Friday, December 1, 2017

Save the internet!

This is from Save The Internet:

Net Neutrality: What You Need to Know Now

When you go online you have certain expectations. You expect to be connected to whatever website you want. You expect that your cable or phone company isn’t messing with the data and is connecting you to all websites, applications and content you choose. You expect to be in control of your internet experience.
When you use the internet you expect Net Neutrality.
Net Neutrality is the basic principle that prohibits internet service providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from speeding up, slowing down or blocking any content, applications or websites you want to use. Net Neutrality is the way that the internet has always worked.
In 2015, millions of activists pressured the Federal Communications Commission to adopt historic Net Neutrality rules that keep the internet free and open — allowing you to share and access information of your choosing without interference.
But right now this win is in jeopardy: Trump’s FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, wants to destroy Net Neutrality. In May, the FCC voted to let Pai’s internet-killing plan move forward. By the end of the summer, the agency was flooded with more than 20 million comments. The vast majority of people commenting urged the FCC to preserve the existing Net Neutrality rules.
Time is running out: The FCC will vote on Pai’s proposal on Dec. 14. Join the millions who have already spoken out against it.
What is Net Neutrality?
Net Neutrality is the internet’s guiding principle: It preserves our right to communicate freely online.
Net Neutrality means an internet that enables and protects free speech. It means that ISPs should provide us with open networks — and shouldn’t block or discriminate against any applications or content that ride over those networks. Just as your phone company shouldn’t decide who you call and what you say on that call, your ISP shouldn’t interfere with the content you view or post online.
Without Net Neutrality, cable and phone companies could carve the internet into fast and slow lanes. An ISP could slow down its competitors’ content or block political opinions it disagreed with. ISPs could charge extra fees to the few content companies that could afford to pay for preferential treatment — relegating everyone else to a slower tier of service. This would destroy the open internet.
What would happen if we lost Net Neutrality?
The internet without Net Neutrality isn’t really the internet. Unlike the open internet that has paved the way for so much innovation and given a platform to people who have historically been shut out, it would become a closed-down network where cable and phone companies call the shots and decide which websites, content or applications succeed.
This would have an enormous impact. Companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon would be able to decide who is heard and who isn’t. They’d be able to block websites or content they don’t like or applications that compete with their own offerings.
The consequences would be particularly devastating for marginalized communities media outlets have misrepresented or failed to serve. People of color, the LGBTQ community, indigenous peoples and religious minorities in the United States rely on the open internet to organize, access economic and educational opportunities, and fight back against systemic discrimination.
Without Net Neutrality, how would activists be able to fight oppression? What would happen to social movements like the Movement for Black Lives? How would the next disruptive technology, business or company emerge if internet service providers only let incumbents succeed?
Didn't we already win strong Net Neutrality rules?
Yes. After a decade-long battle over the future of the internet, the FCC adopted strong Net Neutrality rules based on Title II of the Communications Act, giving internet users the strongest protections possible.
But ever since then opponents have done everything they can to destroy Net Neutrality. And Chairman Pai — a former Verizon lawyer — is moving fast to destroy the open internet. He must be stopped.
Why is Title II so important?
Courts rejected two earlier FCC attempts to craft Net Neutrality rules and told the agency that if it wanted to adopt such protections it needed to use the proper legal foundation: Title II. ​In February 2015, the FCC did just that, ​giving ​internet users the strongest possible Net Neutrality rules when it reclassified broadband providers as common carriers under Title II. Title II gives the FCC the authority it needs to ensure that companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon can’t block, throttle or otherwise interfere with web traffic. Title II preserves the internet’s level playing field, allowing people to share and access information of their choosing. These rules have ushered in a historic era of online innovation and investment — and have withstood two court challenges from industry.
But Chairman Pai wants to ditch Title II and return the FCC to a “light touch” Title I approach. Translation: Pai wants to give control of the internet to the very companies that violated Net Neutrality for years before the FCC adopted its current rules in 2015. Title I would do nothing to protect internet users like you.
Who’s attacking Net Neutrality?
Big phone and cable companies and their lobbyists filed suit almost as soon as the Net Neutrality rules were adopted. Free Press jumped in and helped argue the case defending the FCC — and on June 14, 2016, a federal appeals court upheld the open-internet protections in all respects. However, the ISPS are still trying to challenge these rules in court.
Meanwhile, industry-funded Net Neutrality opponents in Congress have done everything they can to dismantle or undermine the rules. Legislators have introduced numerous deceptive bills and attached damaging riders to must-pass government-funding bills.
The millions of people who spoke out in support of Net Neutrality are fired up and ready to fight back — and you can join them here.
Why is Net Neutrality crucial for communities of color?
The open internet allows people of color to tell their own stories and organize for racial and social justice. When activists are able to turn out thousands of people in the streets at a moment’s notice, it’s because ISPs aren’t allowed to block their messages or websites.
The mainstream media have long misrepresented, ignored and harmed people of color. And thanks to systemic racism, economic inequality and runaway media consolidation, people of color own just a handful of broadcast stations. The lack of diverse ownership is a primary reason why the media have gotten away with criminalizing and otherwise stereotyping communities of color.
The open internet allows people of color and other vulnerable communities to bypass traditional media gatekeepers. Without Net Neutrality, ISPs could block speech and prevent dissident voices from speaking freely online. Without Net Neutrality, people of color would lose a vital platform.
And without Net Neutrality, millions of small businesses owned by people of color wouldn’t be able to compete against larger corporations online, which would deepen economic disparities.
Why is Net Neutrality important for businesses?
Net Neutrality is crucial for small business owners, startups and entrepreneurs, who rely on the open internet to launch their businesses, create markets, advertise their products and services, and reach customers. We need the open internet to foster job growth, competition and innovation.
Net Neutrality lowers the barriers of entry by preserving the internet’s fair and level playing field. It’s because of Net Neutrality that small businesses and entrepreneurs have been able to thrive online.
No company should be allowed to interfere with this open marketplace. ISPs are the internet’s gatekeepers, and without Net Neutrality, they would seize every possible opportunity to profit from that gatekeeper position.
Without Net Neutrality, the next Google or Facebook would never get off the ground.
What can we do now?
Chairman Pai wants to replace the agency’s strong rules with “voluntary” conditions that no ISP would ever comply with. Pai unveiled his plan in a closed-door meeting with industry lobbyists in April 2017 and officially kicked off a proceeding on May 18, 2017, when the FCC voted along party lines to move this proposal​ forward. Since then the agency has been swamped by tens of millions of comments from internet users who want to keep the protections in place.
Pai is ignoring the public outcry, and the FCC will vote on his Net Neutrality-killing plan on Dec. 14. Urge the agency to ditch this plan, and tell your members of Congress to condemn Pai's attack on the open internet.
The Trump administration is doing everything in its power to clamp down on dissent. If we lose Net Neutrality, it will have succeeded.

