I heard an amazing tale of survival from one of my patients, who lost all her possessions in a tornado. She and her family were amazingly spared and walked out of the rubble.
However, while she seems to have been smiled upon by Divine Providence, Georgia Medicaid has been less helpful. She was unable to refill her airborne medications until the end of the month. Luckily she was able to borrow some insulin!
Also, she has been unable to replace her CPAP machine to treat her sleep apnea. It is not yet due to be replaced, so evidently Medicaid feels that she can continue to use the missing machine, which is probably stuck in a tree somewhere near the Ocoee. (Another patient of mine lost his CPAP in a fire and had a similar response from the insurance company.)
Score: Bureaucracy 1, common sense 0, humanity 0.
SHARON N. FARBER, M.D.
Mark Kennedy asks the wrong question in the Life section (July 3). The question that should be answered is "Can We Afford Not to Pay for Improvement?"
Dr. Patricia Griffin in Virginia Beach developed a program for middle school students called the BUG program, in which students were rewarded for improvement. At the end of the second grading period, every student who could Bring Up at least one Grade over the period improved at least one grade from the first period was rewarded.
Many of these rewards were donated by the surrounding community in the form of gift certificates for pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers or CDs. There were also intrinsic rewards of being listed on a display board and possibly head-of-the-line privileges in the cafeteria at lunch.
The advantage of this type of award is that it is available to any student willing to work for it. Only the "Straight A Student" would be unable to participate, but these are the self-motivated achievers normally rewarded by listing on the Dean's List, which should still exist.
It would be applicable to high school students if the schools were willing to implement it.
CARL K. HANSEN
Recently, when two prominent politicians made mistakes about the "Shot heard 'round the world," we just laughed when our leaders didn't remember their historical facts. (Lanterns, not bells, were the signal for the British marching toward Concord, Mass. Concord is where the minutemen were storing powder and lead.)
The little town of Lexington, Mass., stood in the Redcoats' path. In later years, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that the colonial Minutemen had fired the "Shot heard 'round the world." April 19, 1775, can be argued to be the beginning of the "break-up" of the Thirteen Original Colonies and King George III's England.
When I opened my Chattanooga Times Free Press on my nation's birthday, I was shocked. Instead of a full-page ad quoting, "All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" - from Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence - the Times Free Press chose to quote the Constitution's First Amendment, which was ratified in 1791.
The First Amendment is important, but on the Fourth of July let us not choose the wrong historical document that came 15 years later.
When the "power of the press" is confused with "all men are created equal," the Chattanooga Times Free Press has to take part of the blame.
RANDALL J. ROWAN
If the citizens of Hamilton County are comfortable with the nonsense taking place with the Hamilton County School Board, it really speaks volumes about this community.
The silence is deafening as this dysfunctional school board forces out one superintendent and changes the long-standing selection rules in order to ramrod in their own choice.
We elect our governor, mayor and City Council from a list of candidates, but the person in charge of educating our children is chosen by one outspoken school board member.
If Rick Smith is the best man to do the job, holding his resume against other candidates should not alter that fact.
What is the message here for our children? The same board that is pushing for the children to raise their grades is lowering the requirement of the superintendent from a doctorate to a master's degree, just to get "their guy" in.
If this vote passes, it is my opinion each and everyone on this board should be voted out if not fired.
Republican leadership rejected the neocons in endorsing the candidacy of Rep. Ron Paul. Although more extreme than Barry Goldwater (not an isolationist), Paul shares his philosophy in initially and consistently opposing both Bush wars lasting for the past decade.
Further confirmation of Paul's views were expressed by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates when he addressed the cadets at West Point, stating that any future defense secretary who again recommended to the president sending a big American land force into the Mideast, Asia or Africa "should have his head examined." Both Bush presidents did just this to the disdain of Ron Paul.
Rhonda Thurman was absolutely correct in saying "slaves learned to read." This was a compliment to their perserverance. According to "Pathways to Freedom," a lot of slaves worked very hard to learn to read, write and do math. This was illegal in most states, but some learned.
If the Times editor plans to start a race war of words he will succeed.
Georgia state Sen. Charlie Bethel's remarks quoted in a recent Times Free Press report on illegal aliens' reaction to Georgia's newly enacted immigration and enforcement law do not match the majority of American's joyful welcome of any enforcement effort:
"State Sen. Charlie Bethel, R-Dalton, voted for the law but on Friday called implementation of the bill a 'solemn and sad day' for all of Georgia." "It is the failure of the federal government that has forced us to take these steps," he said. "The federal government needs to allow for more lawful immigration. We need to completely rethink the way we do immigration. What we have now is essentially a racist quota system."
Some much needed factual information: The U.S.A. takes in more than 1 million legal immigrants each year - more than any nation on the planet. We have nothing to apologize for. Number one region of origin of American immigration? Africa. Second? Asia.
Number one nation of origin? Mexico, sending about twice the immigrants as number two ... China.
India is third. Then the Philippines, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Haiti, Colombia, South Korea, Iraq and Jamaica. After El Salvador come Pakistan, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Peru and others. Canada comes in at number 20.
With debilitating unemployment many Americans who study this critical issue are convinced we should return to traditional levels of sustainable immigration - about 250,000 a year.
Editor's note: King, president of the pro-enforcement, Georgia-based Dustin Inman Society, worked with the author of Georgia's immigration legislation.