Loss Leader

5 03 2012

H/T “The Bobster” on AR.

KYW-CBS-3 Philly:

Group Says Comcast Corp. Is Hiding Its Low-Cost Offering From Low-Income Families

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A community group says Comcast Corporation needs to do more to bridge the digital divide for low-income families.

About a dozen people — along with the activist organization Action United — dropped off complaints this morning with federal officials in center city Philadelphia.

Comcast’s “Internet Essentials” is restricted to certain low-income families, but cuts the cost of getting online to $9.95/month.

“I feel as though the Internet service will help my son to progress in math, reading, spelling,” says Dawn from North Philadelphia. But she says she couldn’t sign up:

“They told me I had a back bill from 10 years ago, so I was not qualified.”

Another barrier, says Marvin from West Philadelphia, is the apparent lack of publicity about the special offer for low-income families.

“None of the schools in my community know nothing about it,” he said today. “That’s a major problem.”

The program, created as a condition of Comcast’s merger with NBC-Universal, is aimed at families of kids who qualify for free and reduced-cost school lunches.

Charlie Douglas, senior director at Comcast, says the company is trying hard to reach that group.

“We publicized the program in 4,000 school districts, 30,000 schools,” he told KYW Newsradio today.

Douglas says the company is “proud” of Internet Essentials, and says praise for Comcast’s efforts has come from Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter and from the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.

No kidding.  The program’s website makes it clear that you can’t get this affirmative action cut rate internet service if you have a payable in arrears with Comcast.  And as far as publicity, Comcast is doing this service as a race pandering loss leader to grease the skids to get Obama/FTC/SEC approval for the Comcast buyout of NBC.  If you’re selling a product or service at a loss and selling it only to certain kinds of people, are you really in the mood to advertise?

The Comcast “Internet Essentials” website says that those who qualify for this program can also buy a computer for $150.  But there’s a catch, found in the very last item in the FAQ:

Internet Essentials participants have the opportunity to purchase a netbook-style laptop computer. This computer supports wired and Wi-Fi Internet connectivity. Every computer shipped includes Windows 7 Starter operating system and Internet browser software. Additional productivity software may be included when available.

It’s a cheap netbook outfitted with a crippled version of Windows normally designated for the third world.  (Then again, if the shoe fits.)  Netbooks are useless for any real productivity, and the irony of that is that this Internet Essentials program is sold as giving impoverished low IQ blacks and Hispanics the ability to do school work and get better grades.  Can’t do a term paper on one of those things, though I doubt the public schools in inner city Philly are assigning too many term papers.  As far as “additional productivity software may be included when available,” that means that Microsoft hasn’t given the OEM of these netbooks the permission to pre-load a trial time-bombed version of Windows Home and Student onto the netbooks, though again, any real word processing or spreadsheet productivity on these things are just about impossible.

Because Internet Essentials doesn’t seem to come with a free router, the people who get these netbooks will have to keep theirs plugged into the wire unless they buy a router.

One more thing — With Philadelphia being anti-white hate central, many of their mahogany mobs organized on Twitter-Facebook, is it really a good idea to spread internet connectivity in that city?


Short Distance Call

5 03 2012

In the second part of its expose of the Politician-Gangbanger continuum that are Chicago politics, Chicago Mag exposes how various black and Hispanic state politicians from Chicago’s black and Hispanic sections use their power to force the Illinois Department of Corrections to transfer incarcerated gangbangers to lower security prisons and/or prisons closer to Chicago.

There is one thing about this that the writer doesn’t seem to grasp — If a given hard core ‘banger is in a lower security institution near Chicago instead of a maximum security joint downstate, it makes it far easier for him to coordinate with his peeps on the streets.  That’s the whole point of these transfers, not “being closer to family.”

Timothy Dolan, Kingmaker?

5 03 2012

It just might be the native St. Louisan that will be the person most singularly responsible for getting Barack H. Obama, Jr. out of the White House when all is said and done.

I said in this space a few days ago that the Democrat-Left was on the suicide track with this “Force the Catholic Church to pay for contraception” business.  It will be all Obama and his party needs — Cardinal Dolan and every Catholic Priest in America will use the occasion of Mass on Sunday, November 4 to imply that Catholics and others shouldn’t vote Democrat.  And when Catholic Priests speak, a lot of people take their words as having otherworldly inspiration.  The whole “Vicar of Christ” thing, though the theology of that is far more complicated than I suggest.

