Letters to the editor: Oct. 31, 2009

Here are letters to the editor from Daily News editions of Oct. 31, 2009:

Letter of the Day: We do it all for you

Editor, Daily News:

As we are coming to a close of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and since Bosom Buddies Breast Cancer Support is a community-based organization in Collier County serving the uninsured and underinsured women (and yes, men, as they do get breast cancer also), I would like to take this opportunity to praise our unsung heroes.

We are a 501(c)(3) run solely by volunteers, most of whom are breast-cancer survivors since 1995. Our office space is donated. Therefore nearly every dollar raised here stays here.

We have helped thousands of women since our inception and are continuing to do so on a daily basis. We have taken care of patients’ bills with direct and indirect financial assistance in excess of $2 million.

We want to thank the medical professionals of our community who work so closely with us to provide these services.

We thank all of the country clubs which host tournaments for us.

We thank all of our individual and corporate sponsors and those who attend our annual luncheon at the Ritz-Carlton, Naples, each February. “Love and laughter” is always our theme. Our 2010 guest speaker will be Dr. Susan Love, a world-renowned oncologist and author. She is the Love. Carol O’Flagherty, nurse/humorist, will provide the laughter.

Look for the pink shirts in a sea of green in the St. Patrick’s Day parade.

We have a support group.

We can be reached at (239) 417-4600 or look us up on the Web at bbbcsi.org.

Our motto is “Caring and Sharing” and I needed to share this with you, our community.

— Joetta D. Abbazio

Naples

President,

Bosom Buddies Breast Cancer Support

I should know

Editor, Daily News:

Re: The Mesac Damas case.

This is the first time we heard something like this happening in our culture. It came as a shock to us.

As I was reading the newspaper last week, a statement by Linda Oberhaus, the executive director of the Shelter for Abused Women & Children in Naples, caught my attention.

“We recognize that in the Haitian culture they operate differently,” Oberhaus said before the arraignment. “From their perspective, women and children are considered property. ... In some cases, when a woman leaves, she dishonors the family and batterers use that to justify their actions.”

This is total nonsense. I am Haitian. I know my culture.

I was so offended that I decided to write something to the editor. The men in our culture do not treat their wives and children as property. We can leave if we want to. Domestic violence is the same in every culture and our culture does not tolerate domestic violence. I honestly do not appreciate that statement at all.

Next time please ask someone who knows about my culture to make a statement.

— Tamara Nelson

Naples

All blow and show

Editor, Daily News:

Being close to Disney World must be infectious to NASA’s self-esteem.

It shot up an Ares 1-X rocket for a six-minute show that cost over $400 million.

This is part of the program to get a man back on the moon.

NASA officials said it was cheaper to blow it up than to dismantle it. Maybe the same thing can be said about that whole organization. Didn’t we do this 40 years ago?

Makes you wonder if the conspiracy stories of a moon landing hoax might be true.

— Jerry Rodeheaver

Naples

He’s bad enough here

Editor, Daily News:

Laughable.

Gov. Charlie Crist hopes Florida primary voters choose him, not Marco Rubio, as the Republican nominee for U.S. senator.

Crist claims he will bring fiscal responsibility to Washington.

Is this the same politician who supports cap and trade? Who cozied up to President Barack Obama hoping for a big portion of the $800 billion Democrat stimulus?

Crist forgoes drilling for oil in the Gulf (which could bring jobs and money to Florida).

Under the Crist administration, $200 million of Florida state retiree pension funds have been lost to a New York real-estate investment scheme; Citizens Property Insurance Corp. is severely underfunded ($5 billion to cover $250 billion liability). Thanks to the state Legislature (not Charlie Crist), Florida has a balanced budget, lower taxes and reduced expenditures.

Amusing how Crist claims credit for others’ good governance.

Sending Crist to Washington is not change to believe in.

— Ann Weaver

Naples

Focus on the science

Editor, Daily News:

Letter-writer Barry Willoughby recently accused “mainstream media” of deceptive reporting on climate change, implying that he has the real information. He doesn’t.

First, he repeats the tired refrain that the Earth has been cooling since 1998. In fact, when all regions are included, 2005 was just as warm as 1998. Both years were above model predictions, while temperatures in the other years since 1998 have reverted to the expected path leading to long-term increases.

