Thursday, April 19, 2018
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 can’t 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. It’s unfortunate that the one piece of real "evidence" — the yearbook that Moore is said to have signed — won’t 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 it’s reasonable to assume that the credibility gained through that inspection would affect people’s views on the credibility of the other charges.

Sexual misconduct is never acceptable. And neither is jeopardizing a person’s 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, I’ve 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 don’t 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 owners’ pockets and don’t 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

Comments

Friday’s letters: We owe it to our children to teach them history

If we don’t understand past, future looks grim | April 19, Daniel Ruth columnThe history we owe our childrenIt’s not often I agree with Daniel Ruth, but this article was spot-on. I’m not sure when the schools started ignoring Germany’s World War ...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Thursday’s letters: Gun research can save lives

Gun ownershipCommon ground: Find the factsThere are many areas in the current debate about guns and gun ownership where both sides must agree to disagree. But there is one area where common ground ought to exist. That concerns the need for continuing...
Published: 04/18/18

Wednesday’s letters:

Poverty and plenty in bay area | April 7, editorialStruggling poor are not a priorityI commend your newspaper for continuing to produce real and relevant news, particularly the recent editorial pointing out that a prospering Tampa Bay should not ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for April 20

Bar Association celebrates Law WeekPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1958, as the first Law Day to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Every year on this day, we reflect on the significance of the rule of law and rededicat...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Tuesday’s letters: Stop cooperating with ICE

Sheriff’s ICE policy blasted | April 10Pinellas should end partnership with ICEPinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri recently participated in a community conversation on his controversial agreement with ICE to voluntarily detain immigrants in the...
Published: 04/16/18

Sunday’s letters: The future of oyster production

Shell game | April 15Future of oyster productionThanks to Laura Reiley for an excellent synopsis of the current state of oyster production in Florida. The collapse of the Apalachicola oyster fishery is merely the latest example of the demise of a...
Published: 04/14/18

Monday’s letters: Public education is foundation of the nation

Voters beware of ballot deceptionApril 13, commentarySchools’ role underminedIt was with great pain that I read (not for the first time) that we must be aware of "ballot deception." Public schools were founded to make sure that future generations of ...
Published: 04/13/18

Saturday’s letters: Health Department should butt out

Judge: Grow pot, Mr. Redner | April 12Health officials should butt outThe Times reports that the Florida Department of Health filed an appeal to the decision allowing a man who is a Stage 4 lung cancer survivor to grow pot in his backyard for his ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/13/18

Friday’s letters: Open and shut: Enforce the law

Sheriff’s ICE aid policy blasted | April 10Open and shut: Enforce the lawPeople and institutions that insist on the using the euphemism "undocumented immigrant" do nothing but affirm their lack of objectivity by using such a phrase to support an ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/12/18

Thursday’s letters: Focus on offender, not weapon

Use data to curb gun deaths | April 8, commentaryFocus on offenders, not weaponsThis article tiptoes around the issue: human violence. The authors point out that automobile manufactures were pressured by regulation and law to make automobile coll...
Published: 04/11/18