Top Of My Head

Thoughts on everything from Politics to Video Games

FCC and Net Neutrality

I sent the following to the FCC about Net Neutrality.  I encourage everyone to pass this around and encourage letters to the FCC to keep Net Neutrality going. Click here to contact the FCC.

Protecting the neutrality of the Internet is the biggest First Amendment issue facing us today. I am a blogger. Without Net Neutrality, Internet providers can make it difficult to find my site. They can charge me extra to guarantee a lane from a reader’s home into my site. I pay an Internet fee to my broadband provider. I pay another fee to have my site hosted. Without Net Neutrality, Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon could all demand that I pay them a fee to allow traffic through. This will end the ability for new ideas to be fostered. A large company could essentially pay to kill a news story, simply by out paying for traffic.

Further, from a consumer standpoint, killing Net Neutrality means that small Mom and Pop shops will not be able to compete with larger, well funded stores. Traffic can be slowed, delayed or even re-routed entirely because a small consumer store will not be able to pay extra fees. This kills competition and innovation.

Finally, Internet access is very much like phone access. By disabling Net Neutrality, you are allowing companies to decide where and who their customers see and talk to. Imagine if this was the phone company. AT&T cannot prevent their customer from calling a Verizon customer. In reverse, Verizon cannot block calls to their customers from AT&T customers. Without Net Neutrality, that’s exactly what these companies can and will do. They already skirt the issue by making their customers pay more for faster service – imagine what they will do when they can become the traffic cops of data and information.

Sincerely,

 

Bookmark and Share

Rand Paul: Reasonable?

There’s nothing that I love more than watching the Republican Party slowly implode.  If it was still the Party of Lincoln, Roosevelt, Eisenhower and even Nixon; this would be sad.  But, the GOP is the party of Paul and Cheney – two men who are feuding about the very idea that we should go back to Iraq.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney believes that we need to go back.  Of course he does.  Haliburton, the company that rewarded him with $20 million when he left them to be Vice President, made a lot of money on the Iraq War.  If we go back, they’re sure to make billions more.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who is usually not someone to whom I were refer to as reasonable, is against this idea.  For once, he and I are in agreement.  I don’t know his views, but in my view we shouldn’t have gone there in the first place.  The very idea of spending American dollars and lives to go back seems like too high of a price.

The only hope I have for this show of reason is that before we go back (and, I’m hoping we don’t go back) that we have the type of debate in this nation we should’ve had back in 2003.

Bookmark and Share

Starbucks, College, and Interest

I’ve seen the various articles regarding Starbucks announcement that they are going to fund their employees’ college tuition at Arizona State University.  I’ve seen the articles that are pro and con (more con than pro, I should mention).  I’m not sure how I feel, because I need to understand it better and to see what’s going on.  I was researching the subject when I came across an article on Market Watch called “Why Starbucks is right, and Obama is wrong, on Tuition“.   The article is interesting and we do need to figure out how to lower tuition costs, but the article, also, makes a wrong point about college loans and interest rates.

According to the article, the average college student leaves college with $29,400 of debt.  The argument is that a payment of $375.14 a month isn’t that much of an economic problem.  It’s merely a car payment.  See the quote below.

Numbers don’t lie. That $29,400 borrower would pay $375.14 a month for 10 years at Sallie Mae’s highest current rate of 9.17%. But if that loan commanded 0.01% interest, the payment would still be $245.12. The real average is somewhere in between and covered by the spread between a college grad’s income and a high-school grad’s. It’s a car payment, and not really the economic problem many posit.

Except the author is missing a bigger point, that $130.02 a month savings adds up to a difference of $1,560.24 over a 12 month period or $15,602.40 over a ten year life of the loan.  Perhaps, that’s not a lot of money for the author, but it is for most people.

Realistically, the average student isn’t going to pay an interest rate of less than 1% and President Obama and Senator Warren haven’t suggested one that low.  Their plan calls for an interest rate on a refinanced loan of 3.8%.  Even at that amount, the total cost of the loan works out to $35,384.90 – $9,631.54 less than $45,016.45. That’s half a car.

One more item I’d like to point out.  He mentions spending $150,000 on an education for a $42,000 position.  In his opinion, this is way too much money.  He doesn’t really say if this was tuition or the cost of a loan, but I’m assuming he means tuition.  Here’s where the 3.8% interest rate comes in handy.  At this interest rate, the total cost of the education works out to  $180,535.21 .  It makes his argument look even stronger, doesn’t it?

Except, the $42,000 isn’t going to hold as the yearly salary for the rest of the student’s working life.  They, if they’re any good, should get some raises over the next forty years (assuming they start at age 25 and work until age 65).  But, let’s say they don’t receive any raises over the next forty years.  The student will have earned $1,680,000.00 minus the education cost, that’s a profit of $1,499,464.79. That’s not such a bad return on investment.

(The author, also, set me off by knocking people who scored a 20 on their ACT. I scored a 19 – not only have I graduated from college, but I’m at the top of my field, proving that test scores mean diddly squat. But, I digress, as that is off my subject.)

My whole point is this:  tuition needs to be controlled in some manner.  However; distorting facts and not telling the whole story isn’t going to help the overall debate.