Okay, let's get serious.

I don't do a tip jar, I never will.

But if you enjoy this site for any reason -- including me frequently making an ass out of myself -- take a second to think about the above and please consider taking action.

I wouldn't be here without Net Neutratlity.

I'm an African-American lesbian.

You think I didn't have to carve out whatever I do have?

Because I did.

And The Common Ills community is great and I know many of you have already done something.  But if you haven't, please, please consider saving the net.  We can work together on this.

Some of you hate-read.  That's fine.  You e-mail and tell me I'm a liberal crackpot.  That's fine.  You tell me that Newsbusters or PowerLine does a great job and I'm lousy.  That's fine.

Grasp that you will lose on the right as well if net neutrality is destroyed.

We will all lose out.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, December 1, 2017.

The month of many holidays kicks off today.

A child in a home with Christmas decorations.

Outside as something moves in the sky.

Woman's voice: Let's go look for Santa.  Is he here?

Child's voice: I think I see it.

But it's not Santa's sleigh.  It's a War Plane.  Shooting missiles.

Several hit the home.

A series of quick cuts of various WIKILEAKS exposes.

"The forever war."

"Don't let it happen to you."


Meanwhile, in Riverside, California, a family mourns the death of Todd McGurn.  While in Baghdad last month, he began training and was killed in what's being termed "friendly fire."  Tony Shin (NBC4 -- link is text and video) reports:

The victim’s family said they know the service member who accidentally killed Todd is feeling a tremendous amount of guilt, but they are not angry with him.
“We’re angry at the fact that there’s not enough training for these men who are risking their damn lives for us,” the victim’s sister Tawnie Martinez said.
According to [his mother] Lori, Todd felt that there was a lack of comprehensive training.
“He never imagined the army being like this,” she said. “He did the Riverside Police Explorers for two and a half years and got more discipline and more respect.”
Todd McGurn is the fourth US service member to die serving in Iraq since October 1, 2017.
Staying with the topic of tragic death, there's a new hashtag trending on Twitter: "#ENDTuzkhurmatuGenocideNow":
Every single Kurd on social media is called on to share this: No excuse for you not to share. It is your duty.
Some1 who really care about should get a serious response 2 stop the current GENOCIDE in TUZ-KHURMATU wich is done by pro-Iranian thugs& Iranian controlled gov known as ,
backed militias committing against Kurds in
Too many innocent lives have been lost due to genocide at the hands of Iraq & Iran. Please stop turning a blind eye.
The world must react to human rights violations by Shia Militias in Kurdistan/Iraq, especially in . Thousands of Kurdish homes have been looted, set on fire. Thousands &thousands of Kurds have been/are being displaced. Humanity needs us now!
Innocent Children & women of TUZ-KHURMATU are became homeless, Schoolless and malnutrition, I'm surprised where are all of humentrian organizations ? Which told that human rights should be set as priority. Who cares about kurds ?
Kurds helped the world vs barbaric . where is the world now when kurds being forced away from their home?
World must wake up and stop on going Ethnic cleansing and Genocide against Kurds ,which is happening in Tuz Khurmatu NOW, before it's too Late!!! Retweet this if you agree please
save the people of Tuz Khurmatu and Kirkuk from barbaric genocidal campaigns!
Please join Twitter Storm to support the Kurds in this dire moment by tweeting: Since our legitimate referendum 4 independence on 25th Sept, Iraqi ISIS Al Shaabi terrorist R on genocide rampage with the approval of Iranian backed Baghdad gov, UK, USA...
I am sure groups and world has seen how are been in but they choice to stay silent
hope Retweeted Laurie Mylroie
USA is aware of the genocide against Kurds but refuse to do anything. Where the rest of the world is silent
hope added,
100.000 Kurds forced out of their homes by Shia militias
backed Shi’a militias forces genocide at will remain in history
The Shi'ite militias are now part of the Iraqi forces and there have been many War Crimes committed by the Iraqi forces in the so-called 'liberation' of various areas.  Last week, Amnesty International's UK director addressed the editorial board of THE GUARDIAN:

