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LETTERS for July 13 issue

By Staff | Jul 13, 2017

Special medal available to American veterans of WWII

Since 2014, the government of France has been awarding its highest medal, the Legion of Honor, to veterans that fought to liberate France during the Second World War.

Many veterans worldwide have now received this great honor, but many veterans may not even know it is available.

The Legion of Honor is a very significant official medal that is the highest award granted by the government of France. Living American veterans who saw service in France or directly supported the French liberation campaigns, fighting in one or more of the epic battles that include Normandy, Southern France, Northern France and the Ardennes, or fought on French soil in other battles, may be eligible.

There is no cost or fee involved. If you served in the United States Army, Navy or Air Force, and you feel that you may qualify for this award and would like to apply, an application form must be completed and submitted along with certain supporting documents to the Consulate of France within your area.

The form and detailed application information can be found on the website of the Consulate of France in San Francisco at sanfrancisco.consulfrance.org/spip.php?article2647.

For assistance, please contact Guy Black (e-mail korea19501953@yahoo .com) and use the subject “American Veteran,” or send me a letter addressed to Legion of Honor C/O 515, 95 Moody St., Port Moody, BC V3H 0H2, Canada.

Please do not send me your completed application. I am an unofficial volunteer, and my goal is to make sure as many American veterans as possible receive this important tribute in recognition of their service and sacrifice for the cause of peace and freedom.



Help me fight Trumpcare

Mitch McConnell is hoping that we’ll get complacent. That’s the only way that he can push through his abomination of a “healthcare” bill that would take insurance away from 22 million Americans and hurt Hawaii’s kupuna, keiki and working families. All so that the richest in our country can receive a massive tax break.

You marched, called and spoke out against Trumpcare, and your efforts succeeded in delaying a vote in the Senate until after the July 4th Congressional recess. But to beat Trumpcare for good, we can’t let up. We need to keep fighting.

The next few weeks will make the difference in stopping Trumpcare, and I need your help.

The night before I had surgery to treat my cancer, I was on the Senate floor highlighting how millions of Americans living with preexisting conditions would be harmed by the Republican bill. And you can bet that I’ll be back at work as soon as I can to continue fighting.



Senate health bill slashes Medicaid to cut millionaires’ taxes

Despite slight differences, the healthcare legislation under consideration in the Senate retains the same sickening goal of its House counterpart: cutting taxes for millionaires, billionaires and big corporations at the expense of working families. These bills are not about ensuring the health of working families; they are designed to increase the wealth of the lucky few.

Twenty-two million people would lose health coverage under the Senate plan, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The savings would pay for tax cuts of $570 billion, mostly for high-income individuals and big healthcare companies. Both the Senate and House bills are meant to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare), which extended health coverage to 20 million previously uninsured Americans.

The Senate bill slashes Medicaid by $772 billion over ten years. In 2026, 15 million fewer Americans would be covered – mostly people with disabilities, kids from working families and the elderly poor.

Medicaid is central to America’s healthcare system. It pays for half the nation’s births and nearly two-thirds of all nursing home care.

The Senate plan also punishes patients by reducing subsidies to help them buy private insurance. For example, the average monthly premium for a 64-year-old making $56,800 a year will go up by up to $13,700 compared to what they will pay under the Affordable Care Act. Such price hikes will put healthcare coverage out of reach for 7,000,000 people. Especially hard hit will be older Americans living in rural areas.

While those who are most vulnerable lose health coverage, the wealthy and corporations reap huge tax savings. Millionaires would get a tax break averaging $50,000 a year. Each of the 400 richest families in America would receive an average annual tax cut of $7 million.

Healthcare corporations share in the tax-cut spoils too. Insurers will get $145 billion over ten years, as well as a change in tax rules to let them overpay their top executives at taxpayer expense. Prescription drug companies will get $26 billion in tax cuts over the next decade.

Health insurers and pharmaceutical firms don’t need tax cuts. Profits of the eight biggest health insurance companies jumped by a third over a recent four-year span to more than $25 billion. Last year, the top ten drug companies had combined earnings of over $83 billion.

Drug company profits keep getting bigger because drug companies keep price gouging. Over the past ten years, drug prices have grown eight times faster than the general rate of inflation. Drug companies also stash hundreds of billions of dollars in profits offshore to dodge U.S. taxes.

Rich people never have to worry about losing their health care. They also benefit from a tax code that favors wealth over work: investment income in the form of dividends and capital gains is taxed at a lower rate than a lot of wage and salary income. The ACA addresses some of that injustice by placing a small tax on investment income for people making over $250,000 a year, using the revenue to expand health-care coverage to millions of lower-income Americans.

The Senate bill would reverse this advance, handing the wealthy a tax cut of over $170 billion over ten years while undermining healthcare for working families. The Senate plan would also weaken Medicare by repealing an extra payroll tax on employees making over a quarter- million dollars a year. This surtax has strengthened the Medicare hospital fund – eliminating it will shorten by two years its ability to pay full benefits. But the wealthy will get a $59 billion tax cut.

Senators face a fundamental choice. Will they back a plan that imperils the healthcare of millions of hard-working Americans to give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations? Or will they reject this assault not only on our nation’s healthcare but on its core values of fairness, compassion and common sense?

FRANK CLEMENTE, Americans for Tax Fairness


Missionaries helped take Hawaiians’ land

I am writing this letter regarding several past letters written by a woman named Michele Lincoln, who sounds like she is deeply involved with some kind of “Jesus Fix” and expects everyone else to just accept the fact that Jesus has all the answers to the problems of everyone in the Hawaiian Islands. I respect someone who has such a belief in the person named Jesus, but I sure hope that she doesn’t expect everyone to follow a bunch of nonsense.

I am a 70-year-old man with not much of an education, but I try and understand and respect everyone’s beliefs. That being said, wasn’t it the Missionaries and businesspeople that got the Hawaiians to “give” up all of their land?

I am not sure just who did what, but the bottom line is that the Missionaries, whether they instigated the land giveaway or were under control of the businesspeople who did the same, cheated – and I mean really cheated – the Hawaiians out of their land and then their rights to vote. If a person has no land, then he or she could not vote.

Now is that any way for a religious group, or for that matter anyone, to treat other people who were here way before the so-called people came in droves to steal everything they could get their hands on?

So, please stop preaching about Jesus let the Hawaiians be. They were better off without Christianity.



Can everyone coexist?

Coexist. You see bumper stickers and signs that say this word spelled out with creative lettering displaying the various groups that should coexist.

A Google definition of coexist is (of nations or peoples) exist in mutual tolerance despite different ideologies or interests.

A concern is that people that have this sticker/sign are woefully uninformed. You see, despite their belief that everyone in this world is good (and can’t we just all get along?), the reality is that there is a group that wants you to join them or die.

This group is not flexible on their goal. This group follows the teaching in a book that instructs on the steps to follow for world domination.

The coexist crowd needs to wake up to reality.