Read This Now: Before It’s Too Late

Read This Now: Before It’s Too Late

How net neutrality will really impact us.

Imagine a world like this: you have all of your decisions made for you. An institution sets norms and makes your life choices, and then you have to live with them — you have to live up to them. You go to grade school, graduate from high school, and then you go to college. Media has become an incredible outlet of spreading clarity — and sharing your thoughts is the only clarity you have, the only clarity anyone has. Your leader, who is supposed to remain calm and insist on peace, instead thrives on hate and obsesses over possibilities of war. Individuals are targeted because of their skin color. You live in a place where individuals call poor and homeless people lazy. People are murdered on the streets at night. Oh, and your President can easily get away with being a cold, selfish, homophobic racist.

This world is the world you live in right now. This very minute. Now, take a minute, because on December 14th, 2017 — something called net neutrality could be deleted.

Net neutrality is an Obama-administered regulation that deems the internet to be a space that is open and available to everyone equally. It also prohibits well-established companies and their specific internet providers from slowing down their competitor's websites for their own monetary gain.

The deletion of net neutrality will create a world where we have to pay to communicate, share ideas, send texts, and even read our emails. A world where those texts, ideas, and emails are sifted through and looked at. Where someone with a fat wallet is always watching. Where our ability to know that these events take place is completely cut off and altered. A world where we are brainwashed into believing only certain things about certain types of people in power.

Net neutrality enforces and enables our right to have equal and untarnished access to everything that is on the internet. Without this regulation, our ability to see everything in many different perspectives will be hindered. Instead, our information will be decided for us based on how much we are willing to pay our internet providers.

This will impact the online environment as we know it. The format will look different, we will only be able to use the sites we pay for, and our developing small online businesses and blogs will evaporate into thin air. I won’t have a voice. You won’t have a voice. But, the people who can afford it will.

Are you scared yet? You should be.

This will eventually allow for propaganda to get out of hand, allowing our not-so-great President to portray himself in ways only he deems fit. Larger corporations will finally have the power they have always wanted to control their consumers as they desire. We will live in a simulation. Our decisions on what sites to visit and where to purchase goods from will be decided for us by either larger corporations on the internet or political ideologues — or, likely, forces that represent both. Our perceptions will not be our own, and everything we think we know will most likely be fake and fed to us for a sole purpose.

So, let's step up. If we come together, we can make a change.

We can use the media to our advantage for as long as we have it. We can spread the word about net neutrality and help to educate others on what is truly at stake. Let’s spread our own voices. The internet is our sole way of sharing our thoughts and opinions on everyday topics, so let’s share. The internet is our main outlet for free speech and press, so we should be using it to our advantage.

It is time to start posting. It is time to be heard.

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An Open Letter to the Person Who Still Uses the "R Word"

Your negative associations are slowly poisoning the true meaning of an incredibly beautiful, exclusive word.

What do you mean you didn't “mean it like that?" You said it.

People don't say things just for the hell of it. It has one definition. Merriam-Webster defines it as, "To be less advanced in mental, physical or social development than is usual for one's age."

So, when you were “retarded drunk" this past weekend, as you claim, were you diagnosed with a physical or mental disability?

When you called your friend “retarded," did you realize that you were actually falsely labeling them as handicapped?

Don't correct yourself with words like “stupid," “dumb," or “ignorant." when I call you out. Sharpen your vocabulary a little more and broaden your horizons, because I promise you that if people with disabilities could banish that word forever, they would.

Especially when people associate it with drunks, bad decisions, idiotic statements, their enemies and other meaningless issues. Oh trust me, they are way more than that.

I'm not quite sure if you have had your eyes opened as to what a disabled person is capable of, but let me go ahead and lay it out there for you. My best friend has Down Syndrome, and when I tell people that their initial reaction is, “Oh that is so nice of you! You are so selfless to hang out with her."

