Word on the street is that the FCC will deal the death-blow to net neutrality today, by announcing a plan that would allow broadband services to create a "fast lane" where big corporations can pay to have their websites load more quickly. The FCC's plan would prevent corporations from slowing down loading times, or censoring sites entirely, and the plan would also reserve the option of "reclassifying broadband as a public utility," under which conditions the FCC could, legally, enforce strong net neutrality regulations. What's more interesting is that the FCC plans to evaluate every contract for preferential treatment to see whether it's "commercially reasonable." That could mean it could take for-freaking-ever for, say, the FCC to approve Google getting goodies from Comcast -- or it could mean the big corporations overwhelm the FCC with so many contracts the FCC rubber-stamps them all. But this, too, is no time to count on Barack Obama to win a game of 13-dimensional chess -- after all, 13-dimensional chess does sound like a hard game to play, let alone win, does it not? So Free Press helps you tell the FCC, one more time, not to kill off net neutrality. After all, we should control our internet experience, not the big corporations.
Meanwhile, we learned last week that a U.S. Air Force squadron in Nevada, not the CIA, has been flying drone strikes in Pakistan. Last year the Obama Administration claimed it wanted to transfer authority for drone strikes from the CIA to the military, but apparently the military has been working with the CIA for some time. And who's been in charge? Certainly not us! As one drone strike operator testified, "(a) CIA label is just an excuse to not have to give up any information. That is all it has ever been." In that spirit, let us recall that H.R. 4372, an Adam Schiff/Walter Jones production, would mandate that the Executive branch disclose whom our drone strikes are killing; they would also disclose how many civilians our drone strikes are killing, a matter of some contention -- our government, of course, says very few, while more independent sources, ah, contest that assessment. Still, better to make our government peel back the veil of secrecy. You can call your House Rep at 202.225.3121, or use the tools in the upper left-hand corner of this page -- your Reps are on
vacation recess right now, so call their local offices -- and, if you like, you may report the results of your call to Just Foreign Policy here.
Finally, Moms Rising helps you tell USDA Secretary Vilsack to get junk food advertising out of public schools. We've participated in many actions (via Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood) to get advertising out of public schools at the state level, but we can also target junk food ads at the federal level. And this is one area Mr. Vilsack might actually consider himself accountable to the American people -- certainly he hasn't done anything for the public that might affect big ag's corporate profits, but the USDA's standards for the foods in snack machines and a la carte lunch lines at public schools have certainly improved on his watch. Maybe he thinks that's all the work he has to do -- that ads for junk food don't mean anything if he's gotten so much of the junk food out of the schools -- but he'd be wrong about that. If you know how susceptible adults are to good advertising, then you know kids are a lot more susceptible, and if they're out after school eating chips and cupcakes, the USDA's efforts to get public school kids to be healthier might be for naught. Personal to the trolls who contemplate spewing MICHELLEZ OBAMAZ WANTZ TO TELL YOU WHATZ TO EAT: you tell your kids what to eat, right? Well, do you want your government making that task harder, or easier? (And if you reply "I want big gummint to stay out of it," you've just voted for "harder.")