Thursday, September 20, 2018
Opinion

Ruth: Putin should visit before he nukes Tampa Bay

Oh dear, this is probably going to only encourage the National Rifle Associationís chief apologist Marion Hammer to browbeat the Florida Legislature into allowing everyone to arm themselves with their own personal cruise missile.

And no, youíre not laughing, are you? This is Florida after all, the Dunceshine State.

It seems we have annoyed Russian President Vladimir Putin. Was it something we said? Or was Vlad annoyed over the long lines at Disney World?

No matter. Just days ago, the Russkie leader gave a testy speech and bragged his nuclear arsenal would be impossible to intercept by the United States. And to prove it, Putin unveiled a video showing nukes being launched from various land, air and sea platforms ó all headed our way, including Florida and creating in all likelihood the mother of all sinkholes.

Of course it had to be Florida. Who would want to obliterate Rhode Island?

In one video sequence, a cornucopia of warheads are depicted raining down on (gulp) Tampa Bay.

What is with our world leaders today, who seem so hell-bent on preening how big their ó ahem ó hands are to prove their machismo by threatening to blow everybody up?

You would have thought after stealing Crimea from Ukraine, murdering or jailing his political opponents and skimming billions of dollars into his own pocket, Putin would have established his dictatorial bona fides. But some people are never satisfied.

We all know Putin delights in propaganda images of him riding bare-chested on a horse, or scuba diving, or throwing flunkies around in his little judo costume. So adorable.

And now he is dropping dark hints he would reduce Tampa Bay to cinders. Thatís one way to reduce congestion on I-275.

In a sort of "Oh yeah? Soís your old lady!" rebuke to demonstrate he is just as courageous as Putin, President Donald Trump declared he would have raced unarmed into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during the massacre to confront the assailant. Eye-rolling ensued. Apparently Trumpís bone spurs are healed.

Tampa Bay might have been selected by Putin as a potential target since MacDill Air Force is located here, as well as Central Command headquarters. Or perhaps the Russian leader is a Tampa Bay Bucs fan bent on putting the community out of its misery.

Whatever the cause of Putinís nuke rattling, there may be ways to appease the boorish Russian bear before things get out of hand.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn could invite Vlad for a visit to enjoy the cityís many charms before Putin decides to turn Hyde Park into Chernobyl-on-the-Bay. And who better to serve as the Big Guavaís de facto ambassador to Moscow than former Mayor Dick Greco, who could put the squeeze on Putinís biceps and ask him if he has been working out.

Or Putin could be named grand marshal of the Gasparilla Parade and cruise down Bayshore Boulevard tossing the finest beads Chinese political prisoners can make.

And how can we keep a man down on the Volga after heís seen Ybor City ó at about 2 a.m.?

The Tampa Bay Rays could have Putin throw out the first pitch, especially if they were playing the Cincinnati Reds.

What better opportunity for wannabe Tampa socialite Jill Kelly to regain the spotlight than by including Putin in her annual South Tampa Gasparilla soiree?

Or Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature could show up to demonstrate they are even scarier than Putin.

Isnít it all worth a try in the name of peace?

What a world we live in, with insecure men threatening to destroy each other while we are caught in the cross-hairs of petulance.

Is Putin crazy? Maybe so. Instead of vaporizing Florida, he needs to move here. He would feel right at home.

Comments
Editorial: Putnam hire stinks of patronage, secrecy

Editorial: Putnam hire stinks of patronage, secrecy

In addition to a lesson on political patronage, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam needs a refresher on the particulars of state public records law.In January 2017, Putnam hired the 27-year-old son of a former Publix executive to a high-pay...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Editorial: Investigate first, then hold Kavanaugh confirmation vote

Editorial: Investigate first, then hold Kavanaugh confirmation vote

There should be a timely investigation of the allegation of sexual assault against Judge Brett Kavanaugh before senators hear from him and his accuser, let alone vote on whether they should confirm his nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. The proces...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Editorial: Immigrants help to make America great

Editorial: Immigrants help to make America great

The heated debate on immigration could benefit from some more facts, which the U.S. Census has helpfully provided. And the facts show that rather than building walls, the United States would do far better to keep opening doors to legal immigrants. Th...
Published: 09/19/18
Updated: 09/20/18
Editorial: FDA acts to keep e-cigarettes from kids

Editorial: FDA acts to keep e-cigarettes from kids

The federal Food and Drug Administration is bringing important scrutiny to the increasing use of e-cigarettes, requiring companies that make and sell them to show they are keeping their products away from minors. Vaping is the new front in the nation...
Published: 09/18/18

Tuesday’s letters: Honor Flight restored my faith in America

Dogs are the best | Letter, Sept. 15Honor Flight restored my faith in AmericaJust as I was about to give up on our country due to divisiveness and and the divisions among its people and politicians, my pride was restored. As a member of the recen...
Published: 09/17/18
Updated: 09/19/18
Editorial: Senate should delay vote on Kavanaugh

Editorial: Senate should delay vote on Kavanaugh

The Senate and the nation needs to hear more about the sexual assault allegation against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Setting aside Kavanaugh's judicial record, his political past and the hyper-partisan divide over his nomination, a no...
Published: 09/17/18
Editorial: Tampa council has another chance to show it takes Stovall House changes seriously

Editorial: Tampa council has another chance to show it takes Stovall House changes seriously

The Tampa City Council has yet to hear a compelling reason to allow a private social club in a residential neighborhood off Bayshore Boulevard, and a final meeting on the matter scheduled for Thursday offers the council a chance to show the diligence...
Published: 09/14/18
Editorial: Focus on Hurricane Florence, not defending poor response in Puerto Rico

Editorial: Focus on Hurricane Florence, not defending poor response in Puerto Rico

Hurricane Florence began lashing down on the Carolinas Thursday and was expected to make landfall early Friday, washing over dunes, downing trees and power lines and putting some 10 million people in the path of a potentially catastrophic storm. Flor...
Published: 09/13/18
Editorial: Scott sends positive signal on Supreme Court appointments

Editorial: Scott sends positive signal on Supreme Court appointments

Gov. Rick Scott has headed down a dangerous path by announcing he has started the process to fill three upcoming vacancies on the Florida Supreme Court as he heads out the door. But to his credit, the governor indicated his "expectationíí is that he ...
Published: 09/12/18
Updated: 09/14/18
Editorial: Stalled U.S.-Cuba relations hurting Florida business

Editorial: Stalled U.S.-Cuba relations hurting Florida business

After an encouraging start, the breakdown in Americaís reset with Cuba is a loss for both sides and for the state of democracy across the region. Havana and Washington are both to blame, but the Trump administrationís hard line with Cuba is out of sy...
Published: 09/12/18