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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Technology"

That Feel When The Feds Notice You: Big Tech Facing Several Anti-Trust Probes

Westlake Legal Group Big-Tech-620x354 That Feel When The Feds Notice You: Big Tech Facing Several Anti-Trust Probes Technology Google Front Page Stories Free Speech Featured Story facebook apple antitrust amazon

While social media applications like Twitter and Facebook continue to battle allegations they engage in “viewpoint discrimination”, a bigger — arguably potentially much more disruptive — investigation is beginning to take shape, and Big Tech ought to be thinking of ways to tighten up.

While Google has been negotiating an investigation into their business practices from the Department of Justice, and Facebook has been the subject of a Federal Trade Commission antitrust investigation, it was announced last week that state 50 attorneys general from across the nation decided to launch their own antitrust investigation into Facebook.

Now comes word that legislators on the House of Representatives antitrust subcommittee, who have been investigating antitrust allegations related to potential anti-competitive behavior from Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook, have ramped up their investigation and asked those companies to supply them with internal documents to aid in their work.

“Today’s document requests are an important milestone in this investigation as we work to obtain the information that our Members need to make this determination,” Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), who chairs the subcommittee and is leading the antitrust investigation, said in a statement.

“We expect stakeholders to use this opportunity to provide information to the Committee to ensure that the Internet is an engine for opportunity for everyone, not just a select few gatekeepers.”

“This information is key in helping determine whether anticompetitive behavior is occurring, whether our antitrust enforcement agencies should investigate specific issues and whether or not our antitrust laws need improvement to better promote competition in the digital markets,” added Rep. Doug Collins (Ga.), the ranking Republican on the full Judiciary Committee.

Apparently one goal of the request is to bring to light dealings and processes these companies have previously jealously guarded as highly secretive.

The letter to Google parent company Alphabet, for instance, asks for records relating to “Google’s algorithm that determines the ranking of search results, including but not limited to how Google’s algorithm accounts for Google content or services and how Google’s algorithm accounts for non-Google content or services that compete with Google’s offerings.”

But the larger goal is to try to determine how these companies gained market power, if they used tools and business practices to discourage competition and market entry, and whether or not the market power they’ve enjoyed is actually harming consumers.

Free speech on social media may become a bit player in a much larger drama involving the relationship of Big tech companies with their users.

The post That Feel When The Feds Notice You: Big Tech Facing Several Anti-Trust Probes appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Big-Tech-300x171 That Feel When The Feds Notice You: Big Tech Facing Several Anti-Trust Probes Technology Google Front Page Stories Free Speech Featured Story facebook apple antitrust amazon   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Dave Chappelle and Big Tech Rotten Tomatoes: Everyone Is Biased About Everything

Westlake Legal Group Capture-9-620x371 Dave Chappelle and Big Tech Rotten Tomatoes: Everyone Is Biased About Everything wireless Wired Web Search washington D.C. Technology technolgy Section 230 satellite progressives Privacy Politics Policy News network neutrality Net Neutrality law Internet Government Google Front Page Stories Front Page Foreign Policy Economy China California Business & Economy bias

My last actual gig prior to venturing out and founding Less Government – was at the Media Research Center (MRC).

I described MRCs toil as: “We work to expose and catalogue Leftist media bias.”  And then always added “We’re understaffed.”

But I have always held what I know was a minority perspective at the MRC.  On the media – and perhaps all humans everywhere.

MRC’s Mission Statement:

“To create a media culture in America where truth and liberty flourish.”

The MRC at least used to want to get back to the alleged halcyon days of unbiased journalism.

Except there was never any such thing as “unbiased journalism.”  Because human nature.  Humans – are biased.

CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite – was “The Most Trusted Man in America.”  And, we know now, a pronounced Leftist liar.

Because media culture is human culture – truth and liberty will never, ever flourish.  Personal perspectives on things – always will.

The Leftist perspective – has nigh always dominated the news media.

Right now, the Leftist perspective dominates the entertainment media and Hollywood.  But ’twas not always so – at least amongst the actors.

Before there was the heinousness of Rob Reiner and the beautiful ignorance of Alyssa Milano – there was the Golden Era of Tinsel Town.  When Ronald Reagan and John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart and Bob Hope – and many, many others – were huge stars…and conservative as the day is long.

But in all of this: One word you would never, ever use to describe any of these people – is “unbiased.”

Because humans – are biased.  Because human nature.

Humans do media – so media has been, is, and always will be biased.

When robots start doing journalism – they will reflect the biases of their programmers.

Speaking of media, Hollywood, Big Tech and pronounced bias….

Rotten Tomatoes Gives Dave Chappelle Special Zero Percent Rating

Dave Chappelle – is absolutely one of the funniest people alive.  Even if he simply came on stage and Bill Burr-style extruded a profanity-laced insult-fest of the city in which he was appearing – it would get something higher than…zero.

But you see – Chappelle’s “Sticks and Stones” special – is an actually funny thing.  (I know – I’ve watched it.)

Which means it draws humor from and pokes fun at – everyone.  And everyone – includes Leftists.

Rotten Tomatoes couldn’t let that go unchecked.  So Rotten Tomatoes – rigged their Chappelle rating:

“Chappelle’s latest hour-long stand-up set for Netflix received an extremely rare 0 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating from five professional critics….”

Wait – only “five professional critics?”  Rotten Tomatoes’ business model is – per their website:

“(T)he leading online aggregator of movie and TV show reviews from critics, we provide fans with a comprehensive guide to what’s Fresh – and what’s Rotten – in theaters and at home….

“The Tomatometer score – based on the opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of critical recommendation for millions of fans.”

“Hundreds of…critics….”  So why was the entirety of the Chappelle review – limited to five obviously Leftist, pre-selected-by-Rotten-Tomatoes reviewers?

Because Rotten Tomatoes – is biased.  Because Rotten Tomatoes – is made up of humans.  In modern Hollywood and Big Tech – that means Leftist humans.

