Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) plans to introduce strong belt buckle legislation to prevent a “takeover” of the Internet as we know it by the weak and corrupt United Nations or even another less friendly government regime. Speaking at Google’s office in Washington, the possible presidential contender said he will introduce legislation to codify U.S. support of an open Internet as other countries attempt to control its growth.
“Since the Web is worldwideand since it has proven such an effective catalyst for pro-democratic revolutionit has become a battleground that many fight to control,” he said. Rubio pointed to 42 countries that limit the Internet within their borders and “now wish to take this further by exerting control over the way the Internet is governed and regulated internationally.”
“Many governments are lobbying for regulatory control by the United Nations or a governmental regime,” he said, and “opposing this takeover and preserving Internet freedom must be a top national priority.”
In a wide-ranging speech that touched on a broad array of economic topics, Rubio called for “new policies that encourage bold innovation.” He vowed to introduce legislation to reallocate federal government spectrum to the airwave-hungry wireless companies, who are looking to appeal to subscribers increasingly relying on their smartphone and other mobile devices. More broadly, Rubio called for an end to government involvement that impedes innovation and growth.
The U.S. can spend another century leading innovation, “but achieving this will require us to replace the antiquated policies and institutions of the last century with ones built for this new era,” he said. Rubio called for an overhaul to the tax system that would allow U.S. companies to avoid paying domestic taxes on revenue made and taxed abroad, and to take immediate deductions for investments. The Florida Senator is working on legislation with Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) that would make those changes.
AS AMERICANS CONTINUE TO FRET the vacuous insanity of current US-Middle East energy policy, I have been among those writing and talking to anyone who can whistle Dixie about the untapped wealth America has packed beneath our feet and below our water tables in the form of shale gas.
The United States is the Saudi Arabia of natural gas, and boasts the four largest fields in the world. The Haynesville field in Louisiana (with production up by 77 per cent in 2009); the Fayetteville field in Arkansas and the Marcellus field in Pennsylvania (both with production up by 50 per cent); and the Barnett field in Texas and Oklahoma (with production up by double-digit increases).
These core centers of potent gas are trapped in shale rock that can be liberated via a process called hydraulic fractioning, more commonly called fracking. Wells are drilled several miles into the earth's crust, greased by a stream of water, sand, and a minor amount of chemicals to fracture the rock and release the gas. All this happens far below the surface and the water tables. Natural gas is relatively clean-burning, is located on-shore, and is American energy wealth writ large.
Behold. Now we get a report from the United Nations, of all places, that asserts America can indeed be on the verge of energy independence and can become one of the world's great exporters of energy because of these shale gas and oil reserves. Natural gas is the one commodity that has been plummeting in price and delivering an economic jolt of its own for consumers more accustomed to higher energy prices.
But why are we not rushing to pump this available gas? That's where the news stops being news, and becomes the same old dog and pony show. In other words, where there's a formidable US energy supply, there's a yellow dog Democrat blocking the way.
Perhaps we should update the reference, and start calling these ridiculous "greenies" the green hornet Democrats, because they can't help themselves but to stir up a lot of wicked buzz and stinging hot air with Speaker Pelosi most assuredly their queen.
Welly, welly, welly, welly, welly, welly, well. To what do I owe the extreme pleasure of this surprising news, as young Alex in Anthony Burgess' Clockwork Orange might have put it.
Forecasts of climate change are about to go seriously out of kilter. One of the world's top climate modellers said Thursday we could be about to enter one or even two decades during which temperatures cool.
"People will say this is global warming disappearing," he told more than 1500 of the world's top climate scientists gathering in Geneva at the UN's World Climate Conference.
"I am not one of the sceptics," insisted Mojib Latif of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at Kiel University, Germany, and one of the foremost recognized experts on climate change in the world. "However, we have to ask the nasty questions ourselves or other people will do it."
Few climate scientists go as far as Latif, an author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. But more and more agree that the short-term prognosis for climate change is much less certain than once thought.
Update: January 23, 2011
For two decades or so we have been told to urgently act against unprecedented global warming, changing every habit industrial man has grown to embrace, or else there will be fiery gloom and doom for the world and be careful not to confuse weather for climate. Yet, the opposite seems to be occurring all over the globe.
