Health law exceeds government's limits | Jan. 6, commentary
Health plan foes play to our fears
Unfortunately, Attorney General Pam Bondi feels she must follow our former attorney general's footsteps by challenging the federal government's new health insurance regulations. She cites primarily constitutional arguments and the Democrats' utilization of the parliamentary maneuver known as reconciliation as reasons why "ObamaCare" should be overturned. Reconciliation is nothing new and has, in fact, been used by Republican majorities in years past. So her argument is merely partisan and disingenuous at best.
The incorrect term "ObamaCare" is used by the right to attempt to mislead the already confused public. Promoting fear of anything that actually helps the majority of people, many of whom may be newly poor, is only intended to create fear that socialism is coming soon.
Many of us believe health care reform came up short in many facets, primarily its lack of a public option. But this bit of incremental change is necessary to rein in the insurance beast — one of the most profitable businesses in the United States. Of course they don't want regulation. What big business ever does? As always, big business' lobbyists have attempted to bamboozle the public to portray mandatory coverage as unconstitutional. What other tactic do they have?
So go ahead and attempt to overturn this new, helpful legislation. But be prepared to explain why you are against the necessary upgrades such as no ceiling limits on coverage, no declining of coverage for children's pre-existing conditions when changing plans, and extension of insurance coverage for dependents up to age 26.
William Falcone, Brandon
End the violent rhetoric
As our outraged and disgusted nation reels from and mourns Saturday's horrific rampage, it seems a fitting time to appeal to all political leaders and concerned citizens to end the rhetoric of violence.
While Sarah Palin and the tea party may not be the first to use inflammatory, inciting language, she and the tea party will be forever associated with a U.S. map that includes targeting Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' district with a bull's-eye as a "top target" for the elections. While tea party supporters may see no connection between their heated rhetoric and Saturday's tragedy, grim reality suggests otherwise.
Clearly, unstable personalities exist on the fringes of left and right of our political process. Further, they take this inciting campaign language seriously, as a possible call to action. How sobering to contrast the suspected killer's last action of attempting to reload his gun with Sarah Palin's violent campaign rhetoric — "Don't retreat; reload."
The greatest honor we could bestow on Rep. Giffords is for everyone — political leaders, news and radio commentators and citizens alike — to put an end to this increasingly dangerous, toxic political environment. There simply is no place in our democracy for the current rhetoric of violence in all its forms.
Michael Doyle, Tampa
Politics don't enter into it
Like many other Americans, I am sickened and horrified by the tragedy in Arizona this past weekend. A gunman created havoc and chaos on innocent people, and for what reason? His own sadistic satisfaction.
In news reports I have heard the name Sarah Palin brought up and her website referred to as perhaps a trigger to the sick mind of this murderer. Blaming Palin makes no more sense than blaming Keith Olbermann or Michael Moore and their anti-American diatribes for other violence today. The shooter's politics are totally irrational and unstable. His actions are not Democratic, Republican or tea party but come from a sick, twisted mind and should be looked upon as such.
Daniel J. Moran, Clearwater
Tinkering with Twain draws criticism Jan. 6
Don't change a classic
The N-word, which appears 219 times in Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, will be absent in an upcoming edition in an effort to make the book more acceptable for the classroom.
The idea that removing an incendiary word from a great piece of writing will stanch its flow from ignorant and hateful lips is akin to believing removing photographs of Michelangelo's David from art books would be a blow to the pornography industry.
Having teachers questioning whether the classic text is appropriate in a classroom leads one to wonder if perhaps our concern should be funneled less toward altering our literature to fit in the classroom and more toward altering our classrooms to be able to teach great literature.
Huck Finn is a 125-year-old text; it is understood that it takes place in a different time and different place, with its own social and cultural norms. As Ray Bradbury wrote, "There's more than one way to burn a book."
Justin Megahan, Tampa
Preach peace, help others
In November I saw a news item in which an ultra-Orthodox Israeli rabbi said, "The Torah tells us Jews should not make a place for Gentiles." It disturbed me then. It continues to disturb me.
Violence in the name of religion is nothing more than ego and power tripping, neither of which are virtues. No matter what religious beliefs one espouses, no god promotes violence. God, no matter the religion, is succor and love.
Let the world come together, and let true beliefs wipe out distorted beliefs used by some for self-gain. Reach out in friendship and kindness to your neighbors, co-workers, service providers. In essence, please treat people the way you want to be treated. We can make this change.
Cynthia Glass, South Pasadena
Hardly a bargain
I can drive to Orlando in my own car and take three other people for under $50. If a railroad ticket costs $50 round trip (and it's probably more), I save $150. We leave when we want and return without being tied to a train schedule.
America is in financial crisis. There are a thousand better places to spend billions of dollars we don't have on something we don't need. I'm afraid the taxpayers are going to buy another expensive ride to Disney World. Gov. Scott, please do a cost-benefit analysis before we commit to this project.
Arthur Samuels, Tarpon Springs