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Westlake Legal Group > Technology (Page 5)

Adam Honeysett-Watts: After three years of gloom under May, it’s time for fun with Johnson

Adam Honeysett-Watts is Director of Conservatives in Communications and works in the financial technology sector. 

Before this leadership election got underway, I wrote that the next leader must be able to tell the Tory story – of aspiration and opportunity – and identified Boris Johnson as the person best-positioned to do that.

Having previously supported David Cameron and then Theresa May, I like to think I back winners – at least, in terms of those who reach the top. That said, while the former will be remembered for rescuing the economy – while giving people the power to marry who they love and an overdue say on Europe – the latter, much to my disappointment, has no real legacy. Johnson should avoid repeating that mistake.

His final column for the Daily Telegraph, ‘Britain must fire-up its sense of mission’, was jam-packed with the kind of Merry England* (or Merry UK) optimism that we experienced during the Cricket World Cup and that the whole country needs right now: “They went to the Moon 50 years ago. Surely today we can solve the logistical issues of the Irish border”. Quite right.

You’ve guessed it, I’m chuffed that Conservative MPs, media and members supported Johnson’s bid to become our Prime Minister. I’m looking forward to May handing him the keys to Number Ten and him batting for us after three, long years of doom and gloom. Sure, optimism isn’t everything – but it can set the tone. A detailed vision must be articulated and executed by a sound team.

Whichever side you were on before the referendum (or are on now), in the short term, we need to redefine our purpose, move forward with our global partners, unite the UK – and defeat Corbynism.

Mid-term, we should invest further in our national security and technology, improving education and life chances and encouraging greater participation in culture and sport, as well as boosting home ownership. Plus the odd tax cut here and there would be well-advised.

However, we must not put off having debates – for fear of offending – about controlling immigration and legalising drugs, and about funding for health and social care, as well as protecting the environment, for these issues matter and will matter even more in the future.

We should also avoid the temptation to ban political expression, alternative media and sugary foods, and celebrate instead free speech, press freedom and the right to choose.

Again, I look forward to Johnson peddling optimism and hope that people get behind him, because, ultimately, he will write our next chapter – and if we jump onboard and provide support, much more can be achieved by us all working together.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Another Obama-Undoing Great Idea: Plug the Obama-Era Holes In Our Patent Protections

Westlake Legal Group obama-vs-trump-620x324 Another Obama-Undoing Great Idea: Plug the Obama-Era Holes In Our Patent Protections trademark Technology Rep. Thomas Massie Politics Policy Patents Legislation law intellectual property theft Intellectual Property Protections Intellectual Property Government Front Page Stories Front Page Federal Trade Commission Economy Courts copyright China Capitalism Barack H. Obama

It’s been amusing – and more than a mite disturbing – to watch the Barack Obama Contingent spend the entirety of the Donald Trump Administration freaking the heck out.

A particularly interesting wrinkle – has been the Obama Contingent spending the first year-plus screeching (correctly) that Trump was (rightly) undoing everything Obama had done.

Ben Rhodes: Trump Reversing Obama Policies Just Because They Were Obama’s

Donald Trump’s Only Policy Agenda Seems to Be ‘Undo Obama Stuff’

Trump Methodically Undoing Obama Policies

How Trump Is Rolling Back Obama’s Legacy

How Trump Is Undoing the Obama Legacy

Trump Is Undoing Much More Than Obama’s Legacy

Undoing the awful Obama policies worked – utterly unsurprisingly – and we emerged from the awful Obama economy into the sunlight.

How Trump Has Set Economic Growth on Fire

Trump’s Economy Is Roaring

Boom, Baby: Trump’s Economy Just Keeps Getting Better And Better As Stock Market Sets New Record (Again)

Wages, Obama Economy’s Weakest Link, Now Surging Under Trump

Hispanic Unemployment at All-Time Low Under Trump

Black Unemployment Falls to Lowest Level on Record

The Obama Contingent then ridiculously tried to claim the newfound successes…were thanks to Obama.  Whose policies they had just got done whining about Trump thoroughly undoing.

Trump Claims Credit for the Economy. Not So Fast, Says Obama

Obama Swats Trump for Taking Credit for Economic Growth

Obama’s Trump Economy Credit Taking

Trump Fights to Wrest Credit for the Economy from Obama

Biden Tries to Take Full Credit for Trump’s Economic Accomplishments

Several 2020 Dems Have Tried to Credit Obama for Trump’s Economy

This is the Obama Contingent hoping we forget both what they said – and that there is an Internet that never does.

What nationally syndicated radio host (and full disclosure: a friend) Chris Plante calls Newsheimers.

But for anyone not steadfastly impervious to facts – the evidence is in.  Undoing Obama policy – is good policy.

One vitally important policy area that has not yet received the serious Obama undoing required – is Intellectual Property (IP).  And most shamefully, in this spate of awfulness – Obama had Congressional Republican help:

“In this the Digital Age and the Information Economy – Intellectual Property and its protections have only become even more important than that.

“So why did we spend the entirety of the Barack Obama Administration undermining it all?

“The Administration spent its eight years issuing all sorts of regulations and rulings – and filing all sorts of lawsuits – all designed to undermine IP.

“Republicans were hardly better.  In sickening pursuit of Silicon Valley political coin, they gleefully drafted and passed the very awful, very-awfully-misnamed America Invents Act.

“Which – like the Affordable Care Act – did the exact opposite of what the name suggests.  It strip mined IP protections from anyone inventing anything.

“And of course, the-most-anti-IP-President-ever Obama – gleefully signed it.

“The result?  When Obama entered the White House, the US was on the global innovation ranking list – consistently #1 or very close to it.

“By the time we were rid of Obama?

