Letters to the editor
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A terrible choice is being forced on the church
The editorial "Equitable Compromise: Faith-Based Employees Deserve the Same Coverage" (Feb. 3) states that "President Barack Obama has not declared war on the Roman Catholic Church, no matter what the faithful may be hearing in church."
As a Catholic, I have to object to the inference that the truth is not heard in the Catholic Church.
During the Mass, the consecration of the Last Supper is repeated in real time, by Jesus, through the mind and mouth of the priest in that instant when he says "this is My body." The truth is spoken during the rest of the Mass, including the homily.
Recent unprecedented actions by our government concerning health care attempting to force the Catholic Church to compromise its faith is indeed a declared war.
The church well knows that its first obligation is to God. The government is forcing a terrible choice on the church. At stake is a choice between compromising its beliefs or to discontinue nationwide services. The object of this sinister choice is to enable the destruction of the church. The church will never compromise its beliefs and it will fight vigorously now to prevent a curtailment of services to the people it loves.
The attacks on the teachings of the church are always the same. The truth gets in the way of some material gain or advantage that people want. When "thirty pieces of silver" are the most important thing to one, that mentality can never abide even the smallest loss for principle.
Politics and jobs spin
This is another reason why I hate politics.
On Friday the economic report showed a gain of 243,000 jobs in January with a drop of the unemployment rate to 8.3 percent.
Immediately the Democrats and the liberals took to the media to trumpet the success of President Barack Obama's programs. Just as immediately, the Republicans and the conservatives, who hate Mr. Obama, took to the media to shout, "Phony statistics, phony statistics! It just means that more people have stopped looking for work."
Now flip it and suppose that George W. Bush were still in office. Republicans and conservatives would be shouting, "Dubya, you the man !" And Democrats and liberals, who hated Mr. Bush, would be yelling, "Phony statistics, phony statistics!"
Personally, I can't imagine my voting for Mr. Obama in November, but people going back to work -- I don't care how many -- is always good news. Always.
JAMES F. CATALDI
No show of thanks
Are the U.S. taxpayers aware that, in spite of General Motors getting $50 billion from us taxpayers through the government's bailout, GM has given its $3 billion media budget to a London-based company, Carat (see www.carat.com/news /)?
Another disgusting slap in the face to the U.S. taxpayers!
Obey the rules
Regarding "Incidents That Roiled the Region" (Feb. 5): The good Lord willing, Jonny Gammage would be alive today if he had obeyed the simple rules of traffic and if he had pulled over and stopped his vehicle when he first saw the flashing light and heard the siren of the chase police car and followed the directions of the police.
This is one of the first rules in any drivers training class and is just plain common sense.
Our police are there to protect all of us. Any vehicle going at a fast speed through three red traffic lights must be stopped to prevent the injury of all other drivers on the road.
The police trials, the inquest, the pathology report and now the play "The Gammage Project" and Jonny's death. All of this could have been prevented.
A powerful tool
The Jan. 30 article "Guidelines Debated for Mental Disorders: Proposed New Definitions Could Alter Diagnosis" highlights proposed Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) revisions and their potential effect on mental health care. Although the revisions are controversial, the revision period should be seen as an opportunity for the mental health care industry to lower costs and improve quality.
The DSM-5 is a repository of mental health diagnostic criteria and is used by health care providers to diagnose patients and by insurers to determine which of those illnesses they will cover. However, if effectively revised, the DSM-5 can also affect physician incentive systems, limit overutilization of mental health services and promote more affordable and more extensive insurance coverage.
While the DSM-5 is the product of strange bedfellows including the American Psychiatric Association, insurance companies and UPMC's own David Kupfer, the input of each mental health care component is essential in improving mental health care costs and quality. Although the DSM-5 revisions compel systematic adjustments, we should not forget that materials like the DSM-5 are powerful tools for taking control of our health care system.
The writer is a student in the health law program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
Regarding the Super Bowl: Good, entertaining game. Regarding the halftime show: What a bunch of trash.
Bring back the marching bands.
An honor for us
I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and say "thank you" to Lou "Bimbo" Cecconi for his Feb. 3 letter ( "Penn Stater for a Day" ) in which he expressed his feelings regarding the Joe Paterno memorial service and the Penn State lettermen who spoke at that service.
For a Pitt alumnus, especially one of Mr. Cecconi's distinguished stature as a star in both football and basketball at Pitt in the 1940s, to share these thoughts says volumes about this individual and his regard for his friend Joe Paterno and the Paterno family.
Speaking as a Penn State alumnus, and I'm sure for many others: Mr. Cecconi, it was our honor and privilege to have you as a Penn Stater, even if it was only for one day!
GLENN A. SHIREY
Penn State Class of '79
Transit solutions are critical for regional vitality
The Port Authority's proposed September service reductions will have a tremendous impact on Downtown. Today, office vacancy rates are slightly over half the national average. This strong demand for office space, an educated work force and a high quality of life are attracting outside investors. This investment is critical if we want to continue to grow. Downtown is home to the region's largest public and private employers, students and a vibrant cultural district. What makes it possible for more than 140,000 people to work, live and play in our compact Downtown on a daily basis? Public transit.
The Port Authority system is as much a part of our Downtown infrastructure as the water and sewer lines and, with 54 percent of Downtown workers using it, as necessary to our well-being. If the service reductions go into effect, transit service for 20 percent of weekday ridership will be eliminated. The result would not only make our Downtown less desirable but would also undermine our ability to attract talent and investment, both integral to our future success. This is not only a problem for Downtown. Suburban businesses have employees who rely on public transit on a daily basis, and even those who don't will be affected by traffic congestion as many more people are forced to drive.
I urge Gov. Tom Corbett and the General Assembly to act on the Transportation Funding Advisory Commission's recommendations so that Downtown Pittsburgh can continue to be the exciting place to live, work and play that we now experience and our region continues to grow in smart, sustainable ways.
Office Retention and Recruitment Task Force
Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership
Regional Vice President
Winthrop Management LP
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First Published February 9, 2012 12:00 am