An important part of Rotten Tomatoes and its success – is serving as a place where We the Viewing Public can also rate what the “experts” rate.

When Rotten Tomatoes finally published the ratings of We the Viewing Public….:

“Rotten Tomatoes unveiled Chappelle’s special has received an equally rare 99 percent audience score.

“The high audience rating was the cumulative score from at least 3,753 casual reviewers who praised the comedian for daring to broach controversial topics that most comic stars have avoided in the era of ‘cancel culture.’

“Such a stark contrast among critics and regular viewers is almost unheard of and illustrates the wide cultural divide among the general public and media elites.”

This is…oh, I don’t know…about the nine millionth instance of Leftist Big Tech abusing their nigh-monopoly online platforms to screw anyone not in lockstep with their hard Leftism.

Of course, anecdotes of Big Tech Leftist bias – no matter if they number in the infinities – do not add up to data.

So one particular Leftist – delivered us the data on one particularly influential Leftist Big Tech function: Web Search.  How you get answers – when you ask the Internet questions.

Rotten Tomatoes rigging entertainment ratings is…bad.  But not fundamentally transformational of our politics – and thus our nation.

Leftist Big Tech rigging Web searches…is exceedingly awful.  In a great many ways – including politically.

And in 2018, 87.3% of all Web searches in the United States – took place via uber-Left, uber-huge Google (Market Cap: $851 billion).

So when you want to search the Web – you “Google” something.  Both rhetorically – and literally.

So when Google rigs things – they’re rigging nigh everything Americans see on the Web.

We all by our onesies have documented dozens and dozens of instances of Google (and other Big Tech joints) screwing conservatives.

But again, let’s get scientific.  Meet Dr. Robert Epstein – a self-avowed man of the Left.  I would not call him a Leftist – because he’s actually honest.

He’s been studying Big Tech’s political bias – for quite a while:

“Regarding elections, Dr. Epstein has found in multiple studies that search rankings that favor a political candidate drive the votes of undecided voters toward that candidate, an effect he calls SEME (“seem”), the Search Engine Manipulation Effect….

“(B)iased search rankings exercise undue influence over voter’s opinions – influence that cannot be counteracted by individual candidates but that can easily determine who will win a close election.”

Before Dr. Epstein did an in-depth study of Google manipulating voters and potential voters in the lead-up to the 2016 election – he called his shot:

How Google Could Rig the 2016 Election – August 19, 2015

Shocker – Google did.

In fact, Dr. Epstein’s study reveals – the election doesn’t even have to be close…to be transformationally affected by Google’s Leftist bias.

“In 2016, I set up the first-ever monitoring system that allowed me to look over the shoulders of a diverse group of American voters — there were 95 people in 24 states,” (Epstein) said….

“The study looked into ‘politically oriented searches’ from a ‘diverse group of American voters,’….

“‘I looked at politically oriented searches that these people were conducting on Google, Bing and Yahoo. I was able to preserve more than 13,000 searches and 98,000 web pages, and I found very dramatic bias in Google’s search results… favoring Hillary Clinton — whom I supported strongly.”

Again: The election doesn’t have to be close – to be won by Google:

“‘That level of bias was sufficient, I calculated, to have shifted over time somewhere between 2.6 and 10.4 million votes to Hillary without anyone knowing that this had occurred….’”

We have heard INCESSANTLY since Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton – that she won the popular vote by about three million votes.  That popular-vote-Clinton-victory – has re-ginned-up the Left’s push to end the electoral college.

And it turns out that if 90%-of-US-Search Google hadn’t uber-rigged their results for Clinton – Trump most likely would have also won the popular vote.  Maybe by a lot.

And how did Google get so uber-huge?  So as to wield such huge, Leftist, stealth political power?

Government cronyism.

Platform, or Publisher?:

“Section 230 of the (1996) Communications Decency Act immunizes online platforms for their users’ defamatory, fraudulent, or otherwise unlawful content. Congress granted this extraordinary benefit to facilitate ‘forum[s] for a true diversity of political discourse.’

“This exemption from standard libel law is extremely valuable to the companies that enjoy its protection, such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter, but they only got it because it was assumed that they would operate as impartial, open channels of communication—not curators of acceptable opinion.”

Get that?  Google and the rest of Big Tech get this massive cronyism – so long as they do not act as “curators of acceptable opinion.”

But Google – and the rest of Big Tech – have done exactly that.  Trillions and trillions of times.

The accumulated tonnage of anecdotes – proves it.

Dr. Epstein’s in-depth study – documents it.

Big Tech is biased – because they’re human.  And human nature…trumps…all.

Thus legislation dependent upon humans not behaving like humans – is folly.

Thus Section 230 – has gots to go.

The post Dave Chappelle and Big Tech Rotten Tomatoes: Everyone Is Biased About Everything appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Capture-9-300x180 Dave Chappelle and Big Tech Rotten Tomatoes: Everyone Is Biased About Everything wireless Wired Web Search washington D.C. Technology technolgy Section 230 satellite progressives Privacy Politics Policy News network neutrality Net Neutrality law Internet Government Google Front Page Stories Front Page Foreign Policy Economy China California Business & Economy bias   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Electric school buses are coming to NoVA, thanks to these Fairfax moms

Westlake Legal Group Untitled-4 Electric school buses are coming to NoVA, thanks to these Fairfax moms Technology schools school buses parenting News & Updates mothers out front moms electric buses Education Dominion Energy Culture Climate Change
A group of community members, as well as Mothers Out Front leaders, at the campaign launch on Aug. 20. (Photo courtesy of Julie Kimmel)

Fairfax County is the 10th largest school division in the United States, home to almost 200,000 students, and uses the second largest fleet of school buses in the country with 1,625 buses. 

And as of last week, local school districts have the chance to start replacing diesel-fueled buses with electric buses, stemming from efforts made by Mothers Out Front Fairfax County, a local branch of a national advocacy group dedicated to ensuring a livable climate for all children through various initiatives.  

