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Re: Conservatism's high tide; Dix Hospital

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Re: Conservatism's high tide

This is in response to Terry Duff's letter to the editor (Back Talk, Dec. 15). I hardly know where to begin. These people who call themselves conservatives are completely detached from reality and from any type of human emotion. The idea that we are all in this together and that everyone does better when everyone does better has been carefully driven from people's minds over many decades.

Also, the terms conservative and liberal don't really mean that much anymore, actually. The confusion comes from the false notion that liberalism is a left ideology; i.e., it is for an egalitarian society. A recognition of class politics and true socialism is the only way we will begin to work toward real freedom. Conservatives in this country are ultra-conservatives/ right-wing; liberals, for the most part, are moderate-conservatives/ center-right-wing.

I am not trying to disparage, only make clear in as objective a fashion as possible what is a deeply personal and oftentimes emotional subject. Mr. Duff, it should be a joy to pay one's taxes. If we got rid of the $1 trillion annual military budget that is largely a gift to high-tech industry such as Raytheon, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, etc., we could afford to pay for the types of programs that would be worthy of the human race. We should ensure that every individual has food, clothing, shelter, health care and education, for starters. We can and should look out for each other without having to pay a kickback to some greedy bastard who only wants to make a buck.

Joseph Waters

Re: Dix Hospital

Our state plans to terminate Dorothea Dix Hospital during this holiday season ("Closing of Dorothea Dix Hospital marks failure of state reforms," Dec. 8). Let us be haunted by Dorothea Dix's words on blurring the lines between prison overpopulation and our mentally ill citizens:

"Society, during the past hundred years, has been alternately perplexed and encouraged, respecting the two great questions—how shall the criminal and pauper be disposed of, in order to reduce crime and reform the criminal on one hand, and on the other, to diminish pauperism and restore the pauper to useful citizenship."

"If I am cold, they are cold; if I am weary, they are distressed; if I am alone, they are abandoned."

"I come to present the strong claims of suffering humanity. I come to place before the legislature of Massachusetts the condition of the miserable, the desolate, the outcast. I come as the advocate of helpless, forgotten, insane men and women, of being sunk to a condition from which the unconcerned world would start with real horror."

"In a world where there is so much to be done, I felt strongly impressed that there must be something for me to do."

We as citizens could have done more to keep Dix open. What did you do?

Steve Church


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