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Westlake Legal Group > Technology

Unsolicited Advice: Don’t Take Nude Pictures With Your Phone

Westlake Legal Group cell-phone-1163722_1280-620x412 Unsolicited Advice: Don’t Take Nude Pictures With Your Phone Technology Privacy nudes katie hill Front Page Stories Featured Story digital age Culture advice

Welcome to Unsolicited Advice, the weekly column in which I dispense advice no one asked for to people who don’t even know who I am.

Last week I advised a young man who was in a power struggle with his girlfriend’s cat. This week I’m taking a slight departure because of some stunning news that one of our reporters broke. The story of California congresswoman Katie Hill was originally broken by Redstate’s own Jennifer Van Laar. It has since gone viral. Our front page has basically turned into Katiehill dot com for the time being.

We’ve fielded some angry messages and posts about our decision to publish some untoward pictures of Hill. Some people accuse us of publishing revenge porn. This is an advice column, so I like to keep it as light as possible. However, to quickly address that concern – we did take the matter into consideration. There were multiple discussions all throughout her months-long investigation that went all the way up the chain. In the end, the powers-that-be decided it was important that there was solid evidence of the relationship(s) that may have violated House ethics (ethics that Hill herself voted for) and have led to an investigation by the House Ethics Committee. Believe it or not, we left out a lot of racier stuff. We stand by the work and none of this happened without deep and frequent discussions about the sensitivity of the subject and the evidence. Rest assured, our reporter did not take the matter lightly.

That being said, I felt I would be remiss if I did not use this entire incident to make a greater point, and hopefully help young men and women out there avoid this sort of embarrassment and messiness in the future. Whatever your opinion of our decision to run with the story, let me dispense a little unsolicited advice to anyone out there who may be heading towards a Katie Hill-style crash and burn of their own.

Don’t take nudes on your phone.

I can already hear the uproar in my head right now (or is that the wine?).

“I have a right to privacy. I shouldn’t have to make every person I’m involved with sign an NDA before engaging in some recorded sexiness.”

You do have a right to privacy and you should be able to take private photos for private use without fear of anyone stealing them. But just because something should be, doesn’t mean that it is. White people ask me all the time, “Why is it that Black people can use the N-word loudly and without repercussions but White people can’t? Isn’t that a double standard?”

Why yes, it is. Also…that’s just the way it is. It isn’t fair. It just…is. Deal with it. I don’t even know why you’re so worked up about not being able to say the N-word but that’s your business, not mine.

It’s the same with nude photos, particularly on your phone. It isn’t fair that we live in a world where the technology that helps us the most can also hurt us the most even when we’re just enjoying it privately. But that’s the world we live in. If you have a nude photo and share a nude photo, you’ve put it out into the magical world of the internet, where nothing ever dies. You’ve also put it in the hands of someone you may not always love and may not always trust. Katie Hill found that out the hard way. So did Demi Lavato and Jennifer Lawrence and Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton…and on and on and on.

The internet is your greatest frenemy. Nothing is safe there and even if you think you’ll never send your photo to anyone, a hacker worth their salt can just grab it right from your phone. Privacy is really an illusion these days. It’s not fair that what you assume is private could be hacked or dug up by a nosy reporter trying to get to the bottom of a huge ethics scandal. It is what it is. You must adjust your lifestyle accordingly.

Here’s the other thing – the people who end up having their nudes “outed” are typically people who were in short-term, uncommitted relationships of some sort. In this digital age, one should treat their own nude/racy photos the way they treat their passwords. Don’t just hand it over to someone you barely know.

Ladies, are you listening? I am not above reproach here. I understand completely that I was a pretty dumb kid a long time ago. I did a lot of dumb stuff and I am grateful there was no internet to put me on blast (even the idea of reading my thoughts at 20 years of age makes me cringe). So don’t take this as judgment. Take this as a fair warning. That guy you’ve seen a few times who texted you for a sexy picture, he’s not going to look at it and erase it. It’ll stay on there forever. It will be a part of his memory collection as most photos are. He’ll take it with him when he moves on. And he will move on because a guy that asks for a nude photo before he even knows your last name is not a guy who is sticking around long.

If you’re like Katie Hill and you’re just letting your husband take sweet, innocent pictures of you sitting in the nude brushing the hair of the staff member/lover the two of you share…well, don’t do that either. In a throuple, someone is going to get their feelings hurt at some point and leave….with your photos. After that, you have no control.

Stay in control. Keep your nudes limited to personal interaction, or at least buy a digital camera that isn’t internet-connected. The world has changed and so has the way we share ourselves. It may not be fair, but it’s only the truth.

Don’t take nudes with your phone. Ever.

The post Unsolicited Advice: Don’t Take Nude Pictures With Your Phone appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group cell-phone-1163722_1280-300x200 Unsolicited Advice: Don’t Take Nude Pictures With Your Phone Technology Privacy nudes katie hill Front Page Stories Featured Story digital age Culture advice   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Missile Defense Now – Beats Missile Defense in a Decade…Maybe

Westlake Legal Group ap-korean-missile-620x378 Missile Defense Now – Beats Missile Defense in a Decade…Maybe War Terrorism Technology Science Russia republicans Politics Policy Nuclear Weapons north korea nuclear deal North Korea News missiles missile defense military Islamist terrorism islamist ISIS iran nuclear deal Government Front Page Stories Front Page Foreign Policy donald trump democrats Congress China Barack Obama

Let’s Play Some Defense, Shall We?

 

The planet has a bit of a nuclear weapon proliferation problem.

Many of the Good Guys have them.

The US Nuclear Arsenal

The Story of How Britain Got Nuclear Weapons

France Has Lots of Nuclear Weapons

India’s Nuclear Weapons Arsenal Keeps Getting Bigger and Bigger

Included herein is a Good Guy – who may or may not have them.

Does Israel Really Have Nuclear Weapons?

And more and more of the Bad Guys have them.

The Big China Nuclear Threat No One Is Talking About

Russia’s Putin Unveils ‘Invincible’ Nuclear Weapons

Pakistan Has Lots of Nuclear Weapons

How Did North Korea Get Nuclear Weapons?

Excellent question.  Often, because the alleged Good Guys – are very, VERY stupid.

You Can Thank Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton for North Korea’s Nukes

If a Bad Guy wants to get there – they can often count on an alleged Good Guy being very, VERY stupid.

