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Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014
Letters To The Editor

Letters to the editor: Assailing the ears

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Assailing the ears On April 26, Florida’s Senate voted against reinstating a law banning excessive automobile noise. One senator, Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, explained, “I believe in the healing power of music, and if I want to drive down the street and heal everybody around me, I should be able to.” Those are the words of a don’t-tell-me-what-to-do adolescent, not a thoughtful advocate for the public good.

Clemens and his fellow naysayers apparently don’t believe that you and I have the right to carry on a conversation in our car, choose our own radio station to listen to, or have a baby sleep in the back seat. Others who voted against this common-sense bill include Sens. Abruzzo, Brandes, Braynon, Detert, Flores, Garcia, Gardiner, Gibson, Joyner, Legg, Margolis, Ring, Sachs, Smith, Sobel, Soto, Thompson and Thrasher.

This country was founded on the principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I have a right not to listen to your radio and not to be awakened at 4 a.m. by rock music.

I have declared myself a one-issue voter on this bill. I will be voting against any senator who believes it’s OK to assail my ears in public. Please join me in that resolution.

Jean Reynolds

Winter Haven

A wise decision Your editorial “House fails Florida on Medicaid solution” (Our Views, May 3) claims that Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford should be blamed for putting politics above common sense, acted like an opportunist by refusing $51billion in federal money and did nothing to make the best possible deal when “faced with the Medicaid expansion requirements spelled out in Obamacare.” This is not true.

The opinion makes clear that Florida won the argument relating to the contested issues of Obamacare in the Supreme Court, and that’s why so many are angry the Medicaid overhaul can’t be implemented without the states’ approval. Obamacare is a drastic, very expensive overhaul of Medicaid’s original purpose of assuring medical care for the disabled, blind, elderly and needy families. States and their residents cannot be forced to pay for the overhaul unless they choose to participate, which means those states that choose not to participate cannot be forced to pay for this overhaul for the other states that take the bait and commit themselves to Medicaid overhaul.

This $51 billion is anything but free; it is a mere drop in the bucket compared with the eventual obligations associated with taking this money. If Florida opts out of Medicaid overhaul, the Supreme Court ordered that Floridians, like citizens of all other states, cannot be penalized. Rather, the federal government simply will not be allowed to spend money that was earmarked for Florida Medicaid overhaul.

There is a reason about half the states will not participate in Medicaid overhaul. They, too, realize that a financial disaster is in store for every state that hooks their car to this impending train wreck called Obamacare.

The Florida House and Speaker Will Weatherford did their homework and made the wise decision. Sure, we need to find a reasonable way to provide basic health care to all Floridians. Obamacare, however, is not the way to do it, and the federal government was wrong for attempting to, as Chief Justice John Roberts said, “put a gun to the heads” of Floridians and other citizens to force them to accept Medicaid overhaul.

For my money, I’d like to thank Weatherford for taking the heat on this one. I think, in time, the wisdom of that decision will be appreciated by most of us, along with our children.

Darrell Dirks

Tampa

The next level Steve Otto’s column “Heroes shouldn’t need fundraisers” (Metro, May 5) was both poignant and compelling. He was right on point.

I have always enjoyed Steve’s column, as it is witty and timely. He took this one to the next level. Thank you for putting into words what so many of us feel about our hometown hero, Mike Nicholson.

God bless both of you.

Sydney Montgomery Bell

Tampa

Importance of fundraisers I always enjoy reading Steve Otto’s column. While in an ideal world it would indeed be wonderful if heroes didn’t need fundraisers, that point of view is a bit on the naďve side.

There are so many wonderful military nonprofits that without them, “heroes” and their families would not be given the care they need. One such organization is the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, which provides full college scholarships to the children of “heroes” who have been killed in battle. Without groups such as this, many children would not be able to attend a college or a university. Fundraisers, and the American public reaching deep into their pockets, has grown this organization in a short span from just under $1 million to over $40 million today.

Otto makes a condescending remark about generals and politicians being chauffeur-driven. My response is, if a retired general will help those who have fallen by giving his time and energy to help raise millions of dollars to care for the wounded, I will be happy to be the chauffer myself.

I remember seeing George Steinbrenner being driven by a chauffeur everywhere he went, and I also remember seeing his check for $1 million written to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.

Without fundraisers, how would we, the American public, know who needs our support? Thanks to Steve and his column, I am going to seek out the Sun City Leathernecks and write them a check.

John Osterweil

Tampa

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