Letters to the EditorWeek 43

Local healthcare providers opposing ‘assisted suicide’ initiative

Dear Editor:

I am writing as a physician (along with several other healthcare providers) to express our opposition to Initiative 1000 – an initiative to legalize assisted suicide in our state.

Although we could discuss this measure many ways – as healthcare providers we wanted to present three main points from our perspective.

First and foremost, we strongly suggest that any honest healthcare provider who has been in practice for some time can relate experiences where patients supposedly in their last weeks or months of life have outlived everyone’s prediction. It is often impossible to state with confidence that a person has “less than six months” to live. In fact there are times where the patients make absolute liars out of physicians and other providers! What a tragedy it would be to have a person kill themselves based upon a “guess” by a provider about how much longer they have to live.

Secondly, I personally have told my patients many times over the years that they do not need to fear being in pain as they approach death. It takes a provider with the care and commitment to help that patient live the end of their life in peace and comfort. Instead of trying to push for an easy way out for healthcare providers, let’s invest more in education and facilities to ensure dying patients are provided compassionate and appropriate care so they truly can die with dignity and in peace.

Finally, don’t confuse this initiative with “death with dignity.” There already is the choice available to any patient to end any artificial life-prolonging measures whenever they choose. Ending artificial breathing, nutrition or other life support can be done as long as the patient and their family make their wishes known. Dying by taking pills when the “caregivers” have guessed at how long one may live and when the “caregivers” don’t commit to providing compassionate, committed care but only a prescription is clearly not dying with dignity.

Death is an extremely difficult part of our profession. But, walking through that process with an individual to whom I am committed has shown me countless times the importance of having those final weeks and months with family and friends and the healing of relationships that can occur prior to a loved one’s death.

Please join us in supporting true death with dignity, and vote “NO” against Initiative 1000.


David Bradford, MD

William H. Merry, MD

Bruce Myers, MD

Evonn O’Neill, MD

William W. Wheeler, MD

Gail Grubich, ARNP

Hornet Football team has a fine group of young men

Dear Editor,

It is often the case that the only news we here or read concerning our young people is BAD. Everything from car theft to vandalism to drug abuse seems to fairly represent the actions of our youth today. The blame has been placed on parents, society or the school system and it is time we looked at the other side of the coin.

On Friday, Oct. 10 we had the opportunity to host a breakfast for the Oroville High School Football team at Yo Yo’s Restaurant. I am pleased to report that we have never had a group of young men, or grown-ups for that matter, that exhibited the manners, courtesy and consideration for others found in this group.

It is a given fact that the behavior of the masses in any group, whether business or non-professional, is merely a reflection of their leadership. We wish to take this opportunity to offer heartfelt congratulations to Coach Hutchinson and his staff, as well as the players, for the way they conduct themselves as representatives of our community. And then we come to the unsung heroes of any group of you people, the parents. You have a lot to be proud of and congratulations on a job well done.

Roger and Hazel McClendon

Yo Yo’s Restaurant owners


The choice for next president is clear

Dear Editor,

It is time to vote for the next president of the United States. This is probably one of the most crucial elections in recent history it is important to consider the options carefully.

Obama will spend more, raise taxes for some and give tax credits to many who do not pay taxes now. Many historians now say that these types of policies served to prolong the great depression. Business and individuals pursue activities that are rewarded. Higher taxes punish increased profitability and business expansion, thus discouraging both. Tax cuts do me no good if my job has been curtailed. Besides it’s just not right to arbitrarily plunder one man’s hard earned profits in the name of taxes to give that money to someone not of his choosing.

Obama has stated that he thinks high fuel prices are a good way to encourage the development of green alternatives. He has voted for and introduced several bills that limit your rights to keep and bear arms as well as purchase ammunition for same. He has expressed some very dangerous and naive and misinformed ideas about national security. And he has a record of associations with some very unsavory characters.

On the other hand, John McCain has promised to cut government spending and curtail wasteful earmarks. He has promised to make known the names of those in either party who seek funding for wasteful pork-barrel projects. Because of this current economic crisis he has proposed a one year freeze on government spending except for a few key programs. From the start McCain wants to keep the current tax cuts in place and create more if possible knowing that when business and individuals get to keep more of the money they make the economy will grow and create jobs.

John McCain supports developing our oil and natural gas reserves as well as exploring a variety of other energy sources. This will keep about $7 billion from being sent abroad to foreign dictators who don’t like us much for the purchase of oil. This policy will create many new, high paying jobs for U.S. citizens.

John McCain understands the dangers facing our nation from several foreign fronts. He knows how to use diplomacy and back it up with force when appropriate. He understands the historical context of our current problems and will learn from the mistakes of previous leaders. John McCain loves this country and wants to make it a better, stronger and safer place to live and raise our families.

For me the choice is clear, I’ll cast my vote for John McCain and invite you to join me.

Stacy Storm


Isn’t about time the Neo Cons ‘Man Up?’


It appears from Bill Slusher’s last letter that he’s still clinging (albeit somewhat tenuously) to his theory that the U.S. banking crisis, global financial meltdown and likely (if not actual) recession is a result of past Democrat presidents and long ago enacted programs designed to end discrimination in lending. May I respectfully suggest that Mr. Slusher would have made a great defense lawyer for OJ Simpson in his infamous murder trial? In that bizarre case, some tricky defense lawyers got a gullible jury to disregard an enormous amount of circumstantial evidence and find Simpson innocent.

