Letters

Letters 12-14-2014

Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages

Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.

A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.

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Michigan should update telecom policies

Gail F. Torreano - November 3rd, 2005
The Michigan Telecommunications Act, known at the MTA, is the main law governing the telecommunications industry in our state. The Legislature is currently reviewing bills to modernize the MTA because the law sunsets at the end of this year.
The MTA was last updated in 2000 and dramatic changes have occurred as new technologies, such as wireless and voice over the Internet, have emerged. Lawmakers have an opportunity to put consumers in the driver’s seat by removing unnecessary regulations. Consumers win when they are allowed to choose the services they want based on their individual needs and the best providers.
Today, Michigan has one of the most competitive communications industries in the nation and consumers are using these new technologies to meet their communication needs. As a result of this demand, there is competition in every communications sector including long-distance, local voice, wireless and broadband. Experience has shown that a marketplace responsive to consumer choice is the most effective way to ensure competitive prices and superior quality. Legislators should keep this fact in mind when creating a new MTA.
Burdensome regulatory barriers need to be removed from the existing MTA to ensure competition continues to thrive and technological innovations flourish. Removing unnecessary obstacles to doing business will lead to financial investment and job creation in Michigan. Businesses will spend money in the state if there are polices in place that permit consumers, not regulators, to drive the marketplace. Increased economic investment will lead to the creation of jobs as businesses expand their services to meet consumer demand. This is a much needed remedy for a state that continues to struggle with the highest unemployment rate in the country.
In addition to fostering competition and innovation, it is important for legislators to carry over consumer protections from the existing MTA into a new law. Measures such as prohibiting slamming and cramming and ensuring all citizens, regardless of income, have access to basic phone services are critical.
Legislators should seize the opportunity they have before them to create an environment where consumers win. Now is the time to move Michigan’s telecommunications policies into the 21st century.

 
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