U.S. must not
interfere in Iran
Trudy Rubin accurately claims that "the ongoing drama in Iran marks a turning point in Middle East history - precisely because the United States has chosen, so far, not to intervene" ("Let Iran decide for Iran," Sunday). President Obama has already made strong statements of support for freedom of speech in Iran and the right of its citizens to protest without fear of retaliation.
Kevin Ferris' call ("U.S. must declare support," Sunday) for more aggressive American support for the followers of Mir Hossein Mousavi would only exacerbate a volatile situation, demonstrate that America has once again assumed an arrogant role in Middle Eastern politics, and clearly undermine the revolutionary call for change coming from the streets of Tehran.
Peter C. McVeigh
In your Sunday editorial "Can't learn in bad schools," you state that "the school district still has a lot of work to do when kids return in the fall." In the case of the two first graders "humping" and "kissing" another student, what "work" would you have the school district do?
Your shifting of responsibility to the schools is reprehensible. Such deviant behavior at such a young age should be laid squarely at the feet of the parent(s). Yes, the schools can and should assist, but the families of these children need to understand that they have severe problems on their hands, problems for which as parents they are ultimately responsible.
is ready in Congress
Re: "Good health isn't cheap," yesterday:
Your editorial rightly notes that "the fairest means of paying for health-care reform would be a broad-based revenue source that doesn't produce winners and losers."
What you don't say is that legislation for just such a plan is "shovel-ready" - House Bill 676, Medicare for all, also known as "single payer." This plan would change our profit-driven health-care system to a government-funded, privately provided health-care system with everybody in, and nobody out.
The taxes needed would be far less that what citizens pay now in premiums, co-pays, and deductibles, and this new revenue source would more than cover the costs of caring adequately for everyone, regardless of the scare tactics being used by the health-care industry.
The United States spends more than any other country on health care. Yet, by virtually any standard - longevity, infant mortality, public satisfaction with the system - we do worse than dozens of others.
Second, although systems elsewhere vary, none of the countries with better outcomes has anything resembling a free market. Thus, it is not the reformers who seek to reinvent the wheel, but those who pretend - against decades of contrary evidence - that everyone can be covered without government mandates.
Third, unless we are willing to let seriously ill poor people go untreated and heart-attack victims begin shopping around for good hospitals, we cannot have a true free-market system, and don't now. By recognizing that health care already does not operate like other markets, we can use alternate methods to control costs and cover everyone without worrying about whether it is "socialist."
Re: "Senate bill gives FDA power over tobacco," June 12:
We now have legislation that contains so many questionable and even incorrect components that it is hard to imagine that Congress actually read it
The bill claims "light" cigarettes mislead people that they are safer, so it will ban the use of the word. But Congress itself gave the FDA the power to require such labels by lowering nicotine levels. That is exactly what manufacturers of "light" cigarettes have done for decades, with government permission.
The FDA wrongly claims that nicotine is harmful. The FDA, a drug administration, after all, acknowledges nothing about the medicinal characteristics of nicotine for stress relief, alertness, digestive relief, appetite suppression, and even symptomatic relief for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
Most stunning is that the FDA will not address or regulate the 450 or so registered tobacco pesticides that leave toxic and carcinogenic residues. Those substances, likely the most health-damaging parts of typical cigarettes, will be left to the Department of Agriculture - which has long approved them.