My Opposition to Proposed FCC Regulations

Today I visited the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) website and added my voice to millions of Americans who believe that OUR internet will change for the worse if what’s being proposed is allowed to pass.   The FCC would like to create a two tiered internet that I believe will hurt consumers, and stifle innovation, making it difficult for small businesses and start-ups to compete.  The two tier systems will allow those with financial means to purchase faster internet speeds leaving the least of these with a slower internet.  Cable providers are leading the charge.  Already, we have seen an agreement with Comcast and Netflix.  Netflix purchased more bandwidth to stream their content.  I believe it’s only a matter of time before Netflix pass those expenses off to you and I.   I visited www.fcc.gov/comments clicked on the comment number to the left of Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet and wrote:

I am writing asking that the FCC reconsider making any changes that will create a two tier internet.  The internet needs to be open, freely, and equally accessible to all. 

In recent weeks we have seen Netflix sign an agreement with Comcast which at some point will impact consumers’ pocketbook.  I also believe that a two tiered system will stifle innovation and create an unequal playing field for start-ups and small businesses.  

Please do not change regulations that will hurt consumers and give big companies an unfair advantage over smaller ones.  The internet is the last vestige of true democracy that must be protected.

Please visit the Federal Communications Commission and voice your opposition.  We must demand an open internet for all.

References:

Net neutrality is dead. Bow to Comcast and Verizon, your overlords – LA Times

Rebuffing F.C.C. in ‘Net Neutrality’ Case, Court Allows Streaming Deals – NY Times

Comcast’s deal with Netflix makes network neutrality obsolete – Washington Post

 

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Mass Shooting: It Will Happen Again.

Bullet hole from Santa Barabara shooting

Bullet hole from Santa Barbara, CA shooting

Yesterday, I watched the dramatic aftermath of the Santa Barbara shootings where 7 of 13 shooting victims are dead, and I immediately thought, pessimistically, it will happen again. It will happen again, because the people have of this nation have not reached the breaking point to where they demand, once and for all their government do something to protect them (us).

Following each shooting, we hear crazy talk from the politicians (mainly Republicans) and representatives of the National Rifle Association (NRA), offering that the culprit is mental illness. While mental illness is a factor, because no one with a sound mind would try to “annihilate” the masses, that is not what’s really killing our people. Folks we all know the reality is the pervasive accessibility of guns is killing us.

I thought the attempted assignation of Congresswomen Gabrielle Giffords would be the breaking point. There seemed to be winds of change on legislating guns, after all, a member of Congress was shot and almost killed. Then came the Aurora Shootings that killed 12 and injured 70. Nothing substantive happened. 4 months later the nation is focused on Newtown Connecticut at Sandy Hook Elementary School. I was heart-broken; 6 adult staff and 20 precious, innocent children were slaughtered. From this tragedy would be an outcry for change. It seemed that something would happen. The parents of the victims went to Washington to meet with legislators; the President seemed to be pushing for stricter gun control. Unfortunately, I was wrong again.

As the days pass, following this shooting you will hear the usual, some meaningless debate from politicians, from gun right advocates, and you may get a heartfelt response from President Barack Obama, but please don’t hold your breath, thinking that we will finally arrive at reasonable gun control legislation. It just ain’t gonna happen.

In-N-Out Burger Has A Diversity Problem

in-n-out-burgerWhile millions of fast food workers hope for the day their CEOs will finally do the right thing and give them a much needed raise, I thought I would take time to point out a fast food establishment that is doing it right as far as pay is concerned (at least they are better then their corporate industry counterparts). Some sources, indicate that their average hourly wage is $10.50. Kudos for In-N-Out Burger, they do not pay their employees minimum wage, yea! They do have an advantage though. The corporation is family owned so no shareholders, so this is to be expected, but they can still do better.