May-Shall Romance

5 03 2012

WBZ-CBS-13 Baltimore:

Md. Gun Law Found Unconstitutional

BALTIMORE (AP) — Maryland’s requirement that residents show a “good and substantial reason” to get a handgun permit is unconstitutional, according to a federal judge’s opinion filed Monday.

States can channel the way their residents exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms, but because Maryland’s goal was to minimize the number of firearms carried outside homes by limiting the privilege to those who could demonstrate “good reason,” it had turned into a rationing system, infringing upon residents’ rights, U.S. District Judge [*****] wrote.

“A citizen may not be required to offer a `good and substantial reason’ why he should be permitted to exercise his rights,” [s/he] wrote. “The right’s existence is all the reason he needs.”

Plaintiff Raymond Woollard obtained a handgun permit after fighting with an intruder in his Hampstead home in 2002, but was denied a renewal in 2009 because he could not show he had been subject to “threats occurring beyond his residence.” Woollard appealed, but was rejected by the review board, which found he hadn’t demonstrated a “good and substantial reason” to carry a handgun as a reasonable precaution. The suit filed in 2010 claimed that Maryland didn’t have a reason to deny the renewal and wrongly put the burden on Woollard to show why he still needed to carry a gun.

“People have the right to carry a gun for self-defense and don’t have to prove that there’s a special reason for them to seek the permit,” said his attorney Alan Gura, who has challenged handgun bans in the District of Columbia and Chicago. “We’re not against the idea of a permit process, but the licensing system has to acknowledge that there’s a right to bear arms.”

The lawsuit, which names the state police superintendent and members of the Handgun Permit Review Board, was also filed on behalf of the Bellevue, Wash.-based Second Amendment Foundation.

Maryland’s Attorney General’s office was still reviewing the opinion and declined to comment immediately.

Many states require gun permits, but Illinois has a ban and six states, including Maryland, issue permits on a discretionary basis, Gura said. In most of those states, these challenges have not succeeded in U.S. District Courts, but they are being appealed, he said.

“Most states that choose to regulate the right to bear arms have licensing systems that are objective and straightforward,” Gura said. “That’s all that we want for Maryland.”

This might be precedent that ends the “May Issue” CCW paradigm.  Either a state will have to go “Shall Issue” or “No Issue.”

I’m having problems finding a PDF of the judge’s ruling, (help me if you can), but just reading between the lines of the the way this news source is covering it, the judge is saying that the 2nd Amendment doesn’t require a state to have CCW.  But if a state does CCW, then it can’t do “May Issue” because the discretionary powers that the “May Issue” paradigm gives to permit-granting authorities is a form of unconstitutional prior restraint against the 2nd Amendment, and/or that it violates the substantive due process implied the 5th Amendment, and/or it’s unequal treatment of individuals in violation of the 14th Amendment.

I can dig all that, but then there’s also the 10th Amendment.

On top of that, my fear is that most states who do May Issue will switch to No Issue instead of Shall Issue should this precedent take root.


RJP posted the PDF below in the comment section.  As it turns out, this ruling wasn’t the profound “civil rights” victory that Instapundit/Eric S. Raymond/Eugene Volokh/NRA/SAF would make it out to be.  The judge explicitly said “No” to a prior restraint challenge or a 14th Amendment challenge, and substantive due process wasn’t even on the table, even though it was hinted around in the reasoning the judge ultimately used.  Instead, the judge used the intermediate scrutiny test of the 2nd Amendment to find one part of one state’s “May Issue” CCW scheme unconstitutional.  The judge in fact endorsed all the other discretionary powers of the rest of Maryland’s “May Issue” scheme with the same intermediate scrutiny test.  Therefore, this is hardly a precedent-setting ruling that will change much of anything in Maryland or other “May Issue” states.

The judge is a Bush 41 appointee, and Republican judicial appointees on the Federal trial level are loath to make serious precedent with their decisions, they leave that to the Appellate judges and SCOTUS.