Tech at Night

November 20. That’s the day the Obama administration has chosen to regulate the Internet after what even The Hill calls “a partisan vote” at the FCC to pass the Net Neutrality regulations. I’m hoping Verizon and/or MetroPCS will sue and win a stay before that date, though I don’t know how likely that is for a court to act that strongly.

I’ve said much about the House and its strong opposition to Barack Obama’s regulatory overreach, but Senators are unhappy as well. Kay Bailey Hutchison is ready to fight. It looks like she will push to get the Senate to go forward with using the Congressional Review Act, as the House already did, to repeal Net Neutrality.

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The Amazon Tax fight isn’t over in California

On July 14, 2011, in General, by Neil Stevens

While Jerry Brown has signed the budget bill that imposed an Internet Sales Tax on California, an arguably unconstitutional attempt to tax out-of-state businesses conducting interstate commerce with Californians, the fight’s not over. I’ve said again and again that Amazon doesn’t play around. And sure enough, the very night Brown signed the bill, Amazon emailed me and every other Amazon Associate in California to terminate our contracts.

Amazon’s not stopping there though. This company is admirable in its insistence that it will do the right thing and stand up for the shareholders. That trend continues as now Amazon has filed for a referendum on ABx1 28, the Amazon Tax portion of the budget. Referendum is of course one of the three classic Progressive acts of Democracy that the far left celebrates, held up along side Initiative and Recall, the latter of which we’re currently seeing used with gusto in Wisconsin.

But as it turns out, the big question surrounding the Amazon Tax referendum is: Will the progressive left hypocritically fight to prevent it from happening at all?

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Tech at Night

Amazon’s not kidding one bit about punishing states that attempt to punish it. After Amazon sent a last ditch warning to Associates that all California Associates would be terminated in the event Governor Brown signed the budget with the Amazon Tax in it, the Governor went ahead and did it.

So, every Amazon Associate in California just got terminated, including countless small businesses scraping by in a lousy economy (11% unemployment in CA, thanks to Brown, Obama, and the ARRA). I was one of them. I got the notice at 9:45pm. For the email’s contents, see below the fold.

Democrats: Killing jobs since 1861.

Contrast with Republicans who are embracing new technologies like Skype, shunned by the Nancy Pelosi era House.

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The California Amazon Tax violates Props 25 and 26

On June 15, 2011, in General, by Neil Stevens

Don’t our elected officials have access to Ballotpedia? If the California Democrats did, they’d know that the Amazon Tax being taken up this afternoon in the legislature is unconstitutional under the state Constitution. And it’s not some old, obscure provision that’s violated either. It’s the brand-new Proposition 26, a constitutional amendment passed in November, that the tax violates.

Put simply, Proposition 26 doesn’t let the state raise new revenue without a 2/3 requirement, so the Amazon tax cannot be passed with a simple majority. And no, Proposition 25, another constitutional amendment also passed in November, doesn’t change that fact.

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Tech at Night

This edition of Tech at Night is unfortunately delayed. It’s almost 4am now as I’m able to start this (7am eastern) because I had a bout of Net Neutrality to deal with. All websites loaded at the same speed on my DSL: zero. Total downtime.

So, late or not, let’s go. As I warned on Monday, Net Neutrality is forcing ISPs like AT&T to impose reasonable caps on their services. Known freeloader Netflix demands that AT&T users who don’t use Netflix subsidize those who do, which is of course completely unfair, which is why AT&T isn’t allowing it. Anyway, the rate caps aren’t that small, and $10 per 50GB over isn’t bad at all. Ask any wireless Internet user what you’ll get for $10.

More FCC power grabs are on the way, it seems. The FCC has what you might call a conflict of interest: the wireless market must be declared non-competitive for the FCC to be allowed to intervene. Who decides whether that market is competitive or not though? Yup, the FCC. So Fred Campbell warns that the FCC may ignore the Congress and just say whatever it takes to do whatever it wants. Boy am I glad we have Republicans in DC who are on top of the FCC already. This may take swift action to combat.

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Tech at Night: The return of the Internet Tax

On February 8, 2011, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

Remember when the Communication Workers of America backed Net Neutrality in the mildest way possible, despite the fact that it risked killing CWA jobs? Well here’s their payoff: CWA is all-in for the Internet Tax.

Of course, the left isn’t calling it the Internet Tax. Instead it’s “Universal Service Fund reform,” by which they mean finding a way to get more money into the so-called Universal Service Fund for rural phone access, then spend that money on state-run Internet access. How will they get that money? With “contributions” of course, by which FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski actually means USF taxes.

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California Senate Update

On October 21, 2010, in General, by Neil Stevens

It’s getting remarkably rough for the Democrats out here in California. Long, long time Assembly Speaker (and then after 1994 booted him out, San Francisco Mayor) Democrat Willie Brown has no confidence in any of the top Democrats, saying they have no ground operation at all. He applied that to Jerry Brown (Governor), Gavin Newsom (Lt. Governor), and Babs Boxer (Senate).

The Chamber of Commerce is also pounding on the Democrats, pointing out that No Ma’am Boxer bounced 143 checks in the House Bank scandal. No integrity. No honesty. She’s a thief.

Just one more reason we need to beat her and elect Carly Fiorina to the Senate.

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Nima Jooyandeh facts.