Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Your Health Insurance Is Just Not That Into You

Your Health Insurance Is Just Not That Into You
by Still Bernin'
(Editor's note: Links to help you take action on health care are below under the People's Action piece.)


Comedian and social commentator Jimmy Dore wrote a great book called Your Country Is Just Not That Into You, and it's a real eye-opener.  I decided to write this short piece in hopes it will also open eyes, so we can reach Americans who are still on the fence in the health care crisis discussion. It's time they wake up and see that "big government" isn't their enemy and definitely "big business" isn't their friend. In fact, it's often the other way around when it comes to health care.

Like most Americans, I've had my run-ins with health insurance companies. I'll never forget the time I tried to make an appointment with an orthopedist's office to receive some physical therapy treatment for a possible carpal tunnel problem and was told, "We don't accept your insurance. It doesn't pay enough." 

Huh? I was working for the federal government at the time and had purchased my health care from a private insurer from the agency's plan. Senators and congresspersons have some of the best health care in the world we're told, but a lowly worker for the feds is stuck with some of the worst, obviously. My only choice was to take the insurance offered, since I had no other employment or a spouse's or parent's plan to go on. At the time, I thought I'd landed a good job with good benefits, but they were quickly played out and my injury remained and no one would offer me affordable care.

To make a long story short, I never was able to convince a doctor to take me on so my problem could be taken care of properly. I used ice and heating pads constantly and toughed it out. I saw a chiropractor for pain relief and paid out of pocket, but I eventually lost almost all mobility in my hand and wrist. Essentially, I couldn't use my entire arm anymore. I asked for other work duties so my injury could heal, but I was told they didn't have any use for me. 

I eventually lost my job because it hurt too much to type or use a computer mouse. Desperate for treatment, I tried to get workman's compensation but was totally blown off and vilified. It took me several months to convince the state to give me unemployment benefits because I'd been forced into signing an "I quit" statement instead of being fired because I was injured on the job.

Yeah, you try telling me and millions of other Americans in similar situations that private health insurance is the best thing, the only way to go, for our health care. We'll bite your head off.

I've learn more about how private health insurers think from a subsequent job many years later. I can't say all private health insurers operate the same way, but I have a sneaking suspicion they do. Reading and double-checking one particular private health insurer's paperwork before it goes to the printer has given me great insight into how the collective minds of America's private health insurance corporations function. 

You know that little print at the bottom of their contracts you can't read? I've read it and proofed it carefully and discovered the real reason for its small type font--they don't want you to know they're not really interested in you or your health. Most of the legalese is a fairly straightforward and states bluntly: "We'll do everything and anything not to pay on any claims you make. If you even forget to dot your I's or cross your T's, you're screwed. Nothing personal--we just want the money."

Somehow, Americans are supposed to trust these mega-billionaires of the private health insurance and "Big Pharma" industries to do the right thing and take care of us whenever we're sick or injured. Sure they will. I trust them to take our last cent from our bank accounts and transfer it to their offshore, non-taxable bank accounts in the Cayman Islands. They don't really care if ordinary people are healthy or not because it's not good for business. It's better for them to keep us at death's door and milk us for all we've got, as we mortgage our homes and sell off our belongings to raise enough cash to cover our cancer treatment.
That's why the growing consensus in this country is for Medicare for All, a national health insurance that will cover Americans from cradle to grave. Progressive thinkers have been talking about it for years. Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein mentioned it frequently throughout the 2016 campaign cycle and received much applause and cheers at their events--which the mainstream media, of course, didn't cover. (And why would they? Ever notice who buys the big commercials spots on their networks? Big Pharma is one.) With the recent brouhaha over the GOP's "Trumpcare" (more "wealth care" than health care), it's as if Medicare for All was meant to be.

In fact, if you do a little reading, you'll find out that Medicare was supposed to cover all Americans when it was first signed into law in 1965. Unfortunately, President Johnson was forced to make concessions to the private health insurance industry (a powerful lobbying entity even fifty years ago) to limit Medicare only to retirees in its first phase. The second and subsequent phases (to cover everyone else who were supposed to be covered) never made it, leaving us with the patchwork mess of inadequate to nil health care many Americans are stuck with today.

