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Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018 12:19 am

Letters to the Editor 1/18/18

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis
DOWN ON DAVIS


I recently saw U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis touting the tax reform bill passed by Congress. This “accomplishment” was so important that he spent most of his time in his district doing media interviews. While he was here, did he meet with any of his constituents? Did he hold any town halls? Did he make any attempt to reach out to his constituents before voting to impact the way we pay taxes? The answer to all of these questions is a resounding NO.

I would have liked to ask him questions about the tax reform bill. I would have asked him to explain how he could vote for a tax bill that will negatively impact nonprofits, school districts and individual taxpayers. I would have asked him to explain why the bill only temporarily cuts individuals’ taxes while providing permanent cuts to the wealthy and to corporations. I would have asked him to explain why the bill includes a provision to repeal the individual mandate that requires everyone to have health insurance, an act that will surely lead to less coverage and higher premiums.

In typical Rodney Davis fashion though, the congressman jetted back to Washington without so much as an opportunity to meet with his constituents. Perhaps he’s afraid of questions like mine. Perhaps we need to elect someone who won’t be so afraid to speak with us and vote for us, his constituents.

Sandra Dunkel
Springfield



YESTERDAY AND RUSSIA TODAY

My grandparents were adults when television first became widely available. Prior to that, their main sources of information were print, radio, cinema, churches and schools. Back then there was a very narrow set of values and expectations for everyone.

I’m in my 50s. My parents witnessed the tradition-breaking media of the 1960s and ’70s. My grandparents were basically terrified by this time and immersed themselves in Lawrence Welk, televangelists and their own church.

Through the past three generations, information saturation has muddied the waters of cultural values and expectations. People my age and slightly older seem to be confused about what it means to be an adult and what it means to be “old.”

Now, the generational effects of the internet are beginning to congeal. Those few who conquered ownership of the mass media face a generation rebelling with the aid of limitless access to information. Younger generations read between the lines, fact-check, and ignore abject capitalist marketing strategies. So the owners of mass media try to clamp down on information distribution.

The Federal Communications Commission repealed net neutrality rules, allowing internet service providers to take control of the content on their systems. Twitter, Facebook and Google enacted algorithms that control the frequency of certain posts, with financial, political and religious biases. The government is cracking down on foreign news media sources like Russia Today, making them register as foreign agents, which would put a strike on the resume of any citizen who works for them.

Russia Today was recently the focus of a “60 Minutes” episode. Russia Today was accused of sewing discord, inciting violent protests, and being highly critical of Hillary Clinton, but they are only guilty of reporting facts the mainstream media refuses to report: Poverty, racism, sexism, political corruption, crony capitalism, industrial pollution, and institutionalized violence hoarding.and slavery, happening right here in the good ol’ USA.

Fred Slocombe
Springfield
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