Lacking any clear statutory authority, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) nonetheless voted last week to force American consumers to subsidize a massive expansion of rural broadband infrastructure.
“Broadband has gone from being a luxury to a necessity for full participation in our economy and society,” FCC chairman Julius Genachowski said during a speech in early October.
To stimulate this “necessary participation,” the FCC’s so-called “Connect America Fund” will spend $4.5 billion a year over the next six years siphoning money away from America’s telephone subscribers.
Government bureaucrats are understandably ecstatic — promising that this “historic” vote will lead to the creation of 500,000 new jobs.
Consumer advocates know better. “The Commission’s actions will lead to higher prices at a time when the average American is watching every penny,” said Gigi B. Sohn of Public Knowledge, a group that advocates for digital freedom.
Sohn added that the Commission “has once again evaded the central problem” by moving forward with this new fund despite lacking authority over broadband issues.
“By declining to address this issue, the Commission is condemning the industry to more years of uncertainty, consumers and others will be powerless to complain about industry practices and the future of the network is left in limbo,” Sohn said.
Of course the “Connect America Fund” is more than just another flagrant government shakedown of taxpayers and naked bureaucratic power grab. Like the “Green Jobs” scam that brought us the infamous Solyndra scandal, it’s yet another example of government fundamentally usurping the private sector’s role of allocating capital.
In fact, the government’s new “broadband scam” already has its own Solyndra scandal — a company called Open Range.
Right around the time Genachowski was making his “necessary participation” speech, it was revealed that Open Range filed for bankruptcy despite being approved for $267 million in loans from the U.S. Agriculture Department.
Ironically, it was a decision by the FCC to deny a special license to Open Range’s business partner, Globalstar, that led to the company’s collapse. Some have even speculated that the FCC deliberately denied this license because it was promoting a competing venture involving LightSquared, a company backed by a powerful Democratic fundraiser.
Imagine that — one government bureaucracy works to jump start a specific company while another effectively shuts it down!
Demopublicans: Big Government Republicans Reject Spending Curbs
The spending virus has become a permanent infection in Americam politics. How ill will it eventually make the patient?
If you want to know why it is so difficult to cut federal spending, look no further than Tuesday’s Senate actions on some appropriations bills. Three amendments were offered that would have either reduced spending or redirected it to a more useful purpose. All were defeated.
While there are more than enough Democrats in the Senate to beat back such amendments, there was no shortage of Republicans who voted against them. Indeed, one offered by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla, which would have cut $1 billion from the Rural Development Agency, had 32 Republicans vote “nay.” Only 13 Republicans voted in favor.
Coburn’s other amendment to eliminate funding for the Small Community Air Service Development Program, saving $6 million, fared considerably better, getting 41 “yays”. Seven of those were Democrats, meaning that 11 Republicans still voted against it.
Sen. Rand Paul’s amendment didn’t even cut and spending. It merely reallocated 10% of highway funds away from “transportation enhancement activities” to the highway bridge program. It failed 60-38, with seven Republicans voting against it.
You’d swear that November 2010 never happened the way these Republicans vote. Perhaps some flooding of their office phone lines by Tea Partiers might result in an attitude improvement.
Post Ignores Sexual Assaults in Wall Street Protests
I read the Washington Post article, “Violence and the occupy movement,” expecting to see a discussion of the sexual assaults and rapes being reported during the Wall Street protests. Instead, the author, Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, writes about “the violence of systems that create and sustain economic and social injustice on a wide scale.” She is apparently talking about capitalism, a system that has lifted more people out of poverty than any in human history.
Brandon Darby broke the story at Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com that the protests “pose special dangers for women” because of the rapes and sexual assaults taking place. He notes several such incidents:
* A 14-year-old runaway was allegedly sexually assaulted at Occupy Dallas.
* A 19-year-old student activist was allegedly raped at Occupy Cleveland.
* A man was arrested on charges of indecent exposure to children at Occupy Seattle.
* A female reporter was threatened by activists at Occupy Oakland.
Also at BigGovernment.com, John Nolte writes about the protesters’ “rap sheet,” which numbers 119 cases of sexual assault, violence, vandalism, anti-Semitism, extortion, perversion, and lawlessness. These are hardly law-abiding protesters, as the lawyers at the National Lawyers Guild and Center for Constitutional Rights maintain.
These incidents are occurring because of the complete breakdown of law and order in the makeshift tent cities of the Occupy movement. Under political pressure, the local and even federal authorities have ceded the space to the protesters, effectively abdicating law enforcement’s role. As a result, when police finally do move into these places, as we saw in Oakland, they are met with violence from organizers of the protests. When the police defend themselves, they are accused of police brutality. This accusation was a prominent charge made in Thistlethwaite’s piece.
The protests are in fact illegal, since there is no city or federal law which allows tents, food preparation, and other such activities in the cities where they are taking place. Some of the demonstrations have no permits or expired permits. They have made it impossible for truly law-abiding citizens to enjoy these public and private parks.
Everything fell into place when I found Ms. Thistlethwaite’s bio, disclosing that she works at the Center for American Progress, the group funded by billionaire currency speculator George Soros. This is the man who has exploited international financial markets around the globe to make himself rich but now insists that capitalism is a much greater threat to human progress than communism.
