Unlikely allies push for greener energy | July 22, editorial
At home, Al Gore doesn't look so green
This editorial is a tad misleading, to say the least. From all accounts of the T. Boone Pickens wind power initiative, his primary motivation is to reduce our dependence on foreign sources of energy — not to combat global warming.
The issue of man-made climate change caused by CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels is far from settled despite the reluctance of mainstream media to publicize opposing viewpoints and data.
Regarding President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, you should know that this 4,000-square-foot home uses geothermal heating and cooling requiring about 25 percent of the electricity that traditional heating and cooling systems use. A 25,000-gallon underground cistern collects rainwater for landscape irrigation.
Contrast this with the 10,000-square-foot residence of Al Gore, which consumes 191,000 kilowatt hours monthly, about 12 times the electricity of a typical house even though the size of the house is about four times the average. The hypocrisy of the Nobel Peace Prize winner is appalling!
Bob Bryan, Seminole
Meet the energy challenge
Vice President Al Gore laid out a bold vision for how to confront the economic and global warming crisis facing the country today. He called for America to take the steps necessary to move away from the fossil-fuel-based economy that has brought us to the brink of disaster, and toward a clean energy economy that will provide jobs, security and opportunity.
I don't think our politicians and power companies are doing nearly enough.
Yes, it is a huge investment for our nation, but once the solar and wind power plants are in place, the energy source is free. It doesn't make much sense to buy foreign oil with borrowed money, oil that pollutes our country. Offshore drilling would have little effect on the price of gasoline. It would delay solving our energy problems while the pollution continues.
I urge you to endorse Al Gore's goal of 100 percent carbon-free electricity in 10 years.
Bogdan Asztalos, St. Petersburg
Hopeful path opens in Iraq | July 23, editorial
On foreign policy, Obama is wrong
It's amazing how people can distort the facts to fit their version of what's going on in Iraq and other parts of the Middle East. To say that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's "demands coincided with the Democrat's highly publicized trip to Iraq" insinuates that Barack Obama was right with his withdrawal plans and that they mesh with Maliki's request. Obama's withdrawal plan is nearly two years old now. If Obama's plan had been followed, we'd have no troops in Iraq right now and al-Qaida would be running the country.
To say the "Bush administration is preparing to join multilateral talks with Iran on nuclear policy" after they ridiculed Obama is a big overstatement, which again insinuates Obama was correct. The fact is we have one guy who will be sitting in the room while the Europeans are doing the negotiating. Letting the Europeans, who have a relationship with Iran, do the negotiating has not changed.
Obama has stated that "the central front in the war on terror is not Iraq, and it never was." That is completely wrong! Terrorists came from all over the world to fight in Iraq. They made it the central front. The terrorists are now traveling to Pakistan to fight in Afghanistan, because they have been driven out of Iraq. The central front in the war on terror is now shifting to Afghanistan, but it was in Iraq. Failure to recognize this on his part would have been a disaster for us and the rest of the world.
The bottom line is that Obama's foreign policy is wrong! He should stick to the economy and domestic issues, because he's out of his league with John McCain when it comes to these issues.
Jim Leonard, Largo
Obama proved right | July 23, letter
A matter of timing
The letter writer believes Barack Obama has been right all along because now President Bush is softening his stance on troop removal and Obama has said all along that the troops should be withdrawn.
Let me see if I can put this in perspective for him. A man is away on a business trip and is scheduled to come home on Friday. On Wednesday, his wife tells their son, "Daddy's home." The son says, "No he's not." On Thursday, the wife again tells their son, "Daddy's home." The son again tells her that he's not. Finally, Friday comes and Daddy's back from his business trip. He walks into the house and his wife turns to their son and says, "See, I was right. Your Daddy's home."
In the past, yes, Obama has been "naive," "foolish" and "delusional" for suggesting we set a withdrawal date. Now the time is right to start planning for a withdrawal. Understand now?
Ronald Melone, Clearwater
John McCain's campaign staffers and supporters should take a little advice from one of McCain's best friends, Phil Gramm. Instead of being a "nation of whiners," they have become the party of whiners.
They complained that Barack Obama had not spent enough time on the world stage, and wasn't experienced enough to lead. So he takes to the world stage and looks intelligent and presidential, something we have been starving for under George W. Bush. It reminds me of the old saying "Be careful what you wish for …"
Rick Henry, Brooksville
Guantanamo war crimes trials
Hermann Goering, Rudolf Hess, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Wilhem Keitel … and Salim Ahmed Hamden?
Really, do we want to dismantle the Constitution over anybody's driver? Was Hitler's driver charged at Nuremberg? Perhaps the Russians considered every German a war criminal, but wouldn't it be a more measured and sane idea to focus on actual criminals instead of chauffeurs and 15-year-old Canadians?
Thomas Hayes, Dunedin
I have called the Republican headquarters to find out how to get our phone number off their list for "tele-politicking" calls, which usually come during dinner.
I suffer from emphysema and it is very hard on me to answer and say "hello" several times before the recording starts. I am now writing down the name of the candidates as I will not vote for them.
The headquarters said there was nothing they could do, that we should get "caller ID" or an answering machine. Why should we have to go to this expense, which we cannot afford, when they are causing the problem? I certainly hope some caring politician sees this and helps where they can.
Martha Enders, St. Petersburg
Cut our fuel costs
While the cost of a barrel of oil fluctuates as summer progresses, I think we have learned that we have to do more to decrease our reliance on foreign oil.
I feel certain that this high cost of oil and gas is raising the cost of nearly everything and could be pushing us closer to recession.
Congress must address the rising cost of energy in the United States. I believe we can conserve our resources and develop new energy sources at the same time. Reasonably priced energy must be a priority. To achieve this, let's find other energy resources. Offshore drilling, alternative energy, and domestic development and exploration are the keys to finding our own way. American families, businesses and the economy all depend on it.
Vidal Vazquez, Safety Harbor
Even if it will help, we won't slow down July 23, Sue Carlton column
After reading this article, I recalled a recent trip to Columbia, SC. I drove I-75, I-95 and I-26. I stayed in the right lane and set the cruise control at the speed limit of 70 miles per hour.
It was great. Everybody just kept passing me and leaving the road before me empty. It was like the parting of the Red Sea! I just literally cruised along.
Evidently the cost of gas has not caused drivers to slow down and save gas and money. At this point, I don't think anything will slow them down. They just need to speed at any price.
Carol Goodlin-Couture, New Port Richey
Maxwell's the best
I had planned to send an e-mail to Bill Maxwell telling him how much I enjoy his columns. I wanted him to know I feel that he is the finest writer, either local or imported, whose words appear on these editorial pages.
Then I saw all those negative letters to the editor on Monday and decided to speak my piece right here.
Bill Maxwell not only understands the human condition and the meaning of true beauty but also has a keen sense of history and our place in the world. He knows what political honesty is all about and he's not afraid to speak it.
Nancy Hoppe, Largo