As the Christmas holiday season is coming upon us, I urge healthy readers to donate blood to Blood Assurance. During the days surrounding and including Christmas Day and New Year's Day, many donors who are readily available on normal days are unavailable for these weeks.
If only everyone could have listened to the moving testimonials of platelet donors at the annual Blood Assurance apheresis Christmas party, many previous non-donors would have readily given.
I look forward to sharing my platelets and maybe also my plasma with this community during this time.
The droppings from Obamacare continue to fall. The back-end of the website is incomplete or inaccurate. Translation, insurance companies may not be aware peole have registered for their product on the government's website. Fall-out: You may not have the health insurance for which you think you have registered. IT experts have testified before Congress that healthcare.gov is not secure. Translation, signing up on the website may be inviting identity theft. "If you want your health plan you can keep it" was clearly a ruse. Result, 5 million individuals loose their health insurance, in many cases their doctor and hospital. Presidential reaction, Obama recants at the 11th hour and by executive order breaks his own law. Insurance industry reaction, commissioners in at least 10 states respond to the President with "no thanks, too late...not possible". Previous policies in those states will not be extended or reinstated. Seniors get pummeled as Obamacare stipulates that $156 billion minimally will be cut over 10 years from Medicare Advantage plans. Reaction: United Healthcare, with over 3 million members, dumps thousands of physician providers from their network, cutting patients off from both their physician and hospital. Over whom will the Obamacare pigeon fly next ?
MICHAEL J. ZEMA
Let's get past the tear-stained slogans and examine what we really know about homosexuality. We know that many folks with medical expertise have tried for years to find any physical evidence that would prove "born that way." We hear slogans instead of astounding physical proof because, despite all the research and bogus claims of success, none has been conclusively found. So if that exhaustive effort by skilled researchers can't find any driving force in the body, where else can we look? Well, since homosexuality is a purely behavioral trait, let's look at the brain. We do know that the brain can mislead otherwise completely normal folks to believe abnormal untruths, such as the 80-pound woman who refuses to eat properly because her brain says she is fat. Bottom line, it appears that we are being asked to reward a form of mental malfunction in the name of workplace fairness and future recruitment of "gifted" people to enrich our local government. No thanks.
Reactionary backlash! That is what we are seeing as the Affordable Care Act rolls out to the sign-up phase. The "right side" of the paper is fighting "Obamacare" every step of the way. However that can have its embarrassing moments. Example: The Wednesday Dec. 4 commentary on the Free Press page ("Healthcare.gov Nightmare") by Michael Smerconish detailed his personal frustrations with the ACA website (understandably so). Surprisingly, on Tuesday night (Dec. 3) Smerconish was on television expressing his satisfaction with the website as he had successfully enrolled and was given a choice of 24 Pennsylvania health care offerings. Today's (Dec.6) Free Press page commentary is headlined "Get Back to Us When Something Works". Well, well; irony abounds. If the paper is going to use anecdotal accounts of the failures of the ACA, it would seem only fair to also include the successful outcome of the same anecdote. The President has indicated that many worthy endeavors like Women's Suffrage and Civil Rights have been "hard". So is this one.
BYRON CHAPIN, Hixson
We currently suffer the inevitable spate of sour-hearted letters decrying the Chattanooga City Council's decision to offer domestic partner benefits to city employees. In spite of this administrative change affecting only a tiny population, a predictable lineup emerges to decry the collapse of morality, Christianity -- their brand -- and western civilization. Often cloaked as fiscal concern, the real attack is on any formal recognition of gays' equality, and a hysterical terror of legitimizing such. This fear reflects historical teachings about homosexuality. It's unsurprising these long-held views continue. What is surprising is how most of us have moved past them. Because science has tentatively shown people really are "born that way," clinging to such judgment is irrational and cruel. Did God err? Is insisting people suppress one of nature's deepest drives rational or even reasonable? Of course not. Acting in this divisive, mean-spirited way is why studies show that Christianity's name is tainted, viewed suspiciously by the young as intolerant, spiteful and mean. By continuing their fanatical focus on perceived sexual error while ignoring the colossal injustice and greed destroying our civilization, they have joined the brand of religious, Pharisaical puritans whom Jesus Himself continually rebuked. Beware which battle joined.
Recently, a letter-writer to this paper touted Chattanooga as a great city to locate his business because of several outstanding qualities of the area. I would certainly agree that it is indeed a "scenic city". He went on to call Chattanooga "a progressive city". Correction; it is not. Not even close. Church-a-nooga is largely anti-science, including anti-evolution and anti-global warming. This stems from the overly Christian-fundamentalist strain around here. Blind faith trumps sensible reason time and again. People here mostly know their science from the Bible which defined pi as 3:1, good enough for the pious set. The Tea Bullies are also out in force, most lately submitting a petition to potentially overturn Chattanooga City Council's decision to provide domestic partner benefits. Sensible gun control? Forget it. Pro-choice? Negative. Public mass transit? You've got to be kidding. Get out your gas guzzling pick-up truck to get around here. Healthy? Go out to the smoke shack and hack on another cigarette.
Progressive is a relative term. Chattanooga is indeed making "progress", as companies like Amazon and Volkswagen make this a more global region. Bottom line: We aren't San Francisco or Boston yet, just a growing city in the conservative South.
HUNTLEY DAVIS JR.
In the article "NSA reportedly tracks billions of cellphones daily" published Dec. 5, the writer states that about 5 billion cellphones abroad are tracked. I feel that in America there is so much hypocrisy. While we claim we value people's freedoms it just feels as if it only pertains to those who are Americans only. Well, what about the rest of the world? Do they not deserve their privacy? I know that we feel threatened and we want to protect our ideals and people, but one cannot ignore the fact that we are controlling, and selfish here in America. We want everyone to do it our way, and when it does not go as planned then, we attack mercilessly. I feel that America should care about others and truly rethink its behavior. Make the impossible possible.
BRENDA LEE CRUZE, Collegedale, Tenn.