Letters to the Editor

Letters to editor: April 20

It's time to list the freedoms Obama is taking away

It really would be nice if when people complain that President Barack Obama is taking away our rights and freedoms they would at least list a couple. I can list a few.

■ He's taken away the right of employers to pay women less pay for equal work. Some might consider that a good thing.

■ He's taken away the right of the fat cats on Wall Street to drive our economy into the ditch as they did in 2007-08. Some think he hasn't gone far enough.

■ And soon, if the Supreme Court doesn't overturn it, he will take away the right of freeloaders who believe it's their right to go to the emergency room and get uncompensated care whenever they want and force the rest of us to pay for it.

Compare that to the Patriot Act that was passed in the previous administration. That really did take away some of our constitutional rights preventing illegal search and seizures. Anyone who complained about that was labeled a terrorist-loving traitor.

And come on — killing babies? Federal funding of abortions has been banned since the Hyde Amendment was passed in 1976.

And if you are referring to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, I have to ask, were you this concerned about dead babies when President George W. Bush dropped bombs on a country that had not attacked us? Probably not.

David Midgett


Who is Willard Romney?

It would appear that Willard Romney, otherwise known as "Mr. One Percent," is going to be the Republican nominee for president.

One thing that you can say about Romney is that he has been on both sides of every issue so, regardless of what you think about the issues, at some point he has agreed with you.

Back in the early 1990s, Romney and his wife attended Planned Parenthood fund-raisers and wrote checks. Now he says he's going to end Planned Parenthood.

Of the auto bailout he wrote an 2008 op-ed piece in The New York Times, "Let Detroit go bankrupt." Now that saving the auto industry has proven to be an unqualified success, he says it was all his idea.

Romney is not dumb. But the man is a chameleon or a shape-shifter, and not a very good one at that. It's really painful and embarrassing to see him try to pass himself off as a "severely conservative" Tea Party Joe Six-pack when he so obviously is not.

He has embraced Paul Ryan's budget proposal, which would decimate programs for the poor and disadvantaged while delivering still more huge tax cuts for the rich. This at a time of the most inequitable distribution in incomes since the great depression.

Willard Romney: Bad for dogs, bad for America.

Jim Porter


Trafficking in children

This letter is concerning the state bill proposed to fight human trafficking. To read that children between the ages of 12 and 14 are being recruited into this line of business is sickening.

I am shocked to know that human trafficking is known about and action has not been taken.

I know at such a young age, one is unaware of these life choices and the effects they will have on one's future. Children 12 to 14 are at such a strange point in their life. There should be a major punishment for any one person to brainwash children.

Cecilia Tuttle


Limbaugh's tangled logic

Letters on the Rush Limbaugh-Sandra Fluke controversy ask why there was no outcry when Laura Ingraham, Sarah Palin and Elisabeth Hasselbeck were vilified.

The answer is that those women are public figures.

The legal and cultural bar for libeling such people is set considerably higher, on the assumption that taking their shots in the public arena is part of the career choice they made.

Fluke is a private citizen — or she was until Limbaugh made her name a household word.

The same writers surmise that Fluke's main concern was not the cost of birth-control pills but "forcing others to pay for them."

Passing over the argument that insurance is not forcing others to pay for one's treatment but a means of spreading risk and sharing cost, surely Fluke's main concern was that people working for religious institutions be given the same rights as people working elsewhere.

The (now defunct) requirement that Catholic hospitals pay for employees' contraception has been called unconstitutional. But guaranteeing freedom of religion isn't the same as guaranteeing that anyone acting on religious conviction can do anything. All our freedoms operate within limits. We can't yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater. And we are not permitted to force our beliefs on other people.

Say a worker happens to believe that the failure to practice birth control is sinful — an irresponsible stewardship of God's creation.

If she can't get access to contraception because of her employer's beliefs, then whose religious liberties are infringed?

Lela Stromenger


Twisting the truth

This was never about asking someone to pay for other people's decisions. This was about employers (or, in the case of Sandra Fluke, schools) providing the opportunity to purchase insurance that includes coverage for birth control.

It somehow got twisted into paying for women to have unlimited sex at taxpayers expense, because the second most effective birth control available is a prescription, and it's only for women, and because Rush Limbaugh took several shortcuts with the facts in order to be funny.

I find him to be as funny as Bill Maher, which is to say, not at all.

We would just like the right to have birth control as a covered expense on the policy for which we pay, bringing the cost down from an average of $100 per month to about $30 per month.

Pardon us (that includes married couples by the way) for trying to be fiscally and socially responsible.

Kathi Ailts


A woman's place

Those who seek to justify Rush Limbaugh's demeaning of Sandra Fluke by pointing out that progressives have demeaned conservative women such as Laura Ingraham and Sarah Palin miss the point.

The belief of such women in conservative principles demonstrates that they are obviously intellectually inferior.

I would have no problem with such women if they would simply acknowledge their inferiority and stay in their place, but they seek to influence public policy.

Superior, enlightened progressives are fully justified in demeaning such women as long as they refuse to stay in their place.

Further, Christians who seek to influence public policy, such as Palin, are particularly worthy of being demeaned.

Not only does their belief in a god demonstrate that they are obviously intellectually inferior, but also the separation of church and state requires them to stay in their place.

Boyd B. Richardson