Sunday, August 19, 2018


Net Neutrality may be resurrected in California as our House Assembly will be voting any day now on SB 822 and SB 460.  
California voters reading here, and readers who have resident family or friends contact them -- you and they are urged to call your California Assemblymember requesting they vote for these two bills as a necessary step to save net neutrality.     

Net Neutrality preserved in California could have significant future implications for similar provisions being instituted in other states, or eventually, maybe even nationally.  Time is of the essence with phone calls needing to be made now since voting is expected any day.

How California's net neutrality was sabotaged earlier this year is not a pretty picture.
California has been one of several states writing legislative bills to protect citizens from broadband providers being able “… to throttle some applications, or charge websites or services for “fast lane” access on their networks” after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) undid such rules as described in this Wired story here.  

Expectations of passage for a first-in-the-nation such bill were unexpectedly dashed in May.               Democrat Miguel Santiago, Chairman of the Assembly Committee on Communications and Conveyance eviscerated those bills earlier this year by introducing and getting a vote on amendments weakening their provisions as reported by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (nonprofit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world). 

Democracy was manipulated by bipartisan corrupters -- both Republican and Democrat …..
Those amendments were introduced at 10 P.M. the night before the hearing and before the bill’s sponsor could argue for them the next morning.  This was after the Chairman the night before had refused a move to join the bills so there would be only one net neutrality bill.  These amendments were passed by the Chairman and seven Republicans and Democrats votes. 

“Democratic Chairman Assemblyman Miguel Santiago [had] stripped the bill of any teeth during the committee process, drawing rebukes from interest groups, and accusations that Santiago was being swayed by sizeable donations from the telecoms industry.”

Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener, a bill sponsor, has subsequently reached an agreement with Assemblyman Santiago to put the weakening provisions back in these two bills paving the way for California to pass the nation’s most robust net neutrality legislation” Chris Mills reports at BGR here (features news and commentary on mobile and consumer electronic markets.)

If the bill makes it all the way through both houses and is signed into law, it’s likely to face a complicated legal battle from telecoms providers. Under normal circumstances, FCC rules surrounding net neutrality would pre-empt any state law, making the California bill toothless. However, the mechanism that the FCC used to repeal the 2015 Open Internet Order didn’t just remove the net neutrality rules; it stripped the FCC of its own enforcement power, meaning that states may be able to write their own net neutrality legislation." (underlined emphasis mine)

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A penny for your we’re nickeled and dimed…..dollared, too?  Reminds me…..

You can easily see what has prompted this next topic -- a fast food restaurant employee, then the manager on another occasion, deliberately withheld a penny I was owed in change.  When I called each of them on the error, at least the employee appeared chagrined, but the next time when the manager shortchanged me, I didn’t even get an apology, just a silly grin -- even after I said I lived on a fixed income and every penny counted.   I figure if he gets away with cheating me on a penny he might just decide to escalate the amount to see how much more he can get away with doing.

First they would take our pennies – rounding off to the higher number i.e. $6.00 if actual cost is $5.99 – then, could nickels be next, followed by dimes up to dollars, etc., I wondered.  This called for a Google search which led me to discover pennies are being phased out in Canada.  And…an economist there as reported in Global News has said the nickel could be next.  My concerns about escalation are not unfounded.

Coin elimination discussion has been occurring periodically, prompting pro and con responses you can access by clicking on either of these nation links: Great Britain,  U.S.  But could the paper dollar be turned into a coin?   Really?  Remember the Susan B. Anthony dollar?

Whatever your point of view, this minor insignificant coin issue does serve as a slight momentary distraction from all the other world matters boggling our minds. 

Eliminating the penny in the U.S. has not yet occurred.  Until it does, then I expect exact change when I make a purchase, and that includes receiving even one penny if that’s what I’m due.  If a business wants to keep that penny, then they need to ask my permission to do so or raise the price of their product to eliminate needing to give me a penny in change. 

Meanwhile, I’ll continue to count my pennies, pick one up from the sidewalk as I did when I was young, since finding a penny is considered to be a good luck sign.   