“Intellectual Property Crisis: U.S. Drops Out Of The Top Ten In Innovation Ranking.”

Almost inarguably the worst part of the misnamed America Invents Act?

PTAB: DCs Latest Unaccountable, Power Grabbing Government Board:

“‘The (United States Patent and Trademark Office) USPTO is no longer so friendly towards…patents. In fact, many such patents that have been granted are nowadays being invalidated.…The judges at (the Patent Trial and Advisory Board) PTAB…continue to nuke…patents.’

“Well that’s fantastic.

“DC has reverse-engineered the government entity responsible for issuing patents – to now destroy patents. Patents that government entity its own self had issued – are now destroyed by that same government entity.

“This is insane.

“This is the USPTO saying ‘Congratulations, you have a patent.’ And then saying ‘Psyche. We were just kidding.’…

“Far too frequently – at the behest of huge companies far larger than are you or I.

“Big Government and Big Business win.

“We the Little Guys – We the People – lose.

“As does our nation – and our nations economy.”

The ridiculous PTAB is a fundamental contributor to our precipitous drop off the global IP stage.

Congressional Republicans – have a chance to redeem themselves.

Rep. Massie Introduces New Legislation to Restore America’s Patent System:

“Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY) (has) introduced the Restoring America’s Leadership in Innovation Act of 2018 (H.R. 6264). This legislation would reverse many of the harms that have been caused by recent changes to the patent laws from all three branches of government….

“The USPTO, through the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), has been systematically invalidating worthwhile patents based on flawed procedures that are easily abused….(T)hese changes have done substantial damage to our innovation economy.  This new bill will reverse many of these recent changes….

“Section 5 abolishes the PTAB. The PTAB is a terrible example of regulatory overreach….The legislation instead recreates the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, which existed prior to the AIA and handled the administrative appeals and trials that occurred under the prior system….”

Massie’s bill – rightly kills the PTAB.  And restores its precursor system.  You know, the system in place when we were #1 in the world in IP protection – and thus creation.

And Massie’s bill does a lot of other very good things.

Why is Massie’s bill so extraordinarily good?

Thomas Massie: America’s Inventor Congressman:

“Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY) never intended to run for office or become a politician when he was majoring in electrical and mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). ‘I look forward to returning to my prior life of inventing and working on my farm,’ Massie (said)….

“Inventors and others who believe in the importance of patents to the U.S. economy no doubt hope that Congressman Massie, himself an inventor with two dozen U.S. patents to his credit, is in no great rush to return to his entrepreneurial life – running his own company built on the inventions he made….

“‘I can tell you, every day Congress is in session there are lobbyists here trying to weaken the patent system,” Massie explained.

“In Massie’s words, those companies that come to Capitol Hill and lobby to weaken the patent system want to get into new fields, but the problem is they didn’t invent in those fields, so they face problems. Patent problems.

“A lot of those companies want to become automobile manufacturers, or cell phone manufacturers, or they want to write software for operating systems, but they didn’t invent in those areas and they don’t own the patents that have historically been the touchstone of innovation ownership.

“‘They’d love to just come in and start playing in those fields and start using their size and scale as an advantage, and to them, patents look like a hindrance,’ Massie explained. ‘They are here in Congress looking to weaken patents and they are not just interested in weakening patents issued in the future, they are looking to weaken all patents.’”

It’s shameful so many Republicans listened to these anti-IP vested interests – and passed the awful America Invents Act.  (Massie wasn’t yet in Congress.)

Republicans can diminish said shame – by rallying behind Massie’s bill.

I’m quite sure President Trump will happily sign it.

Thereby undoing yet another awful piece of the anti-economy, awful Obama legacy.

Yes, please.

The post Another Obama-Undoing Great Idea: Plug the Obama-Era Holes In Our Patent Protections appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group obama-vs-trump-300x157 Another Obama-Undoing Great Idea: Plug the Obama-Era Holes In Our Patent Protections trademark Technology Rep. Thomas Massie Politics Policy Patents Legislation law intellectual property theft Intellectual Property Protections Intellectual Property Government Front Page Stories Front Page Federal Trade Commission Economy Courts copyright China Capitalism Barack H. Obama   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

America Last: Peter Thiel Is Right About Google and China – As Were We Last October

Westlake Legal Group china-cybercrime-lead-china-hack-620x414 America Last: Peter Thiel Is Right About Google and China – As Were We Last October washington D.C. Technology Taxes Silicon Valley progressives Privacy Politics Policy Peter Thiel News network neutrality Net Neutrality National Security law Internet International Affairs Government Front Page Stories Front Page Foreign Policy fifth generation wireless Economy donald trump China Business & Economy 5g

Technology entrepreneur and angel investor Peter Thiel – is a Big Tech anomaly.

Thiel was a co-founder of what became mammoth online payment company PayPal.  He struck it really rich when they sold PayPal to eBay for $1.5 billion in 2002.

Thiel took that coin and started Clarium Capital – an investment management and hedge fund company.  Clarium’s was the first outside money invested in Facebook.  Thiel’s $500,000 in 2004 – became $1 billion when he sold his Facebook shares in 2012.  Not a terrible return on investment.

Ok, anyone who gets this rich is an anomaly – in the Silicon Valley…or anywhere else on the planet.  But Thiel – is much more anomalous still:

“A co-founder of The Stanford Review, he is a conservative libertarian who is critical of high government spending, high debt levels, and foreign wars. He has donated to numerous political figures.”

A conservative libertarian in Big Tech Land is…a unicorn.  With wings.  (A Pegacorn?  A Unisus?)

