published Sunday, October 9th, 2011

Letters to Editors

Trust our citizens on health care

Congressman Paul Ryan recently addressed health care reform at Stanford University. His proposal will most certainly generate discussion and criticism from both sides of the political aisle.

The proposal simply states that "the government should eliminate tax breaks enjoyed by company employees from employer-sponsored health care plans with individuals receiving a refundable tax credit to purchase coverage on their own, shifting the responsibility to some 170 million Americans now covered by their workplace."

Now, think of this purchase in the terms of buying a cell phone or choosing a computer.

Does your employer tell you what personal cell phone plan to purchase? Does your employer decide which computers you may buy to meet your needs to surf the web, get your news or use for your personal email? Does your employer report your purchase as income that you've never received for a corporate write-off? The answer is, "No!"

Individual consumers of all education levels and age groups have successfully navigated the cell phone market driving incredible improvements, access to personal choices along all price ranges, and all without the control of a third-party payer or employer.

Let's think, reform health care and trust our citizens.



Book good guide for breast cancer

Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I wanted to let your readers know about a book I found. I'm a breast cancer survivor myself, and this is a book I would have loved to have had.

It's on Kindle for $6.99. The book is "So You Found a Lump, What Next?" by Carol Johnson. The author basically takes your hand and walks you through the entire process.

I only wish I could afford to buy it for everyone in the area who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. This one should be on newsstands for women across the country.


Wealthy debase needed unions

Culturally and emotionally, our country seems to be stuck in adolescence, believing in the patriarchal notion that some deserve and some do not. Thus, those who have attained wealth and power deserve respect despite their bullying behaviors.

Our groomed, government representatives offer patronizing solutions provided for them by a wealthy few focused on their own special interests. They insist that "small" businesses are the job creators. They insist that job creators are overtaxed and overregulated. Therefore, we must reduce the size of government to end corporate suffering.

Our nation's prosperity depends upon fair taxation and strong unions advocating for working people. Wealth depends upon a compliant population willing to accept deflated wages and unregulated work places. Wealth detests unions, thus they debase them by insinuation and derisive language: "lazy, bloated, over-compensated." The same slight of hand is being inflicted on the United States Postal Service, its demise being engineered, while its pension system raided, and its workers maligned.

Unions were formed to counter the interests of industrialists who impoverished workers via the company store, then demanded work without compensation. It appears that the few wish to take the many back to the good ol' days of the Gilded Age.


Dunlap, Tenn.

Beware some cosmetic surgeons

Recent articles in USA Today highlighted these facts about cosmetic plastic surgery.

1) Lax laws allow any doctor to call themselves a "plastic or cosmetic surgeon" and to attempt cosmetic plastic surgery procedures in their office.

2) Inadequately trained doctors attempting cosmetic plastic surgery can have deadly and disastrous results.

3) True board-certified plastic surgeons are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), the only board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties that certifies doctors most qualified for both cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the entire body, from head-to-toe. No other certification is equivalent.

Question: Why would unqualified doctors attempt to perform highly specialized cosmetic plastic surgery procedures without adequate training?

The suspected motive: Money.

Otherwise, if such doctors were truly committed to the specialty of plastic surgery, they would undergo the required five-plus years of accredited residency training and achieve board certification by the ABPS, just like true plastic surgeons do.

Second question: Why would anyone go to an inadequately trained doctor?

The usual explanation: Due to sound-alike qualifications and marketing tactics, patients do not know better ... until it's too late.

Stricter laws are needed for patient protection.

Considering cosmetic plastic surgery? Protect yourself.



Certified by the

American Board of Plastic Surgeons

It's time to pass Obama's job plan

Republican politicians need to explain to Americans which part of the president's job plan they don't like: Hiring teachers and first-responders? Building roads? Payroll tax cut? Putting veterans back to work?

We have had enough of the obstructionism and need action now. Republicans were OK with giving major bailout money to Wall Street, but care little about the potholes on Main Street.

