Category Archives: Free Speech/Free Press

Help Keep New Hampshire’s Progressive Humorist Mike Marland in Action!

Just before Christmas the Concord Monitor told their in-house political cartoonist Mike Marland that they were letting him go.  Their claim was cost-cutting measures, presumably the paper will pick up syndicated cartoons instead.

Unfortunately this cuts out an important angle of progressive satire local to New Hampshire and New Hampshire politics.  Marland always provided a fantastic wit and an ability to pick up the salient points on an issue and bring that out with cartoon art.  That’s a talent worth treasuring and a talent that provides an important outlet for frustration at the same and at the same time, critical analysis.

Its hard to wonder what exactly the Monitor has in store for its critical viewpoints, or that possibly Marland’s sharp progressive views have lost their shine in a paper that increasingly seems to provide a rather glossy and uncritical libertarian centered view on many issues.  We would hope that editorial direction was not the driving force behind Marland’s dismissal.

Marland’s satire provided an especial avenue for critical humor during the tumultuous period of the libertarian/Free Stater favorite, House Speaker Bill O’Brien who came into office on a Tea Party template of hostility toward government in the 2010 Tea Party driven electoral sweep.  The promptly decided to blow him out of office after two years with just as much energy as he entered.   Marland’s observations during this period were spot-on and provided a light of humor to a very difficult time.

We need Marland.  We in New Hampshire need strong progressive voices that speak up to the dominance of slavish obedience to extremists that seems to be increasingly common in state and national politics.  Times have again gotten difficult, extremists have entered both the house and the senate on a Scorched Earth strategy mirroring the national GOP strategy currently unfolding as well.   Our work will be hard, long and tiring.  Humorists and others in the arts play a crucial role in helping us all keep our eyes on the prize and reminding us of the oppositions frailties while poking a proverbial stick in their eye for our amusement.  We progressives love the arts, we know its importance in democracy and its link with creative satire.

 

IndepthNH is still looking for donors and underwriters to support his continued work.   They hope to feature him in IndepthNH’s online publications and we hope he finds other outlets for his work, possibly a publishing opportunity for his collected works as well?

In fact, we have posted one of our favorite Marland works, his portrayal of Bill O’Brien, in our article on O’Brien published on our Hall of Wingnuttia Fame page.

Please check out Mike’s homepage, linked in the first paragraph and like his new Facebook page as well and give our progressive brother some love!  Mike is a New Hampshire treasure, let’s make sure we keep him around!

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New Hampshire Progressives Demand Electoral College Change Its Votes

…AND GENERALLY LET TRUMP KNOW THEY’RE WATCHING.img_4054

[Please see more pictures and video posted on the Progressive Action NH facebook page!]

Last night in Manchester just before dusk, around 4pm people starting gathering at City Hall based on a call to action on Facebook regarding Trump’s recently declared win of the presidency. The event started at 4pm and lasted until between 8 and 8:30.

Organized by MC Auger, an 18 year old college student at NHTI and a few of her friends, the event grew way beyond what they had imagined, ” I was one of the ones who initially created it.  I just kind of decided that something needed to be done and I just put something up on Facebook and I invited a couple of my friends and I never expected in a million years that it would get half of the traction that it did.

“It was amazing and it really kind of restored my faith in humanity and basically the whole community came together and basically even the opposition came together and it showed that we can get our message across without violence.”
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When asked if she’d been involved in politics before, “Well my entire family is made up of people who are Republicans and heavily support Donald Trump and I was frustrated with the results of the election, I guess I felt I had to do something about it in order to feel better.

“I was raised in Catholic school for all of my life and I gradually didn’t like what I was hearing both in school and at home and decided to do my research and found out that there’s more than one way to tackle an issue.

“In the past I was very involved in politics because my parents would take me to big campaign rallies and bring me along to meet candidates or something.  But I’ve never done anything like this before.  I definitely think I’m going to get more involved in politics than I already am, probably I would do something like this again, most likely before Donald Trump is inaugurated.”

Danny Keating, organizer for Socialist Alternative and one of the marshals for the event said that although there was no real trouble, there were some tense moments, “The event started out with people on both sides of the street [Elm Street] chanting with each other.  When we marched down to Veteran’s Park and then came back most of the people went to the other [City Hall] side.  I tried to get everyone over to that side of the street.  There were some counter-protesters, one with Nazi symbol neck tattoos on the other side still with about a hundred or so protesters.