One of the political figures Thiel openly supports is…<GASP> now-President Donald J. Trump.  Thiel endorsed Trump in 2016and spoke at the 2016 Republican convention.  In October 2018 – Thiel donated $250,000 to The Trump Fund.

“America First” seems to possess lasting appeal for Thiel.  And God bless him for it.

Which almost certainly led last week to this:

Peter Thiel Blasts ‘Treasonous’ Google for Choosing China Over US Military

Peter Thiel Calls for CIA, FBI Probe of Google over China Ties:

“Google was accused of sleeping with the enemy again this week when tech billionaire Peter Thiel called on the CIA and FBI to probe the search engine for its ‘seemingly treasonous’ ties with China….

“The speech, first reported by Axios, echoed a tweet by Trump in March accusing Google of ‘helping China and their military, but not the U.S. Terrible!’”

Trump Endorses Peter Thiel’s Demand to Probe Google on China Links

And it ain’t just them.

Ex-White House Advisor Richard Clarke: Thiel Right on Google and China

It all reminds of something we wrote last October – in which we point out the US should look at MANY more Big Tech companies than just Google.

Leftist Big Tech: Communist China? ‘Heck Yes.’ The US Military? ‘Heck No.’:

“(W)ho’s bending over backwards to help Communist China challenge American dominance of science – and everything else?  And help Communist China censor everyone and everything?

“Why…it’s America’s Leftist Big Tech….

“Big Tech’s Borg employees are more than happy to work for companies that censor speech.  Here – and all over the world.  All at the behest of the Communism-Leftism in which they so vociferously believe.

“But Big Tech’s Borg employees won’t work for companies – that work for the US Defense Department.”

Seriously, please (re-)read our piece in its entirety.  The number of evidentiary links provided therein – is extraordinarily damning of nigh all of Big Tech.

These Big Tech companies are hardcore Left.  And are willing to do whatever fellow hardcore Leftists wish – up to and including incessantly genuflecting to Communist China.

How U.S. Tech Giants Are Helping to Build China’s Surveillance State

Silicon Valley Adopts Chinese Censorship Tactics

Where Is China’s Silicon Valley?

The exact same place ours is.

Big Tech is filled-to-the-brim with Fellow Travelers – in the worst definition of the phrase:

“The term fellow traveller (also fellow traveler) identifies a person who is intellectually sympathetic to the ideology of a political organization, and who co-operates in the organization’s politics, without being a formal member of that organization.

“In the early history of the Soviet Union, the Bolshevik revolutionary Trotsky coined the term poputchik (‘one who travels the same path’) to identify the vacillating intellectual supporters of the Bolshevik régime.”

We have spent the last decade-plus describing and identifying Big Tech’s domestic policy efforts – as Socialistic in nature.

Why Don’t We Want More Government in the Internet? IDK…China, Maybe?

In no small part – because the domestic people helping Big Tech push their domestic policies describe these policies…as Socialistic in nature.

To wit: Network Neutrality.  Which Big Tech companies Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, et al would LOVE to impose here.

Which we have long called “Socialism for the Internet” – because it guarantees everyone equal amounts of nothing.

Why have we called Net Neutrality this?  Because Socialism for the Internet – is exactly what Net Neutrality delivers.  Per its proponents.

Meet Big Tech’s policy-pushing Fellow Traveler – avowed Marxist college professor Robert McChesney.  Who co-founded the Left’s lead Socialist US tech group – Free Press.

McChesney loves writing for domestic Socialist publications like Monthly Review and The Bullet – The Socialist Project.  In which he has written about Net Neutrality – really pleasant things like this:

“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.”

Hmmm.  That sounds…very Communist China.

McChesney sees Net Neutrality – as the Tech portion of the Communist takeover of all things US media:

“Any serious effort to reform the media system would have to necessarily be part of a revolutionary program to overthrow the capitalist system itself.”

“There is no real answer but to remove brick by brick the capitalist system itself, rebuilding the entire society on socialist principles.”

Hmmm.  That too sounds…very Communist China.

Worse, even.

Communist China has at least taken a couple of crooked steps toward capitalism.

McChesney and his Big Tech Fellow Travelers want to take the US Internet – all the way Left.

No, thank you.

President Trump and Peter Thiel – are even more right than they know.

We should investigate MANY Big Tech companies for selling out to Communist China.

WAY more than just Google.

We Shouldn’t Be Doing Business With Communist China

We really shouldn’t.

The post America Last: Peter Thiel Is Right About Google and China – As Were We Last October appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group china-cybercrime-lead-china-hack-300x200 America Last: Peter Thiel Is Right About Google and China – As Were We Last October washington D.C. Technology Taxes Silicon Valley progressives Privacy Politics Policy Peter Thiel News network neutrality Net Neutrality National Security law Internet International Affairs Government Front Page Stories Front Page Foreign Policy fifth generation wireless Economy donald trump China Business & Economy 5g   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Our Obsession Over Celebrity Is Hitting Our Children Hard, and China Will Take Advantage Of It

Westlake Legal Group Astronaut-620x465 Our Obsession Over Celebrity Is Hitting Our Children Hard, and China Will Take Advantage Of It youtube Vlog Technology Internet Generation Z Front Page Stories Featured Story China astronaut America

Over the weekend I saw an article detailing the results of a Harris Poll that was commissioned by LEGO that focused on what children aspired to be in various countries. What I saw was a bit unnerving.

According to the poll, 56 percent of Chinese children said they wanted to be astronauts when they grow up. Meanwhile, only 11 percent of U.S. children wanted anything to do with that.

No, for children in the United States, the number one career choice was to grow up and be a YouTuber or vlogger of some sort at 29 percent.

