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September 28, 2021

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Vitamin Democracy – Save the Internet

Howdy, Mudflatters! Ready for your dose of Vitamin Democracy? This is where you get to feel important and participatory, and do things that members of free societies get to do – bug your representatives. We don’t ask you to bug them often, or unless it’s really important. This is one of those times.

See the little guy with the ‘D’ and the hammer? That’s you. The scary looking green thing is the anti free speech force that wants to tell you how you can use the internet. And your job today is to whack that SOB right on the top of his thick bumpy skull. Here’s the deal.

A dangerous resolution could come to a vote as early as next week in the Senate. We’re bringing it to your attention because if you are reading this, it affects you (Yes, YOU!) in a very real and personal way, because right now you are online and you are using the internet in a way and at a speed that you probably take for granted.

An overwhelming majority of Americans want an open Internet. Completely open. Period. We don’t want corporations blocking or impeding what we say or do, or where we go online, and how fast we do it. We want every website, from the biggest like Amazon and Google to sites operated by millions of smaller businesses, local retailers and blogs like The Mudflats, to be treated the same, with no fast lanes for companies with deep pockets.

Our pockets here at Mudflats Central may be shallow, but we all know how important independent content and non-mainstream media are in today’s world. The 2008 election taught us that. There was a reason that this site clocked in at hundreds of thousands of hits a day. This is where people came to find information that they couldn’t get elsewhere. If large corporations had gotten special treatment, and the little guys just got the scraps, none of the Alaska bloggers could have done what we did, or had the impact on the national discussion that was so needed at that time.

Even today there are events like Occupy Wall Street, where the mainstream media had to be dragged to cover it, kicking and screaming the whole way. It is the boots on the ground, independent journalists and local blogs that are so critical in driving the news that the media conglomerates would rather you not know.

So, here’s what you need to do today. There is a thing called the “resolution of disapproval” (S.J. Res. 6) against what is known as Net Neutrality. Net Neutrality is the name given to the free and open internet that shows no preferences. The neutral net feels the same way about Amazon that it does about The Mudflats, and that’s the way it should be.

There are extremists in the pockets of big corporations who plan to push this resolution through the Senate, and soon! This resolution would hand over control of the Internet to companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon while stripping the FCC of any authority to protect users’ online rights. It’s not pretty.

Here’s where you come in, gentle reader. All you have to do is click HERE and you will be taken to a list of senators. You will be asked to do one of three things – thank your senator if they are on the right side, nudge them if they are not committed, and “spank” them if they are flat wrong and want to lock up the internet for their corporate cronies.

If you are not sure who your senators are, just enter your zip code, and you’ll find that out, and learn what you get to do to them. There are only a handful of thank yous involved, so I am pleased that I have one.

I’ll be thanking Senator Mark Begich, and nudging Senator Lisa Murkowski. Imagine that. No spankings for me!

The Free Press Action Fund has organized this useful tool, and you can check out their website when you click the link. Here’s what they have to say:

A handful of corporate hardliners in the Senate is introducing a “resolution of disapproval” that would give phone and cable companies unrestricted power over the Internet. We need your help to ensure your senators don’t support this free speech-killing resolution.

The resolution would destroy existing Net Neutrality protections and strip the FCC of its authority to protect Internet users from carriers that seek to block our right to speak freely, connect with one another and share information on the Internet.

Please pick up the phone now and call your senators. Tell them: “Don’t sell out our basic right to communicate online. Vote ‘no’ on the resolution of disapproval.”

Now take your vitamin, and tell us how it went in the comments!

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Comments

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Comments
37 Responses to “Vitamin Democracy – Save the Internet”
  1. Allen Blume says:

    Okay, folks… First, a deep breath. I agree absolutely about the need for net neutrality and not setting up multi-tiered pay-to-play networks. Such an approach is absolutely guaranteed to create blogger ghettos and will disenfranchise virtually all individual Internet users. However, please note that this is a Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) which does NOT carry the weight of statutory law. It is only a ‘Sense of the Senate’ statement. Statutory change will require action by both the House and Senate, with significant involvement by the White House; and the last time I checked, the Obama Administration still favored ‘Net Neutrality.’ Because the Administration is already line up in general opposition to the mega-providers positions, this is a multinational corporate means of further dividing a fractious Senate, which is dangerous for liberals like me; but this DOES NOT CARRY THE WEIGHT OF THE LAW.

