Regulate the internet! Obama demands

Net Neutrality - Govt RegulatedIt’s all about “net neutrality” and “fairness” after all, isn’t it?

First, from CNet.com, then a personal experience about the internet:

Obama: Regulate broadband Internet like a utility so it ‘works for everyone’

by Don Reisinger and Roger Cheng

President Obama calls for tighter rules from the FCC — leaving a little bit of wiggle room — in an effort to preserve a “free and open Internet.”

President Obama urged the US government to adopt tighter regulations on broadband service in an effort to preserve “a free and open Internet.”

In a statement released Monday, Obama called on the Federal Communications Commission to enforce the principle of treating all Internet traffic the same way, known in shorthand as Net neutrality. That means treating broadband services like utilities, the president said, so that Internet service providers would be unable “to restrict the best access or to pick winners and losers in the online marketplace for services and ideas.”

As everyone knows, if you want to promote innovation, new thinking, improve technology, the first thing you do with an idea or a service is throttle it to death.  Yeah.  That’s the ticket.

Some of the major broadband providers have already spoken out against the plan. “Reclassification under Title II, which for the first time would apply 1930s-era utility regulation to the Internet, would be a radical reversal of course that would in and of itself threaten great harm to an open Internet, competition and innovation,” Verizon said in an e-mailed statement.

“To attempt to impose a full-blown Title II regime now, when the classification of cable broadband has always been as an information service, would reverse nearly a decade of precedent, including findings by the Supreme Court that this classification was proper,” David Cohen, executive vice president at Comcast, said in a statement.

But wait; the good part’s coming.

At the crux of the debate over Net neutrality is Title II of the Telecommunications Act. The section, which is more than 100 pages long, regulates how common carriers must conduct business across all forms of communication in order to act “in the public interest.” Net neutrality supporters say that the language is vague and could be used to sidestep a free and open Internet and give ISPs the opportunity to sign deals with Internet companies that would provide for prioritization of traffic.

There we go; the proper buzzphrase is finally out there: “in the public interest.”

Just what is “in the public interest”?

Up until just a few years ago, television stations couldn’t air an editorial unless the “other side” was provided equal time.  This was the “Fairness Doctrine” (see a common thread emerging here?), started in 1949 and rescinded in 1987.  It was decided the “Fairness Doctrine” wasn’t.  And I completely concur.  There was never a “Fairness Doctrine” levied upon any portion of the press, so why broadcast media?

Just what is “in the public interest”?  The FCC via Obama’s regime could capriciously decide one day, buttressed by an Imperial Obaka EO, that the “public interest” in terms of the internet could best be determined by a “fair” and “equal” number of blogs, or podcasts, or a larger number of Liberal instead of Conservative editorials.  Or bloggers could, as was possibly theorized, be “licensed” and their views tracked, monitored, recorded, stored, taxed or subpoenaed not unlike Lois Lerner’s IRS or Houston Mayor Annise Parker.

Let’s get down to additional brass tacks.  Leftist radio and television has, for the most part, been an abject failure.  This has been proven time and again with Leftist talk show hosts who are no more, along with the Leftist radio network Air America which is not just moribund but erased from the planet.  CNN and MSNBC are being beaten by the Weather Channel.  Conservatives have none of their philosophies or leanings supported by federal tax dollars as NPR does.

People vote just not by the ballot box but with their feet and their checkbooks as well.  But because the free market base isn’t there for Leftist networks and opinions, some persons wanted to bring back the “Fairness Doctrine.”  Some like, oh, say, Dennis Kucinich.  This, to me, smacks of the “Fairness Doctrine” re-introduced solely for the control to be acquired therefrom.  And trust me, with regard to Mr Obaka, it is always about control.

[Don’t confuse the Fairness Doctrine — which dealt with “controversial opinions” — with the Equal Time Rule, which dealt with political candidates.]

Here’s another little tidbit for the Libertarians amongst you: whatever the government regulates, taxes and throttles, it also can control.  As in: shut down.  What, question for you, is one of the “first things” Leftists want to do to millions of people around this nation?  That’s correct: remove many of your First Amendment liberties under the guise of “hate speech” or “fear speech” or “Leftist Bullshit Buzzphrase of the Week speech.”  Where is speech still relatively free?  Oh yes, correct; the internet.  You may not like the speech; your ox may get gored now and then, but you’re bigger than that, aren’t you?  Apparently, Leftists are not.  They’d rather the Chinese model of the internet, or that of North Korea, Cuba or Venezuela.

Finally, my own little experience with what “Net Neutrality” truly is.

I was speaking to my neighbor a few weeks ago, and the topic of TV via phone lines instead of satellite came up.  Our internet service is already provided via phone lines in the community.  We reached the topic of internet speeds and his sucked.  So did my female neighbor’s.  My internet speeds, frankly, are faster than my wife’s in the Sacramento Valley.  Why?  Because I pay for the highest speed, that’s why — and my neighbors don’t.  Therefore it’s inherently “unfair” that my speeds are superior to theirs.  There needs to be “equality.”  Or, “Net Neutrality.”

