Letters to the Editor

Focus should be on patients’ well-being
I am writing to respond to the letter from my brother, Dr. Starner Jones, “Obama’s claims fail against light of facts,” published in the Daily Journal on Dec. 27
You have been given world-class, government subsidized, medical training at our University Medical Center. You have chosen to specialize in emergency medicine and practice in Mississippi, which is, and you are well-aware, one of the poorest states in our nation. You interact with our poorest citizens in emergency clinics every day. What part of your dedication to serving patients makes you think that you should advocate for our government to stand idle and allow the poor, your patients, to have limited access to healthcare, bear the burden of massive medical debt and suffer illness?
We grew up in the same single-parent home in Pontotoc and, but for the grace of God and the sacrifices of our mother and grandmother, we might well be uneducated, poor and uninsured. The truth of your success is not that you worked hard and overcame obstacles alone. You worked hard, saw opportunities, took instruction, received guidance, and, most importantly, were given a chance.
In your letter you harp on the individual’s responsibility and trumpet claims of “socialism” and “entitlements” but you fail to mention the healthcare and insurance industries’ role in creating our healthcare crisis. Recent reports tell of millions of dollars being passed to Democratic and Republican congressman from the healthcare and insurance industries to lobby for modifications of the current healthcare bill. Where is your zeal to make insurance and healthcare companies compete and focus on patients’ best interests?
I am a Democrat and supporter of a public option because I believe the affordability of health insurance and access to quality healthcare should not be solely predicated upon the whim and pleasure of a heartless billion dollar profit-seeking corporation or a sometimes bewildered non-profit corporation (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi).
Henderson M. Jones

Sanctuary chair praises staff, volunteers, backers
Last week I completed my tenure as chair of the board of directors of Sanctuary Hospice House. This role now goes to the very capable hands of V.M. Cleveland, who has been involved from the beginning and has quietly done so much to support Sanctuary. He will do an exemplary job as chair.
As I now rotate from the Board, I do so with great gratitude. I thank God that He gave the vision to Drs. Joe Bailey and John Elliot, along with RNs Nancy Collins and Louise Harris, and that they had the perseverance to see it through to fruition. There were many times the dream faced serious obstacles, but these four never doubted the vision or the need, nor did their determination wane.
Thank you to each family who has allowed us to serve their loved ones and to each physician and nurse practitioner who has referred to Sanctuary. To date, 1,052 terminally ill patients have been lovingly cared for in our facility or home hospice. When curative measures no longer worked, you chose Sanctuary. It has been an honor to serve you.
Thank to the staff. I have watched as they compassionately cared for and loved our patients and their hurting families. Each one who works at Sanctuary could work elsewhere and make more money, butthhey see value beyond the paycheck and have committed themselves to the ministry of being the “Hands and Feet of Jesus.”
Thank to my community. I have been floored that during these tough times, its commitment to us has never wavered, but steadily increased. Thanks to all who have supported and will continue to support this ministry through prayers, volunteerism and financial support. I leave this role, but I do not leave Sanctuary. This ministry is too important to our area and I am abundantly blessed by my involvement. Let me conclude by sharing an incident that, to me, says all we need to know about the value of Sanctuary.
A gentleman who was referred to Sanctuary from NMMC was very near the end of physical life. He had not spoken for several hours. Suddenly he woke and seemed to have perfect clarity. He looked around the room, took his wife’s hand and distinctly said, “Honey, the angels are here. You don’t see them but I do. I am going with them. I will be OK. You be OK.” And with that he closed his eyes never to utter another audible word…
How privileged I am to be a part of a place where angels trod.
Lauren Patterson, Chair
Board of Directors
Sanctuary Hospice House,2007-2009

Big business apparently requests more illegals
It has been reported that at least eight different work visas are issued allowing over 1 million foreigners to enter the country legally to work because large corporations say there are not enough qualified Americans to fill their requirements. It this is true I would suggest some of the remaining stimulus money be spent to train unemployed Americans to fill these jobs. This appears to be a win-win program.
– One, the money for training would go back into the economy.
– Two, it would reduce unemployment.
– And three, it would reduce the number of work visas issued.
Now if big business is falsely stating the “unqualified American” argument and is bringing in these legal workers because they can hire them at a lesser salary, then that is another problem which also needs to be addressed. And one solution to that problem would be to cut some of the tax breaks big business received should they not hire qualified Americans to fill these positions. There has always been the problem of not knowing where the legal alien is once the visa expires; hence, another illegal alien.
Earnest “Dee” Streit