This worried me, because it showed me how far the United States has fallen in terms of how high it holds up its celebrities. Don’t get me wrong, I watch YouTube for nearly everything, including my news. The vlogger has become just as much a celebrity as the people on the silver screen, only we don’t call them celebrities per se, we call them “influencers.”

And therein lies the draw for American kids. The influencer is just as recognized as the celebrity with the added benefit of never having to leave your home to be one. They get all the recognition and and fame for their work, including the perks of money and free stuff from sponsors. As such, American kids don’t want to grow up to be Neil Armstrong, they’d rather grow up to be PewDiePie.

Instead of exploring the stars, they’d rather sit in front of a camera and talk about their thoughts and opinions. I realize that’s rich coming from a guy whose job is to talk about his thoughts and opinions, but at least I have the excuse that I fell into it by mistake. The very first thing I wanted to be as a kid was an astronaut.

We’ve become so obsessed with ourselves and how people look at us. Our social media fixation has showed us a world where everyone is looking at us and applauding for being entertaining. Meanwhile, Chinese children are actually looking toward the future and figuring out how to get off this Kardashian infested rock where a makeup tutorial is more viewed than news about the latest scientific breakthrough.

I have to say, however, that I’m not blaming the children. Generation Z was born into this. This is the world that they know and understand. The successful people, at least to them, are the ones who are sitting in their living rooms with a camera and making millions of dollars talking to people. It’s something that they can do too, right now. They don’t need training or need to slog through horrible times in order to finally achieve their goal. They can just pull out the high-tech computer in their pocket, switch on an app and begin broadcasting.

American culture is so infectious and addictive that Gen Z never had a chance. The fastest and most effective way to change the world now is to become a recognized face within it.

Chinese culture has not fallen to that, however. Not, at least, to the extent the west has.

And while we’re looking at ourselves in our computer screens while we talk, Chinese children are looking at the stars. While we obsess over celebrity, Chinese children obsess over the future. Rest assured, the day is approaching swiftly when we’ll look up and see China above us both figuratively and very, very literally.

The post Our Obsession Over Celebrity Is Hitting Our Children Hard, and China Will Take Advantage Of It appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Astronaut-300x225 Our Obsession Over Celebrity Is Hitting Our Children Hard, and China Will Take Advantage Of It youtube Vlog Technology Internet Generation Z Front Page Stories Featured Story China astronaut America   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Localities Shouldn’t Be Dictating (Inter-)National Policy

Westlake Legal Group world-map-SCREENSHOT-620x368 Localities Shouldn’t Be Dictating (Inter-)National Policy washington D.C. Technology Taxes progressives Privacy Politics Policy News network neutrality Net Neutrality National Security law Internet International Affairs Government Front Page Stories Front Page Foreign Policy fifth generation wireless federalism Economy Constitution China California Business & Economy 5g

California Does Not Have Jurisdiction Over This

 

Federalism is too infrequently mentioned.  And when it does come up – it is woefully misrepresented and abused.

Let’s check with our old friend Merriam Webster:

“The distribution of power in an organization (such as a government) between a central authority and the constituent units.”

Our Constitution is fully imbued with decentralized federalism.

The Founding Fathers – were brilliant.  Not only in limiting for what the “central authority” is responsible – but in rightly assigning the policies for which it is.

The Constitution gives the federal government (the “central authority”) a few expressly enumerated powers.  And then the Ninth and Tenth Amendments give all other power(s) to “the States and the People.”

Merriam’s “constituent units” – are the fifty state and very many municipal governments.  Most unfortunately, as government is want to do – the “constituent units” insist on doing (too much) of their stuff…and the central authority’s limited portion as well.

We certainly see this with immigration.

These are the policies this country has with regard to whom and how many from other countries we allow to come here.

Which is clearly a national prerogative – and therefore clearly a federal government prerogative.

But behold the “Sanctuary _____” – States, Cities, Counties, etc.

These non-federal elected officials openly flout our immigration laws – and allow illegal aliens to stay in their jurisdictions.  Worse, they openly obstruct justice – refusing to cooperate with federal authorities on the rare instances they decide to enforce our immigration laws.

These non-federal elected officials – should be in prison.

And as with all things rightly national – pretending it’s local…doesn’t keep it local.

Los Angeles, California has been a Sanctuary City for decades.  Illegal aliens have spent these decades pouring in there – and the result has been a mass disaster area.

But it doesn’t just stay there.  Once they’re in LA – they don’t have to stay in LA.  They can move to anywhere else in America they wish – completely unfettered by the checks rightly and wisely imposed along our borders.

LA’s alleged local preemption of rightly national immigration policy – doesn’t keep it local.  It becomes a national disaster.

As demonstrated by the massive illegal alien problems throughout the country.  Including in far-flung “border areas” like Long Island, New York and Portland, Maine.

This is our non-federal governments – making massive national messes.

So too are they doing with the World Wide Web.

Get that first word – “world.”  We again check with Merriam:

“The earth with its inhabitants and all things upon it.”

Like with immigration, this clearly means the Internet’s rule and regulation – is a federal government prerogative.

Just like with immigration, there are very many reasons the Constitution insists the Internet is federal – whether the fore-thoughtful Forefathers realized all of them or not.

To wit: We are currently in a race with Communist China to be first to the Fifth Generation (5G) wireless Internet.

If Communist China were to beat us to 5G – it would be bad for our economy.

If Communist China were to beat us to 5G – it would be VERY bad for our national security.

Why the Founders made the Internet federal – economy:

We now invite you to (re)visit the Commerce Clause:

“[The Congress shall have Power] To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes….”

The most originalist reading….:

“The narrowest definition of ‘to regulate’ is to ‘make regular,’ that is, to facilitate the free flow of goods, but not, except in cases of danger, to prohibit the flow of any good.”

