This Isn't It?
In Addison Engelking's review of This Is It, the new documentary about Michael Jackson (November 5th issue), the reviewer calls Jackson "ill and alien." Engelking is apparently one of a throng of people who forget that Jackson had vitiligo, which makes his skin pale, and also was 50 years old. So, yes, he looks older.
Engelking looked at Jackson's image and goes for a punchline, which illustrates his inability to write a film review without making personal remarks. It would do Engelking some good to take a look at the "man in the mirror" and decide whether or not he sees Jackson via media-created bias or actual fact.
Young and Invincible
Regarding the story "Young and Invincible?" (November 5th issue), I sympathize with the circumstances of any person who has been placed in the untenable situation of requiring significant medical attention without having the benefit of insurance. A few years ago, a good friend of mine in his early 20s was diagnosed with cancer, was uninsured, and is still dealing with enormous debt and persistent problems with his credit score.
However, while the writers of the article do a good job in presenting the unfortunate consequences of being uninsured in a time of crisis, they either chose to ignore or were unaware that there is a program that is focused toward the working uninsured.
CoverTN is a program that provides affordable, basic health insurance for individuals, self-employed and recently unemployed. Individuals can make up to $55,000 a year and still be eligible for this program. While CoverTN might not have all the bells and whistles of private insurance plans, it covers a majority of procedures and preventive services that most people require at a low cost. A person under the age of 30 who is not obese and does not use tobacco would have a monthly premium of approximately $75.
Thomas W. Coupé
Support For 9
We wish to register our support for the proposed amendment to Memphis Ordinance 9, which is intended to establish a nondiscrimination provision regarding sexual orientation or gender identity.
As Christians belonging to Bible-believing churches in Memphis, we feel obligated to note that the dominant evangelical voices heard in the Memphis media do not reflect the views of many evangelicals in our community. We are in agreement with evangelical opponents of this amendment on many issues, including the uniqueness of Jesus and the nonnegotiable nature of biblical ethics. But we believe that the protection of economic rights for all our fellow Memphians is an important part of showing love and support for the dignity of people created in the image of God, their Creator.
Our hope is that this amendment not only discourages discrimination but fosters relationships among diverse segments of our community.
A. Mitchell Moore, Jason B. Hood
Cash for Clunkers
A recent AP story that appeared in The Commercial Appeal indicated that the "cash for clunkers" program was all about gas mileage. While it was hoped the program would improve gas mileage, it had other aims.
One was to save jobs at the nation's auto companies; another was to save thousands of dealerships. And one of the most important was to reduce air pollution.
The article stressed that many old pickups were traded in for new ones with only a small gas mileage improvement. It failed to take into account the huge decrease in pollution that newer pickups release. The report also failed to include the fact that because of the program, America will cut oil imports by millions of barrels.
So far, the government has reported that there have been fewer than 200 "bad deals" made in the program. The fact that more than 19,000 dealers were involved and that tens of thousands of deals were made is a record any government — or private company — would be happy with.