“Some of the protesters started to gather around the four or five or so counter-protesters and they argued with them and chanted at them.  Me and about four other marshals came over and stood between the two groups and then gradually most of the people moved to the other side of the street.  We stayed over there and formed a mini-circle around the counter-protesters for about a half hour.

Counter-protesters gloating.

Counter-protesters gloating.

“Then again a Trump supporter came over to the other side [City Hall side] and started trying to argue with the people and a cop came up and basically said to him, ‘Ok you had your say, move on.’ and he moved on.  That was about it.”

Danny said he got involved on his own, “I saw the event page and saw a lot of threatening on that page, I didn’t know the two young woman that were organizing it but I said, ‘Hey you guys should have some marshals for protection.’ and at first they said, No we’ll be fine’ but then some people who had done events in Manchester before, like the Black Lives Matter folks said, ‘No, we’d like them to be there.’

I asked Danny to explain what a marshal does, “Essentially its security and de-escalation; you are protecting the crowd. Our focus is to look all around the rally and find potential threats; we form a barrier between the two.  Most people go along and it works out very well.”

Another marshal, Julizabeth Gonzalez said what struck her most about the night “For me it was people coming up and saying ‘How dare you think its ok to get an abortion.” They were just saying stuff that didn’t make any sense and the people I was with were just women drinking coffee and weren’t saying anything, it was ridiculous.  Everyone else though was really friendly, a lot of support and a lot of love.”

As for what spurned Gonzalez to get involved, “For me because I’m Spanish and I’m part of the LBGTQ community, for everything after the election because I have felt really uncomfortable and we don’t feel very safe and welcome anymore, so it was nice to be out yesterday and be out there and be embraced by the community and people letting you know you are going to be ok.
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“I feel that since the election people have been more rude to me, staring at me making comments right to me, saying like, “Are you legal?”  I always give them a look and say ‘Pretty much, I came from Massachusetts; I didn’t need a green card.

“I know that a lot of the counter-protesters are missing the whole fact, its about also what the election stands for after the fact.  I did think it was hilarious that there was only a handful of counter-protesters and they were so angry and I wanted to walk over to them and tell them that’s how it feels to be minority in this country, but they didn’t see it like that, but its funny because that must have been how they were feeling, but they didn’t see it like that.

“We also had safety pins, it started in the UK, it was started to signify you are safe around this person, if you are refugee, or gay, or feeling harassed, those people are safe to be around.  One of the marshals had a bunch of safety pins and was handing them out to people who agreed to be ‘safe people’.”

Olivia Rose, 19 worked with the organizers during the planning stages, “I’m not one of the creators [of the event] but I helped with organizing things such as police being there and like part of leading the chants and stuff and making sure that everything and everyone was safe.

Participant showing her "I am safe" designating her as a safe person to go to if someone feels uncomfortable or harassed.

Participant showing her “I am safe” designating her as a safe person to go to if someone feels uncomfortable or harassed.

I really like protesting.  I’ve been to two Black Lives Matters protests before here in Manchester.  I work at a grocery store part-time and I work at Old Navy part-time as holiday help.  I’m saving up money for that and school and everything costs so much money.  Wow, nobody told me it would be like this.  I really want to go to school for special effects and theater.

Asked what got her to get involved, “Well Trump, so I was watching his campaign and he just seems have a lot of hate and when I saw him talking about conversion therapy it just hit a nerve and I don’t want a country filled with hate.  I feel like we’re not all together and I feel like it should be.”

As the actual vote counts continued to roll in long after the mainstream media had declared Trump the winner and Clinton had made her official concession speech, it appeared that Clinton did in fact dominate the popular vote by a small margin.  Considering the divisive nature of Trump’s positions and campaign that was enough for many people to hit the streets and demand that the electoral college switch their pro-Trump positions and put in a vote for the candidate that actually won the popular vote.

Willow Pfahler, another protest participant came to the rally with the distinct goal of being seen by the electoral college voters in NH and elsewhere so that possibly they’d change their vote. “I participated in the protest to draw attention to the electoral college has a constitutional obligation to step in and right this.  The electoral college was originally put in place to give the slave owners the majority vote, but part of the reason as well was to step in and do what’s right.