Why the Founders made the Internet federal – national security:

We don’t want Communist China setting global Web standards.  Which they get to do – if they get to 5G first.

There are all sorts of global implications to our World Wide Web policy.  Which is why non-federal governments should be doing…nothing at all to the Internet.

Leftist non-federal officials want very stupid Internet policies imposed.  Policies We the People won’t elect federal officials to impose.  (How dare We not.)

So these provincial officials are unconstitutionally doing it themselves.

Oregon Enacts Net Neutrality Law as Pacific Northwest Trump Resistance Grows

California Lawmakers Pass Nation’s Toughest Net Neutrality Law

Maine Governor Signs Net Neutrality Bill

Again, a reminder – locals messing with national policy…never stays local.

So even if you like a law’s concept – you may not like how this state or that details it.  If you’re to the Right of Karl Marx – you almost certainly won’t like how nation-warping California details it.

California Passes Strict Internet Privacy Law With Implications For The Country

Maine Passes Nation’s Strictest Internet Privacy Protection Law

New Jersey Passes Consumer Privacy Act:

“State laws governing the collection and use of personal information continue to proliferate.”

Again – this is NOT a good thing.

Our nation’s provincial governments are very often…provincial.  In thought and deed.  When they mess with (inter-)national issues – their provinciality is often highly damaging to our nation.

Which of course means provincial officials are more than happy to eviscerate the Constitution’s federalism and damage our national policy – when it means taking more money from us.

Want Cheaper, Better Internet?  Limit the Local Government Shakedowns of Internet Providers:

“(Internet Service Providers) ISPs show up in your area – looking to spend millions or billions of dollars to build or improve their service to you.

“But before they can do that – they must first play ‘Mother May I’ with the government(s) in your area.

“You know, the governments that are already taxing the living daylight out of ISPs.  That now create ridiculous lists of additional demands of ISPs – for the ISPs’ ‘right’ to spend millions or billions of dollars providing you service.

“It’s like very many governments going shopping – with the ISPs’ credit cards….

“The number of cities and towns making…ridiculous demands is staggering.  The wide variety of these ridiculous demands is mind-numbing.

“All of which are geared by government – to find new and additional ways to extract ever more money from the ISPs.”

So…imagine being an Internet Service Provider (ISP).

You have to deal with 194 different nations’ Internet laws, regulations and taxes.  As each enters the US portion of the World Wide Web – and (if you do) you enter each of theirs.

And now you have to deal with fifty different state governments’ Internet laws, regulations taxes?

Oh – and thousands of municipal governments’ laws, regulations and taxes?

What a giant anti-economy, anti-national security, anti-coherence nightmare mess.

The Feds are currently working to restore Constitutional order.

They are looking to streamline the local shakedowns – and preempt the local laws.

God bless each and every one of them for so doing.

The post Localities Shouldn’t Be Dictating (Inter-)National Policy appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group world-map-SCREENSHOT-300x178 Localities Shouldn’t Be Dictating (Inter-)National Policy washington D.C. Technology Taxes progressives Privacy Politics Policy News network neutrality Net Neutrality National Security law Internet International Affairs Government Front Page Stories Front Page Foreign Policy fifth generation wireless federalism Economy Constitution China California Business & Economy 5g   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Are your kids interested in coding? Sign them up for these 5 local classes

Westlake Legal Group coding-kids Are your kids interested in coding? Sign them up for these 5 local classes Technology tech stem Science Production math Learning. engineering Education coding code
© Gorodenkoff / stock.adobe.com

No matter the career path your youngsters eventually choose, knowledge of basic code provides them with an essential base that opens doors for the future. Plus, it can be fun! From production to engineering and everything in between, here’s where your kids can become an expert in coding and other STEM-related skills. 

Coder Kids
At this innovative studio in McLean, your kids will learn how to create applications, games and websites using their own code of HTML and CSS languages. The tutors at Coder Kids, who all have proper certification and degrees in computer science-related fields, assist each student at their own pace, so no matter the skill level, there’s a course for anyone ages 7 to 13. // 6647 A Old Dominion Drive, McLean; prices vary    

C3 Cyber Club
Since 2011, C3 Cyber Club has been an interactive learning center for children in grades K through ninth, thanks to its computer courses in programming and gaming, offered in seasonal camps, an after-school program and even a birthday party event space. Each student will learn to create digital projects, including live animation, video games and more, which all benefit their overall knowledge of STEM. // 44710 Cape Court, Suite 118, Ashburn; prices vary

Code Ninjas
Through the engaging, game-based curriculum at Code Ninjas, kids will learn a variety of skills that propel them forward as an individual, including teamwork, logic, math and problem solving. The company, which has several locations in the NoVA region, offers drop-in learning sessions, after-school programs, camps, parent’s night out events and birthday parties to ensure your kids have fun while they learn. // Locations vary; prices vary

Digital Kidz
Located in Fairfax County, Digital Kidz offers both computer and technology classes for individuals ages 4 to 14. Whether your child is interested in movie making, graphic design or video game design, this company will show them it all via proper software and programs that are used beyond the classroom experience. // 8216 Old Courthouse Road, Vienna; prices vary

Engineering for Kids
Is your child constantly wanting to build objects and figure out how they function? Now she has the chance to start learning all about the process and answer her many questions. From the junior programs that teach basic science, technology, engineering and math, to the master programs that emphasize the importance of teamwork for completing complex goals, there’s something for everyone. // Locations vary; prices vary 

Want to stay up to date on the best courses for your children? Subscribe to our Education newsletter here.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Save your beauty bucks through Virginia-based app Brandefy

Westlake Legal Group brandefy-women Save your beauty bucks through Virginia-based app Brandefy Technology style skin care Profiles makeup hair care brandefy Beauty apps
Carolyn Kochard (left) and Meg Pryde (right) launched Brandefy to help beauty junkies find the best buys. (Photo courtesy of Lightning Horse Industries)

As a fresh-faced recent University of Virginia grad, Meg Pryde was working in manufacturing and—to her surprise—learned that oftentimes there’s not really a difference between the makeup you find at a department store beauty counter and what’s on the drugstore shelf.

