March 9, 1998 in Nation/World

Letters To The Editor

 

HIGHER EDUCATION

Let’s demand EWU be spared

Like a heartbroken parent helplessly waiting for the imminent death of a child, this community is helplessly waiting for that day when the mighty Washington State University will squeeze the life out of tiny Eastern Washington University.

I was overwhelmed with joy when Eastern Washington State College became Eastern Washington University. Through the years, thousands have enriched their lives through the education they received at EWU. Where are they? Where is the rage?

While funeral arrangements are being made for EWU by our politicians, we still have time to do something. Let us call, write and even go to Olympia in bus loads and demand in one voice that the life of this child be spared for the benefit of our children and grandchildren. Let them know that EWU is not for sale.

M. Philip Mathew Spokane

Clark should be made to spill beans

Once again, columnist Doug Clark has been allowed to use his soapbox (“Lampoon finds Mark, so EWU targets author,” Feb. 22) to toss pies at the not-so-smiling faces of Eastern Washington University administrators.

Clark seems to relish any and all attacks upon his alma mater, hiding behind the First Amendment while encouraging other Twain wannabes to do the same.

As for the origin of this mysterious letter ridiculing former EWU president Mark Drummond, if Clark knows the author’s identity - as he claims - there should be ways to force him to reveal the person’s identity. The First Amendment is clearly not intended to protect cowardly scribes’ attempts at satire.

Perhaps state Sen. Jim West, who has done so much for EWU in the recent past (merger proposals, Seahawk negotiations), could use his influence to arrange some modifications to the First Amendment.

In the meantime, Clark should leave the business of making EWU officials look stupid to those who do it best.

Rick Nesbitt Spokane

BUSINESS AND LABOR

Beware of billing ‘opportunity’ scams

I recently saw an ad in your paper for medical billing/ claim processing. Please be aware that many companies selling this opportunity have been found guilty of fraud by the Federal Trade Commission.

In August 1996, I bought into this “opportunity.” I checked with the FTC and Better Business Bureaus in all three states the company had addresses in, and found no complaints at that time. I then handed over $7,995 to a company that provided software that never worked, a clearinghouse that was unable to accurately process claims and marketing staff that never fulfilled a written contract. The company I invested in is now bankrupt and being further investigated by the FBI.

It is possible to start a medical billing business with excellent full practice management software and a reputable clearinghouse for less than $1,500. I now have a successful home-based medical billing business, and I love it.

I urge anyone attending seminars on medical billing business opportunities to check out the FTC Web site at http://www.ftc.gov for information on companies being investigated for fraud, as well as a consumer publication Medical Billing Business Opportunity Schemes: A Bitter Pill.

Julie Hansen Strout

Claim Management Systems Inc., Spokane

In some things, average won’t do

In Sacred Heart Medical Center’s advertisement about nurse staffing, the hospital claims it is 6.53 percent above the national average. It sounds to me like SHMC would like to lower the ratio to the average.

Average, to me, means mediocre. If I or one of my loved ones is in the hospital and our health or life is on the line, I would want good or even excellent care, not average. I support Sacred Heart’s registered nurses.

Vincent J. Elbert Spokane

SHMC ad an unfair tactic

Upon reading my daily newspaper, I was surprised and chagrined to see the half-page newspaper ad the president of Sacred Heart Medical Center felt compelled to share with the public.

His obviously underhanded, unprofessional, possibly illegal-as-it-could-be and unfair labor practice to negotiate the pending labor management dispute with outsiders (people not directly involved, like the public) is a blatant attempt to sway public opinion.

The nurses, who are members of the Washington State Nurses Association, are exercising their collective bargaining rights. Skip Davis chooses to reveal specific terms of a pending labor management dispute by printing those terms in the newspaper.

Do not be taken in by a weak attempt to sway your opinion. Davis appears to be misleading the public through emotional means. Instead, trust the nurses who really do know the important issues that surround their working environment. Support the WSNA.

Loyce M. Weishaar Spokane

MICROSOFT

Don’t repeat Bell meddling mistake

It appears Microsoft has been identified as a monopoly.

I am not qualified to agree or disagree with that decision. Apparently, a high percentage of those with personal computers think it is the best on the market. I have Windows 95 and it certainly does what I need done.

Let’s not restrict what Microsoft has done and will do just because it has an excellent product that most users prefer. I remember some years back when the courts and politicians decided the Bell System needed to be divested. Very few think that was a rocket science decision. Let’s not repeat that same result with Microsoft.

Wm. J. Hiatt Spokane

Government butts in again

Re: “Gates finds few friends at hearing” (March 4).

Oh yes, let’s have the politicians, judges and bureaucrats get together and figure out the best way to run America’s economy. These are the same economic wizards who occasionally “save” the retirement Ponzi scheme called Social Security by increasing taxes and lowering benefits, and whose clever central banking system causes regular inflation explosions devaluing everyone’s bank accounts, and whose misguided philanthropy with stolen tax dollars inexplicably causes huge cost increases for medical care, forcing the socialization of medicine because no one can afford to buy health insurance. Should I go on?

Yes, these brilliant central planners magically know how the computer market should work, and will now make certain I get the best deal next time I walk into a computer store. What would we do without their protection from the evil Bill Gates, who forces me to buy his worthless products at outrageous prices because his company is - gulp - a monopoly?

I hate to sound like an anti-government, libertarian extremist, but America is the wealthiest nation in the world not because government wisely runs the economy, but because people have been free to innovate, create and provide what consumers demand. Microsoft’s supposed monopoly will last only as long as it provides what consumers want at a reasonable price. In a free market, a monopoly is always vulnerable to competition.

Greg D. Holmes

Spangle, Wash.

