published Sunday, November 11th, 2012

'State should check into United fees' and more Letters to the Editors

State should check into United fees

Because of the contract renewal dispute between Memorial and United Healthcare, thousands of Chattanoogans now are considered "out of network" if they use any provider or lab affiliated with the Memorial system. This means patients have to (pay) 50 percent of their bill, at higher non-negotiated discounts, and have higher deductibles. Since United Healthcare is only providing half the service they provided just a few days ago, it seems only logical that subscribers (both individuals and businesses) should only pay half the monthly premium to UHC. Of course, this is not likely to happen, so maybe the governor can direct the state insurance commissioner or attorney general to look into this matter. I know this sounds farfetched, but when someone pays the full fee for a service, but only receives half the service, isn't it considered fraud?

THOM GUERRA


Delight awaits concert-goers

Mark your calendar now for the last Friday evening in November. Be at Memorial Auditorium at 7 p.m. to get an early Christmas gift from the Chattanooga Music Club!

The magnificent Austin pipe organ will be featured in a family-oriented holiday special and will be played by Larry Douglas Embury, who is organist in residence at the fabulous Fox Theatre in Atlanta. This outstanding program will also highlight a 15-year-old singing sensation from Venezuela -- Daniel Mata -- along with Chattanooga's own beloved Metropolitan Bells, plus Brassworks (a six-member brass group from the Jericho Brass Band). Local TV personality and former UTK high-stepping band member Greg Glover will lead an audience sing-along of Christmas songs as another part of the evening's events.

There is no charge for this delightful program of entertainment -- so be there or be square! Rumor has it there also may be a visitor attending from the North Pole.

BARBARA KELLEY


Dog's death can raise awareness

The recent death of Zion the dog at McKamey Animal Shelter is a tragedy. His owner has lost his best friend and the shelter has lost credibility with the community that supports it. But this tragedy can prevent the deaths of countless animals in the future.

Owners:

  1. Spay or neuter your pet.

  2. Keep your pet protected with a rabies vaccination (it's the law, too).

  3. Secure the rabies tag on their collar and add an ID tag with your contact information as well.

Shelters:

  1. Attach an identification tag or collar to every animal in the facility.

  2. Use a "double check" system whenever an animal undergoes any procedure or relocation.

  3. Make your employees and volunteers accountable for all contact, i.e. feeding, bathing, medical treatment, by having them initial a log for every contact.

Zion can never be replaced but he can have a legacy that will save the lives of other animals.

NANCY BLAIR

Dunlap, Tenn.


Respect, maintain Indian mounds

The first inhabitants of the Chattanooga area were American Indians. With Indians come Indian mounds. Indian mounds were constructed by heaping soil, rock or other materials onto natural land surfaces for ritual or burial purposes or as the location for important structures. The tri-state region has thousands of mounds, including around 900 mound sites recorded to date across Tennessee alone.

Chickamauga Mound, located at Moccasin Bend, is a Native American Indian burial mound from 2,000 years ago and is the oldest human-made structure in Chattanooga. The larger Citico Mound in Chattanooga, which contained at least 91 burials as well as Native American artifacts, was leveled for the construction of Riverside Drive in 1914.

Thousands of Indian mounds have been destroyed by modern development and vandalism, but several hundred remain. The key to preserving the history of Chattanooga lies in the act of respecting and maintaining these historic and sacred places. Contact the National Park Service volunteer coordinator if you would like to volunteer on Moccasin Bend.

LINDSEY SCOTT


Include health care, education in goals

In response to a Nov. 3 letter regarding the conservative position on life issues: I have great respect for those who, out of core beliefs on the sanctity of life, do all they can to "protect and nurture mothers and babies." Unfortunately, more often the people I encounter who are most vehement against abortion also espouse opposition to funds for health care, education and nutrition programs.

Leonard Pitts succinctly wrote in his Nov. 4 column: "But, you see, 'life' is not just the fact of existence. The term refers also to the nature and quality of that existence. So if we truly hold life sacred, we do not balance budgets by denying funding to programs that feed hungry children. We do not look the other way when kids have no access to health care."

There would be some common ground between "pro-life" and "pro-choice" -- not very descriptive terms in my estimation -- if the goals included reduction in unplanned pregnancies through greater access to birth control and education and greater provision for parents and children through nutrition, health care and education programs.