Fact-Check: Yes, the (Barack Obama) Nuclear Deal Hands ‘$150 Billion’ Over to Iran

The planet has a bit of a nuclear weapon proliferation problem….

Since They All Have Nukes And Missiles – We Absolutely Should Have Missile Defense

Right now, the only missile defense system we have doing any missile defensing – is the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD):

“The Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) element of the Ballistic Missile Defense System provides Combatant Commanders the capability to engage and destroy limited intermediate- and long-range ballistic missile threats in space to protect the United States….

“Ground-Based Interceptors are emplaced at Fort Greely, Alaska and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. A total of 44 interceptors are currently emplaced.”

A key component of the GMD – is the Redesigned Kill Vehicle (RKV):

“The RKV is meant as an upgrade and supplement to the current Exo-Atmospheric Kill Vehicle, or EKV.

“Both systems are ground-based interceptors for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency designed to defend the U.S. mainland against long-range ballistic missile attacks.

“The RKV offers improved maneuverability and targeting performance compared to the EKV, which has a poor test record.”

Except – the Defense Department (DoD) just killed the RKV.

Pentagon Terminates Program for Redesigned Kill Vehicle, Preps for New Competition

Have there been tech issues?  There have:

“The EKV, designed to destroy targets in high-speed collisions after separating from a booster rocket, has struggled in testing….”

There were problems.  As there always are at some point with almost all things – especially things this high-tech and uber-sophisticated.

But we can take solace:

In the history of each and every thing that has worked – there was a time when each and every one of them didn’t work.

And the problems we were having – were being fixed:

“(It) has performed reliably in major test events in recent years including a complex salvo test earlier this year.”

Instead of the current, intact, in-place, improving system – what does the DoD have planned?:

“Now that the RKV is dead in the water, the Pentagon plans to move forward with a new, next-generation interceptor competition, the statement said.”

Except – are we anywhere near a “new, next-generation interceptor?”  We’re not even close:

“The defense official said the Pentagon is still working through the details of a new, next-generation interceptor competition, including when it will be initiated and the pace at which the technology will be developed and fielded.”

The Defense Department hasn’t even yet decided what “new, next-generation interceptor” means.  Because the DoD doesn’t even yet know what a “new, next-generation interceptor” is.

This is like killing the automobile – and then beginning the process of identifying the next mode of transportation.  Which hasn’t even yet been conceived.

Well, in the meantime – we need to get around.  So don’t preemptively kill the car.

And in the meantime – we need a missile defense system.  So don’t preemptively kill the RKV.

Since the current missile defense system is the only missile defense system even conceived – let’s keep it around.

At the very least – until you can actually define what “new, next-generation interceptor” means.

Our national security is far too important – to go fishing all over again…without any safety net whatsoever.

The post Missile Defense Now – Beats Missile Defense in a Decade…Maybe appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group ap-korean-missile-300x183 Missile Defense Now – Beats Missile Defense in a Decade…Maybe War Terrorism Technology Science Russia republicans Politics Policy Nuclear Weapons north korea nuclear deal North Korea News missiles missile defense military Islamist terrorism islamist ISIS iran nuclear deal Government Front Page Stories Front Page Foreign Policy donald trump democrats Congress China Barack Obama   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

How Did Big Tech Get So Big? Massive Government Cronyism – Like Section 230

Westlake Legal Group Big-Tech-620x354 How Did Big Tech Get So Big? Massive Government Cronyism – Like Section 230 Web Search washington D.C. Technology technolgy Silicon Valley Section 230 progressives Privacy Politics Policy News network neutrality Net Neutrality law Internet of Things Internet Government Front Page Stories Front Page Economy Business & Economy big tech 5g 4G

Today’s thought foray – requires us to define a few terms.  First:

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

The companies that have in the last quarter-century invested more than a trillion dollars – building the actual Internet.  Comcast, Verizon, Time Warner, AT&T, etc.  The companies that laid the Information Superhighway – upon which all the rest of us ride.  The bandwidth providers.

“Edge Providers”:

The Big Tech companies.  And not just located in the Silicon Valley – more than a few are de facto centered in Communist China.  Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, etc.  The biggest of the Information Superhighway riders.  The Bandwidth Hogs – consuming way more than half of all the US bandwidth the ISPs provide.

The Left loves to categorize the ISPs as evil, monster companies – demanding and getting monster government cronyism.

Free & Open Internet:

“The free and open internet is a powerful tool for everyone fighting for social change and racial justice. But companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon – and their government allies – want to destroy it.”

Except as with nigh everything Left – this is titanically stupid.  For a host of reasons.

The companies allegedly looking to destroy the free and open Internet – spent more than a trillion dollars building the free and open Internet.  I’m sure their shareholders would object to their now destroying it.

So they’re probably not going to do it.  As evidenced by the entirety of the quarter-century of the private sector Internet’s existence – during which they never, ever have.

The ISPs – and their “government allies?”  This is laughable on its face.

AT&T (Market Cap: $280 billion), Comcast (Market Cap: $209 billion) and Verizon (Market Cap: $251 billion) – are certainly big.

But these hugest of ISPs – are nowhere near as huge as the Big Tech likes of Apple (Market Cap: $1.1 trillion), Amazon (Market Cap: $869 billion) and Google (Market Cap: $863 billion).

The Big Tech companies – spend MUCH more on government candidates.  And get MUCH more government cronyism in return.

Latest Beneficiary of D.C. Cronyism: Apple – The Most Valuable Company in the World

Amazon: One Of The Biggest Of Bigfoot Cronyism-Recipient Lobbyists

Cronyism: For the Likes of Google, It is Really, REALLY Good to be a Friend of Obama

ISPs spend most of their time – asking governments to leave them alone.  This isn’t cronyism – this is begging the government to let them engage in capitalism.

Big Tech spends most of their time – demanding governments do them special favors.  This isn’t capitalism – this is cronyism.

As but one example: The very stupid policy known as Network Neutrality.

Net Neutrality is a stupidly huge government imposition in the Internet – specifically on the ISPs.  A whole host of regulations restricting just about everything ISPs do to provide us service.

ISPs ask governments – to leave them alone with this Net Neutrality nonsense.

Big Tech demands government impose Net Neutrality – because it guarantees them huge government-mandated benefits.

