A broad problem

Comcast announced on Feb. 13 that it had proposed a multibillion-dollar purchase of Time Warner Cable. Even though there are legitimate concerns about the increasing monopolization of the cable industry, the CEO of Comcast said he "wouldn't bring the proposal forward if he couldn't get it passed Congress and the FCC."

That goes without saying, given the relationship between big money and congressional dysfunction that exists today.

While there may still be damage done to consumers through increasing the cost of cable and a decrease in access to programming, the real threat to consumers and our nation as a whole is the control that fewer gatekeepers will have over the quality of our broadband access.

Monopolies don't innovate if they don't have to.

In her book "Captive Audience," Susan Crawford points out that broadband access, like electricity, has gone from being a luxury to being a necessity to our nation's innovative future, and like electricity should be regulated as a utility.

While other countries can offer their populace gigabytes per second at 1/17 of the unit cost that we pay, the Federal Communications Commission and Congress have allowed continuing concentration of power over access to information to the detriment of our access to the world and the access of others to us.

World-class quality broadband access is no longer a luxury. It is critical to our nation's ability to remain a leader in innovation in the global economy.

Even though all that is true, given the historical willingness of our national legislature to allow in situ colonialism, I'm betting on Comcast.

Richard L. Beck

East Ashley Avenue

Folly Beach

Maximum harm

In 1875 Karl Marx produced the slogan "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need."

It is without a doubt the most destructive idea ever produced in any language and is a major part of the backbone of communism.

If you remember before Obama's first election, he explained it to Joe the plumber as "spreading the wealth around."

The entire idea of the minimum wage is counterproductive and counter to free market economics. A man owns a small store with two employees earning the minimum wage. The government comes along and forces a $2 increase. In order to maintain his already thin margin the owner has to fire one of his employees or raise prices.

The minimum wage was never meant to be a career wage, only a temporary one.

But the minimum wage is only a part of the whole. It is a subset of the destructive practice of wealth redistribution, and Obamacare is a main player in that game.

Lately, I've wondered if it was meant to fail in order to trigger another massive bailout. That is the name of the game with socialists.

If we are really concerned with low-income folks we need to return to what has always worked: free markets, lower taxes and regulations, sound money and spending restraint.

And these things benefit the entire country, not just one group. There is no need to reinvent the wheel.

Dick Whitfield

Salt Wind Way

Mount Pleasant

Good for Sanford

I would like to comment on the Feb. 2 article "Sanford acting like a governor?"

I think we should be grateful to have a representative like Mark Sanford who cares enough to provide the public detailed information on the two issues referenced in the article regarding the tree cutting on I-26 and the state-issued tax break on potential retailers.

I appreciate Rep. Sanford thoroughly explaining these issues, both pros and cons, in such a manner that we can consider our own position.

The fact that Rep. Sanford was governor when these issues were initially raised gives more reason for me to pay attention to what he wrote.

His writings on these issues are based on experience and knowledge obtained at the time when he had to deal with them.

I believe Rep. Sanford felt a responsibility to provide additional insight on both issues. I appreciate that, and commend him for fulfilling his role as our U.S. representative and as our former governor.

Barbara E. Boylston

Yeadon Avenue

Charleston

Raising awareness

I want to commend Kit Regnery and Alice Paylor on raising awareness of HPV in men. (Feb. 4). As a medical student at MUSC I have learned that there are millions of ways for one's health to suffer.

More importantly, medicine is not an exact science. Everyday we learn more and more about things we don't know, yet, we continue to strive to better the human condition by exploring this endless unknown.

On top of that, medicine must contend with ignorant social stigmas, such as only homosexuals can have HIV or only women can undergo menopause.

If the public wants to better our human condition we must break free from these man-made social constraints and accept the probability of the unusual.

Yes, HPV does more commonly cause disease symptoms in women, but it also causes disease in men, like Kit, that can manifest as possibly life threatening. There is no need to deny ourselves a healthier life due to our willful ignorance.

We must alter our paradigm to understand this is no real "norm" in medicine. We propagate ignorance in society by accepting social fallacies and hurt those (the next generation) by never giving them the chance to make the decision on their own.

What started out as media and society analyzing medical statistics with extreme bias may now cost lives. I applaud Kit and Alice for confronting this social stigma head on. I hope it saves many lives in the years to come.

Tejbir S. Dhindsa

Second-year medical student

Bee Street

Charleston

Conserve land

I read with interest all of the huffing and puffing about developments on James Island and Mount Pleasant.

Do you people not realize that to properly conserve land you have to do it smartly? By this I mean use as little land as possible for a project. Would you rather have these projects spread over thousands of acres? I think not.

Charleston is growing rapidly, and I would rather see it done smartly than have all the urban blight we now have. If you don't build a few stories higher then it is spread out over a larger area, thus we would lose more trees, forest and marshland.

I think Charleston and Mount Pleasant are doing a good job at urban planning. Yes, I know this isn't New York, but can you imagine how much land would be lost if New York and other major cities didn't have tall buildings? I don't think a four-story to 10-story building qualifies as a skyscraper,

I remember what Charleston use to look like and really feel it is looking much better. I only wish North Charleston would follow the lead so it, too, could look better. You will see a lot of urban sprawl there and it's not pretty.

John Miller

Antler Drive

North Charleston

Misplaced focus

Once again the media is bombarding us with news about actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who was found dead with a heroin needle in his arm. The three major networks and most online media have put out volumes about this man's movie roles, his Oscar nominations, his love for his children and what a great guy he was.

I guess I am supposed to care, but I don't. He wasn't hit by a drunk driver. He was found dead from what was reported as an overdose of an illegal drug.

I never saw this man act, so I will add him to the list with Lindsay Lohan, Justin Bieber and other people who get way too much coverage for bad and illegal behavior.

Maybe the media should cover what so many young disabled vets are going through to return to a normal life, and how hard they are working to become useful productive members of society again and provide for their families.

But I guess that's not newsworthy.

Sid Busch

Bridgecreek Drive

Goose Creek