Local Letters to the Editor

The self-interest
character defect

To the Editor:
    The atmosphere on Mars is only 1 percent as thick as that of Earth. When we finish off our “air” here on Earth, our escape, an optional life, is an impossible move to empty dry Mars, where there is no likelihood of fossil fuels for energy, no air to breathe, no water to drink, no soil to plant. There, we may need to walk everywhere we go, while wearing a complete pressurized body suit whenever outdoors. Mars scenery, viewed from our recycled “Lander” as a home, is of an endless gravel pit, lacking any variety. The likelihood of getting lost while walking home in the dark from a drunken party will be high.

    When we must make that move, we should also take along the Atlantic Ocean, or some similar water resource, preferably salt free. Drinking, farming, gardening, lawns and sewering would be a necessity to furnish Mars with a humanitarian essential element, water, we might not last a week “without.” The tankerage expenses for transporting water there will not be cheap. (No swimming!)
    Here, our Exclusive Well-tanned Golfing Rich 1 Percent Corporation Clubbers, unconcerned, seemingly lacking half a brain, want to fill our atmosphere with CO2 and other toxics, frack our eggshell continents to pebbles, burn out the hearts of innocent rural towns, just so for today they can tool about in their private jets. Solar-powered trolley cars would be more thoughtful and democratic, but lack the romance and excitement of exclusivity.
    The euthanasia of the Rich 1 percent has been suggested as an alternative? But many of them might have unacknowledged secret heirs, just waiting to take over. Furthermore, other humans, not related, may carry the same excessive self-interest character defect. It is most likely a trait which can never be totally eradicated among the ripoff-licans.
    When was the very last time that parents finally ceased advising their children “don’t be selfish”? Now it seems selfishness will kill everybody!
    Sorry, God. Nice try there with humanity. Was this the only place?

Charles MacArthur


Time to appreciate Medicare

To the Editor:
    This month Medicare turns 48. Since Medicare was signed into law July 30, 1965 by President Johnson, the program has helped millions of people age 65-plus as well as many younger Americans with disabilities get the health care coverage they need. Prior to the creation of Medicare, only half of the older adults in the United States had health insurance because coverage was often unavailable or unaffordable.
    While you may understand the benefits of Medicare, did you know that it took almost two decades for Medicare to be signed into law? President Truman tried on three occasions to implement a national health insurance program without success. In 1961, a task force convened by President John F. Kennedy recommended the creation of a national health insurance program specifically for those over 65.
    President Kennedy gave a televised speech about the need for Medicare in May of 1962. President Johnson continued the call in 1964 urging Congress to create Medicare. Finally, in 1965, Congress passed legislation creating the Medicare program.
    When Medicare coverage began, more than 19 million Americans 65-plus enrolled in the program. Today, nearly 50 million Americans depend on Medicare for their health insurance coverage. With increasing life expectancies and more people turning 65 every day, the number of people in Medicare is expected to double between the years 2000 and 2030.
    Because this program is vital to so many, it’s important we take the time to appreciate Medicare’s journey. Equally important, we need to make sure that we do all we can to ensure the program remains strong for current and future generations. You can share your opinions at earnedasay.org.

Marion Pawlek
Kittery Point
AARP Maine
Executive Council



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