60 Day Countdown - Proposed Net Neutrality Rules Open to Public Comment

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Figuring out this net neutrality thing.

In case you’re curious, but ultimately confused and frustrated like I was for weeks, seeing headlines like “The End of Net Neutrality,” “Save the Internet,” and “Why Should You Care About Net Neutrality?” frequently peppering news feeds lately, we just reached an important milestone yesterday. The new rules proposed by the FCC have been opened up to public comment. We’ve been given 60 days to comment, then another 60 days to address those comments. 

No matter what Wheeler, chairman of the FFC, says about his commitment to net neutrality, the fact is, he’s opened the door to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) charging consumers and content makers on a tiered system. He’s a former Comcast lobbyist who uses polished sound bytes to distract from what he’s actually putting in motion. The outcome of this process, projected to come to a legal resolution either way by the end of the year, will affect all of us.

So, I’ll be making my voice heard among the multitude during this historic time (link to FFC comment board below). 

I believe in the foundational necessity of a free and open internet. It’s one of the tent poles holding up my faith in humanity and no matter what related points I hear on the subject, I just can’t put a price on that. Consumption and exchange of data should remain an equal playing field - for everyone.

We have an opportunity to show the America we were taught to love still exists.
We’re realizing vigilance and participation are vital requirements of freedom. Without educated participating citizens, our democracy will succumb to the plutocracy and elite-driven policymaking we’ve experienced far too long. We all have the chance to say we did our part to protect equal opportunity and innovation against greed and direct/indirect discrimination.

The idea of impacting the long-standing machinery of corporate interest in government can seem daunting and lead to the apathetic illusion of turning away from political participation altogether. But, as mentioned above, this will affect all of us and we all bear equal responsibility for how this turns out, whether we accept that responsibility or not - whether we feel we have time for it or not. History shows again and again that the voice of the people has power when exercised collectively. 

History needs us. Regardless of opinion, make your values known.
This PC World article includes links to FFC comment boards & contact info. It also provides a pretty clear cut catch-up on where we are in the process.

“That’s not what people want, Lemon. Least of all from their televisions. They want their Honeys Boo Boo and their Sunday Night Feetball, which is the plural of football. Americans don’t want to think. That’s why they need rich men like me to pick their presidents for them.”

“That’s not what people want, Lemon. Least of all from their televisions. They want their Honeys Boo Boo and their Sunday Night Feetball, which is the plural of football. Americans don’t want to think. That’s why they need rich men like me to pick their presidents for them.”

The Privatization of America Marginalizes Americans

I read two articles today that gave me a regularly recurring reality check on what is happening to the world we live in on a pretty massive scale: the privatization of America. And the marginalization of our rights and well-being.

The first is about the industries profiting most from the failing war on drugs (including the Corrections Corporation of America - aka a FOR-PROFIT PRISON). If you’ve been paying attention, you won’t be surprised all these groups have benefited from hefty lobbying power and low-level convictions: http://bit.ly/JqBvq7

The second is about the current struggle for the USPS to stay afloat, after the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act was made law. Pushed heavily by lobbyists, this attempt to break the postal union and privatize the industry isn’t exactly in the interest of the average American. Unless this law is rolled back, it’s virtually impossible for USPS to remain in tact, after paying an unprecedented 100% of 75 years worth of future benefits for their employees - within 10 years - and being prohibited from striking up other fund-raising ventures, as is permitted in other countries: http://bit.ly/ILyEDD

It is well known that child labor and many other seemingly humanitarian laws were put into effect, primarily in order to boost the economy. So, it’s not exactly a shock that federal legislation is still being largely dictated by big money.

The difference I see across America is this - a vehement debilitation and dismantling of public services by the profit-driven private sector - an obvious detrimental hazard to the health, happiness, privacy, safety, and souls of its citizens.

The examples above, plus an endless number related to the military, security, education, and health care industries, etc., paint a surrounding realization that our country’s driving motivation is profit - not the good of the American People. Was it ever? Maybe not, but I imagine freedom and equality were an easier sell once upon a time, not the castaways they appear to be today.

The America of today is quite different than the one we pictured pledging allegiance to, with our hands over our hearts, at our grade school desks. Today, it seems, there’s liberty and justice for all…who can pay for it. And even then, especially if a particular private prison is shooting for a quota they promised to shareholders, it could really go either way.