Sunday, August 19, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Saturday’s letters: Unpopular ideas need airing

Peace wins the day | Oct. 20

Unpopular opinions need airing

It was troubling to read that the Times apparently celebrates and condones the actions of the University of Florida students who were able to "shout down a white nationalist."

As distasteful as Richard Spencer’s message may be, if we teach our children that it is acceptable to deny someone with an opposing view the right to speak by disrupting that person’s speech, rather than presenting a well-reasoned counter-argument, we are doomed as a nation. The day will come when the wrong message is the most popular and those who seek to counter that message with a well-reasoned argument supported by facts are denied the ability to do so by the same methods that your paper apparently supports. What do we do then?

Jim Burt, Tampa

Peace wins the day | Oct. 20

Free speech under attack

Contrary to the editorialized headline, peace did not win. The raucous voices of protesters and the threat of violence stifled, if not obliterated, the free speech rights of white supremacist Richard Spencer. While Spencer’s beliefs are repugnant by any measure, shouting him down and threatening violence is equally repugnant.

This sets a precedent that might well indicate approval of such tactics to shut down any speech that any group might find distasteful. More than likely this will be used more broadly to stifle more mundane political speech.

This is nothing to be proud of.

Bill Northrop, North Redington Beach

Protesters’ display of hate

The real hatred in this article is demonstrated by the protesters whose faces were contorted with rage as they hurled loud verbal abuse to disrupt Richard Spencer’s event. How can you describe as "peace" the assault on Spencer’s constitutional right to speak?

Perhaps you think the protest was peaceful just because the protesters did not resort to violence. If protesters want to "stop the hate" as the sign says, they should start with themselves. If you don’t agree with the message, just stay away.

Mary Ballowe, Seffner

Kelly defends Trump’s call to soldier’s widow | Oct. 20

President’s callous acts

As I watched John Kelly talking about his slain son at a news conference, I asked myself: Why did he even feel that he needed to be there? But then it struck me — President Donald Trump. The president couldn’t take the criticism from the press for having taken so long to send condolences to the families of the soldiers killed in Niger. He lashed out that he was better than his predecessors (especially President Barack Obama) in that he sent letters to the families of every soldier killed on his watch. He proceeded to mention how Obama had not sent a letter to Kelly when his son was killed and even encouraged reporters to ask Kelly about it. How low can one get that you put your assistant in the position of having to defend you by having to recount the death of his own son? How unfeeling and callous.

However, while I understand Kelly’s emotion, his criticism of Rep. Frederica Wilson, who was a close friend of Sgt. La David Johnson’s family, was uncalled for. Wilson said she overheard the conversation on a speakerphone while sitting in the family car going to the airport. She was shocked by the president’s language as were the other members of the family. The accuracy of what was reported by Wilson was confirmed by the other members of the family.

Rene Tamargo, Tampa

DACA legislation

Support young Dreamers

Since the Trump administration announced plans to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, it seems that Congress has gotten serious about finding a solution for Dreamers. There are now at least two bills in the Senate, the Dream Act and the Succeed Act, and one in the House, the Recognizing America’s Children Act, that would give these young Dreamers the relief they deserve.

I say "deserve" because these young people have already been contributing to our economy and to our communities. The DACA program allowed them to work, and now 95 percent are doing so and paying the local, state and federal taxes that come along with being a wage earner. Other DACA recipients are in school and are looking forward to the day when they get a job. All of these kids went through background checks, and the three bills I mentioned would require even more.

These Dreamers were brought here when they were very young through no fault of their own. Because of that, and for all they’ve given to our communities since they arrived, they deserve our compassion. I hope our representatives in Washington, including Sen. Marco Rubio, will consider supporting one of these bills.

Daniel James Scott, Tallahassee

Saving America, Part 1: term limits | Oct. 18, commentary

Prescription for change

I could not agree more with Adam Goodman and his opinion on "saving America."

