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Just a few words about the news from my corner

by Bob Stealey

Editor

A new feature will begin today in Bob'n'Along -- "my take" on happenings and situations in the news.

n First, I'll comment on some people blaming NASCAR driver Sterling Marlin for the death of racing great Dale Earnhardt Sr. at the Daytona 500. Hate mail and even death threats have been received by him and his family from some who revered the "Intimidator."

I'm not a NASCAR fan. And although I wasn't a big Earnhardt fan, I certainly was not a foe. Yet I've seen the tape several times, and it appeared that it just happened Marlin was closest to Earnhardt when they bumped. It could have easily been someone else. Most reports have indicated that it wasn't a hard bump that sent both cars across the apron, but it was Earnhardt who overcompensated and crashed, virtually head-on into the wall.

Dale Earnhardt Sr.'s death was a profound loss. But I think even his biggest fans should show more sensitivity where Marlin is concerned.

n An atrocity involving money -- to me not much different from the crime of espionage/treason -- is the holding hostage of people by some drug manufacturers. The Associated Press reported earlier this week that hospitals across America are having to ration adult tetanus shots and are having "shortages" of other vital drugs such as Isuprel, a lifesaving IV drug used to revive cardiac arrest victims. And these are just a few instances.

Doctors have had to use workable but less desirable alternatives. Hospital pharmacists must "beg and plead" for additional doses, then "furiously work to stretch supplies and find alternatives." The hospitals are feeling the shortages "sooner than ever before because, faced with steep medication costs, most now keep only a few days' supply in inventory."

I can see how shortages of important drugs encourage price-gouging, sometimes even doubling, and special deal-making. Where on earth will this massive hostage-taking by greed-mongers end?

n n n

Do have a delightful weekend!

Editor Bob Stealey can be reached by phone at (304) 626-1438, or by e-mail at rstealey@exponent-telegram.com.

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