To name but one:

As mentioned, Big Tech consumes way more than half of all US bandwidth.  Net Neutrality – mandates they not be charged any money for any of it.  We the Little People would pay MUCH more for our service – to subsidize the likes of Apple, Amazon and Google.

Net Neutrality is massive government regulation – to impose massive Big Tech cronyism.

The ISPs’ “government allies” – are simply less government types who know how stupid Net Neutrality is…and therefore don’t want to impose it.

Big Tech’s government cronies – are sell-out politicians who know how stupid Net Neutrality is…but impose it anyway because their paymasters demand it.

All of which brings us to the biggest Big Tech cronyism of all:

Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act:

“Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (a common name for Title V of the Telecommunications Act of 1996) is a piece of Internet legislation.

“It provides immunity from liability for providers and users of an interactive computer service who publish information provided by others.

“An immunity clause in the Act states that no provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”

We must now define two additional terms:

Publisher:

What we’ve always seen pre-Internet.  Newspapers, books and the like.  They edit content – so they control content.  And thus are eligible to be sued – unprotected by Section 230.

Platform:

An almost-exclusively Internet creation.  To allow for user-provided website content – videos, comments, etc – Section 230 indemnifies the websites hosting the content from being libel from many laws for the content.

Section 230 – is a HUGE government benefit to Big Tech.

And Section 230 makes some sense – so long as the Big Tech beneficiaries uphold their tiny end of this massively beneficial bargain.

Big Tech platforms – must be open to ALL users. With content only edited or deleted – for a certain, specific set of defined obvious reasons: Posting pornography, foul language, etc.

Ideological censorship – is a Section 230 no-no.

But Leftist Big Tech – censors less government types all the time.

Conservatives Face a Tough Fight as Big Tech’s Censorship Expands

Big Tech Censors Conservatives, Christians; Facebook, Google: ‘So What?’

Big Tech Has Transitioned from ‘We Don’t Censor Conservatives’ to ‘We Do and You Can’t Stop Us’

Well, we can stop them, actually.

As with nigh all things policy – the original sin here is too much government.

In this instance, the too much government – is the massive Big Tech cronyism of Section 230.

Former FCC Bureau Chief: Masters of the Universe ‘Abused’ Section 230 to Censor Conservatives

“A spokesperson for (Texas Republican) Sen. Cruz told Breitbart News in a statement:

“‘Big Tech enjoys a subsidy that no other industry does: immunity from liability under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. That immunity is predicated on the expectation that social media would be neutral public forums.

“‘Big Tech has made it abundantly clear they have no intention of abiding by that, taking the opposite tact by operating as partisan publishers.

“‘Sen. Cruz believes if they’re going to choose to be partisan publishers, then there is little reason why they should get a special immunity from liability that other publishers, such as the New York Times, don’t enjoy.’”

Most of DC is, as nigh always, bizarrely removed from Reality – and actual answers to actual questions.

A few weeks ago I attended a DC debate on Big Tech censorship.

Conservative and Human Events Editor Will Chamberlain – wanted the government to force Big Tech companies to host just about all content.

Libertarian and Reason Magazine Associate Editor Robby Soave – wanted to leave all things relevant as is.

They were opposed to one another.  I was opposed to both.

In the hour-plus long debate – NO ONE even referenced Section 230.  It never, ever came up.

Until I mentioned it during the Question & Answer period.

Oops.

Very few people in the room seemed pleased I did.  And I was screeched at by Big Tech defenders on Twitter – who were watching the event’s livestream.

The most interesting reaction?

I will now be as vague as possible about the following – to protect the involved:

A person who works for one of the biggest of Big Tech companies – a conservative I’ve known for years – was seated next to me.  This person turned to me and whispered something along the lines of:

“If you get rid of Section 230 – it will kill these companies.”

Really?  Many of these near-trillion companies got to be near-trillion dollar companies – almost solely because of Section 230?

And they can’t exist without it?

That sounds like the quintessential definition of government cronyism.

Fake energy solar panel and wind turbine companies can’t exist without government cronyism.  Should we continue to prop up them too?

That doesn’t seem to me to be very conservative, free market or less government.

So why are so many conservative, free market and less government types – defending it?

The post How Did Big Tech Get So Big? Massive Government Cronyism – Like Section 230 appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Big-Tech-300x171 How Did Big Tech Get So Big? Massive Government Cronyism – Like Section 230 Web Search washington D.C. Technology technolgy Silicon Valley Section 230 progressives Privacy Politics Policy News network neutrality Net Neutrality law Internet of Things Internet Government Front Page Stories Front Page Economy Business & Economy big tech 5g 4G   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Vice President Pence Must Save Us from Elon Musk Syndrome

Westlake Legal Group SJM-L-MUSKPOD-0907_2-620x348 Vice President Pence Must Save Us from Elon Musk Syndrome Tesla Motors tesla Technology subsidies spacex Space Solar City Politics Policy News NASA Mike Pence Media law Government contracts government contractors Government Front Page Stories Front Page environment Energy elon musk Economy donald trump Climate Business & Economy

The Feds Must Stop Smoking What Musk Is Smoking

 

Please allow a personal point of privilege at the outset:

I REALLY like Mike Pence.  Zero sarcasm – I think he is a really good guy.

Pence once saved my professional bacon – now more than a decade ago.

I had scheduled a huge Capitol Hill anti-Fairness Doctrine press conference.  Lots of Senators and Congressmen were part of the itinerary – including then-Congressman Pence.

One of the Senators’ offices had secured for us a Senate press room – which then turned out to be not so secured.  It was double-booked – and we were out.

Pence stepped right up – and had his staffers scramble and secure us a place on the House side to host it.

Not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things.  But emblematic of the man I got to know a little over the years.

I was absolutely thrilled when Donald Trump chose Pence to be his vice presidential candidate.  It was a brilliant decision.

Pence is a solid conservative – who bolstered a presidential candidate whose conservative bona fides were at that time understandably in question.

After winning the election, I then remember Pence being excoriated stupidly and ridiculously – for wisely not having one-on-one private meetings with women not his wife.

Pence was lambasted by the Left as being a prude – who was holding back his (very many) women staffers by not granting them equal access to…what, his hotel room on business trips?  Grabbing a coffee in the lobby is anti-women?

Five seconds later, the Harvey Weinstein story broke and the #MeToo “movement” swept the media landscape.  One Democrat after another was revealed to be a women-assaulting ass hat.

