Memorial Day remembered

by Janet Colliton, Daily Local News, 5/29/18

This Memorial Day week it seemed appropriate to research the background and history of one of our older holidays. As some articles have noted, Memorial Day is more than just the kick off to summer or the beginning of a weekend of sales.

How is it different from Veterans Day? How did it get started? I was curious.

According to an article by Jerry Turnquist in the Daily Herald, a suburban Chicago newspaper, this May 30, 2018 is noteworthy as marking the 150th anniversary of the first Memorial Day. Here, as in so many areas, sources may conflict on the beginning date for Memorial Day. However, all sources seem to agree that the U.S. Civil War was the impetus behind many of Memorial Day’s observances.

It is understandable that the Civil War could have led to Memorial Day commemorations since our country lost so many soldiers, North and South, in that war. Pennsylvania has a special connection with the Battle of Gettysburg, not too far from here.

What is the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day? Memorial Day, previously often referred to as Decorations Day, specifically honors those who died for our country. Veterans Day honors all who served including veterans of all our wars and those alive today. The reference to Decorations Day is that many gravestones of fallen military were and have been decorated on Memorial Day in honor of their sacrifices….

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Why Obamacare is so hard to replace

by Janet Colliton, Daily Local News, 2/20/17

Last month I wrote regarding one of the proposed Obamacare replacements recommended by Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan. See “Obamacare Replacement – A Blast From the Past, “ Daily Local News, January 17, 2017.

Ryan recommended State High Risk Pools for people with preexisting medical conditions, a strategy that had been tried previously without real success. It is easy to understand why. If you place large numbers of people who are otherwise uninsurable into a separate plan, the premiums, if you receive coverage at all, would be prohibitive.

Now that other proposals have surfaced from members of Congress, it might make sense to revisit the topic and shed more light on a difficult subject – why is it so difficult to replace the Affordable Care Act (otherwise referred to as Obamacare) and what would a replacement, if any, look like?

First point is that the ACA was not a substitute for an otherwise finely tuned machine of health insurance coverage in the U.S. If it had been, it would have been an easy task just to go back. Instead, Obamacare, because it could not start over, had to be grafted onto an already extremely complicated health care system with lots of moving parts….

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“Time To Double Down On Truth”

by Janet Colliton, Daily Local News, 11/14/16

Truth took a serious hit in this election. It seemed that anything could be said. In fact, truth might have taken enough of a hit to cause us to question the point of taking Ethics courses as professionals or why bother to try. At the risk of sounding like a lecturer I would say that truth matters now more than ever. Here is why.

Trust. Our society is based on the idea that most people tell the truth most of the time, at least as they understand it. Opinions can differ but facts mean something.

If a salesperson tells you a product or a system costs a given amount, we assume this is correct. If the bill comes back in a different amount we can be outraged.

If you are told in the financial services field you have immediate access to your money and discover later this is only after paying a substantial surrender fee or following excessive administrative fees, you can feel cheated.

When a researcher prepares a report and falsifies data so a contract can be awarded, users might be seriously injured by a defective product or a dangerous medication.

In law, my field, perjury is a crime. We ask “what is the evidence?” We probe credibility. This is a polite way of saying we are testing to see whether a witness is lying. Opinions will differ but facts matter.

So why does this matter? One reason is if truth breaks down, trust breaks down too. Trust is the bond that holds a community together….

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