Net Neutrality: blah, blah, blah…

You’ve been hearing the term “Net Neutrality” for a while now. You sort of know it’s about keeping open access to the internet, for all. But you haven’t looked into the boring details because other people are taking care of that for you. Now… TODAY… is the time to change that.

The FCC is rolling back the Net Neutrality protections put in place during the Obama administration. Today is the day where the internet comes together to stop them. If we don’t, big cable companies (in other words, your internet providers) will control what we see and do online. Widespread throttling, blocking, censorship, and extra fees will follow.

What this will mean in the real world is an internet that ever-more-closely mirrors the extreme stratification we see offline. Small nonprofits won’t be able to get their messages out to donors and clients. Social justice activists will no longer have a level playing field to get the word out. And you–as a customer–will pay more money for an internet that is measurably worse than the one you have now.

So what can you do?

1) Take a few minutes today to really understand what we’re facing.

  • Watch and share the explainer video below
  • Visit Battle for the Net (if you don’t want to sign up for their list, just scroll down the page for tips)
  • spread the word on social media

2) Let Congress know that this FCC rule matters to you.

Support the Summer Meals Act of 2017 & Help Hungry Kids

Please support the Summer Meals Act of 2017

Each summer, over 60,000 community organizations across the nation—schools, houses of worship, camps, community centers—volunteer to host children of all ages and commit to providing healthy, nutritious meals. This collaboration is called the Summer Meals Program and it helps 3.2 million children get connected with healthy meals all summer long.

Despite this incredible effort, there are still kids who the program doesn’t reach. These are kids who get most of their meals before and during school, but when summer vacation comes they face many weeks of misery because they don’t get enough to eat. This is why the Summer Meals Program is so vital. Without our help only about 17% of eligible children will actually get the meals they need. (WhyHunger.org)

You Can Help

Here in America, where we are blessed with an abundance of food, feeding hungry children is one issue that we can all agree is the right thing to do. This is a moral issue that crosses the boundaries of politics, culture, and geography. Right now there is a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that would fund nonprofit organizations to provide meals to many more needy kids. Please call or email your Congressperson and ask her/him to vote ‘yes’ on this important piece of legislation.

Information on how to find the name of your representative and his/her contact information is available by clicking on this link to Why Hunger, a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity. And if you can, please also donate to Why Hunger to help them in their very important work. No amount is too small, and your donation is tax deductible.

Thank you!

Thoughts upon Doing My Taxes

Ben Franklin never thought an American president would be a tax dodger.

What taxes do

When Ben Franklin remarked that “nothing is certain except death and taxes” he didn’t anticipate the spectacle of a soon-to-be U.S. president bragging in a national debate about being a tax dodger. Donald Trump asserted that he was “smart” for not paying federal income tax. To my mind, that’s not smart at all, especially for someone who is supposedly a great business person.

Taxes make it possible to be a great nation. To hold elections. Conduct commerce. Make laws. Taxes pay the heating bills in the House of Representatives. They provide schools to educate workers for Donald Trump to hire. Taxes build roads and subways so people can get to Trump’s job sites. Water and sewer systems to keep Trump’s golf courses green.

Public servants v. public spectacle

Taxes pay the salaries of public servants, whom Trump derides as “career politicians.” George H. W. Bush (R) had an outstanding public service career, serving as a congressman, ambassador, director of the CIA, vice president, and president. So did Gerald Ford (R), who served in the House for 25 years before becoming vice-president, then president due to the scandals of Richard Nixon, whom Ford pardoned at the expense of his own legacy because it was the right thing to do for the country.

Franklin Roosevelt (D) served in state and federal positions for 35 years. He was elected president a record four times, created the economic miracle that dug us out of the Great Depression, and navigated our nation through the heinous Second World War. Jacob Javits (R-NY) served in Congress for 30 years; Everett Dirksen (R-IL) for 34 and Robert Byrd (D-VW) for 51.

Well, you get the idea. And I get the point that Trump is trying to make, albeit artlessly. But there is a difference between public servants and careerists, just as there is a difference between smart businesspeople and a scofflaw huckster. And, sadly for America, Mr. Trump is the latter.