  2. Marilyn U says:

    I couldn’t get the page to come up, but it did post to facebook

  3. mikefromiowa says:

    Harkin will get nudged,Grassley the freaking backstabbing,rwnj horse’s arse is gonna get waylaid by a ground squirrel(that happens to be a personal friend of mine) and have all sorts of unspeakable things done to his pant legs by rodental dentistry. I hope he pees on him,too. Thanks as always for the heads-up and the moral support.

  4. Pat in MA says:

    Done – Sen Kerry thanked, Sen Brown nudged. Hopefully Sen Brown will be spanked by Elizabeth Warren in 2012!

  5. Forty Watt says:

    I came late today. I’ll call tomorrow. I have Pat Toomey. 🙁 Still, I haven’t given him a piece of my mind for a while. 🙂

  6. weaver57 says:

    Of course, both my useless senators (McConnell and Paul) are on the spank list. I have found that McConnell does not pay any to any dissenters. His mind is made up and there is no changing it. Why he keeps getting re-elected is beyond me. I guess by lots of non-thinking people.

  7. ks sunflower says:

    Just wanted folks to know – particularly any Kansas readers – that when I called Senator Roberts’ office, I did get through and had a courteous, though brief conversation with a staffer. This is a rare event indeed.

    She said she did not know where the Senator stood on this which led me to conclude, based partly on past interactions with his office and him, that he has not made this an important priority if he has not let his staff know where he stands. He will likely, in my opinion, do what he always seems to do – cast his vote according to the directions he gets from his biggest donors. He has, to my knowledge, never changed his position because of regular constituent input, sad to say.

    Still, I keep at it. I hope I never need assistance from his office, because I am pretty sure my name is on some list due to my activism with petitions, emails, and phone calls. Oh, well, one must act upon one’s conscience and I believe in the system, even when a cog such him gets stuck in one groove. One of these days, we will have another person in his position and I am hoping against hope it will be a progressive or more moderate and responsive person. Just saying.

  8. ks sunflower says:

    Called my nudge Senator – but his staffer said that Senator Moran hasn’t made up his mind yet because he is waiting until his group of specialists (“people who know a lot about these issues”) report back to him. I suspect his specialists are lobbyists and big donors, but, sigh, I tried nonetheless.

    I also Skyped to our daughter in China (wee hours of the morning there) and asked her to email (she can’t call from there – too expensive) her CA Senators and Rep. She said she would post on her FB page and send emails with a link here and to the call site as well to all her friends (mostly profs and grad students across the country) because she knows they will act on this.

    I have hopes our young people will rally to this call because they know how important this is.

    Oh, and I also worry about small businesses will be fare – probably be pushed out of the marketplace. We are going to try to talk that issue up as well.

    Thanks, AKM.

  9. beth says:

    Have shared it on Fb. beth.

    [An aside: Do wish the thumbnail accompaning the article was the graphic shown rather than the one for the book. Although the information in the book is still relevant and the sale of it is a good thing, I have way too many friends (and know of way too many people) who summarily dismiss *anything* having to do with $P because she is such an obnoxious –and noxious– person. I’m rather afraid folks will *not* follow the link because they don’t feel like being exposed to yet another discussion/expose on $P.

    Would it be possible to change the thumbnail graphic, AKM? If the whole purpose is to get as many folks as possible to partiicipate, don’t they have to first get the information they need from the site? Once they are on-site and reading the excellent article, *then* they can see the link to Blind Allegiance — I’d just hate for them to be turned off (and not come to the ‘flats) from the git-go by Ugly Mug’s visage being front and center. b.]

  10. CorningNY says:

    I called Senators Gillibrand and Schumer, both on the “nudge” list. I was told that Schumer has not taken a public stand, but historically has supported net neutrality. Gillibrand’s office just took my name and zip code and said they’d pass along my message.

    It seems there’s nothing these days that big business doesn’t want to rip from the hands of the ordinary people.

