I understand that letters to the editor are not required to check facts or even adhere to basic standards of accuracy.
Nevertheless, the letter from Dennis Evans published in the May 13 Dispatch ("A Baby Boomer’s Concerns") probably set a number of records for exaggerations, falsehoods, and incoherent rants.
It would take a very lengthy response to set the record straight in his litany of nonsense. But I’ll cite just a few. He claims:
— The IRS "will hire 16,500 agents to enforce" the new health care law. This myth has been repeatedly corrected by non-partisan independent sources such as factcheck.org, which sets the record straight: "The law requires the IRS mostly to hand out tax credits, not collect penalties. The claim of 16,500 new agents stems from a partisan analysis based on guesswork and false assumptions, and compounded by outright misrepresentation."
— We’re dependent on foreign oil because of "environmental extremists’ controls on drilling." I guess that’s why the Gulf of Mexico has been reopened to drilling, even after last year’s BP disaster. Seriously, any thoughtful analysis of this issue would have to look at available US sources vs. demand, economic and environmental costs of additional drilling in parks and off our shores, and the even more important need to better use and conserve rapidly dwindling natural resources. But I guess it’s easier to blame it all on your favorite bogeyman.
— We have an "18 percent unemployment rate" because businesses "don’t know what the administration may burden them with next." That falls into the familiar right wing game of create your own numbers, whether tethered to reality or not. Beyond that, I wonder if the author might acknowledge, in explaining job loss, some role to the deep recession of the past 3 years and the resulting loss of consumer demand.
— We have "skyrocketing food prices largely due to corn for ethanol." That’s an interesting analysis you won’t find in most economist’s reviews, but it does have the simplicity that ideologues might desire, again regardless of whether it totally ignores other more important forces at work.
— We have a President indifferent to "the terrorist threat." Yeah, I suspect that’s why he directed a huge expansion of military forces in Afghanistan. Oh, and tell that to Osama Bin Laden.
And on and on it goes, his list of silly rants and right wing bumper sticker slogans. It’s certainly fine to have strong opinions. It would just be nice to base them on reality, rather than a talk radio-influenced litany of lies and myths.
Relay Support Amazing
In one weekend we had: Mother’s Day, Springfest and the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) Relay for Life in Ocean City. All have their importance, however, I found Relay for Life the most rewarding. Why you ask? A celebration of life occurred.
Cancer survivors and their caretakers were honored in fighting cancer. Cancer has and will affect everyone in some manner throughout our lives because Cancer never sleeps. As a seven-year cancer survivor and a member of the Atlantic General Hospital Endoscopy Team, I was so gratified by the support from the public.
My team raised over $18,000 and over $165,000 was raised by 48 teams to support ACS in Worcester County. Before I was diagnosed with cancer, I had very little knowledge about this disease. I have since learned that it can affect people of all ages and races.
At the Relay, my greatest feeling was being with people who support the survivors and honor those who have passed. In walking the Relay track with other survivors, a heart-warming feeling was felt along with the joy of togetherness. Tears of emotion were demonstrated by many, which will never be forgotten. The Relay holds a special place in my heart.
My feelings are three-fold: joy for being there, hope for others to overcome cancer and sadness for those who lost the battle against cancer. Again, thanks to everyone. God bless you all.
Appalled By Behavior
“Politics, it seems to me, for years, or all too long, has been concerned with right or left instead of right or wrong.” (Richard Armour)
Last night’s Ocean City Mayor and Council meeting exemplified this statement all too much. On May 16, 2011, the Ocean City Mayor and City Council sat down to a regularly scheduled meeting to discuss the day’s agenda. Said agenda explored a new idea brought to the table by a local businessman, who, for the purpose of this article shall remain unnamed, and those of you whom keep up with local politics will know to whom I am speaking of.
His proposition was to buy or rent a gas station in Ocean City and to offer vouchers for one gallon of free gas per person per night stayed in our town. His premise was our current marketing scheme is “stale” and proposed this new poorly planned advertisement as a possible solution.
Unaware of the number rise of vacationers over the past few years, and the fact that the restaurants and hotels have been up, and not in the red, he offered to the City Council that the one million dollar funding for such a gas station should be ripped from the current advertisement budget.
While professionally trying to discuss such a catastrophic solution, Councilwoman Mary Knight was rudely interrupted by Councilman Brent Ashley.
Ashley, rather than respectfully listening to Knight’s experienced opinion, politely disagreeing, and then arguing his own viewpoint through factual evidence to support his claim, instead turned to personally attacking Mrs. Knight, and showing his true bullying self.
Rather than showing his understanding of the matter, educated opinion and respect for a fellow council member, as a good politician should to win over the votes of his/her towns folk, Ashley challenged Knight’s professional experience and qualifications to speak on behalf of the advertisement and marketing of the Town of Ocean City.
It seems to me, someone did not do their homework. Taken from the Town of Ocean City’s Government webpage, and I quote; “Ms. Knight received her Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Business Administration and Marketing from Loyola College in Baltimore. She attended Johns Hopkins University for her graduate studies. Ms. Knight previously had a management career with AT&T for 27 years. She has served on the Ocean City Grievance Committee and prior to her election as the Labor Commissioner. As a Council Member she serves on Coastal Resources Legislative, Humane Society, and American with Disabilities committees. She is also a member of several community organizations.”
The next time you challenge someone’s credentials to make an educated opinion on a proposal concerning marketing and advertising, Mr. Ashley, make sure that person has not only majored in Business Administration and Marketing, but also worked in upper level management.
Inghram Meade Ocean City
Thank A Nurse Today
Every year, National Nurses Week focuses attention on the diverse ways America’s 3.1 million registered nurses work to save lives and to improve the health of millions of individuals. This year, the American Nurses Association (ANA) has selected "Nurses Trusted to Care" as the theme for 2011.
The celebration of “nurses trusted to care” is very appropriate. In 2010, Americans voted nursing the most trusted profession in America for the 11th time in 12 years in the annual Gallup poll that ranks professions for their honesty and ethical standards. Nurses’ honesty and ethics were rated “very high” or “high” by 81 percent of poll respondents. Our nurses here at Atlantic General Hospital can be proud of their patient satisfaction scores: Patients rate AGH nurses well above the national average in patient education, courtesy and respect, and discharge planning.
National Nurses Week began on May 6 and ended May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, founder of nursing as a modern profession. During that week, our nursing staff received massages and other gifts as tokens of our appreciation, and registered nurses in the Atlantic General Hospital and Health System were honored at a recognition dinner hosted at the Ocean Pines Yacht Club.
For those considering a health care profession, nursing is an excellent choice. Nursing continues to be the largest of the health care professions and is still growing, thanks to the outstanding local nursing programs at Wor-Wic Community College, Sojourner Douglass and Salisbury University. With health care reform there will be expanded opportunities for nurses in the role of primary care and wellness. Nurses are in demand and will continue to be trusted and appreciated by those they serve, providing the potential for a very rewarding career.
On behalf of Atlantic General Hospital and Health System, I want to recognize and thank the outstanding nurses that deliver high quality nursing services with a caring and genuine touch. The community is very fortunate to have a diverse and committed team of nurses who focus on continued learning and excellence in the care they provide to their neighbors and your family. Take a moment and thank a nurse today.
Colleen Wareing (The writer is AGH’s Vice President of Patient Care Services and CNO.)