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Thursday's letters: The return of health debate's big lie

Government by regulation? Shhh | Dec. 31, commentary

Column revives debate's big lie

Charles Krauthammer has no shame. In his column he again brings up the issue of "death panels," which he calls late-life rationing. The successful attempt by Krauthammer and his right-wing media buddies to make this seem as if the health care bill would make it possible for the government to decide who lives and who dies was one of the biggest lies of the debate.

In fact it simply paid a patient's doctor for the time spent advising the patient on the various choices available with a living will, the selection of a health care surrogate and other important choices. These documents ensure the patient's wishes are known if he or she should become unable to communicate with caregivers during an emergency.

Without regard for who pays to get the advice, every credible organization dealing with these issues advises us to have these documents, even as young adults.

Krauthammer continues the lie that may well cause tremendous grief and hardship for those unprepared for perhaps the most important time in their life.

Kyle Quattlebaum, Clearwater

Stop the power grab

Charles Krauthammer has our president pegged. Because Barack Obama's party lost control of the House, he wants to pass laws by means of regulation. It is almost as though the election never happened.

The Democrats are seeking ways to change the rules so they can continue to ram their unpopular agenda down our throats.

This must be stopped. Their shenanigans are contrary to all that our founding fathers envisioned.

Orfeo Trombetta, Seminole

Government by regulation? Shhh | Dec. 31, commentary

Regulations were upheld

Charles Krauthammer is either unaware of history or displaying the standard right-wing act of extreme exaggeration when he says President Barack Obama moves hard left. If he knew history he would know that the health care plan proposed by Nixon was further to the left.

He apparently is also unaware of recent history, otherwise he would know that in 2007 in Massachusetts et al. vs. EPA, the Supreme Court said that the EPA had the authority to regulate greenhouse gases. The court said the agency would be derelict in its duties if it didn't.

Christopher Radulich, Apollo Beach

Hold drivers to account | Dec. 30, letter

Rules of the road are for all

A letter writer wants stiffer penalties for drivers involved in bicycle/pedestrian vs. car accidents. But cyclists are supposed to follow the rules of the road the same as autos do.

How many times have you stopped at the Pinellas Trail and seen the bicycles blow through the stop signs as if it's an unwritten law that cars will always give way? When pedestrians cross the streets at night in dark clothing and not at a crosswalk — darting out from between parked cars — how responsible is the driver? You have to use common sense here.

Dennis Condon, Palm Harbor

Pedestrian hit at railroad crossing | Dec. 31

A dangerous spot

There are many people who use public transportation or ride bikes to work in the early-morning hours between 5 and 6 a.m. My fellow employees and I feared an accident on Anderson Road near Tampa International Airport was going to happen, and now it has. I work in this area and pass many people who get off the bus at Hillsborough Avenue, then walk or ride bikes to work from there in the dark, either on the road or in the dirt or grass.

I have had many near-misses. The roadway is dangerous for pedestrians, with few streetlights and no walkways. Someone with Hillsborough County needs to be contacted; this is a dangerous roadway and action needs to be taken before someone else is killed.

Joe Sadler, Tampa

A new year. A fresh start | Jan. 1, editorial

Improve the roads

Your editorial indicating that creation of a new rail system is "21st century" is a stretch. Those of us who are older remember the rail systems years ago that linked cities. Many of these failed.

As an example, I lived in Wisconsin and there used to be many rail options between Chicago and Milwaukee. Amtrak was the federal system responsible for managing these terrible and costly transportation systems. You point out that the federal government will pay for the new Florida rail system. Does that mean that those of us who pay taxes get something for free?

The ongoing problem is that the maintenance of these systems is always higher than the revenue from passengers. This kind of transportation is usually more successful in countries in Europe where the average person can't afford an automobile, unlike here.

Let's get real and invest in an improved road system.

Robert Inslee, Dade City

Daniel Ruth

Wrong, but entertaining

I've been a member of Daniel Ruth's radio and newspaper audience since we moved to St. Petersburg in 2001.

In my view his published political and social views are reminiscent of the kind of nonsense we concocted at 2 a.m. in dorm rooms after a couple of joints and a bottle of cheap wine. Most of us grew out of that phase, or as Winston Churchill put it: "If you're not a liberal at 20 you have no heart; if you're not a conservative at 40 you have no brain."

But like so many of his colleagues at the Times, Ruth philosophically never left that cloistered progressive utopian fantasy to join the real world. Regardless, his style in expressing these views makes for some of the most entertaining and thought-provoking commentary and newspaper reading I've ever had the pleasure to enjoy. Although he's on the wrong end of the spectrum, he's in the same league with George Will, Charles Krauthammer and P.J. O'Rourke.

Although I rarely agree with either one of them, if not for him and Howard Troxler I'd cancel my subscription in a heartbeat. Give them both a raise and consider hiring an equally feisty conservative columnist.

Timothy S. McDonnell, St. Petersburg

Sheriff's out of bounds

I want Daniel Ruth to keep doing exactly what he's doing. He's both smart and witty.

Polk County's chest-thumping, Tarzan-yodeling sheriff should focus on Polk County crime and leave national issues to the U.S. Justice Department. Just who does he think he is? Or, perhaps the question should be, Whom does he want to be?

Grady Judd's wanting to police the entire country from his minuscule perch is like America stationing troops, FBI, CIA and DEA agents in almost every country in the world, suggesting how their citizens should lead their lives and interfering in their politics.

Jon Wagner, Riverview

Thursday's letters: The return of health debate's big lie 01/05/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 5, 2011 7:20pm]
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