December 14, 2017

Net Neutrality Reversed by FCC, A Courageous Alabama Father Stands Up for the Memory of His Gay Daughter, and Good Luck / Congrats on Finals!

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) struck down “net neutrality” provisions today that mandated equal treatment by internet carriers in terms of both websites and user access. Prior to the narrow 3-2 vote, bipartisan opposition to the repeal was strong. Opponents argued that without the regulations, internet providers essentially become “gatekeepers” of the internet through their ability to slow down access to smaller start-up sites and instead funnel internet users toward more favored sites, such as those that enter into financial agreements with internet providers for “paid prioritization.” Proponents of the appeal – internet providers such as AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon -- argued the repeat would allow for greater competition in the marketplace. A University of Maryland poll released earlier this week found that 80% of respondents disfavored the repeal. Lawsuits are anticipated.

Amidst the public discourse surrounding the Alabama special U.S. senate election, a touching story emerged. William Mathis stood outside of a Roy Moore rally with a humble sign supporting his gay daughter, Patti Sue, who had committed suicide at the age of 22. Reflecting popular opinion at that time, the elder Mathis once told Patti Sue that he would rather have no daughter at all than a gay daughter. While the two reconciled prior to Patti Sue’s death, Mr. Mathis has never gotten over the loss of his daughter and took umbrage when candidate Moore labeled homosexuals “perverts” and “abominations.” Mr. Mathis’ sign included a picture of Patt Sue in what appeared to be her high-school basketball uniform. In his own words, this caring father said: “somebody needs to speak up.”

On a lighter note, are you all done with finals? Maybe one more Evidence essay to go? Congrats to all who are finished and good luck and congrats in advance to all who will be soon. You’ve worked hard! Celebrate and enjoy the Holidays!

Editorial Note: EQ4ALL applauds Mr. Mathis for sharing his pain and allowing others to see that the fallacy of prejudiced views sometimes only become clear though personal interaction and challenges. While Mr. Mathis lost his daughter, his action to stand up for her memory makes clear her death was not in vain. And no doubt, somewhere in Heaven, Patti Sue knows that.

December 5, 2017

Colin Kaepernick Honored by the ACLU and on the Short List for Time’s “Person of the Year,” Lawmaker Sparks Controversy by Making Disparaging Remark about the Working Class, and Puppy Therapy for Finals!

Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco Forty-Niners quarterback known for first taking a knee in the NFL anthem protests targeting police brutality and racism, earned two accolades this last week. Kaepernick was honored by the ACLU of Southern California and given the “Easen Monroe Courageous Advocate Award.” He also made the “short list” for Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year.” And while the fight for redress is far from over, the NFL is rumored to have tentatively agreed to a $90,000,000 - $100,000,000 donation to social causes deemed important by the players, in particular, causes affecting African American communities. The agreement is subject to final approval by the NFL owners, who are scheduled to meet this month.

The divide between the proverbial “haves and have nots” arguably got wider this week when Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley justified repeal of estate tax by saying those not subject to the tax (which currently is imposed on estates worth $5.5 million or more) spend all of their money on “booze or women or movies,” instead of investing. The remark immediately was renounced on a wide bipartisan basis. Push-back included pointing out that Grassley’s remark ignored the fact that millions of Americans not subject to the tax spend their money on life necessities, e.g. feeding their family and caring for elderly parents. 

Stressed from finals? Stop by the Lack Reading Room Patio this Wednesday / Thursday for a little love from our furry friends. AETNA, the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund, Student Affairs and the Career Development Office are sponsoring this event, which is quickly becoming a very welcome Loyola tradition. Pups will be wagging their tails on Wednesday (Dec. 6) between 4:45-5:45 and on Thursday (Dec. 7) between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Good luck in finals!!!