“Sometimes [manufacturers] will produce the same product and put it in two different packages and sell it for two different prices,” says Pryde. “As a consumer, I thought that was really crazy. That meant when I was buying the higher-end brand, I was really just paying for the fancy label.”

That on-the-job education got her wheels turning and last fall, Pryde and her co-founder Carolyn Kochard, launched Brandefy, a beauty app that lets users compare brands to determine if the more expensive version is really worth it.

Westlake Legal Group app-view Save your beauty bucks through Virginia-based app Brandefy Technology style skin care Profiles makeup hair care brandefy Beauty apps
The Brandefy app tells users which products will give them the same results at lower prices. (Photo courtesy of Brandefy)

The app allows users to search their favorite brands (including makeup, skin care, hair care, bath and body, and oral care) and find reviews by “beauty gurus” that have road tested both the high-end brand and the “dupe.” In addition, each product on the site—more than 1,900 and growing—has been reviewed for its ingredient panel, which can be a cumbersome task for a general consumer, says Pryde.

“We take the ingredient panels and compare them for you, so that you don’t have to,” says Pryde of the Richmond-based company. “I’ve literally watched women spend 10 minutes trying to read through an ingredient panel and it just takes too long.”

With 50,000-plus users and counting, including a number of trusted beauty gurus who confidently review products, the app is a resource for both bargain-hunters and those who want to talk makeup with fellow beauty junkies. You can purchase products directly from the app. Don’t see your brand? Users can also request a review of their favorite products.

This summer, the app is readying a 3.0 relaunch with additional consumer engagement features that will allow users to share information, dig deeper into ingredients and learn about the best beauty dupes.

“The way I’ve heard Brandefy described [by our users] is, ‘It’s like a big sister who knows what you should spend more on and what you should get a deal on,” says Pryde. “A lot of people have said, ‘I’m never spending $30 on mascara again. There is literally no point. There are so many good dupes.’”

Summer Essentials
Warmer weather is a great time to swap out your makeup for lighter, sweat-proof products. Below, Meg Pryde, co-founder of Brandefy, shares some of the best dupes found on the beauty app.

Westlake Legal Group BB0719-Mascara Save your beauty bucks through Virginia-based app Brandefy Technology style skin care Profiles makeup hair care brandefy Beauty apps
Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara vs. L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara. (Photo courtesy of Brandefy)
Westlake Legal Group BB0719-Blush Save your beauty bucks through Virginia-based app Brandefy Technology style skin care Profiles makeup hair care brandefy Beauty apps
Nars Blush in Orgasm vs. Elf Blush in Candid Coral. (Photo courtesy of Brandefy)
Westlake Legal Group BB0719-Spray Save your beauty bucks through Virginia-based app Brandefy Technology style skin care Profiles makeup hair care brandefy Beauty apps
Urban Decay Chill Makeup Setting Spray vs. Sephora Beauty Amplifier Set and Refresh Spray. (Photo courtesy of Brandefy)

This article originally appeared in our July 2019 print issue. Want more beauty content? Subscribe to our weekly Shopping newsletter.

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We Are Surrounded by Intellectual Property – Until We Aren’t

Tom Cruise has made more than a little bit of money as an actor.

For which Cruise has to thank genetics, astronomical-odds-beating luck – and rigidly protective copyright laws.

These Intellectual Property (IP) statutes protect the movies in which Cruise appears.  Thereby ensuring said flicks are (mostly) commercially available in formats on which he and his cohorts make money.

And most rightly and righteously, when thieves (like Communist China) steal movies – joints like the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) act.

The Cost of Movie Piracy

MPAA Names Top Online Sites Pirating Movies

MPAA Wins Movie Piracy Case in China After Failed Anti-Piracy Deal

The reason we mention Cruise specifically – is a scene from his 1988 flick Cocktail.  In which he and actress Elizabeth Shue – sit in glorious admiration of the IP all around them.  And, of course, the millions of dollars each IP item represents.

(Just millions?  Hey – it was the 1980s.  Don’t let inflation and economic growth throw you.  It’s now billions – and then some.)

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Behold:

Cruise: “You know – there’s a guy who makes these.  (He’s holding a drink umbrella.)

Shue: “One guy.  He must be exhausted.”

Cruise: “Yes, he is.  But still – he gets up in the morning, he kisses his wife and he goes to his drink umbrella factory.  And he whips out ten billion of these a year.  This guy’s a millionaire.”

Shue: “How about the guy who makes these?  (She picks up an ashtray.)”

Cruise: “What about that guy.  Not to mention the guy who makes these.  (He picks up a wrapped toothpick.)”

Shue: “And those little wrappers are made by another guy.”

Cruise: “What about these plastic things at the end of these (shoe) laces?”

Shue: “Hmmm.  It’s probably got one of those weird names too – like ‘Flugelbinders.’”

Cruise: “We sit here – and we are surrounded by millionaires.”

Indeed we are.  Only now it’s millionaires and billionaires.

And the foundation of all that wealth creation – is IP protection.

Each and every item Cruise and Shue highlight – are protected by patents.

In real life, someone had the very helpful idea – to wrap the ends of shoe laces in plastic.  Born was the flugelbinder.  (Actually, it’s called an aglet).

