Here Are The Words Hillary Supporters Won't Let You Say
- over confident
- will do anything to win
- represents the past
- out of touch
Speaking truth to old-stream media bias.
Thank you Democrats...
But in the case of H-1Bs, the federal government is expressly giving a special permit to foreign workers — actually, to large outsourcing firms that use H-1Bs to bring those workers to the U.S. — in order to displace American workers. And now many lawmakers in both parties — their task made simpler by the enforced silence of fired and angry workers — want even more H-1Bs. Is that something the government should do?
Silenced workers who lost jobs to H-1B visa abuse (quietly) speak out | WashingtonExaminer.com
BELTWAY CONFIDENTIAL: LABOR
Silenced workers who lost jobs to H-1B visa abuse (quietly) speak out
BY: Byron York March 22, 2015 | 8:37
Many fired workers are required to sign non-disparagement agreements as a condition of their severance.
The Senate Judiciary Committee recently held a hearing into abuses of the H-1B skilled guest worker visa program. Lawmakers heard experts describe how the use of foreign workers has come to dominate the IT industry, with many tech giants using the program to fire well-paid current workers and replace them with workers from abroad at significantly lower pay.
"The current system to bring in high-skill guest workers ... has become primarily a process for supplying lower-cost labor to the IT industry," two experts who testified at the hearing, Howard University's Ron Hira and Rutgers' Hal Salzman, wrote recently. "Although a small number of workers and students are brought in as the 'best and brightest,' most high-skill guest workers are here to fill ordinary tech jobs at lower wages."
Exhibit A in the abuse of H-1Bs was the case of Southern California Edison, which recently got rid of between 400 and 500 IT employees and replaced them with a smaller force of lower-paid workers brought in from overseas through the H-1B program. The original employees were making an average of about $110,000 a year, the committee heard; the replacements were brought to Southern California Edison by outsourcing firms that pay an average of between $65,000 and $75,000.
"Simply put, the H-1B program has become a cheap labor program," Hira, author of the book Outsourcing America, testified. "To add insult to injury, Southern California Edison forced its American workers to train their H-1B replacements as a condition of receiving their severance packages."
It was a powerful presentation, especially in light of the fact that many Republicans and Democrats in Congress do not want to address abuses of the H-1B problem but rather want to greatly increase the number of H-1B visa workers allowed into the United States.
But one voice was missing from the hearing, and that was the voice of laid-off workers. That was no accident. In addition to losing their jobs and being forced to train their foreign replacements, many fired workers are required to sign non-disparagement agreements as a condition of their severance. They are workers with families and bills to pay, and they are told that if they do not agree to remain silent, they will be terminated with cause, meaning they will receive no severance pay or other benefits and will face an even tougher search for a new job and a continued career. So they remain silent.
A longtime feature of the Capitol Hill hearing into this or that unfair practice is to hear from the victims of this or that unfair practice. The IT industry has worked to make sure that does not happen in the case of H-1B visa abuse. Still, the Judiciary Committee managed to receive testimonials from four laid-off workers, three from Southern California Edison and one from another company. So to flesh out the H-1B story with the perspective of those who are actually paying the price when H-1B visas are used to displace American workers, here are their anonymous testimonials:
My former company, a large utility company, replaced 220 American IT workers with H-1Bs…we would have to train them in order to receive our severance packages. This was one of the most humiliating situations that I have ever been in as an IT professional.
The whole IT department was going through the same fate as myself. Those were the longest and hardest five months of my life. Not only did I lose a work family, but I lost my job and my self-esteem. We had constant emails sent by HR that we could not talk about this situation to anyone or make posts to social media. If we did, we would be fired immediately and not get our severance.
We had jobs and there was no shortage of skilled labor that would make it necessary to bring in H-1Bs. We were let go and replaced by foreign workers who certainly weren't skilled to take our positions.
I am an IT professional and worked for Southern California Edison for over two decades. I was a loyal employee and always received outstanding reviews. A foreign worker with a H-1B visa recently replaced me.
I am the sole provider of my children. Due to a disability, finding employment at the same wage and with a work modification will be very difficult…It is an ominous possibility that in five years or less I may have no assets, suffer from severe pain and will need to go on full disability with a catastrophic decrease in income. The loss of my job may rob me of a secure retirement.
My layoff has made my children fearful of their future and the security of their home. If I stay in the IT field I run a high risk of again being replaced by a foreign worker.
It's a farce teaching our kids STEM when the government is permitting U.S. companies to abuse the H-1B visa program, which allows foreigners to take these future jobs from them.
I voted for President Obama and was appalled that he implemented a rule change, which allows work permits to H-1B spouses. My future votes will only go to candidates that support reforms to the H-1B visa program that preserve the American worker.
I started working at Southern California Edison several decades ago. SCE was a company that many people started with at a young age, could work there through their lifetimes, and retire with a good pension and benefits. That was my plan. And I would have been able to do exactly that -- until an executive announced a couple years ago that my department was going to be outsourced.
We were forced to train the less qualified foreign workers hired to take our jobs.
