Small knives, sports gear fly again | March 6
New security rules short on sense
What an idea: knives and large sharp objects on board airplanes. I'm sure airline employees are thrilled with how much easier this will make their jobs.
Now we can stab the back of the seat of the impolite person who always slams the seat back on your knees, knocking the soda into your lap. And don't we all need to carry hockey sticks and pool cues, since there's always so much extra overhead bin space? I guess the next time somebody keeps kicking my seat, my handy pool cue might make them rethink their decision. I am sad, however, that my beloved cricket bat will have to continue to be checked luggage.
Two questions come to mind: What are they drinking and/or smoking at TSA, and would they be so kind as to share it with the rest of us so we can think it's a good idea too?
Charlotte Schiaffo, Tampa
Federal duty on economy | March 7, letter
Spending our way into debt
A letter writer says it is the duty of the federal government in "times of stress" to "invest" in projects to help the country economically. First, this must be an unwritten duty as it is not anywhere in the U.S. Constitution.
But more to the point is that between the huge stimulus and record high levels of government spending, this has been tried for the last four years with only minimal improvement to the nation and a huge debt.
The fallacy here is that construction projects these days employ a large number of people or the absurd belief that the government is competent enough to spend our tax money efficiently.
Too often the help from Congress gets caught up in crony capitalism or is based on grand ideas that don't work in real life.
Fortunately, we have some in Washington now who want to solve the problem instead of just continuing to be a part of it.
Daniel Montanez Jr., Riverview
A growing field of green | March 7
Rich get richer
I am so relived to know another billionaire has added to his wealth. While you're at it, could you report on just how that relates to everyday people? With the rich getting richer, the poor getting poorer and our government laughing in our face, it's so nice to know those who have will be sleeping on rose pedals while those who have not will be praying for their child's next meal.
Keep up the good work, Times. Let us know when your next scoop includes real messages that affect your readers in a real sense.
Thomas J. Cook, St. Petersburg
Legal headache over 'Dr.' title March 7, commentary
Health care professionals should focus their efforts on providing the best possible care for their patients, not deriding and attempting to limit other health care professionals.
Current proposed legislation making it a felony for doctorally prepared nurse practitioners to use the title "doctor" in the clinical setting is ludicrous, demeaning and most likely unconstitutional. To follow the current line of logic, new medical school graduates, who have almost no clinical experience, should be required to introduce themselves as "I'm Dr. Smith, an intern" or face felony charges for inadequate identification of their status. Likewise all doctorally prepared health providers should be required to clarify their status such as "Dr. Jones, a dentist" or "Dr. Allen, a chiropractor" to avoid prosecution.
Let's recognize this proposed legislation for what it is: an attempt by some medical groups to limit the scope of practice of nurse practitioners to decrease competition. This legislation has nothing to do with patient safety and everything to do with turf protection.
Beth Hernly, St. Petersburg
A degree of absurdity
Pending legislation to make felons of nurses with advanced preparation and the highest academic degree is poppycock but it's nothing new.
I am reminded of an incident of more than 40 years ago when Dr. Marian McKenna left UF to become the dean of the College of Nursing at my alma mater, the University of Kentucky. At her welcoming reception, a crusty old pediatrician asked her, "M.D. or Ph.D?" Dr. McKenna answered, "Neither, Ed.D." The medical doctor asked the educator, "What kind of … degree is that?"
No self-respecting nurse passes himself or herself off as a medical doctor. Nurses have something distinct to offer patients in addition to those long-since delegated functions of medical care.
Sally F. Martin, Tampa
About-face on aid his family had received March 7
Getting our share
I am apparently missing a fundamental, philosophical element of House Speaker Will Weatherford's desire to reject "free" federal Medicaid funds, as I did with Gov. Rick Scott's rejection of the federal funds for the rail system.
For 50 years I have been paying federal income taxes with the belief that my money would, at least in part, be returned to me in the form of programs that are beneficial to me and society in general. So why would I reject an offer from the U.S. government to return some of my tax money to my community and instead choose to tell them to spend it elsewhere, which is what they will do?
I see it as akin to telling Washington to keep my income tax refund because it is coming out of their dirty, governmental hands. I would certainly be called a fool if I did that.
Arthur N. Eggers, Tampa