Letters to the Editor

Viewpoints for Monday, Oct. 5, 2009

Truly giving back

I was saddened when I read about the passing of Larry Harn. His obituary left out an important fact that I think Macon should know.

During the late 1970s, I was the water safety director at the Macon Chapter of The American Red Cross on Holt Avenue. When the director asked me to start an Adapted Aquatics program in Macon, I called several pools about using their facilities. They all said that it was not possible. I eventually decided the only way to accomplish my goal was for the chapter to have its own pool.

I called several pool companies about donating the labor to build a specialized pool for the handicapped. I received one negative answer after another until I called Astro-Oasis. Larry Harn and Don Holley said they had been looking for a way to give back to the community. They helped me plan the pool and donated all the labor. They also told me which companies to call to get donated materials. The pool became a reality and I watched as the first classes began.

It would never have happened without Larry Harn and Don Holley of Astro-Oasis.

— Elizabeth Gillespiee


Conditioned response

Conditioned emotional response happens when we constantly experience something and we begin to recognize and predict consequences to the experience. We become conditioned to respond in a particular way. When negative emotion enters the mix, the response becomes more pronounced.

Many contend that the emotional response to the policies of the current president is racially motivated. Permit me humbly to submit that, for the most part, it is simply a conditioned emotional response resulting from eight years of constant negative criticism of the former president (remember the Dubya label).

The sitting president receives less criticism than did his predecessor, yet not a peep was heard from those now crying foul about the barrage of negativism until the color scheme changed. It is now unseemly to criticize.

Consider this Walter Williams observation, “It’s important to correctly identify behavior. Asserting that a particular behavior reflects racial likes and dislikes, which it could, when in fact it does not, is to mislead and confound whatever problem or issue one is addressing.” Sound like what’s happening now?

— Lee Ballard


Part D providers

Medicare Advantage allows private insurers to assume the health-care needs of Medicare beneficiaries while reducing their initial out-of-pocket outlay. It was originally designed to provide more choices for lower cost but it actually restricts choices for the price tag of more than $150 million per year by restricting doctors and facilities networks, offering more limited medication formularies, providing shaky confidence that they will even continue to participate in the program from year-to-year, and a sea of complex regulations and referral systems that elder beneficiaries may not be able to follow in order to maintain their health care.

The best solution is to return patients to original Medicare, coupled with an excellent, full-service Part D provider. This way beneficiaries can use any doctor or facility that accepts Medicare (and most of them do), and then they will rely on their Part D provider to help them with their prescription drug needs, as well other services, including setting appointments, arranging transportation, providing medical information, non-English language services, and guidance in navigating complicated Medicare paperwork.

This combination will allow beneficiaries to truly take advantage of the Medicare system in a cost-effective, and service-oriented manner.

— Rajiv Rudra

Forest Hills, NY

Strange coincidences

Ever since I was a teenager, I have been a student of coincidence. Many hours have been spent researching eerie similarities between historical events, moments in pop culture, etc. On a personal level, all of us have come across trivial facts that make us do a double take. One such example for me is in the case of activist Malcolm X being born on May 19th (my birthday as well) and assassinated on Feb. 21 which is my daughter Elizabeth’s birthday. Sticking with the May 19th theme we get the following connection: On May 19, 1962, the sultry Marilyn Monroe sings “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy. On May 19, 1994, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis dies.

I could go on for hours. A renewed interest in this “hobby” reared its curious head when recently I read that Manson Family member Susan “Sexy Sadie” Atkins had died in prison on Sept. 24. Atkins was directly involved with the death of actress Sharon Tate. Two days later on Sept. 26, Director Roman Polanski, Tate’s husband is arrested in Zurich for the decades old crime of raping a 13 year old. Cue the “Twilight Zone” theme song.

— Anthony B. Harris


Prayer for Monday, Oct. 5

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use for edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice. And be ye kind to one to another, tenderhearted and forgiving, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Amen.

— Submitted by Shirley McGhee Harvey

Warner Robins