The group of mothers decided to come together in February to begin work on the electric school bus campaign, which is one of the many initiatives parents can choose from when they create a local chapter of Mothers Out Front. 

Want to know more about community members who are making a difference in the community? Subscribe to our newsletters. 

While the current yellow buses transport local children to and from school, they also emit thousands of toxins into the air, which are more harmful to the respiratory and cardiovascular systems of children, according to the nonprofit Union of Concerned Scientists.

“I started it with one other mom and we’ve had guidance from the national organization to help with our launch,” says Julie Kimmel, a Fairfax County mother who has a 4-year-old daughter. “Since our campaign launched a few weeks ago, we’ve seen it grow so rapidly and it’s a huge win for us.”

Westlake Legal Group Untitled-51 Electric school buses are coming to NoVA, thanks to these Fairfax moms Technology schools school buses parenting News & Updates mothers out front moms electric buses Education Dominion Energy Culture Climate Change
Community members inside an electric school bus on Aug. 29. (Photo courtesy of Julie Kimmel)

Following months of planning, discussion with the county school board and other local companies, the group launched its campaign on Aug. 20, announcing to the community how the replacement of buses would have a positive impact on the climate, and the children who grow up in it. Just nine days later, Virginia-based company Dominion Energy officially announced its commitment to phasing in electric school buses for local school districts over the next decade. 

Each electric school bus costs around $300,000, and Dominion plans on paying the economic difference of $200,000 for each school bus in its territory of Virginia, with the ultimate goal of replacing 100% of the diesel-fueled buses by 2030. The initial phase of the bus deployment aims to have 50 electric buses up and running at county schools by the end of 2020.

Currently, bus manufacturers and school districts are submitting proposals to get involved with the program as early as next year, giving Kimmel hope that Fairfax County Public Schools will be among the first to receive the chargeable buses. 

The 25 to 30 women of the local chapter of Mothers Out Front are now turning their attention to school board members, because while staff and teachers are on board, according to Kimmel, there needs to be pressure put on the executive side in order for real change to happen. 

“What we like the most about this issue is that it’s a literal billboard for sustainability,” says Kimmel about why her and co-founder Bobby Monacella chose this initiative in particular. “It’s pulling up in front of schools, it’s a talking point for students, teachers, parents and administrators. It becomes a community-wide thing.”

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

Electric school buses are coming to NoVA, thanks to these Fairfax moms

Westlake Legal Group Untitled-4 Electric school buses are coming to NoVA, thanks to these Fairfax moms Technology schools school buses parenting News & Updates mothers out front moms electric buses Education Dominion Energy Culture Climate Change
A group of community members, as well as Mothers Out Front leaders, at the campaign launch on Aug. 20. (Photo courtesy of Julie Kimmel)

Fairfax County is the 10th largest school division in the United States, home to almost 200,000 students, and uses the second largest fleet of school buses in the country with 1,625 buses. 

And as of last week, local school districts have the chance to start replacing diesel-fueled buses with electric buses, stemming from efforts made by Mothers Out Front Fairfax County, a local branch of a national advocacy group dedicated to ensuring a livable climate for all children through various initiatives.  

The group of mothers decided to come together in February to begin work on the electric school bus campaign, which is one of the many initiatives parents can choose from when they create a local chapter of Mothers Out Front. 

Want to know more about community members who are making a difference in the community? Subscribe to our newsletters. 

While the current yellow buses transport local children to and from school, they also emit thousands of toxins into the air, which are more harmful to the respiratory and cardiovascular systems of children, according to the nonprofit Union of Concerned Scientists.

“I started it with one other mom and we’ve had guidance from the national organization to help with our launch,” says Julie Kimmel, a Fairfax County mother who has a 4-year-old daughter. “Since our campaign launched a few weeks ago, we’ve seen it grow so rapidly and it’s a huge win for us.”

Westlake Legal Group Untitled-51 Electric school buses are coming to NoVA, thanks to these Fairfax moms Technology schools school buses parenting News & Updates mothers out front moms electric buses Education Dominion Energy Culture Climate Change
Community members inside an electric school bus on Aug. 29. (Photo courtesy of Julie Kimmel)

Following months of planning, discussion with the county school board and other local companies, the group launched its campaign on Aug. 20, announcing to the community how the replacement of buses would have a positive impact on the climate, and the children who grow up in it. Just nine days later, Virginia-based company Dominion Energy officially announced its commitment to phasing in electric school buses for local school districts over the next decade. 

Each electric school bus costs around $300,000, and Dominion plans on paying the economic difference of $200,000 for each school bus in its territory of Virginia, with the ultimate goal of replacing 100% of the diesel-fueled buses by 2030. The initial phase of the bus deployment aims to have 50 electric buses up and running at county schools by the end of 2020.

Currently, bus manufacturers and school districts are submitting proposals to get involved with the program as early as next year, giving Kimmel hope that Fairfax County Public Schools will be among the first to receive the chargeable buses. 

The 25 to 30 women of the local chapter of Mothers Out Front are now turning their attention to school board members, because while staff and teachers are on board, according to Kimmel, there needs to be pressure put on the executive side in order for real change to happen. 

“What we like the most about this issue is that it’s a literal billboard for sustainability,” says Kimmel about why her and co-founder Bobby Monacella chose this initiative in particular. “It’s pulling up in front of schools, it’s a talking point for students, teachers, parents and administrators. It becomes a community-wide thing.”

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

Leftist Judge’s ChiComm #1 Witness in Awful IP Theft Ruling – Is a Massive IP Thief

Westlake Legal Group huawei-620x348 Leftist Judge’s ChiComm #1 Witness in Awful IP Theft Ruling – Is a Massive IP Thief trademark Technology Politics Policy Patents Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals law Judge Lucy Koh Internet intellectual property theft Intellectual Property Protections Intellectual Property Front Page Stories Front Page Economy Courts copyright Capitalism

Behold: Judge Lucy H. Koh:

“(A) United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California….On January 20, 2010, President Barack Obama nominated Koh on the recommendation of California Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein to a seat on the United States District Court for the Northern District of California….”