 The next time someone tells you, "We can't have universal health care like folks in Sweden, the U.K. or Canada have--it'll lead to death panels!" you can reply with, "We can't have zero guaranteed health care in this country because it leads to tens of thousands of preventable deaths per year--we already have death panels! Why do you want your fellow Americans suffer and die preventable deaths when the solution is at hand?" See if that will shut them up. (If it doesn't, tell them to read this: Single-Payer is Cheaper AND Better than what we have or these sobering health care statistics.)

Then, get on the phone and call your elected representatives and tell them you're sick and tired of Americans being sick and tired to the point of death because our Congress values tax breaks for the mega-wealthy and massive spending on drone wars to kill poor Yemenis more than protecting the health of ordinary Americans. Now's not the time for pulling punches. Now's the time to hit them with a hard dose of our reality--while we've still got functioning arms to do so.
BIO: Still Bernin' has no love of so-called "compassionate conservatism." It's killed and injured enough Americans. It's high time to speak out and act to build a future to believe in. Power to the people!

***
A Millions for Medicare Health Care Town Hall 
photos by C. A. Matthews
What is single-payer, anyway? That was the town hall topic. A variety of organizations hosted tables with information. SPAN Ohio handed out information on single-payer health care.


A near capacity crowd gathers at the Maumee, Ohio, public library--twice as many as the last town hall held there on health care. It appears people are becoming more aware and more concerned about providing health care for all Americans and learning what to do about it.

 A Powerpoint on H.R. 676, Medicare for All Act, was given and Q & A followed with a spin of the "Wheel of Misfortune." It demonstrated the usual outcomes of our current system of health care coverage. "Bankruptcy" came up twice, and we were informed there are 1,300 medical bill-related bankruptcies filed in the US every single day. Even more scary, 75% of those bankruptcies are filed by persons who have private health insurance coverage.

***

This just in from People's Action (7/25/17):



The Senate just passed a motion to proceed with repealing our health care. A final vote on the Senate bill is expected by the end of this week. And senators themselves still don’t know which version of the bill they are going to vote on.

They even flew in Senator John McCain from Arizona to cast a crucial vote while he’s recovering from surgery for brain cancer. A surgery he has access to because he has world-class health care that we pay for. And yet he, and other Republican senators, don’t think that our families deserve the same life saving care.

Whatever bill comes up for a vote, this is what we know: tens of millions will lose health care. Thousands will die. Just so that drug corporations and insurance companies can rake in exorbitant profits and billionaires can pay less in taxes.

That is cruel. That is immoral.

This is a do or die moment for all of us and our loved ones. It’s urgent that you take action.

Call now. Politicians who care about their constituents don’t vote away their health care. Tell them to vote NO on the final bill.

If your senator is a Republican, tell them you will do everything you can to unseat them if they move forward with this bill.

If your senator is a Democrat, tell them you expect them to do everything they can to stop this bill on the floor. With millions of lives on the line, with the democratic process in jeopardy, now is the time to take bold action.

We also urge you to take to the offices of your Member of Congress or Senator. Or head down and hold a rally in front of your local news station.


Remember what we’ve done so far. Trump and the Republicans said they’d repeal the Affordable Care Act on Day 1. It’s Day 187. We’ve called their offices. We’ve held rallies and prayer vigils. Some of us have even gotten arrested in an effort to stop this bill.

We’ve forced them back to the drawing board three times. We can do it again. But only with your help.

Thank you for being a health care champion,
LeeAnn Hall
People’s Action
***
  Click here to sign the petition via the Action Network.

The Summer of Love 2.1--The Summer for Progress

I don't know... I like the "Summer for Progress" People's Platform that Our Revolution national (and many other activist groups) are proposing, and I support their stand, but I feel they're going about it the wrong way. I wrote an email to Our Revolution explaining what bothers me about it and quoted their email in the spots that really bugged me.

Here's what I wrote to them:

I support the Summer for Progress, but don't you think there's a fatal flaw to it if we have to mobilize "to ensure every Democrat in Congress supports core progressive tenets."

This statement means that Democrats aren't to be trusted to act as progressives on these important issues. This means that trying to placate, cajole or downright embarrass Democrats into acting progressively is probably not going to meet with 100% success. Is it really worth it, then?

If, as you say, "progressive support means putting people over profit" then why isn't Our Revolution working with the Green Party, USA? Their slogan is "People, planet and peace over profit." They seem to be the people to work with, the party to build up and support. The Democrats aren't progressives you're telling us--and their actions confirm it. Shouldn't we be moving on and become Greens?

