By NEMS Daily Journal
All conservatives should expel the hate mongers
On Saturday’s editorial page, the Tupelo Tea Party organizers are upset about the implications of the Don Wright cartoon published in Wednesday’s Daily Journal. I’m sure that most Tea Partiers would disavow the racial incidents and the episodes of vandalism and threats of violence recently in the news. Honorable people and true patriots understand that equality and personal safety and dignity are bedrock American values.
But it is just as clear to even a casual observer that conservatives have condoned, accepted, and openly and tacitly encouraged the sort of demonizations that have been seen in the media. Signs and slogans and speeches portray Democratic politicians as Nazi, communist, demonic— the list goes on. These are what too often front the conservative cause. There are portrayals of the president as Hitler, racist slurs, and even so-called Christian pastors who openly pray for the death of President Obama in the most graphic terms. So the conservatives have a responsibility to root out the extremists and hate-mongers in their midst, and restore legitimacy to their candidates and their cause. Political opposition is an American tradition, but demonization is not. As John Wayne remarked on learning of the election of John F. Kennedy, “I didn’t vote for him but he’s my president, and I hope he does a good job.”
History shows repeatedly that the continued portrayal of opponents as sub-human, demonic, evil, and illegitimate leads to violence. Exterminations of Jews by the Nazis, Rwandan Tutsi by the Hutu, lynchings by American racists, the 9-11 attacks, abortions providers by anti-abortion extremists – the list goes on.
If the Tupelo Tea Party and its conservative colleagues want the legitimacy their serious intent deserves, they need to contend ONLY on the field of honest and legitimate ideas, and affirmatively purge the movement of those who promote racist views, violence, and demonization. Not only does this add seriousness to the movement, but it is patriotic and practical. Once you have portrayed your opponents as less than human and illegitimate, you sentence yourself to endless and unproductive conflict and a spiral that has ultimately ended in violence.
Health care reform lacks the ‘European’ element
While I am a supporter of Obamacare, I must agree with the gloomier assessments of some folks regarding the program’s fiscal implications. But I can only stress – though it accomplishes nothing at this point to do so – that we have made the pain ten times worse than it had to be precisely because we adamantly refused to go the “European” route and “Socialize” our health care system long ago.
I feel that our medical inflation is currently at horrendous and unsustainable levels precisely because we clung to a misguided notion of “small government,” whose practical implication was “no government at all.” If the free-market were a perfect organism, there would be no need for government (and I might add, no current Wall-Street-caused recession right now). Just because the government is not the solution to every problem does not mean that it is not the solution to any problem.
And even with the law passed, we still have not finished dealing the pain to ourselves. We wrote the insurance companies into the loop when we could just as easily have written them out – the very obverse of what we did to the banks in the Student Loan section of the very same bill.
When will we ever learn? These lessons are getting expensive – like college tuition.”
Medicaid dental fees cut will hurt patients most
According to the Mississippi Dental Association, the Mississippi Division of Medicaid called an impromptu meeting for Medicaid provider representatives on March 23 to announce provider cuts in reimbursement due to the state budget deficit.
Mississippi Medicaid currently has a $14.6 million deficit for this fiscal year, which ends June 30. The proposed provider reimbursement cuts are effective April 1,and will last for three months. The cut to dental fees will be 25 percent.
The Division of Medicaid stressed that the cuts were temporary and plans to adjust dental reimbursements back to current levels as of July 1, 2010. Also stressed was the fact that every provider group, not just dentists, will receive a cut versus having the Medicaid Division discontinue any services to patients.
This 25 percent cut might not sound like much and you say that providers can certainly afford to shoulder the burden. However, let’s explain who actually shoulders the burden and gets hurt in the process. The neediest and most vulnerable in our society are the ones who pay the price. Indigent children, through no fault of their own, are the main recipients of Medicaid dental care. When reimbursements are cut 25 percent from a fee level that is already less than the overhead cost to the practitioner providing that care, what do you think happens?
Some doctors will continue to provide care and be at the mercy of the Medicaid bureaucracy for their livelihood.
Some doctors will stop seeing Medicaid eligible patients because they already pay taxes at a high rate and can see no reason to subsidize the state of Mississippi, with its taxing power, by donating services to the state.