Bookmark and Share

Hilarious Star Wars Fan Video

It has light sabers.  It has a dramatic air chase.  It has adorable kittens?  Yes, yes it does and it is hilarious! Check it out!  And, then check out Final Kut’s Channel on YouTube.

Bookmark and Share

Eggs and Moms

I’m staring in the fridge and we have six eggs.  The sell by date (or is it use by date?) is April 17th.  I’m wondering, can I hard boil these eggs and everything will be okay?  Or, do I have to toss them, because they’re pass their time. (Hmm, like my eggs).  Anyway, I think if I could call Mom, she would know, but I can’t call Mom.  And, that makes me wonder if Moms are given some sort of gift regarding food.  My mom knew how long you could leave chicken in the freezer or how long to cook a ham steak per side.  She knew how to steam veggies perfectly or, she knew how to tell me how to steam veggies.

My mom would tell me how long to boil rice or keep leftovers.  How to reuse almost anything.  And, now, that link to knowledge is completely gone and I wonder, why didn’t I write any of this down?

I went into the bedroom to get dressed, missing Mom like crazy.  She had all the answers, even when I didn’t want to listen.  She knew what to do.   Do Moms get some sort of book to memorize so they can answer these kinds of questions for their kids?

Then, I remember, my wife is a Mom, maybe, she knows.  And, I ask her and she doesn’t have a clue.

Now, I’m wondering if this magically knowledge just occurred in women of my mother’s generation and the rest of us are out of luck.

And, I’m still wondering about those eggs…

Bookmark and Share

Best Comment Moderator

Ugh! I receive more spam comments than anything else. I moderate them all by hand. Somedays, it seems to take forever and I’m sure I’m missing some good ones. If you have a blog, what do you do about spam? And, what login system should I use?

Bookmark and Share

Watch “Amazing Danny and Nana!” on YouTube

My grandson and I clowning around at the Harry Houdini exhibit in Appleton.

Amazing Danny and Nana!: http://youtu.be/nChEQGQz7J8

Bookmark and Share

Republicans Sue the IRS

Below is the email I received from the Republicans this morning. I love the part where they refer to the IRS as Obama’s IRS. Who do they think they’re fooling? Oh, right, their ill-informed followers.

There isn’t an IRS scandal. They were doing their jobs. Apparently, the Republican National Committee doesn’t like the IRS to do its job.

Now, they want to waste our tax dollars to find nothing.

Oh, and it’s President Obama, Reince.

(Someone thought it would be funny to sign me up for Republican emails. I reply back and tell them how wrong they are, but I think I’ve found a better outlet. I’ll post them here.)

Julie,

We are suing the IRS.

Obama’s IRS targeted, harassed and discriminated against tea party and conservative groups because of their values and beliefs.

This is an outrage and an unprecedented abuse of power. Principled conservatives should not be the victims of an administration that allows the IRS to go after its perceived political enemies.

Obama’s bureaucrats tried to silence our voices and deny us our constitutional rights—but we won’t let them. That’s why we’ve been fighting to expose the truth.

We just filed a lawsuit against the IRS, demanding they turn over the documents we legally requested.

Over 226 days ago, we filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the IRS to uncover the truth, but they are illegally stonewalling our legal requests for information.

We’ve had enough of the Obama administration’s denials, delays and deceptions. And we won’t stop fighting until we get to the bottom of this unprecedented targeting scandal.

But to ensure our voice is heard, we need you to speak up. Join us, and thousands of conservatives, in the fight to hold them accountable.

We will not stand for this abuse and we will fight until we get the truth.

Add your name in support of our lawsuit against the IRS.

Thanks,

Reince

Bookmark and Share

Reading Challenge: Current Books

This is the list of books I’m currently reading in case you want to read along:

  • Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter – On the list
  • Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein – On the list
  • Dear Cary: My Life with Cary Grant by Dyan Cannon – On the list
  • Good Stuff by Jennifer Grant
  • The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot – On the list
  • The Biography by Jerry Hopkins
  • The Last Train to Memphis by Peter Guralnick
  • The Mental Floss History of the United States by Erik Sass, Will Pearson and Mangesh Hattikudur – On the list
  • Careless Love by Peter Guralnick

And, books I’ve finished since the challenge began:

  • Ghost of a Gamble by Sue Ann Jaffarian
  • Ghostly Paws by Leighann Dobbs
  • Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern – On the list
  • Dummy of a Ghost by Sue Ann Jaffarian
Bookmark and Share

Elizabeth Hasslebeck – Stupidity in Motion

According to new stories, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, late of The View and new to Fox & Friends, believes that there should be a video game registry, not a gun registry. Somebody get this woman a brain. Video games don’t kill people, people with guns kill people. We had mass shootings and serial killers long before there was even such a thing as a Video game.

What we do need is 100% background check on every sale – even when father is selling to his son.

We do need is parents being responsible and not buying video games that are not designed for children.

That’s what we need.

What we don’t need is Hasselbeck to muddy the waters of discussion with crap. We don’t need someone who’s claim to fame was being on Survivor. It’s not like she worked hard to get on The View, nor Fox & Friends.

Bookmark and Share
« Older posts

© 2014 Top Of My Head

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