I wrote this back in 2008:

It is the clear and immediate intent of the Demorats, Leftists and Socialists to remove your ability to blog, speak and write fairly and/or hold opinions about events occurring in the United States, in order to keep people more completely in the dark and, moreover, to suppress objection to their agendas and power machinations.

Dissent, discussion, opinions, free and open markets, Demorats clearly indicate, must be stopped.

There you have it.

BZ

 

The supposed “end of retail” — ?

Vice President Joe Biden says that Americans are no longer worried about the economy:

“But all kidding aside, I think the American people have moved — Democrats, Republicans, independents.  They know that the possibilities for this country are immense.  They’re no longer traumatized by what was a traumatizing event, the great collapse in 2008.  They’re no longer worried, I think, about our economy being overwhelmed either by Europe writ large, the EU, or China somehow swallowing up every bit of innovation that exists in the world.  They’re no longer, I think, worried about our economy being overwhelmed beyond our shores.”

Americans are no longer worried about the economy?  Really?  You think that’s true?

I think that’s not just a fabrication, but a bald-faced LIE.

Retail is — on many levels — starting to become moribund.

Check this graphic from TomSullivan.com:

Retail -- The End of Retail StoresYou can see that music stores are apparently the most greatly impacted with employee and store outlet loss, followed by camera and computer stores.

I’m sure you can see the results of retail outlet closures in your own community — no matter where you are, on the east coast, the west coast, north or south.

The retail paradigm is changing, and it is changing not unlike the replacement of the horse with the car, or the steam locomotive with the diesel-electric locomotive.

So-called Mega Malls are changing; so are regular malls.  Stores are closing.  Chain stores are closing.

You are responsible.  I am responsible.  And yet, I certainly very much miss my local Borders book stores.  They closed.  There are only two Barnes & Noble stores in Sacramento — the capital of Fornicalia — and both of them are incredibly inconvenient for me.  Yet, I go there, because that’s how I become aware of new books.

I can see them, I can hold them, I can smell them, I can read their covers, suss out their basic premise, and scan a few pages to see if I like the writing itself.

My Tower Records store closed.  Tower Books closed.  Virgin Records closed.  It was a HUGE store at Arden Fair Mall.

I step back: there was a small and wonderful music store in Grass Valley, on Mill Street, in the mid-1990s, where you could walk in and sit at a counter and ask to see a specific CD.  You could hold it in your hand, check out its cover, place the CD into a player and, with headphones donned, listen to the content.  If you liked it, you bought it.  I was generally the oldest bastard in the place, where the chicks were tattooed and pierced and dyed but here is where I found out about the groups Material, Bill Laswell, Bill Nelson, Deep Forest, Blue Man Group, and any number of artists who otherwise wouldn’t have been displayed on my musical radar screen.  My musical expanses were challenged and exploded.  I loved it.

But — moreover — what does the “end of retail” mean for younger people?  I expect: much.

From TheAtlantic.com:

We see a large and growing gap between unemployment and the employment-population ratio. There are numerous micro explanations here.

One possibility, however, is that the relatively weak growth in shopping center employment relative to retail sales since 2000 and especially recently is driving down overall teen employment levels.

However, because teenagers are especially suited to shopping center employment they are dropping out of the labor force in response. That is, the End of Retail is causing a permanent shift in teenage employment because there are no substitutes for retail jobs.

This is a true structural downturn because it means that the production function is changing such that the productivity of teenage labor cannot meet the reservation wage.

When that happens a factor of production simply goes out of use. It also implies that for a time the economic gains from productivity enhancements will be muted. E-commerce means more efficient shopping but because we are not repurposing teenage labor but losing it completely, the measured gains are less than they otherwise would be.

Retail work — for me, possibly for you — was essentially a Rite of Passage in the 60s and 70s.  You worked for a retail store and you learned how to deal with people and you learned how to work with a boss and you learned how to work with a time card and you learned how to show up at a specific time or you simply wouldn’t get paid.

You learned how to open a store, or you learned how to close a store.  You learned how to prep a store for the next day.  You cleaned up.  You mopped the floors.  Or you learned how to prep the register with cash for the coming day.  You learned how to make a night deposit.  You learned how to make change.  With no calculator except that of your brain.

I worked for the JC Penney store on Watt Avenue.  I knew 35mm photography.  I sold the greatest amount of cameras.  I helped my customers.  I cleaned their lenses, I told them how to change their ISO, I sold them SX70 cameras.  I worked in retail and I worked on a very basic and meager salary but with commission.  My commission was generally the greatest of everyone else, for the three months I worked there.

Those days — these days — are apparently dying.

Amazon and any number of .com websites are making it so.

Any thoughts of yours?  What are you seeing — if anything — in your community?

Where you live — is retail taking a hit?

BZ