How CREDO is fighting to protect net neutrality


When Donald Trump’s Federal Communication Commission (FCC) decided on a party-line vote last year to dismantle regulations governing net neutrality, Big Telecom took a victory lap. Their plan to install former telecom lobbyist Ajit Pai as chairman of the FCC appeared to have paid off.

Fortunately, CREDO and our allies aren’t wavering in the battle to protect net neutrality. In fact, we’re ramping up the fight.

As Big Telecom continues to wage a full-scale public relations and lobbying effort to prevent any restoration of the net neutrality rules, CREDO and our allies are pressuring lawmakers in Congress and statehouses across the country to protect net neutrality.

In the wake of the FCC’s chaotic comment period – which was corrupted by millions of fake comments – and its subsequent disastrous decision to overturn the 2015 Open Internet rules, we called on Congress to pass a joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to restore net neutrality. Nearly 200,000 CREDO activists signed our petition, and our members generated close to 5,000 calls to key Senate offices. Fifty senators have already signed on, and we’re just one vote away to ensure this passes the Senate.

In addition to our pressure campaign on members of Congress, we’ve taken the fight into states across the country. We’ve called on the California State Legislature to pass legislation to protect a free and open internet in California, and at least 17 states have introduced net neutrality legislation, four governors have issued executive orders and more than 20 states have filed lawsuits to stop the net neutrality repeal.

CREDO is working hand-in-hand with our allies, including Demand Progress, Fight for the Future and Free Press, to organize and push back against Trump’s FCC. In fact, through CREDO Mobile’s donations program powered by our customers, we’ve donated more than $2.6 million to progressive groups fighting for a free and open internet.

If you’d like to help us keep up the fight to protect net neutrality, here are some ways you can take action:

  1. Sign our petition urging Congress to pass a joint resolution to overturn the FCC’s decision to repeal net neutrality.
  2. Call key Senate offices urging senators to sign on to the joint resolution. We only need one more Senator to sign on, and calling these offices could make the difference.
  3. Join us and our allies on Feb. 27 for Operation #OneMoreVote, an internet-wide day of action, where we’ll be targeting Senate offices and demanding that senators sign on to the joint resolution.

How Earthjustice is Fighting Trump’s Attack on National Monuments


Most Americans can agree that our national monument lands shouldn’t be turned into coal and uranium mines. But not Trump. His illegal decision to gut two monuments in Utah – Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante – opens these American treasures to private profiteering.We filed two lawsuits to stop this decision almost immediately after his announcement in December. We are poised to sue again if he takes aim at more monuments.

At Earthjustice, our slogan is “Because the Earth needs a good lawyer.” In the fight over national monuments, the fossil fuel industry has an immense amount of resources to push for their private interests. We proudly defend the public’s interest.

In Grand Staircase, we are fighting to protect the last great dinosaur boneyard in the United States from coal mining. More than 20 types of dinosaurs previously unknown to humanity have been discovered in the monument lands. The finds have opened a rare window onto the Mesozoic Era, a time of global warming that could help us understand future conditions on Earth.

Scientists have much more to explore, but the area is suddenly vulnerable to coal mining thanks to Trump’s move to strip monument status from nearly half the original lands. As one dinosaur expert told me recently, when it’s a competition between paleontologists and mining companies, industry wins.

Bears Ears National Monument, meanwhile, encompassed more than 100,000 Native American archeological and cultural sites, some dating back to 12,000 B.C. Trump has gutted the monument, leaving just 16 percent of the original land protected. Uranium miners have eyed the area in the past. According to Trump’s proclamation in December, anybody with four wooden pickets can now stake a hardrock mining claim in lands he stripped of national monument protections. Read More

How to Make a Boomerang Video

A boomerang flies forward, then it comes back. The Boomerang app from Instagram works the same way. It’s a video loop that plays forward for 1 second, then back, then forward, then back…endlessly, for as long as you want to watch it.

It sounds trivial but Boomerang videos are oddly mesmerizing and, once you start doing them, it’s hard to stop. As Instagram notes, “It makes everyday moments fun and unexpected.”

Creating a Boomerang on Instagram

To create a Boomerang, download the app separately or, if you already have Instagram, you can access Boomerang from Instagram Stories. (Instagram owns the app.)

At the bottom of your Stories camera screen, you’ll see two buttons: Normal and Boomerang. Tap Boomerang. Or, if you’ve downloaded the Boomerang app as a standalone app, just open it up.

You know you’re in Boomerang when you see the infinity loop () in your shutter button. Now just choose the camera you want to use (front- or rear-facing). Then find something or someone interesting and tap and hold the shutter. (Keep your phone steady for the best result.)

