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Health consequences post-spill 

Health consequences post-spill

As a physician from a small community in South Louisiana, I believe that I can speak for my fellow citizens when I state that our most sincere sympathies go out to the residents of Mayflower with regard to their environmental plight.

Approximately three years ago the state of Louisiana, along with other Gulf Coast states, experienced the largest environmental disaster in the history of our nation.

The environmental impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill has been enormous, with the most productive estuarine complex in the nation being severely affected and with the lives, the health and the livelihoods of many of our community members having been devastated.

I have seen and treated over 100 individuals whose health was severely affected by this disaster and many of them will likely remain ill for the rest of their lives. You probably have not heard or read much about these illnesses because the responsible parties have the ability to suppress this type of information and keep it out of the mainstream press.

Everyone in your community needs to understand that the chemicals being released by this pipeline rupture are extremely toxic and a sizeable number of people in your community will probably become ill. Some individuals are significantly more sensitive to these toxins than are others, and one neighbor may be extremely ill while the family across the street is perfectly OK.

My experience in Louisiana suggests that your local physicians will probably be at a loss to diagnose and treat these problems effectively, as that was certainly the case along the Gulf Coast.

As an ear, nose and throat physician, I am far from being qualified as an expert on this subject. However, I can assure you that the illnesses we have experienced are real, that they are often severe, and in many cases they appear to be permanent. I would be glad to assist your community in any manner possible. I am in the process of recruiting families of victims of the spill from our area, especially the families with ill children, who would be willing to speak to you about their experiences in this matter.

Mike Robichaux

Raceland, La.

Constitutional 'must read'

I enjoyed your coverage of our dysfunctional legislature, but one minor thing struck a chord with me — your mention of Joyce Elliott and her drive to ratify the ERA. Perhaps she (and the majority of legislators) don't realize that Arkansas endorsed the Equal Rights Amendment about a century BEFORE it was proposed. Article 2 Section 3 should be a "must read" for Sen. Elliott and every other Arkansan. It contains simple words with no modifiers or exclusions. It applies to many of the acts currently in or facing litigation. It does a simple thing: it grants all persons equality under the law. That modern sounding "PC" wording was crafted in the 19th century. It is a promise that some choose to ignore.

Peter Dahlstrom

Little Rock

To the voters of South Carolina

Republicans have proven that the only way they can win elections is by lying, cheating, and gerrymandering districts. Even though there are lots of stupid Republican voters, the candidates simply cannot win on issues. Except in the Land of the Stupid, South Carolina. Mark Sanford is living proof that lying, cheating Republicans are completely electable, and you South Carolinians have once again proven how unbelievably stupid you are by electing him. Bad enough that you put your faith in morons like Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint, the most hateful examples of Republican intractability, but even the backwards Republicans in Arkansas are rolling on the floor at your continued ignorance. Arkies have always been thankful for Mississippi, as that state is usually 50th to our 49th in backwardness, but there is a great sigh of relief rippling through the state at your constant stupidity. I left the Palmetto State in '91 because even the smart were stupider than anyone else I'd ever met, and you've continued the tradition into the new millennium. Thank you, South Carolina, for being the epitome of idiocy.

James King

Roland

From the web

In response to a blog post titled "How can Tim Griffin play both sides of pipeline question":

It's one thing to take one-time spot readings of toxic fumes levels and declare "It's safe," "Mission Accomplished!" It's another thing to live there, exposed to those levels day-in day-out, especially when the fumes can percolate into homes and become concentrated in, say, a baby's nursery.

The superficial "clean-up" of the neighborhood, e.g. re-turfing the lawns, when the liquid portion of the dilbit soaked much further into the ground, and the unaccounted-for, missing, more-solid portion of the spill mean that there is a health and environmental time-bomb waiting to go off.

Exxon's blithe assurances of safety are callous at best and more likely criminal.

To demonstrate their absolute confidence, the families of Griffin and Exxon's board members should be delegated to live in those houses continuously for several years.

In fact, that should be a key provision of any pipeline legislation.

YossarianMinderbinder

I love lil' Timmy's shoveling act as he digs in deeper. Perhaps (who am I kidding?) someone stronger will run against him next time. I send Timmy and Pryor emails all of the time, letting them know how they continue to bring shame to our state. I even say it to their faces when I run into them around town, which happens a lot. They serve us and I'm going to keep reminding them of this until, yes, my head finally explodes.

yapperjohn

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