Letters to the Editor - Nov. 1

November 01, 2011

We need a system that benefits everyone

To the editor:

Rodney Pearson’s (Oct. 23) mischaracterization of U.S. history and his misunderstanding of the facts of America’s economy in the 21st century cannot go without a reply.

First, he makes the claim that “America was not created, built, nor nurtured by angry people.” Really? Not angry about the perceived tyranny and abridgement of liberties from the British crown? Why then assemble an army and foment a violent revolution of independence? I’d say somebody was pretty angry.

In the same paragraph, he goes on to say that the founders sought to establish a new nation “built on the rights of the individual, not the tyranny of the state.” In fact, the term “individual” does not appear in the Constitution. The Preamble makes very clear the idea of a social contract and mutual responsibility.  “We the people… in order to form a more perfect union … common defense … general welfare.”

This is the language of community and nationhood, embodied by a responsive and representative government. It makes clear that we are, of necessity and in our own interest, our brother’s keeper. It is not the hyper-individualistic conception of freedom that we hear from conservatives today.

The people who are “occupying” Wall Street and many other streets across America are exercising their right to gather and to demand that their interests be heard by their supposed representatives. They cannot match the cash, lobbyists, or corporate propaganda machine that has been built over the past 30 years.  So they are seeking redress by the only means left to them.

The writer’s suggestion that if they’re not happy with the economy, they should move to Cuba, Venezuela or China, is insulting. It is based on a distorted view of both the movement and the “personal and financial freedom” that our economy has provided “since 1776.”

Our economic history has been characterized principally by shocking inequality and lack of either personal or economic freedom and mobility for large portions of the population — slaves, women, poor and landless whites, and waves of immigrants from Ireland, Germany, Italy, Japan, China, and elsewhere.  The dramatic growth of a prosperous middle class from about 1940 to 1975 was an anomaly, albeit one we could and should reestablish with sensible public policies. The “Occupiers” are merely exercising their right to demand that those policies be debated and adopted, rather than being “off the table” because too many have drunk the corporate Kool-Aid, and fail to understand the nature of their own economic interests.

Count me with the “Occupiers” — it’s time for a new paradigm that works for all of us.

Paul D. Crist

Loved ones may still get patient condition by phone

To the editor:

A recent column written by Tim Rowland about the release of patient information needs some clarification so that the community can understand what to expect when they or a loved one is a patient in the hospital.

What they can expect is to be in control of the release of personal information about their condition and care. To clarify the hospital’s policy on the release of information, loved ones and friends can continue to reach patients in the hospital by simply telephoning them and asking them how they are.

Telephone and room number information will still be provided to loved ones when they call the hospital’s patient information line at 301-790-8160. This better ensures accuracy in receiving the most up-to-date information on their loved one’s care, as opposed to reading a condition in the newspaper.

We are enhancing our policy by placing approval for the release of private information into the hands of the patient in order to protect their privacy. Family members also continue to have the ability to speak directly with the physicians and nurses caring for their loved one.

A one-word descriptor is seldom adequate to describe what a family member or loved one is going through in the hospital. A HIPAA-approved statement on condition could be ”serious” or “critical,” but if you are only gaining your information from the newspaper, what does that really tell you about your loved one’s condition?

At Meritus Medical Center, we strive for a more personalized approach that directly links our physicians and staff with the patient, family, and friends. That is what we call “family-centered care.”

Joseph P. Ross, FACHE, President and CEO
Meritus Health

Local film to be screened at Cortland Mansion

To the editor:

“Ai Means Love” is a movie that was made in Martinsburg, W.Va., and Hagerstown, Md., just last year in July. It premiered in Martinsburg this month and it was a big success to all who attended the premiere.

Here are a few comments of those who attended: “This was a beautiful movie, it showed what love really is through Christian faith, along with the culture and traditions of the Japanese. Plus it was full of funny moments. I would recommend seeing this movie to anyone and to whole families” — Bryan Churchey.

“Such an enjoyable family movie. I laughed, cried — thoroughly, loved it — a great Christian movie for family time together” — Sukey Rankin.

I have seen the movie three times and I enjoy it more each time. My wife, Masako Foltz, is in the movie and since she is from Japan, plays a Japanese part. Also Satomi Pirrone from Hagerstown plays a Japanese part in the movie.

The movie will be showing in Hagerstown at the Cortland Mansion on Nov. 17, at 7 p.m. and admission is $5. You will not be sorry you came and bring your own family.

For more information, go to

Bob Foltz Sr.

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