Stealing state artifacts | Jan. 10
Looting fossils is not okay
Does Dan Ruth really condone stealing artifacts from public lands?
In an era when public resources are increasingly for sale to the highest bidder, this attitude is not so surprising. But I expected better, given the Times's more progressive reporting on other common property resources, such as springs and wetlands.
As a professional archaeologist, I have worked with ethical artifact collectors who were genuinely intrigued and protective of the archaeological, and also encountered others who had no interest except for their own personal gain.
The individuals highlighted in the story strike me as much closer to the latter. In my experience, this is the sort that would happily desecrate Native American graves, or even the graves of Civil-War era Americans, as they know these are where the "best" artifacts (whole pots, belt buckles, etc.) are often located.
Thomas Pluckhahn, Tampa
Pictures vs. abortions | Jan. 10
More on ultrasounds
Despite being a lifelong abortion foe, I have never supported mandatory ultrasounds. I considered them somehow coercive and punitive. However, Kate Waldman's op-ed does contain some scientific misinterpretations that need to be addressed.
First of all, the study she cited was a retrospective study, the lowest quality of clinical studies. For example, the quality of the interview through which a woman stated the strength of her decision to have an abortion cannot be controlled for. Second, the conclusion that only 1.5 percent of the women decided not to have an abortion after looking at an ultrasound is misleading.
Waldman admitted that more than 55 percent of the women refused to have an ultrasound. If one assumes that their motivation was prompted by fear of changing their minds, the percentage would increase to 57 percent. So it is not scientifically correct to state that the decision of only a minority of women was influenced by imaging of the fetus.
I also take exception to the statement that women choosing an abortion are making a rational decision. I don't think it is human to make a decision of this type without being overridden with emotions.
Has Waldman never met a woman who regretted this so called choice and who has been haunted by this choice for the rest of her life?
Lodovico Balducci, Tampa
Laugh and learn | Jan. 9
The 'current occupant'
In announcing Garrison Keillor's appearance in Tampa, the Times failed to mention his most laudable attribute.
Yes, he's funny, yes, he's talented, and yes, he is of the Left, but he is the only figure in public life in America who refused to refer to Bush as "president." While everybody and his brother fell in line to do so, Keillor saw him for what he was and always referred to him as the "Current Occupant," and for being the lone concerned voice out of 320 million lemmings he deserves some kind of official recognition, like the presidential medal of whatever, or whatever.
R.G. Wheeler, Lealman
Olympic boycott | Jan. 10
Not a good idea
A Jan. 10 letter stated that we should not send any athletes to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
But all of these athletes work for years to prepare for the Olympic games. We should not keep our athletes away for some political reason. President Carter did this and it was a big mistake!
Steve Moran, Largo
Duke Energy to profit again | Jan. 9
Pity the Duke customer
So Duke Energy customers get to pay more to the company that holds them hostage.
Switching companies would mean deregulating the electricity industry to give consumers a choice in who we pay our money to. The Florida legislature won't do that!
In an economic time when making ends meet is so difficult, now there will be additional costs to customers to clean up the Crystal River plant?
Duke Energy knew the future when they bought Progress Energy: leaking tanks at facilities, nuclear waste storage issues, the possibility of nuclear waste contaminating the water supply, etc. Our short- or long-term memories of this will not matter until it sits on our doorstep. Then and only then will we react. Unless it directly affects us, it doesn't matter. Well, sorry, every dollar counts and thanks to a corrupt legislature we are now in Duke's control. Thanks!
Chistina Ennist, New Port Richey
New FAMU president | Jan. 10
Skills trump politics
It is refreshing to see a new president of a Florida university with a doctorate and coming from a university environment, not from the ranks of Florida politicians.
J. Thompson, Port St. Lucie
Gridlock scandal grows | Jan. 10
The Chris Christie show
How dumb does Chris Christie think we are? The funniest piece of the Christie coverage was when an MSNBC reporter asked the governor whether he thought he was a bully. Christie said, "No" and the reporter seemed satisfied.
If a teacher were as rude to his students as Christie is to reporters and others who question him, that teacher would be fired. He, simply, has no filter for his vituperative babble. In a nationwide campaign, reaction to his rude conduct and verbiage would put a rapid end to his campaign and his big mouth.
Robert F. Clifford, Tarpon Springs