published Friday, July 19th, 2013

Seniors need to shop plans outside Medicare and other letters to the editors

Seniors need to shop plans outside Medicare

Those who detest the “Nanny State” and federal deficits should compare Medicare and Obama-care.

Both attempt to insure all with the ideal that all contribute according to affordability based on income. High-income seniors do pay a Medicare surtax. A reasonable estimate of health insurance cost for my senior parents is $50,000 annually, and it is doubtful it would be available at any price.

And of course, any private insurance company worth its salt would reserve right of refusal or raise rates. It would then follow that health providers have right of refusal of medical needs without insurance or for those who can’t pay.

In order to not burden anyone, your life span could be determined by the marketplace. After all, it would be more efficient than Sarah Palin’s death panels.

So seniors, give up your heavily subsidized Medicare and shop around. You should only want for yourself what you want for others.

JOHN F. EARY, Ringgold, Ga.


Friedman needs to stick to other subjects

I have enjoyed and learned from Thomas Friedman’s books and columns, but he has departed from his area of expertise and entered mine. Coal produces 39 percent of our electricity, while natural gas provides 29 percent. Shale gas production has grown from 1.3 trillion feet of gas in 2006 to 2.4 trillion in 2012. Total production of natural gas last year was 25 trillion feet of gas, and estimated reserves are 2,700 trillion.

All of this has occurred in spite of government help — I quote Mr. Friedman, “Natural gas is a fine gift to our country.” Believe me, it was no gift. Oil and gas drilling is a 24-hour-per-day grind, muddy hot and cold, exhausting. The technology to develop the skills and tools demanded billions of dollars and 12 years of disheartening failure, not a gift.

“Clinging to our fossil-fuel past plays into the hands of Russia.” No! We soon will be energy sufficient and can flip the finger to our “competition.”

I congratulate you on the high quality of the comentaries you carry.

GERRY CALHOUN, Nashville


America shouldn’t be ruled by mob

I am very troubled over the demonstating following the Zimmerman/Martin trial. The trial lasted weeks. Both the prosecution and the defense did their best. The jury deliberated over 15 hours before declaring innocence. Yet the mob still wants more blood. It reminds me when, 2,000 years ago, a judge named Pilate, put a man (Jesus Christ) to death to please the mob and avoid possible rioting, despite the fact he found no guilt in Christ.

Now the chief policeman of this nation is considering a retrial in civil court. To me this is going against our Constitution, which forbids being tried twice for the same crime. It seems to me that some will use any excuse to make our government, with its due process, be trumped by the will of the mob. But shouldn’t the Constitution trump the will of the mob? We are a Republic, where the Bill or Rights, not the will of the mob, should rule.

DR. TOM HERZOG


Foundation ignorant in objection to prayer

Here we go again. The Freedom from Religion Foundation has interjected itself into the affairs of the Knoxville City Council by objecting to the long-standing use of prayer to open its meetings.

The foundation’s argument is that it represents a significant number of Americans who are excluded from the democratic process due to the use of prayer in advance of the council’s business. Really?

A review of the foundation’s website shows that it claims 17,000 members, or a tiny fraction of America’s population of 360 million. By any definition, a tiny fraction of a percent does not equal a significant portion of anything.

It is high time the majority of this country’s citizens stand up and demand the cessation of this overly vocal out-of-state minority’s efforts to impose its misguided agenda on the elected representatives of a group of people that neither seeks nor desires its input on their affairs. For far too long, the silent majority of Americans has allowed the squeaking wheel to get the grease.

Asking for God’s guidance in our public affairs is not illegal, immoral, narrow-minded or uneducated. In fact, it is the height of ignorance to do otherwise.

ROBERT P. RAYBURN SR.

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daytonsdarwin said...

Asking for God’s guidance in our public affairs is not illegal, immoral, narrow-minded or uneducated. In fact, it is the height of ignorance to do otherwise.

ROBERT P. RAYBURN SR.

Which god? There's at least 3,000 separate deities in recorded history.