Over 400 hardworking, intelligent people have lost their jobs due to the H-1B visa program. Many of us, and countless more like us, face enormous hurdles to find new jobs -- why would companies want to hire us when they can hire cheaper workers on the H-1B visa to do our jobs for us?
As longtime employees we loved the work we were doing and the people we were working with. We did a great job. Our work mattered. The work we performed was instrumental in building a world-class business unit.
Through no fault of my own my job was just given to someone else with a lot less experience, knowledge and skills, lowering my standard of living and raising theirs so Edison could save a few dollars and reward stockholders with a few more pennies on their dividends.
I and most of my co-workers are completely disgusted that Edison can fire us and replace us with foreign workers, abusing the H1-B program. We cannot understand how the CPUC (California Public Utilities Commission), Governor and Congress, President and media can all ignore this abuse and just pretend it doesn't matter. It's as if we no longer matter or have value as human beings or American citizens.
It's certainly true that other workers in other industries have lost jobs because companies wanted to cut costs. Highly-paid middle-aged workers have been replaced by younger employees working for less. That can be an unhappy fact of life in today's economy. But in the case of H-1Bs, the federal government is expressly giving a special permit to foreign workers — actually, to large outsourcing firms that use H-1Bs to bring those workers to the U.S. — in order to displace American workers. And now many lawmakers in both parties — their task made simpler by the enforced silence of fired and angry workers — want even more H-1Bs. Is that something the government should do?
Copyright 2015 Washington Examiner
A List of Obama's Constitutional Violations
> Updated 03/10/15 "I was a constitutional law professor, which means unlike the current president I actually respect the Constitution." Barrack Hussein Obama. Obama took the Presidential Oath, swearing to ".. preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States" but has:
Used Executive Action in direct opposition to the law, and unilaterally changes the law for at least five million illegal aliens; Article 1 Section 1, ALL Legislative power held by Congress; "he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed," Article II Section 3; Article I Section 8
In direct violation of ACA Law ( Section 36B ) ordered subsidies be paid under Federal Exchange. Article. I. Section. 1; Article II, Section 3.
*Entered Treaty Agreement with Iran without Advice & Consent of the Senate. No agreement (including with UN) is valid without 2/3 Senate approval. Article II Section 2.
Operation Choke Point program – Direct infringement on 2nd Amendment.
Violated statute on "Material Support of Terrorism" by returning top terrorists back to terrorist organizations. Article II Section 3; Dereliction of Duty Article II Section 4
Violated Appropriations Act (DOD Section 8111) – GAO report; Article II Section 3
Ignored law that requires Congress be notified prior to any detainees being moved from Guantanamo. "he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed," Article II Section 3
Appointed 24+ Federal agency czars without advice and consent of the Senate; Violation of Article II Section 2
Used Executive Privilege in regards to Fast & Furious gun running scandal. When Government misconduct is the concern Executive privilege is negated.
23 Executive Orders on gun control – infringement of the 2nd Amendment
Exposed identity and methods of operation of a Navy SEALs team – Illegal for a President to reveal classified military secrets. Article II Section 3
2 Executive actions mandating private health information on patients be turned over to NICS – Violation of HIPPA law.
Executive Order bypassing Congress on immigration – Article 1 Section 1, ALL Legislative power held by Congress; Article II Section 3; Article I Section 8
Unilaterally issued new exemptions to immigration restrictions law that bars certain asylum-seekers and refugees who provided "limited material support" to t errorists. – Article 1 Section 1; Article I Section 8 Congress shall have the Power..to establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization.
Issued directive instructing ICE to NOT enforce immigration laws in certain cases. Article 1 Section 1, ALL Legislative power held by Congress; "he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed," Article II Section 3; Article I Section 8
Release of convicted illegal aliens ordered in direct opposition to law-Article II Section 3
Expanded executive action for amnesty to illegal immigrant relatives of DREAM Act beneficiaries. Article 1 Section 1, ALL Legislative power held by Congress; "he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed," Article II Section 3; Article I Section 8
Executive action directing DHS that almost all immigration offenses were unenforceable absent a separate criminal conviction. Article 1 Section 1, ALL Legislative power held by Congress; "he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed," Article II Section 3; Article I Section 8
Ignoring Law (2006 Secure Fence Act) "he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed," Article II Section 3
Used DOJ to ignore section 8 of the Voting Rights Act. " he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed," Article II Section 3
Used DOJ to prevent Arizona and Alabama from enforcing immigration laws. – 10th Amendment
Information memorandum telling states that they can waive the work requirement for welfare recipients, thereby altering the 1996 welfare reform law. – Article 1 Section 1, ALL Legislative power held by Congress.
Used NLRB to dictate to a business where they can do business. (Boeing Dreamliner Plant). No Constitutional authority to do so.
NDAA – Section 1021. Due process Rights negated. Violation of 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th Amendments.
Executive Order 13603 NDRP – Government can seize anything
Executive Order 13524 – Gives INTERPOL jurisdiction on American soil beyond law enforcement agencies, including the FBI.