Proving Pence and his personal policy – were wise and right.  And the Leftists in and out of the media who attacked him – were stupid and stupid.

I think Pence is the perfect presidential successor to Trump.  We the People will get all the great policy substance – with a much more low-key style.

I don’t mind Trump’s style.  In fact, I thoroughly enjoy it.  I enjoy most people from Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx – most of whom are nigh exactly like Trump.

But if eight years delivers US to a critical density of Trump Fatigue – President Pence is the perfect national palate cleanser.

All of this is to say – I have long very much liked and respected now-Vice President Mike Pence.

Which is why his one political and policy blind spot – is so very out of character.  Pence appears to suffer from Elon Musk Syndrome.

Pence is by no means alone in being afflicted with Elon Musk Syndrome.  It is a condition – run rampant in Washington, D.C.

Elon Musk Syndrome – is being enamored with government money sopper Elon Musk.

Elon Musk: The $5-Billion-Government-Money-Recipient ‘Genius’

That $5 billion tally – was tallied in 2015.  Musk’s take is MUCH huger now.

Musk’s far-and-away greatest skill?  Convincing lots and lots government officials to keep giving him gobs and gobs of our money.

To keep propping up his very many failed businesses.

Many of Musk’s failed businesses – are predicated upon fake energy.

Musk loves taking LOTS of our money for his ridiculous solar power (SolarCity) and electric car (Tesla) businesses.

Walmart Shines Light on Elon Musk’s Thorny SolarCity Deal in New Lawsuit Against Tesla

Heavily Subsidized and Failing: Elon Musk and SolarCity

SolarCity Deal Is a Rich Subsidy Package

Elon Musk’s SolarCity Sues Government For More Subsidies

Tesla and Its Subsidies

Tesla’s Main Product Isn’t Cars, It’s Subsidies

It’s Confirmed: Without Government Subsidies, Tesla Sales Implode

Where does a whole lot of our money go?  Mainlined into Musk’s wallet.

Tesla’s Elon Musk Tops the List of America’s Highest Paid CEOs by State with $2.3 Billion in Earnings Last Year

Musk self-compensated – $2.3 billion.  In one year.  For running a car company that can not even exist – without massive, ongoing infusions of our money.

All of this – is exceedingly lame.

Speaking of exceedingly lame – behold Musk’s SpaceX.

Is SpaceX Wasting Taxpayer Dollars?

Short answer – yes:

“Elon Musk’s SpaceX has made a name for itself as an innovative company on the cutting edge of aerospace technology. Behind the successful marketing, however, lies a disturbing case of cronyism that needs more investigation and public transparency….

“It is dumbfounding that more questions aren’t being asked about SpaceX. Despite the government’s knowledge of systemic deficiencies with SpaceX rockets and systems, it continues to contract with them, putting billions of taxpayer dollars in the hands of an unreliable company.”

Musk’s latest SpaceX failures?

Why NASA’s Annoyed About Elon Musk’s Giant Rocket:

“SpaceX has never flown a person into space in its Crew Dragon, its first crew-capable spacecraft.”

Ummm…if Musk has never flown a crew on his Crew Dragon – it ain’t “crew-capable”:

“(T)he Crew Dragon…(is) well behind schedule. Awarded a NASA contract in 2014, SpaceX initially said it would deliver an operational vehicle that astronauts could fly in by 2017. But that still hasn’t happened.”

Delays and Safety Concerns Mar NASA’s Plans to Fly Astronauts on Commercial Spacecraft

But wait – it appears The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has FINALLY had enough of Musk and his very many failures.

NASA Attacks Elon Musk and SpaceX for ‘Years of Delays’ Failing to Deliver for US Taxpayer:

“NASA boss Jim Bridenstine has taken a thinly veiled shot at Elon Musk over the SpaceX chief’s inability to meet his deadline to the US space agency….

“Mr Bridenstine tweeted:

“‘Commercial Crew is years behind schedule.  NASA expects to see the same level of enthusiasm focused on the investments of the American taxpayer. It’s time to deliver.’”

The only thing Musk has more of than our money?  Annoying, extraordinarily mis-possessed chutzpah.

Elon Musk Trolls NASA Chief with His Own Sick Space Burn

In response to very real concerns about billions of our dollars – expressed by Musk’s boss – Musk gets insulting and snarky.  On CNN.

What an ass hat.

It is time to FINALLY fire Musk and his SpaceX (and his Tesla…and his SolarCity…).

Which brings us back to Pence.

Pence has been an apparent fan of Musk.

SpaceX Gets a Shout-Out from Vice President Pence – February 22, 2018

Well, Trump made Pence the Chair of the Administration’s National Space Council – in July, 2017.

Which means by now – Pence knows all about Musk and SpaceX’s very many failings.

Which means Pence – is in a position to do something about it.

Which means Pence – should fire Musk and his SpaceX.

To FINALLY save We the Taxpayers from Musk and his SpaceX – and their very many failings.

The post Vice President Pence Must Save Us from Elon Musk Syndrome appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group elon-musk-pot-smoking-SCREENSHOT-300x155 Vice President Pence Must Save Us from Elon Musk Syndrome Tesla Motors tesla Technology subsidies spacex Space Solar City Politics Policy News NASA Mike Pence Media law Government contracts government contractors Government Front Page Stories Front Page environment Energy elon musk Economy donald trump Climate Business & Economy   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Vice President Pence Must Save Us from Elon Musk Syndrome

Westlake Legal Group SJM-L-MUSKPOD-0907_2-620x348 Vice President Pence Must Save Us from Elon Musk Syndrome Tesla Motors tesla Technology subsidies spacex Space Solar City Politics Policy News NASA Mike Pence Media law Government contracts government contractors Government Front Page Stories Front Page environment Energy elon musk Economy donald trump Climate Business & Economy

The Feds Must Stop Smoking What Musk Is Smoking

 

Please allow a personal point of privilege at the outset:

I REALLY like Mike Pence.  Zero sarcasm – I think he is a really good guy.

Pence once saved my professional bacon – now more than a decade ago.

I had scheduled a huge Capitol Hill anti-Fairness Doctrine press conference.  Lots of Senators and Congressmen were part of the itinerary – including then-Congressman Pence.

One of the Senators’ offices had secured for us a Senate press room – which then turned out to be not so secured.  It was double-booked – and we were out.

