CIVIL RIGHTS:

 
 Photo by flySnow/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by flySnow/iStock / Getty Images

LGBTQ Equality -

The fight for equal rights (in law) has shifted over the last number of years and is now more focused on our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.  Whether the arena is enumeration (non-discrimination), or  bullying in schools/society, we cannot allow such abuses to continue.  While achievements have been made to positive ends (gay-marriage, television/movie platforms), there are a number of people and institutions that are still chained to their conservative mind-sets.  Ultimately such resistance to acceptance is rooted in fear of the "different", of "otherness".

But the future is Hopeful.  Young people today, across all party lines, are more open and secure in accepting people of different orientations and backgrounds.  More LGBTQ individuals are speaking up and publicly discussing their life experiences, struggles, and realities.  It is important to mimic MLK's peaceful/non-violent methods of political action and discussion, to ensure the fastest rate of positive change.  By quelling fears and demonstrating how LGBTQ people are not a threat to anyone else's way of life, positive inroads can continue to be made.

We are all different, we are all the same, we are all unique, and we all share the same range of emotional highs and lows, physical strengths and vulnerabilities, and spiritual hopes and fears.  Let's endeavor to remind one another of this, and build a more compassionate Community.

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net neutrality -

The Freedom of Information is under direct threat from the Controlling interests of Cable and Internet providers in the form of Bandwidth restrictions.  The service provider(s) want to be free to dictate the content going through their communications line, primarily as a means to control content and therefore dictate costs (money revenue).  By "metering" the capacity of internet service (bandwidth restriction), the service provider is further able to increase the percentage of control they have over the entire bandwidth, leading to monopolization. 

Now, if the Cable/Internet market were such that customers had a plentiful choice of services providers to choose from, this would not necessarily be a problem, since one could simply change to another provider.  However, the Telecommunications market has experienced a large degree of conglomeration (and regional non-compete agreements/understandings between companies) which has resulted in there being just one provider available in a region.

The effect is a Monopolistic environment.  At what point might service providers look to limit Internet use (website access, data transfers, etc.) in the same way they currently control Cable-channel content?  Can we as an Information Society allow such impediments to the free exchange of ideas, news, commerce, art, science, and political thought?

No one is asking for free service, but the direction this is headed is darkly similar to the effects of Citizens United.  The tendency of Corporate interests to Control or Quell the Voice of People (whatever the form), cannot be allowed to take root in any Free Society.  Open lines of Communication and Information Exchanges are as critical today as Water, Food, Housing, and Electricity.

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black lives matter -

Period.  The killing of unarmed Black/African-American citizens by certain rotten-Individuals of society (particularly if associated with a police force) is Absolutely Unacceptable.  Not only does this bad-behavior (understatement) take lives Unjustifiably (manslaughter at best), it leaves behind a wake of grief, fear, frustration, resentment, and anger in the Community and leaves a tainted-stain on all Good Police Officers.  Such a crescendo of animosity and distrust within the Community leads to dangerous tensions.  If Justice is not diligently sought and fought for by the Community at-large, the result can tragically manifest in counter-violence.

There is no excuse for the Community as a whole not to doggedly root out violent (racist) gun-wielding individuals, whether they are in public law enforcement or are private citizens. 

So what Action can we take to bring more safety and trust back into our Community?  Some suggestions for providing oversight include...

1.    Allow Communities to Petition the Federal Department of Justice for independent review of any Civilian deaths as a result of Police actions, or when it is strongly suspected that racial motivation was behind a wrongful death.

2.  Have members of the Community get directly involved in their Local Government to provide direct control over Police Department heads (personnel decisions) and Policy decisions (stop-&-frisk, traffic-fine taxation, debt-imprisonment, etc.)

3.  Allow for Tracking of Gun-Death cases in the Country, so that National and Local trends can be quantified, shared, and compared across various regions and jurisdictions.  Such data could then be used as a legal evidence of systemic corruption/racism in areas where chronic injustice is present or suspected.

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citizens united -

The consequences of this case has been devastating to the American Political body.  It allows Corporations unlimited ability to financially dominate the political-media environment.  They can create and fund PACs (Political Action Committees) that are dedicated to backing legislation and candidates that will give them indirect financial advantages (international trade deals, deregulation, conglomeration/monopoly) or direct gains (lower corporate/capital-gains taxes, offshore tax-haven amnesty, etc.).  While it is no guarantee of success, it does put the average candidate at an extreme disadvantage in terms of political campaign messaging.  Not exactly "By the People, Of the People, For the People" is it?

Corporations are NOT People, Period.  They are incorporeal constructs behind which men of unscrupulous intent may hide-behind in order to shelter themselves from liability and responsibility.  Allowing the greedy to hide their motives behind such shells (in tandem with PACs) allows them to shout their message (media/advertising buys) over everyone else.  How is this equal speech?  It is not. 

Can corporations be imprisoned or executed for egregious societal behavior?  No.  Do they have an "expiration date" like everyone else?  No, they can "live" forever (in theory).  Some have outlived governments.

Freedom of Speech should only be a Right when it doesn't cost anything to transmit and when everyone has Equal Access.  This means the "soap box" is fair game, but advertising-space is not.  Anyone can go out into public and spout off whatever ideas they have to whoever will listen, but they do not have the same access to limited advertising space that comes at high cost.  Remember, such restrictions are only being placed on Political Speech.  Corporations are still free to market their products and services however they wish.

If CEOs, Board of Directors, and Stockholders want to have their say in the Political arena, they can get out the Vote and Protest in the streets like everybody else.   But I suspect they would not find a supportive Audience.

So Let's Fight to provide new legislation that would Only allow People/Citizens/Press to have Freedom of Speech Protections.  Any Judicial obstruction of this endeavor should seriously warrant the consideration of impeachment measures, as such disenfranchisement is a direct threat to the Will of the People.

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Current Struggles & Developments

 

evolution of Civil rights activism

Now This World

Citizens united and Corporate INfluence

LGBTQ equality

net neutrality

MIT Media Lab    (Related [Explicit Language]:  Last Week Tonight with John Oliver - Net Neutrality episodes One and Two)