University missing the point
Re "Innocence Victim" [July 18]: Congratulations, Point Park University. In the ongoing attempt to improve the overall image of the university and to attract potential students and the deep pockets of their parents, you managed to contradict the meaning of the term "higher learning" in [deciding] officials were not going to continue funding the Innocence Institute of Western PA.
What is this "strategic planning process" that was mentioned in the City Paper article? Does it really mean "fund more building projects for dance studios"? Or is it just plain apathy? Excuse me if I am jumping the gun here; I feel as if this and other lame excuses might be the case.
I believe in the Innocence Institute. I think it is a great experience for anyone involved in it. As an alum of the Point Park Journalism and Mass Communications department (Class of '04), I have witnessed this program evolve since its early infancy. I regret that I myself was unable to be involved in it due to time and work schedules. Still, I am proud to tell any potential Point Park student who is going into the journalism field about it, because it inspires a person to care and be socially aware of what is going on around them.
And exactly how is the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette getting more value by ending its partnership with a valuable program? Bill Moushey is indeed a valuable asset to both the P-G and Point Park, and I have a lot of respect for the man as both a writer and a teacher. He encourages young writers and helps them hone their craft. It just looks like he is stuck between a rock and a hard place.
I, too, am heartbroken that this wonderful program might go to waste. The best thing about the Point Park J/MC department was that it is fairly easy to get real-world experience in the field. The Innocence Institute is a big part of that experience, and putting it to bed is going to make it harder for anyone who wants to make a difference through the written word to get that experience.
-- Michele J. Kranik, South Side
A second opinion
Re "Diagnosis: Paranoia" [Potter's Field, July 11]: The American health-care system is a jumble of some free-market capitalism, some third-party interference between the consumer and the service provider (i.e. insurance companies), and some socialism (the Medicare and Medicaid programs). It is a jumbled and messy system that has both strong points and weak points.
I think Michael Moore is a hopeless ideologue and a propagandist, but I see no problem with his exposé of how insurance companies do shady stuff sometimes. Companies that try to back out of fulfilling promises to their customers deserve to get bad press and lawsuits.
However, I do take issue with your dismissive attitude toward those of us who are leery of the government getting more involved in health care than it already is. Not all of us governmental and fiscal conservatives are xenophobes who quiver in fear because of Muslim doctors, nor are we all heartless rich men who want to brutalize the poor. As a libertarian-leaning person, I want the government to stay out of my life as much as is possible.
Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that the federal government has the right or the responsibility to provide health care to people. I surmise that you are a more liberal-leaning person and as such you probably advocate politically progressive stances. Unfortunately, these stances often advocate situations where the government forcefully takes our money and either gives it to someone else or promises to provide us with a service.
These collectivist Ponzi schemes may be desirable to you, but I view them as tyranny and an affront to my economic freedom. I do not wish to live in a nanny state that steals a significant amount of my money in order to provide me with comfort. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth to have the fruits of my economic labor be so utterly controlled by an overly intrusive state.
Also, I fear that the cost to institute a socialized health-care system would be utterly massive. But, leaving Medicaid and Medicare as they are will incur massive costs which will probably bankrupt this country. So, what do we do? Something is wrong when I walk into an emergency room to get a bandage put on my knee and it costs $1,000. Something clearly needs to change. I just wish I knew what.
-- Jason Depew, Bloomfield