Boomerang does the rest. It quickly shoots a series of 10 photos, assembles them, smooths out the gaps and, in a few seconds, creates your video loop.

More Boomerang Tips 

A tip: Your Boomerang will be more eye-catching if you “boom” a subject that’s in motion. Say, you and your friends raising your glasses in a toast. A kid throwing a ball. Yourself eating a carrot. Whatever. As we mentioned, Boomerangs are weirdly fascinating no matter the subject. Epicness is not required.

When your Boomerang video is done, the app takes you directly to a preview screen where you can watch it and share it to Instagram or Facebook. You can also text it to a friend, email it, tweet it or send it with Facebook Messenger. Or save it to your phone’s video gallery. If you export it to Instagram, you can edit it.

Thanks for reading. We’ll see you next week with another Tuesday Tip. Or check our CREDO Facebook page for progressive news every day.

CREDO stands up to Trump’s attacks on sanctuary cities

Upholding the dignity of all who live and work in this country is fundamental to who we are as a company and as a nation. That’s why CREDO Mobile recently joined nearly 50 technology companies to file an amicus brief in support of protecting sanctuary cities.

Not only do we have a moral responsibility to ensure all people have the ability to live without fear of persecution—especially from our government—our workforce benefits tremendously from the ingenuity and experiences of our immigrant brothers and sisters.

All business leaders should stand with us against the Administration’s bigotry. Signing this brief reflects CREDO’s commitment to fighting for civil rights, racial justice, and a fair and compassionate immigration system

As the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit hears the City of San Francisco and Santa Clara County’s case, CREDO Mobile stands strong with those resisting the Trump Administration’s cruel and abusive immigration enforcement practices.

The amicus brief, which was filed by the law firm Fenwick & West LLP on behalf of the companies, asserts that Trump’s executive order to rescind funding to states with sanctuary cities is unconstitutional, compels such cities to act contrary to their values, harms the economy, and endangers communities.

How to Create Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories is one of platform’s coolest features. It allows you to take a series of photos or videos and post them to your Instagram profile, where they stay for 24 hours. After that, they disappear. Sort of like Snapchat. But different, because there are options that let you and others download and save your Instagram Stories. In this article, learn how to use and create Instagram stories. 

How to make an Instagram Story

1. Tap the camera icon at the top left of your Instagram homescreen. This will open your camera so you can start a new Story. At the bottom of your screen, you’ll notice three buttons. From left to right, they are the flash (where you can configure flash settings), shutter and the rotate button that switches your camera from front-facing to rear-facing (or vice versa).

2. Tap the shutter to take a photo. Or touch and hold it to record a video. (You can turn your camera orientation to landscape but Instagram will post the photos and videos in your Story in portrait mode.) To choose a photo from your phone’s gallery, swipe up anywhere on the screen.

3. Once you’ve taken a photo or recorded a video, you can add text, draw on it or add stickers by tapping one of the buttons at the top right of the screen. There’s also a new option that allows you to add animated GIF stickers. Tap Undo to start over. To remove a piece of text or a sticker, drag and drop it in the trashcan at the bottom of the screen. Tap Done to save your Story.

4. Tap the Add Your Story button to share your Story. You can also tap the save icon to save this photo or video to your phone. If you click the arrow icon, you can send this photo or video to friends. Just tap the circle next Your Story and select the friends you want to share with.

To make your Story a slideshow, just repeat these steps. Each photo or video you add to your Story within a 24-hour period will be part of it.

How to save an Instagram Story

There are two ways you can save your Stories so you have them after their 24-hour lifespan.

  1. You can open your Story and select Save Story to save it to your phone as a video.
  2. You can set your Story to remain on your profile as a Highlight, even after it has disappeared. (Highlights appear below your profile photo.) To add a Story as a Highlight, go to your profile and tap the + below Stories Highlights. Tap the Story you want to add to Highlights, then tap Next. Choose a cover photo and enter a Story name, then tap Add. You can add more photos or videos anytime by tapping Edit Highlight.

Let us know how it goes.

How to Compost and Keep Your Plants Happy When You Live in an Apartment

How to Compost and Keep Your Plants Happy When You Live in an Apartment

If you live in an apartment, you probably have plants. And if you don’t, you should think about getting some, because indoor plants are good for your health.

They produce oxygen, which helps you sleep well. They absorb CO2 and other pollutants. They release phytoncides, which boost your white blood cells and neutralize microorganisms in the air. Plus having plants around improves your mood—a bit like a pet and a lot less trouble.

But you have to play your part and keep your plants healthy. Water them, give them sunlight and feed them compost.

OK, we hear you. How do you compost if you live in an apartment? Actually, it’s easier than you might think to turn your food scraps into plant superfood. Here’s what you’ll need to make compost with the perfect balance of plant nutrients.

