All posts by Shane Pekny

Nebraska can protect net neutrality

From the Lincoln Journal Star editorial board:

The Federal Communications Commission has let Americans down by scrapping its net neutrality rules.

Now, states have rightfully taken it upon themselves to protect the idea of a free and open internet once guaranteed by the regulatory agency. In that arena, Nebraska has the chance to emerge as one of the early leaders.

Lincoln Sen. Adam Morfeld has introduced the Internet Neutrality Act, LB856, aimed at reinstituting the federal regulations – treating all traffic the same and barring providers from blocking, slowing or charging access to particular content – that are phasing out and enshrining them in state code.

Opposition to the FCC’s decision transcends party affiliation or seemingly any other division. The Journal Star editorial board remains firmly in support of net neutrality and supports efforts such as this to restore it.

Read the full editorial.

KXL: Economics that destroy

From Truthout:

As the plagued Keystone Pipeline spilled 200,000 gallons of oil near the Sisseton Dakota reservation, on November 20, the Nebraska Public Service Commission issued a convoluted permit approval, allowing TransCanada to route the line through part of the state. In the meantime, the Dakota, Lakota and their allies stand strong.

That same day hundreds gathered for the Gathering to Protect the Sacred — a reaffirmation of the international agreement among sovereign indigenous nations to protect the environment from tar-sands projects. The Treaty to Protect the Sacred, first signed in 2013, was signed again. “Nothing has changed at all in our defense of land, air and water of the Oceti Sakowin,” Faith Spotted Eagle told the crowd. “If anything, it has become more focused, stronger and more adamant after Standing Rock.”

The assembly — sponsored by the Braveheart Society of Women, Wiconi Un Tipi, Ihanktonwan Treaty Committee and Dakota Rural Action — brought together 200 water protectors. Oyate Win Brushbreaker, a 97-year-old elder reminded those present, “Reaffirm the boundaries of that treaty. Keep out that black snake you have been talking about.”

Read the full story.

Take action on Net Neutrality

From Fight for the Future and Demand Progress:

Pai’s plan scraps the legal requirements underpinning Title II regulations and opens the door to internet slow lanes and monopolies over broadband networks.

That’s why today, we’re announcing a massive day of protests at Verizon storefronts across the country to hit Big Cable and Pai where it hurts.

Pai has said that he believes that Big Cable should regulate itself when it comes to the free and open internet. But even with net neutrality rules in place, companies such as Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast have broken the regulations over and over and over. In just two years, the FCC has received more than 40,000 net neutrality complaints from consumers.

If Title II protections are allowed to be overturned, we will go back to the days when Big Cable throttled websites based on what internet companies paid, blocked traffic to sites that competed with their own services, and redirected sites without user permission—all with impunity.

On December 7, we’re staging protests at Verizon locations around the country. Verizon—Pai’s former employer—will be at the peak of its holiday sales, and we’re going to disrupt its business just like it plans to disrupt net neutrality. We’re going to send a strong message to Congress: We will not rest until net neutrality is secured as the law of the land.

Thanks for standing with us.

Read more, contact Congress, and join the Battle for the Net.

Letter: This pipeline can’t be built

From Promise to Protect:

Dear Friends,

Today brings renewed resolve. We have walked this path together before.

State authorities in Nebraska just approved a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline – but along a different path than the original route TransCanada wanted. We’re still determining exactly what this re-route means, but we know one thing for sure: this pipeline can’t be built.

Our allies in Nebraska will challenge this decision, and they’re confident the pipeline will never get built. But the rest of us are out of agencies or governments to appeal to–instead, we’ve got to rely on each other. Together we’ve stopped them for many years, and we are going to keep stopping them. But we need everyone’s help. We need you to take a stand no matter what land you live or work on. The struggle to save Mother Earth begins with you.

Read the full letter and join the Promise to Protect.

Decision on Keystone XL pipeline coming Monday, Nov. 20

From the Lincoln Journal Star:

The Nebraska Public Service Commission will announce its decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline next week.

The commission’s five elected members plan to vote on a proposed order during a public meeting at 10 a.m. Monday at the commission headquarters, 1200 N St., Suite 300, according to a news release. The release didn’t say whether a majority of commissioners plan to support approving or denying the application by pipeline builder TransCanada.

Doors to the hearing room open at 9:30 a.m. A live video feed of the hearing will be provided by the commission and shared at JournalStar.com.

Nebraska’s approval is one of the final necessary steps before TransCanada could begin turning dirt on the 1,179-mile project, which would move Canadian oil sands from Hardisty, Alberta, to the U.S. Gulf Coast. The proposal has been a subject of controversy for nearly a decade.

Read the full story.

Join Bold Nebraska and the Pipeline Fighters in attending the meeting.

