Truth elusive in Benghazi
Regarding “The harmful effects of the Benghazi syndrome” (Other Views, Dec. 9): I’m sorry the writer is having his social life interrupted by security designed to save his life. I’m sure his “nation-building” will be as successful as it was in Iraq and Afghanistan. Notwithstanding, there still are valid questions about Benghazi not yet answered.
When the news broke of the attack, President Obama, Hillary Clinton and newspapers said it was because of a spontaneous riot due to a video critical of Islam. The Libyan government immediately said there was no riot, no video — that it was planned by a terrorist group.
The president and Clinton continued to maintain their lie for many weeks. The CIA, in two days, submitted a report saying it was a terrorist attack — not something provoked by a video. Now, months later, the State Department has admitted it knew it was a terrorist attack all along. We are told the military was told to “stand down,” not to assist. I believe that is the president’s obligation. Where was he? Where was the American press? Clearly, we are being lied to. What is being hidden? Maybe if we knew the answers people will truly be safe.
Happiness not guaranteed
Sheila Schwartzman’s question of “shouldn’t the pursuit of happiness also include access to health care” (Your Views, Dec 9, can be answered with a clear “yes.” However, finding happiness is not guaranteed. Worse, when the federal government is paying the bill, too many freely define happiness as “rights” provided by the government. But the federal government grants no rights, produces nothing and can only provide “stuff” by taking from others in the form of tariffs and taxes under the threat of incarceration or forcible seizure.
Happiness is not guaranteed, government can’t provide it and people are free to pursue their goals as they wish — preferably without forcing others to pay for their life existence and pursuits.
Alive and well?
Regarding “Viable and humane option” (Your Views, Dec. 9): The writer tells of altering three stray cats and releasing them. This constitutes abandonment unless she is committed to the re-vaccination in three years, feeding them in all weather conditions and providing shelter. If they are sick or injured she must get veterinary care. Very rarely does a trap-neuter-released cat have such a Good Samaritan.
A proposed change to the current animal ordinance will condone TNR, with no penalties for the responsible parties, no future care for the cats, no protection of citizens who may encounter them, and no rights for property owners who do not want roaming cats. What does she mean by “viable”? This program brings income for the alter clinics that receive grant money based on the numbers altered. There is no accountability of the lives of the cats. They meet with adversities such as fleas, feline AIDS and leukemia, anemia, scabies, ringworm, yellow jackets, other animals, and cars. Viable means alive. I would want the cats alive and well. Humane means kind and considerate. Is it kind to release a cat without future care? Is it considerate to release them where they might not be welcome?
Regarding “Social Security cuts still loom” (front page, Dec. 8):
The proposed cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security, the chained Consumer Price Index (CPI), would hurt Florida seniors living on a fixed income, but it would be even more harmful to veterans, the disabled and women. Older veterans would be hurt twice because both Social Security benefits and veterans benefits would be cut by the chained CPI. Disabled people have a greater chance of falling into poverty because they spend a large share of their income paying for health-care costs which raise faster than the inflation rate and do not offer lower cost alternatives.
Chained CPI results in benefit cuts which compound over time, so women, who tend to live longer and make up a larger share of the aging population, would feel the impact of lower benefits longer.
To find out how much you stand to lose with chained CPI, visit aarp.org/whatyoulose and use the calculator.
Then contact your member of Congress and urge them to reject this harmful change.
The writer is AARP Florida field coordinator for the Tampa Bay area.