Without these, too often these children become adults among the prison and homeless populations.

Don't we all just want a stable, functional society?

KATE STULCE

Ooltewah


Check history to see who fostered racism

The Democrats have done their best to label the Republican Party as the party of racism. However, it was Republican President Abraham Lincoln who signed a permanent Emancipation Proclamation to free all slaves in this country. But it was Democrat Gov. George Wallace who blocked black students from entering schools in Alabama.

It was Democrat Gov. Orval Faubus of Arkansas, a devout segregationist, who in 1957 sent in the Arkansas National Guard to block black students from entering public schools in his refusal to accept a U.S. Supreme Court ruling of desegregating Arkansas public schools.

But it was Republican President Eisenhower who sent federal troops to Little Rock, Ark., in 1957 to escort into school and protect the nine black students, "the Little Rock nine" who had been blocked from entering their school by Gov. Faubus.

It also was President Eisenhower who desegregated the armed forces. But it was Democrat Gov. Lester Maddox in Georgia who used a baseball bat and a pistol to chase black citizens out of Georgia restaurants. I'm not saying the Republican Party has a spotless record but it amazes me how history gets "changed" and altered and how quickly we forget.

KEVIN GABOR

Hixson

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jjmez said...

Today's Republicans would not have anything in common with President Lincoln, Mr. Gabor. They'd destroy him. They are the reincarnation of yesterdays' George Wallace, Faubus, Maddox with a party name switch.

The Republican Party of today is more in step with the southern Democratic Party of the 1860s-1950s.

November 11, 2012 at 8:17 a.m.

KATE STULCE, it'd be nice if many of the pro-life people could get away from their anti-Contraceptive stance.

KEVIN GABOR, please stop pretending you can pick and choose your historical facts in order to present a distorted picture that nobody can recognize for the fraud it is.

We know that Southern Conservative Democrats were supportive of Racism. We also now that those Southern Conservatives became Republicans when the rest of the Democratic Party walked away from their racism. We're not dumb, we're not ignorant, but you think we are.

Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, for example, is widely cited by Southern Apologists for how it didn't free all slaves, just those under Confederate control.

And Eisenhower? Didn't really care what party he was in, he could have picked either when he decided to run. But it was Executive Order 9981 by President Truman that began the process of desegregation in the US Armed Forces.

Thanks for expecting us to forget history, and change it to suit your desired narrative. It's not at all amazing.

We know where those Racists went, and it was into the welcoming arms of Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.

Stop lying to us.

November 11, 2012 at 11:55 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

Kevin Gabor, you are skewing the facts. The truth is, there were great divides regionally among both Democrats and Republicans after the Civil War and into the 1950s and the early part of the 60s. Just like the Civil War divided families and friends at the time it was being waged, the issue of civil rights during the volatile period prior to the passage of the Civil Rights Act divided the two main parties.

I'm sure you're familiar with the term "Dixiecrats?" They were southern Democrats who vehemently opposed civil rights, and they all voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964. But there were a small number of southern Democrats who voted for the Act nonetheless. And ALL of the southern Republicans voted against it. So the southern Republicans were just as adamantly opposed to civil rights legislation as the Dixiecrats were. For this period of history there was an uneasy alliance between the Dixiecrats and Republicans but only because they shared a common enemy: a government which they saw as a threat to states' rights. And in fact a number of the Dixiecrats eventually became Republicans because they deemed the Democrats too liberal for their liking.

Among the non-southern states, Democrats voted 145-9 in favor of the Civil Rights Act (94%) while Republicans voted 138-24 for the bill (85%). So in totality Democrats supported the 1964 Civil Rights Act at a somewhat higher rate than the Republicans.

But even if you want to ignore those facts altogether and keep blowing your horn, like so many conservatives do, about Republicans being the party of Lincoln, blah blah blah, the fact is, today's Republican party would not recognize Lincoln as one of their own. Nor would they accept the likes of Eisenhower or Teddy Roosevelt - both considered very moderate with some strong liberal tendencies. Today's Republican party has gone way off the deep end, into its own weird realm of hate and excess. It's more the party of nuts like Grover Norquist and Limbaugh and the Kock brothers than it is any statesman or political figure that it can call its own.

You say, "it amazes me how history gets 'changed' and altered and how quickly we forget." It amazes me too. So stop trying to change it.

November 11, 2012 at 1:03 p.m.
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