The bottom line to the collapse of big Wall Street Banks and the precipitous crash of the stock market, is that a largely unregulated investment banking community decided to play complex financial games with lots of bad loans. While the loans themselves were a significant part of the underlying problem, they had very little to do with social programs and past Democrat presidents. Instead they were encouraged by fat cats on Wall Street post 2003, who peddled them worldwide and covered them with Credit Default Swaps and lots of complex derivatives. To put it simply, the end result was no different than the internet bubble nine years ago, where lots of people bet on the (ridiculous) idea that things always go up in value (In this case, real estate). As for evidence, read Forbes, Fortune, The Economist or The Wall Street
Journal. (Or, if you’re still unconvinced, ask yourself why US Bank, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America are still healthy, but were subject to the same CRA act that was designed to end discrimination in lending)

What really bothers me about the Neo Con blame game is that after 7+ years of Bush and a huge string of disasters (Katrina, two badly managed wars, corruption, a huge deficit, the fastest growth in government spending in 50 years, financial meltdown, recession, etc), they still want to act like its all someone else’s fault. What ever happened to the term “Man up,” where people who make big mistakes own up to them and try to fix them? Why won’t the Neo Cons admit they made a really bad choice for president?

I’ll admit to usually voting Democrat, but there are certainly parts of conservative ideology that appeal to me (Smaller more efficient government, personal responsibility, conservative fiscal policies). Unfortunately, with the clowns in office now, we got the worst of all worlds and nothing but mistake after mistake.

Meanwhile I’ll wait for Mr. Slusher’s response to the next big disaster that hits the USA, although I already have a couple of suggestions. Tornadoes – Caused by Bill Clinton’s deregulation of the wind. Tidal Waves – Originally caused by a program of “social engineering” in the 70’s whereby poor minorities were encouraged to take swimming lessons which resulted in a greatly increased incidence of big waves in the oceans.

Greg James


An invitation to Republicans

Dear Editor,

As the Obama/Biden team maintains a lead going into November, a debt of gratitude is owed those who’ve made it possible. Thank you, Senator McCain for your volatile ever changing positions. After eight years of White House deception, America is longing for calm leadership we can predict and trust. Thank you, whoever you are, who gave us Sarah Palin, the gift that keeps on giving. Moreover, kudos to each of you, the millions of e-mailers who have resurrected the McCarthyism culture of fear and hate [and dare we not suggest racism]: Obama is a “secret radical Muslim, he hates America, befriends terrorists, refuses to salute the flag, is a Marxist, Communist, Socialist, the anti-Christ” and he will make a “good target” if the election does not go your way. Because thinking independent voters who decide our elections are repulsed, you can be sure you’ve made a difference. As a former Republican, I have fond memories of the GOP that once inspired my father and his father. Sadly I’ve witnessed in my lifetime, to the detriment of my country, that GOP lose its way culminating with George Bush Jr. The proud and hopeful Reaganites among you who voted for Junior once, I understand. But for stubbornly voting him back into office even as our nation began to unravel… you have, alas, now the opportunity to embrace your most cherished of ideals: personal responsibility.

The rebuilding of the eminence of the Grand Old Party can only happen hence in a cooperative effort to rebuild America. It cannot happen separately and bitterly. Yes, swallow hard, it will require some humility. And your first chance to demonstrate this is your individual rejection of the politics of fear and hate on Nov. 4.

Mark Lindstrom


Defeating ageism

Dear Editor,

I want to thank Jim Russel for his incomplete assessment of John McCain’s health related issues in “John McCain’s age is an issue.” Mr. Russell could have benefited from time rubbing shoulders with some of the science icons at Purdue University; it helped me immensely (in the late 80’sand into the 90’s). His editorial was a decent example as to how not to use statistics to make a very narrow argument — the anticipated longevity of John McCain. At age 72 Mr. Russell might question if he really trusts his own judgments?

Archibald Wright, John McCain’s maternal grandfather died at the age of 96. John McCain’s mother (Archibald’s daughter), Roberta Wright McCain is 96 years-old. Why do I use these two examples? Good question Jim. Glad you decided to help out. As a male, John McCain’s health is best studied from the perspective if his mother and his mother’s father. For me the prognosis looks good for a fruitful and full presidency.

On the other hand, Barack Obama’s mother died from cancer just shortly after her 53rd birthday. Her father died at the age of 74. Something else may not bode so well for Senator Obama. I do know that men with black heritage are also more prone to certain maladies such as sickle cell anemia, high blood pressure, strokes, etc.

That aside, perhaps you need some specialized training in the scientific method Mr. Russell. You could start by ingesting Nunally (Psychometric Theory), Keppel (Design and Analysis, A researchers Handbook), Cohen & Cohen (Multiple Regression), Pedhazur (Multiple Regression), Borg & Gall (Educational Research) and Tabachnik (Multi-Variate Statistics). I can tell you emphatically that these authors helped me immensely in terms of framing, understanding and testing hypotheses. They also helped me with issues regarding logic and analytical common sense. Perhaps a more diligent regimen in your advanced programs of study would have taught you a more professorial from of due diligence.

I hope that your fears have been allayed and that you will vote for McCain, However, I do understand that your editorial was perhaps a silly ploy. I don’t support socialists like Obama so don’t bother trying to scare me. My background is in Marketing, Cognitive and Social Psychology and Statistics. I have more credits in economics at the undergraduate level than you have at all levels. I was never allowed to take Economics light like people in Education, Public Administration and other professional programs that are somewhat less rigorous than their chosen fields of study. So please, be careful what you say and how you say it. You have your right to be wrong and confused. I have my responsibility to correct when people like you are wrong and confused. On average, at his age, John McCain has a life expectancy of about 12 more years and with his genes, who knows. I hope that you are able to contribute as mightily as Senator McCain has, in his, as you might put it, waning years. How did you react to Ronald Reagan during his Presidency?

Chuck Slowe