Florida should forget about drilling in the gulf | March 21, editorial
America needs offshore energy
Your March 21 editorial overlooks the positive and immediate economic impacts associated with safe, responsible, 21st century offshore domestic energy exploration.
The Times writes that "The industry's endgame may be to get the drilling ban in state waters lifted merely to make it impossible to continue with the ban in federal waters." That's not true. The endgame is to advance commonsense energy policies that help deliver affordable and stable energy to struggling American families and small businesses, and to help drive down our nation's growing dependence on foreign and often unstable regions of the world to keep our economy fueled.
Right now, Russia is moving forward aggressively — in tandem with the Cuban government — to produce oil and gas offshore near the Gulf of Mexico. At the same time, leaders in Washington, and some in Tallahassee, continue to slow-walk America's energy security by maintaining failed, status quo policies.
The American people overwhelmingly support offshore energy development. They — like independent oil and gas producers, who are responsible for drilling nine out of 10 wells nationwide — understand that accessing and delivering more homegrown energy, onshore and offshore, is critical to our nation's long-term security.
In his State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama said that we must make tough decisions "about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development." He's right. We do.
Barry Russell, president and CEO, Independent Petroleum Association of America, Washington
Let's stay No. 1 in space exploration March 25, letter
Is this a push for more big government?
Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp (a member of the "anti-big government" GOP) apparently wants continued government involvement (meaning tax dollars) in the space program.
What happened to the big-government bogeyman that was going to take over everything and make us a socialist state? What would be wrong with privatizing space exploration? Our political institutions are having a hard enough time dealing with our problems on this planet.
Is Kottkamp planning on just exporting our current troubles to Mars? Maybe there's health care for all and a real economic safety net on another planet, but not on planet GOP.
Fred Kann, Sun City Center
McCollum's health care lawsuit
No other problems?
Our state attorney general is filing suit to challenge recently passed federal health reforms.
Have we prosecuted all of the mortgage fraud, closed the meth labs and run out of Ponzi schemers so we must seek protection from health care?
Perhaps Bill McCollum seeks personal benefit by using his time and our money winning political points with his party' right wing.
Edward Miller, Tampa
McCollum is right to sue
Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum is right to take the health care bill to court, and those Democratic lawmakers are wrong to persecute him.
This is not a political matter. It is about the Constitution. Not only that, the attorney general swore an oath to defend the Constitution, so I am glad he is looking out after our tax dollars. What a great job he is doing.
Tom Chastain, Tampa
Health insurance debacle
We'll pay a price
What do you think is going to happen to health insurance rates? When insurance companies are forced to do away with pre-existing conditions, medical riders and waivers, their costs will skyrocket and so will our premiums.
I believe the health care industry must undergo a rebirth, but we're the ones feeling the labor pains. Where are the changes for cost control, fraud and tort reform? Reducing the reimbursement rates for Medicare services will drive most overworked doctors from serving citizens over 65. Read the sign in the waiting rooms, "We No Longer Accept Medicare." Now what? Cash is King and government control of health care is the Joker.
Better check your health policy; make sure it covers depression and metal health counseling.
Bill Coleman, Dunedin
Just passing the word | March 20, letter
On Obama's side
The letter writer wrote: "We believe that Fox tells it like it is. President Barack Obama and his cronies do not yet understand that the good God-fearing, hard-working, taxpaying citizens of our fine country do not support Obama's policies."
Well I am a good God-fearing, hard-working, taxpaying citizen of the United States who voted for President Obama and supports many of his ideas for for our nation. And there are millions like me. Failure to accept this is how Fox distorts the truth.
Just because my family and I have health insurance does not mean that I can ignore the need of millions of Americans who do not have access to affordable insurance and care. I tend to believe that this is a Christian and humanitarian view.
God bless America!
Anita DeBias, Port Richey
Actually, I'm not "battling" cancer March 21, commentary
Living with disease
Thank you, Dana Jennings, for that insightful article regarding your experience with cancer. I'm so happy to hear you are not "battling" the cancer.
I, personally, have not dealt with the cancer situation — until now. My best friend has cancer. It is an eye-opener to say the least. It bothers me to read about people "battling" or "fighting" cancer. The obituaries state that lots of people have "lost their battle" with cancer. Not having firsthand knowledge about cancer, I did not feel qualified to make a statement regarding something I knew nothing about. Jennings' article expressed my feelings exactly.
I do not see my friend "battling" or "fighting." She is just living with what she has. What other choice does she have? I will say that she has a great attitude.
It does seem that sometime the treatment is worse than the disease. And each treatment seems to create another problem. In her own words, she has no quality of life at this time. Her existence is her hospital bed in her living room. She cannot do anything she loves to do. I cannot say I know how she feels because I do not. I can imagine it, but don't know. So, for now, we visit and talk and laugh. What choice does she have?
Sheila Krause, St. Petersburg
Under the radar | March 21
Regarding the faux — but nevertheless tax exempt — U.S. Navy Veterans Association "charity": bravo.
And bravo for your various and serious investigative series. This is why we need the daily, hold-in-your-hand, metro newspapers to survive and prosper — if we (our species, that is), are to survive.
We will never get the same kind of in-depth, sustained attention to public issues and scams from the TV/blogosphere, or any other new media.
Allan Avery, Clearwater