published Monday, November 4th, 2013

'Stop smoking near Erlanger' and more Letters to the Editors

Stop smoking near Erlanger

This is in regard to Erlanger setting the rule that you can't smoke within three blocks of the hospital. What is considered a block? Why not cut to the chase and stop hiring people with that unacceptable addiction? It is a statistic that one in three Americans is obese, and $117 billion is the cost for diagnostic and treatment services related to weight loss. This now exceeds the health care cost associated with smoking and alcohol abuse. Americans are addicted to sugar, salt and saturated fat. Those are the acceptable addictions. The fork has become a weapon of mass destruction. Maybe it should be no french fries, honeybuns, or soda within three blocks?

PATTY COLLIER, Chattanooga

Fleischmann perfects 'straddle'

Say one thing for most new members of Congress: They soon master the well-known Congressional Straddle. If you're unfamiliar with the Straddle, check Congressman Chuck Fleischmann's website statement, posted after Congress voted last month to end the government shutdown and raise the debt limit. He claimed that "while I strongly believe that government has an obligation to pay its debts, we also have an obligation to address the true fiscal crisis facing our great nation," thus showing that he has what it takes to be a master straddler, or an ability to be on both sides of an issue. Of course the government must pay its debts and effectively manage the government's fiscal crises. So why did Fleischmann vote against ending the shutdown and raising the debt ceiling? Neither his statement nor his YouTube-like video explanation provide credible answers. Worse, neither takes into account the consequences of the House Republicans' foolhardiness in prolonging the shutdown. Moody's Analytics estimated the shutdown cost the government about $55 billion. Missing the debt ceiling deadline likely would have led to economic chaos. And experts are still calculating the immense impact on our economy. Fleischmann's Congressional Straddle talking point that the government must pay its debts and handle its fiscal crises, his vote against ending the shutdown rendered those concerns irrelevant. So will House Republicans, or the 80 or so (including Fleischmann) obsessed with ending Obamacare, try for another shutdown in January? They might. Several millennia ago, King Solomon had a prescient comment about such a possibility in Proverbs 26:11: "As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly."

MICHAEL LOFTIN

Carson is impressive

Dr. Ben Carson (a physician who told a Washington, D.C., Values Voter Summit that Obamacare "is slavery") is the most impressive individual to have been introduced to the American public in a long, long time. To have him criticized in your paper Oct. 20 by (Miami Herald columnist) Leonard Pitts is regrettable. Dr. Carson is a brilliant neurosurgeon with an admirable life story which should excite and impress every American. He feels that the health plan being put into effect in our country is a grave mistake. One can only assume that Mr. Pitts is fearful that Dr. Carson's views just might make a great deal of sense to America.

ELIZABETH C. ROBERTSON, Signal Mountain

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anniebelle said...

Ms. Robertson, perhaps you need to brush up on your history of slavery in this country. It was probably the most brutal and un-Christian thing this country ever did. Now, you consider an African-American doctor, who states that providing affordable health care for its citizens is akin to slavery, that he is the most impressive individual to have been introduced to the American public in a long, long time. I'll have to say, you have a perverted sense of history and greatness.

November 4, 2013 at 5:51 a.m.
anniebelle said...

Ms. Collier, I think you miss the point of prohibiting smoking in public places. We do not inhale, unwillingly, french fries, honeybuns, or soda, unlike filthy, carcinogenic cigarette smoke.

November 4, 2013 at 6:17 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

Elizabeth Robertson, I don't know what else I can say that anniebelle didn't, but I'm so flabbergasted by the absurdity of a statement such as your new-found hero Dr. Carson made that I feel compelled to say something.

Let me make sure I have this right: we have a health care system in this country that has been broken and in need of fixing for a long time. It is so expensive and/or so strict in its exclusions that almost 50 million Americans either cannot afford it or they are denied insurance because the insurance companies deem them "high risk" (meaning not profitable for the companies) and there are tens of millions more without adequate insurance because they cannot afford anything other than a high-deductible, high co-pay plan...and Obama, after many years of no president daring or caring to rectify the situation and bring relief to those millions of Americans, decides to finally do something about it. His new plan, as flawed as it may be, is at least an attempt in the right direction, yet this Dr. Carson likens it to SLAVERY?? And you have the gall to agree with him and say how impressive and admirable he is? I don't care how impressive this Dr. might be in other areas of his life, but that one statement right there makes him eligible for the stupidest, most callous, most audacious person of the year award. Maybe you can be the president of his new fan club.

You people who feel so smug in your good fortune to have adequate health insurance and who cannot empathize even the least little bit with those who don't, calling them losers, moochers, or takers, or whatever, in order to soothe your consciences so that you can cling to your survival-of-the-fittest ideology....you are disgusting and not worth the poop that comes out of a dog's butt. You are just a serious accident or twist of fate away from being in the same boat as those who have no insurance now or who had to declare bankruptcy on account of outrageously high medical bills. You want a taste of slavery? Wait until you join them and then see how enslaved they are by the system that you are trying so hard to justify and defend.

November 4, 2013 at 9:22 a.m.
yddem said...

I doubt that Ms. Robertson reads this comment section, but just in case she does . . . . Dr. Carson apparently is a skilled neurosurgeon. He should have continued to concentrate on medicine, rather than venture into politics. He said Obamacare is the worst thing to happen to this country since slavery, which Leonard Pitts correctly pointed out is absurd. Assuming for the purpose of discussion only that the ACA is bad, what rational person could think it is worse than multiple wars, the Great Depression and the Great Recession, the attacks on Pearl Harbor and the World Trade Center and the decades of murders and oppression of Blacks since the passage of the 13th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and the civil unrest preceding and since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1965, among others? Oh, and Mr. Pitts did not mention it, but Dr. Carson compared homosexuals to pedophiles and persons who engage in bestiality.

November 4, 2013 at 11:39 a.m.
LibDem said...

Ms. ELIZABETH C. ROBERTSON, you fail to mention that you met Dr. Carson at the FOX shelter. How long did it take to copy that long, long paragraph?

November 4, 2013 at 11:57 a.m.
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