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Letters: Lie Detectors, No-Kill Shelters And Net Neutrality


Time now for feedback from your emails and comments. And we begin with a correction. In a report that we aired on New Year's Day, we made a mistake when we spoke about the position Netflix and Amazon have taken on net neutrality. Those companies do not support the idea that they and others should be able to pay more to get better Internet service. They are on record as opposing moves that could mean some Internet traffic is given priority. We regret the error.


We got the attention of Professor Leonard Saxe of Brandeis University when he heard our story about the prosecution of a man who teaches people how to beat polygraph tests. One expert in that piece said that though they're not perfect, polygraphs still have an accuracy rate above 80 percent. Well, Dr. Saxe wrote in to tell us he's researched the validity of so-called lie detectors, and he disagrees. He writes this. (Reading) Polygraph tests continue to be used not because they are accurate, but because of beliefs in their accuracy. In some subjects, this belief motivates them to volunteer information or to be extremely anxious when they provide false information. Unfortunately, the test can't determine what a subject believes.

SIEGEL: A recent pair of stories about the no-kill movement in animal shelters that ran here and on Morning Edition brought a lot of response. Some wrote to say that the series should have emphasized the success of spay and neuter programs more. But John O'Neill of Cedar, Michigan says no-kill shelters can cause a knock-on animal tragedy, carnage for songbirds. He writes this. (Reading) The no-kill policies add to this greatly in two ways. First, they often involve neutering cats and then releasing them into the wild. Secondly, shelters cannot cope with the number of unwanted cats and often refuse to take cats, increasing the number of feral cats. It is a disastrous policy that is hostile to wildlife.

BLOCK: Robert Young of Longmont, Colorado volunteers at a Denver area feline rescue and believes it is almost never acceptable to kill cats who are deemed unadoptable. Here's his take. (Reading) Even those who might seem unadoptable can become so. We had one cat who would, if allowed, attack the first cat it saw mercilessly. He explained, while the other cats roamed freely, this cat had to be contained. But, Mr. Young says, the cat was very sweet on humans. And after many months, the right family adopted the animal.

SIEGEL: We're always happy to hear from you to tell us if anything you hear on the program has you happy or howling. Go to npr.org and click on contact at the bottom of the home page. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.