Obama goes it alone on immigrant crisis | July 2, editorial
Doers, doubters and complainers
The president accuses Congress of doing nothing. Congress accuses the president of doing nothing, but then wants to sue or impeach him when he does something.
If Congress would do something instead of nothing, then President Barack Obama might not have to do something to get something done. The Republican talking heads call him weak because he has done nothing, then accuse him of being a dictator when he does something.
Obama has done next to nothing in Iraq instead of something. President George W. Bush did a lot of something when he should have done nothing, and we all know how well that worked out. It appears that Obama's doing next to nothing in Iraq is the correct something that needs to be done.
In the meantime, while our government is doing nothing, the economy is growing. And that is something.
Alan Raun, Largo
New pressure for manatees | July 2
Protect the manatees
I applaud Times writer Craig Pittman for the excellent article about the petition to change the status of manatees from endangered to threatened. I am especially grateful for the directions and link to send a comment to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which will consider the petition.
My hope is that the wildlife service's computers will be crashed by the overwhelming response from people like me who think reducing the protections for manatees is absurd. The species is hanging on by its fingernails, and the forces of human population growth, habitat loss to development and poisoning of the environment that nearly caused extinction have not abated.
Guy Hancock, Largo
Ruling hits Obamacare | July 1
A narrow decision
I am mystified over all the hue and cry surrounding the Supreme Court's ruling that some corporations do not have to provide contraception coverage if it contravenes their religious beliefs. You would think from the reaction of the abortion-rights faction of the population that women were being denied the freedom to have sex, that they were being prohibited from obtaining any type of birth control, that they would be impoverished after they purchased any such pills or devices.
The Supreme Court ruling was, in fact, very narrow in scope. It did not strike down birth control benefits provided under the Affordable Care Act. It simply stated that once conception occurs, faith-based corporations do not have to provide coverage for abortion pills or devices to terminate a pregnancy. This, according to the court, would infringe upon the religiously held position of many "closely held" for-profit family corporations.
This, to me, makes perfect sense. Women can still obtain their morning-after drugs at their own expense. They can still work for small or large corporations that offer the full range of contraceptive contrivances under the Affordable Care Act. And they still can be assured that their consciences will not been compromised while allowing others to exercise their own freedom of conscience.
Earl A. Myers Jr., Tampa
Imposing an ideology
The Supreme Court, at the behest of the Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby, made a grave error in this ruling. The family was quoted in the article as saying, "Today the nation's highest court has reaffirmed the vital importance of religious liberty as one of our country's founding principles." It is not affirming religious liberty to grant power to an entity to take away someone else's choices.
The Green family's statement, as a matter of complete honesty, should have read, "The Supreme Court granted our company the freedom to impose its own ideology on its employees. We understand that this takes away important freedoms from others, but we don't care because now we get to tell others how to live based on our own religious beliefs."
The Supreme Court is our ultimate protector of constitutional principles. This ruling goes in the opposite direction, and is in fact a step toward theocracy, where Christians would be telling our entire diverse country what to do based on their own beliefs. This is not at all a good idea, as history has proved again and again. We need to work to preserve our Founding Fathers' wise belief in the principle of a separation between church and state.
David Bowman, St. Petersburg
The Times ran a picture of women holding signs with Justice Samuel Alito's picture, saying: "This guy shouldn't get to decide about my birth control." What about a picture of Hobby Lobby owner David Green with the caption: "This man shouldn't have to pay for your birth control." Women have the right to whatever birth control they want to use. They just do not have the right to make someone else pay for it.
Bob Bost, St. Petersburg
A corporation is by definition legally independent from people who create it and is a business model limiting the liability of its creators. English Lord Chancellor Thurlow of the late 18th/early 19th century is quoted as saying, "Corporations have neither bodies to be punished, nor souls to be condemned; they therefore do as they like."
Which is exactly the door opened by the Supreme Court for corporate entities to opt out of adherence to any law they judge to violate their corporate "religious beliefs."
Eugenia Clark, Tampa
A Republican solution to stem climate change | June 29, Perspective
Stop the polluters
Do Republicans have to leave public service before they can express what they really believe? This was an excellent article by Henry M. Paulson Jr. He can't be alone among Republicans in recognizing the effects of polluting the planet, so exactly who is really in charge of that party?
When are we going to get the big-money contributions out of elections so voters stop electing candidates with the most TV commercials? The big polluters know they won't live another 100 years, so they don't care about future generations, only today's profits.
Elinor Wencka, Tampa