Executive Order 13636 Infrastructure Cybersecurity – Bypassing Congress Article 1 Section 1, ALL Legislative power held by Congress
Attempt to tax political contributions – 1st Amendment
DOMA Law – Obama directed DOJ to ignore the Constitution and separation of powers and not enforce the law. " he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed," Article II Section 3
Dodd-Frank – Due process and separation of powers. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau writing and interpreting law. Article. I. Section. 1
Drone strikes on American Citizens – 5th Amendment Due process Rights negated
Bypassed Congress and gave EPA power to advance Cap-n-Trade
Attempt for Graphic tobacco warnings (under appeal) – 1st Amendment
Four Exec. appointments – Senate was NOT in recess (Court has ruled unconstitutional yet the appointees still remain)
Obama took Chairmanship of UN Security Council – Violation of Section 9.
ACA (Obamacare) mandate – SCOTUS rewrote legislation and made it a tax because there is no Constitutional authority for Congress to force Americans to engage in commerce. SCOTUS has no authority to Legislate or lay taxes. Article I Section 1 & 8.
Contraceptive, abortifacients mandate violation of First Ammendment
Healthcare waivers – No president has dispensing powers
Refuses to acknowledge state's 10th Amendment rights to nullify Obamacare
Going after states (AZ lawsuit) for upholding Federal law (immigration) -10th Amendment.
Chrysler Bailout -TARP – violated creditors rights and bankruptcy law, as well as Takings and Due Process Clauses – 5th Amendment (G.W. Bush also illegally used TARP funds for bailouts)
The Independent Payment Advisory Board (appointees by the president). Any decisions by IPAB will instantly become law starting in 2014 – Separation of Powers, Article 1 Section 1.
Congress did not approve Obama's war in Libya. Article I, Section 8, First illegal war U.S. has engaged in. Impeachable under Article II, Section 4; War Powers Act – Article II Section 3.
Obama falsely claims UN can usurp Congressional war powers.
Obama has acted outside the constitutional power given him – this in itself is unconstitutional.
Bribery of Senator Ben Nelson and Senator Mary Landrey. (Cornhusker Kickback and Louisiana Purchase) Article II, Section 4.
With the approval of Obama, the NSA and the FBI are tapping directly into the servers of 9 internet companies to gain access to emails, video/audio, photos, documents, etc. This program is code named PRISM. NSA also collecting data on all phone calls in U.S. – Violation of 4th Amendment.
Directed signing of U.N. Firearms treaty – 2nd Amendment.
The Senate/Obama immigration bill (approved by both) raises revenue – Section 7. All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives
Obama altered law – (A president has no authority to alter law) Delayed upholding the Employer Mandate Law (ACA) until 2015 – Individual Mandate will be enforced.
A President does not have that authority – Article. I. Section. 1. All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States; The president "shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed" -Article II, Section 3; Equal Protection Clause -14th Amendment.
Obama altered law – ACA Medicare cuts delayed until 2015. Article. I. Section. 1; Article II, Section 3.
Obama altered law – Enforcement of eligibility requirements for ACA delayed until 2015. Article. I. Section. 1; Article II, Section 3.
Obama wavered ACA Income Verification Article. I. Section. 1; Article II, Section 3.
Obama altered law – Delayed ACA caps on out of pocket expenses until 2015. (when implemented premiums will skyrocket) Article. I. Section. 1; Article II, Section 3.
Obama ignored judicial order to fulfill legal obligation regarding Yucca Mountain waste. Article II, Section 3
Waived Federal provision that prevents U.S. From arming terrorist groups – Article I. Section 1; Impeachable under Article III, Section 3.
Directed State Department HS to ignore law barring entry to U.S. those giving political or charitable aid to known terrorist groups. Article. I. Section. 1; Article II, Section 3.
Obama shelves part of the ACA Law for Insurers, extending the life of non-qualifying (according to ACA) plans until Jan. 1, 2015. Article. I. Section. 1; Article II, Section 3. Violation of the Take Care Clause, Separation of Powers.
Obama waved ACA individual mandate for those that lost their insurance. Article. I. Section. 1; Article II, Section 3. Violation of the Take Care Clause, Separation of Powers.
Obama alters ACA law and exempts companies employing between 50-100 full-time workers from business mandate until 2016. Article. I. Section. 1; Article II, Section 3.
In total, Obama has unilaterally altered ACA 24 times. Article. I. Section. 1; Article II, Section 3. Violation of the Take Care Clause, Separation of Powers.
A Constitutional law professor (even their students) should know better.
The TRUTH is Obama was not a Constitutional law professor: "under no circumstances would an offer to Obama be tenured." "The thought that the law school could have made a tenure offer to a person with no academic writing was out of the question." Former University of Chicago Law School Dean Richard Epstein.
Clearly Obama has not respected or protected the Constitution. Obama has broken his oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. Article II, Section 1.
