Letter to the Editor

Letters to the Editor, August 2

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Real threat is in Afghanistan

To the editor:

I read where Iraqi troops carried out a bloody raid on an Iranian opposition camp; the same group of Iranians that the United States had long sheltered from Iraqi violence. This raid, which coincided with Secretary of Defense Gates' visit to the country, was in essence a slap in the face of United States influence in the troubled middle east country, and one that occurred only weeks after we began our troop withdrawal.

Imagine the potential for bloodshed and anarchy that will reign full blown after we are totally out of the country. One doesn't have to be an accomplished and polished diplomat to foresee the writing on the wall that Iraq has long harbored hatred and resentment of the United States presence and Christian values in this staunch Muslim country, and the biggest joke of all, is that after thousands of brave Americans have given their lives and untold billions of taxpayers dollars are wasted, we still haven't accomplished one iota of diminishing the treat of terrorism here at home.

The real threat lies in Afghanistan and we should have been there all along and left Iraq and Iran to duke it out in their own fashion with a decapitation here and a decapitation there, and hundreds of thousands dead.

However, one mustn't overlook our strong sense of American mores and democracy for justifying our commitment to Iraq. And, then again, another reason just might be that Afghanistan doesn't have one drop of oil to offer up. Only an unlimited supply of opium.

Charles David Sliger, Shelbyville

Shelbyville Central reunion a success

To the editor:

On behalf of the Shelbyville Central High School Class of 1969 we would like to thank J. Gregory and his staff at the Bell Buckle Banquet Hall for the wonderful job they did to make our class reunion a success.

The banquet hall was a perfect place to have a party.

The staff: Nicki Barham, Robert Sanders, Beau, Virginia Dennis, and Mary Grace Dennis made our reunion a hit.

We must say that Martha Akers made sure we had everything we wanted.

Thank you, and we feel fortunate that we have the banquet hall for parties.

The food was beyond delicious and the sound system and overhead projector were enjoyed by all.

Every detail was handled with impeccable class.

Also we would like to extend special thanks to the Times-Gazette for being so kind to publish our search requests for classmates and for publishing our meeting times.

To all of you, thanks again from the SCHS Class of 1969.

Brenda Wells and Belinda Craig, Shelbyville

Healthcare reform supporters frustrated

To the editor:

Tennesseeans for healthcare reform are in a frustrating position. Neither of our Senators will support a public plan option despite many polls showing 65-70% of people favor such an option. They will debate none of the reasons for their opposition, only giving the same tired rhetoric. It has nothing to do with private enterprise and the free market concept or they would not be voting bailouts for corporate America.

An expensive private health insurance plan does nothing for anyone above basic Medicare-plus-a-supplement. A top-of-the-line Cigna or Blue Cross Policy patient gets the same hospital room, surgeries, drugs, doctors and follow up care as a traditional Medicare-plus-a-supplemental patient, though the private plans cost much more and cause many more paperwork headaches.

Medical care is already rationed in America by the private plans and their preauthorization demands, ever changing drug formulary restrictions, and their "participating doctor" panels that often keep you from going to the doctor of your choice. The biggest cause of rationing in America is income. But, if you have enough money, you can get what you want. A traditional Medicare-plus-a-supplement patient has the fewest restrictions on what I can do for them. From an insurance standpoint, they are my favorite patient. Traditional medicare does not ration.

Surely there are enough concerned Tennesseeans who realize that the only way out of our healthcare crisis is to establish a nonprofit insurance plan, run by the public, and funded in great part by capturing some of the 180-360 billion dollars that go to the private companies annually as overhead and shareholder dividends. There is already enough money spent on healthcare to find universal coverage.

Call, E-mail and/or send letters to our senators (Alexander 202-224-4944/ Corker 202-224-3344) and make them understand that they are not our parents in deciding what is "best for us." Demand Rational Healthcare Reform with a Public Plan option.

Mark E. Green MD, Maryville