Email letters, Sept. 12, 2012
US could learn lessons about education, health care from other countries
The dispute between the Chicago area teachers and the mayor is all over the news. Theoretically, both protagonists want to improve education. This is a response to the United States’ global downward slide in the quality and efficiency of education, generally.
Yes, we have some of the very best institutions of higher learning in the world: Harvard, other Ivy League schools, MIT, Cal Tech, etc. Overall, however, we have slipped badly. Those bastions of learning need well-prepared students.
The same can be said for our out-of-control health system. We have some of the very best medical institutions and practices but, generally, what is available to everybody costs way too much and is oriented toward “fixing” problems rather than preventing those problems in the first place, if at all possible.
These two cases are among the most important things facing families and our country in the future. If success stories in those countries exceeding our results are there for all to see, why do we not have a concerted effort to learn from them and apply lessons learned to improve our systems and results?
I think one of the big problems is that education and health are not distinct subjects that can be studied in a vacuum, apart from the total culture of those countries to be studied. Both education and health are interwoven into our culture and can’t be isolated when looking at other cultures hoping to detect systems that can be grafted onto our culture.
We are hindered by attitudes of exceptionalism, xenophobia, short-term thinking and feeling that there is nothing we can learn from other “lesser” cultures and countries. The constant talk in conservative circles about wanting nothing to do with European cultures and socialist ideas is a perfect example. We need to grow up!
Mythology underpins attitudes toward human reproduction
This letter is in response to John Andrews’ question, “Just when is it justifiable to end that life?” in letters to the editor in The Daily Sentinel Sept. 11.
One must first understand the underlying problem. That problem is the pagan concept that a deity has given human males the sacred duty to implant seeds in human female “flower pots.” In other words, penis worship is behind the problem of our efforts to effectively, sanely and humanely deal with human reproduction.
We understand the reproduction process of most creatures on this planet. Human reproduction is a prisoner of mythological nonsense.
Health care reform cuts into benefits
Every year, my health insurance pays for my annual physical, which includes blood work. This year, however, my insurance denied three different blood work panels, the same tests that I have every year because my doctor thinks that, based on my personal and family health history, they are necessary.
When I received the claim statement from my insurance company, those three tests were marked “Benefits ineligible under health care reform guidelines.”
So, I owe $228 for tests that have always been covered until our government, in its infinite wisdom, created a monstrous health care reform bill that now tells my insurance company what it can and can’t cover.
It’s probably silly to be concerned about $228. That’s chicken feed next to the taxes that will start in 2014 and the $500 billion cut in Medicare, which are designated to pay for health care reform.
And those are insignificant compared to the fact that some panel of people who don’t know my doctor or me will be able to decide what care I can get.
To all of you who put this current government in power, please rethink your position. I’m tired of prolonged high unemployment numbers, government intrusion into my health care, record numbers of people on food stamps and failed stimulus bills.
I resent that my hard-earned tax money was used to pay for mortgages of people I’ve never met and to buy cars for strangers.
Meis receiving undue negative publicity
In Wednesday’s Daily Sentinel did you read, “Commissioner pays $78.50 fine for fire-ban violation”? The sheer number of articles written about Craig Meis makes me question, “Why so much attention on one man?”
In the Chaffee County courtroom two very different men pled guilty and paid the $78.50 fine.
Outside, I talked to the other man. He, too, had called the sheriff requesting a waiver of appearance. He, too, had been told no.
Neither man asked to have his ticket “fixed.” Each was asking whether he could avoid the drive to Salida if he paid the fine.
I read Craig’s email, and I did not see that he was asking to have his ticket “fixed.” He could have not used the word “disappointed,” but we all “could have not” at some time or other. He asked for the sheriff’s discretion (freedom to act or judge on your own). Neither “disappointed” nor “discretion” meant he wanted his ticket “fixed.”
If you don’t know Craig, please take time and visit with him. You will find how much he cares about Mesa County and its people. You will find him honest and unassuming. You will find the fine young man I know. Mesa County is fortunate to have him as our commissioner. I’m blessed to have him as a dear friend.
From now on, I will always ask myself, “Who is best served by this article and why?” Is anyone’s reputation being tarnished and why? Please, let’s all look carefully at our public officials and our candidates. Let’s not just react to the last, or the next, negative article. Ask: “Is it sensationalism or journalism?”