Pence stepped right up – and had his staffers scramble and secure us a place on the House side to host it.

Not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things.  But emblematic of the man I got to know a little over the years.

I was absolutely thrilled when Donald Trump chose Pence to be his vice presidential candidate.  It was a brilliant decision.

Pence is a solid conservative – who bolstered a presidential candidate whose conservative bona fides were at that time understandably in question.

After winning the election, I then remember Pence being excoriated stupidly and ridiculously – for wisely not having one-on-one private meetings with women not his wife.

Pence was lambasted by the Left as being a prude – who was holding back his (very many) women staffers by not granting them equal access to…what, his hotel room on business trips?  Grabbing a coffee in the lobby is anti-women?

Five seconds later, the Harvey Weinstein story broke and the #MeToo “movement” swept the media landscape.  One Democrat after another was revealed to be a women-assaulting ass hat.

Proving Pence and his personal policy – were wise and right.  And the Leftists in and out of the media who attacked him – were stupid and stupid.

I think Pence is the perfect presidential successor to Trump.  We the People will get all the great policy substance – with a much more low-key style.

I don’t mind Trump’s style.  In fact, I thoroughly enjoy it.  I enjoy most people from Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx – most of whom are nigh exactly like Trump.

But if eight years delivers US to a critical density of Trump Fatigue – President Pence is the perfect national palate cleanser.

All of this is to say – I have long very much liked and respected now-Vice President Mike Pence.

Which is why his one political and policy blind spot – is so very out of character.  Pence appears to suffer from Elon Musk Syndrome.

Pence is by no means alone in being afflicted with Elon Musk Syndrome.  It is a condition – run rampant in Washington, D.C.

Elon Musk Syndrome – is being enamored with government money sopper Elon Musk.

Elon Musk: The $5-Billion-Government-Money-Recipient ‘Genius’

That $5 billion tally – was tallied in 2015.  Musk’s take is MUCH huger now.

Musk’s far-and-away greatest skill?  Convincing lots and lots government officials to keep giving him gobs and gobs of our money.

To keep propping up his very many failed businesses.

Many of Musk’s failed businesses – are predicated upon fake energy.

Musk loves taking LOTS of our money for his ridiculous solar power (SolarCity) and electric car (Tesla) businesses.

Walmart Shines Light on Elon Musk’s Thorny SolarCity Deal in New Lawsuit Against Tesla

Heavily Subsidized and Failing: Elon Musk and SolarCity

SolarCity Deal Is a Rich Subsidy Package

Elon Musk’s SolarCity Sues Government For More Subsidies

Tesla and Its Subsidies

Tesla’s Main Product Isn’t Cars, It’s Subsidies

It’s Confirmed: Without Government Subsidies, Tesla Sales Implode

Where does a whole lot of our money go?  Mainlined into Musk’s wallet.

Tesla’s Elon Musk Tops the List of America’s Highest Paid CEOs by State with $2.3 Billion in Earnings Last Year

Musk self-compensated – $2.3 billion.  In one year.  For running a car company that can not even exist – without massive, ongoing infusions of our money.

All of this – is exceedingly lame.

Speaking of exceedingly lame – behold Musk’s SpaceX.

Is SpaceX Wasting Taxpayer Dollars?

Short answer – yes:

“Elon Musk’s SpaceX has made a name for itself as an innovative company on the cutting edge of aerospace technology. Behind the successful marketing, however, lies a disturbing case of cronyism that needs more investigation and public transparency….

“It is dumbfounding that more questions aren’t being asked about SpaceX. Despite the government’s knowledge of systemic deficiencies with SpaceX rockets and systems, it continues to contract with them, putting billions of taxpayer dollars in the hands of an unreliable company.”

Musk’s latest SpaceX failures?

Why NASA’s Annoyed About Elon Musk’s Giant Rocket:

“SpaceX has never flown a person into space in its Crew Dragon, its first crew-capable spacecraft.”

Ummm…if Musk has never flown a crew on his Crew Dragon – it ain’t “crew-capable”:

“(T)he Crew Dragon…(is) well behind schedule. Awarded a NASA contract in 2014, SpaceX initially said it would deliver an operational vehicle that astronauts could fly in by 2017. But that still hasn’t happened.”

Delays and Safety Concerns Mar NASA’s Plans to Fly Astronauts on Commercial Spacecraft

But wait – it appears The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has FINALLY had enough of Musk and his very many failures.

NASA Attacks Elon Musk and SpaceX for ‘Years of Delays’ Failing to Deliver for US Taxpayer:

“NASA boss Jim Bridenstine has taken a thinly veiled shot at Elon Musk over the SpaceX chief’s inability to meet his deadline to the US space agency….

“Mr Bridenstine tweeted:

“‘Commercial Crew is years behind schedule.  NASA expects to see the same level of enthusiasm focused on the investments of the American taxpayer. It’s time to deliver.’”

The only thing Musk has more of than our money?  Annoying, extraordinarily mis-possessed chutzpah.

Elon Musk Trolls NASA Chief with His Own Sick Space Burn

In response to very real concerns about billions of our dollars – expressed by Musk’s boss – Musk gets insulting and snarky.  On CNN.

What an ass hat.

It is time to FINALLY fire Musk and his SpaceX (and his Tesla…and his SolarCity…).

Which brings us back to Pence.

Pence has been an apparent fan of Musk.

SpaceX Gets a Shout-Out from Vice President Pence – February 22, 2018

Well, Trump made Pence the Chair of the Administration’s National Space Council – in July, 2017.

Which means by now – Pence knows all about Musk and SpaceX’s very many failings.

Which means Pence – is in a position to do something about it.

Which means Pence – should fire Musk and his SpaceX.

To FINALLY save We the Taxpayers from Musk and his SpaceX – and their very many failings.

The post Vice President Pence Must Save Us from Elon Musk Syndrome appeared first on RedState.

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The NBA, China, the Bidens and Free Speech: The Ultimate Intellectual Property

 

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The China Syndrome

 

The National Basketball Association (NBA)’s ongoing, rolling self-emasculation continues apace and unabated.

One League Guy called for freedom in Hong Kong from Communist China’s totalitarianism.

And the League flashed into action – against the one League Guy.

Since, a thousand and one League Guys have groveled, prostrated, genuflected or simply played really, REALLY stupid in the face of Communist China’s totalitarianism.