Far too many legislators remain in office too long, and with that position they tend to be out of touch with their constituents’ needs. Just look at all the problems facing our country that could have been avoided had the issues been addressed many years ago. Immigration issues are not new, nor are infrastructure maintenance and job training, to name a few.

We are seeing the results of those in local, state, federal office and those on the Supreme Court who have gained power and money and who have lost contact with middle- and low-income household needs.

I hope Goodman shares more insights and that people give his opinion considerable thought before the next election.

Also, please exercise your right to vote. If you don’t vote, I don’t think you can complain about the actions of our elected officials.

Sandy Engelman, Inverness


Friday’s letters: I’ve lived in countries lacking a free press; you wouldn’t want to

Striving to keep truth flowingfor democracy | Editorial, Aug. 16I’ve lived in places lacking free pressMore than half my adult life I’ve lived, worked or studied in countries governed by dictators or authoritarian rulers in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Ukr...
Published: 08/17/18

Monday’s letters: Why I left the Republican Party

Where is the blue wave of voters? | Aug. 14Why I left the Republican Party I clicked the button. Instantly I was no longer a Republican. I had believed we were experiencing a horrible hiccup in the history of the Grand Old Party. My party had sto...
Published: 08/16/18
Updated: 08/17/18

Thursday’s letters: Cigars are bad for your health

Tobacco rules don’t suit premium cigars | Editorial, Aug. 13Xyxyx xyxy xyxy xyxy xyxy xyxxxThe argument made in this editorial to exempt the premium cigar industry from FDA scrutiny is, in essence: They are not cheap, they are not fruit-flavored,...
Published: 08/13/18
Updated: 08/15/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Aug. 17

Re: County authorizes takeover of SunWest Park | Aug. 10‘A poor idea from the startWith no fanfare whatsoever, we now have a new park that no one I know ever seems to use or even know where it is. If it is bringing hordes of tourists to our cou...
Published: 08/13/18

Tuesday’s letters: Habitat should help the poor, not hurt them

Habitat lender choice blasted | Aug. 12Help, don’t hurt, poorAs a Habitat for Humanity admirer, donor and volunteer, I was disappointed to read how Habitat for Humanity’s Hillsborough County affiliate reportedly stumbled in delivering its mission...
Published: 08/10/18
Updated: 08/13/18

Monday’s letters: A gun or a vote: danger is relative

‘I went off the deep end’ | Aug. 10A gun or a vote: danger is relativeAt the demonstrable risk of having someone lose his fragile temper, grab his guns, storm out his door and speed to my home to shoot me for saying so (and why NOT, Florida Legis...
Published: 08/10/18

Sunday’s letters: July’s letter of the month is ‘Time for more civil debate.’

July letter of the monthTime for more civil debate"Politics" is an activity which involves power and control, arriving at decisions based on differing interests. Normally, leaders weigh the needs of the individual with the abilities of the country. C...
Published: 08/09/18
Updated: 08/10/18

Saturday’s letters: A team effort made USF preeminent

USF and preeminenceA team effort vaulted USF The University of South Florida’s designation as a preeminent state research university is a prestigious accomplishment and a tribute to the hard work of faculty, staff and students and USF System Presiden...
Published: 08/09/18
Updated: 08/10/18

Friday’s letters: Don’t let pollution be our legacy

Algae blooms amid cuts | Aug. 8Brown can’t be the new greenThis headline should have said "Republicans continue to pave their way across Florida, pollute the water supply and destroy animals and their habitat." The Republicans have controlled Tal...
Published: 08/07/18
Updated: 08/09/18

Wednesday’s letters: Girl’s drowning death is one of two tragedies

Mother: Dead girl now ‘pure’ | Aug. 7Two tragediesThis is another tragedy of a parent who became overwhelmed by the responsibility of caring for an autistic child. But an equally bad sequence of events is likely to happen in the days and months t...
Published: 08/06/18
Updated: 08/07/18