A quick reply to Mr. Fortin

To the Editor:

Steve, I simply tried to point out that when you lamented "they are taking away my rights," you would have had a stronger case if you provided examples of things that actually are "rights."

You say that not wearing a seat belt or a motorcycle helmet will hurt only you and no one else. Not true. When your insurance company pays out hundreds of thousands of dollars for your vegetative state my rates go up. Your insurance company makes a profit regardless of what it pays out. Your vegetative state affects me and other insurance holders.

You believe the other examples I gave "are just stupid" because "of course" we should not be doing those things. I guess some people believe they have a "right" to do those things, because every week I read in the Police Log stories of people cited for DUI's, speeding and disturbing the peace.

You do not want "Big Brother" telling you "how to live, when to live and when not to live." You feel Big Brother is watching you. I feel Big Brother is watching out for me. Thanks to Big Brother, I have a reasonable expectation that my drinking water is safe, the food I buy is safe, my electrician and plumber are licensed, my doctor is licensed and the medications she prescribes are safe, the dishes and paint I use do not contain lead, the insulation I buy does not contain asbestos, etc. etc.

Complain about Big Brother all you want. But when your house is on fire, your kids are assaulted by a pedophile or you are in an automobile accident, who do you call? You call 911 and Big Brother is there in a flash.

If Big Brother wasn't watching out for us, Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly would not be paying $9 billion in damages for concealing that the diabetic drug Actos poses a cancer risk. GM would not be recalling 2.6 million vehicles because of faulty ignition switches which they knew about since 2001. This recall comes only after 13 deaths, dozens of crashes and Big Brother's intervention. GM made a "business decision" to ignore the problem (they felt it would be cheaper to handle a few lawsuits than to fix the switch).

I'm grateful Big Brother is watching out for me because apparently, corporations like GM, Takeda, Eli Lilly and hundreds of others are only in it for the money.

Marion Mohri

Wheelock, Vt.

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