Feelin' the Bern, but not seeing it reflected by the DNC (as seen in this article on how health insurance lobbyists have scared off  Democrats from supporting single-payer health care).




Here's the reply I received:

Our Revolution is a separate and distinct organization that emerged from the Bernie 2016 campaign, and we are committed to continuing that campaign's fight to reclaim democracy for the working people of our country.

Our Revolution is non-partisan, and in no way affiliated with the DNC or any political party. We support progressive legislation, and candidates who are exemplary representatives of the Political Revolution - regardless of their party affiliation.

Thank you again for your email, and we hope to earn your continued support!

In solidarity,

Kelli
Our Revolution Help Desk Volunteer


(What you think? Did they address my concerns or not? Leave your comment in the comment section below. Thank you.)

***

314 Action

They’re not even trying to hide it anymore.

Trump’s EPA head Scott Pruitt went on a local conservative radio show last week and let slip what he’s really trying to do to the EPA. Here’s the exchange:


Co-host Andrea Lindenburg:

I like what Donald Trump has done here as president. He took a guy who wanted to get rid of the EPA -- dismantle it -- and put him in charge of it.


Scott Pruitt:

Ha. That’s right. [1]

Unbelievable. We can’t let someone who has been tasked with protecting America’s air and water and critical natural resources get away with sabotaging his own agency.

Add your name now to send a message to Scott Pruitt: We won’t let you shut down the EPA without a fight.

Scott Pruitt has already done everything in his power to diminish the EPA. He’s fired dozens of key scientific advisers, downplayed human involvement with climate change, and aggressively catered to fossil fuel executives, the very industries he’s tasked with regulating.

We can’t afford to let this go any further. Sign on to tell Scott Pruitt he won’t get away with refusing to do his job >>

Thanks for speaking up.
Harmony Knutson
Director of Advocacy
314 Action

---
1. "Did Trump’s EPA Chief Just Say His Mission Is to Dismantle the Agency?" Mother Jones, July 17 

***
From Move to Amend:
 
The Grinch Who Stole Democracy

After Donald Trump ascended to the presidency, despite losing the popular vote by an astounding margin, there just wasn't a lot of cheering to be heard in Whoville. Trump is like The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, with the notable exception that Trump doesn't have a heart, not even one ten sizes too small. 
   

All the Who-boys and Who-women, Who-girls and Who-men were stunned by the news that the Trump from Mt. Trump-it, still totally un-glued,
Was now ruling over Whoville, and all of the Who's in it. (Who knew?)

Then the Who's took a moment, and gathered their breath;
They gathered their voices and began yelling back:
Mr. Trump from Mt. Trumpit, resistance is growing by Who-leaps and Who-bounds, and we Who-people are not backing down.

We'll fight with Who-might for Who-rights and Who-power until the Trump from Mt Trump-it falls from his Ivory Trump Tower!

After that, the Who's began volunteering, forming committees and doing research. They spread out into their communities and began talking to their neighbors. The whole community worked together across differences to form a strategy to establish real participatory democracy, just like Move to Amend!

There are dozens of ways Move to Amend can put volunteer skills to work in building the democracy movement. Click here to sign-up. 

Our mission is to establish authentic, participatory democracy for all people, not corporations. Our first goal is to help build a diverse democracy movement capable of passing the We the People Amendment. The amendment abolishes corporate constitutional rights (corporate personhood) and money as free political speech. 

If you're new to Move to Amend, or joining the growing resistance; if you want to do more, but don't know where to start, or if your #1 issue just hit a brick wall built by the corporatized state, we invite you to volunteer with Move to Amend, the Campaign to Legalize Democracy!

We provide the tools and resources to become effective grassroots organizers. By volunteering, folks with all levels of expertise can hone skills in a number of arenas, or just help out as needed.

  • Collect signatures on the Motion to Amend petition and help us grow our movement and expand our reach,
  • Join or start a Move to Amend Affiliate in your area to perform the all important outreach and education necessary to movement building and participatory democracy,
  • Join the We the People Lobby campaign to educate and work with elected officials to gain support for the We the People Amendment,
  • Join a national committee and hone outreach, media, fundraising and other movement building and organizing skills.
Remember Cindy Lou Who? 

She was the first Who to sing out in Whoville. Be like Cindy Lou Who, please volunteer today!

