May choose doctor With reference to “Health Care in Canada” \(Obs., stress the fact that the individual has complete choice of physicians under The Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan. Many of my Texas friends and relatives have expressed surprise over this fact, as they au tomatically assumed that any government sponsored plan would entail no “freedom of choice.” Also, the Provincial Government here in Alberta recently announced that persons 65 and over would be exempted from paying Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan premiums. It seems the economics of the Plan are working quite well based in part on the fact that physicians fees were formerly established on the basis of 60 percent collection and under the plan they are collecting almost 100 percent of their fees. Jessie L. Murphree, Box 252, Stavely, Alberta. Rejected by the Chronk The Houston Chronicle, it seems, will publish anti-war letters but not anti-Texas establishment letters! The following is an anti-Barnes, 24 The Texas Observer pro-Farenthold letter which the Chronicle refused to print: Sired by Lyndon Johnson Texas has spawned a unique and virulent strain of politicians. Commanding enormous wealth and power they are supremely arrogant in the awareness of that power, cynically unprincipled in its use. There is no need to name these men; they are well known. The latest in line is Ben Barnes, now a candidate for governor. Barnes is the heir-apparent of the entrenched political order, with its mighty political machine and unlimited funds. Against this monolith a challenger has appeared a challenger armed only with a legislative record that is clearly dedicated to the interests of the people, and with a reputation for fighting corruption and greed in government. Her name is Frances Farenthold, an exceptional woman whose record exemplifies her courage, intelligence and integrity. Every Texan who desires a restoration of decency to the government of this state, and all who are concerned about the unmet needs of the poor, powerless and unrepresented owe to Sissy Farenthold their fullest support. Mrs. Helen Boren, 6330 Carnation Drive, Beaumont, Tex. 77706. Fan Mail During February, the Observer published letters from three readers who are unhappy with the Observer for three different reasons. For one, it is not sufficiently “redneck.” For another, it is not sufficiently “solid, liberal, political.” The third reader was upset because Observer writers complain about ‘ things without coming up with solutions. All three criticisms relate to the nature and extent of the Observer’s political commentary and it is, of course, a healthy sign that one publication has managed to make people of such divergent views unhappy in this regard. What concerns me is that none of the three readers bothered to mention, even in passing, the primary mission the editors have undertaken, a mission they have accomplished exceedingly well. Here is a tiny biweekly with only two staff writers, who must also double as editors, that has been scooping the massive dailies throughout the past year on top news stories. Molly Ivins’ coverage of the bribery scandal is one of the most complete, incisive and diligent pieces of investigative reporting I have ever read. Observer articles on the happenings of the legislative session and on financial hanky-panky of state officials are equally commendable. Even more to its credit, the Observer has gone after the truth and printed it regardless of whose toes would be squashed in the process. It may not please those seeking support for their political views. But it does a hell of a lot for truth in Texas. As for solutions, they seem rather obvious after all the Observer has uncovered. When you have state officials selling their public offices, hiding their dealings with lobbyists and trying to purge any of their associates who act in the public interest, it should not require long and deep thinking to determine where the trouble lies. After that, figuring out what to do about it really gets easy. Harvey Katz, Washington, D.C. Concerning manure In Texas Agriculture for March there is belly-aching about any cohtrols that might be imposed on the pollution from feedlots. They say this would put the price of meat out of reach. Actually, the high price of foods is due mainiy.to the middlemen. In Buckminster Fuller’s universe there is no such thing as pollution only resources out of place. Manure in its right place is a valuable fertilizer and has beenso used even before Biblical times. In garden supply marts, cow manure sells for more per pound than what farmers get for milk. Mink manure is even more expensive. it must be admitted that the organic farming people are a bit too fanatical in condemning even moderate use of commercial fertilizers. However, ‘in their favor, is the fact that humus formed from wastes of biological origin improves the texture of soils and aids in the retention of the plant nutritive elements therein even those from commercial fertilizers. The ready availability of cheap synthetic nitrogenous fertilizers has not. been an unmixed blessing because it has lead to its overuse and the disdain of natural manures, causing the latter to become a polluting liability. Also, since the world’s supply of high grade phosphate minerals is not inexhaustible, manure, sewage, detergents, etc.. should he recycled into the soil for theii phosphate as well as nitrogen and potash contents. Some commercial lawn fertilizers with added insecticides or herbicides stink worse than any natural manure. Edward A. Prill, P. _0. Box 689, Fredericksburg, Tex. 78624. Spring trees Trees aren’t impossible. For example, they’re arteries stretched in the earth’s flesh, and their crosshatch of branches is scarcely more intricate than my own. But their buds everywhere pulsing I settle for mystery with their buds. RICHARD E. McMULLEN Milan, Mich.
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