Beyond Labels

A 360° Discussion of Foreign, National and Local Policy Issues

Monday: Broadband

The pandemic has underscored the usefulness (dare I say “utility”?) of Internet access for getting together—and learning—under social distancing restrictions.

But Internet access and, especially, “broadband” speed, is spotty at best in rural and semi-rural Maine. And lots of other areas of the country. Over the years, there have been lots of programs to motivate further build-outs of networks and to provide discounted Internet access pricing to those who cannot afford the “retail” prices.

Monday, we’ll discuss where we stand as a nation, as a state, and as a community. And what can and should be done to accelerate and democratize Internet access.

Study up on the Rural Electrification Administration (formed in 1935)—there are lots of parallels and visit the Peninsula Utility for Broadband site for current, local information.

Feb. 1: Biden, Russia, Foreign Policy

For this coming Monday, we agreed to discuss the Biden Administration’s posture toward Russia, starting with the poisoning and imprisonment of Alexei Navalny.

We’ll undoubtedly turn to, or otherwise work into the discussion, U.S. foreign policy in other global arenas.

Here’s an article, “Biden, Blinken and the Blob,” provided by Peter Sly to set the tone. The author is from the Quincy Institute, a seemingly unlikely collaboration between George Soros and Charles Koch.

Monday: Biden’s first week

We plan to discuss President Biden’s first week (well, 5 3/4 days) in office.

In particular, we plan to focus on the flurry of Executive Orders he has issued–presumably focusing on the most “impactful” or “significant” (as viewed today). Here’s a link to a whitehouse.gov search to list the orders and comments.

I expect that we will also discuss other aspects of the new Biden era—his inaugural address, the Administration’s press briefings/policy, the pending impeachment trial of ex-President Trump and other senate matters.

See you tomorrow!

(Don’t forget—if you want to participate, register at the bhpl.net event calendar to get the Zoom link and password.)

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