That day of daze | Sept. 11
9/11 article spoke from the heart
Sherri Day's column depicting her feelings and remembrance of 9/11 was passionate, sincere and warm, but not maudlin — truly from her heart. She said it all for me, and I'm sure for most folks. Such perfect writing.
I was in Russia at the time and felt a strange aura of estrangement and fright at not being in my own U.S.A. Most of my family was here, and I wondered if they were in danger. My heart broke for all of my fellow Americans, the casualties, the rescuers and their families.
The world has seen tragedies similar to 9/11, but we have never felt such a magnitude of horror. Though we shall never forget, Day's last sentence is a lesson for all of us. "I want to move on."
Lilyan V. Dayton, New Port Richey
Where is liberty for all? | Sept. 11, Robyn Blumner column
It wasn't the day
On the 10th anniversary of 9/11, nearly all media outlets refrained from making political statements.
I am all for free speech, but there is a time and place for everything, and the last thing readers needed Sunday was to see Robyn Blumner bashing this country and attacking a former president. It was not the day for it.
Peter Stathis, Spring Hill
No substitute for parental involvement Sept. 11, Bill Maxwell column
Bill Maxwell gets it. He calls it like he sees it and genuinely cares enough to put himself in a position to be criticized by those who don't want to own a problem or don't really care about solutions. Parents, guardians and mentors — of all races and cultures — should do exactly what he is suggesting. It's valuable advice all the way around.
What a pleasure to have him in our newspaper pages.
Robyn Dalton, Largo
Drug savings at risk
With all the debate about the debt ceiling and looming state budget cuts, one would think there would be more talk about actually controlling health care costs, especially the rising cost of prescription drugs.
The price of prescription drugs is particularly relevant in this state, which is home to 3 million seniors on fixed incomes. The United States has the highest prescription drug prices in the world — sometimes as much as 50 to 80 percent more for the exact same medication!
Thankfully, there is an alternative. Tens of thousands of Floridians import their prescription drugs from legitimate international online pharmacies. But proposed legislation puts this option in jeopardy.
The Protect IP Act targets illegal online pharmacies and counterfeit medications. On the surface, the proposed bill isn't so bad, since rogue online pharmacies are obviously a public menace. But the bill doesn't make a distinction between the "good guys" (the licensed pharmacies that always require a doctor's prescription to order medicine) and the "bad guys" who sell counterfeit drugs and narcotics without a prescription.
The Protect IP Act could shut down safe and trusted online pharmacies.
Steve Hoffman, Lakeland
Republicans revel in latest House triumphs Sept. 15
Message to Obama
New York's 9th Congressional District, which has been held by Democrats since 1923, went to a Republican last week.
The winner, Robert Turner, is a prolife Catholic who supports Israel, is against homosexual marriage, wants Obamacare overturned and holds other conservative views. The upset happened in a district in which Democrats hold a 3-to-1 advantage over Republicans.
Former New York Mayor Ed Koch, a Democrat, endorsed Turner in July as a way to "send a message" to President Barack Obama on his policies toward Israel.
The White House finds this election to be unimportant, although when another New York district was won by a Democrat they thought that was a major upset and proved Obama's electability in 2012. This election says not so fast.
Sal Reale, Seminole
Making informed choices
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 34 percent of adults and 17 percent of children in the United States are obese. In April, the Food and Drug Administration proposed regulations requiring calorie labeling on menus and menu boards of restaurants, retail food establishments and vending machines.
A friend who works for a large restaurant chain says it has been slowly decreasing the calories in its foods since the beginning of the year, hoping that consumers will not notice a difference in taste.
I applaud one large fast food chain that has made its children's meals healthier by providing juice or milk instead of soda, and replacing fries with apple slices. In the future, I am hoping that we will become a nation of informed consumers and will be on our way to decreasing obesity and the multitude of health problems linked to it.
Karen Thibodeau, Parrish
Stop wasting money
As Congress considers more spending cuts, I urge my fellow citizens and government officials to cut failed drug war programs. More than a trillion dollars has been spent on the war on drugs with little to show for it except overcrowded prisons, enormous racial disparities and rising rates of overdose fatalities. Please stop wasting taxpayer money on drug policies proven not to work.
Many scientific groups, including the American Psychological Association, have for some time been advocating for a scientific health care approach to both prevent and rehabilitate the demand for illicit substances. These models are both less expensive and have a proven clinical track record.
The Rev. David E. Emison, Zephyrhills
Doctor gag law indefensible | Sept. 16, editorial
A matter of priorities
To the governor and all those members of the Legislature who sponsored and voted for the "Docs vs. Glocks" bill, I applaud you for addressing this important and urgent issue. Now I can go back to worrying about more minor things like the economy, unemployment, health care, energy, clean water, public education and transportation.
Susan Whitaker, Lutz