Free Speech Letters, 9/20/11

The secret sauce
The oil industry is being asked for full disclosure of the chemicals to be used when companies apply for drilling permits, which include “fracking.” However, representatives are requesting that “proprietary ingredients” be exempted from this request in order for the individual company to maintain its competitive edge when using new procedures. You know, sort of like the “secret sauce” in the fast-food hamburger industry.
The restaurant doesn’t disclose its secret ingredients, and I don’t have to eat it. Fracking with undisclosed chemicals doesn’t give me that option. Therefore, the company that doesn’t disclose its fracking “ingredients” should accept the same decision — any citizen should have the right of refusal, thereby preventing the company from fracking, because we are all affected. Their right to profits from a “secret sauce” does not trump my right to health and safety.
Michal Lynch
Santa Barbara, California
[RE: “No Fracking Way” by David H. Landon, 8/2/11]
Gimme more
Ms. Stanley, I am a graduate student at Wright State University in the international and comparative politics program and until last week I had never read an issue of the Dayton City Paper. Upon reading it, I was absolutely delighted to see your “A sorry attempt at dominance” article on the right to birth control for all women. You shared so many incredible insights, many of which I’d never thought of before, and you argued your point of view so cogently. I especially loved your belief that women should not be treated as a means to an end. That is exactly what anti-abortion activists are doing, as are those who wish to prevent women from access to birth control. It’s been so disheartening witnessing how much popularity anti-abortionist and anti-poor activists are enjoying. Thank you so much for doing such a wonderful job articulating a feminist point of view. I really just wanted to express my support for what you are doing. I hope you write a regular column so that I can hear more from you.
Crystal Whetstone
Dayton, Ohio
[RE: “A sorry attempt at dominance” by Marianne Stanley, 9/6/11]

Fix it already
Mark, Nice article. You state, “If people paid their own medical bills, they would adopt preventative measures to keep their costs down.” I agree with you. In America, however, hospitals and medical providers send bills to the patient that are five to 10 times what they receive from Medicare or insurance companies. On May 9, Time Magazine published my letter stating, “Every hospital and medical provider should send the same bill to the insurance company or the government or the uninsured patient.” If I were a one-time client of your legal firm I would expect a larger bill than a steady customer, but I am sure it would not be five times as much. Until government mandates what I proposed, there is no way to correct the financial aspects of medical care.
Harvey R. Tuck
Dayton, Ohio
[RE: “There’s no such thing as free birth control” by Mark Luedtke, 9/6/11]

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