Heroes of the hood
Regarding Detroitblogger John's "Street Fightin' Man" (Feb. 17): These are real, live heroes and they don't bounce basketballs or have multimillion-dollar endorsements. This is the kind of black history I will tell my children. This story reads like an episode from Law and Order and had me on the edge of my seat. I pray for Mr. Jackson and Mr. Hines. They are doing something that very few would risk their lives for. The cause is so genuine, the resources so few. The Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood is one of the real tragedies of a busted economy. Those who can, move. Those who can't, live in J-C and form a bond of vigilance that allows them only minor peace that is measured in hours, but is killing them with stress, high blood pressure and mental anguish. Fight on, Street Fightin' Man. You're one of the reasons why Detroit stays strong. —Renee Prewitt, Bloomfield Hills
Re: Metro Retro (Feb. 17), it was never my intention to allege that CREEM magazine was merely a "comic book" (I've also never alleged that Dostoevsky was merely a "crime writer.") Any perceived allegation of that sort was a result of my lack of skill as a writer, for which I apologize.
CREEM was many wonderful things to many people, including to that kid in Iowa, and to me. I still miss CREEM. It's good to be thinking about it. Keep the faith. —Bill Rowe, Ferndale
The Canadian system works
I've been watching with interest the debate going on in the United States over health care.
My wife and I spend most of our time these days in Calgary, where our son, 29 at the time, was diagnosed with stage four colorectal cancer in October 2006. Since then, he has undergone three surgeries, almost 50 chemotherapy treatments, many CT scans, MRIs and ultrasounds, as well as having a stent placed in the common bile duct. He soldiers on, working at his business and enjoying life with his fiancee.
As you are aware, in Canada we enjoy single-payer health. None of our son's procedures has cost us anything other than anxiety and worry. The doctors, nurses and staff have been marvelous. Without doubt, our system works.
His oncologist has been most supportive, a superior physician and a super human being. I once asked him, "Doctor, there's the Sloan Kettering, Johns Hopkins, UCLA Medical Center, how did they miss someone like you?" His response, "At those places I could treat only a certain segment of the population. I want to treat everybody." That sums it up.
Luckily we got single-payer almost 50 years ago, before the moneyed interests were able to brainwash our citizens and buy the politicians. Keep up your good fight for an improved system, and maybe, just maybe, you'll get single payer in your lifetime. —Tom Henderson, Windsor, Ontario
My response to Larry Gabriel ("A promise and a riddle," Feb. 10) and Lorana Tremper (Letters to the Editor, Feb. 10), stop complaining about the president and Congress and read Howard Zinn's A Power Governments Cannot Suppress. Gandhi told the judge who was sentencing him, "In the end we will win because there are more of us." If people want health care, they must avail themselves of the little democracy that we do have in this country. Collect the necessary signatures and put single-payer on the Michigan ballot, let one state win and see what happens. The power is in ourselves. —Regina McNulty, Oak Park
Erratum: A review of Robert Palmer's Blues & Chaos ("Deep listening," Feb. 24), incorrectly said that a film about him, The Hand of Fatima, was a collaboration between Palmer's daughter, Augusta, and one of his ex-wives. Augusta Palmer wrote to say that although ex Debra Rae Cohen appears in the film more than Palmer's other wives, the film was Augusta's.
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