The last decade has been the warmest in recent human history. Cherry picking a particularly hot year and reaching conclusions about cooling thereafter is phony science which makes no more sense than picking an exceptionally cold year and arguing that since all subsequent years are warmer, global warming is proved.

Willoughby makes the claim that snow cover in zones where winter temperatures are normally below freezing is an indicator of cooling. Nope, it is a measure of moisture, not cooling. Thermometers measure temperature!

Willoughby alleges that record cold is sweeping the globe. Since the “mainstream media” has missed this, perhaps Willoughby should tell us exactly where this is happening. In fact, around the world this fall, temperatures have been average to above average. In Naples, temperatures have been several degrees above normal for months.

Such temperature observations, of course, miss the point. Global climate change is judged by medium- to long-term trends, not local short-term weather events.

Climate change is so important that we must only rely on reputable scientific sources.

— Dianne Rhodes

Naples

Unfit to lead

Editor, Daily News:

I recently heard Sen. Harry Reid accuse the insurance industry of having the highest profitability of any industry in America.

In fact, its profit margin of 2.2 percent is ranked 35th by Fortune magazine.

This is just another canard by your Senate majority leader; yet the Democrats in the Senate are blindly following him in supporting his health-insurance bill.

Shame on them. If he doesn’t know any better I guess we will just have to wait for 2012, if he runs again.

— Joe McIntyre

Naples

Time to face facts

Editor, Daily News:

Now that the Drug Enforcement Administration has stopped prosecuting marijuana offenses in states that have medical marijuana laws (not including Florida), it may be time to take a fresh look at legalizing marijuana.

Two of the large problems facing our federal, state and local governments are budget deficits and illegal drugs. Legalizing marijuana and taxing its sale would address both these problems.

I am not suggesting legalizing any other drugs. However, if marijuana were treated like alcohol or tobacco, government revenue would increase and drug crime would be reduced. Decriminalizing marijuana would also reduce prison populations and cut the income of the drug cartels.

If licensed tobacco companies manufactured joints, their potency could be standardized and controlled. Tobacco farmers could grow marijuana as easily as they grow tobacco. The regulatory and taxation mechanisms would be similar to those for alcohol and tobacco. Numerous studies show that both alcohol and tobacco have more serious long-term effects than marijuana.

The Daily News has daily reports of grow houses and drug seizures here in Collier County. Furthermore, many prisoners in the Collier County Jail are there for marijuana offenses, so decriminalization would cut the load on both the jail and the courts.

The prohibition against alcohol didn’t work and neither has the prohibition against marijuana.

We can continue to close our eyes to the harsh reality that “Just Say No” hasn’t worked or we can do something about it.

— David B. Goldstein

Naples

Lights out on solar

Editor, Daily News:

Lots of folks seem right proud of the solar plant in Arcadia — clean (and free, some may add) energy, tons of jobs, at one with Mother Gaia.

I looked at the photos in your Tuesday edition and saw a 180-acre lawn. My wife wondered how many homes could be built there. I had wondered how much produce, citrus, beef or wildlife that 180 acres would have produced or sustained.

The proponents of green energy never mention these “opportunity costs” and your paper’s failure to examine this strikes me as shallow reporting.

Jobs? The articles mentioned up to 400 jobs, but Tuesday’s story stated it will be only five now that the project is completed. The following day, that figure was two.

OK, then $128 million spent to produce two jobs. I figure one is to mow that lawn and the other to trap the feral pigs that will soon learn they cannot be hunted there.

Finally, at the bottom of Wednesday’s article, I read my electric bill is going up to pay for this. Please forgive me if I am not as enthusiastic about this as my president seems to be.

— Michael Beal

Naples

How much debt?

Editor, Daily News:

Re: Health-insurance reform.

Let’s look at some government-run insurance, right here in the state of Florida.

Citizens Property Insurance Corp. was created in 2002 as a nonprofit insurance agency that would provide wind coverage for those unable to obtain coverage from a private company, mostly because of stringent rules of insurance passed by the Legislature — but that’s a different letter.

Premiums on Citizens’ policies are higher than any private company, and by its own admission it will not be able to cover its obligations if Florida is hit by a powerful hurricane any time soon.

There is a public hearing scheduled for Nov. 10 on proposed rate hikes of between 5 percent and 10 percent in the premiums. Despite these high premiums and the premiums it imposes on all insurance policies written in Florida (including private homeowners and commercial property insurance, general liability, auto and personal property), the fund is still woefully underfunded according to many reports. (Google “Citizens Insurance Florida” to read many articles about the situation.)

