Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

May 2, 2013

May 2, 2013: Letters to the editor

Reports of climate change span decades

From an article in the The Washington Post:

The Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consulate, at Bergen, Norway.

Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes.

Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well-known glaciers have entirely disappeared.

Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds. Within a few years it is predicted that due to the ice melt the sea will rise and make most coastal cities uninhabitable.

I apologize; I neglected to mention that this report was from Nov. 2, 1922, as reported by the AP and published in The Washington Post — 90 years ago.

Bill Dague


Insurance companies, Medicare call shots

I really didn’t want to write this letter. I don’t desire to see my name in print, and I truly don’t think I am always right.

Unfortunately, our very close friend’s husband died prematurely. It should have never happened, and it could have been prevented!

As far as we’re concerned, Medicare and his insurance as good as killed him!

He was suffering a very bad hernia. He was very ill from it and had to wait several weeks to have the surgery performed. It was supposed to be an outpatient procedure.

After the surgery, the surgeon, who has a very good record and reputation, told our friend the hernia was very bad and he expected a good chance of complications.

But our friend was sent home because the hospital would not admit him (even though the doctor wanted him admitted) due to Medicare and his insurance declining his admittance.

The doctor told our friend to keep watch for any signs of trouble, not to call him but go immediately to the hospital ER. This man suffered horribly, and his wife took him to the ER a few days after the surgery.

Once again he was declined admittance by the hospital because of Medicare and his insurance. He was sent back home with pain pills, and the hospital never notified his surgeon about his visit to the ER.

A day and a half later, our friend’s husband was dead. He had a massive blood clot in his heart, and several others in his lungs. He was 74 years of age and, up to that time, stout and basically healthy.

He did not have to die from this! Had he been in the hospital, treated by professionals due to his complications, the outcome could have been very different.

If you think you are in good hands with Medicare and other insurance, you’d better think again.

How many people will have to die because our insurance companies and Medicare call the shots instead of the medical profession that knows what’s best for us? Doctors know the risks to each individual, and they know that each case is unique to each person.

I didn’t want to write this, but somebody must speak up. Something has to be done about this before other loved ones will leave us way too soon!

Garrett W. Floyd


Medical marijuana should be available

While there is overwhelming support for legalization of medical marijuana, its users still suffer harsh discrimination. Sometimes they lose their jobs, and sometimes they can lose their life.

In Colorado, Brandon Coats is disabled throughout 80 percent of his body. He suffers involuntary body spasms that can only be helped through marijuana. While marijuana is a miracle drug for relieving various medical conditions and pain, the federal government continues to deny this evidence and state it has no medical purposes.

So, while as a customer service representative, he was subject to random drug tests by his company.

While Colorado law states those who use a legal drug are safe from discrimination and firing, Mr. Coats wasn’t because the company cited federal law.

The fact is a company can’t fire someone in that state for Viagra, but they can fire someone like Mr. Coats for taking marijuana for body spasms. Marijuana is the only legal drug where it is legal to discriminate against someone who uses it. Now, if that case made you mad, just wait for the next one.

Norman Smith was a patient with cancer of the liver. I say Mr. Smith was a patient, because he died. He died because he was removed from a waiting list for a liver transplant. He took marijuana with the advice of his oncologist for his severe pain.

No, the government did not mandate he be removed from the waiting list, but it is part of the larger culture of intolerance for marijuana usage in the culture among the elite, be it government, police or even hospital administrators. Norman Smith might still be alive today, if not for that mindset. By the way, groups such as the Marijuana Policy Project work to reform these unjust laws. We need a medical marijuana law in Indiana, now.

Colleen Kronquist