Thursday, Nov. 28, 2002
Reflecting on the bounty
To the editor:
As we prepare for our Thanksgiving Day celebration, it is a special time to reflect on the bounty most of us enjoy every day. It is a time to remember that our food, and products used to produce clothing, housing, medicines and other products used on a daily basis didn't just appear in a store. They got there thanks to a tremendous partnership of farmers and ranchers, processors, brokers, truckers, shippers, advertisers, wholesalers and retailers.
National Farm-City Week, which concludes today, has been proclaimed each year by the president of the United States to emphasize the successful partnerships between rural and urban residents who make our food and fiber system the envy of the world.
Today, as we gather with family and friends around the Thanksgiving table, it is fitting that we count among our blessings the vital farm-city partnerships that have done so much to improve the quality of our lives. Rural and urban communities working together have made the most of our rich agricultural resources, and they continue to contribute to our health and well-being and to the strength of our economy.
It is a time for me to say "thank you" to all those who make the farm-city connection to successful.
Rita L. Goodman
Lauderdale County Farm Bureau Women's Chairman
Tort reform unnecessary
To the editor,
I read with interest your editorial of Nov. 17 regarding tort reform. You posed the question "did lawmakers miss the result of the Nov. 5 election?" The question is did you miss the results of the election? You must have if you still believe that there is a "powerful trial lawyer lobby." I have heard until I am sick of hearing it how the Legislature is dominated by trial lawyers. Obviously, if we dominated the Legislature there would have been no medical malpractice tort reform.
We presented witness after witness who testified under oath that capping damages would not lead to lower insurance premiums for doctors. Despite our best efforts to educate them, the Legislature bent to the powerful medical lobby and passed "tort reform."
We suspected all along that there was no real basis for the legislation sought by the medical lobby. An article (provided to me anonymously) from the publication Modern Physician says, unless I read it incorrectly, that the Mississippi State Medical Association lied to the Legislature and inflated premiums it maintained Mississippi physicians paid for insurance in an effort to achieve the goal of obtaining caps. Not only did they misrepresent the facts concerning the amount of premiums paid by Mississippi physicians compared to Louisiana physicians, but they misrepresent the fact that capping damages would lower premiums. Louisiana has had caps for years and its premiums are much higher than Mississippi's and are on the rise.
I believe it is incumbent upon you and other media professionals in this state to get the facts and correctly report them. Certainly, you are entitled to your opinion, but you should be fair. Quit telling people that the Legislature needs to pass tort reform when there is absolutely no evidence that it is needed or that it will do any good.
David W. Baria
President, Mississippi Trial Lawyers Association
Students seek U.S. veterans for special program
To the editor:
The staff and students at Oakland Heights Elementary School are trying to find names of veterans who reside in Oakland Heights School community. We want to honor them with a program on Dec. 4 at 9 a.m. at our school. We want anyone who is a veteran or who knows a veteran to call the school at 484-4983 for more information.
A veteran is anyone who has ever served in any branch of the military, now or in the past. This will be a special citizenship program. We want the veterans to know how appreciated they are at Oakland Heights Elementary School.