Lifestyle

Dear Ms. Joffe-Walt and Mr. Kestenbaum: Your excellent February 26, 2010, report on the history of how government officials chose the different methods that Medicare has used over the years to determine doctors’ pay is frightening because… … in your report, Joe Califano, a chief architect of Medicare, admits that the first method of determining doctors’ pay was chosen for political reasons, namely, to buy doctors’ support for Medicare. … you report that Mr. Califano, LBJ, and Congress were genuinely surprised by the rapid cost increases sparked by this first method. … you reveal that much of the treatment that Medicare paid for was previously provided free by physicians; that is, Medicare crowded out a sizable chunk of private-sector philanthropy. … you tell how attempts to...
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Dear Ms. Schlafly, I’m a teenage girl who has been reading about you quite a bit in the news lately. It seems to me that you have absolutely no idea what women of my generation are all about. I can understand that because I often deal with older people who think that their generation is superior and my generation is the worst thing ever just because we’re different. Really though, I think since you want to be all up in the public eye, it would really do you a lot of good to understand things from the perspective of one of the young women who will be taking over this country soon. I’ve been thinking about how I can explain what feminism means to my generation in a way you might not have thought of before. I wanted to try to work from something we have in common, and it’s been kind of...
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Dear Taylor, I wish we could sit down and talk. I'd like to think you would be willing to have a conversation with someone who honestly wants to find common ground. I've watched your video, and it really moved me. You delivered your message with skill, grace, and emotion –- I wish my high school students were as comfortable speaking in front of an audience as you clearly are. That said, a lot of what was in your video was hurtful to me. I'm not sure if you meant to hurt my feelings, or the feelings of people like me, but your video was painful for me to see. Because I'm a transgender woman. That means that I was born in the body of a boy, but realized I was actually a girl. I've been on hormones for a few years now, to help my body match my mind. And a lot of the things you said...
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Dear Grown-Ups, I’m confused. Sometimes adults tell me that I’ve done something really creative, and that my unique thoughts might help solve the world’s problems. But often you say other things about me, like I’m a dreamer and I have a hard time paying attention, or that I need to apply myself. When you say these things, I’m not sure what you mean because I see myself differently. But when I hear the comments so often, I start to doubt myself, too. So I’m writing this letter to give you my responses to the things that adults say, and to share a few ideas about how you might be able to help me be my best self at home and at school. “He’s smart, he’s just acting lazy.” Have you seen me on the floor of my room, building intricate creations with Lego bricks? Or in the garage,...
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Dear Premier Clark and Minister Cadieux, Thank you for your response to our 2014 BC Child Poverty Report Card dated December 22, 2014. We decided to write this response as an open letter, as many of the points made in your correspondence are being repeated by government spokespeople in the media and we want to give people hearing them a full understanding of the credibility of our research. First of all, we are glad to hear that your government believes that one child living in poverty is one child too many. We agree wholeheartedly. Given this belief, we are puzzled by other aspects of your response. BC is about to introduce a budget with a surplus. In this context, and recalling BC’s obligations as a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)...
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Dear America, I know we have never been close, you know, with our borders separated by great expanses of Canadian wilderness and the roiling waves of the Pacific. It hasn’t helped that we don’t have much in common—you, always agonizing about first world problems, and us, always working tirelessly just to stay warm. You might not realize this, but when we travel to America–yes, we call you that—we oftentimes experience culture shock. The concrete and skyscrapers are as extraordinary as Panamanian jungles. It is really no surprise to us that you love to visit. The mountains and glaciers. The scenic views. The whales doing their things. The moose doing their things. We love tourists. We know why they visit. We enjoy their silly questions, like when do you feed bears in the national...
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Dear Jerry, Thanks for taking the time to stop by my booth at PAX. I was really glad to hear you liked my game. Believe it or not, you were actually kind of a hero of mine when I was a kid, and your writing style was a huge inspiration to me; so hearing that from you meant a whole lot. Here’s the thing, though: not long before you so cordially stopped by, your business partners Mike and Robert were with you on stage, saying that the biggest mistake they’d ever made was pulling the “Dickwolves” shirt. People more eloquent than me have described what’s wrong with this, but suffice to say, that’s some pretty fucked up shit, man. You said you were happy that I was there, but let me tell you, I was definitely not happy to be there. PAX is the biggest show of its kind in North America...
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Dear IWC, First of all, big fan. And like any big fan of a team, I get passionate about them winning. And passion can sound critical, but it’s all out of love and the desire to see them win every year. I first discovered IWC after making the requisite Rolex purchase and wondering what else was out there in the vast unknown world of watches. “Have you heard of IWC?” a friend asked me, and from there, after jumbling the letters in my mind a few times, I found your brand online and soon purchased my first IWC, the GST chronograph in titanium. My first impressions of you were unforgettable. In a world of stuffy, erudite luxury watchmakers, your brand stood out as sleek, sturdy, and supremely confident. Even your name, "IWC" – short for the just-as-stoic and behaved “INTERNATIONAL...
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Dear Professor S., I hope this finds you well. I am at a recruitment weekend for prospective Ph.D.s in the immunological and microbiological sciences. Having received my undergraduate degree in biotechnology and having followed it up with an M.S. in microbiology with a strong immunology focus, I always have known people forging ahead in academia, getting Ph.D.s, publishing, running labs, sparring with fellow scientists, attending conferences and so forth. This is all I have ever known, and I have yearned to join their number. Why? Well, because I love science. More specifically, I love immunology. I am awed by the subterfuges that pathogens employ and the countersubterfuges of the immunocytes: The immune response is a devastating romance set to the stylings of a cytokine...
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Dear Friends, To anyone who is lucky enough to have an amazing group of friends: hold on to them—hold on to them for dear life. You will find that life is nothing unless you have good people to share it with. Many people find this in their significant other, but why just limit you to one? Instead of having one soul mate, why not have a few. When I look back at college, I may not remember every detail of every night but I will remember that it was spent with you guys. I always wished that I would make a group of friends as great as you guys, but I never thought that I would meet the right people. I wanted the perfect balance of hip, fun, crazy, and a little eclectic—well, friends, I have found that in you. You guys are my soul mates, my siblings, and my rocks. It is always hard...
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