What is it going to take? Did Congress not have enough time on vacation to get it together? Apparently not, but those of us who cannot afford vacations deserve better. Stop the madness and get this bill passed -- heck, most of the ideas are yours!


Athens, Tenn.

Preserve the name Reflection Riding

Regarding the mellifluous Reflection Riding: Do not underestimate the power of naming. It is biblical. It was in naming the animals that Adam was given stewardship over them.

It was in naming Reflection Riding that the Chamblisses gave their 300 acres the purpose they meant for it -- a place for anyone to enjoy the restorative powers of nature. As a garden designer, I know the importance of such a place, and the name is full explanation of what the place is, since a riding is a landscape to move through, on foot or by car or bike, with woods and fields and distant views. Reflection is both literal, with ponds and creek, and metaphorical, with time and space and quiet for solitary enjoyment or group exploration.

The name of the new organization should rightly be "Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center at Chattanooga."

I know some of the Chambliss family, and knew Jac and Bena Chambliss. Since Jac's death, Reflection Riding's name, place and mission have been subsumed by those whose interest is not in the land.

The name Reflection Riding and the vision of John and Margaret Chambliss should be preserved.



Bradford, N.H.

Protesters want Wall Street justice

You news media keep reporting that the protesters on Wall Street have vague, undefined goals.

Well, let me clarify for you.

Three years after the Wall Street crash, we are still in deep economic trouble. Let's recall why.

For a decade before 2008, the lords of Wall Street had run a giant flim-flam scheme of the sort that would get local small-time bunco crooks jailed immediately. When investors realized what dung they'd been sold, there was a run on the banks. Not to worry -- at the snap of Congress' finger, about $800 billion taxpayer dollars were whisked over to Wall Street. Why? These banks were "too big to let fail!"

Now, three years later, we've seen no behemoth banks chopped up into less dangerous chunks. No lords of Wall Street have been arrested, tried, convicted and executed.

Instead, they're wallowing in wads of c ash while the common folk languish in despair.

Incredibly, the factors that made the mess are still in place, and a nigh certain repetition of the disaster looms in the future.

The protesters see this, and like Howard Beal, they're "mad as --, and they're not going to take it any more!" They want justice!



Dayton, Tenn.

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.

Cell phones? Seems to me they're a fairly regulated utility already (or have you not noticed that, or considered why it's necessary?), but let me think how unpleasant buying a cell phone is to me.

Quite a bit. I have some salesman in my face trying to get me to buy the latest Gadget with the access to the FaceSpace Tattler, and despite me saying I don't need a data plan, or an international plan, pushing it on me over and over.

And I never did find a cell phone or a plan that offered the services I wanted. At least, not in this country. A pity, as I could get it in any number of other countries, which actually require the companies to offer the kind of plan I want.

October 9, 2011 at 1:46 a.m.
Legend said...

For Robin Smith to compare healthcare to cellphone shopping shows a lack of common sense. And to believe this individual has a following? Scary!

October 9, 2011 at 10:54 a.m.
hambone said...

But Paul Ryan said it, he can't be wrong, can he ?

October 10, 2011 at 3:36 a.m.
bret said...

If my employer buys hundreds of computers or cell phones, doesn't it make sense that they could get a better rate than I could buying just one? That is the whole purpose of group health plans, after all. And even in Robin's warped example, the individual consumer is not forced to participate in a company plan or use a company-provided computer.

Paul Ryan wants to fix Social Security by eliminating it, and wants to fix the health care problem by giving fewer people access to health care. Why does anyone listen to that fool?

October 10, 2011 at 10:03 a.m.
hambone said...

L4F, So your a 37 year old fat chain smoker?

October 10, 2011 at 2:52 p.m.
hambone said...

No tatoo, no piercings, L4F. Just the normal scars left by 68 years of honest hard work!

October 10, 2011 at 4:45 p.m.
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