Bob's Links and Rants

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Sunday, May 25, 2003

Activist Alert!

I write this blog for several reasons: to blow off steam, to provide focus for my newsreading, to inform, infuriate, and entertain. One reason I have is to try to amplify my voice. I can have some impact if I call Congress or write a letter to the editor. I can have a larger impact if I can get five or ten or fifty people to do the same. And right now there are two issues that require immediate action:
  1. FCC to rule on relaxing media ownership rules, meaning that the huge corporations which already own most of our media outlets (GE, AOL Time Warner, Viacom, Fox, Disney, Clear Channel) could buy up even more (possibly one another). This needs to be stopped! Go here to file public comments; you can also call the FCC, and it wouldn't hurt to call Congress either (800-839-5276).
  2. IRV-capable voting machines. This issue probably applies to most states, but it is critical in Michigan right now. The "Help America Vote Act" (HAVA) provides money for states to upgrade voting machines and other election equipment. New electronic voting machines can easily be made so they can handle instant runoff voting (IRV) and other voting methods which are more democratic than the simple winner-take-all method used in most US elections. Michigan's committee in charge of buying new machines is about to make critical decisions about their specifications. We need to make sure that the new machines are IRV-capable. Cyndy at MouseMusings has lots of details on the issue and what you can do to help. Go now! May 27 (Tuesday) is the cutoff day for public comment!