Container

A wood box is your best choice. It looks good and it’s easy to make yourself. Choose a shallow, wide shape—8 to 12 inches deep—not tall and narrow. Your container should have holes in the lid for ventilation and in the sides for drainage. The lower side holes should be about 3 inches from the bottom. Then, if you have to drain your container, you just tip it and the “tea” will run out of the holes.

If you don’t go the DIY route, you can easily buy an indoor composting container online. They range in price from under $25 up to $250 or more.

Paper

Cut the paper into strips. Newspaper is a good choice. Also good is shredded brown cardboard. Soak it in water and squeeze out the extra so the strips are moist but not dripping. Line the bottom of your container with the paper—about one-third of the way to the top. Then add a thin layer of soil, sand, ground egg shells or sawdust.

Some papers you should not use, like bleached white office paper or any paper printed with colored ink. And some papers you can’t use, like coffee cups from Starbucks, thanks to Starbucks’ refusal to develop a cup not lined with polyethylene plastic. (This means 4 billion Starbucks cups go into landfills every year. CREDO Mobile funds the Stand.earth campaign to pressure Starbucks to come up with a recyclable cup.)

Worms

Yes, worms. They’re your best friends for indoor composting. After all, composting is what they’ve been doing for millions of years. Use red wigglers (Eisenia fetida). They’re surface-dwellers and like to live in the top 6 inches of soil—which is why your container should be shallow rather than deep. You can order worms online and get them in the mail.

How many do you need? You should allow 1 square foot of space for 1 pound of worms (which is around 2 cups). Worms eat half their body weight in 24 hours, so if you have, say, 1 cup of worms, you can feed them 1/2 cup of food scraps a day. But don’t worry too much—they’ll self-regulate their population fairly quickly (unlike some other species we could mention).

When placing your worms in the container, dig down a short way into the paper layer to make them feel at home. Put your container in a cool place without a lot of sun, maybe under the sink. If you put it out on a balcony or fire escape, keep in mind that worms are sensitive to extremes of temperature. They prefer the 55-to-77-degree range. Wait a few days to let them settle in before you feed them.

Start composting

Now comes the fun part. You can feed your herd all sorts of different scraps—fruits, vegetables, coffee grounds. Avoid meats, fish, oils, dairy products, processed foods, chili pepers and citrus fruits, which are too acidic.

It helps to chop scraps into smaller pieces. And it’s best to feed your worms every few days in small amounts. Compost itself doesn’t actually smell but if you feed worms more than they can handle, you’ll end up with a pungent odor, which is the smell of rotting food that hasn’t been eaten yet. Feed slowly and you won’t have an odor and likely no fruit flies either.

The compost your worms produce is an earthy hummus. Keep adding scraps until you have more hummus than scraps, then let your bin sit until the remaining scraps have been eaten. Then scoop out your compost (not your worms) and give it to your plants. Keep some compost aside, mix it with new bedding (moist paper) and start the cycle over.

It takes about 12 weeks for worms to produce a bin’s worth of compost, give or take some time depending on the size of your bin.

Let us know how it goes. Or, if you’re an experienced composter already, send us your tips.

Our January grantees thank you for your support

Each month, CREDO members vote on how we distribute funding to three incredible organizations. Those small actions add up – with one click, you can help fund work that creates unlikely alliances to fight Big Oil, provides reproductive health care across the country and fights for justice for immigrants and communities of color. Just last month, over 85,000 CREDO members voted to distribute our funds to Bold, Planned Parenthood Affiliates and United We Dream Action.

These donations are made possible by CREDO customers and the revenue they generate by using our services. The distribution depends entirely on the votes of CREDO members like you. And for that, our January grant recipients thank you.

Bold
“CREDO members never back away from a fight that takes money, grit and commitment. Our unlikely alliance continues to stand up to Big Oil. Thank you for supporting our Bold work and believing in the power of we the people.” To learn more, visit boldalliance.org.

Planned Parenthood Affiliates
“Planned Parenthood has fought for more than 100 years to ensure all people have access to the health care they need and deserve. Our movement is stronger than ever, thanks to our supporters and long-standing partners like CREDO. We’re deeply grateful.” To learn more, visit plannedparenthood.org. Read More

Vote for three progressive causes this February

Every month, we ask CREDO members to help decide how to donate tens of thousands of dollars to three great organizations fighting for our progressive values. This February, you can help fund groups fighting to build and empower the progressive grassroots to take our democracy back from corporations, defending the environment and producing news about reproductive rights and justice by voting for Democracy for America, Friends of the Earth and Rewire. Learn more about each of these groups, and then cast your vote for one, two or all three by Feb. 28.