Since becoming acquainted with this company after moving to Southern California, I have visited many locations, given the places I have lived, worked or visited, and I have noticed one striking detail that has led me to a disappointing conclusion. In-N-Out Burger does not hire African Americans and Latinos. Okay, now that I have your attention, let me explain.   To say they don’t hire Africans Americans and Latinos does not do the company much justice, so I will attempt to quantify my statement by saying, I have only once seen an African American kid that looks like an African American (and I am not kidding). Others are fair skinned that appear to be biracial. I have also seen Latinos working there, but very few if any really look like they are Latino, not to mention, any who might speak with an accent. Think about it. Now contrast In-N-Out Burger with, let’s says, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, or KFC. Their competitors are much more diverse, especially in management of stores.

I love the food at In-N-Out Burger, it tastes fabulous, and they are very consistent in terms of quality, but if my observations are correct, then I will not be eating at In-N-Out Burger until the company’s make up reflect that of all America.  I ask you to join me.

Elite Charter Schools: The Answer to School Vouchers

In the last two presidential elections, you may not recall hearing any word about private school vouchers.  Why? This issue was alive and well in Bush vs. Kerry.  Vouchers would have provided parents a choice in educating their children.  It was thought to be the saving grace for children stuck in under performing schools.  What happened to the advocates? Why have you not heard much about vouchers anymore?  In many respects, the issue has largely been solved.  Advocates are now supporting the extraction of money from public school districts through charter schools initiatives that benefit affluent members of society.

About a year ago, my wife and I were discussing putting my son and daughter in a charter school.  We had a few members from my church that had kids that attended a college prep school.  I thought it was a great idea, a school set up that promotes college preparation.  I asked her about more information.  She told me that it’s a lottery, sort of speak, that principals of the schools will have to interview the student and the parents of the student.  They only want the good kids.  Why you might ask?  It keeps all the children that really need the concentration of resources out.  They discriminate against children that are not bad kids, but may have some academic challenges, or those who may have found a little trouble.  These schools are the answer to private school vouchers.

When you hear about a charter school popping up in the suburbs, I can assure you is not because of a problem with at-risk youth.  Money is being channel through initiatives call charter schools aimed at providing a good quality education for the elite.  Call it what it is – “voucherization.”

I’m Back…

As you can see from previous posts, it’s been a while since I posted to the site.  It’s not as if I haven’t had the desire to write.  There were many events that has come and gone that have made my blood boil, but I kept my cool.  Well I’m back!  And I am going to be sharing my thoughts on a lot of stuff, mainly issues that face Main Street America. 

Also, I don’t want to spend a lot of time writing endlessly about issues, I’ll state my opinion and tie my post to sources of support.  My goal is write very small and concise pieces.  I recognize you all have lives too.  Let’s go!

High Ass Gas Prices

As if the economy wasn’t fragile enough, we need some relief, and our silence seems to suggest that we, Americans are not mad enough.  I think gas companies should make money, but to the extent that they are allowed to rob us of what little we have is a travesty.  They are using a natural resource that belongs to all of us.  Minus the equipment and personnel, the time it takes to extract the oil, they use our road, our subsidies…you name it.  I guess we are not mad enough.

What to Expect with Obama 2?

The promised of an Obama’s Presidency has been a disappointment for me.  Like many people who follow politics closely, I think we are more disappointed than most.  I was tricked into buying snake oil, and, I have held on to the bottle for 3 and a half years.  What are we electing this time?  I don’t think we are going to get anything better.  He doesn’t have much to give, especially with a divided Congress.  We will have more of the same.  Obama was a safe President, I think too safe.  He was the first President that pitted blacks against one another, some feeling that he sold out to corporations at the expense of the nation.  Those less engaged, gave Mr. Obama pass after pass, using his opposition by Congress as a reason why the President wasn’t as effective as he could have been.  Me personally, if the President tackled domestic policy the way he handled foreign policy, his Presidency would have been worth celebrating.   The man is not dumb, but I have learned, with Mr. Obama, that smarts doesn’t translate to an affective President.  I will vote for Mr. Obama, because he’s a bit better than Mr. Romney.  I am not voting for him because he’s the the best the nation has to offer, by far.  Let continue the conversation.