“To give you an example; there’s the ‘faithless vote’ which is when somebody votes against their pledge, there’s a woman in DC that did not vote at all in 2000, she was protesting the voter discrimination in DC, Barbara Lett-Simmons.  There’s some folks in the electoral college that already pledged not to vote for their pledged candidate.  There’s a many in Texas who has said he will be a ‘faithless voter’ because of Trump’s stance on immigration.

“Many Republicans are saying that electoral college voters cannot change their vote, but its unconstitutional to be prevented from changing their votes, although throughout history there’s never been any prosecution of faceless voters.   img_4026

“Additionally I think that people need to understand that this isn’t something that doesn’t happen.  Even up to 2015 there’s been an estimated 157 instances of faceless voters through the history of the country.  This is what the American people want, this is the idea; the electoral college has an obligation to look at the public voting and see who the American people want and the vote says they want Clinton over Trump.

“Historically, if you look at the facts that she’s receiving a historic number of votes for her, additionally we’re seeing a historic voter decrease and we also, Clinton didn’t win the black vote and didn’t win the Hispanic vote, well consider all the factors I just said, consider the increase in voter suppression relating to Trump’s campaign, consider the number of polling places closed, consider the changes in voter ID laws; it all adds up.

“Right now the electoral college petition on Change.org has 4.3 millions signatures, a petition asking the electoral college to change its mind.  Even Fox News did a good article on the issue and outlined the process, especially that regardless of state law, they have to follow the constitution.

“People need to think of why the gap between the election night and the time of the inauguration, it isn’t just what about counting the last of the votes, its about giving the electoral college the chance to look at all the information and make an informed decision.”

Keep an eye on Progressive Action NH’s facebook page for more upcoming events!img_4051

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Chomsky: Democracy is a Threat to Any Power System

From video description :

“To mark The Nation’s 150th anniversary, John Nichols was joined in conversation by the eminent radical intellectual Noam Chomsky at the Tucson Festival of Books in Arizona on March 15. Discussing issues ranging from media accountability and voter participation, to money in politics and income inequality.”

Thanks to The Nation magazine

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Protesting Works!

We’ve changed the photo for our facebook page: Progressive Action New Hampshire. To a photo we feel more appropriate to our general interest; to get people involved inside and outside of the process and society to make change.

As tribute to this photo and just because its a darn good article, we’re publishing the write-up on the blog linked to it; St. Pete for Peace which talks about the positives of the strategy of the protest.  As the article points out, the mainstream media loves to mock protesters.  Nothing works better to keep people at home than to tell them that doing otherwise makes them look foolish.  As this writer can attest, while protesting won’t solve all problems directly, the social aspect of getting people together who share similar goals and frustrations is empowering to everyone.  Even people who in the majority respond favorably to protesters by honking their horns, extending the classic rising fist out of their car windows or even stopping to ask questions; people like it when people get together for a good cause.

Of course this summary doesn’t include those actions that have taken place in New Hampshire, including the current Stamp Stampede actions, the BlackLivesMatter protests, NH Rebellion walks, bird-dogging of politicians and of course the anti-gun-nut rallies that have been held in both Manchester and Nashua.

So without further ado:

Protesting Works!

Recent history has shown that protesting can have a significant impact.  In fact, what other single method has been as effective as protesting?

Protesting (which includes marches, rallies, pickets, strikes, non-violent direct action, sit-ins, etc.) doesn’t always work, and it’s not the end all solution to every problem.  Sometimes protesting is part of the solution, and other times, protesting leads to incremental improvements.  Sometimes it’s just to bring about awareness and to build momentum.  Protesting is also a way to let off steam, and to be around like minded people.

Protesting Works!

The establishment has perpetuated the myth that protesting doesn’t work because they want to deter people from doing it.  People in power must love it when activists take the bait and say that protesting doesn’t work.

Here are some recent examples where protesting has worked:

2014

  • May 7 – Stanford Divests: Student-Led Movement Forces Elite School to Pull Its Money from Coal Companies.
  • May 5 – “War Criminals Shouldn’t Be Honored”: Rutgers Students Nix Condoleezza Rice from Commencement Speech.

