Letter Box


Time for some new people with some new ideas

Editor of the Reformer:

The media have exaggerated the absurd technological failure of the ACA rollout, while ignoring any substantive questions about the law and it’s real impacts. The administration settled for trying to reduce the cost of signing people up, which may boost industry profits, but it’s just nibbling around the edges of the wrong problem, and it is high time we all just admitted it. The new law is not unworkable because the contractors can’t do Web Development 101; it’s unworkable because "healthcare costs" are really health industry profits, and you can’t make it cheaper without reducing either the care, or the profits. Which do you think is on the chopping block?

The real trouble is that we tend to put all the people who have caused the problems in charge of the solutions. Robbers seem to know all about how banks work, right? Set a thief to catch a thief? How many "economic down-turns" does it take before we figure out how dumb that is? Yet we’re all shocked as this Mad Tea Party Congress sways back and forth, teetering on the brink of cascading catastrophe.

Therefore, I propose that we have all these government agencies do what the Mad Hatter, the Doormouse and Alice did in the story: stand up, and shift one seat over. Fire all the nest-feathering web contractors. Give their job to the NSA domestic spying contractors, and direct them to connect these other dots. The Internet presents no challenge to them, as we all now know thanks to the courageous Mr. Snowden. Tell them to mine all that "MetaData" and figure out who has - or is about to have -- what diseases. Hook those people up with providers for treatment, counseling, daycare or whatever they will need. Then we might get a letter:

"Dear Mr. Smith, it has come to our attention that you are statistically likely to develop minor problems with your heart. We suggest you go to the hospital and begin preventive therapy. They will be expecting you. Good luck, and good health to you. National Security Administration. P.S., You really worry too much. Those headaches are caused by bad lighting and ergonomics. Get a new office chair and some full-spectrum lamps, you should feel much better right away. -- NSA"

Problem solved!

How to pay for all that? We already do, several times over. The (extremely downsized) health industry’s former employees can pitch in with the rest of us, moving folks to higher ground. The present system of just letting them get washed away by typhoons needs to be scrapped. There are lots of empty houses in need of families. Room for everybody.

Let’s get started.

Peter Barus,

Whitingham, Nov. 29

I remember when ...

Editor of the Reformer:

Deer season in Vermont brings to my mind one deer season in 1948. I had moved my family to a small farm about 3 miles from Jamaica near Rawsonville. A couple friends visited us during deer season for their first hunt in Vermont.

After the first day of hunting, one of the men came to our house dragging a live porcupine by one foot. He remarked that it was a very rare animal and he intended to take it back to Connecticut and give it to a zoo. He also told us he had shot a fox and where.

The owner of the car they came in said he wasn’t giving the porcupine a ride in his car so it was left to me. I put it in a temporary cage and released it the next day.

The same man told us he had shot a fox while hunting, and where. After they left, I went looking for the fox hoping to skin it and sell the pelt. I did find the fox, but the animal had been dead at least a month.

A true story of a novice hunter on his first hunt in Vermont.

Warren S. Patrick,

Townshend, Nov. 29

Comic was out of line

Editor of the Reformer:

The "Dustin" comic in the Saturday-Sunday, Nov. 30-Dec. 1, edition was really bad. It had a kid filling his squirt gun with antifreeze, a deadly poison, and squirting it into a man’s face. My brother’s dog drank water from a puddle that antifreeze had dripped into and the dog died and there was nothing the vet could do. I can’t imagine what it might have done to that man -- or the kid for that matter if he got it on himself or drank some.

Please print a retraction or explanation.

Mary Ellen Copeland,

Dummerston, Dec. 2


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