Koh’s private and public career indicates she is thoroughly Democrat.  Koh’s ridiculous rulings indicate she is thoroughly Leftist:

“In Silicon Valley, Lucy Koh Is the Law:

“‘Koh has presided over some of the tech industry’s highest-profile cases. Though federal court cases are typically randomly assigned, fortuity and her spot in Silicon Valley have gained her more influence over tech than any other judge in the U.S….

“‘Her rulings at times have broken legal ground….

“‘Koh’s interest in the law, friends and colleagues say, is rooted in an idealistic sense of justice – in the law as an agent for change.’”

“Translation: Koh likes to ignore the Constitution and the law.  And make stuff up so as to impose her personal policy preferences – ‘break new ground’ so as to be an ‘agent of change’ – rather than remain within the confines of the law.

“Which is the job of the Legislative – not the Judiciary.  If she wants to change the law – she should ditch the robe and run for Congress.”

Koh is not a judge.  She is a judicial activist.

Most of the time – judicial activists get away with it.  But every once in a great long while, we revert to the Rule of Law – rather than the Rule of Men (and Women).  A very nice little hiatus – whenever it comes to pass.

Qualcomm Can Maintain Licensing Tactics Pending Appeal, Court Says:

“According to the filing, Qualcomm successfully raised ‘serious questions’ on the merits of a district court’s antitrust ruling. As such, the company can maintain existing license terms with customers, offer modem chips under condition of a customer’s patent license, and is not required to offer standard essential patent licenses to modem suppliers.”

And which district court judge issued this ruling?  That raised “serious questions?”  That got the frigging Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to stay said ruling?

Why…it’s our own intrepid Judge Koh:

“Judge Lucy Koh determined Qualcomm(’s patent licensing) violated federal antitrust laws and ordered remedial actions that call for the firm to restructure current and future licensing tactics.”

Suing a patent and its holder for being a monopoly – is like suing Shaquille O’Neal for being tall.  O’Neal is inherently large.  A patent is inherently a (temporary) monopoly.

Koh should have thrown out the case brought against patent holder Qualcomm…in no more than five seconds.  Instead….

Hey Judge Koh: When you are too far Left for the Ninth Circuit – you have REALLY gone off the edge of the map.

Koh’s entire ruling – and how she handled the entire case – was entirely absurd:

“Judge Koh – dismissed two dozen witnesses put forward by San Diego, California’s Qualcomm.

“And went whole hog with…Communist Chinese cellular company Huawei.  That also happens to be a direct competitor of Qualcomm.

“Judge Koh cited Communist Chinese, Qualcomm-competitor Huawei…134 times in her 233 page order.

“Because Judge Koh didn’t care about…you know, facts and dubious Communist Chinese witnesses and stuff.  She cared about imposing her personal Leftist policy preference.”

And what have we since learned about Koh’s star Intellectual Property (IP) witness – Communist China’s Huawei?  Whom she cited more than once per two pages – for 233 pages?  In her ruling that Qualcomm’s handling of its IP was illegal?

Huawei Faces Criminal Probe by US Prosecutor on Intellectual Property Theft

Oops:

“(O)n Thursday, the 29th of August 2019, US Prosecutors had set out a new investigation against the Chinese tech conglomerate accusing the Shenzhen-based telecommunication equipment maker of alleged technology theft….

“On top of that,…the Chinese tech titan was accused of stealing intellectual property from companies alongside individuals for multiple years by recruiting employees from its rivals….

“Aside from that,…the latest probe on Huawei would be looking in to the business practices of the Chinese tech conglomerates which had not been covered in the regulatory clauses….”

Wait – “the latest probe?”  Not the first?

Of course not.  To sort-of-quote the last line of the 1974 cinematic classic:

“Forget it, Jake. It’s China(town).”

Huawei’s Yearslong Rise Is Littered with Accusations of Theft and Dubious Ethics

Huawei Faces Charges of Intellectual Property Theft in US

8 Steps Huawei Took to Steal IP from T-Mobile and Cover It Up

US Semiconductor Company Claims Huawei Tried to Steal Its Technology

Huawei Using Suit Against Him to Steal IP, Ex-Worker Says

60 Minutes Torpedoes Huawei in Less Than 15 Minutes

Hey Huawei: When you are too far Left for fake news CBS’ fake news 60 Minutes – you have REALLY gone off the edge of the map.

NONE of Huawei’s ongoing, rolling massive IP theft – should come as a surprise to anyone.

Because like mother – like son.

Communist China has spent the last forty-plus years – stealing trillions of dollars of our IP.

And Huawei – is an appendage of the Chinese Communist Party.

IP theft is a fundamental component of Communist China’s business model.  So IP theft is a fundamental component of Huawei’s business model.

So NONE of Huawei’s ongoing, rolling massive IP theft – should come as a surprise to anyone.

Most especially Judge Koh.  Who does just about nothing but IP and tech cases for a living.

Koh should have dismissed any and everything Huawei had to say.

Instead, she did exactly that with more than two dozen Qualcomm witnesses.

And instead cited Huawei more than once per two pages – for 233 pages.

Because Koh is not a judge.  She is a judicial activist.

Thank God part of her idiocy was stayed.

Hopefully until the entirety of her idiocy is overturned.

The post Leftist Judge’s ChiComm #1 Witness in Awful IP Theft Ruling – Is a Massive IP Thief appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group huawei-300x169 Leftist Judge’s ChiComm #1 Witness in Awful IP Theft Ruling – Is a Massive IP Thief trademark Technology Politics Policy Patents Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals law Judge Lucy Koh Internet intellectual property theft Intellectual Property Protections Intellectual Property Front Page Stories Front Page Economy Courts copyright Capitalism   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

When Deregulation – Actually Makes Things Worse

Westlake Legal Group electrical-grid-620x409 When Deregulation – Actually Makes Things Worse Technology Talahasee republicans Politics Policy News law Inconsistency Government Front Page Stories Front Page Florida Energy electricty Economy Deregulation Cronyism crony cronies Conservatives competition Capitalism Business & Economy

The joint I run – is called Less Government.  Which means whenever possible – we want less government.

