Those who detest the "Nanny State" and federal deficits should compare Medicare and Obama-care.
Both attempt to insure all with the ideal that all contribute according to affordability based on income. High-income seniors do pay a Medicare surtax. A reasonable estimate of health insurance cost for my senior parents is $50,000 annually, and it is doubtful it would be available at any price.
And of course, any private insurance company worth its salt would reserve right of refusal or raise rates. It would then follow that health providers have right of refusal of medical needs without insurance or for those who can't pay.
In order to not burden anyone, your life span could be determined by the marketplace. After all, it would be more efficient than Sarah Palin's death panels.
So seniors, give up your heavily subsidized Medicare and shop around. You should only want for yourself what you want for others.
JOHN F. EARY, Ringgold, Ga.
I have enjoyed and learned from Thomas Friedman's books and columns, but he has departed from his area of expertise and entered mine. Coal produces 39 percent of our electricity, while natural gas provides 29 percent. Shale gas production has grown from 1.3 trillion feet of gas in 2006 to 2.4 trillion in 2012. Total production of natural gas last year was 25 trillion feet of gas, and estimated reserves are 2,700 trillion.
All of this has occurred in spite of government help - I quote Mr. Friedman, "Natural gas is a fine gift to our country." Believe me, it was no gift. Oil and gas drilling is a 24-hour-per-day grind, muddy hot and cold, exhausting. The technology to develop the skills and tools demanded billions of dollars and 12 years of disheartening failure, not a gift.
"Clinging to our fossil-fuel past plays into the hands of Russia." No! We soon will be energy sufficient and can flip the finger to our "competition."
I congratulate you on the high quality of the comentaries you carry.
GERRY CALHOUN, Nashville
I am very troubled over the demonstating following the Zimmerman/Martin trial. The trial lasted weeks. Both the prosecution and the defense did their best. The jury deliberated over 15 hours before declaring innocence. Yet the mob still wants more blood. It reminds me when, 2,000 years ago, a judge named Pilate, put a man (Jesus Christ) to death to please the mob and avoid possible rioting, despite the fact he found no guilt in Christ.
Now the chief policeman of this nation is considering a retrial in civil court. To me this is going against our Constitution, which forbids being tried twice for the same crime. It seems to me that some will use any excuse to make our government, with its due process, be trumped by the will of the mob. But shouldn't the Constitution trump the will of the mob? We are a Republic, where the Bill or Rights, not the will of the mob, should rule.
DR. TOM HERZOG
Here we go again. The Freedom from Religion Foundation has interjected itself into the affairs of the Knoxville City Council by objecting to the long-standing use of prayer to open its meetings.
The foundation's argument is that it represents a significant number of Americans who are excluded from the democratic process due to the use of prayer in advance of the council's business. Really?
A review of the foundation's website shows that it claims 17,000 members, or a tiny fraction of America's population of 360 million. By any definition, a tiny fraction of a percent does not equal a significant portion of anything.
It is high time the majority of this country's citizens stand up and demand the cessation of this overly vocal out-of-state minority's efforts to impose its misguided agenda on the elected representatives of a group of people that neither seeks nor desires its input on their affairs. For far too long, the silent majority of Americans has allowed the squeaking wheel to get the grease.
Asking for God's guidance in our public affairs is not illegal, immoral, narrow-minded or uneducated. In fact, it is the height of ignorance to do otherwise.
ROBERT P. RAYBURN SR.