It's a remarkable irony: the same U.S. president whose administration has gone to great lengths to monitor journalists, whistleblowers and the public, claims to be oddly in the dark regarding basic information on some of his biggest controversies.
Here are eight instances in which President Obama said he heard it on the news—or way after-the-fact—just like ordinary Americans.
1. Controversial Air Force One Photo Op Flyover
Perhaps the first time we heard President Obama say he didn't know about a major national event before the rest of us was when an Air Force One plane (not carrying the president at the time) made an unannounced pass over the Statue of Liberty on April 27, 2009. It turned out to be a White House-approved photo op, but panicked New Yorkers feared it might be some sort of terrorist attack. The next day, President Obama told reporters,
"It was something that, uh, we found out about, uh, along with all of you."
2. Fast and Furious Cross-Border Operation Supplying Guns to Cartels
Fast and Furious was a cross-border operation under the Justice Department in which federal agents let thousands of weapons be trafficked to Mexico's killer drug cartels. Though illegal immigrants used Fast and Furious guns to murder a U.S. Border Patrol Agent in Dec. of 2010, President Obama says he remained in the dark about the whole thing until it was on the news weeks later.
On Oct. 12, 2011 Obama told reporters,
"I heard on the news about this story, that, uh, Fast and Furious."
3. Gen. Petraeus' Sex Scandal
White House officials said President Obama was kept in the dark for months as the FBI investigated his CIA Director, Gen. David Petraeus, in a sex scandal. Meantime, Obama could have been hit with a surprise question about the scandal at any time on the campaign trail, in the midst of his 2012 bid for re-election. White House officials have refused to answer the question as to when, exactly, Obama was finally briefed.
Gen. David Petraeus, former Director of the CIA
4. The IRS Using Nixonian Tactics Against Conservative Groups
President Obama said he was likewise unaware of the nation's tax agency targeting conservative groups.
In May of 2013, a reporter asked the president: "When did you first learn that the IRS was targeting conservative political groups?"
"I first learned about it from the same news reports that I think most people learned about this. I think it was on Friday."
5. The Secret Seizure of AP News Reporters' Phone Records
When it became public that the Obama administration had secretly seized phone records of AP news reporters, the White House said President Obama hadn't known about it.
Obama spokesman Jay Carney told reporters in May of 2013,
"We don't have any independent knowledge of that, [President Obama] found out about the news reports uh yesterday on the road."
6. NSA Spying on Foreign Leaders
President Obama said he had no idea his government was spying on foreign leaders as outlined in an Inspector's General report—until it was leaked to the news. On Oct. 28, 2013 he said,
"I can assure you that I certainly did not know anything about the IG report before the IG report had been leaked through the press."
7. Veterans Affairs Scandal
In May of 2014, White House spokesman Carney said that the President was clueless about the waiting list scandal and coverup involving medical care for military veterans.
Carney told reporters, "You mean the specific allegations that I think were reported first by your news network out of Phoenix, I believe. We learned about them through the reports. I will double check if that is not the case. But that is when we learned about them and that is when I understand [V.A.] Secretary Shinseki learned about them, and he immediately took the action that he has taken."
8. Hillary Clinton's Email Arrangement
President Obama says he didn't know about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of a private email address and server for official business until the New York Times published it in a story. The president told CBS News' Bill Plante that he found out "the same time everybody else learned it through news reports."
Earlier, White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters, "I have no idea when the president first learned" about it. But he foreshadowed the eventual explanation stating,
"I wouldn't be surprised, however, if he had learned about that by reading the newspaper."
Investigative Journalist who tries to give you information others don't want you to have. What you do with it is your own business. Do your own research. Seek advice from those you trust. Make up your own mind.
"An open Internet is essential to the American economy, and increasingly to our very way of life," according to President Obama and it appears his perspective on the heavy hand of government regulation inserting itself into the last bastion of freedom and dynamism in the US economy, is how best to achieve "openness." Having pressured FCC's Tom Wheeler, the vote just came down: U.S. FCC APPROVES NET NEUTRALITY INTERNET RULES IN 3-2 VOTE. While potentially good for a consumer's pocketbook, the handing over of "fair-use" decision to the government, as we previously noted, could be the first step on a slippery slope to increased censorship.
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As Mike Krieger so eloquently noted previously, this could permit discrimination of web content...
The concept of "net neutrality" is not an easy one to wrap your head around. Particularly if you aren't an expert in how the internet works and if you don't work for an ISP (internet service provider). In fact, I think that lobbyists and special interest groups make the concept intentionally difficult and convoluted so that the average person's eyes glaze over and they move on to the next topic. I am by no means an expert in this area; however, in this post I will try to explain in as simple terms as possible what "net neutrality" means and what is at risk with the latest FCC proposal. I also highlight a wide variety of articles on the subject, so I hope this post can serve as a one-stop-shop on the issue.
