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Sunday's letters: The Chris Christie show

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

Sunday's letters: The Chris Christie show 01/10/14 [Last modified: Friday, January 10, 2014 4:12pm]
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  1. For Memorial Day, Breakfast Station wall pays tribute to those who served

    Military

    BROOKSVILLE

    "I remember that day they came," Yvonne Benjamin recalled solemnly of a morning in April 1969.

    Yvonne Benjamin thought up the Wall of Honor at the Breakfast Station, where she has served “lots of veterans.”
  2. Bucs' Doug Martin relying on strength from drug rehab to power his return

    Bucs

    TAMPA — He would not talk about the drug he abused. He would not identify the rehab facility he entered in January or how long he was there.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin participates in an "open OTA practice" at One Buc Place, the team's training facility, in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
  3. NCAA: Former USF basketball assistant gave improper benefits

    Colleges

    TAMPA — Former USF men's basketball assistant coach Oliver Antigua provided impermissible benefits, including lodging at his home, for two prospective student-athletes while they received on-campus tutoring, according to findings reported to the school by the NCAA.

  4. Assault charge may not sway voters in Montana election (w/video)

    Nation

    BOZEMAN, Mont. — Republican multimillionaire Greg Gianforte won Montana's only U.S. House seat on Thursday despite being charged a day earlier with assault after witnesses said he grabbed a reporter by the neck and threw him to the ground.

    People fill out ballots for the special election to fill Montana's only U.S. House seat at the Montana Pavilion at MetraPark on Thursday in Billings, Mont. [Associated Press]
  5. Quiet college dropout turned bomber: Who was Salman Abedi?

    World

    LONDON — He was quiet and withdrawn, a college dropout who liked soccer — and, some say, showed alarming signs of being radicalized years before he walked into a pop concert at Britain's Manchester Arena and detonated a powerful bomb, killing himself and 22 others.

    Salman Abedi was identified by British authorities as the man behind Monday’s attack.