Scott sides with insurers | May 18
Insurers win over the rest of us
As if insurance companies need anymore profits. Gov. Rick Scott's signature allowing "competition" disgusts me. Already insurance is mandated by lenders on mortgages, auto and boat loans. Now, record profits reported by insurance companies are no doubt lining every pocket in Tallahassee.
Traffic citations and damage to our homes lead to higher premiums. And when the insurance companies do pay, most of the time their adjusters "adjust" the worth of your damage to what they want to pay (and trust this, they don't ever want to pay). Then they usually sue somebody to recover "their" money and those lawyers are the only ones who walk away whole.
This governor is truly not who he claimed to be. He bought his way in with millions of his own money, and he's not leaving until he gets it back..
Thomas J. Cook, St. Petersburg
For J.J. Revear, not an unexpected end May 19
Headline was insensitive
I was appalled at the utterly unfeeling headline in Thursday's newspaper. To say that his was "not an unexpected end" just goes to show how prejudiced we can be. I feel sad for Mr. Revear's family having to be exposed to such apathy toward the death of their loved one. How callous and heartless can you be to splash those words in such bold letters on the front page of a major newspaper? I would agree that his end was not "unexpected," but to point that out so vocally only brings deeper heartache to the man's family and increased despair to those of us who refuse to give up hope in our fellow human being.
Julie Laney, Wesley Chapel
Bruins aim a few jabs at Lightning fans May 19
Get over it, Lightning fans
Lightning fans need to calm down. The Bruins have had signs like that up all year, and now that they've made some about the Lightning, you're going to get all sore about it? Honestly, you should be more concerned about what's going on with your team and how they are playing than some funny signs.
This is hockey, not bingo night at the community center. Hockey is not polite.
Melanie Barth, Blandford, Mass.
Center costs under fire | May 12
It's not a surprise that once the planners of the so-called Riverview "community" center got their hands on millions of taxpayer dollars that the sense of community disappeared. It appears they consulted with the architects of the Taj Mahal courthouse in Tallahassee to base their design on. What is the fixation with all the columns and statues? I would love to see a new building design in some future project that has a bit of original and creative thought attached to it. Perhaps something that is environmentally friendly and doesn't stick out like a sore thumb.
Deborah Green, Sun City Center
Koch money is needed | May 18 letter
Academic freedom at risk
The letter writer misses two crucial points in arguing Florida State University needs the Koch money because universities are bastions of liberalism and that a Koch-like gift from a liberal would not draw objections.
First, any gift, whether from a liberal or a conservative, that constrains academic freedom is wrong and should be condemned. I've been involved with Florida universities for over 40 years, and I know of no other Koch-like donation. The only such circumstance I know of is the huge strings-attached Bass donation to Yale University, which was returned because of academic freedom concerns.
Second, it is true that many, but not all, colleges and universities are full of liberals. Part of what makes a liberal a liberal is the commitment to trying to see all sides of an issue, coupled with a commitment to basing conclusions on scientific evidence whenever possible. Unfortunately, too many conservatives place commitment to values first and see themselves as conserving existing views or ideologies, even if it means resisting empirical evidence. That may be why there are no "birthers" among liberals, and why we don't need them in academia.
Richard N. Taylor, Lutz
An ill-fated plot to kill Medicare May 18 column
Where is Democrats' plan?
Kill Medicare? It is already dead. Every serious observer has come to that conclusion: the board that administers it, the Congressional Budget Office, the bipartisan commission that President Barack Obama appointed to deal with the huge deficits we face. Medicare will run out of the "money" (if that is what you want to call U.S. Government IOU's in the "lockbox" ) needed to meet its obligations in the next 10 to 15 years.
The Republicans have offered a plan that exempts "geezers" from sharing the "pain" on the theory that they have spent a lifetime paying into the program, and the government should honor the promises made to them while they were doing that.
I think that is a reasonable approach — but Democrats disagree. They think that the "geezers" are part of the problem and should share the pain. That is another approach; I may disagree with it, but it certainly starts from a plausible premise. So where is the Democratic plan that requires the geezers to share the pain? There is none. All the Democrats want to do is demagogue any plan that takes the problem seriously — and wait until disaster becomes catastrophe, at which point they can find someone to blame.
Meanwhile, they want to increase taxes on those who earn $250,000 a year. Look at the numbers; you could increase their taxes to 100 percent and still never come close to solving the problem.
Barry Augenbraun, St. Petersburg
The wedding ring | May 18 cartoon
Divorce is fact of life
The Clay Bennett cartoon Wednesday basically said that divorced people do not embody family values. Shame on you. Who is the St. Petersburg Times to judge what is and isn't "family values." Divorce is reality. And sometimes it's for the best for adults to go their separate ways. Apparently you never watched Mrs. Doubtfire, a movie character who gave advice on her fictional children's show to kids of divorced parents:
"You know, some parents, when they're angry, they get along much better when they don't live together. They don't fight all the time, and they can become better people, and much better mummies and daddies for you ... But if there's love, dear, those are the ties that bind, and you'll have a family in your heart, forever."
Mike Kersmarki, Tampa