Saturday, May 26, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Thursday's letters: Both parties' health reforms fall short

Health site serves only 30 | Aug. 29

Both parties' reforms fall short

I am a lifelong Republican who has operated a health insurance business in Ocala for over 33 years.

I was opposed to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) since I believe it does nothing to reduce the actual cost of health care. It puts money in the pockets of medical providers and insurance carriers, but does not rein in medical inflation. This was forced upon us by the Democratic politicians in Washington.

But alas, the Republican politicians in Tallahassee have forced us to spend almost 1 million taxpayer dollars on a program called Florida Health Choices. What do we get for our million? Thirty people with health discount plans.

The Republican politicians in Tallahassee are no better than the Democratic ones in Washington.

Robert E. Taylor, Ocala

Presidential failure to engage | Aug. 28

Lawbreaker in chief

Will wonders never cease? I was stunned to read an editorial in the Times criticizing President Barack Obama. Among other issues, the article addresses Obama's blatant criminal acts. Yes, criminal. He broke the law when swapping prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl without giving the required 30-day notice to Congress. Then, to make matters worse, he broke another law by using funds not appropriated for such activity.

Those are two crimes committed by this administration, and yet no punishment given to this lawbreaker. One can surely believe that if a "common" citizen broke two laws of this magnitude, he or she would certainly have to pay the price. Why is this man still occupying the White House? Why is no action being taken by this dormant, self-serving, gridlocked Congress?

I am not disputing whether these criminal acts are justified by the return of one of our own. That is a discussion for another day. The fact remains that Obama does whatever he chooses with no consequences attached. As pointed out in this article, he picks which laws he wants to enforce and which laws do not apply to him.

Kudos, finally, to the Times for addressing Obama's ineptness.

Jim Rechtin, Sun City Center

Pension plans

Threat to retirement

Recently, Congress again demonstrated its callous disregard for retirement income security by supporting legislation to fund national highway projects on the backs of retirees through an accounting gimmick known as "pension smoothing." This gimmick helps big government while doing nothing to protect company retirees by directing corporations to reduce the legal amounts of funds they must put aside to pay pensioners.

Lawmakers say that "smoothing" will make corporate earnings seem bigger, producing higher tax payments that could be used to fund repairs to U.S. highways and bridges. What's next? "Paycheck smoothing" for those lucky enough to have jobs? Isn't this really "pension risking"?

Terry Yates, Cocoa

Congress' mandated recess isn't vacation Aug. 30, PolitiFact

Free time is a vacation

I think PolitiFact got this one wrong. The Times claims "many members will be campaigning, visiting offices and town halls." We do not pay them to run for re-election. If they wish to spend their vacation campaigning, that is their choice, not part of their job.

As the Times said, "Members who aren't up for re-election might enjoy family time or a vacation." If you're getting paid to not do what you were hired to do, that's a vacation.

Gareth Fales, Temple Terrace

Trips to China draw scrutiny | Aug. 30

Cuba-China hypocrisy

The degree of hypocrisy and negativity that Sen. Marco Rubio and his Cold War advocates display never ceases to amaze me. This time it is sending staff on an all-expense-paid trip to China — paid for by Beijing. Meanwhile, Rubio and his allies oppose lifting the Cuban embargo, criticize all who visit there and condemn efforts to improve relations.

Cuba has a health care system that is respected worldwide, free education and one of the highest rates of literacy (99.8 percent) in Latin America. There is so much that our two countries could share and learn from each other, if we could just look past the constant propaganda barrage and negative elements.

I recall that the "son of immigrants" led us to believe his parents fled Cuba during Fidel Castro's rule when, in actuality, they had emigrated during the Batista regime. And I have yet to hear a negative word about that tyrannical, corrupt dictator, who did nothing for the Cuban people and would have given the country over to the Mafia if the price was right.

Claire McCarthy Lutzmann, Dunedin

Flip-flop on Florida land | Sept. 1

'Tis the season

They say that the campaign season officially begins on Labor Day. And, sure enough, you were right there with a front-page, above-the-fold item calling Rick Scott a "flip-flopper."

I guess this is just the first of many biased items we will be seeing between now and Election Day.

Ray Kelly, Spring Hill

Israel settlements | Sept. 1

Punish Mideast land thefts

This item reports that "the Israeli government said Sunday it would appropriate 990 acres in the West Bank that could be used to build homes for Jewish settlers."

Israel continues to steal Palestinian land and build illegal settlements. The international community and the United States condemn these settlements. It's about time that we place sanctions against Israel for stealing and colonizing land that does not belong to it.

This is against international law. Just as we place sanctions against Russia for taking over land in Ukraine, the same should be done to Israel. There is no difference — stealing is stealing.

Mona Pepe, Brooksville


Monday’s letters: NFL finally listens to its fans

NFL moves to endanthem protests | May 24NFL’s action comes too lateThe NFL owners are, after two years, finally growing some courage.Before these kneel-downs became the elephant in the room, team owners could have taken action to minimize the imp...
Updated: 12 hours ago

Sunday’s letters: As Jews, we should not be afraid to criticize Israel

Published: 05/24/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Saturday’s letters: Bayshore fatalities didn’t have to happen

After two fatalities, speed limits cut | May 25Cameras needed on BayshoreOnce again, two pedestrians have died as the result of careless drivers who were speeding. Once again, the Times and other media outlets are filled with opinions about the c...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Friday's letters: Thanks to jurors for fulfilling civic duty

May is Juror Appreciation Month Thanks, jurors, for your service Trial by a jury of one’s peers is among the bedrock guarantees that make our representative democracy exceptional. Without it, the courtroom fates of defendants and civil litiga...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Thursday’s letters: Heated chemotherapy won’t treat most ovarian cancers

Heated chemotherapy has promising results | May 16Cancer treatment not a cure-all While we were pleased to see the story about ovarian cancer treatment, we are concerned that the article could mislead many patients. The treatment described has be...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/24/18

Wednesday’s letters: A princess gives us a lesson to live by

Royal treatment | May 21Princess offers advice for us allThe radiant and joyful Princess Anna Noela Lokolo of the Democratic Republic of Congo, recent Eckerd College graduate, has given us a huge gift in her parting words. "If people have a negat...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/23/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Central High School bomb threat suspect to be tried as adult | May 4Angry mob rhetoric not helpfulWe have observed the public discourse surrounding the case of Mizella Robinson with increasing unease. A sampling of the more common sentiment...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Proposed TECO Solar Plant Opposed to the TECO solar plantAs a 21-year resident and property owner, I am writing in opposition to the proposed Tampa Electric Company solar plant in rural northeast Pasco County.The solar plant will be .2 miles from...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Tuesday’s letters: If you don’t like the Electoral College, then amend the Constitution

The popular vote | May 20, letterIf you don’t like it, amend ConstitutionA recent letter supports the idea that a state should be able to change its Electoral College vote to match that of the national popular vote winner as opposed to the result...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Monday’s letters: Focusing on the mental state of shooters misses the point

Texas high school shooting | May 18Criminals, angry people kill peopleSchool shootings are a distinctly American phenomenon. But shootings by people with serious mental illness represent less than 1 percent of all yearly gun-related homicides in ...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/21/18