Letters to the Editor: Dec. 30, 2016

Inherit the dirt

Donald Trump promised the moon and is already delivering dirt clods.

He said he would threaten Carrier into keeping all its jobs in the United States. In the end, Carrier got a $7 million tax break to keep 850 jobs. Another 600 jobs are still being shipped to Mexico. Oh, well, que será, será.

There is no way Trump can do all he has promised. He said he would immediately repeal and replace Obamacare. But when asked what he would keep, he listed accepting pre-existing conditions, covering all preventive services and letting young adults stay on their parents’ insurance. You know, Obamacare.
What would he get rid of? The individual mandate. You know, the thing that pays the bills. Good luck on that.

He plans on a $1 trillion infrastructure program to goose the economy, plus big tax breaks. Oh, yeah, and a lot more spending on the military, already the biggest discretionary spending in the budget. All of this while reducing the deficit. Maybe he should throw in money for teaching arithmetic to presidential candidates.

How about bringing back all the coal jobs? Shouldn’t be too tough. Just remove all safety and environmental regulations, and then put a huge tax on natural gas so that coal becomes competitive again. After that, teach the natural gas workers how to shovel coal.

It will be interesting to see how Mr. Trump goes about trying to cash all the checks he has written. Reality can be merciless to those who deny it, but it can reward those who accept it and adapt. In the coming years, we may all get the chance to relearn the value of real facts, real news and real math if we are to build a real future for ourselves and our children.

Scott Gibson



True democracy

Was the intricate presidential election system a clever contraption counterbalancing large and small states?

Article II of the Constitution structured a process in which large states would predictably dominate. Each state would choose a number of electors equal to the number of congressional representatives. While no state would have less than three, the most populated states would have more electors.

If the elector system was designed to aid small states, it was already inadequate — especially after the 12th Amendment. There have been two points in history dealing with this process. The original 1787 version and the 1804 version (as we see it today).

People obviously forget at the time of both of these there weren’t 50 states in 1787 or 1804. Nor did big cities have the populations they have now. Nor is there any indication the framers knew how big we would grow and how a candidate can win by carrying only 11 states.

What do you think happens in states with large populations and more electoral votes? What happens when voters in a state vote 52 percent one way and 48 percent the other, but the electoral vote goes 100 percent to the higher number? Isn’t that discounting votes?

If you want the system to work, it should not be one state’s vote, but rather a comprehensive overall vote of the people. Only then can we have true democracy.

Troy R. Prouty



Go meatless in 2017

The coming New Year’s resolution should be pretty obvious, particularly when it comes to diet. Next year will go down in history as the year when plant-based meats have revolutionized the food industry.

A dozen start-ups are creating plant-based burgers and other meats that are more delicious, convenient, and healthy than the old-fashioned animal-based variety. They are backed by tech industry pioneers like Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Google principals Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel. Even animal meat behemoth Tyson Foods has announced a $150 million venture capital fund to explore and invest in these products.

The plant-based food revolution is going mainstream. Hundreds of school, college, hospital and corporate cafeterias have embraced Meatless Monday. Fast-food chains Chipotle, Panera, Subway and Taco Bell are rolling out plant-based dinner options.

And American consumers are responding, with fully one-third reducing their intake of animal-based meats, milks and other food products.

Let’s make this New Year’s resolution about exploring the rich variety of delicious, convenient, healthy plant-based dinners, lunch meats, cheeses, milk and ice cream available in every supermarket. The internet offers tons of recipes and transition tips.

Melvin Nysser



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