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad’s extremely disturbing report on Iraqi government soldiers torturing and cold-bloodedly killing captives after this year’s battle for Mosul should be urgently acted on (After the liberation of Mosul, an orgy of killing, 22 November). The authorities in Baghdad should establish an independent, impartial inquiry into all aspects of the conduct of its troops and allied forces – including United States and United Kingdom ones – during this cataclysmically bloody assault.
Deliberately killing fighters who have surrendered or who have been captured is absolutely prohibited under international law. Needless to say, killing civilians in these circumstances is also utterly unlawful – a war crime.
Kate Allen
Director, Amnesty International UK
Those killed and wounded, and the War Crimes themselves, have largely been ignored by the US government -- the same US government that has provided the forces training, equipment and money.
But indiscriminate bombing and collateral damage are also a War Crimes and the US-led coalition has killed thousands of Iraqi civilians.  Yesterday, REUTERS reported:

At least 800 civilians have been killed in strikes in Iraq and Syria by the US-led coalition fighting Islamic State since the campaign began in 2014, according to a report released by the coalition on Thursday.
The estimate in the monthly report, which said coalition strikes had unintentionally killed at least 801 civilians between August 2014 and October 2017, was far lower than figures provided by monitoring groups.
The monitoring group Airwars says a total of at least 5,961 civilians have been killed by coalition air strikes.
Replying to 
The bombing of Syria and Iraq by the U.S. led coalition has been much more intense than news reports might suggest. Here are the figures from Airwars:
In other news, the US government has been detaining an American citizen in Iraq.
Judge says Trump admin is trying to claim “unchecked power that is, quite frankly, frightening," in refusing to provide any details on U.S. citizen they have been holding in military custody in Iraq for over 11 weeks:
Yesterday, the ACLU issued the following:

Admission Comes in ACLU Challenge to Military Detention of U.S. Citizen Held for Over 2 Months 

125 Broad Street
18th Floor
New York, NY 10004
United States
(212) 549-2666 

November 30, 2017
WASHINGTON — The government told a federal court today that a U.S. citizen detained by the U.S. military in Iraq has asked for an attorney.

The unidentified American has been held since mid-September for allegedly fighting with ISIS in Syria. The American Civil Liberties Union had filed a request with the court to be put in contact with the American for legal assistance, and the government is fighting the ACLU’s request.

“This admission by the government reinforces our demand that the citizen be given access to a lawyer, which is his fundamental right under the Constitution,” said ACLU attorney Jonathan Hafetz. “The Trump administration’s position that it can secretly lock up an American without charges or the ability to challenge the detention in court is not how our legal system works.”

At a hearing in the case this morning, Judge Tanya Chutkan ordered the government to say by 5 p.m. whether the man had been advised of his right to an attorney and whether he had asserted that right.

The government’s response stated that FBI agents questioning the American “for law enforcement purposes” advised him of his Miranda rights.

The response went on to say, “The individual stated he understood his rights, and said he was willing to talk to the agents but also stated that since he was in a new phase, he felt he should have an attorney present. The agents explained that due to his current situation, it was unknown when he would be able to have an attorney, and the individual stated that it was ok and that he is a patient man.”

The ACLU filed a habeas corpus petition on the man’s behalf on October 5, demanding that the Trump administration justify its continued detention of the American without charge and without access to a court. The government has said that it is holding the citizen as an “enemy combatant.”

Because the government is denying the citizen both access to counsel and the ability to challenge his detention himself, the ACLU has filed as a “next friend” of the American. The government argued that the ACLU does not have standing to file the petition on the U.S. citizen’s behalf.

The case, ACLU Foundation v. Mattis, is in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Today’s government’s filing is here:

More on the details of the case is here:

All documents filed in the case are here:

The following community sites -- plus BLACK AGENDA REPORT, GORILLA RADIO and PACIFICA EVENING NEWS -- updated:

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