Letters to the Editor April 19, 2009

Vegan promotes agenda
in honor of Earth Day
This Wednesday’s Earth Day observance should encourage every one of us to leave adequate natural resources for our children and grandchildren by making needed changes in our driving, our shopping, our recycling, and our diet.
Yes, our diet. A 2006 report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization blamed meat production for 18 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming. That’s more than automobiles! Carbon dioxide, the chief greenhouse gas, is emitted by burning forests to create animal pastures and by combustion of fossil fuels to operate farm machinery, trucks, refrigeration equipment, factory farms, and slaughterhouses. The much more damaging methane and nitrous oxide are released from digestive tracts of cattle and from animal waste cesspools, respectively.
Moreover, meat and dairy production dumps more animal waste, crop debris, fertilizers, pesticides, and other pollutants into our waterways than all other human activities combined. It is the driving force in world-wide deforestation and wildlife habitat destruction.
This Wednesday and every day, let’s celebrate Earth Day by replacing meat and other animal products in our diet with a healthful, eco-friendly spread of vegetables, fresh fruits, and whole grains. More in-formation, including recipes, is available at www.greenyourdiet.org.
Eli Palmieri
Tupelo

Show us details about
the railroad study funds
Now that the MDOT Railroad Study has proposed only a single solution, which is to elevate the railroad and cut our city in half in the process, how can the citizens of Tupelo get an accounting of where and how $2 million of taxpayer money was spent? Who was hired? What were they suppose to do? Did they do it? How much were they paid? Have they been paid? Is any of the $2 million still available for further review of our railroad problems?
We need names, details and actual dollar amounts. Since most of us who live here in Tupelo and deal with these trains daily feel that this $2 million has been completely wasted, some accounting from MDOT would be very helpful in our understanding of where we are now and what our next steps should be.
At a meeting held recently with the residents of Mill Village, I understand the question of increasing the speed of the trains through Tupelo was brought up, a suggestion that I have made on several occasions in the past. I was told that MDOT said this was not a viable solution since the speed could not be increased, except from the current 20 mph to 25 mph due to the BNSF railroad crossing the tracks of the Kansas City Southern railroad in the middle of Tupelo.
Because this is not what I have been told by railroad officials, I got in touch with the Federal Railroad Administration and posed this question to them. I have a return email indicating that information given out by MDOT at the Mill Village meeting was incorrect.
There was great hope four years ago when the city working with then-Rep. Roger Wicker obtained $2 million from the federal government for a workable and affordable plan to solve our railroad problems. But I think I speak for almost everyone when I say that we are back at square one, and really have nothing to show for the expenditure of $2 million. I think we deserve to know in detail from MDOT where and how the money was spent.
Jim High
Tupelo

Editor’s note: Mr. Leatherman’s letter (below), published April 12, contained editing errors. We regret the errors.

God offers a sure,
eternal rescue plan
There are tons of ink flowing and words being thrown around about a government rescue plan. It may work or it may not work.
Who knows? But we as Christians have the peace and joy of knowing that we already have victory in the stimulus/bailout and rescue plan provided by the Lord. Jesus said, “Do not worry. The birds are provided for and you are so much more important than birds.” Paul said, “Be content in all things.”
Notice, Jesus and Paul were not referring to an economic environment that we have become accustomed to and now think we have a right to. God has provided a way for us to find joy and peace regardless of our life circumstances or any government programs. The secret of God’s way to realizing His joy and peace is through His blessings. The first and greatest blessing is salvation and an eternal place in heaven. Wow! What is more important than that? The second blessing is His ever presence in our soul through the Holy Spirit living within us. Wow! What is more important than that? The third blessing is knowing that nothing on earth can be taken away from you if you have already given it away. How can your house or car, etc., be taken away from you if you have already given it to the Lord? You have nothing to lose if you have nothing to lose! Give it to our Lord. Here is a great truth to remember: We never possess anything. We only occupy a little time with it. If you are interested in owning something that nothing can take away, then own your own salvation and your intimate relationship with God. That ownership is sealed forever. Wow! What is more important than that? The success or failure of a stimulus pack/bailout and rescue plan provided by the government has nothing that compares to the success of the stimulus/bailout and rescue plan provided for by the Lord. Jesus loves you!
David L. Leatherman
Tupelo

Beware hidden items
about our health care
Intentionally hidden in the stimulus plan is a “little known” new health legislation. Every individual’s medical treatments will be tracked electronically. This will help avoid duplicated tests and errors. But a new bureaucracy will monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the government deems appropriate and cost effective. The goal is to reduce cost and “guide” your doctor’s decision.
Keeping doctors informed of the newest medical findings is important, but forcing uniformity goes too far. Doctors and hospitals that are not “meaningful users” of the new system will face penalties. “Meaningful user” is not defined in this bill; this vagueness is intentional. A proposed body with vast powers will make the “tough” decisions. The purpose of this is to slow the development and use of new drugs and technologies because they are driving up cost. Patients will be expected to accept “hopeless diagnosis” and “forego experimental treatments.”
The elderly will be hit hard. Seniors will have to be more accepting of conditions that come with age instead of treating them. Medicare now pays for treatments deemed safe and effective. The stimulus bill will change that and apply a cost-effective standard set by a federal council. This board approves or rejects treatments using a formula that divides the cost of treatment by the number of years the patient is likely to benefit. Treatments for younger patients are more often approved than treatments for diseases that affect the elderly such as osteoporosis. Elderly patients with macular degeneration may have to wait until they go blind in one eye before they can get a costly new drug to save the other eye.
The stimulus plan will affect every part of medical and nursing education to how patients are treated and to how much hospitals get paid. The health care industry is the largest employer in the U.S. It produced 17 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. Yet, the bill treats health care as a cost problem instead of a growth industry. This stimulus plan is dangerous to your health and the economy.
Dorris Norris
Saltillo

 

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