But Reality – is Reality.  Sometimes a little government is required.

Which is why the joint I run – isn’t called No Government.

We readily acknowledge – government is awful at everything.  But there are a few, very rare occasions – when there are things worse than government involvement.

A quick biggie?  Our nation’s borders.  A little government at our borders – is a VERY good thing.  (A little more – is even better.)

Sometimes the facts on the ground – necessitate a little government.

And so it is with our electricity service.

Shopping for electricity – isn’t like shopping for, say, a car.

There is a near limitless number of outlets from which to purchase your vehicle.

There is one – and only one – electricity line into your home.

So electricity deregulation creates an inexorable bottleneck – once the providers get to your house.

I love this analogy – provided for us by Frank Cirillo, an official with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) in Connecticut:

“It’s like a million people at a Stop N’ Shop (a convenience store) and there is one (expletive) cashier.”

Gotta love the colorful picture he’s painting.  As genius comedian Steve Hughes said about another brilliant choice of words:

“What it lacks in sophistication and depth – it makes up for wholeheartedly with a delightful clarity, don’t you think?”

This mass of providers – rushing to one choke point outside your house – also diffuses the customers’ ability to affix blame when something goes awry:

“While supporters claim this would introduce competition and could lower energy bills, similar measures in other states, including Texas, actually resulted in a spike in both household energy costs and consumer complaints.”

Complaints increased – because when something breaks multiple companies point at each other in an attempt to pass off blame…and nothing ever actually gets fixed.

And investment in the infrastructure drops – because everyone waits for everyone else to pony up.  Which means no one ever ponies up.

Again, we know this is a terrible idea – because it’s already been tried in places like Texas.

Ask Texas About Deregulated Electricity Markets. Prices Soared in Heat Wave:

“Just last week the Texas grid operator issued emergency warnings and called on all Texans to conserve energy so they could avoid blackouts.

“So what happened? In a surprise to no one, it got hot in Texas and wholesale electric prices soared 36,000 percent (that’s not a typo) to more than $9,000.”

Meanwhile in Florida:

“(I)t was also hot (it’s August), (but) there were no emergency declarations and wholesale electric prices at FPL hovered around a whopping $20.

“Adequate supply and steady prices at $20 or shortages and price spikes that go over $9,000, that’s one of the big differences between deregulated and rate-regulated markets.”

I live in southwest Florida. I lived in Austin, Texas.  Florida wins the Hot Contest.  Not because of the heat – but because of the swamp-imposed humidity.

And yet Florida is handling the August hotness – and Texas is not.

This bad idea has engendered the rarest of political occurrences – bipartisanship.  In fact – omni-partisanship.

Florida Energy Choice Ballot Initiative Attacked From All Corners

Florida League of Cities Officially Declares Energy Choice Initiative ‘Deceptive and Misleading’

Florida Urban Leagues Denounce ‘Deceptive’ Energy Choice Amendment

Florida Chamber of Commerce Sounds Alarm Bell Over Energy Choice Initiative

Florida Congressional Members Latest to Oppose ‘Energy Choice’ Amendment:

“A full 24 Florida members of (the US) Congress (12 Democrats and 12 Republicans), however, vigorously oppose the measure, as they wrote in a letter to (Florida) Attorney General Ashley Moody Friday.”

Unfortunately, we have not yet reached total unanimity on this.

One of the very many things of which to make fun when contemplating Leftists – is their steadfast imperviousness to facts and history.  To wit:

“Communism has only murdered 100 million people – let’s give it another shot.”

Unfortunately, sometimes the Free-Market-Uber-Alles types – too forget to remember history.

Proposed Constitutional Amendment Would Bring Competition to Florida’s Electricity Market

No, it would not.  See (amongst many other places): Texas.

You know who doesn’t seem to have missed history?  Florida’s ballot-eligible residents.

‘Energy Choice’ Amendment Unpopular with Florida Voters:

“Only two in five voters back the proposed amendment.”

Bravo, Floridians.

Let’s hope it stays that way.

Or gets even more one-sided against.

The post When Deregulation – Actually Makes Things Worse appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group electrical-grid-300x198 When Deregulation – Actually Makes Things Worse Technology Talahasee republicans Politics Policy News law Inconsistency Government Front Page Stories Front Page Florida Energy electricty Economy Deregulation Cronyism crony cronies Conservatives competition Capitalism Business & Economy   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Johnson’s “very active environmentalist administration” won’t please some green campaigners

In a press conference in Biarritz yesterday, the Prime Minister said something which piqued my interest. Challenged on his green credentials, he replied by pledging:

“…a very active environmentalist administration, protecting habitat, protecting biodiversity but reducing CO2 and climate change emissions through technological progress. As our German friends would say, Vorsprung durch Technik.”

It’s not a surprise to hear him speak of biodiversity – on the very same day, he raised concerns with Shinzo Abe about Japan’s resumption of whaling, for example. And the protection of habitats is a good example of the type of green message which Eric Kaufman wrote about in his recent Sunday Times appeal for environmentalism to address the interests and concerns of small-c conservatives in order to build a broader coalition.

Johnson’s comment about “reducing CO2 and climate change emissions through technological progress” is likely to set a cat among the pigeons, though – in a good way. It wasn’t adorned with any policy announcements, and it was swiftly supplanted by his quote from Audi’s famous slogan, but it could be quite significant.

The left’s green politics – the dominant form of the genre, thus far – tends to frame reducing emissions in direct conflict with growth and economic activity. Vast restrictions and reductions of all sorts of production, consumption, and transportation are supposed to be required for an essential and swift crash reduction in emissions. (A cynic might think that for some campaigners this is a set of answers which were in search of a question, but that’s by the by.)