In solidarity,
Kaitlin-Sopoci Belknap
National Director


P.S. Not sure how to best get involved? No problem! Just sign up here and we'll give you a call to talk it over!

***
 From Climate Hawks Vote:

Climate Hawks Vote

The U.S. Senate is poised to make this hot, dirty summer even worse. As fossil-fueled heat waves bring wildfires, drought, and killer storms to the nation, Donald Trump continues to stack his administration with fossil-fuel lobbyists and climate change deniers. Now our allies on Capitol Hill warn us that Mitch McConnell will try to pass a pro-fracking, pro-drilling, pro-coal energy bill next week to give Trump and the Kochs a much-needed victory.

Please email your senators today to say: Reject the dirty energy bill S. 1460!


The Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017, authored by Republican Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Democrat Maria Cantwell of Washington, would greatly expand fracking and natural gas infrastructure when we need to be moving at full speed to 100% renewable energy for 100% of the people. The Senate has bypassed committee hearings to avoid public scrutiny — just as they’ve been doing with the failed attempts to kill Obamacare.

This bill would:

  • Expedite review of fracked gas export terminals, requiring a decision on such proposals within just 45 days of an environmental review. This will encourage more fracking, and create front-line sacrifice zones for the sake of overseas gas export and profit.
  • Make the pro-industry Federal Energy Regulatory Commission the lead decision maker in authorizing all new interstate fracked gas infrastructure projects.
  • Instruct the Bureau of Land Management to create a pilot program for expediting drilling and fracking permits.
  • Authorize the discovery, development and extraction of methane hydrate deposits in U.S. coastal waters.
  • Authorize $3 billion in “clean coal” subsidies for the coal industry.

On top of that, the "Renewables" section of the bill doesn't even mention solar or wind energy!


So far, not a single Democrat has come out against this frackers’ dream. For some reason, too many Senate Democrats still think they can be climate champions by compromising with Trump and with the laws of physics.


Only the intervention of impassioned and informed citizens can slow down this carbon catastrophe. We’ve teamed up with DailyKos on a tool that allows you to write a personalized letter directly to your Senators. These personal letters are an important way to show our members of Congress we are watching these critical votes and urging them to do the right thing.




Whether your senators are Democrats or Republicans, it’s important to contact them so they know that the American people will hold them accountable.


Your fellow climate hawk,
Brad Johnson


Reference

350+ Groups Oppose Dirty Senate Energy Bill that Would Promote Fossil Fuels, Pollute Air and Water, and Hasten Climate Chaos
https://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2017/07/10/350-groups-oppose-dirty-senate-energy-bill-would-promote-fossil-fuels-pollute



Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Sun King vs. the Tangerine Tyrant


Once again, we're treated to a historical comparison that will shed much light on our current administration's goals and actions. The more things change...?

The Sun King (Louis) vs. 
the Tangerine Tyrant (Donald)
By Coast Watcher


Seventeenth century France was an economic powerhouse. By the early years of the 18th century, it was not so much. The reason isn’t hard to find.

During his long reign, King Louis XIV of France ruled as an absolute monarch, a man who believed he answered only to God and whose will was law.
It is legal because I wish it -- Louis XIV

He pursued an aggressive foreign policy that embroiled all of Europe in wars at one time or another. Quite often the wars were motivated by Louis’ own personal vendettas and his love of conquest.

The love of glory certainly takes precedence over all others in my soul -- Louis XIV

He quarreled with the Pope and persecuted the Huguenots (French Protestants) to the extent many left the country, taking a wealth of knowledge and expertise with them. He spent lavish sums of money on his own pursuits, setting a standard of royal grandeur that earned him the sobriquet The Sun King (le soleil roi).

When Louis died in 1715, decades of war against France’s enemies had bled the country dry. The country had passed from being the most powerful in Europe to an embattled state surrounded on all sides by hostile or potentially hostile neighbors. Overseas trade had withered. Warfare had ravaged the economy. It caused a sharp decrease in the young male population whose numbers had gone to feed Louis’ voracious demand for army recruits. In the later part of his reign, a series of bad harvests led to famine. An anonymous letter written to Louis in 1695 spelled out one of the most powerful indictments of the king.

Your people are dying of hunger. All France is one great poorhouse, desolate and unprovided. -- Attributed to Archbishop Fénelon.
The poor on whose shoulders the burden mostly fell were more than ready for change. Inspired by philosophers such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau it would lead 74 years later to the bloody French Revolution that saw the execution, by guillotine, of Louis’ grandson, King Louis XVI. 