Upcoming Lincoln events: Support peace, understand voters, protect water, get free stuff

Nebraskans For Peace 2017 Annual Peace Conference

  • What: 2017 Annual Peace Conference: “Living Within the Natural Laws” and “A Revolutionary Approach to Reclaiming Our Democracy — Beginning with Local Food and Farming.”
  • When: Saturday, October 7, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Where: Trinity United Methodist Church, 7130 Kentwell Lane in Lincoln
  • View full agenda and register.

2017 E.N. Thompson Forum

  • What: “Why People Vote for Those Who Work Against Their Best Interests”
  • When: Tuesday, October 10, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Lied Center Main Stage, 12th & R Streets, Lincoln
  • Learn more.

Discussion of Lincoln’s Water Future, by the Nebraska League of Conservation Voters

  • What: A Discussion with three of Lincoln’s top water leaders and experts: Paul Zillig, General Manager of the Lower Platte South NRD, Steve Owens, Superintendent of Lincoln Water Systems, and Leirion Gaylor Baird of the Lincoln City Council.
  • When: Thursday, October 12th, 6:00 – 7:30 PM
  • Where: UNL City Campus Union, 1400 R Street, Lincoln NE 68588
  • Free and open to the public, followed by Q&A. Register here.

FREE SATURDAY!

  • What: Bring items to give away and find great items from others to claim as your own. Everything is free.
  • When: Saturday, October 21, 2017
  • Where: The Bay, 2005 Y Street, Lincoln
  • Why: To inspire free culture and strong community relations.

LJS Editorial: Nonpartisan candidates face too high a bar

From the Lincoln Journal Star Editorial Board:

Thanks to a late addition to a far-reaching elections bill, nonpartisan candidates seeking election to statewide offices in Nebraska now face the hardest road in the country to appear on the ballot.

Hopefuls must now obtain signatures from 10 percent of the state’s registered voters – roughly 119,000 people – to appear on the ballot as an independent candidate, up from 4,000. Six percent of all Nebraskans must sign off on any potential independent candidacy for statewide offices such as governor and United States senator.

This change is simply bad business for Nebraska elections – and the idea of a government of the people, by the people, for the people. The last thing democracy needs is a chilling effect on the ultimate form of political participation: running for office.

Read the full editorial.

Sept. 18 discussion in Omaha: How climate change affects public health

From the Nebraska League of Conservation Voters:

Please consider attending a discussion September 18 about the effects of climate change on public health. The speaker, Dr. Ali S. Khan, is one of the world’s foremost experts on this topic.

  • When: Monday, September 18, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Where: Weitz Community Engagement Center, UNO Dodge Street Campus, Omaha
  • Free and open to the public. Light refreshments provided.
  • To attend, please register here.

Dr. Ali Khan, Former Assistant Surgeon General and current Dean of the College of Public Health at UNMC, will speak about how climate change impacts public health. He will discuss how our health is currently being impacted by climate change, and share some of the top concerns the public health field has about the future and how we can prepare for it. There will be time for Q&A.

The League previously had Dr. Khan speak at the Conservation Summit, and the room was full. We recommend registering now to ensure you have a seat at the upcoming event on September 18. Please register here.

A spiritual gathering in support of sound policy in Lincoln Aug. 29

From Nebraskans for Peace:

We Will Not Be Left Behind: The Proposed Federal Budget and Ordinary People

The event will have a spiritual focus and will remind Lincoln and Nebraskans that the government has an obligation to protect the lives of poor and ordinary people through the provision of decent health care, education for civic competence and jobs, and uncontaminated water, air, and land.

  • When: Tuesday, August 29, 2017, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Malone Center Auditorium, 2032 U Street, Lincoln

The events of Charlottesville are not isolated from the general efforts in this country to cut programs designed to help people of all cultures and races flourish. We wish to speak to a budget that will support everyone’s empowerment.

The program will begin with music and prayers, continue with remarks from representatives of the most affected communities, go on to a federal budget analysis from Appleseed, and close with a meditation on values, a prayer and music.  We hope for a good crowd.

The event is sponsored by NFP, NAACP Lincoln, Nebraska Appleseed, Sacred Winds, and El Centro de las Americas.

Solidarity Vigil for Charlottesville

From the Nebraska Left Coalition and the Lincoln Democratic Socialists of America:

On August 12, White Supremacists rammed a car through a group of counter-protesters standing against the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville.

One is confirmed dead, and at least 19 injured. The victims include our comrades in both DSA and the IWW.

Join us for a candlelight vigil as we stand in solidary against hate. We are gathering Sunday, August 13, from 8 to 9 p.m. at 1300 P Street.

We will also be collecting donations towards the medical expenses of the victims. Currently all funds raised at the vigil will be directed to this fundraiser.

Join the Facebook event.