PETA wants Dade City zoo investigated | Oct. 4
Exploiting animals is despicable
Allowing young animals to be manhandled by streams of tourists is despicable. Trying to spin it as anything other than money-grabbing exploitation is reprehensible. According to news reports, Dade City's Wild Things is currently under investigation by federal authorities for failing to comply with animal protection laws. It's public record that the zoo has already received an official warning for multiple violations.
Tiger cubs belong with their mother, not dumped in swimming pools. You don't even have to like animals to be appalled by what this roadside zoo is doing to animals.
This outfit exemplifies all that is wrong with the way humans treat those with whom we share the planet.
Jennifer O'Connor, Largo
Repairs begin on health website | Oct. 5
Problems with Obamacare
I was looking forward to going to healthcare.gov and finding out what my insurance options would be for 2014, considering that I am losing my job at the end of October. So, I support Obamacare.
I started trying to get into the website Oct. 1 but was kicked off and told that I couldn't register for an account. I got online Saturday night and waited. And waited. I finally got in and put in my information to create an account.
I only wanted to know what plans were available and what they would cost compared to my COBRA benefits. After you create your account you must prove your identity. The website gives you some Experian questions to see if your answers match what the credit bureau says. There is so much bad information in our credit files that matching would be miraculous. So I flunked out at identifying myself.
I was given an option of calling Experian and holding on the phone with them for who knows how long. After 15 minutes I gave up and chose the option to keep going without proving my identity. I put in the rest of the information. The site then said that before telling me I'm eligible I have to prove my identity and I can do this by uploading an image of my driver's license. Is the average person with no insurance going to be able to do this?
Luckily I have a scanner. The website said that the file needed to be less than 10 MB. The license was 49 KB, so I uploaded it — and got a message that it was too large.
Then the site told me that I could call an 800 number if I had problems uploading my scanned document. At this point even this Democrat gave up, went to the fridge and got a beer and told her husband that Obamacare was doomed.
I hope they get this fixed before my COBRA runs out.
Judy Greengrass, Lutz
Hoping more zzz's lead to more A's | Oct. 5
Take the public bus route
Another way to solve the problem of high school students' lack of sleep would be to let them take public transportation to go to school. The school district could purchase bus passes at a deep discount from HART and the money would be used to acquire buses and increase routes to service schools.
This would allow high schools to start their day later, free the existing school bus fleet to serve younger students and would also benefit all of us by increasing public transportation. Win-win-win, as they say.
Pablo Rottenberg, Temple Terrace
House leader talks of default | Oct. 7
Moderates must act
A select group of conservative House members are clearly in the wrong in this situation. They're demanding a ransom for doing their job and are putting the health and security of the United States at risk. As much I wish the Democrats would use their current political high ground to box in the tea party and cost them momentum in 2014, what this country needs now are adults with a sense of responsibility.
If moderate Democrats alongside moderate Republicans can assume this mantle of responsibility and pressure House Speaker John Boehner to put a clean continuing resolution on the floor of the House, maybe the American people will once again associate the words moderation and compromise with forward progress, not a "dilution" of moral values.
Aaron Burnham, Land O'Lakes
Weatherford keeps 150,000 uninsured Oct. 5, editorial
A policy's human cost
Thank you for this editorial regarding the 150,000 uninsured in Tampa Bay.
This very second, one of those 150,000 could be in the process of developing stage 1 cancer. He or she will not go to a doctor because she can't afford the fee. The cancer at this point is hardly noticeable but is treatable if caught early enough. It won't be. In six months that same person, someone who worked full time, could be dead from cancer.
Since our House speaker, Will Weatherford, is so fond of public praying, perhaps he can take time to visit the funeral home and say a prayer for the deceased. The prayer could remind everyone in earshot that kindness is at the heart of Christianity. He could then explain to the family that stopping Medicaid was really the smartest thing that he could do for them as their representative.
Thomas Maciocha, Tampa
Ignore the debt limit and It's never happened before Oct. 6, commentaries
Heading to catastrophe
Both Matthew Yglesias and Henry Aaron express very naive opinions in advocating that the U.S. government ignore the debt ceiling and just sell more bonds. They seem to forget that a sale won't happen without a willing buyer. Who would buy these bonds, and at what price? Courts could deem them to be illegal or fraudulent. They won't be backed by the "full faith and credit" of the United States since Congress isn't backing them.
Foreign investors and sovereign funds could easily turn to other, less risky non-U.S. investments. Even if some buyers were found, they would likely demand such a discount (high interest rate), it could send shock waves through the entire credit market and cause another credit meltdown.
Steve Armstrong, Temple Terrace