Troubling words for democracy


To the Editor:

As one of five military veterans in my immediate family I felt obligated to read and consider “The Art of War” by legendary Chinese warrior Sun Tzu. This classic is highly esteemed by corporate executives as well as military strategists for its inherent wisdom.

Consider these words as they relate to our current national security: “In war, better to take a state intact than destroy it.” Could this be precisely Vladimir Putin’s strategy? Does Putin’s election interference follow this reasoning?

Why has Donald Trump refused/failed to acknowledge Russian interference in our 2016 election? Why have many Republicans backed this president in this historic failure? Do they not remember Nikita Khrushchev’s claim “to take America without firing a shot?”

Had Khrushchev read Master Sun’s book? Has Donald Trump?

Remember: “In war, better to take a state intact than destroy it.”

Troubling words for democracy.

Dave Waldrop,



Time to get smarter


To the Editor:

With respect to our current health care “system,” if it’s so smart to pay a third party a profit to pay bills on our behalf, maybe we should try it for other services?

Wouldn’t it be a great idea to hire a company to pay for our home or auto repairs, and we could pay them for the “convenience?” We could pay them a nice profit, and they could gradually raise that profit margin over the years for no apparent reason. Wouldn’t that be great?

Think about it. The insurance companies contribute no added value. They are not “providers” as sometimes called. The providers are the doctors and hospitals who provide our health care. Health insurance provides nothing except a transfer of money. It’s not the same thing as health care. We need to follow the lead of many businesses and corporations, which set money aside for unforeseen circumstances with respect to worker’s compensation, or liability. Our country is large enough with enough citizens to set up a common fund to pay for our health care out of our own pockets. We could decide what we should pay for, and not a third party whose decision on coverage is controlled by their profit margin and return to shareholders. What a novel idea.

Additionally, why is it smart to depend on where we work for our health care needs? As with the insurance companies, our employers provide no real service except as another money transfer. If asked, I’m sure a lot of employers would be glad to be rid of that responsibility. Just think of how many people could retire early, or start their own business if they didn’t have to depend on a certain job to be able to go to a doctor or hospital. We are so resistant to change, at our own peril. Just because it has “worked for years” doesn’t mean its purpose is still relevant. A frequent talking point against change is that dreaded word, “tax.” Remind yourself that an equally dreaded word, “premium,” would be eliminated, and the tax would be less than the premium.

Another “objection” that surfaces is “I don’t trust the government.” I think I can speak for about 300 million fellow Americans in saying we resent that. We are the government. The government is not an outside entity that just arrived on the scene to tell us what to do. We have to be more responsible for ourselves. Be engaged. Let’s get smarter together. We can accomplish so much more together. It all starts with a smart thought process.

Mark Ballinger,