Do you mean Cronus? Cronus ate His sons.

How about Beelzebub? He was the God of flies.

Maybe you worship Pele, the Hawaiian Goddess of volcanoes?

Perhaps you want to pray to Ishtar, the Babylonian Goddess?

When you say God, you must be more specific. God is a generic term. It's like a car. Do you mean a Yugo, Edsel, Hudson, or Mercedes?

But it's great that out of the thousands of deities, you, in your infinite wisdom, just happened to pick the right one and now want everyone else to worship and pray to your choice. What's the odds of that? God-awfully infinitesimal!

Feel free to pray on your own. But keep imaginary supernatural make-believe entities out of public schools and government.

Unless you're praying to my god, The Roadrunner. May you speed along life's paths, avoiding anvils and Wylie Coyote, until His Blessed swift feet welcome you home to the celestial desert. In His name I pray, Beep-Beep!

July 19, 2013 at 9:02 a.m.
riverman said...

Thank you John Eary for one of the dumbest letters of all time in this forum. I graduated from high school in 1965 and worked for TDOT that summer until going to college. On July 1, 1965, I started paying into the Medicare fund and did so for 47 years until going on Medicare in February of 2012. It was not a voluntary contribution but one required by law. Not only do high income seniors pay a Medicare surtax but every senior on Medicare has approximately $110 deducted from their SS check every month as a Medicare deduction. In addition to have full coverage one must purchase a Medicare supplement policy that can run several hundred dollars a month depending on what plan one chooses.

So see Mr. Eary, every since July 1, 1965, every person currently on Medicare has contributed to the plan. It is hardly a welfare plan. Now the subject of was Medicare set up on an acturaraly sound basis or a political basis is certainly up for debate. Unfortunately LBJ and all the politicians that sold the plan are long gone and not available for comment.

July 19, 2013 at 10:09 a.m.
Ki said...

Dr. Tom Herzog said..Now the chief policeman of this nation is considering a retrial in civil court. To me this is going against our Constitution

Did you feel it was going against your Constitution when the families of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman brought civil charges against O.J. Simpson, after he was found not guilty?

July 19, 2013 at 2:19 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Dr. Herzog, if you're going to reference history to make a point it would be helpful if you drew upon something actually historical and not fictional.

Here are some fun facts about the Jesus story:

1) It was never a Roman custom - not during the supposed time when JC lived or any time before or after - to leave it up to the whim of the "mob" to determine a prisoner's fate. Blaming the Jews for the death of Christ was just one of the many fabrications in the Bible to make it appear as though prophecy was bearing itself out. But none of the actual historians , particularly Josephus Flavius, who wrote exhaustively about every facet of Rome, the ways of Romans and its laws and courts, ever describe any sort of custom that allowed the mob to decide a prisoner's fate.

2) Another fabrication of Roman custom was burying or entombing those who were crucified. That simply did not happen. The authorities required those crucified to remain hanging, in clear, view, as a deterrent to other would-be criminals.

3) There was no custom of forcing citizens to return to the place of their birth for census-taking. Again, an outright fabrication, for the express purpose of "fulfilling prophecy." JC was supposed to be a Nazarene, so it was necessary to conveniently have him born there. Furthermore, the city of Nazareth didn't even exist at the time that JC supposedly lived.

4) King Herod is one of the few Biblical characters who really existed but there is nothing in recorded history, outside the vacuum of the Bible, to indicate that he ever gave orders to kill all the male children of two and under living in and around Bethlehem. If that had really happened, it would have surely appeared in some of the secular historical writings. But nothing....nada...zip. Only in the Bible, that most amazing of all fairy tales, does this horrific infanticide take place.

There are many excellent, well researched books that shed light on the mythicism of Christ and show that in all probability he did not exist, especially not as a divine being but not even as a rebellious, noteworthy prophet of his time. But in order to see the truth, one must dare to question and to pull one's head out of the comfort zone of blind faith.

July 19, 2013 at 2:56 p.m.
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