2013

  • Sept. 12 – SYRIA: Peace Pushes Back: How the People Won Out (For Now).
  • June 19 – Protests in Brazil force lawmakers to reverse an increase in bus and subway fares.
  • Feb. 20 – Widespread Austerity Protests Push Bulgarian Government to Resign.
    ‘I can’t watch as fences go up around Parliament,’ resigning PM states.
  • Jan. 17 – Pakistan Gives in to Protesters, Agrees to Early Elections.

2012

  • Sept. 21 – In Quebec It’s Official: Mass Movement Leads to Victory for Students. Naomi Klein: ‘This is why radical movements are mercilessly mocked. They can win.’
  • Sept. 7 – Quebec’s students sustained action over tuition fees helped defeat Quebec’s Liberal government.
  • July 28 – Chinese protesters force officials to cancel industrial waste pipeline project.
  • May 14 – Palestinian Prisoners Score Heroic Victory.
  • Feb 6 – Romania’s Prime Minister resigns over austerity protests.
  • Jan. 22 – Libya Protests Spur Shake-Up in Interim Government.
  • Jan. 19 – SOPA bill shelved after global protests from Google, Wikipedia and others.

2011

  • Nov. 28 – Kuwait’s cabinet resigns amid ‘unprecedented’ protest against corruption.
  • Nov. 27 – Protests lead to a new constitution in Morocco; moderate Islamist Party wins elections (protesters aren’t satisfied, but this is a work in progress).
  • Nov. 21Egypt’s Cabinet submits resignation amid protests, violence.
  • Oct 23Portland high schools set to permit anti-war protesters to recruit students alongside the military.
  • Sept. 22 – By an incredible 99 percent YES vote, Tacoma teachers have ratified a new three-year collective bargaining agreement with the Tacoma School Board. The ratification vote ends Tacoma teachers’ 10-day strike.
  • July 25 – Protests halt gold mining in El Salvador.
  • July 11 –  Egypt’s deputy PM resigns amid protests.
  • July 1 –  A day of victory in Palestine: Bil’in celebrates the removal of the wall after nearly seven years of resistance and struggle of the residents of Bil’in.
  • June 24 – Senegal drops new law amid protests.
  • Feb. 16 – Japan halts whaling hunt amid protests.
  • Feb. 14 – Puerto Rican University President Resigns in Wake of Student Protests.
  • Feb. 6 – George W. Bush cancels trip to Switzerland amid calls for protests & war crimes investigation.

2010

  • June 11 – Peace Groups Permanently Shut Down Army Experience Center in Philadelphia.
  • April 9 – Protesters in Kyrgyzstan oust Government.

2009

  • June 19 – Peru Indians victory over foreign companies’ exploitation. At least 34 people died during weeks of strikes against the legislation, which was eventually revoked.
  • April 11 – Thai protests cancel Asian summit.
  • March 25 – The Czech government collapsed after a no confidence vote in parliament.  For peace activists in the Czech Republic it is a great victory: they said the only way to stop the installation of a US radar base was the fall of the government.  The defeat was a huge embarrassment for the Czech Prime Minister, coming just days before a planned visit by President Barack Obama and midway through the Czech Republic’s six month European Union presidency.
  • Feb. 19 – Latvia’s government collapsed following violent demonstrations in the capital Riga in protest of the government’s handling of the financial crisis and steep IMF imposed cutbacks.
  • Jan. 26 – Iceland’s ruling coalition resigned three months after the collapse of the country’s currency, stock market and several major banks, and following months of public protests.

2007

  • Dec. 24 – Nepal ends its Monarchy after years of Maoist struggle.

2006

  • Oct. 30 – The president of Gallaudet University in Washington, DC was removed after days of protests and sleepouts.

ACTION ALERT: Show Up Friday 13th and Tell Legislators “Pass the Resolution!”

ACTION ALERT:

A hearing at the will be happening on Friday, February 13, in Room 210 at the LOB (Legislative Office Building – behind the State House).

Show up and support HCR-2, [House Concurrent Resolution 2] the move to get Citizen’s United overturned.  You can sign up to testify as to why you think, as a citizen, this resolution and considering an amendment is important.  You also can stand by and stare down a politician.  Your presence speaks volumes!

Also: A constitutional amendment is the ONLY way to overturn the Citizen’s United decision!

