Letters to the Pilot

Monday, March 15, 2004

Ban alcohol in the hospital


I have recently read the article, "Medical Center Officials Debate Alcohol at Hospital Policies," in the February 26th edition of the Pilot Tribune. I would like to take an opportunity to express how strongly I feel about this article. The Buena Vista Regional Medical Center's trustees have been talking about the alcohol consumption in hospital facilities. While the chief executive officer does not think that it should be an issue, others do. I personally would agree with a previous [letter] from Donald Parrish.

I fully agree that alcohol in the hospital facilities is a violation of hospital policies and the trust that they are providing their patients is not being upheld. There are many people in the hospital for alcohol related reasons and should not be exposed to it. In my opinion, it should not matter whether there is a reception or a hospital party, it should not be acceptable to have alcoholic drinks served within a hospital. This is an issue that needs to be dealt with before problems occur.

- Jamie L. Fokken, Storm Lake

What! Bible in the Senate?


I received an email from a friend the other day and it contained a copy of a speech that was made in the United States Senate by Senator Zeil Miller (D) of Georgia. It was entitled 'Deficit of Decency' in America. I checked with his office in Washington, D.C. and it was delivered on Thursday, February 12.

Senator Miller had the audacity to quote from the Bible. I'm surprised the ACLU, People for the American Way, Americans for Separation of Church and State and the politically correct crowd didn't go ballistic and demand that Senator Miller be censured by his colleagues. They seem to function on the premise that one's spiritual convictions should be kept within the church walls. According to the history I have read our Founding Fathers did not concur with that position. They openly acknowledged their Creator. I have always thought that the people are the church and not the building.

You would think a U.S. Senator would know better than to breach the mythical wall of separation of church and state while on the floor of the Senate. I think Senator Miller believes the wall at best was established arbitrarily by an oligarchy. I am of the opinion he is right on target.

He even took the liberty to chide the Senate for remaining mostly mute on the social issues of our time. However, one must remember that this is an election year and some do not want to speak from the heart for fear of alienating voters. Perhaps they are more concerned about being reelected as opposed to confronting the issues mentioned by Senator Miller.

I have the utmost respect for Senator Miller and commend him for his fortitude and his willingness to take a stand.

- Jim Treat, Storm Lake

Martha: guilty of what?


Martha Stewart lied, if in fact she did, because she had every reason to believe she would be convicted of insider trading if she didn't. Yet the large numbers of people who assume insider trading should be a crime admit, usually without shame, that they would sell their stocks if inside information led them to believe their stocks were about to tumble in value.

It's said that this sort of "insider trading" activity gives the Martha Stewarts of the world an unfair advantage over "the little guys." What this argument ignores is that the Martha Stewarts of the world, who hold the most stocks, invest the most and take the biggest risks. In the case of Martha Stewart, the company would not even exist without her years of effort and the huge market value of her personality.

Chappell Hartridge, a juror who spoke publicly about his decision to convict Martha Stewart, commented after the verdict was public, "Maybe it's a victory for the little guy who loses money in the markets because of these types of [insider] transactions ..."

Earth to Hartridge: You just succeeded in killing Martha Stewart's company. You helped destroy the jobs of the people she employs and all her stock value in the process. Lots of little and medium-sized guys are being hurt by this. Get real. We know that it wasn't the defense of the "little guy" you were after. It was the destruction of a woman of high accomplishment you wanted.

- Michael J. Hurd, via e-mail