Back then, England took over as the leading power in Europe. With the wealth and overseas territories acquired in wars against France, and the previously mentioned knowledge and expertise gained from French Huguenot refugees, England went on to rule an empire that spanned the world.




Fast forward to the present day: We have a United States that is an economic powerhouse. Over the last seventy years it has embroiled the whole world in wars at one time or another. Many of these, along with their near-cousin, the eponymous regime change, have been motivated by personal vendettas and love of conquest on the part of members of the American government. The military budget was a bloated, obscene $1.6 trillion in 2015.

It’s not hard to see parallels between Trump and King Louis XIV. Trump has luxuriated in the trappings of wealth his whole life. He has a love of posturing and of grandeur in his personal abodes. You only have to look at photos of Trump’s Manhattan apartment with its tacky gold walls and overblown décor to see similarities with Louis XIV’s Palace of Versailles. Trump also seems to think he can rule by the Divine Right of Kings. Witness the plethora of presidential orders signed within hours of his backside hitting the chair in the Oval Office. 

Trump has certainly tapped into the love of perpetual warfare that has infused American governments over the past few decades. Much like the economy of Louis XIV’s France, military spending is paramount. Trump plans a $4.1 trillion budget over the next ten years that will cut bloody gouges out of programs to help the poor. Health care and food stamps, social security and student loans will be cut. Medicaid alone will suffer an $800 billion cut, with another $192 billion from vital nutritional assistance and $272 billion from other publicly-funded sources. Another $57 billion will come from numerous other domestic programs outside the military/homeland security sphere. 

Trump and his GOP allies claim America is surrounded by enemies on all sides. To that end, they sustain existing military campaigns in foreign countries, wars that do nothing but kill and maim thousands of innocents while generating unimaginable wealth for the military-industrial complex. If real enemies exist, and not those that live only in fabricated news stories, it’s because these never-ending wars have created such hatred for America.

The regime even hopes to launch new campaigns in Syria, Iran, North Korea and – God help us all – China and Russia. Shades of France at the peak of her glory. Much like then, I suspect when the tide sets against America it will run strong and fast.

Poverty is rising to unprecedented levels. More and more people are being forced to work longer and longer hours for less than minimum wage. Although devastatingly bad harvests may be a thing of the past, increased agribusiness use of chemicals and GMO crops are already causing a serious deficiency in the national diet. Student debt is crippling young people. Numbers of them are forced to sign up for Trump’s military adventures in the hopes of getting the benefits of the G.I Bill –- benefits which the GOP are busy cutting to shreds, along with specialist medical and psychiatric programs for those military personnel who return from action broken in mind and body.


And this man, this President Trump, has the nerve to say he’ll “Make America Great Again.” You can almost hear the ghost of King Louis XIV whispering: “I wanted to make France great!”

[Editor's update: As of  7/17/2017, the number of civilian deaths abroad attributed to American military action passed the 2,000 mark. Trump has killed more people during his short tenure as president than Obama did in eight years.]

BIO: Coast Watcher can't help but see parallels between the current administration and another one that eventually underwent the guillotine. As a Brit living abroad, he sees through a lot of the American mainstream media lies and wants to share his insights with others. Vive la revolucion!



***
In a strange--and slightly related story--a company that sells clothing and accessories to historical re-enactors, Townsends, came under flack recently for posting a video showing how to make an 18th century dessert. Why should a dessert recipe be considered controversial? Well... the recipe is called "Orange Fool" and some thought it was an outright taunt of Mr. Trump (which, of course, it wasn't). You can watch the recipe video below, and read about why Trump supporters took exception to this classic, colonial delight. 

Hmm, it sounds delicious, doesn't it? Perfect on a hot summer's day, right? Wonder why Trump supporters don't like custard and orange?


If they took exception to a dessert, what would they make of this Trekkie reference?
Orange Fool? How about this creative bit of name-calling by the Scots... (Warning: Adult language)
Nobody beats the Scots in inventive epithets, do they?
*** 

Tell your Congressperson to Condemn the FCC and Net Neutrality!

