Monday, December 11, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Friday’s letters: Allegations from distant past have political tinge

In Alabama, Moore is less | Nov. 28, commentary

Allegations have political tinge

Last year, right before the election, 14 women came forward to claim that candidate Donald Trump had sexually molested them. The timing coincided (conveniently for his opposition) with the release of a tape on which he used locker-room language regarding the treatment of women. I canít help but wonder where those ladies are today.

Once again, this time in the case of candidate Roy Moore, there are a number of women who have come forward just before an important election to charge him with sexual misconduct. He denies any wrongdoing and adamantly rebuts the allegations. This comes at a time when proven offenses and as-yet-unsubstantiated accusations of sexual assault against highly visible men have created a near-frenzy in the media and in the country.

In this instance, all the allegations are from the distant past, and only one has any "evidence" that could move this from a "he-said, she-said" situation to one with some weight of credibility on one side or the other. Itís unfortunate that the one piece of real "evidence" ó the yearbook that Moore is said to have signed ó wonít be released for forensic examination by attorney Gloria Allred and her client. It would provide some level of certainty, one way or the other, in at least one of the alleged transgressions. And itís reasonable to assume that the credibility gained through that inspection would affect peopleís views on the credibility of the other charges.

Sexual misconduct is never acceptable. And neither is jeopardizing a personís future with faultily remembered or false past encounters.

Terry Kemple, president, Community Issues Council, Brandon

In Alabama, Moore is less | Nov. 28, commentary

Clean up bad behavior

Why are so many women coming forward against sexual predators now? Because at last they can.

Now 83, I all too well remember when sexual harassment at the workplace was something a woman had to tolerate. In a law firm where I worked days while putting myself through college at night, it was normal practice for female employees to avoid getting on the elevator with the most senior partner as well as avoiding passing him in the hall. He was known to for his "low wave" as young women passed by. None of the younger partners told him not to do it, but we women were told it was our job to avoid such encounters. The implication was that women who were harassed were looking for it, perhaps by dressing provocatively or flirting with the abuser.

Things are a lot different now, although not completely right yet. Women have a lot more power and can speak out; but they still do not have equal power or equal salaries or management status in major corporations. Finally, people are listening and believing those who do come forward.

To make America great again and keep it that way, we must clean up the behavior of all those in the public eye so they actually deserve the respect that goes with the role they seek.

Adele Ida Walter, Tampa

New president shares inclusive message
Nov. 25

Hopes for a better nation

In 1965, the apartheid regime of Rhodesia, led by Ian Smith, unilaterally declared independence from Britain. I was an 18-year-old college student when I met a "Rhodesian" student/political refugee at a Methodist church camp. He taught me how to spell Zimbabwe, explained that this meant "house of stone" in his native Shona language, and that this was the real name of his country.

We married three years later, but it would take 17 years of a brutal civil war for majority rule to prevail in his land. News came slowly in those days, from shortwave radio BBC, Voice of America and static-filled phone calls from in-laws I had yet to meet.

By 1981, the war had ended and Robert Mugabe had been democratically elected as the new leader. We packed up our three children and everything we owned and returned to newly independent Zimbabwe. My whole adult life has been intertwined with the events in the southern African nation that I came to love.

In the 37-year-rule of Mugabe, I witnessed a country and its people undergo an immense amount of suffering. For the past 10 days, unlike in the 1960s, Iíve watched the events in Zimbabwe unfold within minutes on my iPhone. A country with unlimited potential and resources, and an educated but largely unemployed work force, is now looking to the future with a new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa. I have great hopes for this wonderful country, and I pray that the lessons of the past have been carefully learned.

Wendolyn Mutunhu, Tampa

Proposal is win for all concerned
Nov. 26, letter

Groundwork for cuts

Businesses of any size donít hire more people just because they got a tax cut; they hire people when they need more people to meet increased demand. Outside of that, increased profits from tax cuts go into the ownersí pockets and donít get passed along to customers as reduced prices.

The Republican plan is just a way to set up Social Security and Medicare to be cut back to reduce the resulting (and completely avoidable) deficit increase.

Chris Woodard, Tampa

Taxpayers get relief | Nov. 27, letter

Mind the wealth gap

In this era of rapidly increasing wealth and income disparities, the question is: Are upper income people paying their fair share? In the boom decades after World War II, top marginal tax rates varied from 70 percent to 90 percent without noticeable effect on economic growth, nor did the income/wealth gaps seen nowadays materialize.

And should the estate tax be eliminated, then the American aristocracy that has taken root over the past few decades will have been consolidated into economically and politically powerful dynasties resembling those that ruled pre-revolutionary Russia.

Fred Kalhammer, Sun City Center


Mondayís letters: Donít drill in Arctic refuge

Arctic National Wildlife RefugeStop plan to drill for oil in refugeOur nation faces yet another effort to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge reserve to oil and gas drilling. Drilling in the Arctic simply doesnít make sound financial sense. W...
Published: 12/08/17

Sundayís letters: Tax bill puts U.S. on right course

The GOPís regressive tax plans | Dec. 5, editorialTax bill puts U.S. on right courseThe Times is already crying wolf over the new tax cuts, claiming that the new laws "could" result an increase in the national debt of $1.5 trillion over the next ...
Published: 12/07/17

Saturdayís letters: Donít inject political money into churches

Tax billKeep political cash out of pulpitA provision buried in the 429-page House tax bill, Section 5201, nullifies the Johnson Amendment, which protects houses of worship from partisan politics by prohibiting them from endorsing or opposing politica...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Fridayís letters: Most unpopular tax bill ever

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3The most unpopular tax bill ever"Democracy dies in darkness" is the motto of the Washington Post. At 2 a.m. on the dark morning of Sunday, Dec. 3, 51 Republicans approved the most wildly unpopular tax bill in U.S. h...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Thursdayís letters: Give your child the gift of reading

Fatherhood Involvement in Literacy CampaignGive your child the gift of readingPart of a successful game plan in sports is identifying plays that can put points on the scoreboard. Whether I was playing quarterback at Florida State or running the point...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/06/17

Wednesdayís letters: Bill gives small businesses tax relief

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3Small businesses get tax reliefThe Senate and House have now passed their respective tax bills. Once Congress sends a final package to the White House, President Donald Trump will deliver us the most powerful tax re...
Published: 12/04/17
Updated: 12/05/17

Tuesdayís letters: Transplant bill will help Medicare patients

November Letter of the MonthThe winning letter addressed the unresponsiveness of elected officials.Representatives arenít listeningFor whom do our legislators work? I ask because my Florida senator doesnít appear to work for me. I drove 27 miles on N...
Published: 12/04/17

Mondayís letters: A citizenís heroic act

Suspect arrested | Nov. 29A courageous citizenís actOn Nov. 28, a courageous act occurred in the Tampa Bay area. It was one that law enforcement professionals applaud and hope becomes more frequent. An ordinary citizen did the right thing and spo...
Published: 12/01/17

Saturdayís letters: Historic preservation process needs fixing

A preservation problem | Nov. 25, editorialApplication process needs fixingThere is a reason why smaller rather than larger groups of property owners are getting together to seek historic district designation: It is St. Petersburgís application p...
Published: 11/30/17
Updated: 12/01/17

Fridayís letters: Allegations from distant past have political tinge

Published: 11/30/17