Now, I'm going to relax with some strictly instrumental jazz, without a vocalist's distracting lyrics -- Pennies From Heaven  -- Memories for me of Oscar Peterson at a Cleveland Club 

Recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1977
A tune from CD entitled “The Pablo All-Stars Jam” 
·       Bass – Niels Pedersen*
·       Drums – Bobby Durham
·       Flugelhorn – Clark Terry
·       Guitar – Joe Pass
·       Piano – Oscar Peterson
·       Producer – Norman Granz
·       Tenor Saxophone – Ronnie Scott
·       Trumpet – Clark Terry
·       Vibraphone – Milt Jackson


  1. In my own experience, merchants may omit giving me a penny; but, they also omit charging me a penny. In fact, unlike you, I normally tell merchants to not give me any pennies. IMHO, the need for pennies has been obviated by inflation. $0.20, today, has the same value as the penny of 1942, at which time we used mils (worth 0.1 cent) to pay sales taxes. I would favor that the government not waste money minting pennies and nickels.
    ; )
    Cop Car

    1. I like change and coins to collect myself, though I understand the rationale for doing away with some of the smaller coins.

  2. I have mixed feelings on this as we have the ability to pay for faster speeds or not as individuals. I just don't know. Here's one guy who presents the other side: Am I the only techie against net neutrality. I just personally don't know enough. I wish Californians good luck with it though if they pass this as the canary in the mine to see how it works ;)

    1. I’m aware of the cons on this topic, but long ago concluded that left to their own devices, without some basic rules of the road, corporations excessive profit-seeking would likely take precedence over best interests of ordinary individual.

  3. I never understood why items were priced with .99 at the end. Gasoline is priced at $2.59.9, cars are priced $25,999. And every gadget you see on TV is $19.99. Is that penny or dollar less supposed to make us feel like we are getting a bargain. Guess I am part of the problem.
    I too pick up pennies--as long as I am limber enough to still do it.

    1. My understanding from someone who priced items was that ithe 99 cent, etc. is a marketing ploy. Apparently, the lower figure is psychologically more effective for motivating many people to buy.

  4. One of my true life's pleasures - odd as it sounds - is my 200Mbps internet connection with no restrictions. Good old Charter, or Spectrum as it is called these days. Along with Britbox and Acorn for my Brutish and Australian TV fix.

    That penny scam can generate a substantial amount of revenue for the clerk or store when you consider the number of daily transactions some fast food joints process daily - by month and year it adds up.I so rarely use anything but my debit card I do not know how prevalent it is here in North Carolina.

    And for your pennies I offer a Misty response

    1. My speed all the time is max 10 Mbps given the type connection I have and can’t upgrade to faster speed unless I agree to cable — reqirres different connection into my house — same cost would include TV, which I don’t want, as very pleased with Antenna TV. This slow speed works fine for me, but not for visitor with independent contractor tech writing business. Those are some of small business individuals who need net neutrality rules might protect.

      Ah, yes .....Errol Garner’s unique piano sound! Misty a favorite tune — also recall Clint Eastwood’s mood creating movie, Play Misty For Me.

    2. I loved Play Misty for Me and admit I have cringed whenever Jessica Walter is on the screen in anything for a bit. It was Eastwood's directorial debut, I believe.

  5. I always like your musical choices … usually following a solemn post. Pennies seem very insignificant in the age of MONEY, MONEY, MONEY … I am sick to death with it.

    1. Thanks. I agree about the money aspect as that seems to be over-emphasized and has been for awhile in our culture. What has happened to the values of this nation?

  6. I'm from the land of the "penniless" and honestly it's great. Rounding up or down. Less weight in the elder purse.
    I love Oscar. Small world department: I once bought Oscar's wife's car (I knew her niece) for my daughter. 😀🎶


    1. No pennies for you, eh? It is a small world, indeed, -- interesting tidbit. He was such a talented man and we so enjoyed his music.

  7. Glad to say there are no contentious internet restrictions being suggested here in the UK. But I sometimes wish Twitter would do more about the torrent of hate its users pour out day after day.

    My greengrocer generally rounds things down rather than up. If the till says £1.21 he'll charge me £1.20. Yes, we still have the penny here and there aren't any current plans to phase it out.