News From Terre Haute, Indiana


April 12, 2014

Readers’ Forum: April 13, 2014

An attack of hypocrisy

So Shirley Thomas feels like a vulnerable little dove surrounded by vicious birds of prey, huh? That’s kinda what I took away from her latest (April 6) letter to this forum, anyway. Poor little thing, all that “bashing” by the “bully,” William Thiel and “his compatriots,” and their “ugly, personal attacks” on her. They “belittle [her] and make fun of [her].” It’s OK, though, because when they attack her personally, it only makes them “look ugly and ill-informed.”

Atta girl, Shirley, you tell ’em. Stay on the high ground, don’t lower yourself. We all know you wouldn’t resort to those tactics, would you?


You would?

Oh, that’s right, I almost forgot your gratuitous, unprovoked attack on me on Jan 16, 2010, when you laid into me for my opposition to Obamacare, expressed in a letter on Jan. 9, 2010. Among other things, you implied that I did not want to be accountable for my “service charges.” You also said you would “bet” that I would turn away patients who couldn’t pay, or that I would “do the old trick of charging them less” in order to charge insured ones more.

Aside from the fact that that is one of the more idiotic statements I’ve ever heard, you were launching a vicious personal attack on me because I held different political views than you. You also just made up the whole thing. You don’t even know me or how I conduct my practice, or anything else about me, just that I don’t agree with you. Pitiful.

You also wondered just how much I volunteered to the poor of the area who couldn’t pay me, and then you said, “I’ll bet not much.” There it is again, the unprovoked personal attack that regular readers will recognize as a routine feature of your letters.

You also doubted that I and others like me would actually quit medicine if Obamacare came in, because “you would no more leave a job that pays you in six figures than I would marry Brad Pitt.” So, ya wouldn’t marry ol’ Brad, huh?

Oh well, we’ll leave that for another discussion. Nevertheless, there you go again, assuming I am some kind of bad guy because I have different views than yours, and you complain when it happens to you, playing the part of the poor little dove being attacked by the vultures.

I usually feel your letters are undeserving of replies, but when the hypocrisy rises to the level above, well …

— James E. Stephens, M.D., Brazil

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    March 12, 2010