June 20, 2004
Time for national health care
I believe that the American health care system is "burned out." Our doctors are buried under mounds of insurance forms and regulations. Nurses are expected to take care of too many patients. The price of meds is astounding. Insurance cost is prohibitive. Patients wait too long in E.R.s and doctors' offices. Patients worry that they can't afford health care. Doctors and nurses are leaving the field so we are losing talented people. Hospitals are struggling to stay open or are closing. Americans are indirectly subsidizing Canadian and European meds.
It is time to try:
A national health care system.
Get rid of insurance companies
Regulate pharmaceutical companies
A civilized society takes care of all the sick. Huge profits at the expense of the ill and the "least of us" is immoral.
Martha Ann Samson, R.N.
Save Search and Rescue
I have been a parachute rigger for the Navy as a contractor for the last 16 years. My job is to ensure the safety of the pilot and or crew in the event of an ejection. It saddens me to know that these young men and women will not have a search and rescue unit to recover them from an unfortunate accident. I know that the Navy is working on an alternative solution, but to my understanding it will not be a time efficient plan.
I take shutting down the Search and Rescue unit at Naval Air Station Meridian very personally. I understand the point of view from the Navy, but I don't believe in it. Life is one of God's most precious gifts and to put a price tag on it is somewhat absurd.
Parachute riggers are special breed of people. We value the lives of each pilot as if they were our family. We want to make sure they return home safely. Now, with end of the Search and Rescue unit coming, I am afraid that one day I will read about a pilot going down and too much time was taken rescuing him or her.
With the Search and Rescue crew, a pilot's life can be rescued in minutes. What you are looking at for the future is hours. Will that be enough time for a life?
The real issue
The rather simple people who say it doesn't matter who owns the property where Mayor John Robert Smith, Dick Hall and Engineering Associates want to place an interchange should answer a simple question. If William Hugh Johnson won the property in question in a poker game, would J.R., Dick and those engineers continue to work to locate the interchange there?
Who owns the property is the whole issue. An interchange and connecting roads at the private site would add millions of dollars to the value of that private property.
The Meridian Star can make a considerable contribution to the public's understanding of this issue by publishing a map of the private site Smith, Hall and Engineering Associates favor, as it relates to our public investment at the Malone Ranch. The lies, delays and additional costs would be explained if you also published the names of the owners of the private property.
Engineering Associates are just hired guns who will do and say as they are told. They are a side show.
The real issue is that pitting a taxpayer funded interchange on and through a private land development will add millions of dollars in cost to taxpayers, and also give the private site a competitive advantage over our public investments at the Malone Ranch when it comes to attracting business and industry.
The sad reality is that the delays in locating an interchange directly into the Malone Ranch site may prevent our investments from ever seeing a return to taxpayers.
It is likely that any industry seeking to locate in Lauderdale County will opt for the soon to be vacant facility at NAS, long before either the public or private sites located between I 20/59 or U.S. 11/80 are ever developed.
William Hugh Johnson
No fond memories
Central America doesn't have any fond memories of Ronald Reagan. He is seen by them as the one who was responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent people. During Reagan's watch, U.S. trained and financed death squads slaughtered whole villages men, women and children, and those U.S. sponsored killers (whom Reagan called "freedom fighters") gunned down helpless Roman Catholic priests and nuns.
After such atrocities came to light, some of us remember that Reagan, like the present occupant of the White House, considered himself above the law and thumbed his nose at Congress during the Iran-Contra scandal.
It was he who launched our nation down the destructive road of militarism, in which we are squandering more and more money on the destruction of life, while using less and less of our resources to enhance life.
The popularity (according to cooperate media) of such leadership is, in my opinion, a frightening indication of the direction our nation is headed.
Star Web site hits home
I have said it once and I will say it again: I am so very glad that The Meridian Star is on the Internet. After being away from home for such a long time people began to lose contact, and it just feels so good to come home and log on and see what is going on in the great old South.
Keep it up and don't let us down. We are away from home in body but never in heart and mind. I love being able to visit just a little bit of home in The Meridian Star online.
Ft. Wayne, Ind.