And that someone – then patented his idea.  Because that’s what you do when you have a good idea.  You look to lock it down with the IP protections expressly described in our Constitution:

“The Congress shall have Power To…promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries….”

You can not have a successful economy or country – without private property protections.  And by private property – we mean both physical and intellectual.

Looking for another bolsterer of IP – besides Cruise and Shue (and screenwriter Heywood Gould)?

Will Abraham Lincoln do?:

“(Lincoln) called the introduction of patent laws one of the three most important developments ‘in the world’s history,’ along with the discovery of America and the perfection of printing.”

Well that’s fairly important.

In this the Digital Age and the Information Economy – Intellectual Property and its protections have only become even more important than that.

So why did we spend the entirety of the Barack Obama Administration undermining it all?

The Administration spent its eight years issuing all sorts of regulations and rulings – and filing all sorts of lawsuits – all designed to undermine IP.

Republicans were hardly better.  In sickening pursuit of Silicon Valley political coin, they gleefully drafted and passed the very awful, very-awfully-misnamed America Invents Act.

Which – like the Affordable Care Act – did the exact opposite of what the name suggests.  It strip mined IP protections from anyone inventing anything.

And of course, the-most-anti-IP-President-ever Obama – gleefully signed it.

The result?  When Obama entered the White House, the US was on the global innovation ranking list – consistently #1 or very close to it.

By the time we were rid of Obama?

Intellectual Property Crisis: U.S. Drops Out Of The Top Ten In Innovation Ranking

President Donald Trump is on several fronts addressing the Obama anti-IP mess he inherited.

Congress should – amongst other things – as rapidly as possible pass Kentucky Republican Congressman Tom Massies actually-accurately-named Restoring America’s Leadership in Innovation Act.

As Cruise and Shue noted, we are surrounded by IP.

Until one day we wake up to find the IP creators have left the US – and taken their IP with them.

Because we decided to do everything we could to be vociferously inhospitable to them.

Of course, their eventual departure is only understandable.  Because – human nature.

If I repeatedly beat you about the head and shoulders with a bat – I should at least have the decency to not act surprised when you get up and leave.

We absolutely must get back into the IP protection business.  Our economic and national security depends on it.

And each of us must work to ensure those in a position to clean up this mess – clean up this mess.

This means you.

Abe Lincoln will thank you.

And Tom Cruise will buy you a drink.

 

The post We Are Surrounded by Intellectual Property – Until We Aren’t appeared first on RedState.

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Apple Co-Founder Has a Message for the World: Get Off of Facebook

Westlake Legal Group steve-wozniak-airport-SCREENSHOT-620x331 Apple Co-Founder Has a Message for the World: Get Off of Facebook Uncategorized Technology Steve Wozniak Social Media Privacy Front Page Stories facebook cambridge analytica apple Allow Media Exception

[Screenshot from TMZ, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XLnnLyx7nQ]

 

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak says…

Actually, let’s pause for a moment and consider who this guy is… Apple co-founder.

Can you imagine being the co-founder of Apple??

Steve Wozniak can. And he has a recommendation for you: Delete your Facebook account (but don’t — please go to https://www.facebook.com/alexparkeronsocialmedia).

Speaking to TMZ at DC’s Reagan National Airport, Steve said a lack of privacy is his main beef with the ‘Book:

“There are many different kinds of people, and some [of] the benefits of Facebook are worth the loss of privacy. But to many like myself, my recommendation is – to most people – you should figure out a way to get off Facebook.”


As reported by Fox, back in March of 2018 — after news of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal broke — Woz deleted his account. At the time, he managed this zinger:

“Mark Zuckerberg buys all the houses around his for privacy and buys extra lots in Hawaii around his for privacy. But oh, our privacy has not been respected and watched over.”

In case you don’t remember what the Cambridge calamity was about: It was revealed that millions of Facebook users’ private information was being used by the firm that worked for Trump’s presidential campaign. The UK’s top watchdog determined the use was illegal.

Back to Steve:

“But, everything about you. I mean, they can measure your heartbeat with lasers now, they can listen to you with a lot of devices. Who knows if my cellphone’s listening right now? Alexa has already been in the news a lot. So I worry because you’re having conversations that you think are private or think are to yourself. You’re saying words that really shouldn’t be listened to, because you don’t expect it. But there’s almost no way to stop it.”

But there is one way, he noted: Pay for it. The Apple man suggested FB could offer a more private, paid option:

“People think they have a level of privacy they don’t. Why don’t they give me a choice? Let me pay a certain amount, and you’ll keep my data, you know, more secure and private then everybody else handing it to advertisers.”

I’m not sure a lot of social media is worth a paid subscription; but if Steve Wozniak says we have no privacy, then I’ve got to believe — we have no privacy.

-ALEX

 

Find all my RedState work here.

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Medicare is $38 Trillion Short – And Other Reasons Government Shouldn’t Run Anything

America’s Left has certainly evolved.

Fifty years ago, it was the Left who didn’t trust Big Brother – and wanted to stick it to The Man.

Now – they LOVE Big Brother.  Because they now are The Man.

The Left now runs nearly everything.  And has for quite a long while.

The Left with ever-increasing influence controls schools grades K-12.  The disasters continue to mount.  We spend ever more money – to have them deliver ever diminished results.

Governments schools do not educate – they indoctrinate.  Seven-year-olds aren’t furthering their reading and math – but they are receiving climate change and LGBTQ propaganda.

Government schools have extruded hundreds of millions of students who can not read the diplomas they’re handed – but they can all roll a condom on a banana.

