Bath time? Gingrich is playing dirty | Dec. 4, Robyn Blumner column
Gingrich was right about Occupy
Has Robyn Blumner forgotten Bill Clinton's multiple marital infidelities? Some of them bordered on sexual assault. Then there's Ted Kennedy and John Edwards. Does she feel the same about them as she does about Newt Gingrich? Does she feel that any of their multiple marital infidelities affected the way they governed or worked?
So Gingrich flip-flopped on the health care mandate when it became politically expedient to do so. Wasn't Barrack Obama against the mandate before he was elected, and then for it a short time later when it became politically expedient?
Gingrich's Occupy Wall Street statement was a fact. Those protesters are not the 99 percent they claim to be. The 99 percent are way too busy working, taking care of their families and trying to keep a roof over their heads or looking for work to be wasting their time sleeping in a park.
The tea party had no problem getting media attention, and they went home after cleaning up after themselves. Does Blumner really think the only way for the Occupy protesters to get any attention is to occupy and damage property they don't own?
Steve Weinman, Lutz
Scott's wrong on health care law's status Dec. 5
Lacking basic knowledge
Gov. Rick Scott's view on "the law of the land" is truly amazing. He seems to be saying that he has the power of the Supreme Court to declare a law unconstitutional.
Most elementary and middle school students learn that the Constitution is very clear that a bill becomes a law when it is passed by Congress and signed by the president. It says nothing about governors having an option to obey, or not obey, a law.
Perhaps Florida's unpopular governor is using the same "understanding" of the way our laws work that got his private sector business in big trouble.
John Farnham, St. Petersburg
More than 1,900 people line up to get food aid | Dec. 7
The Times' front page showed nearly 2,000 people waiting for food at a church giveaway, while the lead sports page story was $200 million for a baseball player. Could we ask for better evidence of the absurd inequality that is eroding our nation's social fabric?
Joseph H. Boyle, St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg is sad | Nov. 29
Sunshine isn't cheap
Why on Earth would the residents of St. Petersburg be sad? After all we only had 1,900 people line up all day at a local food bank so they could have something to eat.
The Tampa Bay Rays' owners think the city should build them a new stadium. Progress Energy wants the public to help pay to repair its facility ruined by its own employees. And now St. Petersburg will spend $50 million for a new pier.
All of this while the unemployment rate is around 10 percent, people are homeless and housing prices have dropped significantly. I guess the residents of St. Petersburg need to be reminded that sunshine is not cheap.
Lana Griffin, St. Petersburg
Deputies fire up a half-baked scheme Dec. 6, Daniel Ruth column
A serious crime problem
Daniel Ruth seems to think that grow houses are an inherent right and that the prosecution of the homes and their operators are a colossal waste of law enforcement resources. His Keystone Kops depictions of the sheriff's operations are at best demeaning.
I live in a middle to upper middle class neighborhood full of kids, most of whom are under the age of 15. In the past year and a half, the sheriff's office has closed down a grow house in our neighborhood. While the home was in operation, we had all kinds of people driving through, casing the neighborhood and actually walking in to multiple family garages and even homes. We even had attempted child abduction.
While the house was in operation, the car and home break-ins became ridiculous. Since the grow house was closed down, those issues have gone away.
When the sheriff's deputies closed the house, much of the neighborhood stood outside the police tape and watched as pot bags and what apparently were firearms were removed, along with what had to be thousands of dollars' worth of equipment.
For our neighborhood, "Operation Like Wow Man," as you call it, was a godsend. I applaud the sheriff's office for its hard work and for putting their lives on the line for us.
So Mr. Ruth, the next time you feel like writing such a hilarious article on a serious subject, you might consider advertising your home address and putting out the welcome sign "Grow houses welcome here, even just one plant." It is obvious that you are for them.
Max Viera, St. Petersburg
Bishop: Health law is wrong Dec. 1
Morality over convenience
As a physician and practicing Catholic, I applaud Bishop Robert Lynch's decision to place morality over political convenience. By stating that the Diocese of St. Petersburg rejects an Aug. 1 mandate from the federal government to pay for health insurance that includes contraception, morning-after pills and sterilization, the bishop is standing up for the moral beliefs of millions of Catholics.
It is odd that the Obama administration would seek to force Catholics to violate their conscience while at the same time it has issued thousands of exemptions for business like McDonald's, unions and states like Maine over financing arrangements they find objectionable.
The bishop should also reject paying for mandated federal insurance for other reasons. For instance, the bill encourages doctors and hospitals to put their financial well-being above that of their patients. The less money they allow to be spent on a patient, the higher their bonus. The bill also creates new panels to deny care and encourages older panels to do the same, as has occurred with Avastin for breast cancer, mammograms and PSA screening and other medical treatments. Thus, the bill violates the ethical principle adopted called "subsidiarity" by creating larger bodies that substitute for the judgment of smaller organizations, families and individuals.
The bishop would give employees of the diocese cash to pay for insurance from the federal health exchange, which unfortunately points out that President Barack Obama's promise that people could keep their insurance was an empty promise. It is a shame that the Obama administration places more importance on controlling individual conscience and choice than on freedom.
David McKalip, M.D., St. Petersburg