Well, thanks for the compliment, but she is a person. A living, breathing, normal girl who has feelings, friends, thousands of abilities, knowledge, and compassion out the wazoo.

She listens better than anyone I know, she gets more excited to see me than anyone I know, and she works harder at her hobbies, school, work, and sports than anyone I know. She attends a private school, is a member of the swim team, has won multiple events in the Special Olympics, is in the school choir, and could quite possibly be the most popular girl at her school!

So yes, I would love to take your compliment, but please realize that most people who are labeled as “disabled" are actually more “able" than normal people. I hang out with her because she is one of the people who has so effortlessly taught me simplicity, gratitude, strength, faith, passion, love, genuine happiness and so much more.

Speaking for the people who cannot defend themselves: choose a new word.

The trend has gone out of style, just like smoking cigarettes or not wearing your seat belt. It is poisonous, it is ignorant, and it is low class.

As I explained above, most people with disabilities are actually more capable than a normal human because of their advantageous ways of making peoples' days and unknowingly changing lives. Hang out with a handicapped person, even if it is just for a day. I can one hundred percent guarantee you will bite your tongue next time you go to use the term out of context.

Hopefully you at least think of my friend, who in my book is a hero, a champion and an overcomer. Don't use the “R Word". You are way too good for that. Stand up and correct someone today.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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News Flash: 'Building The Wall' Is Still A Dumb Idea And Always Will Be

The government is still partially shutdown because of funding for the wall. Really?


A man who is a strong supporter of building the wall told me this metaphor: If you don't want the wrong people walking into your backyard, you put a fence up. We don't want the wrong people coming to America, so we put a wall up. I respect people's political beliefs, and because of this, I want to share mine.

I believe that President Trump demanding money to build a border wall is dumb.

It's hard to believe so many people really think that this "build a wall" has everything to do about border security. It's just inhumane and wrong.

Literally, the most notorious drug lord of Mexico has shed light about how he smuggles the drug into the U.S. They have brought it through fishing boats, trucks going through the legal point of entry, underground tunnel, but not through unwalled parts. The half of million pounds of narcotics that were secured at the border? They were all al legal points of entry.

I'm saying this because I am a proud daughter of immigrants who crossed the border. The media has portrayed immigrants as these horrible people infiltrating our country. They just want somewhere safe to live to raise their kid.

The conditions of Latin American countries are inexplicable. Communist have risen from the ashes dominating these countries letting people rot on the street starving. There are little to no job opportunities. I haven't seen my family in three years because it is dangerous to go.

The media doesn't tell you this. They don't tell you how many people have gone to the border and returned to Mexico because ICE agents tear gas them.

They tell you that they throw babies over fences to distract border patrol agents. They tell you children are dying because of malnutrition of trekking thousands of miles to get the border. They don't tell you that those same children have been eating unmonitored food with thousands of microorganism some mal some good.

Not all immigrants are not bad people. The notions that all immigrants are criminals is "fake news." It has been a hook, line, and sinker for the Republican Party. There are studies such as one from the journal Criminology showing that places with high undocumented immigrant population does not equal high crime.

Should undocumented citizens attempt to become legal residents of the United States? Absolutely, and that is a problem if they are evading taxes and other legal notions with more consequences.

However, we should not lie to ourselves and act as a wall is to help border security against drugs and crime. It's just a physical quota like 1920s immigration laws. There is a better solution then sacrificing 5.7 billion dollars. Let me translate that: 5,700,000,000 dollars. That is our taxes. As a college student, I rather have those 5.7 billion dollars be translated to scholarship, grants, financial aid, and helping us, the future of this country become the best people we can be. Why build a wall when the future of America, who I personally think is more important can be helped.

I don't come from a rich family, and I don't have the means to afford a college education without loans, so when I hear that the Government can afford to give 5.7 billion dollars for a wall, I have the right to be upset. Tell me I'm wrong, and call me dumb, but this is my unpopular opinion.


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