Letters to the editor: July 18, 2017


Rooney unfit for office

In recent weeks, as I repeatedly see U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney appear on television to make excuses for the performance of the GOP regarding healthcare and Russian collusion, I am increasingly concerned this man is unfit to represent the citizens of Southwest Florida.

Rooney is a multimillionaire who personally financed the majority of his recent campaign, spending more than $4 million on his election campaign. This is not “fake news,” but public record. How is it that a man who spends that much money getting elected claim the moral authority to deny basic healthcare to thousands of those he claims to represent? 

Rooney has spouted the self-aggrandizing GOP and President Donald Trump line on all issues, never once generating an original thought or talking point. This ultra-rich old white man believes a healthcare policy designed by 13 elderly white men and without public input, or any input from women, can receive wide public support. He ignores the fact that the death rate for pregnant women in the U.S. is among the worst in the industrial world (NPR and ProPublica recently announced the results of their six-month investigation, which showed that “more American women are dying of pregnancy-related complications than any other developed country. Only in the U.S. has the rate of women who die been rising.”

Rooney is clearly delusional and ill-suited to his post.

It is estimated that to fund each millionaire’s annual tax cut, six Medicaid enrollees will be cut from healthcare. We have our share of both groups in Southwest Florida. Rooney, along with his entitled and wealthy associates, must not be allowed to remove the social safety net so critical to our society for their own greedy benefit.

Robert Demarest, Naples

Drug treats rare disease

I must disagree with Bob Stabile’s recent letter calling Exondys 51 a worthless drug. Exondys 51 is an orphan-disease drug to address Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) using RNA-targeted therapeutics. The underlying cause of DMD is a mutation in the gene for Dystrophin, an essential protein involved in muscle fiber function.

This therapy is designed to skip an Exon (51) to enable the synthesis of a truncated but functional form of Dystrophin. About 13 percent of DMD cases are amenable to Exon51 skipping. Congress passed the Orphan Drug Act in 1983 to induce pharmaceutical companies to address the approximately 7,000 orphan diseases.

Prior to this, it did not make business sense to address devastating but rare ailments when chronic conditions such as arthritis, heart disease and diabetes had a steady supply of patients. As such, costs for these drugs tend to be much higher. Exondys 51’s advertised price is $300,000 a year and yes, some large insurers have agreed to cover this.

Based upon the expert testimony of researchers and scientists specializing in molecular genetic research of DMD and detailed accounts of parents of the boys involved in the testing as to their improvements in function, the FDA overruled the recommendation of their advisory committee and approved it — a rare occurrence (the advisory committee did not have the same level of expertise as those testifying on behalf).

Stabile, please review the information available and then tell me this is a worthless drug for those boys given this death sentence.

Bruce Rutkoski, Naples

Impeach Trump, Pence

The only way to save our Constitutional Republic is to impeach President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. They were fraudulently elected. The only constitutional way to nullify a compromised election is impeachment.

Lee Oldershaw, Marco Island

Dumb game

We are now engaged in a national game of “Whac-A-Mole” (Look it up on Wikipedia if not familiar). It was probably started by Democrats, but in full play by all political factions.

This has the effect of pulling everybody away from real life to engage in running up their individual scores. There is no logical end to the game, just when you get tired of it. And politicians never tire of games. I think the hope is that they can find a smoking gun somewhere which will result in some impeachable offense by “The Donald.” Unlikely, I believe, but always there as a chimera to distract folks from the real issues.

In the meantime, we face unresolved real issues with the national defense, national budget, health care reform, tax reform, increasing the debt ceiling, etc. Name your own issue. The country can continue to sink into the morass of unresolved issues while the politicians play this really dumb game.

Charlie Berry, Naples

Save ship of state from Trump

We may have Capt. Queeg steering our ship of state.

The fictional Lt. Cmdr. Philip Francis Queeg was the inexperienced captain of the U.S.S. Caine in the wartime novel, “The Caine Mutiny,” who threatened the safety of his ship and its crew by his incompetence.

Like Queeg, our president’s inexperience and incompetence may be subverting the very American values he so professes to protect.

