Letters for Friday, July 11, 2008

• Hold on with property tax bill

• Fourth Amendment eviscerated

• What do we do when sick?

• Pills recommended for a reason

Hold on with property tax bill

After further reviewing the proposed real property tax bill now pending before the County Council, I feel that it is being offered under false pretenses.

The administration spokesman at Wednesday’s council meeting claimed that the bill would make the system fairer and simpler. It takes 147 pages of language to make it simpler?

It was stated in the administration Powerpoint presentation that the bill would significantly increase county revenue from buildings as compared to land. He said that rates for buildings would be three times higher than rates for land. In fact, the bill has absolutely no provision concerning rates that would be applicable to either.

The spokesman said that the tax burden for owners in the residential category would fall 31 percent and resort burdens would rise 24 percent. But this is totally “pie in the sky” information as the bill contains no requirements as to the rates that would be set by the council in the future.

The comments being made by council members were also misleading. One member claimed that taxes spiraled out of control because of a rapid runup of assessments. The fact is that despite what our council members try to tell you taxes increase because county spending soars. While tax amounts in individual cases are affected by increased assessments, the total tax amounts are related only to the appetite of our government in its spending. Remember that according to our last 2006-2007 audit the unreserved, undesignated general fund balance as of June 30, 2007 was $32.3 million. This means that not only is our spending out of control, but we are over-taxing the people to have accumulated such a huge balance in our general fund — a balance that can be spent at the whim of our government. The claim made by the member that taxpayers have benefited by enacted tax shelters is also deceiving because no one knows what rate adjustments would have been made if the shelters were not there.

If our county officials want citizens to have confidence in the integrity of our tax system they should be honest about what the tax bill says and what it does not say. Understanding our tax laws is difficult enough without the misinformation and spin being used.

Glenn Mickens


Fourth Amendment eviscerated

I am appalled by the outrageous capitulation of our Democratically led Congress.

Essentially what our Congressional representatives did yesterday when they approved the so-called FISA Compromise bill was to eviscerate the Fourth Amendment. You may recall from high school civics classes — that’s the Amendment that says “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Kiss it goodbye my friends, because this Constitutional guarantee is history, thanks to our leaders.

One hopeful note: the ACLU is prepared to challenge this law the moment George Bush signs it.

Gy Hall


What do we do when sick?

Neutriceuticals or pharmaceuticals? Snake oil or placebos? What should one do when sick, blue or dying?

Antibiotics and pharmaceuticals are my saviors, while others swear by goji, aloe vera, noni, supplements, nutrients and herbs.

I had bronchitis and wanted it treated naturally. I went to a naturopath and was treated with acupuncture and expensive supplements. Ironically one of the supplements had cow lung in it, yet they suggested I go on a vegetarian diet. After taking the supplements for days and two acupuncture treatments my bronchitis became worse.

Finally I made an appointment to see a traditional physician and was prescribed antibiotics. Within hours of commencing the first dosage of antibiotics I felt like a new man.

Many people who smoke marijuana and self medicate themselves feel their illegal drugs are justified, yet constantly criticize others for their usage of prescribed legal medications that keep them going day to day.

People are living longer today than any other time in history. Our first president George Washington died of a tooth abscess, which today would commonly be treated with antibiotic therapy.

Two years ago I was hospitalized for three months with a spinal abscess, which without proper antibiotics and pharmeuciticals most definitely would had taken my life.

Pharmaceuticals, or neutriceuticals?

Remembering the old expression, “One man’s meat is another man’s poison.”

Kimo Rosen


Pills recommended for a reason

A recent letter (“Recommending pills to pop,” Letters, July 9) discussed the use of cholesterol-lowering drugs, called statins, by people with diabetes. Statins have been shown to help diabetic patients reduce their risk for stroke and heart attack and are recommended by the American Diabetic Association and the American College of Cardiology as a “best practice.” The HMSA Practitioner Quality Service Recognition program rewards doctors who follow such best practices because the appropriate use of health care services benefits our members, the health care delivery system and the community as a whole.

Ron Fujimoto, D.O.

HMSA Medical Director


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