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Net Neutrality, part 2

A piece about net neutrality, published December 11, 2017. References are at the bottom.

Net Neutraility 2 pg 1Net Neutrality 2 pg 2Net Neutrality 2 pg3Net Neutrality 2 pg4 Net Neutrality 2 pg 5 Net Neutrality 2 pg 6   Net Neutrality 2 pg7


1. Go to gofccyourself.com (that’s the shortcut John Oliver made to the hard-to-find FCC comment page)
2. Click on the 17-108 link (Restoring Internet Freedom)
2. Click on “+Express” (it’s on the lower left.
3. Be sure to hit “ENTER” (or return key) on your keyboard after you put in your name, so it registers. (They make it a tad tricky there.)
4. In the comment section, it’s better if you write your own words on the subject (calmly), but if you’re in a rush, then “I strongly support net neutrality backed by Title 2 oversight of ISPs” works.
5. Click to Review, then Submit, done. – Make sure you hit submit at the end!


The FCC commissioners are here: https://www.fcc.gov/about/leadership. Clyburn and Rosenworcel are pro-neutrality but it’s always nice to thank them. Pai is a lost cause, but he needs Carr and O’Reilly’s votes as well, and it’s possible that one of them may discover a conscience for all I know.


Their offices are listed here: https://contactingcongress.org. Call their Washington office or their local office.

Oh, and if all of this seems paranoid, many opposition and independent websites in Egypt have been blocked (like Human Rights Watch and Al Jazeera), and the blocking seems to have been dependent on which ISP you’re using. See here: https://www.madamasr.com/en/2017/10/01/news/u/court-adjourns-case-of-mada-masr-website-blocking-to-october-22/.

Further reading:

Here’s the 2014 Net Neutrality piece.

And check out some of my other comics, explaining:

Social Security (2012)

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (2014)

Obamacare (2014) and a follow-up in 2015. You can probably skip the follow-up.

Trumpcare as it looked as of early 2017, and as of late 2017.

I also have a book giving the entire history of the economy! There’s a free preview (the Adam Smith section) here.

And, as promised, the references:

Page 2 panel 4: Pai light-touch quote: https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-17-60A2.pdf.
Pai investment quote: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/20/fcc-chairman-ajit-pai-reveal-plans-to-dismantle-net-neutrality.html?view=story&%24DEVICE%24=native-android-tablet
Investment is up: http://www.businessinsider.com/broadband-investment-up-after-new-net-neutrality-rules-2017-5 (the study Pai uses is deeply flawed: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/41208-new-study-undercuts-trump-fcc-chair-s-justification-for-rolling-back-net-neutrality).

Page 3 panel 1: Kill Obamacare: There was the Obamacare repeal, which failed by one vote: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/27/us/politics/senate-health-care-vote.html, the tax bill ends the individual mandate: http://time.com/money/5043622/gop-tax-reform-bill-individual-mandate/, and the Trump administration has been sabotaging Obamacare as much as possible (see https://economixcomix.com/home/sabotage.
End the Environmental Protection Administration: Here’s a bill to do just that: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/861.
End the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the humanities: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/15/arts/nea-neh-endowments-trump.html.
Kill public schools: Basically Education Secretary DeVos’s reason for being: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/23/us/politics/betsy-devos-trumps-education-pick-has-steered-money-from-public-schools.html.
Gut Medicare: Their longstanding plan is to make it look like Obamacare; see https://economixcomix.com/home/trumpcare.
Gut Medicaid: Part of the Obamacare repeal involved taking money from Medicaid to cover all the rescinded taxes. See https://economixcomix.com/home/sabotage.
Hand national monuments to private businesses: http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/363180-five-things-to-know-about-trumps-national-monuments-order.

Page 3 panel 3: Results here: https://www.nytimes.com/elections/results/virginia-general-elections. As of this writing it’s 49-50; if the last seat goes D then Democrats will control the house. If it doesn’t, Republicans will.