Alongside economic activity and emissions, however, the largely undiscussed third movable part in the equation is technological innovation. As Johnson once told this site: “I believe in the Promethean power of the human race to solve its problems – and Britain can be in the lead in coming up with the answers. When I was mayor of London we saw huge growth in population and GDP, and yet cut CO2 by 14 per cent.” If the Prime Minister intends to make that his focus, not the previously dominant command-and-control, sin taxing greenery, expect a big row in short order.

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Californians worried about drones even if they can catch criminals

Westlake Legal Group Drone Californians worried about drones even if they can catch criminals violent crime The Blog Technology drones California

This story comes to us from Mountain View, California, where the police and fire department are looking at the possibility of employing drones in their work. The uses are obvious, at least to the professionals. They cite aerial imagery as being a critical tool in locating missing persons, tracking the escape paths of criminals and spotting wildfires. That still hasn’t stopped some of the residents from criticizing the effort, however. (CBS San Francisco)

Mountain View residents will soon get to weigh in on whether they think the city’s fire, police and public works departments should use drones for city business…

At the April city council meeting when the drones were first presented, a couple of residents and city council members expressed their concerns over privacy issues, such as how far the drones would be used and how the video would be collected and stored.

Police said they’re aware of the concerns and insisted they would adopt rules that the American Civil Liberties Union has suggested, including prohibiting the use of the drones for random surveillance.

The first responders are already allowing themselves to be backed into a corner before the program even gets off the ground. If they’re going to voluntarily adopt rules set out by the ACLU, much of the functionality of the technology is immediately lost. Those rules would forbid the use of drones for “random surveillance.” In other words, they could never be used proactively in detecting and hopefully preventing crime, but only reactively. No video information or still images would be stored and thus the system could never be tied into a facial recognition program.

That doesn’t render the drones entirely useless. I suppose they can still spot fires and look for missing children who might still be outdoors. But as far as cutting into rising crime rates, forget it. You might as well just use police on horseback.

What is it about California that makes them want so badly to handcuff the police and prevent them from doing the best job possible? Perhaps they would prefer the cops only search for suspects in swimming pools while wearing blindfolds and playing a game of Marco Polo. Next, they’ll want police officers on foot patrol to not wear shoes so suspects can have a “fair chance” of running away?

Law enforcement is difficult enough as it is, and particularly in California, it’s getting tougher all the time. Between gang violence and a lack of support from municipal governments, the cops can really be up against it. If the police are viewed as being weak or lacking the full backing of City Hall, criminals become emboldened. And what you wind up with under those conditions is more crime and more dead cops. Sadly, there is still no way to legislate and enforce sanity among the voters.

The post Californians worried about drones even if they can catch criminals appeared first on Hot Air.

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Apple Loathes Intellectual Property – Unless, Of Course, It’s Theirs

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I must admit, I laughed more than a little last week when a pair of headlines crossed my transom.

Here’s the first:

Apple Granted Over 2,000 Patents Last Year, Ranking It Around #10 in the US

“Around #10” – ???:

“Two different organizations came up with slightly different numbers and rankings….”

Either way, in a country of 330+ million people, with the globe’s biggest economy – that’s a lot.

Apple is a creative company.  (Though I would argue less so since the sad, premature passing of founder Steve Jobs.)

Apple has to be in the innovation business.  New ideas – means new things to sell.

Apple is a monster company (Market Cap: $951 billion).  You have to keep feeding the beast.

And the way Apple – and everyone else – protects their ideas…is by patenting them.

Apple’s patents grant Apple – for a finite period of time – exclusive use and implementation of their ideas.  Only they can sell stuff with their patents.

Unless someone pays Apple a mutually agreeable amount – and Apple grants them license to use Apple’s patented ideas.

All of which is only fair.

Research and Development (R & D) is what begets us patentable ideas.  And it is a VERY expensive, LONG term effort.

R & D is nigh antithetical to Wall Street’s quarter-by-quarter, month-by-month – heck, day-by-day search for bigger profits and higher stock prices.

R & D companies spend months, years and sometimes decades developing the ideas-cum-products we rely on and enjoy each and every day.

R & D companies also spend months, years and sometime decades developing ideas – that never, ever become anything.  In petroleum business parlance – they drill a lot of dry holes.

Drilling dry holes ain’t, by the way, a failing on anyone’s part.  That’s the nature of the R & D beast.

And Big Tech R & D – ain’t nickel ante poker.  It ain’t penny slots.

Apple spends billions of dollars developing their patented ideas.  And spends billions and billions more – working on ideas that never pan out.

All of which is why Intellectual Property (IP) protection is so important.  In fact, it is so important – the Founding Fathers ensconced it in the Constitution.

If Apple – if any and everyone – can’t get a return on all of their massive investments of time and money – they’ll stop making their massive investments of time and money.

And then our entire economy comes to a screeching halt – and collapses in a smoldering heap.

So when Apple gets any of its ideas stolen – they get rightly, righteously indignant.  And necessarily litigious.

Which brings us to our second humorous headline:

Apple Seeks to Shut Down Corellium’s ‘Perfect Replicas’ of iOS

Apple thinks Corellium is stealing their operating system.  Which cost Apple a ton of time and money to develop.  So Apple is more than a little peeved.  Understandably so.

In fact, Apple has a long history of suing people Apple alleges stole their ideas.

Apple and Samsung Settle Seven-Year-Long Patent Fight

Jury Awards Apple $539 Million in Samsung Patent Case

Apple Sues Samsung for $2 Billion

Apple Sues Samsung Over ‘Galaxy’ Phone, Tablet

30 Years Before Samsung: When Apple Sued Microsoft

Apple Sues Intel, Microsoft – Again

Apple Sues Over QuickTime – This Day in Tech History

Apple Sues HTC Over iPhone Patents

None of these are duplicates.  And I could continue to list headlines for days.

