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From the week of June 1, 2006

Nursing a grudge:Jessica Centers's "Switch Hitter," in the May 25 issue, was an excellent article! Every time I hear some flack for a mega-corporation whine to a corrupt politician that attorneys get too big a piece of a contingency-fee lawsuit and shouldn't we be capping or restricting class actions, for example, I want to yell out, wait, wait, these guys are the ones who nip at the heels of the profit-not-people side of the system! Like criminal lawyers, their job is not just to defend someone's rights, it's to slap the monied interests or big government back into line, to make them sit up and perform.

And every time I see a bumpersticker that says "If you love your freedom, thank a Marine," I want to yell out, no, no, there's more to it than that: If you love your freedom, thank a lawyer! And thank you, Westword...

S.P. Williams

Lakewood

Take care: Thank you for the article on Jay Reinan. It was very well-written, and an extremely important piece for everyone involved -- from patients to doctors to caregivers.

What's more, it has inspired me to pursue my interests in law, doing exactly what Jay does! And that, my friends, is priceless. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Alexis Ray

via the Internet

Adding insult to injury:Just an observation about the "Switch Hitter" article. Jessica Centers stated that John Gordy's girlfriend tried to help but "abandoned" him. That's pretty harsh. It is a 24-hour-a-day job to tend to someone in his condition. I know I would have felt heartbroken to see someone I love have something like that happen to them. The fact that I couldn't take care of them would make me feel horrible. The fact of the matter is, unless you're retired and/or independently wealthy, you can't care for someone on that level or afford to pay for an in-home private nurse, which is the only way you can monitor and ensure they are being cared for the way you would want them to be. It's a horrible situation.

His story is very sad, but I don't think it needed to be further dramatized at her expense.

Tish Zadar

Denver

Respect your elders:Jessica Centers's "Switch Hitter" really hit home with me. I worked for Mariner in finance as a field analyst. I have been inside the facilities mentioned in this article. I have since left health care in disgust. My last stint was for a mental-health mahasa in Greeley that provided a country-club membership for its administrator while scrimping on care provided to the patients it served.

We are currently dealing with a court-appointed guardianship gone wrong in Illinois. My husband is an only child who lost his mother in probate court. Her story is about estate conservation: Funds are missing, and his mother was reduced to a vegetable in five weeks by drugging with an anti-psychotic and giving her "the right to refuse to eat" with no intervening care. She was finally admitted to a hospital, but never recovered her abilities and could not testify on her own behalf. Prior to admission, she ate breakfast out daily with friends who enjoyed her company. We are attempting to find ownership of the facility but are not sure how to proceed. We are returning to Illinois to push a walker from Daley Plaza to the capitol in Springfield starting on July 31. It is an attempt to promote elder advocacy. Something has to be done!

Guardianship abuse is escalating throughout this nation. We have learned we are not alone in our loss and frustration with the futility to find intervention. Court-appointed guardianships are not about protection of the ward; elder advocacy is promoted but not practiced. Long-term care abuse is not only tolerated, but is used to plunder funds of the elderly!

Helen La Bounty

Greeley

Queens for a day:Nathanial Trotter's rave about making Oprah Winfrey the Queen of America (Off Limits, May 25) is the goofiest shit I've ever heard.

The only males cheering Oprah with such gullible enthusiasm are usually gay guys, which is okay if that's your thing, but us straight brothers have serious reservations about Miss Oprah "Your Highness" Winfrey. What Mr. Trotter doesn't realize is that Oprah is not as "nice" as she appears to be. Particularly when it comes to black men. She may interview those of us who are in power, but she does not empower us as she did Dr. Phil.

I met Oprah (true story) around 1979, when she worked as co-anchor in Baltimore. I spoke to her pleasantly, and she promptly rolled her eyes and did not speak back.

Queen of America? Don't make me laugh.

Steven Saulsbury

Denver

Carey the day:Nice Tool review! I suppose I'm one of those zealous fans Dave Herrera described in his May 18 Beatdown. I tried like crazy to get tix and failed. My wife and I were crushed. Pathetically (and I don't even know why on earth we did this), we actually drove down to the Hotel Teatro bar and had drinks while the band was playing. How lame-ass high-schooly is that? Saw their tour buses. Wheeeeee!

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