At best, he never expected to be elected president, didn’t take it seriously and only wanted to influence public opinion with his vision of government. All well and good. Many private citizens have sought a public stage to express their political philosophy and to influence. But he is now the president of the United States and he still does not comprehend that his methods and ethics of running a family business where he set the rules does not translate to governing a nation of democratic principles, process and tradition; and where no man is above the law.

Queeg deflected legitimate criticism from his senior staff with disproportionate recriminations, just as President Donald Trump is deflecting legitimate criticism through incessantly tweeting paranoid remarks, recriminations, misrepresentations, contradictions and personal attacks. No one (except perhaps the Russians) is exempt from his vitriol; not allies, Gold Star families, POWs, women, or the disabled and disadvantaged.

Queeg’s command nearly sank the U.S.S. Caine during storms and combat. How much more damage to our national security, public civility, democratic institutions and international standing does this administration have to inflict before the American people and the Congressional leadership stands up and asserts itself to Save Our Ship.

Michael Zoglio, Bonita Springs

Start drafting apology

While I do not know our Naples Daily News editors, their local coverage is evidence they are intelligent, educated, hard-working folks who care about our community.

However, for the past eight months they have been printing lots of President Donald Trump/Russia collusion stories from USA Today, The Associated Press and the Washington Post.

These stories, instead of reporting who, what, when and where, were just rumor, innuendo and hearsay. The frequency of these articles has dwindled and yet, this week we have another front page item cleverly written to make us believe that a meeting taken by a rookie political campaigner rose to the level of “high crimes.” Ridiculous.

Lately, I’ve been wondering if any of our local editors are starting to feel a little embarrassed in so much as those stories have amounted to, well, nothing. When they gather around the coffee machine or sit at the conference table and consider the slip shod journalism they published are they contemplating an editorial of apology to their readers? Are they contemplating an apology to President Trump?

After all, there must have been real news that we didn’t read about because of the space taken by this collusion malarkey. No matter where you are on the political spectrum, you have to admit the greatest investigative organization in the history of the world worked for over a year and found no collusion.

Yet, somehow, the head of the FBI thought since he struck out, his retired predecessor might be able to do what he couldn’t. The special prosecutor may or he may not. But, in the meantime, maybe someone will want to start drafting that apology.

David Henderson, Naples

Foolish reference

Recently, a letter writer vented his wrath at the political left, which is not uncommon, and finished up with this: “From the Bible: This morning, when I was reading from Ecclesiastes, I noted in Chapter 10, Verse 2, it says, ‘A wise man’s heart inclines him to the right, but a fool’s heart to the left.'” Interesting.

Really. Here we have a man who is so desperate to have his opinion supported by God that he goes to the point of claiming an often used (plagiarized) comment of religious fundamentalists as his personal morning biblical reflection. I would recommend a good Bible study class for this man so that he can understand the metaphor of what he is reading. If he wishes to interpret it literally he should consider this: Why do husbands and wives wear their wedding bands on their left hands? Does it represent an act of foolishness? No, the Romans believed the “vena amoris,” a vein in the left hand, led directly to the heart.

Doesn’t the left side of the brain control the right side of the body? When you open a jar, is it not the strength of your left turning the lid as your right hand holds the jar?

Is not more accomplished by the right and the left working together? Try to tie your shoes with one hand. I don’t write because the article this man wrote was inaccurate blather, I write because he chose to drag God into his foolishness (no pun intended).

Robert Martin, Naples

Trump will win re-election

It’s sad and laughable to watch the Democrats and the media try to bring down our president. No matter how they try to twist things, there is no evidence that there was collusion with the Russians by President Donald Trump or his administration.

The latest flap is that Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer who allegedly had damning info on Hillary Clinton. As it turns out, there was nothing to it and the meeting lasted all of 15 minutes.

If trying to get “dirt” on a political opponent is a crime, we better start building prisons to house all the elected officials in the country who do it every day.

It’s about time the Democrats realize they lost fair and square and don’t give me that Clinton won the popular vote. Without California and New York, she loses big time and its time to move on.

Since the Democrat Party has been taken over by the far left and Trump will be president until 2024 and followed by now Vice President Mike Pence until 2032, they have a long time to rid themselves of those obstructionists and maybe have a chance in 15 years.

Joseph N.Miranda, Naples

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