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obesity

Mississippi and Alabama Top States in Terms of Obesity

Mississippi is once again the state with the highest rate of obese people. Alabama follows closely behind at number 2. A person is considered obese when they have a body mass index higher than 30. BMI is based on your weight and height. The entire country is struggling with an obesity problem, but the South is where the problem is most prevalent. Unhealthy fried foods are a part of the culture in our part of the world and that is one reason our region has the worst obesity problems.

First lady Michelle Obama has taken to fighting childhood obesity. She is pushing for healthier lunches in schools and getting kids more active. Former Republican presidential contender Mike Huckabee is also speaking out about the obesity problem in this country.

net neutrality

Where the Candidates Stand on Net Neutrality

Net neutrality is one of the biggest issues with regards to the internet today. At the heart of the issues is how much control ISPs will be allowed to have over their networks. Each candidate has come out with a strong position on the matter, and whoever wins will have a drastic affect on the future of the internet.

Companies like ATT, Verizon, and Comcast want the power to determine the bandwidth speed of websites on their networks. As of now most data is treated equally in terms of bandwidth speed. The companies wish to be able to charge websites money for faster speeds, creating a new revenue stream. This would allow bigger websites to have a crucial advantage over start ups, and it would kill the level playing field we have today.

Net neutrality at its core is about treating all data equally. It essentially means that data discrimination should not be tolerated. The beauty of the internet is that anyone could start up a website that could become the next Google, or Amazon. If the big telecoms are able to pick winners and losers based on who has more money, then the internet will lose that competitive nature.

Barack Obama has been a propenent of Net Neutrality. Under his watch, the FCC has implemented Net Neutrality rules. These restrictions did not apply to wireless networks, though, a gaping loophole that in the future will be problematic as mobile internet is exploding in popularity. The issue is one that needs to be addressed in the future. Until it is, Obama can only be given a barely passing grade in regards to net neutrality.

Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has come down on the other side of the issue. The former Massachusetts governor strongly opposes net neutrality. According to Politico, Romney believes net neutrality will restrict ISPs, and that they alone should govern their networks. The governor has stated that he wants as little regulation of the internet as possible.

Romneys position falls into the general stereotype that Republicans are pro-business. This is a stance he states outright, as he sides with ATT and Verizon on the issues, and is in fact working with lobbyists from both companies on the issue.

In general it is a good idea to give businesses freedom to innovate and expand as much as possible. However, regulation also has a place in the market. We have the FDA to make sure the medicine made by drug companies does not harm us, and the EPA to make sure factories are not pumping toxic chemicals into the environment.

While the internet needs to be left as free as possible, it too is in need of some regulation, particularly when it comes to the principle of net neutrality. In this rare case, it is the industry itself that will be the cause of stifled innovation if data discrimination is not stopped. The important thing to remember is that net neutrality has been the way the internet has operated since the beginning, it is not a new concept. The big telecoms are only now trying to change that. Net neutrality aims to keep things as they are, and that should be something every internet user pushes for.