HCR-2  asks the New Hampshire state legislature to bring forth a resolution to Congress to have convention as explained in Article V of the US Constitution to consider adopting an amendment differentiates personhood from corporate existence. Article V in the constitution reads as follows:

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.

Therefore, the move is on to get New Hampshire on the list of states to comprise the two-thirds necessary for a convention.  The convention would convene for no other purpose than to consider the adopting of an amendment to clarify that corporations cannot claim “personhood”.

The body of HCR-2 reads as follows:

ANALYSIS

This bill applies to Congress for a convention under Article V of the United States Constitution for the purpose of proposing amendments to the United States Constitution in order to address concerns raised by the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010), and related cases.

15-0135

05/09

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Fifteen

A RESOLUTION applying to Congress to hold a convention for amendments.

Whereas, the government of the United States is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people; and

Whereas, George Washington, the first President of the United States, stated in his 1796 farewell address that, “The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their Constitutions of Government”; and

Whereas, it was the stated intention of the framers of the Constitution of the United States of America that the Congress of the United States of America should be “dependent on the people alone.” (James Madison, Federalist 52); and

Whereas, the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution states “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people,” which has consistently been interpreted to allow the several states to establish their own laws governing the financing of elections; and

Whereas, the United States Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010), removed restrictions on amounts of independent political spending and established a de-facto imposition on the several states denying them the ability to establish their own laws governing the financing of elections; and

Whereas, the current state of federal elections has become such that tremendous power is given to monied legal entities, which have supplanted the will of the people by undermining our ability to choose our political leadership, write our own laws, and determine the fate of our state; and

Whereas, natural persons are endowed with certain unalienable rights, including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, while incorporated legal entities exist only under the revocable authority established by the people through Congress and the several state legislatures; and

Whereas, the Congress of the United States has thus far failed to address the multitude of problems created by the United States Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010); and

Whereas, it is in the self-interest of the Congress of the United States not to address the issues raised by the ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010); and

Whereas, Article V of the United States Constitution requires the United States Congress to call a convention for proposing amendments upon application of two-thirds of the legislatures of the several states for the purpose of proposing amendments to the United States Constitution; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring:

That the legislature of the state of New Hampshire hereby applies to the United States Congress to hold a convention, as stipulated by Article V of the United States Constitution, for the purpose of proposing amendments to the United States Constitution in order to address concerns raised by the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010), and related cases, including events occurring long before or afterward or for a substantially similar purpose, and desires that said convention should be so limited, and

That delegates to such a convention from New Hampshire shall propose no amendments which do not have a primary goal of addressing the grievances listed herein, and the delegates to said convention from New Hampshire shall be comprised equally from individuals currently elected to state and local office, or be selected by election in each Congressional district for the purpose of serving as delegates, though all individuals elected or appointed to federal office, now or in the past, be prohibited from serving as delegates to the Convention, and the legislature intends to retain the ability to define the power of its delegates within the limits expressed above; and

That the state of New Hampshire intends that this be a continuing application considered together with applications calling for a convention currently pending in several other states, and all other passed, pending, and future applications, until such time as two-thirds of the several states have applied for a convention and said convention is convened by Congress; and

That the clerk of the New Hampshire house of representatives transmit copies of this resolution to the President and Vice President of the United States, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives, the President Pro Tempore of the United States Senate, each member of the New Hampshire congressional delegation, and the presiding officers of each legislative body of each of the several states, requesting the cooperation of the several states in issuing an application compelling Congress to call a convention for proposing amendments pursuant to Article V of the United States Constitution.

***************************

Sponsors of the bill are:

 Moveon.org is also having an online petition drive which they will also present to the state legislators.  Please sign the petition as well as a citizen of New Hampshire who is concerned about how the Citizen’s United Supreme Court decision is effecting the political discourse in this country.

Also, for more information on the original Citizen’s United decision and its effects, please refer to the following articles:

Citizens United vs. FEC – Open Secrets.org – a lot of good links and basic information, updated with new analysis on what the decision has done to the political process.

Citizen’s United Supreme Court Decision An excellent detailed analysis of the decision and its meaning and effects from the League of Women Voters of Minnesota with many good links.

Money Unlimited In-depth article in the New Yorker from 2012 on Justice John Robert’s work to get Citizen’s United the victory it sought.

