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Confidence in Confidential
(Re: “CU Confidential,” cover story, Aug. 27.) I want to commend David Accomazzo on a beautifully well-written, thoroughly researched story on Buffsecret, “CU Confidential.” I admit to bias — one of the site’s principals is my son — but I am also a journalist and appreciate the story from a professional perspective. You captured the essence of what they are trying to do and explained it better than I have seen it done yet. Great job and thanks!
Andrea Pyenson/via Internet
Works of love
(Re: “Works of love,” Arts and Culture, Aug. 20.) I value so very much what Ana Maria says in art and words about women. And I very much appreciated the article about her art of beauty, goodness and truth. And so I want to say a great thanks to you, Ana, and to you, Barbara. I hope I will be able to come and see her last idea and creation. I also hope and pray our Heavenly mom, Mary Most Holy, the most beautiful woman on earth and the most womanly and strong of all women, will always be our model.
Miriam Turri/via Internet
(Re: “In dollars we don’t trust,” Boulderganic, June 18.) I am in complete agreement with your endorsement of cashless exchanges as a method of simultaneously allowing the flow of goods and services and strengthening community in times when cash is in short supply. Exchanges between those with skills to offer and those with needs to be met should occur even if there are no dollars to change hands. I also agree that bartering is “often cumbersome.” You offer Boulder Change as “arguably” the most successful. I will take up that argument and posit that the SkillShare Network (www.skillsharenetwork.org) is actually the best game in town.
SkillShare is a not-for-profit organization with 89 active members and growing. Each member lists skills that they offer and requests for needs they wish to have met. The SkillShare database tracks offers as diverse as dance lessons to plumbing. There is no money exchanged — just TimeDollars.
Here’s how it works: Suppose you offer a skill such as knitting lessons. A member who wishes to learn to knit could contact you and the two of you would arrange a lesson. Let’s say the lesson was two hours. After the lesson you would go to the website and record the transaction. You would then have two TimeDollars. Your student would be debited two TimeDollars, and he would now know how to knit.
Then you realized that you needed a massage. You could contact somebody who offered massage and arrange that service. If the massage therapist charged you for one TimeDollar then you would have gotten a good massage and still have a TimeDollar of credit that you could use for somebody to watch your cat when you went on vacation. It’s all voluntary, and everything is agreed upon prior to the exchange. There should be no surprises during or after the transaction. And because there’s no cash exchanged members tend to treat each other more respectfully than they would a contractor they simply hired. Each month has dozens of hours of exchanges, and that’s how community is built.
Most of us agree with the maxim that there is dignity in all honest service. I have found that SkillShare is an opportunity to put that in practice. There is a remarkable wealth of useful offerings from folks who might feel like they have nothing to offer in the marketplace.
And yet their offers, such as shopping for somebody who is house bound, are accepted and appreciated by fellow members. This
elevates all of us.
Two aspects of the so-called health care so-called debate come into focus. One is the quintessential, supposedly conservative attendee at town-hall meetings, pointing fingers as he lectures us about the Constitution or decries future tax increases. He’s loaded, so of course he doesn’t like more taxes. The second is the flood of right-wing television ads calculated to get Joe the patient exorcised about the public sector in general and the national health in particular. If the weekly spend on but one of these blitz ads could be directed my way, perhaps my wife wouldn’t need to find continuing health insurance (she has a chronic “pre-existing” condition), or she could pay the $1,900 per month out-of-pocket her therapy requires. She’s not overweight, and she doesn’t smoke.
Too bad she’s eight years from MediCare. Maybe the bullies who show up at the town halls will work themselves up into a coronary; then we’d see how they like today’s American health “care” setup.
Sen. Edward Kennedy had a life filled with a commitment to public service. I haven’t agreed with him politically, but I do honor his memory. Do not cheapen his devotion to this country by guilting us into passing this health care legislation. We need to get this right. Passing this flawed legislation will do him great dishonor.
We need a fair system
(Re: “Want health care reform? Control costs first,” Danish Plan, Aug. 27.) Paul Danish’s article made me feel like I was reading an article drafted by the social psychologists working for the health care insurance industry. While specifically stating facts that can appeal to both sides of the political spectrum, he wrapped it all in a premise that is false and the one that is the mantra of those advocating the demise of health care reform.
The premise he wrongly wrapped his article in was that the American people are concerned with runaway costs, which leads him, on their behalf, to the amoral argument that universal coverage needs first be reconciled economically. The majority of the American people want a single-payer, universal health care system, regardless of the cost. Where does he get his misinformation? While I agree with his right to state an opinion, I cannot agree with his self-induced importance that leads him to believe he is somehow speaking for us all.
If the American people were concerned about deficits, then why did they re-elect George W. Bush and his administration that spent money like drunken sailors after being left a huge surplus by the Democrats? No, Mr. Danish spends many lines of his article regurgitating the misinformation. He should look into the states that have restricted the rights of patients to sue their doctors and try to explain why nothing has changed in the way of insurance premiums for doctors or insurance premiums for consumers. Could it be that the insurance industry just wants to make a lot of money? Why should we as taxpayers invest billions of dollars to move the health care insurance providers to a high tech solution that Mr. Danish advocates? Does Mr. Danish ask why the private companies cannot do this for themselves? Does Mr. Danish ask why 30 cents plus on the dollar goes to companies who provide nothing for health care? No, in fact Mr. Danish does not mention the health insurance industry at all, but rather would have our justice department abandon its investigation of government-sponsored torture to broaden their non-existing attack against the drug companies. I guess after the last administration one like Mr. Danish could believe that walking and chewing gum is an impossibility.
To lose 16,000 American lives a year to the lack of universal health insurance, which is the equivalent of five 9/11’s each year, is immoral and bad business. To saddle American companies with the unfair costs of health insurance while our competitors — Europe and Japan — not only have national health insurance, but also national education and pensions, will surely lead to our demise as an economic power. Whatever the cost of pursuing a rational upheaval of our health care system we will save money, jobs, economic security and peace of mind.
James Leotta/via Internet
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