One law could make highway driving better

We recently finished a 6,000-mile road trip from Scottsdale to New York City and back. We were in 23 states, and the most enjoyable, stress-free driving was in Texas. We attribute that to the Texas law stating that the left lane is for passing only.

I contacted ADOT, and they advised me that Arizona has signs that say “Pass Left, Stay Right.” I must say I don’t think I have ever seen one, and the vast majority of Arizona drivers never follow that advice. They also state that it is just an advisory, not a law. They advised me to contact my legislator to encourage him to introduce legislation to make this a law.

Everyone I have talked to about this has agreed it would be a great law. I have not talked to that little old lady stuck in the left lane going 10 mph below the speed limit but sure would like to! I ask your readers to contact their legislators for action on this subject.

Bernie Conway

Retired USAF Lt. Col., Scottsdale

Don’t blame Obama for insurance errors

Health care legislation is called the Affordable Care Act, not Obamacare. This legislation is designed to give basic important health coverage to all, thus eliminating the taxpayers having to foot the bill for those who receive treatment and are not covered by insurance of their own.

President Obama did not lie, and he did not cancel anyone’s insurance coverage. The insurance companies did that because they felt they would lose money if they brought the benefits covered by those plans into accord with those outlined in the Affordable Care Act. The benefits to be required have been no secret. The insurance companies did nothing to prepare themselves to comply with the law. Instead, they wait until after the plan becomes active and deny comparable care to their clients, with no advance warning. We should not blame Obama for the insurance industry’s negligence.

Patricia Wann

Retired, Tucson

Climate change: Real

or pure conjecture?

Re: the Nov. 14 editorial “Philippines suffers the worst effects of climate change.”

I really don’t know what to think about global warming. Is it real or just some cyclical phenomenon? Is it true or only a quest by climate scientists to gain continual research funding? I was about to subscribe to the scientists’ appeal to believe their mathematical models until they presented data that showed that there was little global temperature rise over the past decade. Now they appear to have concluded that the problem was that they failed to include a deep-ocean temperature effect in their calculations, which delays the atmospheric temperature rise.

OK, that’s fair, science is like that. But then the editorial unequivocally blames the recent Philippine disaster, and other pending events, on climate change. This is followed with the implication that earthquake frequencies and magnitudes are also being influenced by these changes. I believe that what is being presented as fact is pure conjecture.

William Hartman

Retired physicist, Oro Valley

Literature enriches human experience

Re: the Nov. 17 column “Humanities are the heart and soul of real education.”

As a longtime teacher of English and the humanities, I was moved by Gina Barreca’s insightful commentary on the current state of the humanities in higher education. It’s obvious to those of us in the field that we’re at the bottom of the educational barrel. The reason is money — and of course, priorities. Literature is infinitely enriching, but not financially.

These days, that’s apparently all that matters. In past years, when I’d ask a beginning literature class how many people liked to read for pleasure, at least 90 percent of the class raised hands. In the last two years, not one hand has been raised. Students don’t really even understand the question. And as a result of this absence of reading, I see a lack of human insight, a diminished capacity to analyze logically and a dangerously simplistic view of the world.

As Barreca observes, what a tragedy — for them, and ultimately, for us all.

Kendra Gaines

Adjunct instructor, Tucson