Net neutrality, protecting wildlife, political action committees
06/14/2014 11:00 AM
06/13/2014 10:33 PM
Money taints Web
Does anyone know how much money AT&T, Comcast and Verizon have given to congressional representatives to get rid of net neutrality? This is a good example of how we are being sold out by our representatives and senators.
This move against net neutrality is a threat to free speech and a hindrance to our ability to organize against big business and big government. It is a threat similar to voter-obstruction laws that Republicans promote.
In addition to attacks on net neutrality, Comcast wants to buy Time Warner. Less competition means less service, higher prices and more censorship on our freedom of speech.
Everyone should have the same access to free speech. Do not let them provide more and faster access to those with more money.
I want to encourage pet owners to keep animals indoors, especially during spring and summer. Now is when wildlife nurtures their young offspring.
Fledgling birds and young wildlife such as squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, opossum and other mammals are especially vulnerable in spring as they learn to fly, search for food and survive. According to one study, domestic cats kill about 2.4 billion birds and 12.3 billion mammals every year in the United States.
In addition to devastating wildlife, domestic animals are exposed to diseases, including rabies, when allowed to roam.
Let’s all do our part by keeping pets indoors.
It’s healthier for both wild and domestic animals.
Beholden in politics
“Beholding” used to be a nice word. It meant one friend returning a favor to another friend, but then the word got into politics.
Now it means I bought you.
I read that more than 150 very rich people contribute almost all of the political action committee money and that the average member of Congress spends 70 percent of his or her time hunting for money to pay for re-election. The Supreme Court gave one of its dubious 5-4 decisions to allow the PACs more free range in senatorial access.
Some PACs are even interviewing members of Congress to make sure they have “right thinking” before giving them money.
Term limits could help this problem.
Then I read that our senior senator from Kansas hasn’t lived in Kansas for a very long time but rather lives out East. I don’t know who’s beholden to whom.
It seems the Kansas Legislature is worried enough about its own silly laws that it decided the only way to stop opponents was to adjourn early. Then state lawmakers tried to blackmail the court system of Kansas by threatening to cut the courts’ funding if the judges didn’t let the legislators have their way.
It seems they wanted a raise for creating a mess.
Richard C. Lumpkin
Starbucks, Google fix
I have great admiration for Google. The company’s attitude and innovations have advanced our access to and enjoyment of the Internet and many things digital.
Recently, Google opposed the Federal Communications Commission proposal that could negatively affect the Internet for all of us. The FCC essentially wants to end net neutrality.
I applaud Google and the other firms who oppose the proposal. However, I have an issue with Google Fiber.
I was offered and was guaranteed by two representatives that Google Fiber did not make mistakes and I would get Google Fiber at my home. After paying my $10 and again being reassured that I would get Google Fiber, I signed up for a two-year contract.
Recently, Google Fiber sent me an email apology with a $20 Starbucks coupon. It canceled my contract.
I was given a technical reason, but I believe it was basically a cost issue.
Public service announcement: If you choose to cancel your Google Fiber contract, based upon my experience with the company, you can send it an email apology with a $20 Starbucks coupon.
That appears to be an acceptable way of terminating contracts for Google Fiber. Good luck with that.
Global warming facts
I think the debate on global warming is so important because it truly informs the world of the ignorance of people in the tea party and Republican Party.
Let’s start with the assumption that global warming is not occurring, even though scientists say it is.
The Earth’s glaciers are melting, and to explain this phenomenon to members of the tea party, it is caused by temperatures rising. This means non-glacier areas also have rising temperatures.
Even if global warning is not occurring, passing laws, rules and regulations would give us clean air and water, thus giving us a cleaner world for future generations. This is a winning scenario.
Now, let’s assume global warming is occurring. Passing laws, rules and regulations that give us clean air and water could save the planet. This also is a winning scenario.
Thus, we have a win-win situation.
However, I have discovered from talking to members of the tea party, especially in Kansas, that they refuse to accept the global-warming phenomena or the win-win scenario. Their only response is, “But that costs money.”
It will cost substantially more 50, 75 or 100 years from now.
CO2 sustains life
Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is the elixir of life.
It is one of the primary raw materials out of which plants construct their tissues, which in turn are the materials out of which animals construct theirs.
This knowledge is so well established, in fact, that we humans and all the rest of the biosphere are described in the most basic of terms as carbon-based life forms.
Unless the air’s carbon dioxide content continues at a certain level, humans will experience mass starvation and untold numbers of plants and animals will face extinction over the last half of the current century.
Social service abuse
There are way too many frauds in America today ripping off hard-working, honest people by abusing Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
These frauds are taking taxpayers’ money by receiving aid such as social rehabilitation services, food stamps, Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income.
This amounts to freeloaders abusing the system. Many freeloaders are paying only $50 to $100 a month in rent for subsidized units like those provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
In some cases, the system provides transportation for the abusers of taxpayers’ funds.
Many of the people abusing the system are failures and derelicts such as alcoholics, marijuana users, drug abusers, prescription-drug abusers, tobacco users and misfits of society who are not responsible enough to work and provide for themselves and their families.
The misfits don’t pay child support for the poor children they brought into this world, which is a pathetic shame.
I have seen people being irresponsible, selfish and uncaring. They lack self-control, discipline and courage.
I am thankful that most of the people in America are ambitious, hard-working and honest.
Terrance R. Hawbaker
Care for Alzheimer’s
My wife, Twila, an Alzheimer’s disease patient, is approaching the enviable period in life that is recognized as “living a full circle.”
She is receiving very special care, as do most Alzheimer’s patients, from doctors, nurses and nurse’s aides — and extra attention from hospice nurses.
When we were babies, we were lovingly cared for.
Hunger pangs were recognized. It was easy to recognize when we needed changing. And mothers’ joy happened during feedings and rocking and cuddling time.
And very special joy and care brought cooing sounds and smiles of contentment.
We are reminded that our bodies speak to us and call for special action and care in early life and throughout our time on Earth.
Our hope and prayer is that a cure for Alzheimer’s disease will soon be found.
Join the Discussion
The Kansas City Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.