eric Holder’s DOJ can’t find a reason to charge George Zimmerman, no one can!
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Let me tell you this. Throughout a police officer’s career, he is usually asked many of what he considers to be silly, but harmless questions.
Those are just a few examples of silly, harmless questions people seem to love asking cops. Most of the time when people ask such questions, the cop chuckles to himself, and gives an answer similar to those I gave above. No harm done. Questions asked without a grasp of the situation are born out of simple ignorance. Ignorance in this case is nothing more than a lack of information, and the person asking the question almost never means to be disrespectful. Most people simply have no real concept of police work and what it entails. That’s fine, unless people who have no real concept of police work are giving training to police officers.
Case in point, this article in yesterday’s NY Post:
I’m not even sure where to begin. The notion of telling a police officer in a situation that is getting heated to “take a step back, close your eyes and take a deep breath” is, in my opinion, so ridiculous it borders insanity. Who in his right mind thinks it prudent for a police officer, or anyone else for that matter, to close his eyes when confronted with someone who is angry with him? The person or persons who came up with this idea obviously have no concept of police work. Why then, are they giving training to police officers? Political correctness and ignorance is the best possible explanation.
Instead of giving police “sensitivity training”, perhaps the money would be better spent on educating the public. Police are not the issue here, but rather the individuals who choose to become belligerent with police officers are the problem. It really is fairly cut and dry: when a police officer stops and questions you, do as the officer requests. In addition, if the police officer states that you are under arrest DO NOT RESIST THE POLICE OFFICER. It’s not that difficult of a notion to comprehend. If the officer is incorrect, there are a multitude of options available to you to ensure the police officer is held accountable for his actions. The time to sort that out is not at the scene of the incident. For the officer’s safety, and for the safety of all parties involved, it is easiest to sort these things out in a safe environment, such as the stationhouse.
From the police officer’s perspective, the notion of closing his eyes and taking a deep breath is extremely dangerous. If a police officer closes his eyes, the perpetrator can flee. How does the officer explain that to his supervisor? He can’t, and he is going to be held accountable for allowing the escape. If a police officer closes his eyes, the perpetrator can take that as an opportunity to strike him. Now the officer is injured. If the police officer closes his eyes, the perpetrator can use the opportunity to try and grab his gun. Now an unarmed person can potentially be armed with the officer’s gun, a situation that not only gets the officer in considerable trouble with his supervisors, but puts him at great risk. If the police officer closes his eyes and the perpetrator has a hidden weapon of his own, he could kill the officer. It’s as simple as that. Yet something so obvious to me wasn’t so obvious to the people who created this nonsensical training.
Stop placing the blame on the police officers and start putting the blame where it belongs: on the people who resist arrest. If you don’t resist arrest, you won’t get injured. Don’t let political correctness and ignorance put our police in danger, because when the police lose society loses. But hey, I’m just a cop.by
Let me tell you this. You need look no further than Marie Harf’s comments to understand that the current administration just doesn’t get it.
“We cannot win this war by killing them. We cannot kill our way out of this war. We need, in the longer term, medium to longer term, to go after the root causes that leads [sic] people to join these groups. We can work with countries around the world to help improve their governance. We can help them build their economies so they can have job opportunities for these people.”
So to win the war on terror, we need to get jobs for the terrorists? That’s Obama’s answer? That is the plan that he and his intellectual, ivory tower elitists have come up with? His administration adamantly refuses to put radical Islam into the equation. Let’s be clear, people protest over poverty. They hold demonstrations against poverty. Sometimes, people may even loot under the guise of poverty. To my knowledge no one in modern times has used poverty as justification for putting people on their knees, with their hands tied behind their back, and cutting off their heads. To my knowledge in modern times no one has used poverty as an excuse to put a fellow human being wearing gasoline soaked clothing into a cage and set him ablaze. I’m afraid this President, and people who think like him, simply do not understand what they are up against. They do not grasp the gravity of the situation at all.
Radical Islamists are not satisfied with being left alone. They are not content with practicing their religion in peace. They despise the west. They hate other religions, particularly Christianity and Judaism. They interpret the Koran differently than the majority of Muslims in the world, and their stated goal is not only the destruction of Israel, but tearing down the very fabric of western society. Refusing to accept this is ludicrous, as the actions of these radical Muslims speaks volumes about their true intention. Comparing them to nonexistent “radical Christians” or other “extremists” is shamefully feckless Mr. President. Stop trying to make a correlation between radical Islamists and any other group, and take action. A major part of the problem is this President can’t simply do that. He is an apologist. He hesitates to even use the term “radical Islamist”. He appears to be more concerned with the backlash against Muslims, which has thus far failed to materialized, than he is with the beheadings that are becoming all too frequent.
What is so amazing to me is that evil in the past, and have no misgivings about this these terrorists are evil, always took strides to hide itself. Take Hitler’s Third Reich for example. The horror inflicted upon Jews was done so secretly, intentionally hidden from the world. It wasn’t until Allied troops began to take the offensive against the Germans that concentration camps, and the atrocities committed within them, were found. Modern day North Korean prison camps are still hidden, and many people are ignorant of the barbarity that goes on in them. Yet ISIS boldly commits its barbarous acts for all the world to see, emboldened by Obama’s lack of response. They commit savage, unthinkable acts, and proudly accept full responsibility for these actions, and the world watches and does relatively nothing.
How soon before these terrorists strike again in our country? How soon before the United States has its second 9/11? Every single time ISIS beheads someone, they grow stronger. Every single atrocity committed gives them propaganda to swell their ranks. Savages like ISIS only understand one thing: strength. They fear power, and nothing else. When we, the civilized nations of the world, fail to act against their inhumanity, we show them weakness. We embolden them. They turn to potential recruits and say, “The United States is weak. We can defeat them. Look at what we have done, and see how they fear us”. We give them the power over us. Our inaction strengthens them. Offering jobs to them isn’t going to stop them, and it’s literally laughable to think so. Our President and his administration is offering solutions that make us the laughing stock of the world. The only problem is this is not a laughing matter. This is a deadly serious matter that is simply not being addressed properly, if at all.
Edmund Burke, Irish author, political theorist, and philosopher once said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing”. Evil is triumphing. What are we doing about it? Apparently, we are trying to find employment for evil. But hey, I’m just a cop.by
Let me tell you this. This President’s foreign policy is beyond incompetent.
“This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years,” President Obama – September 10, 2014
Which successful strategy in Yemen were you referring to Mr President?
But hey, I’m just a cop.
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Let me tell you this. If you spank your child in public, you stand a chance of child protective services investigating you. Yet these poor girls, and lets not lose sight of the fact that they are children, are having their brains poisoned, and nothing is done. It goes beyond ignorance and borders on criminal.
But hey, I’m just a cop.
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Let me tell you this. I didn’t read Fifty Shades of Gray and I won’t be seeing the movie either. Call me a Neanderthal, but I don’t think sado-masochism is something we need to mainstream in society, but that’s another issue altogether. I most certainly do not think it should be promoted in schools, let alone middle school. Children ranging from ages 11-14, should not be subjected to anything related to sado-masochism, particularly while serving detention in school. That’s precisely what happened.
Let’s hope the school investigation finds out who is responsible and takes appropriate action. This is just wrong in my book, but hey, I’m just a cop.
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Let me tell you this. I have no pity for people who can’t afford bail. If don’t want to go to jail, here’s a novel thought: DON’T COMMIT CRIME! The notion of tax payer funds paying for criminal’s bail is, in my view criminal in and of itself. Ah, the progressive insanity that is NYC under it’s current mayor. Buy hey, I’m just a cop.
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