Net Neutrality: Title II Forbearance Is a Pig in a Poke

This is the third post in the CBIT net neutrality series. Previous posts in the series are available HERE and HERE.

The previous post in this series concluded that the gatekeeper theory of net neutrality regulation is radically over-broad under Title II and inconsistent with the competition theory of communications regulation set forth by Congress in the Communications Act. The proponents of Title II reclassification are trying to sell the FCC on the idea that forbearance is the solution to this over-breadth problem.

What they are really selling is a pig in a poke. It is unlikely that the FCC could grant forbearance from certain Title II tariffing requirements under the FCC’s current regulatory standard, and the net neutrality proponents who are selling forbearance as a solution haven’t indicated that they would actually support it. To the contrary, they have implied that reclassification would result in the regulation of broadband as a public utility.

And then they came for the delicious cheeseburger: Climate alarmists want to take beef off the menu

cheeseburger

Ron White, whom you may remember from the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, once talked about a friend who railed against the raising of cattle because it was bad for the environment. “What are you doing to help the environment?” the friend asked, according to White, to which the comedian replied, “I’m eatin’ the cows.”

It makes for a hilarious joke in a comedy routine. But there are actually people out there who want people to swear off beef because, they suggest, it’s harmful our health and bad for the environment. Jayson Lusk, a professor at Oklahoma State University, explains the thinking of these radical environmentalists:

The documentary film “Cowspiracy,” released this week in select cities, builds on the growing cultural notion that the single greatest environmental threat to the planet is the hamburger you had for lunch the other day. As director Kip Andersen recently told the Source magazine: “A lot of us are waking up and realizing we can choose to either support all life on this planet or kill all life on this planet, simply by virtue of what we eat day in and day out. One way to eat takes life, while another spares as many lives (plant, animal and otherwise) as possible.”

Ron Paul calls the indictment of Rick Perry “a joke,” slams the prosecuting district attorney for abusing her power

Rick Perry and Ron Paul

Former Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) and Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) may not see eye to eye on many political and policy issues, but that didn’t stop Paul, a two-time Republican presidential candidate, from tearing into the indictment:

“This is pure politics, I tell ya. This is really a joke,” Paul told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Monday.

The former Texas congressman made sure to mention that he doesn’t “generally defend our governor very much,” saying Perry’s record on civil liberties and foreign policy is “a disaster.”

But in this case, he added, “the abuse of power comes more from the DA’s office than the governor’s office.”

Paul and Perry ran for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. The two had an apparent confrontation during a commercial break at a September 2011 debate, during which Perry placed his right hand on Paul’s arm and held pointed his left pointer finger at his opponent in a lecturing manner.

Paul later played down the incident, telling a crowd of supporters that he couldn’t recall what he and Perry discussed.

Montana Democrats nominate a really weird new Senate candidate in a last ditch effort to help Harry Reid

Sen. John Walsh’s (D-MT) decision to end his campaign amid allegations that he plagiarized an academic paper he turned in while attending the U.S. Army War College left Montana Democrats scrambling to find someone to run against Rep. Steve Daines (R-MT), the Republican nominee in the U.S. Senate race.

Well, with less than 80 days until the election, Democrats selected their replacement nominee over the weekend, choosing state Rep. Amanda Curtis (D-Butte) to go up against Daines, who is viewed as the favorite in the fall:

Curtis, 34, was chosen Saturday as the Democrats’ replacement candidate for Sen. John Walsh, who withdrew from the race earlier this month over plagiarism allegations. She is a high school math teacher from Butte whose political experience amounts to a single term in the Montana Legislature, but she is touting her relative inexperience and blue-collar roots as assets, not liabilities.

She framed her campaign as one that will champion the interests of the working class against those of the wealthy and of corporations, and she put her Republican opponent, Rep. Steve Daines, squarely on the side of the latter.

“This is the fundamental difference between Steve Daines and me,” Curtis said. “He seems like a nice guy with a wonderful family, but I’m pretty sure he doesn’t understand what life is like for the rest of us.”

Here’s why the Second Amendment matters: Ferguson business owners guard their property against looters

Shortly after Ferguson, Missouri began to resemble a war-zone, David Frum, a former speechwriter for George W. Bush and senior editor at The Atlantic, reaffirmed his support for increased gun control by tweeting this:

Keep in mind that the initials protest in Ferguson were peaceful, according to Radley Balko. It was only after protesters were greeted with a militarized police presence, complete with assault weapons and armored vehicles, that the situation devolved into rioting and looting.

Still, Frum repeated his anti-gun refrain with a follow up tweet moments later:

Hillary Clinton under fire for extravagant speaking deal while Rand Paul heads to Guatemala to perform free eye surgeries

There is nothing wrong with a former public official leveraging their status to make a healthy living, and then some. But the case of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is a little different.

The 2016 Democratic presidential frontrunner has claimed that her family was “dead broke” when they left the White House, despite purchasing homes in Washington, D.C. and New York. To mitigate the criticism done by her gaffe, Clinton claimed that she pays her taxes, “unlike a lot of people who are truly well off.”

