Bottle Bills and "Unicorn Farms"
The real victor in the failure of the passage of the Bottle Bill was not "monied special interests," but John Q. Taxpayer and his family, who will not be nickel and dimed to death every single time they buy a beverage that comes in a bottle or a can.
This tax was nothing more than another attempt by environmentalists and other "special interests" whose sole purpose in life is to find new ways to tax people. They try to justify it: "it will save the planet"; "it's for the children"; "it will preserve the unicorn farms!" They come up with all kinds of reasons why you should pay just one more little tiny tax—just one more on top of the multitude of taxes you are already paying.
It is worth noting that every time tax-happy "progressives" introduce an idea for a new regressive tax to hurt families, they never propose eliminating another to offset it. Sometimes, for the poor and those on fixed incomes, a mere 5 cents can mean the difference between being able to buy a beverage and having to go without. You would think "progressives" would care about that.
The last thing the people of Massachusetts (or any other state) need is yet another tax to pay.
Hinsdale, New Hampshire
Obamacare and "Unicorn Tears"
In regard to Stephanie Kraft's "Obamacare's Gift to Women," (Aug. 9): That's right, America—it's all FREE!
The doctors volunteer their time, the tongue depressors are carved by wood nymphs, and the penicillin is distilled from unicorn tears. Everything else is covered by the insurance companies "at no cost" since they wouldn't dream of passing on the expense to policyholders.
You people really live in a fantasy world, so this explanation is as good as any.
Vigilant About "Frankenfoods"
It's so nice to have a local news publication that allows for both sides of a controversial topic, with balanced and well-researched discretion. I was delighted to see the letter in last week's Advocate entitled "Why Don't GM-Crop Growers Strike Back?" by one "Valentine Dyall," challenging the previous week's cover story about Monsanto and the alleged dangers of Genetically Modified foods. More specifically, I was delighted by how the "Editor's Note" highlighted the highly questionable nature of the "devastating criticism" aimed at the work of Jeffrey Smith, to which Dyall referred in their letter.
I actually just heard Jeffrey Smith speak at the NOFA (Northeast Organic Farmer's Association) Summer Conference this past weekend, and even got to see an advanced screening of his soon-to-be-released film, Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives. There's not enough space here to lay out the arguments for why we should eliminate GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) from our diets, but there is an abundance of resources on the website of the Institute for Responsible Technology (responsibletechnology.org).
After hearing Jeffrey Smith speak and subsequently researching his work, I'm inspired to work with the Hilltown Non-GMO Working Group to show the film and host discussions over the coming months. As depressing as it is that chemical manufacturers and big agribusiness are potentially threatening the integrity of our food, our health, our fertility, and ultimately the genetic integrity of our entire planet, there is some very good news: we are reaching a tipping point of consumer awareness. And since there is no consumer benefit to GMOs, once a small margin of us become more vigilant about avoiding these "Frankenfoods," big agribusiness will get the message and pull it from the shelves, just like they've already done all over Europe.