By NEMS Daily Journal

‘Barbaric’ practice seen in care of mentally ill
I am writing this letter in response to your article in the Sunday paper concerning proposed cutbacks on mental health care.
I have practiced law a long time and during the course of that law practice I have dealt with many people’s lives and also I have had the unique experience of being a commitment lawyer. Basically for a period of over four years in Pontotoc I handled all drug, alcohol, and mental commitments. I know the process and I know the feelings of families. Also I have the unique experience by way of family without indicating specific individuals, of dealing with family members who have suffered from various degrees of mental illness, and in my family picture there is a history of suicide. I suspect many of your readers have also. There is also still the vast numbers of untreated individuals who fear seeing a psychiatrist or counselor still due to the stigma of mental illness. I can count and it takes more than one hand the number of lawyers I have known that have committed suicide.
If a determination is made that a person needs to be hospitalized and there are no arrangements such as insurance or agreement for voluntary hospitalization, then the usual procedure at present is to put this individual in jail.
In my opinion, this is barbaric.
Historically, Mississippi has made provisions to protect and take care of the vulnerable, such as minor children, the elderly, vulnerable adults, disabled individuals, and those other individuals who cannot take care of themselves. To fail to provide adequate funding to treat the mentally ill in local facilities and allowing the situations to deteriorate to where the only alternative is to place them in jail and eventually send them to an institution is very and most barbaric.
I hope the leadership of our state will take a serious look at this issue and appropriate the funds to treat the mentally ill in local mental health facilities and local hospitals. The practice of putting the mentally ill in jail must end.
Gene Barton, Attorney- at-Law

National Guard soldier opposes openly gay policy
I am a 22 year veteran. I spent 4 years on active duty as a Marine. Since 1994 I have been a member of the Mississippi National Guard with two Operation Iraqi Freedom deployments.
I do not believe the “surveys” that are coming from the Pentagon. I have never in 22 years heard a soldier suggest that having openly gay soldiers would work.
The homosexual lifestyle has been white-washed so that it creates a clean public image. That is why they call themselves “Gay.” After all being “happy” is “normal.” Stronger descriptives would mean they are different. Folks, what they want you to forget is that they are sexually active with members of their own sex.
Soldiers do not always get to choose who they room with. I have never had a single-man room in Iraq; there were two of us in an 8 x 20 room for 12 months.
Most showers are open bay or at least open changing and drying areas. No one would force a female soldier to shower with males. So why force a straight soldier to shower with a gay soldier? There isn’t much difference in my book.
What the Pentagon and President Obama are about to do is change something that is working into a de-moralized fighting force with many experienced service members getting out. And they are doing it just to make political points with a few.
I challenge you; if you are not in the military ask a military member their opinion.
There needs to be an election of service members presently serving, using their ID cards to settle this, not, a survey. Surveys can be worded to get the desired results. Also the surveyor can “cull” the responses that don’t fit their agenda. If that kind of vote upholds the 70 percent in favor, then I will quietly retire and watch the demise of a great country.
Rainbows are for coloring not soldiering.
Charles Neely, SSG

Coroner’s actions praised, little noticed
I would like to comment and bring attention to a person in North Mississippi who serves the communities of Lee County and whose services often go unnoticed, but each family will eventually be touched by her.
Carolyn Gillentine Green serves as Lee County Coroner. In the very recent untimely death of my Mother at her home, Carolyn handled everything in a professional, dignified, and extremely caring manner. One is quick to see that Carolyn is a person that cares deeply about the feelings of others during a stressful and difficult time. She showed the same professionalism in January when my Dad passed away.
Lee County should be proud to have her performing this service. I am certain that she gets calls at all times of the day and night, and often sees things that we could only imagine.
When you happen to see her in the brown SUV with personalized license plates, rest assured that she is an asset to Lee County performing a job and duty that is not envied by many people. Thanks to Carolyn; her actions certainly do not, and did not go unnoticed.
Danny Foster

A great American tragedy seen in partisan rancor
There was once a great steamship that encountered difficulties and sank with all crew and passengers lost, save two. As luck would have it, these two men had been competitors for all of their lives, and now their very existence depended on working together.
The lifeboat they were fortunate enough to escape to was large but cumbersome. It contained only two oars and would require them to row together to get any place. Each was sure of the direction they should go to find land. Unfortunately, they were in opposite directions. They argued, almost coming to blows, until each fell silent at each end of the boat. They perished, interestingly enough, together.
Who were they? One was named Democrat, the other, Republican. Even sadder still, was that the steamship was named The Republic.
One cannot help but wonder, were they so hateful of each other because one feared the other was so wrong, or worse even still, that he might be right.
Terry Blair Carr

Couple’s help wrapped up a blessed holiday
I want to thank the good people in a white van who stopped to help me on Thanksgiving night. Coming from a Thanksgiving reunion, I made a wrong turn trying to find Eason Boulevard. I stopped the car, got out and flagged people, but no stopped except this couple, They told me to follow them and they would get me to Eason Boulevard. I did not get their names. I hope the couple reads this thanks letter. This made a blessed Thanksgiving in my getting home safe.
Lillian Buse

Congressional action sought as proof
Much has been said about decreasing the size of government and cost control. I certainly agree with this. However, the general public, including myself, needs to see some action on the part of Congress.
You are well aware that a lot of our fellow citizens are still suffering from lack of work and decreased income.
I would suggest Congress pass legislation whereby all government employees from the president down (except members of the armed services on active duty) be required to take a 2 percent reduction in pay starting in 2011 and continue this annually for five years. In addition to this, I would also suggest there should be a 2 percent reduction in allowable expenses per year for five years and a 2 percent reduction in staff positions per year for five years.
This positive move will not only decrease our cost burden, but will make it obvious to our citizens that our congressional members are willing to join us in helping our country recover. This cost control will help us return to the government we need and used to have. Then our children and grandchildren will have the same opportunities we have had.
I have submitted this to our state delegation and I would hope our fellow citizens would do the same.
Richard S. Hollis, M.D.

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