Some letters that got overrun by other topics.
Your breathless piece about the start-up game company Autarch (“Local developers say their role-playing game fills a long-standing niche,” Oct. 10) should scare the pants off parents not paying attention to how their children spend their time. Like the infamous Dungeons & Dragons cult, adherents to the Adventurer Conqueror King System (ACKS) can be easily absorbed into an imaginary world populated by evil and bizarre beings.
Likening hardcore D&D followers, and now those of ACKS, to a bowling league is like comparing punk rockers to Mary Poppins. And not antisocial? Why do they call their publication Escapist Games? They retreat into a dark, sinister and macabre world fraught with fantasies of violence, greed and mayhem. Players frequently substitute their own sense of warped reality for real human relationships. There are real dangers in these games.
Having watched youngsters become caught up in their fantasy existence and suffering the consequences, I offer a warning to parents: Be afraid, be very afraid.
The last paragraph in the Oct. 19 article “Hospital rule changes proposed” was absolutely stunning. I read and re-read it several times to be sure I had not misunderstood it. It concerns how the White House says many rules that apply to hospitals and other health care providers will be rolled back after concluding that the standards were obsolete or overly burdensome to the industry.
The paragraph said that in order to save money, “Other proposals would eliminate requirements for hospitals to keep detailed logs of infection control problems and would relieve certain organ transplant centers of the need to certify the blood type of organs donors.” Can you imagine the horrors that could occur from the elimination of these two procedures? The wonderful standards of U.S. health care would possibly revert to third-world countries’ standards.
The article also says that in order to save money patients could self-administer both hospital-issued medications and the patient’s own medications brought into the hospital. Another situation that could cause a great deal of confusion and medication errors.
Editor’s note: The quoted paragraph concluded by stating, “Hospitals would still have to investigate outbreaks of infections, and other medical experts would check on donors’ blood type.”
As reported in Under the Dome Oct. 10, the plan of a group called Americans for Securing the Border to persuade presidential and congressional delegates to pledge to build a double fence the entire length of the U.S.-Mexico border is an ambitious goal. And I mean getting delegates to make the pledge is ambitious. The proposed 1,969-mile double fence, to be completed by the end of 2013, is even more ambitious.
A number of questions come to mind. What materials are they considering to use for the fence? Masonry, metal, wood? How high will it need to be? In the interest of being secure as soon as possible, will one fence be completed first, and then the other? Or will both fences be constructed at the same time?
How much space between the two fences? If someone should by chance get over one fence, would he have to walk to one of the ends to get out, or will there be escape hatches every so many miles? If so, how will the escape hatches be made secure? What is the estimated cost? Has consideration been given to asking Mexico to pay half? Finally, I’m wondering if this is really for our security or if it might be a conservative activist’s idea of job creation.
How can a $60 million cut in Medicaid be made into a $120 million [cut? The North Carolina legislature said it was an “accounting error” (news story, Oct. 27). If an error of that size were made in my classroom when I was teaching, it certainly would have been pointed out and corrected.
My sister, who has severe mental and physical disabilities, depends on the help that Medicaid gives to her caregivers and doctors. Now she can’t even get a new prescription for her eyeglasses. Medicaid also won’t cover the medicine she needs to help her swallow and keep down food. She can’t afford the medicine she needs for her eyes in order to heal a cyst on her lid. She can’t even afford to get her lunch at the care center she attends to help her with daily living. Why can’t someone in that legislature help with the math so that at least the huge cuts in this program aren't doubled by mistake?
Karen Kauffman Fletcher
Retired Wake County school teacher