Current Battlefronts: Internet Censorship & Kleptocratic Taxes

Our already extremely unfair tax system is once again up for being made even worse for red-blooded Americans. If they can’t rob us with a knife (healthcare), they’ll now try to rob us with a gun (taxes and spending). And our ability to fight back will be severely hamstrung if the current war on Net Neutrality succeeds (which it looks dangerously close to do). 

 

I. Progressive Breakfast shared today:

Trump’s Axe Turns From Health to Taxes

Fresh off their failure to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Congressional Republicans are aglow with the hope of passing sweeping tax cuts. It’s as if Trump has cast himself as the villain in a cheap horror film. In this B movie, he flails around with an axe, trying to hack unsuspecting victims in their sleep. But if we stand firm, we can ensure his aim proves as poor on taxes as it did against health care. … The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center found that “Forty percent of the benefits would go to the top 1 percent.” … The plan will raise taxes on the majority of single-parent households. Many of the modest tax cuts for middle income families are offset by elimination of personal exemptions. … This macabre tax proposal is still far from a win. If people are as organized in their outrage as they have been with health care, we have a chance to watch him raise his axe as the music swells, only to swing and miss.

…and:

Trump tax plan benefits wealthy, including Trump. NYT:

The tax plan that the Trump administration outlined on Wednesday is a potentially huge windfall for the wealthiest Americans. It would not directly benefit the bottom third of the population. As for the middle class, the benefits appear to be modest. The administration and its congressional allies are proposing to sharply reduce taxation of business income, primarily benefiting the small share of the population that owns the vast majority of corporate equity… the plan would also benefit Mr. Trump and other affluent Americans by eliminating the estate tax, which affects just a few thousand uber-wealthy families each year.”

…and more.

Gist: s I have explained before on this blog, Trumpcare and the ACA-Repeal were wealthcare plans with a “w,” intended to shift yet more of our joint wealth to the super rich; and this year’s budget proposal has been – and still is – the exact same thing. So, if they can’t rob us with a knife, they’ll now try to rob us with a gun. Lest I provide confirmation to Trump Resisters, let me be clear: yes, we need to strongly resist these thievery attempts, but it is also of critical importance that we look beyond holding on to what little we have in our rigged system and aim higher. We must aim for a system in which we all can be free and thrive. We must end the cruel and destructive rule of the robber billionaires and their corporations, banks, and millionaire minions in politics and the corporate media which withhold the great America we could have and were always promised while they were busy stealing us blind. Mere resistance is no longer enough!

 

II. Ending Net Neutrality Amounts to Corporations Killing Free Speech on the Internet

If we can’t effectively communicate and organize, and if all we ever see and hear is the establishment’s propaganda, how will we move forward our fight for a just society that isn’t rigged against everybody by the robber billionaires?

Corporations like Comcast & Verizon should never be permitted to control what we see and do online. In 2015, startups, Internet freedom groups, and 3.7 million commenters won strong net neutrality rules from the FCC. The rules prohibit Internet providers from blocking or throttling sites, and the paid prioritization for sites that can afford to pay a racketeering fee (or are favored by the corporate crooks for other reasons) which would create slow lanes for everyone else.

Demand Progress today announced:

BREAKING: The Senate just announced that there will be a vote on the confirmation of Trump’s FCC chair Ajit Pai as soon as THIS WEEK. (Reuters)

Since Trump appointed him as interim chair of the FCC, Pai has worked nonstop to overturn net neutrality and give Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T a free pass to put us all into an Internet slow lane—a policy opposed by the overwhelming majority of both Republican and Democratic voters. …

After the massive Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality…, we know that 77% of voters want to keep net neutrality rules in place. …

But the telecom giants have a powerful lobby, and Pai has ignored more than 20 million comments to the FCC overwhelmingly telling him to leave net neutrality alone. …

A big piece of leverage we have over Pai is that he has not been confirmed by the Senate for a full term to the FCC.

Demand Progress asks for a donation to help it continue the fight.

Things on this battlefront are actually not moving in a good direction: Brendan Carr was confirmed as FCC commissioner last month. Carr has been Ajit Pai’s legal counsel since 2012, and, prior to that, worked at DC law firm Wiley Rein where his clients included AT&T and Verizon, and lobby groups USTelecom and CTIA.

BattleForTheNet has more stuff for you to read: The battle for the future of the Internet ends soon.

And there is more: Google seems to have been caught red-handed in censoring against the political revolution by filtering out revolutionary voices and favoring the corporate lamestream media. It may be pretty bad when even one of the MSM raises the alarm about it: As Google Fights Fake News, Voices on the Margins Raise Alarm (The New York Times)

Suggestion: Diversify your search engine usage. I often find that some search engines will find me what I am looking for when others won’t. Also subscribe to sources like this here site (in the right column). You won’t depend on search engines then for finding out about the news and thoughts we share here.

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One more thing: Truthout seems to have a lot of trouble getting together all the donations this year to keep going (another sign that non-establishment media just don’t get the kind of help that political campaigns do – how shall we stay informed?). Here is their donations page.

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Independent media are critical. Help us help you! Find out more here! Or snatch scientific literacy from the jaws of high school or college defeat here for a mutual win-win!

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