The concept of "net neutrality" describes how broadband access across the internet currently works. Essentially, the ISPs are not allowed to discriminate amongst the content being delivered to the consumer. A small site like Liberty Blitzkrieg, will be delivered in the same manner as content from a huge site like CNN that has massive traffic and a major budget. This is precisely why the internet has become such a huge force for free speech. It has allowed the "little guy" with no budget to compete equally in the "market of ideas" with the largest media behemoths on the planet. It has allowed for a quantum leap in the democratization and decentralization in the flow of information like nothing since the invention and proliferation of the printing press itself. It is one of the most powerful tools ever created by humanity, and must be guarded as the treasure it is.
People have been worried about internet censorship in the USA for a long time. What people need to understand is that censorship in so-called "first world" countries cannot be implemented in the same manner as in societies used to authoritarian rule. The status quo in the U.S. understands that the illusion of freedom must be maintained even as civil liberties are eroded to zero. In the UK, the approach to internet censorship has been the creation of "internet filters." The guise is fighting porn, but in the end you get censorship. This is something I highlighted in my post: How Internet in the UK is "Sleepwalking into Censorship."
In the U.S., it appears the tactic might take the form of new FCC rules on "net neutrality," which the Wall Street Journal first broke earlier this week. While the exact rules won't become public until May 15th, what we know now is that the FCC intends to allow ISPs to create a "fast lane" for internet content, which established content providers with big bucks can pay for in order to gain preferred access to consumers on the other end.
This is truly the American way of censorship. Figure out how those with the deepest pockets can smother the free speech of those with little or no voice on the one medium in which information flow is still treated equally. The nightmare scenario here would be that status quo companies use their funds to price out everyone else. It would kill innovation on the web before it starts. It's just another example of the status quo attempting to build a moat around itself that we have already seen in so many other areas of the economy. The internet really is the last bastion of freedom and dynamism in the U.S. economy and this proposal could put that at serious risk. Oh, and to make matters worse, the current FCC is filled to the brim with revolving door industry lobbyists. More on this later.
So that's my two cents. Now I will provide excerpts from some of the many articles that have been written on the topic in recent days.
First, from the article that started it all in the Wall Street Journal:
WASHINGTON—Regulators are proposing new rules on Internet traffic that would allow broadband providers to charge companies a premium for access to their fastest lanes.
If the rule is adopted, winners would be the major broadband providers that would be able to charge both consumers and content providers for access to their networks. Companies like Google Inc. or Netflix Inc. that offer voice or video services that rely on broadband could take advantage of such arrangements by paying to ensure that their traffic reaches consumers without disruption. Those companies could pay for preferential treatment on the "last mile" of broadband networks that connects directly to consumers' homes.
Startups and other small companies not capable of paying for preferential treatment are likely to suffer under the proposal, say net neutrality supporters, along with content companies that might have to pay a toll to guarantee optimal service.
In Silicon Valley, there has been a long-standing unease with owners of broadband pipes treating some content as more equal than others. Large companies have been mostly silent about the FCC's moves regarding broadband service, but some smaller firms or investors in startups have said the FCC needs to tread carefully so Internet policies don't disadvantage young companies that can't afford tolls to the Web.
"For technologists and entrepreneurs alike this is a worst-case scenario," said Eric Klinker, chief executive of BitTorrent Inc., a popular Internet technology for people to swap digital movies or other content. "Creating a fast lane for those that can afford it is by its very definition discrimination."
Some consumer advocacy groups reacted strongly against the proposal. The American Civil Liberties Union said, "If the FCC embraces this reported reversal in its stance toward net neutrality, barriers to innovation will rise, the marketplace of ideas on the Internet will be constrained, and consumers will ultimately pay the price." Free Press, a nonpartisan organization that is a frequent critic of the FCC, said, "With this proposal, the FCC is aiding and abetting the largest ISPs in their efforts to destroy the open Internet."
The New York Times also covered the story:
Still, the regulations could radically reshape how Internet content is delivered to consumers. For example, if a gaming company cannot afford the fast track to players, customers could lose interest and its product could fail.
Consumer groups immediately attacked the proposal, saying that not only would costs rise, but also that big, rich companies with the money to pay large fees to Internet service providers would be favored over small start-ups with innovative business models — stifling the birth of the next Facebook or Twitter.
"If it goes forward, this capitulation will represent Washington at its worst," said Todd O'Boyle, program director of Common Cause's Media and Democracy Reform Initiative. "Americans were promised, and deserve, an Internet that is free of toll roads, fast lanes and censorship — corporate or governmental."
Let's not forget that Comcast is attempting to take over Time Warner (I wrote my opinion on that here). So this whole thing seems like a gigantic, status quo consolidation cluster fuck.
Also, Comcast is asking for government permission to take over Time Warner Cable, the third-largest broadband provider, and opponents of the merger say that expanding its reach as a broadband company will give Comcast more incentive to favor its own content over that of unaffiliated programmers.
"The very essence of a 'commercial reasonableness' standard is discrimination," Michael Weinberg, a vice president at Public Knowledge, a consumer advocacy group, said in a statement. "And the core of net neutrality is nondiscrimination."
"This standard allows Internet service providers to impose a new price of entry for innovation on the Internet," he said.