Oh: And you don’t have to be a huge company – to engender Apple’s litigious wrath.

Apple Sued an Independent iPhone Repair Shop Owner

Why did these two headlines cause me to chortle?  Because vociferously-protective-of-its-IP Apple – also did this:

Apple Sues Qualcomm for Roughly $1 Billion Over Patent Royalties

This wasn’t because Qualcomm was stealing Apple’s IP.  This was because Apple was attempting to steal Qualcomm’s IP.  More specifically – reverse engineer the heist.

Apple was looking to get a court to force Qualcomm to return patent licensing royalties Apple had already paid.

Why had Apple already paid?

Because Apple and Qualcomm had negotiated mutually agreeable terms – under which Qualcomm would license its patents to Apple.

And then Apple and Qualcomm both signed numerous contracts – ensconcing in writing the mutually agreeable terms.

Years and years followed and went by.  During which Apple paid Qualcomm for Qualcomms patents – per the terms of the contracts they both signed.

Oh – And to put this in monetary perspective:

A new iPhone XS costs $1,249.

On which Apple would have been contractually required to pay Qualcomm…about $12.

And monster Apple (Market Cap: $951 billion) – felt that minuscule amount was too much to pay relatively minuscule Qualcomm (Market Cap: $91 billion).

So monster Apple – sued relatively minuscule Qualcomm.

Is this Apple IP theft a one-off?  Heavens no.

Apple Owes $626 Million in Damages After Losing Huge Patent Case

Apple Ordered to Pay More Than $500 Million in iMessage Case

Apple Sued for Patent Infringement in Two Lawsuits

Apple Sued for Patent Infringement in the Apple Pay

Apple Sued for Patent Infringement Relating to Their ‘Low Power Mode’ Feature Found in iPhones and iPads

Apple Sued for Patent Infringement over Apple Maps

Apple Sued Over Alleged Infringement of PocketFinder GPS Patents

Apple Is Being Sued for Patent Infringement by a Native American Tribe

Oh – and how’d the Apple-Qualcomm lawsuit turn out?

Apple Pays Whopping $6 Billion to Settle Qualcomm Dispute

Oops.

All of which is to say:

Apple loathes Intellectual Property – unless, of course, it’s theirs.

The post Apple Loathes Intellectual Property – Unless, Of Course, It’s Theirs appeared first on RedState.

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‘America Is Awful’: The Left Wants More Government – Because It’s What’s Worst for US

Westlake Legal Group chicom-us-flags-620x397 ‘America Is Awful’: The Left Wants More Government – Because It’s What’s Worst for US washington D.C. Technology Section 230 progressives Privacy Politics Policy News network neutrality Net Neutrality law Internet Government Front Page Stories Front Page Foreign Policy Economy China California Business & Economy 1996 Communications Decency Act

The average American understandably thinks political and policy debates are conducted – in the interest of America’s best interest.

“Surely everyone involved in government wants what’s best for the country.  They just disagree on what policies will get us there.”

Most unfortunately, this isn’t the case – for the Left.

Leftists – do not like America very much.  At all.  So they seek to tear it down and destroy it – in the name of “fixing” it.  We must burn down the village – in order to save it.

The Left’s last president, Barack Obama, spent two decades attending the services of Reverand Jeremiah Wright.  Obama referred to Wright as his “spiritual advisor” and “mentor.” Obama had Wright marry him and Michelle.  Obama had Wright baptize his two daughters.  Obama’s second autobiography’s title – The Audacity of Hope – is taken from a Wright sermon.

Wright?  Not a fan of America.

Jeremiah Wright: ‘God D**n America’

In reference to the terrorist attacks on US on September 11th, 2001, Wright “preached”:

America’s Chickens Are Coming Home To Roost

Again, Obama was intrinsically involved with Wright – for more than twenty years.  It’s not a titanic leap to think Obama thinks similarly about America.

Why else would Obama want to “break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution?”  You know, that document he swore to “preserve, protect and defend” when he took his oaths of office.

Why else would Obama want to “fundamentally transform” America?

Is Obama an outlier.  Not even a little bit.

Beto O’Rourke is currently unemployed – and (barely) a Democrat presidential candidate.  Beto – not a fan of America.

O’Rourke: America Is A Country ‘Founded On Racism,’ ‘Is Still Racist Today’

Vermont Senator and Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders – is at least slightly honest.  He cops to his Socialism.  He and his wife honeymooned in the Soviet Union.  Bernie – not a fan of America.

Bernie Sanders: U.S. Founded on ‘Racist Principles’

Leftists aplenty loathe America.

Elizabeth Warren: Our Justice System Is ‘Racist, All the Way, Front to Back.’

Julian Castro: ‘No Question’ America’s Criminal Justice System Is Racist

Seth Moulton: America Is Racist

You don’t have to run for President to hate America.

Erica Thomas Is Every Democrat Who’s Addicted to Playing the Race Card

Democratic Fundraiser Says America Is Racist and Sexist

In fact….

To Democrats, America is a Sinkhole of Racism

Democrats Declare Anyone That Loves America Is Racist

Leftists everywhere – enthusiastically burn the US flag.  While waving some highly problematic flags from other nations and movements.

Here’s Antifa taking a break from thumping the skulls of old people and children and waving Communist flagsburning a US flag.

In fact:

Antifa Brags About Being Anti-America, Burning US Flag

Here’s Antifa precursor Occupy Wall Street – burning a US flag.

Here are anti-President Donald Trump protestors waving Communist flags time and again – and burning a US flag.

Here are more anti-Trump protestors waving a Communist flag – and burning a US flag.

Here are anti-Republican protestors – burning a US flag.

Here are anti-borders protestors waving a Mexican flag – and burning a US flag.

Leftists burn the US flag in protest – and sometimes in celebration.

Protesters Burn US Flags as Obama Delivers Speech at DNC

This Leftist anti-America insanity – goes back decades and decades.

So when the Left insists on policy prescriptions for the US – one is more than reasonable to be dubious of their intentions.

