Why were we in Vietnam? | July 11, commentary
Capitalism is an amoral model
Bush softens stance on troop pullout | July 19, story
Shifting policy is a sign of victory
This article, from the Los Angeles Times, makes a feeble attempt to show that President Bush changing his policy of not having a timetable for withdrawal is a failure of his strategy to win in Iraq.
This development does not demonstrate a failure. Quite the contrary. It shows that we are, in fact, winning in Iraq and that we are close to victory. It is the freely, democratically elected government of Iraq that is asking for this withdrawal timeline, a government that the United States helped establish after removing the murderous Saddam Hussein and his Baathist henchmen from power.
It demonstrates the maturing of this new, democratic government and shows that it now feels confident enough and strong enough to stand on its own in defending and running the country. Whether the editors of the Times like it or not, that is a sign of victory!
David Zimlin, Dunedin
Obama proved right
For a long time Sen. Barack Obama has argued that we should put together a plan to withdraw troops from Iraq.
For a long time Obama has argued that we need to sit down and talk with our enemies such as Iran.
For a long time Obama has argued that Afghanistan should be the major focus for our war on terror.
During this time Sen. John McCain has called Obama "naive." President Bush has suggested Obama is "foolish" and "delusional."
Well, during the last few days I am reading some very interesting news accounts and headlines in the St. Petersburg Times. For example on Page 1A Saturday is the headline, Bush softens stance on troop pullout. On Page 5A of the same edition is a news story that begins "The United States and Iran, poised to meet today …." And in last Thursday's Times on Page 4A, I read an article that begins, "Pentagon leaders signaled a surge in U.S. forces in Afghanistan…"
Naive? Foolish? Delusional? Sounds to me as though Sen. Barack Obama has been right all along!
Richard Feigel, Clearwater
Obama trashes law enforcers July 21, Debra Saunders column
I try to keep in mind that columnists and talk show hosts could not be heard if they were objective, but sometimes this does not stop me from responding.
Debra Saunders is in the group of Hannity, Limbaugh and company, so in her effort to attack Sen. Barack Obama she ignores words that she correctly quoted. In her column on Obama she did use the two words, "immigration system" but she conveniently ignored the word "system" as Obama had used it.
The senator was explaining his thoughts about the weaknesses of our immigration system. Since a system has multiple parts, he talked on the one hand about the wrongdoings of some of our employers and on the other hand about the wrongdoing of those in our law enforcement departments that have to actually confront the illegal ones who have entered our country.
Nowhere in the senator's reflections on the immigration issue did he describe our law enforcement agents as being "jackbooted government thugs." This was terminology Saunders brought in from elsewhere to insert the mean side required of her group.
Since she used it, then let me insert that if "jackbooted" tactics were used against the illegal employers as well as the illegal aliens then we probably would get off of dead-center with this problem and get it solved.
Hubert A. Abner, Clearwater
Obama trashes law enforcers July 21, Debra Saunders column
In case you haven't heard the facts yet, the case of Juana Villegas DeLaPaz, which was mentioned by Sen. Barack Obama, was a real one. She was in labor when pulled over for a traffic violation, gave birth handcuffed to a bed and the baby was ripped from the mother's arms. Juana Villegas DeLaPaz was put in jail with no medical care and had severe breast infection because of the lack of care.
Maybe you should hire a couple of bloggers to become your editors. At least we check the facts.
Francine Simmons, Tampa
An issue overlooked
Neither presidential candidate is doing anything about illegal immigrants, which are costing our country billions of dollars a year for medical treatment, education and welfare. They are both pandering for the Spanish-speaking vote.
At the next election will there be a place on the ballot voters can check that reads: None of the above?
Jack Vanderbleek, St. Petersburg
Hotel porn brings furor | July 21, story
Why do puritanical Christians feel that they have to protect me from my own choices and lifestyle?
Instead of simply not opting to view adult films in the hotel, they feel they must impose their beliefs and values upon me and others who do not share their values.
I'm getting very fed up with this imposed morality and attempted restriction of my free choices and the self-righteous smugness that attends it.
Please tend to your own business and back off from trying to control my free choices.
Michael Otto, Oldsmar
Colorado amendment defines life's beginning | July 14
A sly gambit
How interesting that a scientific issue is to be decided by vote of Colorado citizens! "The Human Life Amendment, also known as the personhood amendment …" will define a fertilized egg as a person — a citizen, if you will — with all the rights and privileges of that status.
One almost refuses to believe such an idea could exist in this century. If we are living in a modern, advanced society, what are we doing passing laws contradicting what scientists have discovered?
Dr. Michael Bennett, chairman of the Neuroscience Department at the Albert Einstein Medical School, upon being asked in an interview if the brain exists at conception, answers, "No!" Asked if there's no brain at conception, can there be a person at conception, he answers, "Certainly not, there's no person there."
Asked, "Can there be a person without a brain?" Dr. Bennett answers, "No, no way. You can't be a person without a brain, you can't be a dog without a brain, you can't be a cat without a brain, or a chicken without a brain."
Is this a matter for the ballot box? Or is it simply a sly opening gambit in the bid for a further restriction on private lives? A shameless beginning leading to the ultimate shame of government powered by a fierce ideology?
Abigail Ann Martin, Brandon
Lurch to the left
For those who think that there has been too much talk about same-sex "marriage," consider this: Recently, a man filed a lawsuit against two Christian publishers for mental distress and emotional pain because the Bibles they print describe homosexual conduct as a sin. He is asking for $70-million in damages.
Even if this case does not get very far, it shows that our country is taking a dangerous lurch to the left. The radical left and homosexual-rights movement are pushing so-called "hate-crime laws" and trying hard to redefine marriage and family. If that happens, it is not a radical leap from suing publishing companies to suing pastors. That's why it is so important for all Americans who cherish freedom, faith and family to be active in the public-policy debates of our time and, most importantly, to vote!
Charles Fournier, Zephyrhills
Harold Meyerson has hit on the inherent problem — namely, that capitalism is amoral. It is found in the phrase "business is business," meaning that business is separate from the rest of society and its ethical base.
• Sending jobs overseas? No problem!
• Set up an offshore office so that you don't have to pay income taxes? No problem!
• Abandon polluting manufacturing plants and move elsewhere (after demanding and getting corporate welfare)? No problem!
• Set up factories in communist countries to get cheap labor and no unions? No problem!
Capitalism and democracy are a poor fit when you have sociopaths heading international corporations. The "business model" so popular with state governments like ours is inherently corrupt and its adherents should be watched as carefully as we watch child molesters. Corporations rarely take civil responsibility as anything but a silly joke.
Democracy doesn't work unless we all take responsibility for its continuance. "Corporate responsibility" — now that's an oxymoron.
James H. Vredevoogd, Dunnellon