Now from TechCrunch's article, The FCC's New Net Neutrality Rules Will Brutalize The Internet:
The FCC will propose new net neutrality rules that at once protect content from discrimination, but also allow content companies to pay for preferential treatment. The news, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, would in fact create a two-tiered system in which wealthy companies can "better serve the market" at the expense of younger, less well-capitalized firms.
The above is only "net neutrality" in that it protects all content from having its delivery degraded on a whim. The rubric reported doesn't actually force neutrality at all, but instead carves out a way for extant potentates to crowd out the next generation of players by leaning on their cash advantage.
In practice this puts new companies and new ideas at a disadvantage, as they come into the market with a larger disadvantage than they otherwise might have. Any cost that we introduce that a large company can afford, and a startup can't, either makes the startup poorer should it pay or degrades its service by comparison if it doesn't.
This will slow innovation and enrich the status quo. That's a shame.
So given the potential disastrous consequences noted above, why is the FCC pushing this through? After all, "net neutrality" was one of candidate Barack Obama's key campaign promises (just the latest in a series of completely broken promises and lies).
As usual, you can simply follow the money. While FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is hiding behind a recent court decision that seemingly struck down net neutrality, the court gave him the option to declare the internet a public utility, which would have prevented this outcome. Yet, he didn't go that route. Why? The revolving door of course!
An article by Lee Fang at Vice sheds a great deal of light on the issue:
Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal dropped something of a bombshell with leaked news that the Federal Communications Commission is planning to abandon so-called "net neutrality" regulations—rules to ensure that Internet providers are prevented from discriminating based on content. Under the new proposed system, companies such as Comcast or Verizon will be able to create a tiered Internet, in which websites will have to pay more money for faster speeds, a change that observers predict will curb free speech, stifle innovation and increase costs for consumers.
Like so many problems in American government, the policy shift may relate to the pernicious corruption of the revolving door. The FCC is stocked with staffers who have recently worked for Internet Service Providers (ISP) that stand to benefit tremendously from the defeat of net neutrality.
The American way.
Take Daniel Alvarez, an attorney who has long represented Comcast through the law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP. In 2010, Alvarez wrote a letter to the FCC on behalf of Comcast protesting net neutrality rules, arguing that regulators failed to appreciate "socially beneficial discrimination." The proposed rules, Alvarez wrote in the letter co-authored with a top Comcast lobbyist named Joe Waz, should be reconsidered.
Today, someone in Comcast's Philadelphia headquarters is probably smiling. Alvarez is now on the other side, working among a small group of legal advisors hired directly under Tom Wheeler, the new FCC Commissioner who began his job in November.
As soon as Wheeler came into office, he also announced the hiring of former Ambassador Philip Verveer as his senior counselor. A records request reveals that Verveer also worked for Comcast in the last year. In addition, he was retained by two industry groups that have worked to block net neutrality, the Wireless Association (CTIA) and the National Cable and Telecommunications Association.
In February, Matthew DelNero was brought into the agency to work specifically on net neutrality. DelNero has previously worked as an attorney for TDS Telecom, an Internet service provider that has lobbied on net neutrality, according to filings.
In his first term, Obama's administration proposed net neutrality rules, but in January of this year, a federal court tossed the regulations in a case brought by Verizon. The decision left open the possibility of new rules, but only if the FCC were to reclassify the Internet as a utility. The Wall Street Journal story with details about the FCC's leaked plans claims the agency will not be reclassifying the web as a utility. The revised rules to be announced by the FCC will allow ISPs to "give preferential treatment to traffic from some content providers, as long as such arrangements are available on 'commercially reasonable' terms," reports journalist Gautham Nagesh.
Well how about chairman Wheeler himself?
Critics have been quick to highlight the fact that chairman Wheeler, the new head of the FCC, is a former lobbyist with close ties to the telecommunications industry. In March, telecom companies—including Comcast, Verizon, and the US Telecom Association—filled the sponsor list for a reception to toast Wheeler and other commissioners. Many of these companies have been furiously lobbying Wheeler and other FCC officials on the expected rule since the Verizon ruling.
But overall, the FCC is one of many agencies that have fallen victim to regulatory capture. Beyond campaign contributions and other more visible aspects of the influence trade in Washington, moneyed special interest groups control the regulatory process by placing their representatives into public office, while dangling lucrative salaries to those in office who are considering retirement. The incentives, with pay often rising to seven and eight figure salaries on K Street, are enough to give large corporations effective control over the rule-making process.
Ars Technica also covered the revolving door angle in its article:
The CTIA Wireless Association today announced that Meredith Attwell Baker—a former FCC Commissioner and former Comcast employee—will become its president and CEO on June 2, replacing Steve Largent, a former member of Congress (and former NFL player).
Largent himself became the cellular lobby's leader when he replaced Tom Wheeler—who is now the chairman of the FCC. Wheeler is also the former president and CEO of the NCTA (National Cable & Telecommunications Association), which… wait for it… is now led by former FCC Chairman Michael Powell.
