Hurray for Hofmann

To the editor:

Hurray for Dr. Hofmann! (Business News, October 5) He is indeed a dynamo. However, I wonder what he knows that compels him to put andquot;tort reformandquot; on his andquot;to-doandquot; list? I have written to you before about this red herring. Anyone with a real interest in the topic can find endless information debunking the idea that our tort system is broken. (You can also find an endless supply of mendacious nonsense.) Whatever you wish to believe, one should check the local court for runaway verdicts. Check Multnomah County. Check anywhere.

The alleged symptom for the need for reform is ever increasing insurance costs. To borrow from what I wrote on this topic in a letter last year to this newspaper, we should remember the California experience. The California Legislature passed the 1975 Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act as a response to ever increasing medical malpractice insurance premiums. MICRA imposed a $250,000 noneconomic damages cap. Insurance premiums continued to rise. Proposition 103 was enacted by the people of California in 1988. Proposition 103 caused premiums to be frozen for nearly four years, it forced insurance companies to refund $1.2 billion to Californians including millions to physicians, it required insurers to open their books and justify future premium increases, it stripped the insurance industry of its exemption from antitrust laws and it provided for the popular election of the state insurance commissioner.

The result: According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners Report on Profitability for the period 1976-2001, between 1976 and 1988 doctors' malpractice premiums in California rose by 190 percent. Between 1988 and 2001, the Proposition 103 years included in that report, medical malpractice premiums in California decreased by 2 percent.

Again, hurray for Doctor Hofmann, but he should scratch this one from his list.

Milo Pope

Baker City

Hey, liberals, get over it

To the editor:

A simple message for all the loyal liberal leftist Democrats who are still sniveling and complaining about failing to put a traitor and ambulance chaser in the White House: Get over it.

America voted to put a man in the White House who said what he believed to be best for our security then walked his talk. Bush is not the perfect president. His border policy is a classic example of his failings. But he has succeeded in keeping the fanatic Muslim suicide bombers busy killing his owns neighbors and market places and not American shopping centers.

You leftist liberals will get your chance to destroy American again in 2008. I expect you to rally around Hillary and her dream of disarming the law-abiding citizens.

It's a guarantee that if she lets Bill have a couple redheads to keep under his desk he won't care what she does to this nation. Just think once she has our guns we won't need our freedoms of speech or choice or need to vote again. We will be her perfect peasants and the Democrats will have the White House forever. Or would you rather rally around a southern tier Democrat and see American become bilingual and pay with pesos?

It used to be said that if you're not a liberal at 20 you haven't a heart and if you're not a conservative by 40 you haven't a brain.

Like it or not our nation's in the best hands available in the last election.

Rather than complain about what has already happened let's start thinking about getting Oregon a governor who is willing to provide services for legal citizens and not just illegals. Someone unlike these sorry andquot;Kandquot; excuses we have suffered these past too many years who can understand that in a state dependent on income taxes for revenues people need to be able to work. We don't need a governor who believes in mismanaged apex predators or supporting those who chain themselves to fire-killed trees to andquot;saveandquot; the old growth.

Wyden and Ferrioli, neither of you are running for governor unfortunately.

Paul Schwarz

Baker City

Bush is dictator

To the editor:

There were too many September incidents involving the Bush Administration to mention in a 350-word letter. These are just some:

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the spawning of Rita, Bush crony Michael Brown (andquot;You're Doing a Heck-of-a-Job Brownieandquot;), the inept Federal Emergency Management Agency director, resigned. Senate Leader Bill Frist was charged with fraudulent insider stock trading. Bush was suspected of conspiring in similar activity several years ago, for three times the amount Martha Stewart sold on insider information. Bush was never investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, but Stewart went to prison. Figure that one out.

Another tough Texan, Tom DeLay, violated state laws by funding Republican politicians via the Texas two-step. He's been a cheap two-bit gangster his entire political career.

Bill Bennett cruelly disclosed his theory that the crime rate would be reversed if all black babies were aborted. That is unconscionable for the former secretary of education.

Judith Miller has been released from three months incarceration for not identifying Lewis Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, as her source in revealing CIA undercover agent Valarie Plame.

With the gas shortage, Bush flies guzzler Air Force One, while he wants everyone else walking, bicycling, hitchhiking, car pooling or grabbing a trolley while keeping him in the air. Where do the Republicans get these people? Criminologists studying the criminal mind could gain more information interviewing Republican politicians than prison inmates.

Bush governs more like a dictator than a president. By sticking his nose in worldwide business he is more an imperialist than a messenger of democracy.

Bring the troops home! If he wants to stay the course, Bush should resign the presidency, jump back into military uniform and head for Iraq. Cheney, who avoided the military with a college deferment, is a little smarter with double cross arsenic in his veins. Were Bush in Iraq, leading by example, it wouldn't surprise me a bit if Cheney, playing the national hero, would bring the troops home!

Ronald H. Chaney

Baker City

Maybe God is angry

To the editor:

In a recent letter to the editor, the author suggested hurricane Katrina is God's punishment of New Orleans for being a wicked city. Similarly, after 9/11 Reverend Jerry Falwell opined the attack on the United States was punishment for the alternative lifestyles of andquot;the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbiansandquot; and for attempts of ACLU and others andquot;to secularize America.andquot;

There's precedent for such belief in the Old Testament Flood story. God is portrayed as a vengeful god, who punishes many innocent people to get at the few bad ones, kinda like using a machete instead of a scalpel to remove a wart.

David Michael Green (, 10-5-2005) has come up with an alternative source of divine wrath: President George W. Bush. Couldn't God just as logically be punishing America for choosing George W. Bush as president, who has used the overwhelming military might of this nation to stamp out a dictator of a defenseless, oil-rich country, spurning opposition from almost every nation in the world?

Perhaps God became angry when President Bush claimed God anointed him to be president and sent him on a Crusade Bush's term to invade Iraq. God, being omniscient, did not need to read the Downing Street memos to know that deceit underlay Bush's reasons for going to war.

Maybe, one could suggest, God is punishing America for NOT using its power to stop the genocide in Darfur (Sudan) and Rwanda, countries NOT rich in oil.

It's a pretty scary thought that President Bush knows and presumably so does Osama bin Laden what God wants him to do. Conservative columnist George F. Will recently warned about such thinking. andquot;The greatest threat to civility and ultimately to civilization is an excess of certitude. The world is much menaced just now by people who think that the world and their duties in it are clear and simple. They are certain that they know what who created the universe and what this creator wants them to do to make our little speck in the universe perfect, even if extreme measures even violence are required.andquot;

Gary Dielman

Baker City