At a time of greatest need, the agency most responsible is not fulfilling its obligation to provide care.
Nobody has all the answers, but cutting reimbursement to medical and dental practitioners will do nothing except give some providers one more reason to abandon this population. The straw that breaks the Medicaid back could be our inability to find a solution that is practical and provides a win-win situation for all stakeholders.
Richard Warriner, DDM
Don’t demonize Davidson for decision in prom lawsuit
Whatever your opinion about the recent school prom matter in Itawamba County, please do not demonize Judge Glen H. Davidson for his disposition of the case – after all, he was nominated to his present position by none other than Ronald Reagan! A 25-year veteran on the federal bench, Judge Davidson is known throughout Mississippi for his thoughtful, even-handed, and constitutionally based judgments.
At the bottom of this letter is a link to some of his many and varied decisions over the years, revealing Judge Davidson to be tough on criminals, sincerely respectful of Mississippi’s cultural mores, and quick to dismiss genuinely frivolous cases.
Born in Pontotoc, Judge Davidson graduated from Ole Miss Law School and was a JAG officer in the U.S. Air Force during Vietnam. In the ’70s, he practiced law in Tupelo, briefly serving as city prosecutor. Also serving as DA for the Mississippi First Judicial District during much of this time, he became U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi in 1981.
In 1985 his energy, ability, and extraordinary knowledge of the law got him nominated to a newly created federal judgeship on the U. S. District Court, Northern District of Mississippi, by President Reagan. He additionally served on the Judicial Conference of the United States, which sets overall policy for federal courts and is presided over by the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
After 21 years on the bench, including seven years as chief judge, Judge Davidson took senior (semiretired) status in 2007 but still maintains a weighty docket due to the enormous press of federal caseload. Recently, his skillful, dignified conduct of the sensational DeLaughter and Scruggs-related trials only added to an already impressive reputation.
May we all live lives so useful and distinguished.
(To view some of Judge Davidson’s decisions, go to Leagle.com and type Glen H. Davidson, Senior Judge, in the Search box)
True courage shown by Itawamba board
I’m not surprised anymore but I’m still saddened every time I see the Journal use its editorial pages to trash the motto it prints on the front page. I specifically refer to the articles by Lena Mitchell and Leonard Pitts in the Sunday, March 21, edition.
Lena Mitchell’s article was her personal response to the Itawamba County School Board’s decision to cancel the prom at IAHS rather than legitimize homosexuality in front of their student body. She began by stating “… I feel a need to add my bit of perspective to the mix.” I realize Mitchell makes her living writing articles, but actually the only perspective that matters is God’s perspective, which is clearly presented in Leviticus 18:22, 1 Corinthians 6:9, Romans 1:18-32, Malachi 3:6a, and many other places in His word. After just a bit of Bible study one must either reject God’s authority or come to a number of obvious conclusions. First, God forbids homosexuality (sodomy) in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, and God does not change with the times. Second, homosexuality is listed with a number of other sinful behaviors, not innate characteristics. God never condemns anyone for traits over which they have no control; height, skin color, sex and such. God condemns people for rebelling against Him by participating in sinful behavior like murder, adultery, lying, stealing or sodomy. One last conclusion is that not only are we to abstain from such practices, we are not to ” … approve of those who practice them.” (Romans 1:32 NIV)
Lena Mitchell applauded this homosexual student at IAHS as a ” … courageous young woman.” The truly courageous people in this situation are Superintendent McNeece and the Itawamba County School Board who made the difficult, but biblical, decision not to put the school’s stamp of approval on something God clearly forbids. God is good, God is merciful and kind, but God is also holy.
Socialism’s arriving in U.S., thanks to all Obama voters
I would like to say thank you to those of you who voted for Obama. We are on our way to socialism and it couldn’t be accomplished without you. I hear people say, “Oh, I’m a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat and I have to vote that way.” How about voting for the person and the values which they stand for instead. Vote for someone who loved America and doesn’t feel like we need to be taken down a notch or two. Much more of this administration and we as Americans will be free no more. Time to wake up. Are you?