Readers defend their right to defer health care, enjoy "bad" Christmas music, and shoot home invaders graveyard dead

Flawed arguments: I love sarcasm, generally, but I feel in this case that Mr. Garrison resorted to ad hominem attacks without offering an adequate assessment of the policies being advocated ["St. Louis Legislators Sponsor Bills to Exempt Missouri from Federal Health Care Reform," Chad Garrison].

Consider this: While some people may not carry health insurance because it is unaffordable, many choose not to purchase health insurance. Some people's religions may not permit the use of modern medicine, while others may not believe it to be effective. Still others are simply confident enough in their propensity for health that they are willing to risk the costs of illness or injury in order to direct their money to concerns that they believe to be more pressing. And there are some who, recognizing that most people pay far more to insurance companies than they are ever likely to need for their own treatment costs, would prefer to self-insure by creating their own health fund.

It is perfectly fair for people to argue that many individuals' interests in maintaining the freedom to make their own decisions regarding health care ought to be sacrificed for "the greater good." But I think that if you intend to make that argument, you should first demonstrate that you at least understand the reasons why some disagree. Had the author done that, I would have enjoyed reading all the pith and sarcasm he could muster to support his vision of "the greater good" and his explanation of why it should outweigh those interests.
Pelagius, via the Internet

A to Z, DECEMBER 15, 2009
And don't call people rat-face: If you had any conception of the spirit of Christmas, you would not refer to someone as rat-faced ["The Ten Worst Christmas Songs. Ever," Tom Kavanaugh Jr.]. I pretty much stopped reading at that point. By the way, Josh Groban's Christmas album, Noël, was the best-selling album of 2007, and he only had two months to do it. You are definitely in the minority, moron. Unlike you, I never claimed to have the spirit.
Janet, via the Internet

And now, a small cultural observation: Saying something is a top-selling album must mean that it is high quality. So I guess that by popularity alone McDonald's must be top cuisine and Larry the Cable Guy demonstrates what true entertainment is. Good to know. Thanks for the lesson.
Claire, via the Internet

Why do birds suddenly appear? I think Karen Carpenter might respond that she is "on top of the world, looking down on creation," and the only thing that she can see is an extremely jealous and negative writer. Further, the use of Christmas as a verb conveys so much more than any other description she could have used. It sort of encompasses Christ's love into a human activity. As such, it is a stroke of songwriting genius.
Anonymous, via the Internet

How about those Wildwood cops!: Wow, the service in Wildwood is fantastic ["Update: Burglar Strikes Nelly's Mansion, Police Respond in Force — Delta Force," Chad Garrison]. When my house was broken into, I got one patrol car and the crime-scene unit, 45 minutes later. They barely dusted for prints. Of course, I do live in the city, and I am neither famous nor formerly so. It must be nice.
Brenda, via the Internet

Such a petty, petty thief: By the way, Mr. Thief, really? Break into a mansion and all you steal are some video games and some electronics. What was your haul — $500, $800? Yeah, you're going to live high on the hog with that. That is not even one month's rent. C'mon, man! Get a real job. I hear McDonald's is hiring.
St. Lunatic, via the Internet

We repeat, no retreat: Yes, you should never have to retreat ["Oklahoma Woman Shoots Intruder 'Graveyard Dead,'" Matt Blickenstaff]. Police don't have the obligation to, and they don't retreat. Being forced to retreat under any circumstance of law simply implies that you must rely upon law enforcement for your personal protection. This rule of law is ludicrous since the police are not and cannot be in all places at all times — nor do we want them to be.
Anonymous, via the Internet

Right to shoot: If she lived in Massachusetts, she would still be in jail. Just using the words "graveyard dead" would make her guilty. She had every right to do what she did.
Ryan, via the Internet

You go, girl: Good for her. Laws aside, if some dumb person breaks into my house, I'm going to shoot him, too. I would be proud to call this woman a relative if she were in my state of Washington.
Aria, via the Internet

Like, duh: Children with rich parents go to expensive schools, what a surprise ["Survey Shows Wash. U. Full of Rich Kids, Shoddy Statisticians," Aimee Levitt]. Is it any wonder why they don't self-identify as upper-class? Their personal income is zilch. Most college students are reliant almost entirely on their parents or on their low-paying part-time jobs. If I were taking out $100,000 loans with virtually no income, I probably wouldn't call myself upper-class, either.
Captain Obvious, via the Internet

In our December 17 "Year in Music" feature, Keegan Hamilton's "Post-Modern Bliss" item incorrectly stated that rapper Method Man's album 4:21... The Day After came out this year. In fact, the album was released in 2006.