The intent behind the Mobile Informational Call Act (H.R.3035) is hopefully less nefarious than—unrelated—SOPA/PIPA. However, MICA's current language creates an even bigger loophole to give telemarketers the ability to robocall people's cell phones in the U.S. A practical ammendment to the bill would be to require telemarketers to pay mobile operators for the calls that they place to mobile phones, and prohibit mobile operators from charging recipients in any way for such calls.
One of the few issues that attracts bipartisan support, and priority (thanks to corporate lobbyists) in Congress is the creation of new laws intended to protect content creators of software such as apps, books, movies, music, and more from digital pirates. Unfortunately, a lot of the ideas that the likes of Hollywood dreams up to reduce piracy are often overreaching, and not in the best interest of most Americans. The Stop Online Piracy Act (H.R.3261), and PROTECT IP Act (S.968) are the latest examples of flawed legislation that's seriously being considered by Congress. Fight for the Future has put together an infographic, and short video that summarizes why SOPA/PIPA would be bad for Internet users:
California's legislature decided that they didn't want to let voters decide whether or not to pay more taxes this year so our governor is predictably putting a proposition on the ballot to let voters make a choice next year. To his credit, Jerry Brown is throwing his full endorsement behind The Schools & Local Public Safety Protection Act of 2012 (PDF), which The Sacramento Bee summarizes here.
This San Francisco resident's first election looks to be more complicated than casting a ballot in San Jose. Ranked-choice voting means that this voter has to choose first, second, and third-choice candidates for each office! Fortunately, one choice is clear since my mom's sister's husband's nephew (cousin I chat with at family gatherings) is a San Francisco Deputy Sheriff and San Francisco native running for Sheriff.
Captain Paul Miyamoto has 15-years of experience, is an overall cool and smart guy, and is most definitely about getting the job done versus playing politics. The San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs' Association endorses his candidacy too. Please consider Paul for one of your choices—ideally, the top one!
The National Criminal Justice Commission Act (S. 306) is back! The Innocence Project endorses the legislation for its potential to identify why wrongful convictions happen, and how they can be prevented by looking more closely at the causes and recommending improvements. If the bill passes, it should also surface effective criminal justice policies that increase public safety, and ineffective ones that waste taxpayers' money.
Amazon made it easy for former Associates (affiliates) in California to reinstate themselves this week following the passage of California AB 155. Signed into law by Governor Brown on September 23, AB 155 delays enforcement of AB X1 28 for a year during which time our state will work with online retailers to lobby Congress to pass the "Main Street Fairness Act" (H.R.2701), which standardizes Internet tax code.
The Digital Due Process Coalition is a cooperative of companies such as Apple, and organizations such as the ACLU who are working towards reforms of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. Enacted in 1986, ECPA has not kept pace with modern technology in order to protect the privacy of U.S. citizens, as guaranteed by the Fourth Ammendment. DDPC is dedicated to championing ECPA changes for the 21st century.
Governor Brown signed a bunch of bills yesterday. Among them was California AB 459, which adds our state's support for electing our president via popular vote. Perusing commentary from people outraged about the idea encouraged this regular voter to learn more about the "National Popular Vote Bill" from both its backers and detractors. The former does a better job of making their case, as they don't resort to personal attacks.
This Apple fan is amused that the company currently has more cash on hand than the U.S. Treasury, a factoid mainstream media picked up in their coverage of the ongoing saga in our country's Capitol. Here's a choice quote from The Economist about the scary–irresponsible game being played by political idealogues unwilling to reach a reasonable compromise in their crusade to balance our budget without new sources of revenue:
"Yet Mr Obama and his party seem a model of fiscal statesmanship compared with their Republican opponents. Once upon a time the American right led the world when it came to rethinking government; now it is an intellectual pygmy. The House Republicans could not even get their budget sums right, so the vote had to be delayed. A desire to curb Leviathan is admirable, but the tea-partiers live in a fantasy world in which the deficit can be reduced without any tax increases: even Mr Obama’s attempts to remove loopholes in the tax code drive the zealots into paroxysms of outrage."