In your editorial endorsement of Sen. John Edwards (“Edwards’ Authenticity Trumps Kerry’s Momentum,” Feb. 5), you write that: “He went to law school too, moved to Nashville for a few years, and then proceeded to make a fortune. At least Edwards did it by representing the Little Guy and sticking it the Man, in the form of insurance companies and big business.” Right! He worked as a corporate lawyer here in Nashville until he realized there was a lot more money to be made by suing corporations rather than by working for them. His fortune came in the form of huge judgments against doctors, hospitals and corporationsthe same judgments that drive up the cost of malpractice insurance to the point that doctors no longer deliver babies or do brain surgery in certain states, thus denying “the Little Guy” easy access to health care. These judgments also result in corporate bankruptcy, thus denying “the Little Guy” a paycheck. In your words, “This is a respectable, believable Democratic life story.” No wonder I vote Republican.
Defending the perk
Wow! You caught St. Thomas Hospital System paying for its CEO’s membership in the “exclusive” Belle Meade Country Club (“The Belle Tolls,” Feb. 12). Although you seem to have no problem with its competitor paying its comparable executive a large enough salary to afford membership in the same club, St. Thomas somehow has conflicted its identity as a religious hospital by paying the “going rate” to attract a top talent to run its “billion dollar enterprise...serving 80 counties in three states.” But it’s only by attracting top talent that a faith-based institution can effectively survive in today’s highly competitive health care field. The question isn’t whether St. Thomas pays the “going rate,” but rather whether it is run in a way that allows it to meet its “health ministry” to the “poor and vulnerable.”
Your reporters won’t find that answer at the Belle Meade Country Club, but you might start by visiting St. Thomas’ clinic on Charlotte Avenue or its health care facilities amid the burgeoning Hispanic population in Southeast Nashville. What you will find at the Belle Meade Club is a target audience of Nashville’s rich and powerful (including the Scene’s editor and publisher, both of whom are members of that “exclusive” club), all of whom can be invaluable in helping St. Thomas carry out its Christian ministry.
John C. Diller
One of us has it backward
I’m glad to know you have misgivings about class warfare (Editorial, Feb. 5). You just seem to be confused about where it comes from. The biggest class warriors around are George Bush and the Republicans. They’ve waged war on unions, stripping tens of thousands of federal employees of their collective bargaining rights and making it easier for people who violate labor laws to get government contracts. They’ve waged war on workers everywhere by making it harder to get overtime. They’ve waged war on local communities by making it easier for huge media companies to get even bigger. They’ve waged war on working-class Americans by sending tens of thousands of them off to war, while running up grotesque deficits to give the very richest enormous tax cuts. When before in wartime have we asked ordinary Americans to sacrifice, but not the most privileged? They wage war on Americans of the future, saddling them with enormous debts that will cripple our economy for generations. In an America where the Federal Reserve Board tells us that half of the country held only 2.8 percent of the wealth in 2001, while the richest 1 percent held 32.7 percent, Sen. Edwards is just describing reality when he talks about “two Americas.” It’s nonsense to claim that those of us who point these things out are “class warriors,” while those who fight so valiantly for the benefit of the most privileged are not.
Missing it already
I would like to thank Kay West for explaining to all of the stunned Corner Market customers why we no longer have our little neighborhood market (“Cornered,” Feb. 5). Little did I know, I had stopped in for my last blueberry muffin and tea on that last Saturday. A ritual for many of us accustomed to Saturday morning hikes at Percy Warner was rewarding ourselves with a visit to The Corner Market. Like all neighborhood gathering places, it served more than food. Unfortunately, Nashville seems to be losing the soul and warmth that many of us found there.
So...do you think she likes it?
Can someone tell me why our local “alternative” paper now has a society page (Group Therapy)? Who ever thought we’d see the day that such trite, shallow commentary would appear in the pages of the Scene? “Group Therapy” isn’t just a waste of space, it’s an affront to community-minded readers seeking substance. Many of us don’t appreciate pretentious remarks about the kind of Coso Nashville is and isn’t ready for. No, Nashville is not Manhattan. It’s a wonderfully distinct and diverse city in its own right. Some of us like it that way.
Rare love mail
Just wanted to send a quick note about how much I have enjoyed the recent issues of the Scene. One of the most refreshing columns I have read is the one by your new nightlife writer, Amy Waddell. Her prose is entertaining. Group Therapy is usually the first column I read when I pick up a copy. You guys keep up the good work.
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