(April 6, 2009)
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The Canyon Country Zephyr --Planet Earth Edition -- is now Online
To the Editor:
The premiere cyberprint issue of The Canyon Country Zephyr...Planet Earth Edition is now Online at: canyoncountryzephyr.com. Access to all elements of the site is free. The Zephyr is supported solely by advertising and the generosity of readers who have chosen to join The Zephyr "Backbone."
After 20 years as one of the West's most respected and controversial independent newspapers, The Zephyr can be found exclusively on the World Wide Web. The Planet Earth Edition continues to focus on issues affecting the Colorado Plateau and the Rocky Mountain West, but takes a broader view of related global news and events as well. Whether you agree or disagree with us...your voice is welcome here. Join the conversation. Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Moab, Utah, USA - March 30, 2009
The demise of dead-trees publications and the survival of small online journals
To the Editor:
Soon after I discovered Swans Commentary, I was led to The Canyon Country Zephyr. There I found a kindred spirit in Jim Stiles. He has been a strong voice in the wilderness, and he has given voice to many who would otherwise not have found an outlet. For that we all owe him a debt of gratitude, and our support in his new venture.
I have deep roots in the Western states and I share Jim's lament concerning the continuing loss of the rural aspect of our national identity. I would hope that we might preserve a distinct difference. Cities will surely never be "relaxed," and so rural America should never be "hectic." Vive la différence, and let's keep them separate!
I must admit that without the Internet I would probably never have found Swans Commentary on a list of progressive magazines, and I would surely never have found out about Jim Stiles or The Zephyr, and so I think we cannot deny the positive impact of the Internet. The vast, and ever-increasing, amount of information available to anyone who can go on-line is certainly a great gift to mankind. Being fifty-seven years young I also share Gilles d'Aymery's concern regarding the eminent demise of "dead-trees publications." There is a real difference between pushing buttons and turning pages, and the loss of revenue will probably affect content. I would think, however, that the major publications around the world (a great list of which, by the way, can be found at Swans.com) could restrict Internet access to paying customers, and thereby attract advertising. They should be willing to do this to potentially reach a worldwide audience. Just a thought.
Concerning smaller publications, whether on-line or on paper, there are only two ways to go. You can either allow advertising, as The Zephyr does, or rely on contributions from readers. No one should ever pay to have their work published. If it can't be published for free, or Heaven forbid, for some small renumeration, it probably shouldn't be published at all! This decision must be left to the publishers, and I, for one, don't envy anyone that decision.
Good luck to all who seek freedom in this ever-changing world.
Laguna Beach, California, USA - March 24, 2009
The more things change...
To the Editor:
As I watched with interest the state of our economy and status throughout the world, my impression of Barack Obama was one of hope, change, hopefully a little independence of thought and deed. I was ready to extend time and patience for the transition of the president.
This is not working, as I concluded, with the team of economic advisors -- Summers, Geithner, Volker; keeping, but shuffling, the same military advisors, Gates, Petraeus, etc.; maintaining the same aggressive stance in the Middle East; giving the future of succeeding generations to thieves and con men; letting corporations have their way with our society. I have not seen any hope or change from this administration, just the same corporate-controlled domination of the populace, keeping control of the masses.
Now we are moving our military presence into Afghanistan, soon Pakistan, I was hoping to see something other than an embracing of the status quo, but then I remembered that our country elected a corporate candidate. I would hope that by this time the population would have awakened to the corporate shenanigans that have been so redundant throughout this country's history, but then I thought about the collective attention span of America.
The time is ripe for us to stop the political complicit behavior, to adopt the Ralph Nader suggestion of a 1/10 of one percent tax on all stock transactions, to stop the sacrificing of this country's future to the perpetrators of economic collapse.
We need to hold our congressional representatives accountable. None of this would have happened without their approval.
Blue Lake, California, USA - March 31, 2009
The fleecing of the masses
Hey Monsieur d'Aymery,
No one cares any longer. We are all rushing for cover, laughing at how the idiots in America have brought the world to its knees -- with the help of other idiots here and there. Have you noticed that these morons keep their ill-gotten gains and we keep paying the price? Even my latest lover does not enjoy my beautiful legs, being too preoccupied with his retirement plan. Life has become a dwindling bank account.
And what do you think of the Public-Private Investment Partnership, the new gimmick concocted in Washington to better loot the taxpayers and further enrich the wealthy few? Have Americans become such ignoramus imbeciles that they cannot figure out they are being fleeced?
Happy fool's day.
Allez, bon vent. Hang in there.
Paris, France - April 1, 2009
Health Care: Congress must extend Medicare to cover all citizens
To the Editor:
The system does NOT work.
Although Medicare has problems as a coverage, it is good and viable enough that the government should extend it to cover all Americans. In fact, there are more problems in the current private health care system than in the Medicare program, of which most problem issues pertain to the private industry that is covering the elderly under the Medicare program.
In the U.S., private health care is not working. It is estimated that 37 cents of every dollar goes to health care providers for cost and revenue purposes. Such a ratio implies a huge cost that is diverted by providers onto their health care customers. Private health care in the U.S. is NOT cost-effective and it is unaffordable for most citizens.
In addition, health care providers are permitted under the current laws to pick and choose healthier Americans as their clients and discard those it deems unhealthy, ill, and who have pre-existing conditions. It is not surprising that such a system does not and cannot cover all Americans adequately.
Medicare already covers elderly and disabled Americans. It would take a small action by Congress to extend Medicare to all Americans and it should opt do this ASAP.
Driftwood, Texas, USA - March 27, 2009
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