Scolding: "These are bills that Congress ran up," President…
Obama calls out Congress
Re "Obama puts pressure on Republicans," June 30
I beg to differ with your claim that President Obama has framed the debate on the budget talks. Obama does not have a plan. If he does, could someone please give me a clear and concise recap of what it is?
Decrying corporate aircraft, oil companies and billionaires is just divisive. Besides, changing the length of depreciation for corporate aircraft would only raise pennies and not address real budget issues. Beating up on oil companies only attacks some of our strongest and most successful institutions. It makes more sense to have a comprehensive energy plan and work with these institutions to make it happen. This would include renewables.
We all want a real leader and not political speeches. Obama's approach of calling out some group is wearing very thin.
Rancho Palos Verdes
Obama finally stood up to those members of Congress he felt were not doing their jobs in getting our country back on track. This was a long time coming, and let's hope that he doesn't let up.
His Republican opponents have never shied away from pointing fingers at him while calling him out by name ("Obamacare" ) as the reason for perpetuating our country's ills. Perhaps he should begin calling out his opponents by name. Obama's naming names will have a bigger impact on voters. The tax loopholes, cuts in Medicare and other problems will have a face.
Conrad J. Doerr
Why should Republicans negotiate with Democrats to solve the budget crisis? As long as Republicans help keep the economy in a shambles, Obama will take the blame and they can get a Republican in the White House.
The only things that could change their minds would be an electorate that sees through their scheme, or if they suddenly develop a conscientious desire to fix our problems, even if that means — gasp! — compromise.
Battling over circumcision
Re "Ban the circumcision ban," Editorial, June 25
I threw my newspaper down in disgust when I read the editorial condemning the San Francisco ballot initiative to outlaw male genital mutilation. I believe that all men are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, one of which is to the penis designed by that creator. I also believe that each individual has the inherent right to choose his own religion and not to have it sliced into his flesh by his parents.
Circumcision is a painful procedure that permanently mutilates the infant. Just as slavery, foot binding and human sacrifice have seen their day, so it should be with circumcision.
No matter what you think about the procedure, no one has the right to make that decision for another man. His penis, his choice. Anything else is a crime.
I was 5 years old and 11 years old at the times of the removal of my tonsils and appendix, respectively, by licensed physicians because my parents believed that such procedures were in my best interest. Several years ago, my urologist informed me that he, as well as many other urologists, believed that the benefits of circumcising babies outweighed the disadvantages.
I know of the circumcision of a middle-aged man for medical reasons who was in much pain after the procedure. For these reasons, I oppose a ban on infant male circumcision.
When the subject is circumcision, Times editors retreat from their usual balanced presentation of both sides.
To say a ban "is an unwarranted intrusion on family privacy" fails to recognize that, for proponents of the ban, this is an issue of human rights. Proponents contend that the parents' choice to take advantage of their son's immaturity to treat him as they see fit confronts the child's right to retain the body of his birth. Parental privilege should stop where it denies this right.
Opponents of the ban ignore this principled stand as if it didn't exist. We have been desensitized to an invasion of body autonomy by cultural acceptance and tradition.
In praise of the potato
Re "Time for a tater tax," Editorial, June 25
The potato has raised civilizations. French fries are as close to potatoes as cherry Kool-Aid is to cherries. Anyone who eats French fries every day and then on top of that a second helping, as the Harvard School of Public Health study shows, should expect to gain weight.
However, a medium baked potato topped with a dash of salt, fresh chopped green onions, homemade salsa and no added fat would be a delicious and healthy meal.
No one should eat French fries or potato chips or drink soda every day, but you could survive on potatoes for months and not gain a pound. It's all in the preparation.
We do not need a soda tax. A better thing to do would be to just stop subsidizing corn.