The Left controls the colleges and universities.  Which is why 99+% of them can now more rightly be called insane asylums.  They have spent decades producing not clear-thinking, self-sustaining, educated individuals – but tens of millions of mindless radical Leftists.

The Left controls the vast majority of the media.  Which is the only way they can continue to propagate their Big Lie.  Because Reality so often, so directly opposes them.

We have dozens of television networks and movie studios, hundreds of newspapers and magazines and millions of websites dedicated to the maxim:

“If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself.”

Westlake Legal Group danger-big-government-1-620x446 Medicare is $38 Trillion Short – And Other Reasons Government Shouldn’t Run Anything Title II Technology republicans Regulation progressives Politics Policy Partisanship News network neutrality Net Neutrality Media Internet Government Front Page Stories Front Page Economy donald trump democrats Congress Business & Economy Bipartisanship bipartisan

It’s a necessary part of the Program.  Which is why they freak out in such a hyper-over-reactory way whenever there is a tiny talk radio-Fox News chink in their otherwise un-penetrated armor.  ANY little glint of sunlight entering their dark world – is egregiously damaging to their cause.

And of course the Left has nigh total control of governments everywhere.

You see it at the local level all the time – especially in schools.  Students and their parents protest the insanity the schools are imposing – and the government tells them to take a flying leap.

High School Student Suspended for Refusing to Join Political Protest:

“High school students across the U.S. walked out of class on Wednesday to protest in favor of gun reform….Jacob Shoemaker, a Hilliard Davidson High School senior in Ohio, refused to join his classmates in taking part of the ‘National Walkout.’…Jacob didn’t feel that politics should play a role in the classroom, and he refused to take sides. He argued that divisive politics should be kept out of schools.”

Hundreds of Parents Pull Kids From School to Protest LGBTQ Curriculum:

“(T)he curriculum would be rolled out in the second grade, where students are about 7 or 8.”

And of course you see the Left’s control of the entirety of Washington, D.C.

We have over the decades periodically elected this attempt or that at reducing government – President Ronald Reagan, the Newt Gingrich Congress, the Tea Party,….  Only to see the Leftist bureaucracy time and again overwhelm our efforts.  And the government only continues to grow.

Since the presidential election of Swamp Drainer Donald Trump – we have time and again see some random institutionalized Leftist bureaucrat or phony judge unilaterally block something Trump has tried to do in the name of drainage.  And the government only continues to grow.

The Left is certainly very good at ensuring they run things.  Are they any good at actually running things?

Heavens no.

Medicare Faces Unfunded Liability of $38.6 Trillion

And that was in 2012.  It’s inexorably worse now.

The Left’s “solution?”  EXPAND the seniors-only program – to include everyone.  Genius.

Social Security’s Looming $32 Trillion Shortfall:

And that was in 2016.  It’s inexorably worse now.

Two Leftist programs – $70 trillion short.  But wait – there’s more:

The Federal Government Will Spend Half Its Budget On Older Adults In Ten Years:

“(M)ostly for health care and retirement benefits.”

Ummm…that’s Medicare and Social Security.  Oops.

This year’s federal budget – is $4.5 trillion.  And will be inexorably larger a decade hence.  Oops.

We could list examples of government failure from now until the crack of Doom.

And things never, EVER get better.  Only inexorably worse.

Bad:

IG Report: 300,000 Veterans Died While Waiting for Health Care at the Veterans Administration (VA)

And then worse:

VA Still in Disarray Four Years after Veterans Wait-List Death Scandal

Bad:

Barack Obama’s Immigration Action Means Tax Refunds For Illegals, Says IRS

IRS to Pay Back-Refunds to Illegal Immigrants Who Didn’t Pay Taxes

And then worse:

IRS Refunds $4.2 Billion to Illegal Aliens for Taxes Not Paid

So when We the Normal have a precious gem – a portion of life that has managed to remain nigh-completely government free – we should cherish and protect it with all the might we can muster.

One such very rare cabochon – is the Internet.

True, the Web was born of government.  But in government’s hands it languished in inert obscurity – for decades.

In the 1990s, government in bipartisan fashion decided to hand the thing to the private sector.

Boom.

Twenty-five years later, the Internet has gone from “What’s that?” – to a free speech-free market Xanadu that is now one-sixth of our entire $19 trillion economy.

Boom.

Very shortly after the very wise bipartisan decision to deregulate – the Left began looking to re-regulate.  Born was the inanity known as Network Neutrality.

And in drooling anticipation of that government grab – the Left got even greedier (shocker, I know).  And now insists we impose upon the Internet – 1934 landline phone law.

Is that a good idea?  Heavens no:

“‘Title II undermines broadband competition. In the five years after the FCC first proposed Title II (2010–15), investment dropped somewhere between $160-$200 billion relative to what it would have been projecting forward from 2005–10, when net neutrality alone was the baseline for investor expectations.’”

So whenever you hear any Leftist demand we have government do this to the Internet – please ask them:

“Are you looking to emulate government’s failure with Medicare?”

Or:

“Are you looking to emulate government’s failure with Social Security?”

Or:

“Are you looking to emulate government’s failure with the VA?”

Or:

“Are you looking to emulate government’s failure with schools?”

Or….

You are free to pick any you wish.

Because the government is awful at all of them.

Because the government is awful at everything.

The post Medicare is $38 Trillion Short – And Other Reasons Government Shouldn’t Run Anything appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group danger-big-government-1-620x446-copy-2-300x112 Medicare is $38 Trillion Short – And Other Reasons Government Shouldn’t Run Anything Title II Technology republicans Regulation progressives Politics Policy Partisanship News network neutrality Net Neutrality Media Internet Government Front Page Stories Front Page Economy donald trump democrats Congress Business & Economy Bipartisanship bipartisan   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com