Facts. The entire planet has stopped warming since 1998 and, more significantly, has started to cool since 2003. Instead of warning people of cooler weather for the next 30 years, there’s still the distinct false sense of expectation of unprecedented warming. People and governments are being urged to go entirely in the wrong direction for the wrong reasonsand at a potentially horrendous price.
Just look at what happened in UK. Ten years ago Britons were told to expect global warming only and that snow would be a thing of the past. Yet the opposite has arrived, three winters in a row. This winter it crippled the entire nation for nearly a month in December 2010. Alternating periods of warm and cooler weather have been with us as far back as our climate records go. Some of the past cooler periods have been more severe than others, like the Sporer, Maunder and Dalton Minimums. Professor Don Easterbrook has documented some 20 such cool periods over the last 500 years,
We must quit the United Nations. Then we must nationalize the UN properties, and send those carpetbagger delinquents, I mean delegations of Islamic appeasement, packing. Caroline Glick in the Jerusalem Post discusses the dire implications of the UN's willingness to throw freedom of speech overboard to placate the Islamic world.
The West stands by idly as its foundations are rent asunder. Last Friday the UN's Human Rights Council took a direct swipe at freedom of expression. In a 32-0 vote, the council instructed its "expert on freedom of expression" to report to the council on all instances in which individuals "abuse" their freedom of speech by giving expression to racial or religious bias. The measure was proposed by paragons of freedom Egypt and Pakistan. It was supported by all Arab, Muslim and African countriesfounts of liberty one and all. European states abstained.
The US, which is not a member of the Human Rights Council, tried to oppose the measure. In a speech before the council, US Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Warren Tichenor warned that the resolution's purpose is to undermine freedom of expression because it imposes "restrictions on individuals rather than emphasiz[ing] the duty and responsibility of governments to guarantee, uphold, promote and protect human rights."
By seeking to criminalize free speech, the resolution stands in breach of the UN's Declaration of Human Rights. Article 19 of that document states explicitly: "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."
The Europeans' decision to abstain rather than oppose the measure seems, at first glance, rather surprising. Given that the EU member states are among the UN's most emphatic champions, it would have seemed normal for them to have opposed a resolution that undermines one of the UN's foundational documents, and indeed, one of the most basic tenets of Western civilization.
But then again, given the EU's stands in recent years against freedom of expression, there really is nothing to be surprised about. The EU's current bow to intellectual thuggery is of course found in its response to the Internet release of Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders' film Fitna.
The EU has gone out of its way to attack Wilders for daring to exercise his freedom of expression. The EU's presidency released a statement condemning the film for "inflaming hatred." Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende issued statements claiming that the film "serves no other purpose than to cause offense."
Then, too, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon blasted the film as "offensively anti-Islamic."
These statements follow the EU's quest to restrict freedom of speech following the 2005 publication of cartoons of Muhammed in Denmark's Jyllands Posten newspaper. They also come against the backdrop of the systematic silencing of anti-jihadist intellectuals throughout the continent. These intellectuals, such as Peter Redeker in France and Paul Cliteur in the Netherlands, are threatened into silence by European jihadists. And the governments of Europe either do nothing to defend the threatened thinkers or justify the intellectual blackmailers by sympathizing with their anger.
IT IS axiomatic that freedom of expression is the foundation of human freedom and progress. When people are not allowed to express themselves freely, there can be no debate or inquiry. It is only due to free debate and inquiry that humanity has progressed from the Dark Age to the Digital Age. This is why the first act of every would-be tyrant is to take control of the marketplace of ideas.
Yet today, the nations of Europe and indeed much of the Western world, either sit idly by and do nothing to defend that freedom or collaborate with unfree and often tyrannical Islamic states and terrorists in silencing debate and stifling dissent.
So why is the UN still in the US? The original headquarters is old. It was built when membership was half (at least) what it is now. The UN expects the US taxpayer to foot the bill for a new HQ in NYC. Why aren't the wealthier nations of the world paying up? It's not 1945. The US shouldn't need to pay 25% of the UN's operating costs. It shouldn't need to pay 15%. Even 10% is high, but it's acceptable. Journalist Fareed Zakaria describes this as a post-American world. Let's move the UN to a post-American locale. How about somewhere in Asia?