To sum up, the top cable and wireless lobby groups in the US are led by a former FCC chairman and former FCC commissioner, while the FCC itself is led by a man who formerly led both the cable and wireless lobby groups.
I mean, you can't make this stuff up.
But wait, it gets worse.
Among current FCC commissioners, Republican Ajit Pai previously served as associate general counsel for Verizon and held numerous government positions before becoming a commissioner in 2012.
It is extraordinarily tragic that the greed of a small group of crony crooks revolving between the corridors of corporate America and Washington D.C. may be about to ruin the open internet as we know it.
Here is AP with its own fact check of what can only be dubbed lie after lie, courtesy of the president of the "free world" and the head of the "most transparent administration ever."
* * *
AP looks at some of 0bama's claims, and the facts and the political climate behind them:
0BAMA: "At this moment - with a growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling industry and booming energy production - we have risen from recession freer to write our own future than any other nation on Earth."
THE FACTS: By many measures, the economy is still recovering from the deep scars left by the Great Recession.
Job growth has been healthy, but fueled in part by lower-paying jobs in areas such as retail and restaurants, which have replaced many higher-paying positions in manufacturing and construction. Part-time jobs also remain elevated: There are still 1.7 million fewer workers with full-time jobs than when the recession began in December 2007.
And the faster hiring hasn't pushed up wages much. They have been growing at a tepid pace of about 2 percent a year since the recession ended 5 1/2 years ago. That's barely ahead of inflation and below the annual pace of about 3.5 percent to 4 percent that is typical of a fully healthy economy.
That has left the income of the typical household below its pre-recession level. Inflation-adjusted median household income reached $53,880 in November 2014, according to an analysis of government data by Sentier Research. That is about 4 percent higher than when it bottomed out in 2011. But it is still 4.5 percent lower than the $56,447 median income in December 2007, the month the recession began.
Booming energy production is indeed a reality, but that's a phenomenon many years in the making, with the development of cost-effective extraction from fracking and other means playing into the rise of the U.S. as an energy production giant.
0BAMA: "I am sending this Congress a bold new plan to lower the cost of community college - to zero."
THE FACTS: Zero for qualifying students; an estimated $60 billion over 10 years to the treasury.
0bama confronts a Republican-controlled Congress that can be expected to be wary of a new program costing that much. Moreover, the proposal requires states to contribute about a quarter of the money, and getting them to go along is bound to be tough. Many states refused to expand Medicaid under the health care law, for example, even though Washington is picking up the entire cost in the first years.
On the other hand, community college is an issue close to home for state government, perhaps more appealing than partnering with Washington on the health law, so the idea could have a fighting chance if it can get through Congress. Educators are divided on its merits, with some worrying that aid for a community college education could divert students and scholarships away from four-year schools.
0BAMA: "We've set aside more public lands and waters than any administration in history."
THE FACTS: Waters is the key word here. Before expanding the Pacific Remote Islands National Monument last year from almost 87,000 square miles to more than 490,000 square miles, 0bama had protected far fewer acres than his four predecessors, including President George W. Bush.
Expansion of the massive Pacific islands monument puts 0bama on top. It's nearly all water, however, and the move has limited practical implications. While it bans commercial fishing, deep-sea mining and other extraction of underwater resources, little fishing or drilling occur in the mid-ocean region now.
0BAMA: "Thanks to a growing economy, the recovery is touching more and more lives. Wages are finally starting to rise again. We know that more small-business owners plan to raise their employees' pay than at any time since 2007."
THE FACTS: A survey of small businesses by the National Federation of Independent Business does show that a rising proportion plans to raise wages. But plans to raise pay aren't the same as actually raising them.
Average hourly earnings rose just 1.7 percent in December from 12 months earlier, according to the Labor Department. That's about half the rate that is typical of a healthy economy and actually lower than the previous month. Economists generally expect wage gains to accelerate this year, as unemployment continues to fall and businesses are forced to offer higher pay to attract workers. But there is scant evidence that it is happening yet.
0BAMA: "In Iraq and Syria, American leadership - including our military power - is stopping ISIL's advance. Instead of getting dragged into another ground war in the Middle East, we are leading a broad coalition, including Arab nations, to degrade and ultimately destroy this terrorist group. We're also supporting a moderate opposition in Syria that can help us in this effort."
THE FACTS: The U.S. also has been slow to set up long-promised training for the moderate Syrian opposition, and has yet to begin the actual vetting of the rebels. Also, despite persistent pleas from the rebels, the U.S. hasn't sent the more lethal weapons they want. U.S. officials have expressed concerns that the weapons could end up in the hands of insurgents.
Military leaders, however, agree that coalition airstrikes and the military effort in Syria and Iraq have stopped the momentum of the Islamic State group, or ISIL (or ISIS), made it hard for the insurgents to communicate and travel, and hurt their oil revenues.
post-mortem of last night's teleprompted annual evangelizing of Barack Obama's "straight to folks" propaganda that would make both Goebbels and Dzerzhinsky blush.