ACORN Officials Scramble, Firing Workers and Shredding Documents, After Exposed as Players Behind Occupy Wall Street Protests
Officials with the revamped ACORN office in New York -- operating as New York Communities for Change -- have fired staff, shredded reams of documents and told workers to blame disgruntled ex-employees for leaking information in an effort to explain away a FoxNews.com report last week on the group’s involvement in Occupy Wall Street protests, according to sources.
NYCC also is installing surveillance cameras and recording devices at its Brooklyn offices, removing or packing away supplies bearing the name ACORN and handing out photos of Fox News staff with a stern warning not to talk to the media, the sources said. “They’re doing serious damage control right now,” said an NYCC source.
NYCC Executive Director Jon Kest has been calling a series of emergency meetings to discuss last week’s report—and taking extreme measures to identify the sources in their office and to prevent further damage, a source within NYCC told FoxNews.com.
Two staffers were fired after NYCC officials suspected them as the source of the leaks, a source told FoxNews.com. “One was fired the day the story came out, the other was fired on Friday. (NYCC senior staff) told everyone that they were fired because they talked to you,” a source said.
FoxNews.com’s report identified NYCC as a key organizing force behind the Occupy Wall Street protests. Sources within the group also told FoxNews.com NYCC was hiring people to carry signs and join the protests. NYCC -- a nonprofit organization run almost entirely by former ACORN officials and employees --did not reply for comment prior to the publication of the initial article, but later posted a statement on its website dismissing the article and denying that it pays protesters.
The source said staffers at the meeting contested Westin’s denial:
“It was pretty funny. Jonathan told staff they don’t pay for protesters, but the people in the meeting who work there objected and said, ‘Wait, you pay us to go to the protests every day?’ Then Jonathan said ‘No, but that’s your job,’ and staffers were like, ‘Yeah, our job is to protest,’ and Westin said, ‘No your job is to fight for economic and social justice. We just send you to protest.’
“Staff said, ‘Yes, you pay us to carry signs.’ Then Jonathan says, ‘That’s your job.’ It went on like that back and forth for a while.”
NYCC is also monitoring its staff’s behavior, cracking down on phone use and socialization. Officials have ordered all papers -- even scraps -- to be shredded every night, the source said.
Hamas-linked CAIR pretends that Muslims are threatened by Christians praying
In the wake of the Islamic supremacist anti-free speech firebombing in Paris, Hamas-linked CAIR is yet again trying to portray Muslims as victims. This time, they're pretending that Muslims in the Detroit area are threatened by Christians who are coming to the city to pray.
Perhaps Dawud Walid of Hamas-linked CAIR is so used to Muslims storming out of mosques after hearing the Friday sermon and rioting or terrorizing non-Muslims that he assumed a Christian gathering would work the same way.
Dearborn — The local head of a national Muslim civil rights group says a Christian prayer summit to be held at Ford Field next week promotes anti-Muslim sentiment and is warning local mosques to step up their security.
Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations — Michigan, met Wednesday with Muslim activists to voice his concern over the rhetoric he fears could be at the center of the event Nov. 11.
"There's a bigger force or movement behind this prayer summit and how they're literally demonizing Muslims," he said.
But Metro Detroit pastors involved in the event say the gathering is merely meant to help Detroit, not target Muslims.
"I don't know anything about that," said Bishop Edgar Vann of Second Ebenezer Church. "People are coming here to pray for our city and that's what I'm concerned about. Christians will be praying, but it's open to anyone."
Walid advised the heads of local mosques to "maintain security at all entrances, and make sure to notify the police immediately if suspicious persons congregate on mosque property."
Such as...persons with ties to Hamas or other jihad terror groups?
The Stupidity of "Buy American"
The case against economic protectionism. If everybody did it, trade would cease and living standards would plummet. And American exporters would grow broke, sending millions out of work -- JR
One sign of economic ignorance is the faith that "Buy American" is the path to prosperity. My former employer, ABC News, did a week's worth of stories claiming that "buying American" would put Americans back to work. I'm glad I don't work there anymore.
"Buy American" is a dumb idea. It would not only not create prosperity, it would cost jobs and make us all poorer. David R. Henderson, an economist at the Hoover Institution, explained why.
"Almost all economists say it's nonsense," he said. "And the reason is: We should buy things where they're cheapest. That frees up more of our resources to buy other things, and other Americans get jobs producing those things."
This is what people always forget. Anytime we can use fewer resources and less labor to produce one thing, that leaves more for other things we can't afford. If we save money buying abroad, we can make and buy other products.
The nonsense of "Buy American" can be seen if you trace out the logic. "If it's good to Buy American," Henderson said, "why isn't it good to have Buy Alabaman? And if it's good to have Buy Alabaman, why isn't it good to have Buy Montgomery, Ala.? And if it's good to have Buy Montgomery, Ala. ..."
You get the idea. You wouldn't get very good stuff if everything you bought came from Montgomery, Ala.
"A huge part of the history of mankind is an increase in the division of labor. And that division of labor goes across national boundaries."
The same applies to so-called sweatshop-free products. I'm for free trade, but trade means you get the lowest price, and that might mean you buy something from what some people call a sweatshop. The name itself conveys abuse.
Henderson says that's wrong. The workers aren't abused. "In fact, they're better off taking those jobs. ... The mistake Americans make is they think they would never work in a sweatshop and therefore they say these people shouldn't. Well, no one's offering those people green cards. Those people are stuck in those countries. They're choosing their best of a bunch of bad options. And when you take away someone's best of a bad option, they're worse off."
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)