State’s legislatures and local governments that have passed a resolution and sent it to Congress are listed on United for the People,org’s List of Local and State Resolutions

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Wherein Cruz Sings for his Supper, Lies to America and Gets Another Corporate Donation

Its always said where there’s smoke there’s fire but in the case of the Republicans, when they start having a hissy over some proposed new rule or regulation its best to take a second look.  In the Hill a piece entitled “Cruz Warns of Obamacare for Internet“.  In typical slavish obedience to his corporate masters, Cruz hammers away hysterically at the last vestiges of reason left in his audience.  The Hill reports Cruz as carrying on, “Net Neutrality’ is Obamacare for the Internet,” Cruz said on Twitter Monday morning. “The Internet should not operate at the speed of government.”

The Hill also adds that, “Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), who is expected to become the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee next year, added his fear that Obama’s demand “would turn the Internet into a government-regulated utility and stifle our nation’s dynamic and robust Internet sector with rules written nearly 80 years ago for plain old telephone service.”

Yet when one reads further into the story and does a little scoping for the truth what comes up is quite a different story.  Net Neutrality is obviously not a healthcare plan for the intertubes although nearly all of us might need some serious healthcare if we wake up to find our internet dominated by Disney and the History Channel.

The current dispute over the Obama administration’s proposal to reclassify ISP’s as common carriers under Title II  of the Communications Act would allow the federal government to install guidelines to ensure that ISP’s do not attempt to split internet access into a multi-tiered platform.  If this were to happen (which is want the large ISP’s want, large providers able to pay high fees will get high speed access to offer at higher rates to their customers (corporations) while the smaller and less monied providers will be left with slower ISP service.  Most likely the cost will be so high that only large providers with specifically geared marketing content interests will dominate the internet that you and I will see the most of.

On the Free Press blog today is another explanation:

The President Might Have Just Saved the Internet

This piece originally appeared in the Huffington Post.

During his first run for the White House, Barack Obama promised that he would take “a back seat to no one” on Net Neutrality.

Today, the president finally got in the driver’s seat.

Early this morning, President Obama issued a clear and powerful statement of support for real Net Neutrality — one that left no wiggle room or confusion about where he stands.

The short summary for anyone who has been following the debate over Net Neutrality: THIS IS HUGE.

The president’s statement is worth quoting at length:

An open Internet is essential to the American economy, and increasingly to our very way of life. By lowering the cost of launching a new idea, igniting new political movements, and bringing communities closer together, it has been one of the most significant democratizing influences the world has ever known.

‘Net Neutrality’ has been built into the fabric of the Internet since its creation — but it is also a principle that we cannot take for granted. We cannot allow Internet service providers (ISPs) to restrict the best access or to pick winners and losers in the online marketplace for services and ideas. That is why today I am asking the Federal Communications Commission to answer the call of almost 4 million public comments, and implement the strongest possible rules to protect Net Neutrality.

As a result, access to news that covers all interests and most importantly questions the powerful in that society (in America most likely big business and its close ties with government) will not get aired. Content will be tacitly reviewed and any content that might be perceived as too challenging, controversial or digging too deep will not get aired.

Like television today where the costs prohibit an individual or small group to have their own station only those with the funds and able to keep the funds rolling in have stations.  Like television as well the interests will more than likely be commercial to pay the high fees demanded of the large ISP’s and thus content will be geared to market that pays, which will mean gearing content to the lowest common denominator.

The demise of PBS stations have reflected the move most people have made to the internet, but it also reflects the commercial and marketing nature of television; without large funds rolling in the station dries up.  While we won’t get into a conversation about whether the government should have continued to support public broadcasting, the fact that its support has been drastically cut is reflected in its content.  Gone is cutting edge journalism and creative and diverse content. Do we want our internet to become the same dead space that Springsteen once railed about in his song “57 Channels and Nothing on?”;  a dead space of empty advertising and brainless programing?

Even beyond the most basic is the fact that the FCC itself seems to have far too much undue influence by the large ISP companies and cable companies that want to make the internet their private profiteering route.  Suffice it to say, the is far from dead or dormant and people need to pay attention and take action where needed.

Please check out the website below by a group out of Florence, MA, Free-Press and their Save the Internet campaign.

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