State Of The Union Address (SOTU)
"For centuries people have studied Saturn's rings, but questions about the structure and composition of the rings remained a mystery for many years. It was only in 1857 when the physicist James Clerk Maxwell demonstrated that the rings must be composed of many small particles and not solid rings around the planet, and not until the 1970s that spectroscopic evidence definitively showed that the rings are composed mostly of water ice.
"This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 17 degrees above the ringplane. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Aug. 12, 2014 using a spectral filter which preferentially admits wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 752 nanometers
Daily Image Release: Translucent Rings
CICLOPS CAPTAIN'S LOG INDEX | DECEMBER 8, 2014
Although solid-looking in many images, Saturn's rings are actually translucent. In this case, we can glimpse the shadow of the ...
A physicist presents a solution to present-day cosmic mysteries.
May 17 2012
By: Nikodem Poplawski, Inside Science Minds Guest Columnist
The first is general relativity, the modern theory of gravity. It describes the universe at the largest scales. Any event in the universe occurs as a point in space and time, or spacetime. A massive object such as the Sun distorts or "curves" spacetime, like a bowling ball sitting on a canvas. The Sun's gravitational dent alters the motion of Earth and the other planets orbiting it. The sun's pull of the planets appears to us as the force of gravity.
Nikodem Poplawski is a theoretical physicist at the University of New Haven in Connecticut.
One of the biggest, and least appreciated reasons Democrats might be struggling, is that the middle class is poorer. Median net worth is actually lower, adjusted for inflation, than it was in 1989. Even worse, it's kept falling during the recovery.
Yes, even after the economy started to grow again, and the stock market started to boom, and housing prices began to bounce back, the median net worth of the average American household continued to decline.
This is a story about stocks and houses. The middle class doesn't have much of the former, which has rebounded sharply, but has lots of the latter, which hasn't. Indeed, only 9.2 percent of the middle 20 percent of households owns stocks, versus almost half of the top 20 percent. So the middle class has not only missed out on getting a raise, but also on the big bull market the past five years.
The only thing they haven't missed out on was the housing bust: 63 percent of that middle quintile own their homes, which are more likely to be a financial albatross than asset. And it doesn't help that, with student loans hitting $1.2 trillion, people have to take out more and more debt just to try to stay in, or join, the middle class.
It's no surprise, then, that people are still so gloomy about the economy. The recovery just hasn't been much of one, if at all, for most of them. Middle class wages are flat, and their wealth is still falling. At least during the bubble years, rising home prices gave people access to credit that helped mask their stagnant wages. But no more. Home equity lines of credit are down almost 25 percent from their peak, and are still declining. The middle class, in other words, can't borrow from the future to pretend that the economy is working for them today.
But people won't be happy until they don't have to pretend anymore.
Holy Crap! Edward Snowden just showed up via video for Putin's Moscow Q-and-A!
Snowden asks Putin if Russia intercepts phone calls and stores information like the US does
Putin tells Snowden that Russia does not collect or store mass data on it's citizensVIDEO: Edward Snowden makes surprise appearance at Vladimir Putin press conference http://t.co/sSPLG9CaBI
> crazy notions....I can tell you that my blood boils when. I think of the traitorous packs in the past and then in the continuing future of snowden. you not only endangered the security of countless numbers of Americans. but he also exposed law abiding citizens and and humiliated the current administration and past administration and also undermined the effectiveness of our lawful data collection that was specifically designed to protect us
Heritage: 2014 Tax Day Chart: Who Pays the Most?
Which taxpayers experience the greatest tax burden—and who pays the most in taxes?
As Americans navigated the labyrinthine tax code ahead of tax day, many felt the sting of the President's myriad tax increases.
Despite calls for more taxes on the rich, the Heritage chart shown above reveals that the recent tax increases disproportionately affect the working wealthy.
The top 10 percent of all income earners paid 71 percent of federal income taxes in 2010, yet they earned 45 percent of all federal income. Compare that to the bottom 50 percent of earners, who earn 12 percent of income yet pay only 2 percent of federal income taxes.
So when Obama and advocates of higher federal taxes opine that the rich do not pay their "fair share," they are correct—affluent income-earners pay a whole lot more than they would pay if we had a proportional tax code instead of the highly progressive one we have today.
Obamacare is now four years old. But unlike most 4-year-olds, it still can’t walk on its own. It’s been tripping and falling over itself for years.
Just in the last year, the Obama administration has delayed or changed so many parts of the law—not to mention the technical “glitches”—it’s tough to keep up. Bloomberg Businessweek looked at the law’s recent track record and inspired us to take a visual tour.
“I want to apologize to you that the website is not working as well as it should.” —Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
“Changing the rules after health plans have already met the requirements of the law could destabilize the market.” — Karen Ignagni, CEO, America’s Health Insurance Plans
“Consumers who select their plans by December 23 and pay their premiums by January 10 will be able to have coverage effective January 1.”
Read the Morning Bell and more en español every day at Heritage Libertad. All photos - Pete Souza and Newscom.