UT's ballclub on deck | Jan. 13
The appeal of repressive culture
This truly is a mad, mad world. Now add the University of Tampa's defending national champion baseball team to the mix.
The team is heading to Cuba for a cultural exchange until Jan. 19.
Why stop there, UT? Why not book a flight straight from Havana and head on over to another repressive regime in North Korea and culturally exchange greetings with Kim Jong-un?
Goodwill ambassador Dennis Rodman and his team of globe-trotting ballers can join in on the festivities, while missionary Kenneth Bae does 15 years of hard labor in a prison camp for simply being a Christian.
Raymond Brown, Tampa
Jobless numbers editorial | Jan. 11
No more short-term fixes
Our economy is obviously in trouble. With only 74,000 jobs created in December and the workforce composed of half a million fewer workers than a year ago, something must be done.
However, your solution of extending unemployment benefits does nothing to fix the basic problem; it merely puts a short-term bandage on it.
Yes, our government must act but act to improve the economy, not to temporarily hide its effects. With new and creative taxes and fees being added to the cost of doing business, and regulation upon regulation constantly being inflicted on businesses, is it any wonder that job creation is down?
So yes, let's ask our government for action, but only for action to undo the harm it is doing.
Ray Kelly, Spring Hill
An economy not in recovery
So the official unemployment has dropped to 6.7 percent. But this ignores the people who are underemployed or who have gotten discouraged and stopped looking for work. The real unemployment rate is likely over 13 percent.
We focus on the lower jobless rate for a couple of reasons. One, it looks better and makes the administration look better. Two, the percentage of the discouraged and underemployed has been small by comparison. Now that number is approaching the "official" unemployment number, if it's not already there.
It is worth noting that, except for the last months of his presidency when we were in recession, the real unemployment rate was over 10 percent — and always below 11 percent when it was — for 12 months under Bush.
But while we've been "in recovery" during the Obama administration, the real unemployment rate has never been below 10 percent — or for that matter, never below 13 percent.
Ernest Lane, Trinity
6 jurors' untold legal histories | Jan. 13
Honesty and greed in court
I think the jurors discussed in this article answered their questions honestly in regards to involvement with civil litigation. Are jurors supposed to be lawyers, too?
If the 84-year-old woman was frail in 2009, why was she on the 12th floor of an assisted living facility? Why would the family allow her to be placed on the 12th floor? Why would she choose the stairs instead of the elevator? Common sense would put her on the main floor, where she would have easy access with her walker.
I believe these lawsuits are all about greed. Whose greed initiated this lawsuit? Did family members approach these lawyers, or did the lawyers see an opportunity and seek out the family?
In cases where there is legitimate negligence, lawsuits are valid and necessary. But where do we draw the line?
Marilyn Burton, St. Petersburg
Trauma centers fight | Dec. 25
Hospitals need support
I am surprised and disappointed by the recent development by St. Joseph's Hospital and Tampa General Hospital to prevent access to quality trauma care in our state. In a Christmas Day article, Letitia Stein notes that these two hospitals have taken action to pressure the Department of Health to change its position and to shut down Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point and Blake Medical Center.
Florida SADD supports the Department of Health's efforts to rewrite its trauma allocation rule and create a working, cohesive trauma network to support Floridians, including our youth. Just a few months ago, Florida SADD sent a letter to the Florida Department of Health to voice our concerns resulting from closing down any of Florida's trauma centers and how this would be potentially harmful and even deadly for Florida's youth.
In order to create an effective state trauma system, each of Florida's life-saving trauma centers needs support from their local communities, the Department of Health, and other health institutions throughout the state. The actions taken by St. Joseph's and Tampa General are counterproductive to the process of creating a working 21st Century trauma system.
Danielle Branciforte, State Coordinator, Florida Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD)
Rick Scott on message | Jan. 13
Avoiding questions again
The question that reporters should be asking the governor is, "Do you think that you will be re-elected by refusing to answer questions that address the issues facing the people of Florida?"
George Richardson, St. Petersburg
Pictures vs. abortion | Jan. 10
The 'bean' is a baby
Characterizing an unborn child as little more than a " little bean" displays a profound disrespect for and ignorance of evolving human life. This op-ed also ignored the probability that abortion involves the taking of human life. Consider that in all other societal situations in which life is at stake, the standard is certainty. We do not take human life unless we are certain of the facts. In a capital case, the judge instructs the jury to be certain of the facts "beyond a reasonable doubt."
Compare this to our easy acceptance of the practice of abortion. Can we determine "beyond a reasonable doubt" that no valid or unique human life exists at almost any stage prior to birth? Certainly substantial biological evidence and evolving public opinion is sufficient to establish a reasonable doubt that the unborn child is something other than a "little bean," and is, in fact, a "little human being."
In the final analysis "little beans" grow into nothing more than "big beans." "Little human beings," however, grow into "big human beings."
Norman Dusseault, St. Petersburg