    • AKMuckraker says:

      No, nothing. Hopefully one or both of yours will see the light. If we can get one in Alaska, surely NY can pull one or two out of the hat!

    • leenie17 says:

      Hmmm…kinda surprised since Gillibrand and Schumer are usually out front on these sorts of things.

      Well, I’ve been fighting a trifecta of bronchitis, strep throat and laryngitis for several days and have absolutely no voice, so calling anyone is just not an option. However, I will be sure to email (I know it’s not as effective, but it’s the best I can do at the moment!) and give both of them a polite but firm nudge in the correct direction.

      Thanks, AKM, for letting us know about this important resolution!

      • leenie17 says:

        Sent the emails out last night and got the usual automatic ‘received’ response from both so I know my opinion was noted and marked in the appropriate column!

        They’re both usually dependable to do the right thing, but a little nudge in the right direction lets them know they have our support AND that we’re still watching!

  11. CO almost native says:

    In Colorado Udall is a “thanks” and Bennett is a “nudge”… I already communicated with both on this issue via email, and heard back from both. Glad I don’t have to deal with my Rethug Representative on this- I get very tired of his snark.

  12. AKMuckraker says:

    auni and Lynne,
    You are very welcome. It’s impossible to cover everything, but Net Neutrality really is an issue that affects all of us. It’s one of those core things on which so much else rests. Thank you for taking action!

  13. Lynne says:

    Thanks for the heads up on this. With so much going on, it’s easy to lose track of things that are being slipped in on us.

  14. auni says:

    Contacted Cantwell and Murrey’s offices–thank you for giving us info on how to be “part of it”.

  15. Andrea says:

    Bill Nelson is a yea and Marco Rubio a nudge. Called Rubio and got an answering machine and left a brief message to reject. Hope that means he is being inundated with calls. After all, isn’t this the sort of thing the tea partiers should be backing? Oh wait, they are anti-big government, monster corporations are their friends.

  16. Thorn says:

    Done and done. And I’m posting this link to another blog I frequent. Thank you.

    • AKMuckraker says:

      Thank you, Thorn! Sharing with your social networks is so important. You only get one chance to call, but you can increase your impact by allowing others who care to know about the opportunity to participate.

  17. Alaska Pi says:

    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=sj112-6
    Text and history of this resolution.
    There’s a similar thing going on in the House.
    Am emailing my Senators.
    Getting pretty tired of Congress playing games with disapproving rules designed to implement law …
    Or de-funding activiites authorized by law.
    Pffft

      • Alaska Pi says:

        Also, too, you can read and comment at the FCC about what is being proposed.
        http://www.fcc.gov/rulemaking/09-191

        And thank you AKM!
        So very much appreciate the heads-upses ( ? is that a word ?) you provide 🙂

        • Concerned Too says:

          ‘Am now off to comment directly as it could hurt our business. Do they not realize it will cost more for the small employers and thus mean less hired or hours we can work them!!!
          Good for the big company, a VERY limited few, and the rest of us pay…bad business for an economy that is already hurting.
          Supposedly the largest employers are the small business…hope that gets brought up!
          Thanks for the link!

  18. AKMuckraker says:

    Hey, I’m the first one!

    I used the link in the post, and called the numbers for my senators. A handy box popped up with a suggestion of what to say, and how to phrase it. I thanked Mark Begich via Eddie the staffer, and I urged Lisa Murkowski via Jason the staffer. They were both very nice, and polite, and took my name and address for a follow up.

    Who’s next?!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hey, that’s not fair!

      I’ve got one yea! and one nudge, so I’ll get on it. I find it interesting that the site isn’t set up for emailing.

      • AKMuckraker says:

        This is purposefully set up as a phone-in campaign. Calls have proven to be more effective than emails. Fewer people tend to call in general, which is why each one is so important! Thank you!

        Let us know how it goes.

        • Concerned Too says:

          I nudged the one needed via the phone and thanked Mark via the email. Figured I would leave the line open for more to call:-)

          Also posted on my FB page to help get the word out…let’s hope it works. This issue just keeps popping up and it needs to go away!!

    • slipstream says:

      Remember, AKM, first to comment buys beer for everybody else!

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