I just wanted to compliment Jason Bracelin for his review of Korn's Untouchables [Playback, June 12]. The main reason I'm writing you is the comment at the end of the article: "[Untouchables is] a record that raises the bar for this genre so high, Fred Durst couldn't reach it if he were standing on Aaron Lewis's shoulders."
It makes me happy that people can still separate Korn from those petty bands everyone compares them to. Korn has always been original and didn't start all the rap-metal, not-metal-actually-pop-shit out there today. Jonathan Davis hasn't rapped a damn lyric since 1993, when Korn started. He never even rapped before then, when he was with Sexart. Thank you for acknowledging that fact. Keep on writing kick-ass reviews.
Today's patients are sicker than ever:
Your article ["Staff Infection," June 12] about the impending addition of Filipino nurses to the Cleveland medical workers pool only touched briefly on the reasons why "imported nurses" are becoming a real option. The industry has built up to this over the last 20 years. Now that the results are coming to fruition, wringing hands and panicked emotions have led them toward this Band-Aid solution. It won't help. Major surgery is required.
Before insurance companies took control of medical care, nursing was a tough and demanding but generally fair profession. Hospitals were busy, but the patients who occupied the beds suffered in varying degrees of pain. Some patients needed large amounts of care; others, an occasional visit; and a third group required almost nothing. With the balanced population, nurses could adequately and equitably complete their assignments.
The "easier" patients of the past are now recovering at home after outpatient surgery. Yesterday's moderately sick visitor now stays only a day or two. Today, a full patient load contains a complete roster of sicker people. They each require a greater amount of care, but are covered by the same size staff. This means a much more demanding job for nurses.
Some of the most regressive aspects of the "new medical world order" are mandatory overtime, scheduled late days, and mandatory additional shifts. Nurses almost never work just a 40-hour week. They must remain at work until all the assignments are completed. "Mandatory call" forces the nurse to carry a beeper and return to work whenever it sounds. When a staff shortage is predicted at some facilities, they force the existing staffers to stay for another eight hours.
Nurses may be the most abused of all professionals. Because of the high percentage of female nurses, some believe this to be a sexist issue. Without fair working conditions, decent wages with career advancement, and respect for experience, along with an understanding of the limits their bodies can endure, the situation will only get worse. Young people will avoid this career path. Lower and lower standards will be accepted, simply to keep the ranks filled. Care will inevitably deteriorate.
Human nature has taught us that those placed in abusive situations ultimately revolt. Change will eventually occur. Whether it takes organization or a crisis of quality, a solution will come. Just hope you're not sick that week.
Jeffrey R. Dross,
husband of a long-suffering RN
When self-defense turns tragic:
In response to the pointless rant by Frank Hujber of New Jersey [Letters, June 12]: How about leaving judgment up to a court of law? [Hujber's letter was in response to "A Stab in the Dark," May 16]. He is right that there's no excuse for domestic abuse, but as illuminating as "A Stab in the Dark" was, we simply do not have all of the facts.
Abuse can strike twice. In fact, abuse is often a cycle that begins in childhood and permeates adult relationships. We have all made poor choices when it comes to relationships. Sometimes the consequences are great. If Miss Moyer had to exercise her right to self-defense on two occasions, it's tragic but understandable. Remember, the man who lost his life also made choices.
Stacey Hall and Melanie GiaMaria
Bonanno's done his penance:
Thanks for the positive article about Benny Bonanno ["The Last Standup Politician," June 19]. After The PD made him seem like Boss Tweed, it's nice that the alternative paper remembers what a decent guy he is. I've known Benny since elementary school. He was two years older, and all of us younger kids looked up to him. I saw him intermittently through high school. The next time I saw him was at St. Alexis Hospital, when my father suffered an industrial accident. Benny was doing volunteer work, and his attitude and kindness helped speed my father's eventual recovery. Thirty-three years later, he still speaks highly of Benny's kindness.
Benny's crime was that he followed standard political practice instead of questioning it. Benny has been brutally honest in his description of his mistake. I'm reminded about autobiographies where St. Francis painfully wrote about his desertion from the army and stealing from his father. Ironically, it seems that it would be easier to become a saint than for a convicted politician to get his record expunged.
Richard J. Koloda