Free speech isn’t just squashed by totalitarian Communist China in Communist China and Hong Kong.

Totalitarian Communist China is now squelching free speech – in the United States.  Via its good little toadies in the NBA.  Because money.

NBA China: Philadelphia 76ers Fan Kicked Out for Hong Kong Sign, Chant

Security Removes ‘Free Hong Kong’ Signs from Fans at (NBA’s Washington) Wizards Game

The League Guys get paid billions of dollars by Communist China – to be Communist China’s toadies.

The League’s Average Guy fans have to way overpay for NBA tickets – to then have the privilege of being censored by Communist China’s NBA toadies.

National Review’s Jim Geraghty astutely summed up this one-way, wrong-way cultural transfer:

We’re Not Exporting Our Values to China – We’re Importing Theirs

This fiasco is perfectly emblematic of the sort of fake “free trade” with Communist China – to which our Betters in DC have subjected us for decades.

The NBA, South Park And Communist China: The Very High Price Of Fake ‘Free Trade’

The Swamp Creature likes of Joe Biden pretend the fake “free trade” with Communist China – isn’t fake.

And the Swamp Creature likes of Joe Biden’s son Hunter – get $1.5 billion in Communist China “investment” money.  As payment for his father pretending the fake “free trade” with Communist China – isn’t fake.

Call it the Swamp’s Friends and Family Plan.

DCs Swamp Creatures trade our national interest and security – for personal and familial enrichment.

Obama, Biden Cronies Made Billions Off China Trade Deals and Regulatory Policies

Clinton Says Chinese Money Did Not Influence U.S. Policy:

“President Bill Clinton said today that reported political campaign contributions from China to the Democrats had not influenced his foreign policy….

“‘The decisions we made, we made because we thought they were in the interests of the American people,’’ Mr. Clinton said….”

I’ll pause while you laugh uproariously…….

Okay….

Almost certainly the most offensive aspect of our fake “free trade” with Communist China – is their titanic theft of our Intellectual Property (IP).

Over the decades of fake “free trade” – Communist China has stolen trillions of dollars of our IP:

“The United States Trade Representative, which led the seven-month investigation into China’s intellectual property theft and made recommendations to the Trump administration, found that ‘Chinese theft of American IP currently costs between $225 billion and $600 billion annually.’”

We’ve been fake “free trading” with China since the early 1970s.

But as a safety, let’s only calculate Chinese IP theft – since we quite stupidly granted them membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO): December 2001.

And as another safety, let’s take the lowest number in China’s annual IP theft range.

That’s $225 billion in Chinese IP theft.  Every year – for eighteen years.

That makes the most conservative estimate – more than $4 TRILLION in Chinese IP theft.

And it’s not just the money – though the money is gigantic.

Totalitarian Communist China is rapidly becoming our equal on the global stage.  A truly disconcerting concept for anyone who likes, you know, freedom and peace.

And totalitarian Communist China got here not by their own creation and invention – but by stealing ours.  For decades.

Intellectual Property isn’t just about licensing patents, trademarks and copyrights.

IP is about protecting the property of the minds of men.  So we can all have access to and use those creations and innovations – to improve our lives and advance our society.

Communist China outsourced their IP creation – to US.  Advancing their totalitarian state not by their ingenuity – but by stealing ours.

And for decades, the Swamp Creatures – did absolutely nothing about it.

Except secure mass Communist China money transfers to their families and friends.

This has been a MASSIVE, government-forced transfer of IP and its attending wealth and societal benefit.

From our IP creators – to Communist China.  And then from Communist China – to DCs Swamp Creatures.

China’s isn’t the only government forcing this ongoing, rolling titanic heist.

The US government has been forcing it too.

Because money.

The corruption is so pervasive and deep – it has polluted our nation all the way down the food chain.

To regular Americans at NBA games – simply trying to hold pro-freedom signs…for a nation on the other side of the planet.

Regular Americans’ free speech – and their signs, the products of their minds – are squelched and silenced.

By Swamp Creatures – who now exist way beyond DC.

The Communist Chinese corruption of our country – now being wholly pervasive.

Because money.

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The Private Sector Is Yet Again Rushing to Save Us from Government

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What Did Government Use for Light Before Candles? Electricity

 

The answer to everything even remotely policy-related – is less government.

Because the original sin of everything even remotely policy-related – is too much government.

Want to solve our health care “crisis” – ???  Undo the original government sins.

After World War II – taxes were kept at during-WW II levels.  So in an end run around this too much government – the private sector started offering employees untaxed “benefits”…including health insurance.

Post-WW II set up a bizarre, antithetical-to-Reality system…where health insurance isn’t tied to the person – it’s tied to the person’s employer.  Which is inherently very stupid.

Post-WW II set up a bizarre, antithetical-to-Reality system…where health insurance stopped being a catastrophic policy, and started paying for EVERY encounter with a health care provider.

Car insurance pays when you wrap your car around a tree.  Imagine how stupid and expensive it would be – if they were paying for everything up to and including oil changes and windshield wipers.

Post-WW II also set up a bizarre, antithetical-to-Reality third-party-payer system.  The doctor and patient are in the room negotiating services and terms – the guy picking up the tab is not.

Which guarantees skyrocketing prices and costs.  Because human nature.

A buyer wants to buy as much as he can.

A seller wants to sell as much as he can – for as much as he can.

The check and balance upon these billions of daily commercial exchanges – is the buyer’s wallet.

The buyer wants to conserve his coin – so he perpetually looks for the best deals.

The seller wants to sell – so he and the buyer negotiate mutually agreeable deals.

If the guy picking up the tab isn’t involved in the process – price is no object.  And things quickly get REALLY crazy.

Seven decades of third-party-payer health insurance later – things have become really, REALLY crazy.

You want more government further screwing up health care?  There’s plenty, you know.

Medicare, for instance.  You know, the third-party-payer government health care plan for senior citizens.

Medicare is currently at least $40 trillion short.

Medicare doesn’t actually completely cover seniors – so the private sector has to backstop the government.  Medigap, anyone?

And Medicare actually pays medical providers ridiculously low rates for medical goods and services.  So since Medicare’s inception – medical providers have been price-shifting to the private sector.  Charging the private sector much, MUCH more – to subsidize the government.

Steadfastly impervious to facts, Leftists everywhere want to murder private health insurance – and force feed us all into Medicare’s bankrupt, gaping maw.  Medicare for All – is medical care for none.

