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presstalk 671-TALK

• This is in response to the caller who complained about the high profits of oil companies and who stated that the informed consumer would know that oil prices have increased and requested that physicians, hospitals and others be required to post their prices. If he or she was an informed patient, they would understand that their insurance companies, unfortunately, set prices. I personally, as a physician, have been practicing for over 15 years and now must see six patients to the one patient I saw 15 years ago. I also know three other colleagues who are in the process of getting out of medicine because they can no longer afford to treat patients because of such low imbursement rates. So, if that person needs to be informed or needs further information, they should look at their ELVs or they should look into what reimbursement of their particular insurance company pays if they want posted prices.

• There is nothing alleged about the high profits of big oil companies. Those profits are real and they’re outrageous. The best way to reduce these dollars going to these rich oil companies is to launch a congressional investigation into the price fixing that exists in the marketplace today. There is no reason for these gas prices to remain the way they are. In fact, I just noticed in the paper that federal regulators are planning to recommend enforcement action against Marathon Oil Company alleging it attempted to manipulate crude oil prices in late 2003. Now is the time to launch a congressional investigation and let’s reduce these gas prices.

• I was very disappointed to read in the farragutpress about the plans to install a traffic light at the intersection of Kingston Pike and Old Stage Road. Does anyone realize what this means? Cars come speeding eastbound around Kingston Pike on that sharp curve. There’s no way they’re going to stop for a traffic light. Right now, I am predicting many T-bone collisions as a result of this traffic light. It’s a very poor location to put a traffic light, and really doesn’t belong there.

• I’m calling in response to the person who called basically retaliating about the high profits of oil companies, saying that they were seriously misinformed. I don’t think that person knows too much about what they’re talking about. He basically compared buying gas, which you do every week, to buying Microsoft Windows and X-ray machines and apparently going to CVS every week, of which most people do not do on a weekly basis, on a have-to situation. I mean, I don’t buy Windows XP every week, I don’t buy an X-ray machine every week. So if that person wants to say that an informed consumer knows that oil prices have not really went up that much, then he needs to be informed on the differences between something you buy every week and other things he or she is trying to compare them to.

• I was calling in response to the person who called comparing gas companies and Microsoft Windows and another company that makes hospital equipment. I’m not sure if that person thinks that they’re very knowledgeable because a normal person understands that you have to buy gas every week. I have to buy gas every week to get my kids back and forth to school and get to work. But I do not have to buy hospital equipment and Microsoft Windows every week just to get my kids back and forth to school or to fill my car up every week so I can get to work. I don’t think that person knows what they’re talking about and shouldn’t be calling in and commenting when they should be trying to compare apples and apples and oranges and oranges — when they’re not doing that.

• I live off of Grigsby Chapel Road, and several times this month have found as many as six mallard ducks in my swimming pool. Does anyone else have this problem, and how do we prevent this?

• Editorial freedom is a wonderful concept, but it does come with its responsibilities. With that in mind, the farragutpress has developed policies that will be followed regarding the publication of presstalk comments:

• Libelous comments will not be published.

• Malicious comments will not be published.

• Comments will remain anonymous.

• Recorded comments will be limited to 30 seconds.

• Names of individuals or businesses mentioned in the call will not be published (including public figures and officials).

• Comments mentioning names of public figures will be published as a “Letter to the Editor” and must be signed.

• The farragutpress reserves the right not to publish any comment for any reason.

• Because of space limitations, not every comment will be published. Also, portions of the 30-second message may be omitted, but the basic message of the call will remain intact.

• Vulgar language will not be printed.

That’s it. The forum is open for comments regarding anything you have on your mind — local politics, world affairs, sports, religion, community affairs, city-county unification or anything else.


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