Shine a light
Thank you for continuing to keep a needed focus on the terrifying problems of racial disparity that have developed before our (averted) eyes in Madison and Wisconsin ("Out of Prison, Into the Light," 2/14/2014).
Please thank Caliph Muab-el for sharing his story. The outrage of putting a 15-year-old boy in prison and solitary confinement for 15 years is made all the more poignant by the remarkable strength and determination that he has shown, and that has made it possible to turn a personal disaster into a lasting blessing for others. Please give him our thanks for the life-giving work that he has undertaken. I hope that our community can respond in the same spirit.
Marc F. Hansen, Fitchburg
I enjoyed the feature story on Mr. Caliph Muab-el. As a retired correctional sergeant, I find it heartwarming to see people leave a better person vs. a bitter person. Mr. Muab-el is a miracle, and I am so happy for him and our community. Each one reach one is what Mr. Jeremiah Edwards did, and that is how we get positive change!
Great work, men!
Sgt. Mary Kelly (retired), Oakhill Correctional Institution
Epic and its electronic health records definitely have a downside ("Epic Opportunity," 2/21/2014). According to Mark Bakken, paraphrased in the article, treatment will depend less on physician hunches. Those "hunches" that he speaks of are made up of a doctor taking a history and examining the patient appropriately to decide what the likely diagnosis. All this blabber from the high-tech people just stimulates greed in the medical industry.
Marc Eisen says that doctors will have more "face time" with patients. The terrible joke is that the doctors will be told (by the "boss") to see more patients. More patients means more money for insurance executives and the outlandishly rich surgeons.
John Murphy, M.D.
It has always been interesting to me that Judith Faulkner's spouse, Gordon Faulkner, M.D., now retired, was the kindest, gentlest, absolutely most wonderful pediatrician in Madison. He was on the staff of Group Health Cooperative (not a place to make big bucks). He was the complete opposite of a hard-charging corporate genius. Intriguing, no?
More press freedom
Thanks to Judith Davidoff for her article about our newspaper (Union Labor News) trying to get press credentials at the Capitol ("Republican Leadership Denies Press Credentials to Labor Paper," 2/14/2014). We especially appreciate her success in getting some answers out of Republicans who control access before we were able to do so.
If the question is whether or not Union Labor News advocates for working people, including taking stands on legislation, we certainly do. We're one of many Madison-area news gatherers advocating certain beliefs and actions.
For example, take a look at a recent Badger Herald opinion piece: "The Wisconsin Legislature should end the Wisconsin school voucher programs in their entirety."
Or see what The Catholic Herald has to say on its website: "it [the Catholic Church] continues to oppose measures requiring the Church itself and other Catholic employers to provide sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraceptives to their employees."
Fox News' support for business is an apt counterpoint to ULN's support for labor.
The difference is that all of those news operations were allowed to have reporters at the State of the State speech. ULN was not.
Freedom of the press is not just a good idea, it's a constitutional mandate. Allowing favored press access in a public building for a public function is inconsistent with our country's values and laws.
At the risk of being banned from further Capitol events for improper advocacy, we urge the Legislature to change its press credentials policy to one of greater openness.
Kevin Gundlach, Glenn Schmidt, Union Labor News