Clinton is trying to toe a fine line. She wants to present herself as a populist, someone in tune with the economic struggles of ordinary voters, or, as she says, earning a living “through dint of hard work.” But she’s finding it difficult to do so given that she’s made millions of dollars off speaking fees, $4.2 million alone from big business, and book deals.

Police should wear body cameras to protect themselves when they’re accused of wrongdoing

body-mounted camera

It seems that there is at least one area of agreement (with caveats) between some in law enforcement and some civil libertarians: cops should wear body cameras. The how, when, and where is still a question for all concerned but at least there seems to be some agreement on the broad outlines.

PoliceOne.com’s editor-in-chief Doug Wyllie argues that police departments should embrace the idea of body mounted cameras on almost every police officer. Wyllie writes:

In the week following the officer-involved shooting in Ferguson (Mo.), many have asked me for a comment and/or my commentary on the matter. My reply has generally been, “What, precisely, might that comment be? We know very little detail regarding the incident itself, so any ‘analysis’ on my part would be tantamount to irresponsible speculation. Further, analysis of the rioting and looting (and police response to same) would be redundant — we’ve got reams of columns on crowd control tactics and strategies.”

One thing, however, merits mention in this space. It’s directly related to the first thought that came to my mind when news of this tragedy broke: “Man, I hope that officer was wearing a body camera.”

Rick Perry has been indicted for doing his job while Barack Obama gets away with power grab after power grab

Let’s go through this for a moment. You have a president who regularly abuses his constitutional power by going around Congress to make law via executive fiat. And, in Texas, there’s a governor who used his state constitutional authority to veto funding for a “public integrity unit” run by district attorney convicted of a crime.

There’s no question that politics is at the center of the so-called corruption indictment of Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX). The Texas Public Integrity Unit is led by Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, a Democrat. Perry vetoed funding for the unit last year, noting that Lehmberg, who was arrested for drunk driving in April 2013 and sentenced to 45 days in jail, lost the confidence of the public.

Lehmberg was trashed when she was arrested. “A blood test taken at the jail several hours after her arrest put her blood-alcohol content at .239,” The Austin Chronicle reported not long after the incident, “nearly three times the legal limit for driving.” Obviously, the arrest was problematic in itself, but her behavior when she was being processed by jailers was the most troublesome aspect of the incident.

A report from Austin-based KXAN shows video clips of Lehmberg resisting jailers and kicking the door to her holding cell. The report also shows her in a restraint chair, a precaution that jailers took given her erratic behavior.

Net Neutrality: FCC Gatekeeper Theory Applies to Google, Apple, and Netflix

This is the second post in a series addressing fundamental questions presented by the prospect of applying per se net neutrality rules under Title II. The first post is available HERE.

The first post in this series concluded that the logic of the gatekeeper theory the FCC used to justify the imposition of per se net neutrality rules extends to any Internet intermediary that is capable of blocking, degrading, or favoring particular Internet services, applications, or content. This post presents a brief analysis of some intermediary services to which the gatekeeper theory would apply if the FCC relies on it to impose per se net neutrality rules under Title II.

The analysis demonstrates that Internet companies must also ‘ask permission’ to pass gates erected by Google, Apple, and Netflix (non-ISP gatekeepers) in order to obtain access to end users:

  • These non-ISP gatekeepers routinely use their gatekeeper control to block, degrade, or discriminate against upstream edge providers (far edge providers);
  • End users may incur significant costs in switching from one non-ISP gatekeeper to another; and
  • These non-ISP gatekeepers provide services in market segments that are highly concentrated.

It would thus be arbitrary and capricious for the FCC to impose per se net neutrality obligations only on ISPs under Title II.

Obama interrupts his vacation to return to Washington for meetings on foreign and domestic crises

Barack Obama

President Barack Obama has finally figured out that the optics of a two-week vacation in Martha’s Vineyard while Ferguson, Missouri and parts of the Middle East are on fire may not sit well with the American public. So, he decided to interrupt his vacation to return to Washington:

In a rare move for him, the president planned a break in the middle of his Martha’s Vineyard vacation to return to Washington on Sunday night for unspecified meetings with Vice President Joe Biden and other advisers.

The White House has been cagey about why the president needs to be back in Washington for those discussions.

Part of the decision appears aimed at countering criticism that Obama is spending two weeks on a resort island in the midst of so many foreign and domestic crises.

Yet those crises turned the first week of Obama’s vacation into a working holiday. He made on-camera statements on U.S. military action in Iraq and the clashes between police and protesters in Ferguson, Missouri. He called foreign leaders to discuss the tensions between Ukraine and Russia, as well as between Israel and Hamas.
[…]
Obama is scheduled to return to Martha’s Vineyard on Tuesday and stay through next weekend.

 


The views and opinions expressed by individual authors are not necessarily those of other authors, advertisers, developers or editors at United Liberty.