The solution to this titanic government-caused mess – is less government.  Not more – less.

Allow people to purchase policies in any of the fifty states.

Equalize the government’s treatment of individual-purchased and employer-provided insurance.

And begin to roll back the government’s third-party-payer involvement in…everything.

Another area where government keeps rigidly insisting on inserting itself – is the Internet.

The Internet is perhaps the most successful endeavor in human history.  Nothing has grown bigger, better and faster.

The federal government did in fact create the Internet.  And for decades, it just sat there – inert…gathering dust.

Until the 1990s.  When the government privatized the Internet.  At which point – KABOOM.

United States’ private Internet Service Providers (ISPs) spent the next quarter century investing $1+ trillion dollars building the networks.  Taking us from 14k dial-up snail speeds – to multiple gigabyte hyper speeds.

Which paved the way for millions of other companies to invest trillions of additional dollars creating and developing…everything we know on the Web.  And a whole lot of stuff we don’t.  (It’s a BIG Internet.)

Government controlling the Internet – kept it an unknown, unused bit of nothing.  For decades.

The private sector handling the Internet – created the free speech-free market Xanadu we all know and love today.

Steadfastly impervious to facts, Leftists everywhere want to roll back this titanic private sector success – and revert to a government-controlled Internet.

They want to re-impose the very ridiculous Network Neutrality.  Which an avowed Marxist describes thus:

“At the moment, the battle over network neutrality is not to completely eliminate the telephone and cable companies. We are not at that point yet. But the ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control.”

How very Venezuela of them.

To “get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control” – you need government Internet as a replacement.

Which Leftists have already long been funding.  How’s that been going?  Remarkably like government health care.

Broadband Boondoggles: A Map of Failed Taxpayer-Funded Networks:

“For decades, local governments have made promises of faster and cheaper broadband networks.

“Unfortunately, these municipal networks often don’t deliver or fail, leaving taxpayers to foot the bill.

“Explore the map to learn about the massive debt, waste and broken promises left behind by these failed government networks.”

One of the angles Leftists attempt to work in defense of their government Internet efforts – is the lack of Internet access in America’s rural areas.

For those of you who are government school victims – the United States is a VERY large place.  Reaching the US’s very many uber-rural areas with uber-fast Internet – ain’t easy.

That being said, this alleged problem – is already exceedingly overblown:

“(T)he (Federal Communications Commission) FCC still bizarrely only counts a hardline (terrestrial fixed) Internet connection as a connection.  Meaning buried cables criss-crossing America – all the way into your abode.

“But nearly everyone in America has a 4G (Fourth Generation) wireless smartphone. On which you can seamlessly stream High Definition (HD) video – the most bandwidth intensive thing currently to do on the Internet.  (And we’re but a few years away from exponentially-faster-5G).

“And then there is Satellite Internet – for the remaining very few who are bereft of both wired and cellular wireless.

“And those…speeds that serve as the FCC minimum?  They are WAY faster than 98+% of Americans currently need.

“The Truth About Faster Internet: It’s Not Worth It:

“‘Typical U.S. households don’t use most of their bandwidth while streaming and get marginal gains from upgrading speeds.’

“So even while streaming High Definition (HD) video – the most bandwidth intensive thing currently to do on the Internet – ‘typical U.S. households don’t use most of their bandwidth.’

“In other words – just about everyone in America has more-than-sufficient access to the Internet.”

As just mentioned, government has for decades been trying to replicate private ISPs.  And as just mentioned – has been perpetually, miserably failing.

And wait: Here come’s the private sector – yet again riding to the government’s rescue.  And all the rest of us too.  Via the aforementioned 5G wireless network:

“(T)he 5G wireless network – is going to blow the doors off of even the existing, massive private sector success.

“And thereby blow an even larger hole in the Left’s demands for government Internet.

“How 5G Will Solve Rural Broadband:

“‘Starting with advanced versions of 4G LTE and then continuing with 5G, wireless technologies will not only displace many wireline endpoints in dense population areas, but also in low population density areas, including rural areas….

“‘The cost advantage of wireless connections is overwhelming.

“‘A spokesperson for the Wireless ISP Association (WISPA) estimates that a wireless connection to a rural endpoint costs one-fifth to one-tenth of a wireline connection….

“Translation from Tech-to-English:

“The Left’s idea to get into the government into the broadband business – is currently very stupid and dishonest.

“Thanks to the private sector.

“And the Left’s idea to get the government into the broadband business – is about to get exponentially stupider and more dishonest.

“Thanks to the private sector.”

Because service to every single nook and cranny of the United States – is about to get massively faster wireless Internet service.

Thanks to the private sector.

Yet again saving us from government.

And yet again saving government from itself.

The post The Private Sector Is Yet Again Rushing to Save Us from Government appeared first on RedState.

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Widely Circulated Video Of Dead Kurdish Child Is Fake (Or Is It?)

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(Image: Screen Capture, Twitter)

We are officially entering the age of the Deep Fake, where video production can be manipulated so convincingly that we may never be able to trust our own eyes again. And it’s becoming something of a problem in terms of how it can sway public opinion.

Take for example the recent decision by the Trump administration to move a small group of U.S. military members and support staff out of the way of Turkish forces as it invaded Northern Syria in an attack against the Syrian Democratic Forces, leaving some Kurdish forces to face the onslaught.

There was a great deal of debate over the controversial decision given the U.S. relationship with Kurds in the region who had fought alongside U.S. troops to help squash the rise of the Islamic State.

Many Americans on both sides of the political aisle were critical of the decision, suggesting the U.S. had left allies to be slaughtered. To that end, videos began appearing that bolstered that narrative, with one particularly disturbing video purported to be a Kurdish woman holding up a dead child and condemning the U.S.

The video, if that is indeed what it contains, is tragic and went quickly viral. Now however, there’s some question as to whether it’s real as the child in question seems to be blinking his eyes and moving his head. To be fair, the woman, if the translation is correct in the below video, does acknowledge that she doesn’t know if the child is alive or dead. But the video was circulated as proof the Kurds were being indiscriminately killed. (WARNING: the video, while not particularly graphic, may be uncomfortable for some viewers. Watch at your own risk.)

But here’s the rub: it’s just as possible that the video has been manipulated to make it appear the child is in fact alive, when he is, in fact, dead.