Page 3 panel 4: Raise taxes on teachers: Teachers won’t be able to deduct the money they spend on classroom supplies (the money they spend out of their own pockets): http://time.com/5017111/gop-tax-plan-teacher-tax-credit/.
Raise taxes on students: Some of the ways are here: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/12/08/what-college-students-need-watch-republican-tax-bill-enters-home-stretch/930044001/.
Kill the CFPB: https://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/what-is-the-fate-of-the-consumer-financial-protection-bureau
Drive up the deficit: Even the most rosy outlooks—the ones that use “dynamic scoring,” which assumes that the tax cuts will spark economic growth, which they will not—still give a massive increase in the deficit. See https://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/what-is-the-fate-of-the-consumer-financial-protection-bureau.
Raise taxes on everyone except the rich: That’s the long-term effect; there are some short-term sweeteners that time out. See https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/how-the-senate-tax-bill-affects-rich-and-poor-in-three-charts.
Gut Medicare and Medicaid even more: Oops, now that we have a deficit, we’ll be told that we have to cut spending: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/12/01/gop-eyes-post-tax-cut-changes-to-welfare-medicare-and-social-security/.

Page 4: Wikipedia has a decent summary of the election, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_presidential_election,_1996, but some of the important details are here: https://www.globalresearch.ca/us-meddling-in-1996-russian-elections-in-support-of-boris-yeltsin/5568288

Page 5 Panel 1: Money we took from cancer patients: https://www.snopes.com/2017/12/04/does-republican-bill-cut-medicaid/. The URL is weird but the article is about cancer treatment for Medicare patients, not about Medicaid. It’s not exactly part of the tax bill but it’s a foreseeable consequence.

Page 5 panel 2: https://www.mediamatters.org/blog/2017/12/01/fox-friends-revives-debunked-myths-deficit-health-care-and-middle-class-tax-increases-push-senate/218702.

Page 5 panel 3: Sinclair, and its running of the informercial: https://www.theroot.com/trumps-favorite-news-outlet-is-not-who-you-think-and-1797479368. The informercial: https://www.rawstory.com/2010/11/fox-affiliates-run-ad-tying-obama-kill- crackers-rhetoric/ The Fox affiliates mentioned in the story were owned by Sinclair.

Page 5 panel 4: Pai quote: https://medium.com/@AjitPaiFCC/during-the-debate-over-the-ratification-of-the-constitution-a-pseudonymous-alexander-hamilton-7388cc8046e1

Page 6 panel 3: The Breitbart tweet is at https://twitter.com/BreitbartNews/status/933036779032186880. Still up as of December 9.

Page 6, panel 5: Thiel quote. https://www.cato-unbound.org/2009/04/13/peter-thiel/education-libertarian.
He meant his freedom from taxes: In the intro to the essay, Thiel says; “I stand against confiscatory taxes, totalitarian collectives, and the ideology of the inevitability of the death of every individual.” We don’t have confiscatory taxes or anything like them, but of the three things he “stands against,” that’s only one that’s remotely coherent.

Page 7, panel 1: Gutted the Voting Rights Act: in Shelby County vs Holder.
Thrown legal voters off the rolls: See https://www.thenation.com/article/how-the-2000-election-in-florida-led-to-a-new-wave-of-voter-disenfranchisement/.
Closed polling stations: https://www.thenation.com/article/there-are-868-fewer-places-to-vote-in-2016-because-the-supreme-court-gutted-the-voting-rights-act/
Cut early voting: http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2016/11/07/those_insanely_long_early_voting_lines_were_a_result_of_republican_voter.html
Gerrymandered states they control: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-power-that-gerrymandering-has-brought-to-republicans/2016/06/17/045264ae-2903-11e6-ae4a-3cdd5fe74204_story.html?utm_term=.c461d2a1d120
These are just examples; a full list would go on for pages.

Page 7, panel 2:
Vote totals: I added the totals up manually from here: https://www.elections.virginia.gov/resultsreports/election-results/2017-election-results/index.html. I didn’t count write-ins or third-party votes. The counts were preliminary when I did them and may have been updated a bit. Here’s a source saying that if Republicans did as well, they would have won nearly 70 seats: http://beta.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-stephanopoulos-gerrymander-waves-virginia-20171110-story.html.

Page 7, panel 3: For the record, there were 200 in 2012 and only 60 in 2016. Maricopa County is where Phoenix is. https://www.thenation.com/article/there-are-868-fewer-places-to-vote-in-2016-because-the-supreme-court-gutted-the-voting-rights-act/