Letters: Giving Pakistan aid, the Internet filter bubble

Letters in a computer with red mailbox flag

Kai Ryssdal: It's that day of the week, so let's cue the letters music. Oil's been much on our minds this past week. From the Senate vote not to eliminate tax breaks for oil companies, to drilling offshore, to gas at $4 a gallon. But commentator David Frum suggested another option: looking north to the oil sands of Alberta.

Sally Pick of Montague, Mass., says that's a half-good solution.

Sally Pick: According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, "Tar sands extraction in Canada destroys Boreal forests and wetlands, causes high levels of greenhouse gas pollution, and leaves behind immense lakes of toxic waste." While there is comfort in knowing that our oil consumption is supporting a friendly, neighboring democratic country, tar sands are hardly innocuous.

Strained relations with Pakistan have some in Congress questioning continuing financial support for that country. Commentator Nancy Birdsall figures aid to Pakistan is an investment in our own security.

Ginette Hughes of Key Largo, Fla., says we ought to take care of our own first.

Ginette Hughes: There are millions of young people here too, who are struggling with lack of education, lack of training and lack of jobs. Cuts in education are going to make it harder for our young people to compete in a global economy. I understand why we should be helping Pakistan and other foreign countries, but not at the price of undermining our own young people's future.

Finally, the Internet filter bubble. Eli Pariser's book of that name explains how Google and some other sites customize searches to give us what they think we want to see.

Bryce Larson wrote in from Chicago to say that Yahoo News just doesn't understand him.

Bryce Larson: Just because I like one story about Albert Pujols being underpaid, does not mean I also want to hear about LeBron James apologizing to Cleveland. I also must have once looked at a story about Miami, because now I get feeds to their local newspapers. I do not live anywhere near Miami, nor do I care if the fish will be biting this weekend. The site can lump stories together based on category, but it has failed to categorize my interests.

We can't pretend to know what you like and what you don't, so you'll have to tell us.

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