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News of the day

November 17, 2010 - Blaine Hyska
Comments on news of the day:

Verizon and AT&T Inc. — the two largest land line telephone companies — and are requesting exemptions from state requirements to distribute residential phone books in paper form. They argue that more people are using the internet to look up phone numbers. New York, Florida and Pennsylvania have already approved Verizon's request to quit distributing residential white pages. What a deal for the phone companies. They save money on the printing and distribution of phone books and — surprise, surprise — they also offer internet service, for a nice profit. Who pays? Look in the mirror.

Albion College says it has taken "appropriate action" after students burned a gay pride flag at the school. School President Donna Randall said investigators determined that the students found the flag in a trash can and decided to burn it. Randall says "appropriate action has been taken to address the conduct of the students involved." I wonder what the school would have done if it had been an American flag. Probably give all the students A’s, and declare they were just practicing their free speech rights.

The EPA is set to regulate greenhouse gases next year for the first time, after the Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that it could treat heat-trapping gases such as carbon dioxide as pollutants. The result would be devastating. The EPA is as gentle as a chainsaw. EPA rules would likely include a carbon tax on fossil fuels, a cap-and-trade system, or both. In the final analysis, that would mean skyrocketing electric rates, increased gasolines prices and emission regulations on every gas or diesel motor — from semi trucks to diesel locomotives to lawnmowers. Americans would use less by virtue of poverty: they couldn’t afford it. (How many of you have already turned down your heat, and shut off your lights because of rising utility bills?) This government’s passion to turn America back to the 1800s would finally be a success.

OK, you laughed when I suggested months ago that vehicle helmet laws could become a reality. The National Transportation Safety Board wants states to require all motorcycle riders to wear helmets. The board will surely link some kind of financial penalty (don’t call it a tax) on states that do not require helmets, essentially forcing these rogue states to comply. Would it be a stretch to imagine how many more lives would be saved if everyone in every motor vehicle wore a helmet? Stay tuned.



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