Sobriety inspires letter of thanks to the Lord
Hi! I’m Carl Hill.
I told Darlene there is only one of me, and she said, “Thank God.”
So when I write a letter, God is going to be the center of attention. I think back to the many times I drove home drunk and didn’t remember the next day how I got home. God knew then, I would be thanking Him today. My motto is “I thank God every day that I am still here to thank God.”
One thousand years to us is like one day to God. So in God’s eyes our lives are over in seconds. I’m 82 years old. Darlene is four years younger. Our body parts are acting their age. Reminds me of someone in the hospital that said it is hell to get old and here I am trying to get older. I thank God for putting Darlene and me together and keeping us together for almost 60 years now. God is love and God loves us whether we like it or not. I pray for all those who are worthy of our prayers and that those who are not will become worthy. I am so thankful that God does it right even when I don’t say it right. I’m so thankful that God has the last say on where we stay. I think a good way to end it is, live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly and leave the rest to God. I sign off in Jesus’s name.
Carl Hill

Not even Minor ceases cynicism for Christmas
One would think that even Bill Minor would have something good to say about Mississippi and its history on Christmas Eve, but no, once again he dredges up the race card to launch a diatribe regarding an incident that occurred in rural Attala County in the early 1950s. At least the subject of Minor’s bitter spiel did not discriminate as he attacked citizens of all races. Way to go, Bill. Drag Mississippi through the mud again!
Minor would appear to be the most biased propagandist – he is not a journalist – to foul the pages of the Journal’s editorial section. His venom toward conservatives in general and Republicans in particular is well documented and never ceasing. His constant references to himself indicate a touch of narcissism.
A week earlier, Minor, in writing about the old King Edward Hotel in Jackson, appeared at first to give a pleasant history lesson regarding the hotel’s storied past. But Minor could not restrain himself and allowed his personal bias to rear its ugly head. In relating that Ronald Reagan had spoken there in the late 1950s and stated that “America’s free enterprise system and technology far excelled that of Soviet Russia,” Minor then snidely reminded us “A year later the USSR sent Sputnik into outer space, putting the U.S. into second place in space technology.” Minor failed to inform us that during President Reagan’s two terms in office, the Soviet Union and Sputnik were swept into the trash heap of history. And, to paraphrase President Reagan, “Minor, ‘tear down this wall!’” If you cannot be “fair and balanced,” then give us a break and shut up!
David C. Horn

Christmas traffic defines the problem
If you were in the Barnes Crossing area during this holiday season, and who wasn’t, then you realize that Tupelo has serious traffic problems in that whole area. Like so much of Tupelo, we just let it develop as it would without much planning. Then we come back and try to fix it a little here and there. Well it needs fixing again.
There are several things that we could do immediately. For example Barnes Crossing has more west bound lanes than east bound lanes. And we need to work with MDOT to add additional lanes and lengthen them for the north bound exit from and south bound entrance to Highway 45.
I was stopped in an active lane on U.S. Highway 45 trying to exit onto Barnes Crossing and was nearly rear-ended by a car traveling at the legal limit of 65 miles an hour that did not realize I and others were stopped dead in front of them. Only when I pulled quickly to the shoulder did they see what was going on and swerved to miss the stopped cars. If the left lane had not been clear there would have been a huge wreck. Do we have to have several deaths before Tupelo and MDOT working together address this problem?
In the early 1990’s we successfully addressed our street problems with the creation of the Major Thoroughfare Program, which has saved us from choking in the traffic of our own success. The Barnes Crossing area is the engine that powers Tupelo’s economy; we can’t afford to let it choke to death with traffic problems that have solutions.
Toyota is likely to announce the start up of their Blue Springs plant before the end of 2010, so the time to act is now.
Jim High
(High is the former chairman of the Major Thoroughfare Program Committee.)

NEMS Daily Journal

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