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Keith Olbermann's dismissal from Current TV; healthcare debate moves to the Supreme Court; thwarting Iran's nuclear plans

Letters to the editor

April 03, 2012
  • In this May 3, 2012 file photo, Keith Olbermann poses at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley. Current TV has dismissed Olbermann from its talk-show lineup after less than a year.
In this May 3, 2012 file photo, Keith Olbermann poses at the Ronald Reagan… (Mark J. Terrill )

Fiery TV host is out

Re "Olbermann booted from Current TV," March 31

It's hard to dislike someone who reads James Thurber's short stories aloud to a national TV audience, but Keith Olbermann needs help. The act is wearing very thin.

Olbermann and his uncontrolled ego are doing a disservice to the progressive cause he professes to care about. He more than anyone created the progressive standard-bearer that is MSNBC today, and for that we should be grateful. But he needs to go away now and help himself before he can help anyone else.

A talent like Olbermann's is a terrible thing to waste—but real humility is what he needs.

Curtis Horton

Pasadena

It's a pity that Olbermann was kicked off Current TV. Is it possible the whole matter is about semantics?

Current TV's stated values of "respect, openness, collegiality and loyalty" can mean different things to different people. Terms should be defined.

Regarding "loyalty to our viewers," has anyone polled them about this? Internal issues were never apparent to me, a viewer who has followed Olbermann for years before and while he worked with Current TV.

Phoebe Marrall

San Marino

Healthcare arguments

Re "Healthcare's high court test," Editorial, March 31

Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr.'s argument states in essence that the healthcare reform law should not be found unconstitutional because Congress made a judgment that the people can change.

Leaving aside the unstated question of how "the people" (other than Congress) can change the healthcare reform law, cannot the same be said about any law Congress passes? If so, the argument is that no law that can be changed should be found unconstitutional.

Does The Times believe that an argument for exercising "judicial restraint" by refusing to find any federal law unconstitutional is "a powerful argument"? Logically, that is what your editorial says.

The Supreme Court is there to decide whether a law complies with the Constitution. How much and how long Congress "struggled" with it, how many experts approve of it and even whether voters might somehow change it are irrelevant to whether it is constitutional.

Stephen Colley

Altadena

Given the history of this court, I think it would be naive to think the five conservative justices will base their decision on Constitutional principals as opposed to political and ideological leanings.

The notion that these individuals will not seize the opportunity to overturn the most significant legislative achievement of a president they oppose is impossible to imagine.

Peter Katz

Sherman Oaks

Re "Is healthcare a privilege or a right? GOP view is clear," Column, March 30

Most people would probably agree with the premise that healthcare is a basic human right, simply because healthcare is so essential that it seems like it should be a right.

However, when the Declaration of Independence states that we have certain unalienable rights — among them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — these are things that no one else is obligated to provide for us.

Saying that one has a right to life is not saying that other entities are obligated to sustain that life. To insist otherwise is to imply that the one receiving sustenance enjoys the status of master, while the provider is no more than a slave.

Thus, healthcare can't possibly be a right because no one has the right to an existence that imposes obligations upon others to maintain.

John Schatz

Newport Coast

Perhaps it is better not to look at healthcare as either a right or a privilege, but rather as a societal benefit.

Like a well-educated society, a healthy one benefits each of us. In other words, my good health and education benefit you and vice versa. It is really a small price to pay; in fact it is a good investment and a money saver for everyone.

An unhealthy, uneducated society is too expensive for all of us. Is this too hard to understand?

Robert M. Miller

Sherman Oaks

Thwarting Iran's nuclear plans

Re "The nuclear countdown in Iran," Opinion, April 1

A middle option of "constriction" against Iran, in which its nuclear program is constantly sabotaged, is a viable strategy for the U.S., but not for Israel.

Constriction gives the U.S. the ability to absorb the consequences of the failure of such a middle option and then react accordingly. By contrast, in all of its wars for survival, Israel needed to rely on a must-succeed strategy. It ended the contests quickly and on the enemy's territory.

A policy of constriction is a prolonged war of attrition, giving Iran the opportunity to constantly adjust and absorb the blows and then hit tiny Israel successfully only once. That is all it would take for another Holocaust.

David Guttman

Sherman Oaks

Re "A nuclear Iran is too much to risk," Opinion, April 1

Alan J. Kuperman arbitrarily determines there is a 5% chance that Iran will use nuclear weapons should it possess them. This continuing hysteria will almost certainly result in an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.

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