StressEditor: Fifty years ago, only light bulbs and vacuum...


June 21, 1991


Editor: Fifty years ago, only light bulbs and vacuum tubes burned out, and stress was only exhibited in beams, supports and similar construction members.

These exclusively engineering problems of stress and burn-out were never experienced by teachers, and students learned something in school.

Now, Barry Farber, an educational psychologist, claims (feature story, June 10) that symptoms of stress and burn-out have mysteriously appeared in teachers.

This completely imagined attribute of these engineering problems to our teachers is now offered as an excuse for their failure to educate our contemporary students.

Paul Slepian.


Offensive T-Shirts

Editor: One recent morning, I strolled the Ocean City boardwalk. I was quite disturbed by some of the T-shirts I saw displayed in shop windows.

I thought them not only crass and tasteless but degrading to women.

I went into one shop and told the manager that I thought a shirt was awfully strong to be right smack out front. He stated that he was simply selling what came from the factory.

I suggested that he might put something like that in the back of the store. His response was something to do with freedom of speech.

Let's face it. A shirt like that, or one that promotes drunkenness, has nothing to do with freedom of speech. It has to do with money.

I'm disappointed. I plan to be vocal in my remarks to my friends who will be visiting Ocean City this summer. I will ask them to avoid these stores.

I will ask them to reconsider visiting a town which advertises itself as a family resort but which touts heavy drinking, sexual acting out and allows shops to be disrespectful to women and to demean women.

rances Brolle.



Editor: The June 1 article, "Medicare shift sought to cut costly surgery," points directly to the problems of a national health care system. The government is proposing a plan with dramatic implications for the way medicine is practiced in the United States It is intended to change the type of care Medicare patients receive, encouraging consultation and preventive advice and discouraging expensive surgery.

The government has proposed a plan to change the medical treatment of the elderly based solely on budget considerations, with total disregard for medical needs of the subscribers. They ,, have not proposed a system that rewards treatments for successfully managing the elderly's medical problems. Nowhere in this plan is there an evaluation of the needs of the elderly.

The government wants to pay less money for joint replacements, even though they turn arthritic joints into productive ones. They want the cheaper cataract surgery, regardless of the tunnel vision. And a cut rate on bypass operations and hysterectomies. The government will pay more to rural physicians even if most of the elderly live in cities. They will tell us how many days the elderly can stay in the hospital and how many trips to the therapist they can make. This plan is a ruse, it is only an attempt to control health care cost with no thought of health care. This kind of manipulation of the health care system, should be considered unfair, antitrust and discriminating.

The government does have a buffer -- the doctor and hospitals must file all the paperwork for the Medicare patient. That way the subscribers miss the confusing codes, arbitrary reimbursement schedules and excessive bureaucracy. If claim forms are returned it appears to be the doctor's mistake, not a bureaucratic shuffle.

This article should be mandatory reading for those who advocate a national health care system. It is an omen of a government-organized health care program, a portent of the bureaucratic way.

E. D. Herman.


Will as Kremlinologist

Editor: In his column of June 13, George Will takes issue with President Bush's decision to send Robert Strauss to Moscow as the next U.S. ambassador. In the process he cannot help himself in taking a few swipes at Mikhail Gorbachev, the "most misunderstood and "overrated" man of the past 50 years.

Mr. Will cites James Billington, the librarian of Congress, who sees Mr. Gorbachev as the "pure child of the nomenklatura," whose sole accomplishment has been self-preservation. Yet it is ironic that Mr. Will's piece was published on the very day when Boris Yeltsin claimed an historic, sweeping popular election victory at the expense of that same nomenklatura.

Instead of Mr. Strauss, the "ultimate capitalist," well versed in the art of wheeling and dealing, Mr. Will prefers an ideologue at the U.S. embassy in Moscow -- either Mr. Billington, who appears to be too busy at the Library of Congress to follow what is going on in Moscow, or Richard Pipes, who is suffering from a broken heart because the Cold War is over.

Mr. Will goes on to assure his readers that the Soviet Union's rebels "look toward America's example as a continent-wide, multicultural nation."

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