It saddens me to read that Coach Dean Smith of the North Carolina Tar Heels has died. In my opinion he was the best men’s basketball coach of all times. He taught more than basketball, he taught sportsmanship, team play and respect for opponents, discipline, self-pride, personal honor and obedience. He also emphasized the importance of studying and making good grades.
I loved the way he taught the game in all aspects of basketball and handled himself with such patience in not only coaching under sometimes difficult circumstances, but also taught self-control and character. His character traits as a coach, teacher and person were superb. I certainly will think of him during March Madness.
-- Faye W. Tanner
I’m going to miss RadioShack. Over the years I’ve purchased many handy electronic items there. Examples:
1. Reliable wireless outdoor-indoor thermometer. It made great Christmas gifts.
2. Radio-controlled “atomic” clock accurate to within nine billionths of a second. (No excuse to be late.)
3. Portable radio in my bathroom on which I listen to the “John Boy & Billy Show” every morning. Thanks RadioShack.
-- Cash Stanley, M.D.
Opposed to HR 30
On Jan. 8, the House of Representatives passed the Save American Workers Act of 2015, House Resolution 30, in an effort to raise full-time weekly work hours from 30 to 40. This proposal could be detrimental for millions of nurses and other health care workers. Traditionally, health care employers, hospitals, in particular, have supported the 36-hour full-time work week and have offered health care insurance benefits as such. Repealing the 30-hour full-time eligibility empowers employers to no longer offer minimal health care coverage or to increase health care coverage premiums for those who do not meet the new requirement.
This legislation is vehemently opposed by the American Nurses Association, which represents over 3 million registered nurses. In the new economy of “pay-for-performance” and substantial CMS (Medicare and Medicaid) cuts in reimbursements, health care organizations are scrambling to find ways to stay in business. The Kaiser Foundation reports for 2012, the average Georgia health care employer contributed $10,173 per employee toward family coverage premiums alone. While proponents of HR 30 tout claims of more “eligible hours for workers,” under the new mandate, millions of health care providers and their families could lose coverage. I want to encourage Georgia’s many nurses and health=care providers to contact Georgia’s senators, particularly Sen. Johnny Isakson, asking them to oppose the Save American Workers Act and protect Georgia’s crucial health care providers.
-- Tunisia Love, BSN, RN-BC
Sitting in the pews
After seeing the outrage of media talking heads over President Obama’s comments during the National Day of Prayer Breakfast about violence in the name of religion, I reread his comments and found them to be very factual. Some believe the atrocities committed by individuals claiming to be Christians as only happening in the Dark Ages instead of recently in the so called Age of Enlightenment.
Consider the following information from an article in The New York Times dated Feb. 10. From 1877 to 1950, nearly 4,000 blacks were lynched across the South. On Tuesday, their names were finally revealed. The Equal Justice Project released an inventory that includes 700 people whose deaths were previously unaccounted for in lynching records. “If you’re trying to make a point that the amount of racial violence is underestimated, well then, there’s no doubt about it,” said Professor E.M. Beck of the University of Georgia, who has worked on researching and revising other lynching records. “What people don’t realize here is just how many there were, and how close. Places they drive by every day.” The organization plans to erect markers and memorials across the 16 states where blacks were hung, shot, beaten, stabbed, castrated and set on fire.
Many of those who committed these heinous acts were members of the KKK that claimed to be a Christian organization and were likely sitting in their local church pews the following Sunday.
-- Carl Pirkle
Was President Obama out of time and sync when he said, “And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ ... In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”
Not for me entirely. It is difficult to make such cultural comparisons spanning hundreds of years while respecting the time restraints of a one hour speech. Besides, history and accurate Christian theology is rarely a president’s strong suit. That’s not what got them into office, or what keeps them there.
Behaviors of recent variety such as the KKK are still with us and are put down and prosecuted as wrong in this country. We can be thankful for at least some progress, maybe even take a bit of credit. This may prove to be Obama’s misstep, failing to acknowledge our achievements, thus avoiding the appearance, for many, of being a judgmental moralist against the USA.
Now, we are all watching to see what the Muslim community/state will do with those who claim to be Islamist, and yet selectively use the Koran as justification for what most in the world are rightfully calling acts of terrorism, evil and murder.
If this is what Obama was saying to us all, then fine. If not, history will tell. Either way, he wants us down off our high horse.
-- Glenn Harrell
In the debate over whether children should be vaccinated to prevent measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), where are the voices of the advocates for the unborn? At one time, the medical community claimed babies born to pregnant women exposed to rubella were at risk for birth defects. Is that no longer true?
-- Jerrilyn M. Larkin