Am I missing something in all this Smart Meter brouhaha?

When I got my notice from Central Maine Power, I did some research to see whether to opt out, having recalled stories in the news about possible health dangers.

I found studies requested by public utilities commissions here, in California and other places where the meters are being used, and these studies, done by unbiased scientific organizations, found no health threats. The only evidence to the contrary were a couple of reports that were purely speculative and not based in scientific method. Is garbage science causing all this fearmongering?

I also learned that some people oppose the meters because they believe radio frequencies (RFs) and electrical waves (EMFs) make them sick, so I researched whether I should be concerned about that.

There were lots of double-blind medical studies by very reputable organizations, and here was the real shocker: In every one of the studies, the people who claimed electrosensitivity could not tell when they were actually exposed to RFs or EMFs versus fake signals.

In all of these studies, the scientists concluded that the adverse symptoms experienced by electrosensitive individuals were due to their belief of harm, rather than to actual exposure.

So before you let a few rabid fearmongers scare you into paying CMP to keep your old meter, check the facts.

Laura Simmons

Brunswick

Reader links drug plague to chemicals in food chain

“There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” These words by Henry David Thoreau are as valid today as when he first wrote them.

Drug abuses stem from chemicals in the food chain. The culprit is agribusiness. Its mass-produced foods are grown with the use of chemicals — artificial fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, hormone-laced feeds, etc. How easily the residues are ingested into the warm, moist tissues of the stomach. Learn of the research of Sir Albert Howard, the father of organic farming.

For those of us in an older generation, the increase in the craving for drugs in our successors is apparent. We, for the most part, were nourished from the kitchen gardens of our immigrant parents and grandparents, a time when families were intact with a father’s support and a mother’s guidance.

Like Prohibition of the 1920s, illegal drugs are a haven for the criminal element. From growers to gun-slinging providers, what a wonderful cash crop for them. It’s even free of taxes. The downside is the victim — addiction, loss of productivity, driven to theft, broken health and broken family ties.

Thus, children, now that you may understand the source of the problem, what can you do about it?

First, illegal drugs must be made legal to shed light on the scope of the problem, as was the case when Prohibition was finally repealed. This will quell much of the violence and make law enforcement more effective. Taxes collected will be a welcome turning point.

Secondly, public opinion must pressure the Food and Drug Administration and the American Medical Association to investigate the cumulative effects of chemicals in the food chain. The FDA has the responsibility and the AMA has access to laboratories throughout the world.

There is a need to document the link between chemicals in the food chain and drug abuses. Custom and vested interests will make this an enormous undertaking.

We Americans have a way of mulling through a problem. It is a consequence of the divided authority of a free nation. I am confident, however, that the future will see a generation of young men and women in better health being free of the present drug plague.

Russell Vesecky

Harmony

Walter Reed served proudly despite expose on treatment

What a shame that closing a great military hospital (the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.) had to come so close on the heels of the big expose on how our troops were being treated there. It kind of negates all the good that was done there.

Having spent some time in military hospitals, I must say it was good news to hear that the new wards will be at the Bethesda hospital, which for some was a godsend years ago — as a buddy Marine will attest to, as will any Navy veteran and corpsman. Now the Army wounded will be just as well cared for as they were at Walter Reed.

I always wondered why two hospitals would have to be segregated by branch of military. Military is military. We all bleed the same, but thank God both hospitals took care of us and of course the politicians, who never served battlewise unless you include their fights. (Of course, there were veterans who became politicians, but they were veterans first.)

I would like to mention two people I have spoken to who brought this country’s war with Japan to its conclusion: retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Paul Tibbetts and retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Charles W. Sweeney. To youngsters, that was the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Frank Slason

Somerville

Summer break for Congress comes at nation’s expense

We just lost $1 billion in taxes so Congress could take a vacation. Conservatives? Not really. They are all liberal and just plain stupid.

The U.S. House was fighting over Federal Aviation Administration funding as members left for summer vacation, with no temporary bill to save $1 billion.

Not only did this put airport workers on construction projects out of work, but it made it impossible for the FAA to collect fees — while our wonderful Congress is on a nice paid summer vacation.

All of Congress needs to be replaced in 2012, Democrats and Republicans alike.

Dave Call

Standish