Democracy for America
Democracy for America (DFA) fights to build the progressive grassroots movement to take our democracy back from corporations and the wealthy few and aggressively combat growing income inequality.

CREDO funding would help DFA empower its members to take meaningful, progressive political action at the local and national level, and drive the conversation on progressive issues, in particular by putting our country’s income inequality crisis at the center of the political debate.

Friends of the Earth
Friends of the Earth (FOE) works to defend the environment and champion a more healthy and just world, in which all people live with dignity, health, and equity. Read More

Our Favorite Posters From the 2018 Women’s March

Our Favorite Signs from the 2018 Women’s March

Any doubts as to whether the momentum of last year’s historic Women’s March could be sustained were decidedly silenced the weekend of January 20, 2018.

Women across the country, and even across the globe, marched in protest against Trump and his dangerous, racist agenda of his authoritarian regime.

We’re inspired by the creative and powerful signs from the marches throughout the country.

Here are our personal favorite photos from the Women’s March in San Francisco.

6 Podcasts to Keep You Sane During the Trump Era

Top 6 Progressive Podcasts

6 Progressive Podcasts to Keep You Sane During the Trump Era

“May you live in interesting times,” goes the old curse. We are certainly doing that. There are billion-dollar corporations getting tax cuts, then announcing mass layoffs. There are weather events across the country verging on the apocalyptic. There are world leaders willing to risk war by means of a tweet. I don’t know about you but I’m hoping for more uneventful times—and the sooner the better. 

Until then, there are many interesting (in the best sense of the word!) podcasts that help us make sense of this odd era we live in. In fact, at least a thousand political podcasts—most progressive podcasts have launched since the 2016 election.

Here are six of our favorites.

1. Daily Kos Radio

Daily Kos, if you don’t already know, is one of the premier progressive websites—a news organization, community and activist hub with over 10 million unique visitors every month. Daily Kos Radio is its voice. Episodes cover news of the day and progressive politics with insight, dry wit, and sardonic humor from host David Waldman (contributing editor at Daily Kos) and a cast of friends and other experts. Their podcast is engaging and approachable, as they explore topics with the enthusiasm and affability of pals sharing a chat over coffee at the local cafe. Find it here.

2. Democracy Now!

You may be familiar with Democracy Now!, the excellent independent TV and radio news program hosted by journalists Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. This is that daily program in podcast form. It features global news headlines, in-depth interviews and long-form investigative reports free of advertising and government funding. Goodman and Gonzalez frequently discuss corporate and government abuses of power and often focus on ordinary people working to make change in these extraordinary times. The podcasts feature video for watching on-screen. Find it here.

3. Intercepted

“Could very well be the best political podcast available at the moment,” says Salon.com. Hosted by Jeremy Scahill—investigative reporter, war correspondent, and founding editor of pioneering “adversarial journalism” site the Intercept—the Intercepted podcast focuses each week on a particular news story. Lately, of course, it has zeroed in on Donald Trump and his rolling disaster but the show also features interviews with artists, thinkers, and newsmakers who challenge prevailing preconceptions. Episodes are ad-free and run an hour or more. Find it here.

4. Majority Report with Sam Seder

Seder is a comedian, writer, film director and actor who once appeared in Sex and the City, among other TV shows and movies. His podcast provides informed, thoughtful political analysis with a healthy dose of scathing humor and features insightful interviews with guests ranging from politicians to musicians. Daily 40-minute episodes are free but if you pay a small monthly membership, you get access to the “fun half,” an extra hour of content that includes more comedy, as well as banter with listeners on topics like, “Can social movements change policy or must we engage in bourgeois electoralism?” Find it here.

5. Pod Save America

It’s been called the new Daily Show and the best podcast for surviving the Trump era. It’s definitely the breakout hit of this genre. Four former aides to President Obama—Jon Favreau, Dan Pfeiffer, Jon Lovett, and Tommy Vietor—are joined by politicians, activists, journalists, and comedians for irreverent, entertaining, “no bullshit” conversations about politics. Notable guests have included Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, and Barack Obama, who did his last interview as president with Pod Save America. Episodes are twice weekly and run 40-80 minutes. Find it here.

6. Politically Re-Active

Sometimes you just have to laugh. Hosts W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu can help. Bell is a standup comedian and host of the CNN docu-series United Shades of America. Kondabolu is “one of the most exciting political comics in standup today,” says the New York Times. Together, they discuss living in the age of Trump—how to be active in the resistance and smile in the face of our national dumpster fire. The wide-ranging show has in the past hosted guests from Neil deGrasse Tyson to Jake Tapper. Weekly episodes run about an hour. Find it here.

Those are our six podcasts for riding out the Trump era, long may it not live. If you’re listening to others, let us know! We’re always on the lookout for informative and entertaining political podcasts.