Nominee wrong for high court | Dec. 19, editorial
Politics colors objections
I was not surprised by the tone and demeaning commentary by the Times editors about Frank Jimenez as a prospective appointment to the Florida Supreme Court. Whenever any politically conservative person is considered for appointment anywhere in government, the Times gets its shorts in a knot.
When Govs. Bob Graham and Lawton Chiles appointed very liberal justices to the Florida Supreme Court, there was no hue and cry from the Times in opposition for a "centrist" composition of the court. On the contrary, the Times applauded those appointments.
When President Clinton nominated for the U.S. Supreme Court Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who was an ultraliberal and controversial ACLU manager, the Times supported that appointment. But it was negative on the appointment of Clarence Thomas, only because he is a conservative thinker when it comes to the interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.
I applaud Gov. Crist for his recognition of the need to maintain a proper racial and ethnic diversity on the high court. Frank Jimenez may not march to the St. Petersburg Times' drum, but he certainly marches to the same one I do.
Paul J. Marino, Belleair Beach
Stacking on the left
This headline caught my eye, and this sentence filled me with wonderment: "But in this case, diversity would be a pretext for stacking the Supreme Court with political conservatives and abandoning its centrist history."
The Times finally noticed this about diversity, but the key words are "political conservatives." For decades state and federal courts have been "stacked," some for diversity but mainly for the cause of liberalism, with the stacking being confined to radical left activists. That went unnoticed by the left henchmen called the media.
Now that it has finally been noticed, please also pay attention to the liberal stacking. Even more noticeable in day-to-day experience is that government offices for decades at all levels have been stacked for diversity, often wrongly, considering incompetence, fraud and embezzlement, which are discovered daily.
Fred Miller, Hernando
Bush ramps up caregivers' right to refuse treatment | Dec. 19, story
Bush puts ideology over patient rights
During these very difficult economic times in Florida when people are losing their jobs and so many Americans are without health care, it is unconscionable that the Bush administration has issued a sweeping new regulation that would further undermine health care.
This last-minute controversial regulation protects a broad range of health care workers — from doctors to janitors — who refuse to provide a patient with services or information that they believe violates their personal, moral or religious beliefs. The federal government will be empowered to cut off federal funding to any entity that does not accommodate employees who exercise their "right of conscience."
From day one, this administration has made ideology and politics a priority over patients' rights and needs, and this regulation is its last parting shot, aimed, once again, mainly at women.
Planned Parenthood's commitment to quality health care remains strong, and we will work with the new administration and Congress to overturn this disastrous rule and to expand — not limit — the right of all Americans to have access to health care.
Barbara A. Zdravecky, president/CEO, Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, Sarasota
Bush ramps up caregivers' right to refuse treatment | Dec. 19, story
Find other work
Caregivers are going to be given the right to refuse treatment to persons they deem morally objectionable, according to a rule by the Bush administration that will take effect the day before he leaves office.
This flies in the face of oaths taken by many caregivers and is yet another ploy by Bush to jam his morality down the throats of everyone. It is hard enough to get needed, proper care without such nonsense.
If any caregiver, including doctors, nurses, nurses aides, physician assistants, EMTs and pharmacists, denies care to anyone they find "morally objectionable," they are in the wrong business.
Carolynne Paul, Brooksville
Glitch robs VA benefits from vets' spouses | Dec. 14, story
Isn't it amusing that when the government makes a "glitch" for 12 years, there is no one to protest?
My husband, Col. Frank Cappelletti (U.S. Air Force with a 30-year service record from 1940-1970), died on Feb. 28, 2007; I received his disability check and also his pension check in full.
However, the U.S. Treasury withdrew the amounts. I called the local Veterans' Administration and also the headquarters, protesting that Frank died on the last day of the month in midafternoon. Why didn't they prorate the payment?
The answer, from every group, was: It's the law. If he had died on March 1, then his check would have been deposited in full.
If this were a corporation or small business and the law said they were to pay benefits to the widow and didn't do so, they would have been pilloried and fined.
The VA does this — for 12 years — and it is called a "glitch." Shame on them. Fire the idiots who denied this money to the widows. Oh, can't find them? Then I say, fire the heads of the departments responsible.
Rose G. Cappelletti, Safety Harbor
Preying on the elderly
Our health care system is fine — if you never have to use it.
The word "Medicare" in the title of a company should not trick anyone into giving up real Medicare A or B.
I learned the hard way with my mother, who thought she was getting a supplement with AARP and instead, dropped Medicare as her main provider.
Something as important as health care should not be turned into a political football at the expense of those who have worked hard all their lives and then gotten confused by so many different sales pitches from private companies who do nothing but prey on the elderly.
Leona Pettigrew, Sun City Center
Whistle-blower should be punished Dec. 19, letter
He deserves an award
The letter writer expressed the opinion that whistle-blower Thomas Tamm should be punished for leaking the fact that the government was engaged in illegal wiretapping of American citizens.
I suggest the opposite: Thomas Tamm should be awarded for having the courage to come forward. The letter writer says that "Tamm had the proper channels within his grasp," completely disregarding the fact that the attorney general was complicit in this illegal program, effectively blocking proper-channel recourse.
In a nation founded on the rule of law, this program, indeed, "didn't smell right" and all involved, right up to the president, need to brought to account. Thomas Tamm did the right thing; we need more people like him in government.
D.B. Hessler, Tampa
Winter's tale | Dec. 7-10
Thank you! Thank you for bringing the true spirit of Christmas and what Americans are really like in your wonderful article on Winter, the baby dolphin.
I laughed, I cried and I smiled! There was that brave young woman who jumped into the water to help the baby dolphin, and the compassionate head of the aquarium who encouraged all the help his people could give. There was the way little Katrina bonded so beautifully with the dolphin and then that brilliant man who made a new tail for Winter and was also kind to Katrina and designed a new prosthesis for her.
These are Americans who outdid themselves but are really the foundation of this great country of ours. It's not the greedy, corrupt politicians and corporate heads who have brought our nation to its knees.
I can once again believe! You couldn't have helped at a better time than this Christmas season when we all need to love our fellow man, and hope and believe that there will be a better life for all.
Marilyn R. Small, South Pasadena