Some questions: How many of you would choose to have Citizens insurance on your home? Do you want the federal government to administer your health-insurance policy?

Are you willing to rack up more federal debt to provide “free” medical care for everyone? When the debt is overwhelming, will you be willing to lower your expectations for medical care to lower the costs to the federal government?

— Michele M. Boughton

Naples

Some fun, eh?

Editor, Daily News:

In her guest commentary, Susan Westley said it all and very well about what is happening in kindergarten.

This summer I learned that there would be no more “free play” time in public-school kindergarten. I was horrified.

Not only are the children missing out on the developmental opportunities this play time provides, but look out for adults who don’t know how to have fun, play, laugh or be spontaneous.

I am a retired preschool and kindergarten teacher of 30 years, most of those years in Naples, but in private schools, where there is still plenty of learning and play time!

Maybe it’s time to re-read “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” by Robert Fulghum. It’s all there. And we need to get back to it.

— Ann Walters

Naples

An end to war

Editor, Daily News:

Let’s face it. The United States has not “won” a war since World War II.

Even then, “winning” entailed the use of the first and only atomic weapons used against civilians in world history and decades of squandering resources on a “Cold War” that nobody won, but the depleted Union of Soviet Socialist Republics finally walked away from.

We are very good at war. Our soldiers are the brightest. Our weapons and technologies are the best. If wars could be won, we would win them.

There’s the rub. As heroic pacifist and suffragist Jeanette Rankin puts it: “You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.”

Now President Barack Obama actually entertains the real possibility of saying no to another infinitely expandable and extendable but essentially unwinnable war! The Nobel committee staked a Peace Prize on this possibility.

Thanks to the vision of this former community organizer and now our chief diplomat, as well as commander in chief, war may be destined at last for the dustbin of history.

What we have talked ourselves into so many times, let us talk ourselves out of, once and for all.

— John Auer

Naples

Just my 2 cents

Editor, Daily News:

I seldom respond to other people’s letters, because I believe everyone has a right to their opinions, even though I might disagree.

I am responding to Judy Branch’s letter because she made scurrilous remarks about me. She accused me of being negative and not being happy. She said I list dos and don’ts for other people.

Why should she get angry with me for giving my beliefs about religion? Why should she care if I tell other people why I think eating meat is harmful to our health and contributes to animal cruelty?

She said that I encourage people not to spend too much money, that their political beliefs are worthless and “we are not worthy of the world we live in.”

Of course, I have religious and political viewpoints and I am against wasting money. Is it wrong to point out that our commercialized culture is harmful to the environment and our well-being?

We all have a right to express our opinions whether other people agree or not. I write letters to the newspaper because I enjoy explaining my ideas about how I think this could be a better world.

I’m not forcing anyone to do things like I do. I’m not forcing anyone to believe like I do. I don’t have the power to change anyone.

Branch has a distorted view of who I am and what I advocate. Don’t I have the same rights as other people to give my opinions?

— Eddie Filer

Naples

Where’s Barack?

Editor, Daily News:

Gov. Charlie Crist didn’t know?

Was anyone as surprised as I was when our governor said of President Barack Obama’s visit to Arcadia: “Where was he? First I’ve known of it”? I almost fell out of my chair!

How could anyone believe that statement? Could he be trying to distance himself from the president now that he is running for Senate? Perhaps he now does not want to appear so attached to his past support of the stimulus money?

Seems very flip-floppy to me.

— Rita Caskey

Naples

Peanut proud

Editor, Daily News:

What happened to all the smart conservatives?

Recently, Carson E. Beadle of Pelican Bay wrote a guest commentary for this newspaper. This guest commentary on health-care reform was mostly negative and clearly reflected Beadle’s personal views.

Of course, that is what guest commentaries are supposed to do, but Beadle’s summary comment on the health-care legislation was truly outrageous, even for a guest commentary.

Beadle writes: “They have labored like the ox and come forth with a peanut.” Well, Mr. Beadle, what may be a peanut to you is a wondrous thing to the tens of thousands whose lives will be saved because of this legislation or the tens of thousands who will not be forced into bankruptcy.

Are there any compassionate conservatives left?

— Leonard Lash

Bonita Springs

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