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Athlete McNair remembered for good, bad reasons

Football fans in Tennessee will remember Titans quarterback Steve McNair for his exploits on the field, his courage under fire and his fortitude in playing injured, especially when a game or playoff hope was on the line.
Unfortunately, they also will remember the way he died — in his Nashville condo with two bullet wounds in his head and two in his chest and his girlfriend dead on the floor with a single gunshot wound to her head and the gun under her body. Police first ruled McNair’s death a homicide and on July 7 ruled the deaths of McNair, 36, and Sahel Kazemi, 20, a murder-suicide. ...
McNair became nationally known as a quarterback for Alcorn State and was a Heisman Trophy contender. ...
Off the field, McNair appeared to live up to every-
one’s expectations as a role model and solid citizen. He
frequently participated in charity work for the Titans and
later for the Ravens after his trade to Baltimore in 2006.
McNair helped load donated food, water and clothes onto tractor-trailers that he had arranged for victims of Hurricane Katrina, and he paid for three football camps for children this year.
Less admirably, though, McNair apparently also was generous with Kazemi, giving her a Cadillac Escalade and sending her to her apartment in a limousine in the early morning hours.
Ultimately, this dimension of his life led to tragedy. ...

The Knoxville (Tenn.) News-Sentinel
July 10
On the Net:

considers smoking ban for military

In true bureaucratic fashion, the Pentagon is considering a move that would prohibit members of the military from smoking. All of them. Everywhere.
It would be a great boon for the health of all military members, but it would be a huge mistake in thinking they could make it happen without a colossal disruption. ...
Not that it wouldn’t be hugely beneficial for members of the military to quit smoking and using other tobacco products. The health problems caused by tobacco are well documented. These problems are even worse in the military than the general population because so many more members of the military smoke or chew.
Getting soldiers off tobacco would not only save lives and reduce serious illness — it would save taxpayers endless millions by reducing the cost of health care for members of the military and veterans.
But ending tobacco use for the military must mirror programs used for the general public. Prohibition only leads to scofflaws and other problems. A concerted effort to limit tobacco use and boost other anti-smoking efforts have been the most successful in the private sector, and it will be the most successful for the military as well.

Aurora (Colo.) Sentinel
July 13
On the Net:
Cheaper drugs from Canada on the way?

The U.S. Senate took an important step to make prescription drugs more affordable by approving a measure that would permit buyers in the United States to order lower-cost drugs from Canada over the Internet.
An amendment by Sen. David Vitter, R-La., apparently caught the prescription drug lobby by surprise during a floor debate. It was approved by 55-36 vote and added to a $42.9 billion bill funding Homeland Security. ...
But don’t fire up the computer yet. The amendment will surely face a fight before it gets through a conference committee, and the powerful drug lobby has successfully fought to keep earlier versions of this proposal from becoming law.
Sen. Vitter’s amendment forbids agents of Homeland Security from blocking the importation of prescription drugs from Canada if the drugs have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Critics claim that exposes U.S. consumers to Internet scams and unsafe drugs. If the critics are sincere, they should support a more comprehensive version of Sen. Vitter’s proposal put forward by Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D. That bill creates strict safety standards and procedures and allows importation from Canada and other countries, as well.
Either way, American consumers need a break on prescription drug prices. Congress should get behind efforts like these that could bring down costs by allowing greater competition.

The Miami Herald
July 13
On the Net:
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