And now a letter and a resolution from a young activist speaking out against the tyranny of the FCC's recent ruling on Net Neutrality. Here's what Eddie has to say about his letter:

I sent letters to the leaders of both chambers by mail and fax on the twelfth for Net Neutrality. Along with a Joint Resolution to Congress for them to introduce and sponsor if they are truly for Net Neutrality and the people. I wrote this with the belief that it will actually be read and these people in the offices and the leaders themselves get to know what Net Neutrality is to someone who was born in the 21st Century, and someone who uses the internet on a daily basis and why we must push Congress to do some actions. With the FCC planning on removing these protections; and with Senate GOP planning on pushing a bill to remove these protections completely and barring restoration if they can't do it in the FCC. We must write, fax, call in whatever stories we have. And not be afraid to shame these people for who they are. They want blood. And they are willing to make the people draw it if we stop fighting back. If you haven't commented on the FCC's website you may do so at https://GoFCCYourself.com

Dear Senate Majority Leader McConnell:

Our nation is in a current state of massive division and hatred toward one another. As someone who has lived for 16 years, I have seen how the recession has hit our nation hard, especially in my family with my mother being laid off from Wells Fargo at the turn of the crisis.  I've seen the resilience and stand people have taken to help protect our nation after 9/11.  I've also seen the numerous benefits of being in the age of a free web.  


As someone who uses the internet for work every day as a fire department clerk, a free and non-obstructed web is something that helps me in my work. At home, I read and buy, and engage in the benefits of capitalism in many parts of the online buying scene.  As someone who is an activist, I use the internet to organize marches, push issues and candidates.  I've been able to do this all this time because of the Title II protections under the Telecommunications Act. 

Our Constitution guarantees people to engage in free will and free expression on whatever platform it may be. 

With the repeal of Title II Protections, with the erroneous course the Federal Communications Commission is taking, we'll very much see the freewill to engage soon gone. Our Internet Service Providers will most likely charge extra to only engage on the things they believe we should engage in. ISPs will be free to block websites if it doesn't fit their views and slow down websites if that domain is not paying enough to be put in a fast lane. 


I believe if you were a reasonable conservative, you would be furious at what Ajit Pai has done and be ready to put a Joint Resolution disapproving the FCC's action immediately. 


A real conservative wouldn't let some random people control what people want to do with their lives online.  Since the people's freedom on the internet is protected by the Constitution since it is free speech.  If the GOP Caucus is for the Constitution, they would not allow these ridiculous actions to go through.


Mr. McConnell, laws passed in the United States Senate affect my life and my nation. I pay taxes and work to ensure fires are prevented. I demand you fight for net neutrality and come to your senses about this issue and stop taking money from these companies that want to kill Title II protections. I am disappointed in how silent or how anti-Net Neutrality you and your caucus is. When more than 90% of these United States support Title II protections, it says something on how much of a hypocrite you and your caucus members are.  The GOP said they were going to support what the people support. You have done nothing and very often everything the people are against in favor of your corporate donors. Shame on you senator, shame. 

If you want the people to be on your side, I demand you and Congress disapprove of the actions of Ajit Pai and what the FCC is doing.  If you are a true servant of the people and believe in the Constitution, you will submit and pass the joint resolution below.

Do the right thing and be on the right side of history.

Sincerely,
Eduardo Alvarado
 
SJRes.

Providing Congressional disapproval for the actions of the Federal Communications Commission in regard to their planned removal of the current Title II Protections set in place in 2015 for the internet under the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

A Resolution
Whereas the Federal Communications Commission has voted in May 2017 in a very slim, 2-1 vote to begin the process of repealing protections for the internet, which prohibits Internet Service Providers from slowing down, blocking, and/or prioritizing fast lanes for websites who pay extra fees imposed if the Internet's Title II status was removed from the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
Whereas an open and free internet is imperative to ensure freedom of speech, guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.  With the press, controversial or not, posts to ensure an informed people, may be affected if Internet Service Providers control traffic and who accesses what websites.
Whereas with public opinion at near 90% support for Title II protections, it is erroneous that the Federal Communications Commission is attempting to go against the will of the people by repealing the Title II Protections provided by the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
Whereas Federal Communications Commission Commissioner, Ajit Pai has deliberately made numerous attempts to supersede the will of the people of the United States of America.  It is time for the Congress to censure the commissioner for acts against the people. 
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled:
Article 1: Disapproving the actions of the Federal Communications Commission
1)     The Congress of the United States disapproves the actions committed by the Federal Communications Commission.  Which is infringing the rights of the people by allowing corporate sponsors, lobbyists of the Internet Service Providers to supersede the will of the people. 
2)     With massive outcry from the people demanding the protection of Title II regulations of the internet. The Federal Communications Commission, run under the direction of Commissioner of Ajit Pai, is doing a disservice to the nation by going against the will of the people.
Article 2: Imposing formal censure of FCC Commissioner, Ajit Pai, for obstructing the will of the nation by attempting to enact policies which attempts to infringe the Constitution of the United States
1)     The Congress of the United States formally censures Federal Communications Commission Commissioner, Ajit Pai, for refusing to listen to the will of the nation, and for deliberately attempting to infringe the United States Constitution by attempting to censor public outcry due to the massive amounts of money received by Internet Service Providers to repeal these regulations, regulations which protect the people's access to the World Wide Web.

