Congresswoman Eshoo’s Reddit contest to rebrand ‘net neutrality’

Rep_Anna_EshooToday I launched a contest on Reddit to rebrand ‘net neutrality’ — the term used to describe the principle of all Internet traffic being created equal and that it should be treated as such.

In May, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed new Internet traffic rules under the guise of net neutrality. But if approved, the proposed plan could split the flow of online traffic into tiers by allowing priority treatment to big online corporations that pay higher fees to broadband providers. This would mean a fast lane for those who can afford it and a slow lane for everyone else, hindering small businesses, innovators and Internet users.

Internet users know what they want and expect from the Internet, but these days all the jargon about net neutrality rules is making it difficult to know what box to check that advances their best interest. So I’m hosting this contest to rebrand net neutrality and bring some clarity to an otherwise muddy legal debate before the FCC finalizes its proposed open Internet rules. If Internet users care about their right to uninhibited access to the Internet, this is their opportunity to have an impact on the process, to help put the advantage back in the hands of the Internet user, and to ensure that the free and open Internet prevails.

The contest is free to enter and the rules are simple. The most popular entry on this Reddit post will be declared the winner on September 8, 2014. Participants are reminded to refrain from using vulgar or otherwise inappropriate language.

I hope you will participate and I thank you for it.

RepAnnaEshoo

If you had the chance to change the name of ‘net neutrality’ to something more clear and easy to understand, or just to be more creative, what would you call it?

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There’s a reason animals never gave up in the millions of years it took to evolve legs and start making their way on land. That reason? Because the ocean is a scary fucking place!

Let the shark be a cautionary tale. There are worse things than being tricked into biting fake bait on a fishing line. And, one of those things is ending up as real bait to a big ass grouper.

In this modern, fast paced world that we live in things change rapidly. New breakthroughs in technology, science and medicine make our lives better, allows us to live longer and gives us insights into the Universe that were unimaginable a generation ago.

Fortunately these amazing innovations and advancements aren’t limited to high tech gadgets and scientific discoveries. In fact, one of the most astounding discoveries of the past 200 years has nothing at all to do with technology and has everything to do with bananas.

I’ve lived on this planet for 40 years and up until a few weeks ago I considered myself at least moderately intelligent. I like to eat bananas. I mean, I wouldn’t exactly call myself a banana connoisseur but at the very least I thought I knew how to eat them. I was wrong.

The popular notion in banana eating circles is that the stem on top of the banana is like a pull tab to get the peeling process started. Wrong! That stem is the banana’s handle! Or, as I like to call it, the Banandle™.

Check out the gallery below for a step-by-step guide to the proper way to eat a banana.

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Not only does this method give you a sweet ass handle to eat your banana it also makes the banana more structurally sound. No more having the top half of your banana break off and splat on the floor. And possibly the best part of the “upside down” banana peeling method is it doesn’t create any of those creepy banana strings that come off the banana when you’re peeling it the old-fashioned way.

The Tree of 40 Fruit is an ongoing series of hybridized fruit trees by contemporary artist Sam Van Aken. Each unique Tree of 40 Fruit grows over forty different types of stone fruit including peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines, cherries, and almonds. Sculpted through the process of grafting, the Tree of 40 Fruit blossom in variegated tones of pink, crimson and white in spring, and in summer bear a multitude of fruit. Primarily composed of native and antique varieties the Tree of 40 Fruit are a form of conversation, preserving heirloom stone fruit varieties that are not commercially produced or available.

Here’s a video of Sam talking about the tree at a recent TED Talk:

h/t Sam Van Aken

So a few more pics from my time in Vegas. After we hit the Hoover Dam we made our way out to Red Rock Canyon and took in the beauty of that place. It’s amazing to see the different layers and read how they were formed. One thing that I wasn’t aware of was that the actual red rocks part actually used to be sand dunes which hardened into the formations we see today.

In August of 2014 I took a trip to Las Vegas and visited the Hoover Dam. Here are some of the pictures I took. If you ever have the chance to visit this place you should. Neither words nor pictures can do it justice. It’s truly an awesome feat of engineering.

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As the awful events of the past few days continue to play themselves out we are presented with a unique opportunity to allow this to be a turning point in our country in how law enforcement interacts with citizens and how it is held accountable.

Nothing that can be done will ever be enough to allay the grief of the family members who lost a loved one that day but we can hopefully give them some sense of comfort knowing that their loss, their tragedy will help prevent something like this from happening again. Every police officer in the country should be required to wear a camera that automatically records any interaction an officer has with a potential suspect. We could call it the Michael Brown Law.

We’ve already stood by and watched as local police departments have armed themselves to the teeth with tanks and automatic weapons. Surely the can afford lapel cams for each of their officers. For counties or districts that truly cannot find it in the budget then state or federal funds can be found to make it happen.

We all live in an environment where we are told to get used to being recorded. Many of us work at places that monitor us on some level the entire time we are at work. Why should the police, whom we are trusting with our lives, be any different? So many of these tragedies could be averted, or explained, if there was an actual recording of what happened and not just a one-sided story that leaves us all with too many questions.

There are a few cases where police departments have started wearing cameras and in every single case it has resulted in less violence and fewer community complaints. In Rialto, Ca. after cameras were introduced in February 2012, public complaints against officers plunged 88% compared with the previous 12 months. Officers’ use of force fell by 60%.

“When you know you’re being watched you behave a little better. That’s just human nature,” said Tony Farrar, Rialto’s police chief. “As an officer you act a bit more professional, follow the rules a bit better.”

What’s happening in Ferguson is devastating and unimaginable to many of us. We have the technology to make sure that this is the last time an unarmed young man is shot while leaving far too many questions. It’s affordable, wearable technology that could be distributed and set up to every law enforcement officer in the country within months and there is no reason for us not to stand up and demand that it happen. Demand accountability. Any cop that is honest and doing their job, to protect and serve, should be the first ones to want this technology to protect themselves from situations exactly like this.

No, this shooting of an unarmed man by a police officer with little to no context or accountability isn’t the first time but we could certainly make sure that it is the last time and there’s absolutely no reason why every citizen, sheriff, county official shouldn’t stand up now and demand that the Michael Brown Law put an end to this injustice.

WARNING: This video is graphic in nature and shows police shooting a man multiple times

Reddit user Tirith uploaded a video he recorded on his home street in Poland of police confronting and eventually shooting an agitated man armed with what looks like a tire iron and a knife of some sort. While the man was clearly aggressive and agitated it seems as if this confrontation could have been handled better by the police officers. Clearly at some point in the video the man throws his second (and seemingly last) weapon at the cops and takes off running. Unless the police had incredibly bad aim the man had already been shot a few times by the time he takes off running. I can’t imagine he would have been that hard to take down.

Apparently, according to this article in Polish: http://www.gazetalubuska.pl/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140714/POWIAT04/140719776, what I can figure out according to Google Translate is that the guy lives and apparently wasn’t even shot until he was running away and then he was only shot in the legs.

I’m not sure I believe that. He definitely looks unconscious, if not dead, at the end of that video. He’s not moving at all and you would think someone who was alive and conscious who had just been shot at least once in the leg would be writhing in pain.

This is the second installment of our celebration of an American history not so far removed as some of us may like to believe. These beautiful photographs bring to life the joy and pain, the happiness and sorrow of people who helped to shape this country into what it is today.

These color photographs gives us a fascinating glimpse of a large cross-section of working-class Americans leading up to and through the beginning of World War II from 1939-1943.

If you’d like to take a look at the first gallery of photos we published you can take a look at them here.

Click image to enlarge

All images courtesy of the Library of Congress