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Letters: What Do You Think?

This Week: Are We Stuck?; Don’t Overturn Citizens United; Food Waste Needs Special Processing; Food Waste Needs Special Processing; Docs Keep Fans Waiting and a correction.

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Are We Stuck?

If China can modernize by being more capitalistic, we can modernize by being more socialistic. I love the “Democracy at work” movement. We all like democracy, right? Why not give subsidies to worker-owned and -run businesses? How about the mix of capitalism with socialistic programs, as in the Nordic countries that are doing well economically?

McCarthyism forced socialistic thought off the list of options. I’m not talking about government or union bosses being in control. I’m talking about figuring out how employees, not just top brass, can reap benefits from hard work. We need to figure out a new structure to get rid of corporate and banker control and political corruption.

What is up with the Supreme Court? Corporations are not people! The forefathers, all rich white men, many of whom owned slaves, designed our republic as a test that should be adjusted to meet changes. We need to make some changes now! It’s not the 1960s anymore. The country has been on a downhill [course] since we landed on the moon.

As Ted Rall mentioned in the Between the Lines article (“Why Is the U.S. Stuck?”, February 26, 2013), the last big public works project was the interstate highway system built in the ‘50s. Let’s cut the military budget and put those laborers and factories into business fixing infrastructure and building affordable handicapped-accessible housing. Let’s put people to work reading to children and to the elderly.

The middle class has been working more hours and falling behind. We are not such a happy people here in the U.S., with our high divorce rates, gun violence, obesity, and everyone on anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medications. No wonder; financial hardship is stressful. Most of the poor are destined to be stuck in minimum wage and part-time jobs, or have given up. Prisons are full of minorities who won’t ever have a chance to get a job.

When will the citizens wake up? We need some mass demonstrations. Don’t you think we as a country can do better? I welcome more parties, green, socialist, labor, Ron Paul, whoever, because the Democrats and Republicans are not getting anything done (although I do support a few like Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, who is a socialist, and Kirsten Gillibrand).

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Don’t Overturn Citizens United

So we need to restrict freedom of speech to protect freedom of speech [“Obama Should Step Up,” March 7, 2013]? We need to form a special interest group to fight special interests groups? What a conundrum.

No amount of money negates this one simple fact: One person one vote. All the money in the world doesn’t change that.

Actively participating voting negates all the money in the world. No need to restrict people’s rights because they come together in a group, be they unions, shareholders, enviromental activists or gun owners. When people come together to amplify their voice, no need to restrict that. Don’t like what they have to say or promote? Vote differently, educate others... But, please, no further inroads on freedom of speech.

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Food Waste Needs Special Processing

It’s important to note that commercial and residential organics from our region won’t be accepted at Barway Farm (Deerfield) or Long View Farm (Hadley) or the other three farms in Western Massachusetts which will have anaerobic digesters in the near future [“The Garbage Guzzler,” March 7, 2013]. Why? Source-separated organics from households, food establishments, institutions and so on have to be decontaminated and processed into a slurry to be used as feedstocks for anaerobic digestion. Currently, there are no plans to build a processing facility in the Pioneer Valley. Until processing capacity is available, these farms will not be able to accept residential or commercial food waste from Western Massachusetts, with the exception of a few large food processors.

 

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Throat Singer: Good Ink

This [“Sounds of the High Arctic,” March 7, 2013] is one of the more insightful and interesting articles that I’ve read on Tanya Tagaq. Thanks, James, for the time and thought that went into it.

Docs Keep Fans Waiting

We had to move the Docs Who Rock concert [Nightcrawler, March 7, 2013] to a later date due to a scheduling conflict. The new concert date is Friday, June 21, 2013. Tickets will go on sale in May.

Correction: The story “Visual Grammar” (February 28, 2013) referred to photographer Tom Young’s “daughter’s cancer diagnosis.” It should have read “his wife’s cancer diagnosis.”

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