Word on the street is that tomorrow Democrats will force a vote on S.J.Res. 52, the "resolution of disapproval" that would roll back the FCC's net neutrality repeal, so today's as good a day as any to call your Senators and tell them to vote in favor of the resolution, and thus support real internet freedom for all Americans. The FCC had the stones to call their net neutrality repeal "Restoring Internet Freedom," but their repeal only "restores" internet "freedom" for big corporations -- as in freedom to prevent you from visiting websites, freedom to slow down the loading of websites, and freedom to demand tribute from websites in order to prevent either of these things from happening. What about your freedom to go where you want to go on the internet, rather than let some corporation tell you where to go? Clearly, that actual freedom is not as important to the FCC as those other corporate "freedoms." But with S.J.Res. 52, we can begin to take our freedom back.
Meanwhile, Congress is mulling another farm bill, since that needs to be reauthorized every six years, and in H.R. 2 they've concocted a real stinker of a farm bill: one that stretches the definition of "family farm" so that huge farms can take even more farm subsidies they don't need, one that rolls back incentives that help farmers get off chemicals and one-crop farming, one that exempts pesticides from clean water and endangered species protections, and one that tramples on state-level efforts to control factory farms. Oh, and it also imposes new work requirements on food stamps, as if too many working families aren't already on food stamps because their employers don't pay enough. In short, this is another pro-corporation, anti-people bill from Congress, and it deserves a humiliating death. So the Sierra Club helps you tell your Congressfolk to support small farmers and healthy food choice by rejecting H.R. 2.
In other news, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America helps you tell your Congressfolk to support H.R. 5671, the Burn Pits Accountability Act. So what are burn pits? Burn pits are what we used to dispose of waste in Iraq and Afghanistan, waste that could include human and medical waste, chemicals, paint, plastic, rubber, and even munitions. If that doesn't sound like an utterly toxic stew, I don't know what does! For all that, scientists haven't yet established a firm link between burn pits and Iraq/Afghanistan veteran illnessess, but the Veterans Administration maintains a Burn Pit Registry which can make establishing that link far easier, and H.R. 5671 would mandate that our Department of Defense ask soldiers whether they've been exposed to burn pits -- which they can do during health exams and separation interviews -- and then automatically register any veteran who answers in the affirmative. Thus the research -- and the healing -- can get a kick-start.
Finally, voter registration is now automatic in 13 states -- meaning citizens in these states become registered voters whenever they use state services like the Division of Motor Vehicles -- and Roots Action helps you tell your state legislators to enact an automatic voter registration law. You know what some right-wingers say when confronted with the common sense notion that we ought to make it easier for people to vote? They say voting should be hard! No: the work of citizenship should be hard, but it does not logically follow from that statement that each and every task associated with citizenship should be hard. You shouldn't have to spend endless time on hold when you call your Reps and Senators, you shouldn't be completely deprived of townhall meetings because your Rep is a criticism-hating snowflake, and you shouldn't have to fill out piles of paperwork in order to register to vote just because some politicians want fewer people to vote.