Never let go | Dec. 9
Courageous, amazing story of life
Thanks to Kelley Benham for the courage to share her amazing story of life. As a practicing neurosurgeon, I routinely help families with these agonizing life and death decisions. I have gone through the career evolution of wondering what was right and now knowing that life deserves every chance we can give it. I am heartened that a woman chose to give her baby the chance at life so many never get.
I am saddened by the question implied about whether the cost "is worth it." I am now more commonly seeing families giving up far too early in difficult medical situations. Sadly, they are often goaded into bad decisions by doctors and nurses who believe they have a primary responsibility to serve some broader collective's financial and social goals. They are abandoning their duty to the serve their patient first and misleading the family about the likelihood of recovery. This is happening now in ways I have never seen before.
Many patient care memories are burned in my mind: the lives lost after valiant fights to save them; the lives saved and those who recovered from paralysis and comas; and those who battled through disabilities and thrived.
But the medical memories seared in my mind most — the ones that haunt me — are the lives abandoned that I knew I had a good chance to save. They were abandoned by confused families or doctors and nurses who simply give up or cared more about something other than their patient.
David McKalip, M.D., St. Petersburg
No one relents in spending and tax standoff Dec. 11
Both sides should give
I am a registered Republican, but why don't they yield to the president and give him his tax increase? Then the president should give the Republicans massive budget cuts. If the two sides can do that, they might just find they can balance the budget.
Charles Farrell, St. Petersburg
Full-time jobs hard to come by | Dec. 9
I find it interesting and unusual that the liberal-leaning Times would publish a story concerning the very miserable reality of the underemployed and their continuing bleak outlook in this bad Obama economy. Oh, silly me, the election is over.
Leslie M. Gomillion, Hudson
Unemployment claims fall | Dec. 7
The reason for the decline in unemployment claims is because many claimants such as myself lose eligibility. Therefore, you're dropped off the list. I've received my notice telling me I will no longer be getting any unemployment funds. I'm 62 with very few prospects. I've put out at least a thousand resumes in person or by the Web. So, when they talk about improvement, it's not happening for a good part of the population.
John Cody, Tampa
Learning, not fads | Dec. 9, commentary
I normally side with the traditional view, but I reacted differently to this column.
The president of Eckerd College's suspicions on Web learning remind me of John D. Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan lore. The former foresaw a threat to his kerosene lamp monopoly in the latter's upstart investment in Edison's electric bulb. The analogy is not perfect, but I'm betting silicon ideas will replace the fossil fuels of 19th century teaching methods and union monopolists.
I've enjoyed 24/7 Web instruction for two years at a pittance cost learning music theory and technique, to recognize notes across a fret board, play some blues, a classical piece or two, and harmonize the melody. That's not faddish. It's the new normal of lifelong learning opportunity for any pocketbook.
Gary Harrington, St. Petersburg
Pier project stays on track | Dec. 7
Let elected officials decide
I'd like to thank St. Petersburg officials for their vision in moving this very worthwhile project forward. They have shown the leadership needed in making tough decisions. This is why we elected them.
While I agree we as concerned citizens should have the right to vote, I feel I voted for these individuals to represent us and therefore should not vote every time we do not agree with them. There have been two petitions against this pier project. Some who started the second petition did not agree with or sign the first. If it should go to a vote and people don't agree with the next concept, will another group of concerned citizens gather signatures and force another vote?
This could go on for years, costing us a fortune. How many concerned citizens does it take to make a decision? I say it takes a strong mayor and City Council. I feel we have both.
Shirley O'Sullivan, St. Petersburg
Uphold marriage equality | Dec. 11, editorial
I am amazed at how differences between ourselves take centuries to reconcile. I am approaching a man's life expectancy age and won't be around to see it, but soon gays will be fully accepted, accorded the fundamental rights yearned for in a free society. After all, they didn't choose their preferences, but they are still human.
Drug use will be legally available. After all, like alcohol use, seeking pleasure is human. Prohibition has taught us that responsibility should be the norm, not wishful thinking about changing human nature.
Skin color prejudices will fade. That will take a long time, but as we mingle together we will be forced to recognize that in the end we are all human.
Religion will be acknowledged as superstition. Whatever our egos want to believe about the afterlife, getting along in this lifetime should be our goal.
Don Derkach, Seminole
Fire exposes apparel industry's gaps | Dec. 9
Markets need regulation
Capitalism is the best economic system, according to the tea party, conservatives and libertarians. Less government and less regulation allows the marketplace to solve most, or all, problems of the economy.
The recent terrible death toll in Bangladesh certainly rebuts this premise. The clothing manufacturing industry generates 80 percent of Bangladesh's exports. Since this industry is critical to the economy of the country, any hope of regulation or control is nonexistent. Can we really believe a totally free marketplace will ever be self-regulating?
Jay Hall, Tampa