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Letters to the Editor

Democrats: the party of disorganization

Florida finally counts in Democratic race | June 1, story

The party of disorganization

There is no doubt about it: They really screwed up last year when the Democratic National Committee decided that it had dictatorial powers by refusing to seat all delegates from states holding primary elections earlier than other "favored" states. Then Saturday, the rules committee undertook a "correction" to their "rules" involving more inventiveness than Florida's "hanging chads" in 2000.

I do not have a solution. I don't think there is one. Solomon is no longer available to pull their chestnuts out of the fire. Committee member Donna Brazile gets my respect for stating her mother's contention that changing the "rules" after the game has started is "cheating." The Florida "vote" was meaningless because Floridians were told it would not count (just another hanging chad). Apportioning delegates from Michigan would be just a wild guess.

All this reminds me of a story about a Will Rogers interview when he was asked if he belonged to an organized political party. He responded, "No, I'm a Democrat."

And what is really hilarious is that I expect to vote Democratic because after the last eight years, the Republicans proved they cannot be trusted. So, is Democracy chaotic ? Or just Democrats?

Bernard Waryas, Dunedin

Half-baked idea

Is anyone surprised? The Democrats can't even run their own party in an orderly manner, much less the country. Ever since the Democrats took control of Congress (remember their 100-day agenda?) it has been a do-nothing Congress.

They did pass energy legislation mandating biofuel production as the solution to the energy problem. Did the Congress lie to the American people by failing to inform them that the massive amounts of food crops necessary to make the biofuels would raise food prices worldwide and lead to starvation in poorer countries?

It is just fitting that the party of half-baked ideas would come up with the plan that gives its Florida delegates one-half vote each.

Joseph Wynne, New Port Richey

Near freeway, giant Confederate flag? | May 31, story

An inflammatory symbol

Why can't the Sons of Confederate Veterans choose a different method of honoring their history? Why choose a method that creates more division and more hate? How about a nice statue?

In choosing this particular flag, I believe that they will offend a large number of people who find it as repugnant as the Nazi flag is to a person of Jewish ancestry. Just take a look at some old photos of lynchings and you will see the Confederate flag "proudly" displayed nearby in many instances.

It is childish and hateful to use such an inflammatory symbol of oppression and then to pretend that they mean no harm. Sorry, I am not buying it.

Jill Mahaffey-Diaz, Port Charlotte

Near freeway, giant Confederate flag? | May 31, story

A tribute to our heritage

Thank you for the article regarding the Confederate Battle Flag at the memorial site at I-4 and I-75. I am a member of the Augusta Jane Evans Wilson chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, a sister group to Marion Lambert's Sons of Confederate Veterans camp.

We are proud of our Southern heritage and of our ancestors who fought nobly, honorably and with dedication for a government that was run by the people who lived in it. I am sure that Britain remembers its fallen Revolutionary War heros with reverence and honor. Many families that helped build Tampa had or lost sons in the War Between the States. This memorial is a tribute to them.

"To the victor go the spoils," and part of the "spoils" of war is writing the history books. Florida was a member of the Confederate States of America. That fact cannot be changed, and if this memorial causes just one person to read a non-public school book regarding the war, then this memorial will have served our ancestors well.

Ann Baron, Valrico

Near freeway, giant Confederate flag? | May 31, story

Racist ideology

I understand one's need to connect and have pride in their past. I understand people belonging to the Sons of Confederate Veterans to honor relatives of long ago who fought for something they believed in. But therein lies the rub, for "what they believed in" was a doctrine grounded in racism of the worst character.

Among the first states to secede from the Union was Mississippi, and in its published "Causes of Secession," the outrageously racist belief subscribed to by the Confederate States is plainly stated: "Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery — the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun." Who can logically argue that is not a racist ideology?

The Sons of Confederate Veterans should certainly be able to display the Confederate flag in museums, confederate cemeteries, battle sites, etc. But to celebrate the memory of the Confederacy by flying a huge illuminated flag at the intersection of two of the busiest highways in Florida is an insult to African-Americans, to their ancestors enslaved not so very long ago, and to all fair-minded citizens.

Robert Cromwell, Gulfport

Near freeway, giant Confederate flag? | May 31, story

A blow to area's image

I read in the paper that the Sons of Confederate Veterans plan to erect a massive rebel flag at the intersection of I-4 and I-75. Normally, I'm a fervent believer in the right of free speech, but this is too much. That flag will be the first thing any visitor driving in from Orlando will see, and will instantly stamp the Tampa Bay area as a hotbed of racism.

We live on tourism in this area, and that kind of message will be incredibly damaging. We host the Super Bowl, we've dreamt of hosting the Olympics, we want millions to come to our beaches. Now, all those visitors will not think of Tampa and St. Petersburg as beautiful, modern forward-moving cities, but as throwbacks to the Old South.

I don't know what the answer is. I think it's the responsibility of local leaders to reach out to this group to try to dissuade them. Failing that, an emergency ordinance that bans this type of outdoor advertising should be explored.

Ian Slack, Tampa

Use other banners

Every time the Sons of Confederate Veterans launch another flag idea, I wonder the same thing: Why do they always use the battle flag, which is guaranteed to be controversial?

Why not use one of the Confederacy's national flags, which would still honor their ancestors, but might not be quite such a magnet for controversy? It might even lead people to ask "What's that?" and learn a little. That would be history, not hate.

William Carroll, Gulfport

Democrats: the party of disorganization 06/02/08 [Last modified: Monday, June 9, 2008 1:58pm]

    

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