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Comments by YACCS
Thursday, April 27, 2006

A digital Jim Crow

Gateway to the future

OK, about six years ago, NYLUG, the local Linux user group would spend the odd weekend wiring schools with Linux because if they didn't, no one would. A lot of New York's school buildings are psuhing 100 years and can't handle the wiring.

Now, I bring this up because while the debate on Net Neutrality may seem like another cause for liberal bloggers, everyone needs to understand what this means:

Dear Verizon/ATT Five,

I know how much you enjoy getting campaign contributions from telecommunications interests, and I hope that you find yourself swimming in contributions. I mean, you've earned it, since voting against freedom on the internet isn't going to get you many fans. I'm also glad you're so accessible to your constituents, and I've taken the liberty to list the amount of money you received from cable and telephone interests, as well as your office's phone number.

  1. Ed Towns (NY-10) received $22,000 from cable and telecom company interests. I'm glad I can you reach you at (202) 225-5936.
  2. Al Wynn (MD-04) received $19,100 from cable and telecom company interests. I'm glad I can you reach you at (202) 225-8699.
  3. Charlie Gonzales: (TX-20) received $16,500 from cable and telecom company interests. I'm glad I can you reach you at (202) 225-3236.
  4. Bobby Rush: (IL-01) received $21,000 from cable and telecom company interests. I'm glad I can you reach you at (202) 225-4372.
  5. Gene Green: (TX-29) received $12,000 from cable and telecom company interests. I'm glad I can you reach you at (202) 225-1688 tel.

It's hard work to make hundreds of thousands of internet users really really mad. But you persevered, and in all likelihood your reelection campaigns will be that much richer. Congrats, guys, you made Santa's naughty list.

Oh yeah, and incidentally Blogpac is making a list of people to primary and people to make nice with in 2008. You know, the PAC for the internets, which is raising money here.


The Internets

PS. And as an aside, we didn't include Eliot Engel (NY-17) and Bart Stupak (MI-01) on this list, because they changed their votes and decided to protect freedom on the internet. The other Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Republican Heather Wilson of New Mexico, voted to protect the internet as well. Thanks. They can be thanked and should be thanked here.

So what should you say to these Congress members when you contact them?

I'd say something like this:


Why are you trying to take away the internet from your consitutents? Do the working class families you represent, trying to ensure their kids have a relevant education, have, in a time or rising gas prices, the money to pay extra fees for the Internet? Many of them are now locked into usurious deals with pay by the week companies just to have acccess to computers in their homes.

How can they afford to fully participate in an internet which charges tolls for things like streaming video, downloading music, posting up blogs and using search engines. There is talk about a digital divide now, and how it's been declining. This would create a digital Berlin Wall, forever closing off access to the internet for millions, and especially the people you serve.

Your support for this bill, could, while making some of the richest companies in America richer, condemn your consitituents to a permanent second class citizenship, where they are unable to access the full internet. Which will mean a permanent loss of opportunity. Their schools could not afford the fees, their libraries would have to cut book purchases to increase the profits of AT&T and Verizon, leaving the poorest and hardest working Americans without the ability to pull themselves up by their bootstraps in a ditigally segregated America.

After fighting to end Jim Crow in the real world, why would you let a corporation reimpose it in the digital world, by creating an economic system online which would leave your consitutents in a permanent second class.

posted by Steve @ 9:58:00 AM

9:58:00 AM

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