Because: Why would any assemblage of people so opposed to the US – promote policies that would better the US?

One would very reasonably think the Left’s policy prescriptions – would in fact do damage to a country they do not very much like.

To wit: Obamacare.  Massive new government impositions – so as to make matters worse.  Which will then “justify” even more government impositions – which will make matters even worse.  Lather, rinse, repeat….

Obamacare killed health insurance for millions of Americans.  Obamacare, on average, doubled insurance premiums.  Obamacare, on average, tripled insurance deductibles.

Obamacare was an unmitigated disaster for America.

So of course Leftists defend it to the death.  And, in fact, look to EXPAND it.

Democrats Begin Their Defense of Obamacare

Joe Biden: We Must Protect And Build On Obamacare

Does Bernie Sanders Support Obamacare? Yes, But He Wants to Go One Step Further

Elizabeth Warren: Obamacare ‘Wasn’t Bold Enough

Pete Buttigieg: Obamacare Is Too Conservative

The Left’s rabid promotion of awful policy – is everywhere.

To wit: Network Neutrality.  Which is Obamacare for the Internet.  Massive new government impositions – so as to make matters worse.  Which will then “justify” even more government impositions – which will make matters even worse.  Lather, rinse, repeat….

Thankfully, we weren’t subjected to the awfulness of Net Neutrality for nearly as long as we were subjected to the awfulness of Obamacare.

(After almost a decade in place, Obamacare was mostly gutted when in 2019 the mandate to purchase a policy went away.)

Net Neutrality – and its crippling imposition of antiquated regulations – was only in place for about a year.

There was of course some damage done.  Investment in the Internet’s infrastructure was down precipitously during Net Neutrality.  As is nigh always the case in any private sector – when government massively imposes additional regulations.

But the Trump Administration un-imposed Net Neutrality – and things reverted to the quarter-century status quo of Net Neutrality-free Internet uber-success.

The parade of horribles Leftists promised without Net Neutrality – never, ever happened in twenty-plus years of the Net Neutrality-free Internet.

And the parade of horribles Leftists promised with Net Neutrality’s un-imposition – never, ever happened once it rightly, righteously went away.

Net Neutrality is a solution – running around desperately in search of a problem.

Net Neutrality is breasts on a bull.  It is sneakers for snakes.  It is totally and completely unnecessary.

Every alleged problem about which the Left shrieks that Net Neutrality would allegedly solve – is self-solved by the free market.

To wit: Leftists claim that without Net Neutrality, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will block you from places on the Web.

Except no ISP is going to block you – because they want you to keep hiring them to connect you to the Internet.  Because duh.

Since Net Neutrality’s repeal – the Left has been obsessed.  Just this past week:

FCC Forgets About, Then Dismisses, Complaint Detailing Verizon’s Long History Of Net Neutrality Violations:

“Verizon’s long history on this front is fairly indisputable, and the company has never been held seriously accountable for any of it.”

Actually, Verizon is held accountable each and every day – by 250+ million US customers and prospective customers.  How’s Verizon doing with them?:

“Verizon is the largest cell phone carrier in the U.S.”

It would appear Verizon’s customers – do not care about Net Neutrality.  In fact:

Voters Care Not About Net Neutrality

The only people that care at all about Net Neutrality – are Leftists.

The Left is STILL obsessed.  Leftist college professors JUST released a “study” on it.  And the Leftist media – are VERY worked up about it.

Study Shows Extent of Wireless Carriers Throttling Online Video

Study: Wireless Carriers Throttling Netflix, YouTube ‘All the Time’

Wireless Carrier Throttling of Online Video Is Pervasive

Carriers Throttle Online Video Regardless of Network Congestion

US Carriers Are Throttling Netflix ‘All the Time’

Net Neutrality: ISPs Are Throttling Netflix Traffic

What do these very many agitated Leftists not tell you?

Net Neutrality used to allow ISPs to engage in “reasonable network management.”

Meaning ISPs need to manage the traffic on their networks – so as to maintain maximum speed and quality for the maximum number of users.  Which is eminently reasonable.

Leftists have effectively ended the “reasonable network management” exemption – because they’re radical and crazy.

What else do these very many agitated Leftists not tell you?

Netflix, YouTube Gobble Up Half of Internet Traffic

NOTHING consumes Internet bandwidth like video.  Netflix and YouTube – consume half of America’s bandwidth.  So quite obviously – some reasonable network management is required.

These many articles point out that ISPs do nothing to Amazon Prime Video’s streaming service.  Why?  Because Amazon Prime Video’s streaming service isn’t nearly the massive imposition on the US network that Netflix and YouTube are.  Because duh.

The Internet has become a free speech-free market Xanadu – completely from any Net Neutrality regulations.

So…why the Leftist rabid, rigid insistence we be subjected to it?  Because the Internet has become a free speech-free market Xanadu without it.

Meet avowed Marxist, Media Marxist godfather and virulent Net Neutrality proponent Robert McChesney.

McChesney is the co-founder of the Left’s leading group on all things Internet and media – the uber-ironically mis-named Free Press.

Like any Leftist, McChesney is…not a huge fan of the US:

The United States is, I think, by any honest account, the leading terrorist institution in the world today.

How pleasant.

Like any Leftist, McChesney is…not a huge fan of the US’ capitalist economic system:

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

McChesney sees his Internet and media revolution – as a fundamental part of his Socialist revolution:

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

And McChesney sees Net Neutrality – as a fundamental part of his Internet and media revolution.

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.

Leftist McChesney wants Net Neutrality – precisely because wants to destroy the US.

And Leftist McChesney knows Net Neutrality – is a fundamental component of destroying the US.

Net Neutrality is designed to destroy the US.

Just as every Leftist policy is designed to destroy the US.

You don’t have to take my word for it.

Take theirs.

The post ‘America Is Awful’: The Left Wants More Government – Because It’s What’s Worst for US appeared first on RedState.

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