AZ Anti-Gay Bill – What if I have beliefs against Politicians?

From my understanding, the bill passed by Arizona’s two legislative bodies, but has yet to be signed by the Governor allows businesses to refuse to service to “gays and others” due to the religious beliefs of the business owners.

What if the business owners religious belief is “anti-politician”?  How would Andy Biggs, President of the Arizona State Senate, feel if he were refused service at his local coffee shop?  Or his local gas station?  How would Nancy Barto feel if her local golf club kicked her out because the ownership did not believe politicians are good for society?

And what if a business owner refuses to serve someone they believe to be gay but that person then proves themself not to be gay?  Now has the business owner violated some other Arizona law?

I have friends who live in Arizona and I love to visit Phoenix.  It is a vibrant city with so many exciting outdoor activities year round.  And after taking some of the worst hits during the financial/housing crisis, the city has been a real growth story for the last two years.  But between their gun laws, and potentially this law being passed….I would have to ask my friends to meet me elsewhere as I do not want to take my tourism dollars to Arizona.

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Netflix Agrees To Pay Comcast (Follow Up Article)

Yesterday new broke that NetFlix has agreed to pay Comcast to not slow down the streaming content that Netflix creates and/or streams as their revenue model.  Here is the NYT’s version of the story…http://nyti.ms/1hJZ2U4

My first thought was how quickly this payment came into being.  The Comcast / Time Warner deal that I wrote about last week is not yet finalized, with possible lawsuits and reviews for years.  Yet Netflix, a large corporation with a vested interest in the Comcast deal and the legal resources to put up a fight, have already decided to pay up.  They may yet fight it, but Netflix certainly believes the the deal with go through.  And that deal is fairly reliant on the FCC’s repeal of the Net Neutrality rules.

So what Netflix’s actions tell me is that Net Neutrality really is dead, and Comcast/TimeWarner is going through.  Done and Done.

 

What is a “Like” Worth on Facebook?

I am not on Facebook and never have been so don’t go looking for me there.  The reasons why are too long to go into here; suffice it to say I find social media a great tool for certain things, but I have no need to keep up with those I do not want to know well.

So I have a disdain for the valuation that Facebook and other SocMed companies get.  I feel the assumptions about the ongoing and future value of the enterprises are vastly overstated as new means of networking are popping up each week.  Will Facebook be a significant enterprise in three years?  How do I know what alternatives may be going viral in college dorm settings this very second that could replace Facebook?  Anyone still on MySpace.com?

This 9 minute video by Veritasium is a great look into what is going on behind the scenes of the “likes” that pop up on Facebook.  Credit for finding the video goes to @hedgefundinvest

 

Comcast & Time Warner = Bad News

It is not often that NYT columnist and respected economist Paul Krugman and I agree.  His core assumptions about the benefits of Federal intervention in people’s lives are vastly different than my desire for more localized politics and less federal powers.  I sometimes consider his version of socio-economic policies in the context of how I interact with my children who want to use the iPad, or are demanding to wear a summertime, princess dress outside when it is winter.

I could let them have their way and stop them from crying now (to the detriment of their long-term benefit of discipline, flexible thinking, and considering consequences) as Krugman often argues.  Or I could work to help them understand that some short-term unpleasantness can benefit them in the future.  But I digress….

Krugman’s piece in the NYT today hits on many of the important points against a Comcast/ Time Warner merger;  Decreased competition in an already concentrated industry does not historically lead to lower prices for end users; Increasingly concentrated power leads to less and less innovation; near monopolistic power leads to greater economic benefit to the small set stakeholders at the top of the monopoly (aka: medi-eval warlords taxing those who pass by their castles).

Krugman is correct on all his points.   I would add that or companies that act as a utility to consumers, there should be unfettered access to the choices that are linked to the “utility”.  Could you imagine if Comcast/Time Warner controlled the interstate highway system?  What if they installed tolls at both entryways and exit ramps for drivers.  What if tolls were increased to exit at towns that Comcast did not like?  What if Comcast informed the small towns they must pay exorbitant fees just to allow drivers to exit the highway into the town?  Effecting the business district of that town and the personal lives of it’s residents?

This last question/point is already happening with the Comcast deal.  Rather than act as a neutral utility, Comcast is changing the pricing structure and availability of websites/products.  Content companies now have to pay Comcast for the right to allow subscribers to access their product!  The fact that this Comcast / Time Warner deal comes on the heels of the Net Neutrality (as exemplified by Fred Wilson of AVC.com), is no surprise.

While I do not doubt that the FCC is following the letter of the laws surrounding the Net Neutrality act and will follow the letter of the law surrounding their assessment of the Comcast/Time Warner proposed merger, it sure would be great if a Washington DC bureaucrat would, for once, state the obvious, opine that this proposed merger would not benefit consumers, and kill the deal.

Drone Strikes vs Boots On The Ground

The NYT reports today that there is debate inside Obama’s administration about the decision to kill an American citizen, who is actively plotting with al Queda and/or Taliban remnants on how to attack Us interests and personnel.  Full details from the NYT here  http://nyti.ms/1jsioNz

To make my stand clear: If you are a bad guy, American citizen or not, and you are working in the battlefield of war against US interests, I’d rather a drone strike on you and anyone who happens to be next to you that day, than risk American lives tracking and eliminating you.  Welcome to war in the 21st century.

Back At It

Almost four months have passed since my last post.  Lots of interesting news, and lots of personal views, but no postings.  I changed my personal habits and patterns and Arhaik.com was lost in the shuffle.  A few more clients from Asia meant longer nights for me as I am based on the East Coast of the US.  And the later nights meant later wake ups in the AM.  Arhaik.com had been part of my morning routine; part of my personal “multi-media information upload” each morning.  TV on alternating between local news, BBC news, and financial news services…..going through my Twitter feed, NYT, and the blogs I follow…..and checking e-mail to help finalize my agenda for the day.

Continued growth of our company (onezero.com) has allowed us to add staff to the overnight Support desk, and my colleague in th eBusiness Development team who is based in London (but travels to Asia often) is getting set up with a Singapore-based Regus office for his increasingly longer stays in the region.  I will spend less time working with prospects and clients in Asia.

So I will work to make arhaik.com a part of my morning routine again.  Probably start slow, with more short comments and links than full blown postings, but getting re-creating the habit of posting is the first step.  Here we go……….