Vultures ready to pick Microsoft clean

Shades of the tobacco fiasco. Now, it’s Microsoft’s turn. Ralph Nader and the big-gun lawyers are waiting in the wings, ready to pounce. There’s money calling.

The feds did a number on IBM and the company has never fully recovered. Now, it’s time to go after one of our nation’s most successful companies: Microsoft.

Microsoft has put 62,000 people on its payroll and fed large amounts of taxes to support our government.

I belong to America Online, which provides Explorer and Netscape Navigator, giving me a choice of using either one as my browser, so what’s the problem?

The government has decided to socialize another great company and, as usual, dumb-down the United States. Netscape, Sun, Novell and the other whiners had better wise up because if they should succeed at Microsoft’s expense, they will be next to pay off the trough feeders of the U.S. government.

Kathleen S. Richmond Mead

IN THE PUBLIC EYE

Clinton has done well where it matters

With all the hoopla surrounding the alleged Clinton scandal, it seems that we as a nation have lost our focus on the issues that really matter.

From the time Bill Clinton took office, he and his family have been subjected to the worst treatment by both the media and self-appointed messiahs, who choose not to look at their own shortcomings but are quick to accuse someone else.

Clinton has been our best chief executive since John F. Kennedy. The economy is going strong, inflation is low and our prestige among other nations has increased during the Clinton presidency.

Most importantly, Clinton is focusing on issues that pertain to the majority of Americans. Things like job retraining for dislocated workers, welfare reform, saving Social Security, providing child care for working mothers, creating affordable and decent housing for low-income and homeless Americans, in addition to working to make our cities places where people can live and work without fear of crime or violence. These are just a few of Clinton’s accomplishments.

In the New Testament, Jesus responded to those who would condemn a woman accused of adultery by saying, “Let he who is without guilt cast the first stone.” The townspeople dropped their stones and quietly returned to their homes. Can we also learn to forgive and forget, not only our own but others’ mistakes as well? For until love and charity are not merely spoken but are put into daily practice, can there ever be an end to war and human suffering.

Gary S. Remington Spokane

Special investigators for Congress, too

Let’s get our government all cleaned up. Let’s appoint a special prosecutor for each one of our congressmen and for each one of our senators. Let’s thoroughly examine what they have done in their lives for the past 25 years. Then, let’s have the special prosecutors investigated for all their acts, sexual or otherwise.

Even in a wink of the eye, we can certainly figure out what they meant. This surely would save God from having to judge them and God’s mercy won’t have to endure forever, either.

M.L. Davis

Rathdrum, Idaho

Train-up our leaders

The United Nations, while promoting world peace, faces staggering deficits, not just in funding but in the more substantial form of leadership. The United States has shown a marked decline in its leadership role over the last 30 years. Our diplomats and cabinet officials seriously lack foresight, fortitude and integrity.

After serious discussion with many ex-military officers, it’s agreed that we need leaders to set our nation’s goals and then lead by example. All leaders make mistakes, but they must have the experience of leadership while under fire, not just the scrutiny of an independent counsel.

The plan is to get Congress to contact the secretary of Air Force and schedule Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Secretary of Defense William Cohen and security adviser Sandy Berger for training as B-52 tail gunners or radar intercept officers on a Navy F-14 Tomcat. The temporary lull in Iraq will allow time for plenty of training to be prepared to lead the first wave to Bahgdad, when the U.N. agreement is abruptly terminated.

This plan will achieve three objectives:

Demonstrate their leadership qualities in leading by example.

Substantiate their conviction and integrity for something they believe in by putting their lives on the line with the others.

Allow the opportunity for the first woman secretary of state to lead into combat.

If this plan were to be accomplished, Americans would finally have officials we could he proud of and who could truly be called leaders.

Mark Liptrap Spokane

OTHER TOPICS

Don’t be so hasty about others’ era

Re: “Adam Sandler meets the ‘80s: a Perfect Match,” (Our Generation movie review, March 2).

I acknowledge Logan Graf’s opinion regarding “The Wedding Singer” but disagree with his comment that the ‘80s are “better off forgotten” and “This film takes place in the worst year of the worst decade ever, 1985.”

Funny, by the looks of this young man, he can’t possibly have significant memories of the 1980s, which include the humor and music in this movie. My guess is he was born in the mid-1980s, which would put him under 10 years old when 1990 hit. Gee, how did the ‘80s hurt this guy?

My friends and I graduated in 1984, loved the ‘80s, as it was our era and enjoy the “old” music. I suggest to Graf that the ‘90s will be his era. I could then seriously take into consideration that his negative comments on the ‘90’s are warranted.

Before you state something is better forgotten, be sure you have the years and knowledge to back it up.

Hollie C. Kernkamp Spokane

Feeney ‘a jewel’

Spokane has a shining jewel in its midst: Kendall Feeney of Zephyr. She shines when she comes on stage to introduce a piece of music and proceeds to informally teach the audience about the background of the piece. And just knowing what lengths she had gone to to bring this piece to Spokane makes it extra special.

Contemporary classical music presented in an intimate style at The Met adds a special ambiance to our enjoyment of the music. Her last concert of Slavic music was exquisite.

To Feeney and the other musicians she invited to be a part of this, I say, thank you.

Patti R. Osebold Spokane

Too few own pets responsibly

Every time I pick up the paper, I read another article about the neglect of pets. How on Earth can a person neglect a family pet and then, when a litter of puppies born, dump them? If a person is unable to spay or neuter their pet, they should keep them inside a fenced yard or in the house. Also, many agencies will help defray costs. There is no excuse for neglect. Become responsible or don’t have a pet.

Millie Erickson Spokane

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