The point is, we’ve entered a new age of communication where you may not be able to trust your own lying eyes.

Good luck out there.

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Apple Caves, Removes Multiple Apps, Including News App Covering Hong Kong Protests, After China Objects

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The scandal of American businesses kowtowing to China on free speech over the protests in Hong Kong continues.

Apple has now removed multiple apps/emojis after China expressed its displeasure with them.

The latest app removed came last night, according to The Verge.

Apple removed the app for HKMap.live, a crowdsourced map that allows Hong Kongers to see where police and street closures were in Hong Kong. Apple previously rejected the app, but then relented. Now they’ve pulled it again.

Here’s their argument:

We created the App Store to be a safe and trusted place to discover apps. We have learned that an app, HKmap.live, has been used in ways that endanger law enforcement and residents in Hong Kong. Many concerned customers in Hong Kong have contacted us about this app and we immediately began investigating it. The app displays police locations and we have verified with the Hong Kong Cybersecurity and Technology Crime Bureau that the app has been used to target and ambush police, threaten public safety, and criminals have used it to victimize residents in areas where they know there is no law enforcement. This app violates our guidelines and local laws, and we have removed it from the App Store.

The developers dispute that.

“There is 0 evidence to support CSTCB’s accusation,” the HKmap developers said in response. “HKmap App never solicits, promotes, or encourages criminal activity. HKmap App consolidates information from user and public sources, e.g. live news stream, Facebook and Telegram.”

But Apple pulled the app one day after the China Daily, a media arm of the Chinese Communist Party, blasted them for running with it, saying it was “hurting the feelings of the Chinese people” and that Apple was “mixing business with politics, and even illegal acts. Apple has to think about the consequences of its unwise and reckless decision.”

While the app has been pulled, you can still access the map for the moment on an iPhone.

But in case you were inclined to give Apple the benefit of the doubt and accept their argument that it was just about public safety, there’s more.

They also dumped their app for the news outlet, Quartz, after complaints by China.

From The Verge:

According to Quartz, this is due to the publication’s ongoing coverage of the Hong Kong protests, and the company says its entire website has also been blocked from being accessed in mainland China.

The publication says it received a notice from Apple that the app “includes content that is illegal in China.”

Apple has even gone as far this week as to remove its Taiwan flag emoji from view in the emoji keyboard selection that can be seen in Hong Kong and Macau at the request of the Chinese government, according to The Verge.

Why is an American company so willing to toady to China? Because of all their business interests tied to China. Almost 20% of its market comes from China. Its supply chain is based out of China. It’s an American company but it’s exceedingly dependent on China. This isn’t the first time that they’ve caved to China and it likely wouldn’t be the last.

Kowtowgate needs to be called out loudly as the scandal it truly is.

Removing an app that helps protesters avoid problems with the Communist-controlled police is not in the interests of public safety. Removing an app that dares report the truth about what’s going on is not in the interests of public safety. And removing an emoji that denies the truth may soothe the delicate feelings of China. But it does no service to free speech or the truth.

The post Apple Caves, Removes Multiple Apps, Including News App Covering Hong Kong Protests, After China Objects appeared first on RedState.

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TheCoderSchool opens in Ashburn with after-school coding programs for local students

Westlake Legal Group TheCoderSchool-feature TheCoderSchool opens in Ashburn with after-school coding programs for local students TheCoderSchool Technology Students school kids Education Computer Science coding children ashburn
Photo courtesy of TheCoderSchool

When it comes to local after-school programs, there is no question that there are a lot to choose from. Art classes, music lessons and sports practices are just a few that come to mind.

But with recent emphasis in educational settings on STEM education, there’s one topic that comes up as an important skill for students time and time again: coding.

Chad and Ellen Hamel saw the potential in the Northern Virginia area to reach more local children with the lessons of coding, especially with Loudoun County Public Schools starting to push more coding in its curriculum and the arrival of Amazon’s HQ2 in Arlington. So, they decided to open Virginia’s first location of TheCoderSchool.

The newly opened location offers one-on-one lessons and classes in HTML, CSS, Python, Javascript and more, and, unlike other coding schools in the area, allows students to take the program’s curriculum and software home in order to build on their skills outside of after-school lessons and day camps.

“It’s a passion project for us because we really want kids coding,” says Chad Hamel, a co-owner and operator of TheCoderSchool.

Chad Hamel, a local veterinarian, and his wife, Ellen Hamel, a local nurse, have both worked in the health care industry for nearly 20 years and have watched technology transform their jobs over time. Although they don’t have college degrees in coding or computer science, they believe strongly in offering the opportunity in an area that Chad refers to as, “a data hub for the internet and high-tech industries.”

“There’s a significant deficiency of high-quality coders out there,” says Chad. “It’s a skill that’s needed now, but also in the future as those jobs continue to grow.”

The location’s technical adviser is Stevens Miller, who holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Amherst College, a master’s degree in computer science from the Stevens Institute of Technology and is a Unity-certified developer. Working alongside Miller are other teachers, of which, according to Chad, 85% have college degrees in computer science.

Also, says Chad, TheCoderSchool prides itself on its low student-teacher ratios (two-to-one in lessons and six-to-one in classroom settings), so students can feel confident in learning the necessary skills and climb the “foundational tree” that includes evolving lessons on how the internet works, website development, game creation and more.

No previous coding experience is required to enroll your child, and since kids can be challenging with long-term commitments, there’s even a free trial where local students can try lessons, get their hands on the programming and understand what coding is all about.

“We want kids to be excited and to be fired up about learning,” says Chad. “And if your child is ready and interested, we are not cookie-cutter, so we can provide them with the opportunity to fit a curriculum, or a program or a coach into their life and get the foundational skills of coding.”

In the future, look out for partnerships with local nonprofits that will combine intellectual and physical activity for after-school participants. Ellen is a firm believer in instilling wellness behaviors in children from an early age, and is looking to partner with local martial arts locations, among others.

Until then, you can enroll or learn more about TheCoderSchool’s local offerings on its website. Plus, don’t miss the mascot, “Magellan, theCodingAlpaca,” who doesn’t make appearances at the actual Ashburn location, but does live on the Hamels’ 10-acre farm (with four alpaca siblings) in Round Hill, alongside their two young sons. // TheCoderSchool Ashburn: 42841 Creek View Plaza, Suite 110, Ashburn

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