Letters to the editor
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'Deficits don't matter' was a GOP philosophy
Substitute "right-wing hostage-takers" for "our cynic in chief" in the headline to Charles Krauthammer's latest anti-Obama column ("Our Cynic-in-Chief Suddenly Cares About the Debt," July 9) and one begins to see what's wrong these days with the recalcitrant right.
Isn't it curious that born-again deficit hawks who, when confronted with the reality of eight years of the last administration (not to mention those of the Reagan administration), avert their eyes and say "look away, look away, it's hideous!" when referring to where we are now?
Remember "Reagan proved deficits don't matter" (Dick Cheney)? Mr. Krauthammer absolves Congress of any dereliction of duty on the issue and chastises President Barack Obama for "kicking the can down the road." In light of recent history, this surely amounts to a new definition of chutzpah.
Moreover, those of us without convenient memory deficit remember neo-cons like Mr. Krauthammer banging the drum not so slowly for unfunded wars that contributed mightily to the very mess we as a nation are in today.
When it comes to a definition of the word cynicism, I prefer Oscar Wilde's definitive one: "A cynic is a person who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing."
We need such sense
I have two questions for letter writer Mary Ann Meader, who wrote the amazingly clear assessment of our present divisive attitudes and how they're detrimental to our country ("When Will People Realize That We're in This Together?" July 10):
For what office is she planning to run -- the higher the better -- and where can I sign up to campaign on her behalf?
The top adviser
How important is your party whether Democratic, Republican, independent or tea party? Take just a moment to think and reflect. Is your party more important than all the people in the United States? Is your party more important than securing jobs, boosting the economy, feeding the hungry, providing preschool education through adult education, giving aid to our servicemen and -women and their families while serving and after coming home, and giving hope to our seniors, etc.?
The list goes on and on. We are all innocent people sitting on the sidelines not knowing from one day to the next the fate or state of our country while those in Congress bicker over who's right and who's wrong.
It's nothing more than misguided thinking and selfishness.
Well, let us set the record straight. This is not what our forefathers had in mind, nor is it what they died for, sacrificed for or gave their blood, sweat and tears for. Their motto and principle was set on the foundation of "in God we trust." For those of us who believe this, we are not putting our trust or confidence in any member of the House or Senate. We are praying earnestly to the God of our ancestors for the president, his Cabinet members and all members of Congress that the Lord's divine intervention will prevail and that He will make the ultimate decision on the fate of our country.
There is not one of them who is smart enough or wise enough to make such a decision on their own strength. Without God's power and control, they have none. When all is said and done, God's opinion is the only one that matters.
BETTY A. RICHEY
Last Thursday, the Post-Gazette reported on a survey of the Allegheny County Medical Society ("Doctors: UPMC-Highmark Split Would Hurt Care," July 7). Dr. Leo McCafferty, president of the society, said 80 percent of the 500 doctors replying (400 replies) said three out of four of their patients (300 patients) would be adversely affected if Highmark and UPMC split.
I'm curious. Is Dr. McCafferty associated with one of the hospitals involved? How big a percentage of the total membership of the Allegheny County Medical Society is the 500 who responded to the survey? How many of that 500 are doctors associated with UPMC?
If the medical society has even as few as 1,000 members, this is only about 30 percent who expect to be adversely affected. Are there others who may be positively affected?
You owe it to your readers to get a more accurate picture of how serious a problem this may be.
NANCY JANE EDELMAN
I am one of the many thousands who will be "caught" in the Highmark/UPMC insurance mess. I am three years shy of Medicare, whose recipients will not be affected by these changes.
In all the discussion about creating a competitive environment for policyholders, no one has considered or mentioned how changing insurance companies may cause one not to have coverage for "pre-existing conditions."
As I understand it, this is not covered until 2014 under the health care reform law. There is help for those with no insurance coverage, but what about those who do have it but have "pre-existing conditions"? Will the companies accept and insure persons with pre-existing conditions?
The jury has spoken
People who oppose the Casey Anthony verdict do so for one or more of the following reasons.
1) "Someone has to pay": "Someone killed Caylee, and since Casey acted despicably, she must be the killer."
2) "I'm smarter": "If the jurors were as smart as I am, they would have found Casey guilty."
3) "I'm more reasonable": "I know better than those jurors what's 'reasonable doubt.' "
The prosecution failed to persuade those jurors beyond a reasonable doubt that Casey was guilty. Period.
Trouble being green
On Sunday afternoon my boyfriend and I attended the Pirates vs. Cubs game at PNC Park. As we had our bags searched at the left field gate, my boyfriend was told that he could not enter the park with our metal reusable water bottles. We've gone to countless games over the past few years -- at least a dozen this season alone -- and we have brought our water bottles to the park every game. The only problem we've ever encountered before is that we've been asked to dump out any water in the bottles before entering the park.
This time the attendant said metal water bottles were forbidden and that we'd have to throw them away. We had to comply to make it into the park in time for the start of the game.
I would hope with the "Let's Go Bucs. Let's Go Green" campaign that PNC Park would not discourage fans from trying to avoid the wasteful (and expensive) plastic water bottles that are sold at and around the stadium. The temperature at Sunday's game was easily in the mid-90s, and we were sitting in the outfield seats exposed to full sun -- the kind of conditions that require plenty of drinking water to remain hydrated.
This is an extremely exciting season for both the team and the fans, and I'd like to continue to bring our own bottles to the game. The only problem is that they are now sitting in a landfill somewhere.
Forget the superhero; summon the grannies
Regarding "Downtown Cleanup Calls for a Superhero, With Your Assistance" (July 5 Walkabout column by Diana Nelson Jones): Are they kidding? Steroid-puffed Redd Uppington? To keep Pittsburghers in line?
Enough with super men heroes. What Pittsburgh needs to keep us slobs and miscreants on the straight and narrow is a couple of grandmas who don't take guff from anybody. Grandma No. 1 is African-American. Grandma No. 2 is of Irish or Polish or Italian descent. They are Nonna or Babcia or YaYa or Meemaw or Granny, and the two of them together are a force of nature.
You know them. Four-foot-nothing, sinewy arms, hands stronger than Billy Conn's, unlimited energy, possessors of the look that can puncture a balloon or an ego. These are not helpless old ladies. These are strong Pittsburgh women with grandkids who keep them up to date on the latest electronics and who cook enough food for their families and their neighbors and anyone else who happens to walk through the door. These are our superhero dirt busters.
They are not cartoon characters. We will see them but in shadow or from the back or side and only in motion, always in motion. We don't see their faces because theirs are the faces of all our grandmothers. If they can't make us feel guilty about defacing or dirtifying our city, nobody can.
So, litterers and taggers, you get on back to that building you tagged or that pile of trash you left behind and don't you come home until it's all redd up, or these grandmas will find you and they will kick your behind!
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First Published July 14, 2011 12:00 am