Reader letters, Oct. 18

Oct 17, 2013

Take in Junaluska Singers concert

To the editor:

On the 3rd and 4th of July this year, my wife Lounelle and I had the privilege of hearing the magnificent Lake Junaluska Singers directed by Melodie Galloway.

Her choice of music, balance and blend of voices and rapport with the audience were outstanding.

All of us at the concert were treated with an idea of just how beautiful America is. I pray that you will attend the October and Christmas concerts with Jack Ewing and Galloway. You are in for a treat.

Glenn Draper

Director emeritus

Lake Junaluska Singers


Back to insurance shopping

To the editor,

I am left flabbergasted at the misstatement by the Blue Cross Blue Shield representative, Ashlee Smart, in your recent article “Insurance reform prompts new marketing strategies,” The Mountaineer, Monday, Oct. 14.

Under sub heading, Rates Increase, your paragraph in its entirety:

Those who are satisfied with their existing plan, or who are already covered through Medicare or Medicaid, won’t need to make changes.

Personally, I had a plan from Blue Cross Blue Shield; the insurance company whose retail approach to selling insurance was the subject of your article.

I was not grandfathered as indicated in the article, as I bought a catastrophic health insurance policy after March 23, 2010.

This plan, as per Blue Cross Blue Shield is not “compliant” with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Thereby changes are in order starting January 1, 2014.

Two noteworthy items:  the new plan offers health items that will possibly benefit me.  Who decided that?

As an individual, isn’t that my concern, my responsibility?  Secondly, my definition of insurance is to protect against something bad happening.  Since people of a certain age are not allowed to buy catastrophic health insurance, how can we really call it insurance at all?

The accuracy of that statement “won’t need to make changes” perhaps warrants defense on Ms. Smart’s part.  I was satisfied with my existing plan, and I will need to make changes.

Ben Fishback



Bullying tactics happen in both school, workplace

To the editor:

There has been a lot of news lately about problems with bullying; and whether it is actually occurring within our school system. I am a parent of an individual that was bullied throughout most (if not all) of his tenure in Haywood County Schools. However, this is not the reason for my letter today.

My son, not only has endured all the bullying in his school years; he now must endure bullying in his adult life also. Whether you like it or not; we are all different when it comes to God’s creation.

But, whenever your boss ridicules you and belittles you for your sexual orientation in front of co-workers and the public, someone has overstepped their boundaries.

I have filed a formal complaint with their corporate headquarters, with no avail. It seems North Carolina is a right to work state, and an employer can release a person from employment for any reason deemed necessary by the management.

I can only hope and pray for these gentlemen (and I do say that lightly) one day to experience the ridicule they inflicted on my son; in a very similar way. However, “vengeance is mine, says the Lord”.

Joseph Denney


Give governors control over federal budget

To the editor:

From 1855 to 1885 Britain pioneered modern superpower status with scientific innovation, investment, manufacturing, finance, trade, military domination of sea-lanes.

They produced 30 percent of the world’s GDP. Subsequently, their Boer war (1898) and WWI bankrupted Britain.

The British pound remained the world’s currency, but debt rose to 135 percent of their GDP. American industrial power surpassed Britain in 1895 and still leads the world today.

Patents by country in 2008 were: US, 401; China, 204; South Korea,172 and Germany,136. From WWI through 2007, American GDP has average 27 percent of world GDP.

But added debt load from Bush, ($6. Trillion, 8 years) and Obama ($6.1 trillion 4 years) raised our budget debt to 108 percent of GDP.

We are currently raising our budget debt by $1.6 trillion yearly.

Our GDP is growing by $.32 Trillion yearly. In 5 years, our debt will be 135 percent of GDP (23.4T/17/3T) like Britain was, and Italy and Spain are. China’s GDP grew 135 percent since 2008; now stands at $8.2 trillion, and projects to pass America in five years.

America has technology and business skills to grow GDP at a higher rate. But it cannot do it with a government that undercuts businesses, buys votes with government freebees, and plays the lower income voters against the higher income voters for political gain.

Congress has neither the insight, skill, nor guts to turn this train around.

Consider how politicians play these numbers. In 2010, Labor Bureau stats (less military and farmers) were 127 million workers.

The median annual income for 80 million workers was $30,100 or less, for 47 million workers was $37,500 or more. Congress’ liberal wisdom: raise minimum wage, send more kids to college, let Obama Care motivate more companies to create 29 hour workweeks (70 percent in 2013), kill the pipeline, let EPA strangle industry. Solution?

Eliminate Congressional budget control. Give their control to a two-thirds majority vote of individual state governors. Make whoever is president negotiate federal rules and costs to gain a 34-state majority.

Jack Ryan