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Thursday, Oct. 8, 2009 05:30 am

Letters to the Editor 10/08/2009

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Typhoon Ketsana took more than 225 lives in the Philippines, where suffering continues after the storm. Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach needs financial contributions to cover the cost of shipping hospital equipment and relief supplies.
PHOTO BY TYRONE AND RALPH LAGAMON

SPRINGFIELD RESPONDS
Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach, a local organization that collects and redistributes medical equipment and supplies throughout the world, is responding to a humanitarian need in the Philippines, where hundreds of thousands of people remain homeless and in dire need of food, clean water and medical care after Typhoon Ketsana.

Mission Outreach is among many humanitarian international organizations working to provide food, clean water, temporary shelter and medical/flood recovery supplies. Our partners in the hardest hit areas of the Philippines have contacted us asking for help. They have seen the suffering and devastation in hospitals unable to see patients because their ground floors were flooded.

On Oct. 8 a container with hospital equipment and supplies for this relief effort will be loaded at Mission Outreach. We have the needed equipment and supplies in our inventory but desperately need financial help to cover the shipping costs. We have begun gathering items for a second shipment of flood supplies, hygiene kits, blankets, sheets and basic hospital equipment.

At least 150,000 people remain displaced in the Philippines days after the typhoon brought a month’s worth of rain (about 16 inches) in six hours. The capital city of Manila was particularly affected and survivors have been forced to wade through unclean water to reach crowded evacuation centers. For information on Mission Outreach, please call 525-8843 or visit www.mission-outreach.org.

Bruce Compton
President/CEO
Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach
Springfield



THE GOP PLAN
We now know the Republican Party Plan for health care reform. This plan was revealed by two Republican leaders during recent town hall meetings. First, Eric Cantor, Republican congressman from Virginia, responded to a question about a person who had recently lost a high-paying job, and along with that, her private for-profit health insurance. She had just been diagnosed with cancer, and needs surgery immediately, but cannot afford it with no health insurance. Eric Cantor showed no compassion at all. He just launched into the Republican talking points, and suggested that she either seek out a charity or sell her assets.

Republican Sen. Tom Colburn of Oklahoma, a physician, responded to a similar plea by telling his constituent to ask her neighbors for help. He also showed no empathy. He smiled and said that it was the American way to ask your neighbor for help.

This is the Republican health care plan endorsed by John Shimkus and Aaron Schock. Neither Schock nor Shimkus has rebuked these two Republican leaders, so we can assume that they agree. We need a strong Public Option to ensure that the for-profit private insurance companies can no longer control our health care and our lives.  

C. Michael Peterson
Springfield



SOY YOU SAY
Had Jolonda Young spoken to an actual nutritionist instead of Sally Fallon, who has had no nutritional training, before writing the Aug. 20 article, “A diet to die for,” she might have discovered that Fallon’s allegations against soy foods are unfounded and have been widely discredited. Soy foods have actually been shown to reduce incidences of cancer and other chronic diseases (i.e. heart disease) in humans. Soy is high in protein and can be as easily digestible as animal-based proteins. In fact, whole civilizations have thrived on soy foods for thousands of years.

Your readers would do well to discount the misinformation being peddled by Fallon and her debunked Weston Price Foundation in favor of more reasoned advice from T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., the lead researcher of the China Study, the most comprehensive human health study ever done, and other leading nutrition experts who agree that limiting or eliminating animal-based foods in favor of healthy plant-based alternatives is a recipe for good health.

Matt Rice
Farm Sanctuary
mrice@farmsanctuary.org
Watkins Glen, N.Y.


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