Letters to the Editor for June 29, 2011

By Baker City Herald Readers June 29, 2011 10:08 pm

People can make the world better
To the editor:
Seems like almost everywhere you go folks keep saying all the things that are wrong with the world today. Well, as I see it what’s wrong are the people that live in it, always ready to blame someone else for the problems.
When was the last time you did a nice thing for someone, for nothing, not expecting anything in return. Like giving somebody 20 bucks and not wanting to be paid back, just because you’d know how it’s never happened to you either.
You just can’t know how good things can feel til you really experience them; it can change your entire day as well as the receiver of your kindness.
The only way the world can get better is when we get better and think of something other than how much you’ve got in the bank, or what a fancy rig you drive or the house you have that’s big enough for three families to live in.
If something like this really ever caught on then maybe we really would have a nice day, instead of everyone just saying go have one.
Our life is a miracle. This planet is incredible, and all we are able to do is a gift. Isn’t it time to give back to others and take better care of this Earth. Because if you don’t, who will?
For all we know, today could be our last.... maybe we should live every day like it is.
Jim Smeraglio
Baker County

Visitor would like camera, cap back
To the editor:
On the longest (21 June) and the most beautiful day in Baker City this year my wife and I was enjoying the evening on a bench in Old Post Office Square.
We left this nice sunny spot at 8:15 p.m. and forgot my Nikon D5000 camera and my red cap, with the brand “Life is good,” hanging on the bench. Half an hour or so when I rush back the camera and the cap was gone, and with them all my nice pictures from our weeklong travel in Idaho, Yellowstone, Montana, Washington and Oregon. My life will be much better if you (the honest finder) turn it in to the Baker police or give me a call on the cell number taped under the camera. I will appreciate and reward your support.
Odd Berner Malme
Norwegian visitor in Baker City

So what’s that trolley costing?
To the editor:
In regards to the plans to build shelters for the trolley: This pending expenditure (regardless of the source of funds) calls for a public accounting of the service. I would like to see evidence of the number of riders per week as well as documentation of the cost for fuel, insurance, maintenance and driver salaries.
I see the trolley multiple times a day and always make a point of looking for passengers — the trolley is virtually always empty. If the cost per ride were calculated and publicized, I’m certain the shelter expense would prove to be good money thrown after bad. These are the kinds of decisions that keep the national debt calculator spinning at a sickening rate — have a lot for yourself at www.usdebtclock.org.
Fawn Robertson
Baker City

Facts don’t back single-payer critic
To the editor:
Pete Sundin is a critic of single-payer health care systems. To show how flawed such systems are, Sundin cites two anecdotal stories of Canadians coming to the U.S. for health care they could not receive at home in a timely manner. Sundin says the two examples are “far from unique,” implying that this is common. Yet Sundin cites not one study backing up his claim.
Truth is that polls show Canadians are 85 percent satisfied with their single-payer health care system. According to a Harris Poll of all industrial nations, Americans are the least satisfied with their health care.
Another study shows that, “Ongoing misinformation perpetuates myths about long wait times for care, availability of high-tech care, and the amount and quality of medical research done. There are very small differences between the U.S. and Canada in these three areas.”
Sundin says that our single-payer Medicare “will become bankrupt in 10 years or so,” while ignoring the fact that the U.S. private health care system is twice as expensive as single-payer systems such as Canada’s.
Sundin also ignores the fact that Canadians are healthier than Americans. For example, the infant mortality rate for Canadians is less than 5 per 1,000, in the U.S. it’s 7 per 1,000, about 65 percent higher. And Canadians live longer than Americans. Life expectancy in Canada is almost 80 and in the U.S. it’s 77.
The fact that the U.S. is alone among industrialized nations in not having a single-payer health care system with universal coverage speaks volumes about the power that our private health care corporations have over Congress.
Sundin can rely on anecdotes all he wants. The facts don’t back him up.
Gary Dielman
Baker City