 ***
The following are some actions you can take this week to help further the political revolution against tyranny.

From the Move to Amend:

Have you ever attended a gathering that changed your life in wonderful and enlightening ways?

The moment you arrived, you thought, "Where have I been all my life?" You find yourself surrounded by your ideological brothers and sisters. A place where you just fit in, are safe, and can share your thoughts and ideas with others interested in hearing them, and where you can learn and hear from others. This place exists!

Come to Minneapolis, August 2 - 6, for the Democracy Convention! 

Our endeavors can be compared to the American Revolutionaries who wrestled this nation from King George and his colonial corporate overseers. While the Declaration of Independence made the case for human rights and stirred the colonists to take action, the Second Constitutional Convention delivered up a property rights document, which still governs us today. 

Register for the Democratizing the Constitution Conference at the Democracy Convention in Minneapolis, August 2 - 6!

Not all the original framers were oligarchs. Thomas Paine wrote:


"When it can be said by any country in the world, my poor are happy, neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them, my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars, the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive, the rational world is my friend because I am the friend of happiness. When these things can be said, then may that country boast its constitution and government. Independence is my happiness, the world is my country and my religion is to do good." 
 
​The American Revolutionaries are long dead, but their DNA still courses through the body politic. How do we connect to those powerful little molecules, so we can wrest the democracy we should have from the fists of the elite -- and the large corporations -- currently running government? 

What needs to be done, can't be done, if we don't come together in solidarity with oppressed communities and across issue silos, to check-in with each other, commune with each other, learn from each other, and plan for the future with each other... That time is now!

Come to Minneapolis, August 2 - 6, for the Democracy Convention! 

George Mason, another of the framers, wrote:

"Our All is at Stake, and the little Conveniencys and Comforts of Life, when set in Competition with our Liberty, ought to be rejected not with Reluctance but with Pleasure."
The Democracy Convention is extremely affordable. It isn’t fancy or luxury laden. It is focused on achieving real and transformative democracy from the grassroots up. This is exactly the arena in which Move to Amend should have a big presence, and the price is right!

The Democrcy Convention is coming up quickly. Spaces are still available. Please register today!

While Disney's drunken pirate Jack Sparrow is no role model for democracy movement organizers, the quote below rings incredibly true when it comes to the upcoming Democracy Convention, August 2 - 6, in Minneapolis: 


"If you were waiting for the opportune moment, that was it."
Please don't miss it! Register here.

See you there,
Laura Bonham, Daniel Lee, Leila Roberts, George Friday, Jerome Scott, Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap
National Leadership Team


P.S. If you absolutely can't find a way to attend the Democracy Convention, please contribute so others can attend in your place. 

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From Public Citizen:

Update from Public Citizen

Next week, the Trump administration is expected to release its detailed list of objectives for renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).


These are essentially the starting bid for what the administration hopes to achieve in NAFTA renegotiation.


Will they be the high-standard objectives we desperately need to fix the disastrous deal?


Or will they give even more power to multinational corporations at the expense of our jobs, wages and environment?


Stand by. We’ll send an analysis of the new negotiating objectives as soon as they’re released next week.

In the meantime, take advantage of this last chance to influence the administration’s NAFTA negotiating objectives before they become final.

Sign the petition telling Trump’s top trade negotiator to replace NAFTA with a deal that actually benefits working people in all three NAFTA countries, not just multinational corporations.

Add your name now.

Thanks for all you do.

In solidarity,

Melanie Foley
Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch