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Saturday, May 26, 2018

An Open Letter to My Republican Congressman Who is Wrong on Net Neutrality

Dave Reichart (who by the way
is being considered for FBI director).
If he doesn't get that this is a leftist power
grab, do we really want him in charge
of the FBI? I know I don't.
I finally got a response to an email I sent to my Congressman almost a month ago. I wrote him to discourage him from trying to reinstate the Obama administration's so-called Net Neutrality Rules which the new FCC governors wisely rejected shortly after Trump reconstituted that governing body. To my horror, it turns out the Davester thinks giving power over the Internet to the FCC is a lovely idea. Here's the letter I wrote to my Congressman. If you don't want to see the Internet become Ma Bell by taking a huge step backward and becoming a public utility, it's time to speak up. Congress is being sold a bill of goods - a power grab disguised as "consumer protection". Here's my letter.

Congressman Dave Reichart
Message Subject:
I am disappointed in your stance on so-called "Net Neutrality"
Message Text:

Dear Congressman Reichart, 

I do hope you read this and change your mind. Net Neutrality as enacted under president Obama is little more than an excuse to shift power over the Internet to the FCC. It makes the Internet a public utility and gives the government regulatory power. The Internet is possibly the last bastion on Earth of a free market system. It's a step backward. Remember what happened when we deregulated the phone system. Costs came way down and innovation went way up. Perhaps you have forgotten the tyranny of Ma Bell before deregulation? 

This is not just about protecting consumers as it has been sold. It's about finding ways for the government to control the Internet. Facebook is role modeling how this can be done right now. At least with Facebook I can take my business elsewhere. I promise you if the FCC gets power over the Internet by declaring it a public utility, the economic engine that has been the Internet will wind up the way too many over-regulated US industries have wound up. 

Obama already shifted important controls over the Internet to globalist international bodies during his term. Lets not give future leftist governments power over perhaps the most important tool currently in freedom's arsenal. 

The Internet isn't broken. Ask yourself why our previous president was so anxious to "fix" it. The FCC leadership was right when it struck down unnecessary and inhibiting regulations and rejected giving itself regulatory power. They wisely saw censorship, taxation and suppression of dissenting voices in the future of the agency if we give it this power. 

The free market can take care of ISP's that slow customer speeds down arbitrarily. Consumers will take their business to other providers that don't. And ISP's depend on customer good will to stay in business. Please give trusting the free market a try. 


Thomas W. King

Friday, May 25, 2018

You Just Always Got a Story, Dontcha?

A friend of mine made the argument that it was better for government to run things because the government doesn't have to make a profit.
If they run out of money, he opined, they can just make more. And besides government does that sort of thing better than the private sector BECAUSE politicians and government workers don't have to worry about making a profit. That sounds like it makes sense, but it doesn't work out in the real world. My friend is dead wrong about that.

The government is very much a profit-making concern. The government makes a profit in two ways - directly through graft and indirectly through the accumulation of power. As anyone who has ever had dealings with government knows, power always, if it does not equal cash, it certainly opens the spigot to vast amounts of it. How do you think politicians come out of office many times wealthier than when they went in. It's certainly not the paycheck they get.  Whether one is writing the checks for the wild parties in Vegas or the taxpayer is writing them, the person with power enjoys the fruits of access to money with only the minor inconvenience of having to pretend he or she does not. 

I'd give examples, but in deference to a Democrat friend of mine  who actually reads all this junk, I won't this time. He recently complained that I always know somebody or know something about whatever he has to say and can tell all these stories and name names when I disagree with him. His implication was that I was making stuff up just to win the argument and I was being unfair.

Basically he called me a liar because he couldn't believe I had all those stories that exactly debunk his points about the joys of progressivism.  What he doesn't take into account is that I'm 64 years old. I spent my entire career dealing with mental health issues, working with government agencies, organizing bipartisan community stakeholder groups, working with actual government agencies, attending public comment meetings, testifying before or meeting with legislative bodies, congressmen, senators and state legislators. Heck I even helped put together one of those infamous Federal earmarks for my community once.

The thing is that my wife and I spent our careers as militant do-gooders.
We worked with a lot of people who were in a bad way and the government agencies that purportedly were there to "help" them. We worked with and met some amazing and incredibly brave and selfless people over the years. We also worked with some downright self-centered rotters too. It's surprising how many of those you bump into when you are dealing with social justice warriors. I have therefore collected a lot of stories over the years. What I saw in progressive government programs turned me into your basic conservative, so you can imagine that my stories kind of support my political persuasion.

When I get into it online over some political point, I do so because I know something pertinent to the argument. What I don't know I research. I've done a lot of research so I have lots of data at hand about lots of different topics and issues. I've written five books and have four more I'm in the process of publishing.

So when I comment, I try to limit my comments to things I know about or to which I can bring some sort of insight. I know it may seem unfair to a twenty-something recent poli-sci graduate out to "save the world" but there is some advantage in the "save the world" business to being an old geezer. You tend to know things about what sort of world we'll be saving. There was an old Saturday Night Live skit back in the early days in which Superman  (I think it was Dan Ackroyd) was raised in Germany. He wound up fighting for "Untruth, Injustice and the Nazi Way!" Not every would-be superman (or woman) fights for good things like truth and justice. I know a lot about that, especially when it comes to a discussion about the meaning of life, the universe and everything.

Which, by the way, I don't think the answer to that question is "42". The Guide got that wrong.

 - Tom King

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Stitching up the Chink

Guys are NOT raised to get all emotional where I grew up. We're Scots and Saxons, not limp-wristed Frenchies. We put on our emotional armor before we go out of a morning. But it's all a front. We scions of the warrior-poet races also know that writing poetry attracts women. That's why, at first, that we tuck a pen into our belts beside our sword.

The flip side of being a poet is that the act of creating poetry opens up that soft spot we've all been protecting with the armor (I personally think it's also the manly knees). It's like wearing a chain mail shirt and a kilt. Women are drawn to that perceived vulnerability in strong men. Good ones are drawn, but then so are the other sort and, it seems, they are drawn in larger numbers. Or perhaps the romantic poets are right and soulmates are indeed most rare.

Let's face it, most guys don't find the missing half of themselves we were created without. Otherwise the divorce rate would not be so high. I looked for years and could not find her. The train of not-hers I encountered managed to stab me enough times through that poetic chink in my armor, until I was, at last, driven to my knees. And while I was there I prayed.

And in His mercy God answered. She is my world. She fits in places where I did not know I had places. Forty-five years later, our bodies worn and wrinkled, I still see in her eyes that fiery Scots-Irish-Indian girl I married. The one who gave me purpose and the strength to do those manly things I was raised to do. Because of her I stitched the chink in my armor with her, tucked neatly inside where I can keep her safe. She is the gift by which I know that God is good.

Saturday, May 05, 2018

My Mom - Tough As They Come

Mom & Lilly checking out the raccoons
on the front porch....
Yesterday, my Mom spent the morning in the emergency room. Scared my sister half to death, because if Mom asks to go to the ER, something is terribly terribly wrong you can count on it. Mom has no trace of hypochondria about her. Actually, it's quite the opposite. But yesterday, she was having severe neck pain and she asked Gina, my sister to take her in. The doctor. as doctors do, asked her to rate her pain on a scale of one to ten. She told him "nine". Gina, took the doc aside and warned him that where Mom says her pain's a "9", most people would call it a 12 or 13. Mom is not one to complain.  I happened to make my weekly call to Mom yesterday afternoon and couldn't get an answer. After trying several times to get her on the phone, I called my sister Gina who lives next door. I got her at work and she told me about spending the morning in the ER.  Apparently, the doc says she's going to need surgery on the bones in her neck.

This neck damage may be an artifact of my Mom having fallen off a ladder some time ago. None of us found out about the fall till almost six months later. She didn't mention it. Anyway, I was worried about her and couldn't get hold of her. Gina and I though that since the doc gave her some pretty hefty pain medication, she was probably sleeping it off and couldn't hear the phone. Gina promised she'd check up on her and see if she was okay.

Gina called back later, laughing. "I found out why you couldn't get Mom on the phone," she chuckled.  "She was out mowing the lawn." 

That's my Mom.
She lives out beyond the edge of the mixed forest and farmland of Northeast Texas on the actual great plains on the edge of a bleak little town called Godley. Her house is paid for. It sits on top of natural gas deposits and when fuel prices are high she gets royalties from the nearby gas wells. So she's able to be pretty independent, a lifestyle that suits her. She doesn't drive anything heavier than a push mower, but she mows a healthy patch of thick prairie grass with that. Only my Mom would be out trying to mow the yard after spending the morning in the ER.

As my sister said, "She must be feelin' those meds."  Most people would welcome the relief from the pain and sit back and rest. Mom would, of course, see the relief from pain as an opportunity to get some yard and garden work done. Mom, by the way, is 82. You wouldn't know it though.

My Mom is a tough prairie bird. Raised on the Oklahoma prairies and on the North Eastern New Mexico high plains, she has always been a hardy little thing. She is the toughest, most tender-hearted lady I've ever known. Left with three kids to raise when my Dad decided to fly off to greener pastures, Mom did what she had to do to keep us going.

Mom and some of her great grandbabies.
As an ADD kid growing up, Mom had the good sense to let me run out a lot of that energy without a lot of hovering. We were outside in the summers a little after dawn and we'd come meandering in shortly after the lightning bugs came out and night began to fall. Mom organized neighborhood ball games. She took us to parks and museums, though it must have been a financial stretch for them. She let us run as hard as we wanted to. There was a method to her leadership style. By the time we finished blowing it out all day, we'd be too thoroughly worn out at night to give her a lot of trouble. She was very patient with us. It took a long, long, time for us to wind her up, but she was more than capable of getting our attention when attention-getting was required.

I didn't fully appreciate Mom all those years growing up. Frankly, all of us kind of neglected her. She never neglected us. She just gave us room to grow up. If you got in trouble, Mom came a runnin' and always did more than you asked for. After my own kids hit "that age", I rediscovered what an amazing woman she is.

And I need to call her now and see how her neck is doing, that is if I can get her on the phone. If she's still got any of those pain pills left, she may be out digging ditches or plowing the garden. It wouldn't surprise me!

© 2018 by Tom King