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30 Days of Badger – Day 18

Posted on August 18, 2014


Just about a year ago, Emily Badger wrote an article for CityLab on What Every U.S. Family Really Needs for a Minimum Living Standard. In the article, Emily covers the rise of economic hardship suffered by American households between 2005-2011 and uses U.S. Census Bureau data to show how affected families are by the growing problem of being unable to meet their basic needs. “Basic needs” encompasses things like: adequate amounts of food, enough to pay rent/mortgage, every day appliances, utilities, and the ability to see doctors and dentists, among others. But as Emily points out, “Computers have become nearly ubiquitous, as cell phones have replaced what was once a reliable indicator of minimum living conditions in the U.S.: the land-line. Very soon we’ll need to start measuring minimum living conditions in a new way. What if it’s your broadband bill you can’t afford? Or the computer or smart phone you actually need way more than a dishwasher?”

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Get this, in a May 2011, the United Nations released a report declaring access to the Internet a basic human right and that the act of disconnecting individuals from the Internet is a violation of human rights and goes against international law. An issue not too prevalent here in the United States due to the many outlets available for accessing the internet. Take your local library for instance; getting a library card is easy! I just took advantage last month and it took me longer to pencil in my name than for them to issue me the card. Give this other Emily Badger article on how A Whole Lot of Americans Would Be Angry if Their Public Library Closed a supplemental read.

Internet service providers (ISP) do make it difficult and often unattractive to access their offerings however. As a matter of fact, cable companies and ISPs are notorious for their poor public images and media scrutiny. They are consistently at the bottom of the barrel for customer service ratings, and paying (for a speed you’re lucky to receive 10% of) your high cable/internet bill every month tends to cause regular consideration of the value it provides. Not to mention that, compared to other countries, the United States pays a way higher rate for slower service anyhow.

Internet

And these very same companies want to add to their already unfavorable public image by imposing net neutrality. To understand just how crazy and outlandish this business tactic is, I leave you with a clip from Last Week Tonight on HBO to hear John Oliver’s eye-opening and hilarious take on Net Neutrality.

Honey Badger fact of the day from www.todayifoundout.com

Honey Badgers are naturally not very affected by many types of stings and venom.  They can even get bitten by King Cobras and Puff Adders multiple times with little effect, though a strike from something like a Puff Adder that manages to actually penetrate their skin will eventually knock the Honey Badger out for a couple hours.

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How awesome is that Honey Badger and Cobra crest? Hit me up on the soon-to-be basic human right, Twitter: @joshg22

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