The wages of teen pregnancy | Sept. 7, Robyn Blumner column
Don't stereotype 'values voters' "Values voters," evangelicals and the Christian right all have been synonymously placed in a negative light by liberal media pundits such as Robyn Blumner. As one who does place importance on values, who is an evangelical (in that I spread the "good news" of Jesus Christ), and is a Christian, I think that Blumner and others have mistakenly stereotyped many who do call themselves "values voters."
Blumner accuses us of eschewing values such as compassion, tolerance and generosity, yet those are the attributes that typified Jesus Christ and his one message: love. Just because we are opposed to abortion, fornication and gay marriage does not mean we oppose those who make those choices.
Though we have all made mistakes in our lives, what separates Sarah Palin from others is that she chooses to place herself under a higher authority. She refuses to compromise the true evangelical message, which is to love God more than yourself, and live with the consequences of ignoring God's desires for his children. No one is applauding teen pregnancy and teen parenthood; we're applauding the decision to place another above oneself, even if it does mean lower wages.
J.C. Ford, New Port Richey
Hardly an Earth Mother | Sept. 7, commentary by Julie Hauserman
Palin's cruel side
At last! After days of glowing, "Wow, what a woman," "rock star" reporting on Alaska's governor, I was gratified to read about the Sarah Palin I had learned of long before Sen. John McCain decided to bring her to national prominence with his last-minute vice presidential nomination.
We are longtime members of Defenders of Wildlife and many other environmental and wildlife organizations, so Gov. Palin's name was quite well-known — albeit infamously — in our household. Julie Hauserman's article describes the "disgusting and unfair blood sport where hunters in low-flying airplanes chase Alaska's magnificent wolves (and bears) through the snow until the animals are exhausted and then they shoot them."
I guess a woman who doesn't mind exposing her four-month old infant to the deafening noise of a screaming convention or to be used as a campaign prop, flying around the country for the next couple of months, can hardly be expected to feel compassion for animals.
Such callous and cruel behavior deserves the same attention given the rest of her biography.
Donna Blakeley, St. Petersburg
All about gender
Last Sunday's Perspective with columns by Robyn Blumner and Julie Hauserman were dead on regarding their points made about Sarah Palin.
The problem is, those who will vote for Palin (not to be confused as a vote for McCain) are unaware of these facts. As far as these voters are concerned, the media have been overanalyzing Palin's record after her addition to the GOP ticket and most will ignore the issues that the media have put forth.
Boil it down to this: Take away her gender. If the GOP vice presidential selection were male, with a resume of two years as governor and three years as mayor of a small town, with the current investigations this governor is under and with a lack of international diplomatic experience, would McCain have chosen this candidate?
Alison Roth, Tampa
Not an average hockey mom | Sept. 7, Perspective story
Far beyond average
I am not sure what this headline was intended to accomplish. I am not sure that any of the four candidates for president or vice-president would be representative of the average American. I'll bet people like Hamilton and Jefferson and Washington weren't considered peers of the average American in their day either.
It seemed to disparage Gov. Sarah Palin and her characterization of herself as a hard-working patriot who will champion causes for average households.
In December 2007, Money magazine estimated the Obama family's net worth at $1.3-million and their 2007 tax return showed a household income of $4.2-million. This is many times more than what the Palin household earned in 2007, but there was no mention of Obama, McCain or Biden in the article.
And stating that her daughter intends to get married to the father of her unborn child and that in America only 16 percent of teen mothers marry is more telling about the morals we have come to accept than whether Sarah Palin's family is ordinary.
The same goes for the statistic that 36 percent of mothers giving birth last year weren't married. Or that only 24 of 150 statewide office holders are women. Or the fact that only 2 percent of women have 5 children or more.
Maybe the headline should have read: "Palin: extraordinary hockey mom!"
Michael Davidson, Tampa
Not an average hockey mom | Sept. 7, Perspective story
The piece about Sarah Palin not being average had me roaring with laughter. The breathless revelation that she is not average at all was shocking in its obviousness. What was the point?
She makes more money that I do? All state governors do.
She has more children than average? I'm not at all sure why this came up. Unless it was to pound home the point that Sarah Palin is different. Different is bad.
She is still married to her childhood sweetheart? I guess we've reached to point where not being divorced is suspect because it is different.
I may be wrong, but it sure looked like a partisan attack. And you wonder why so many people think the media are biased?
Dean Kennedy, Palm Harbor
Present at the creation as well as in the classroom | Sept. 7, Perspective story
A questionable approach
It is possible to teach biology with little reference to either creation or evolution. It has been taught that way for years. David Campbell finds it essential to spend a great deal of time in discussion and activities to convince his students that evolution is the explanation for living things, leaving less time to actually investigate their structure and function. Will this really make them more competent?
Most of us understand adaptation and mutation, but do not accept it as the mechanism for the emergence of species. It is interesting to note that with all the changes in Mickey Mouse, Mickey never becomes anything other than a mouse, and the dark moths are still moths.
Marguerite Harter, Seminole
The ways of wealth
I don't often read the St. Petersburg Times' Perspective section because I tend to get upset, as I did last Sunday.
A letter writer (Incentives to achieve) talked about how the haves should not have their earnings garnished to help the have-nots by helping to pay for, say, a national health care system. The writer said that people who get rich through hard work and creativity should be able to keep their riches.
This brought to mind the salaries I saw listed a year or two ago of Prudential board members who are paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for sitting on a board of directors. How do you think they got those positions? I see it as the rich helping their rich friends get richer.
And then I read Bill Maxwell's column (Farmworkers exploited, even enslaved in Florida) about the workers on Florida tomato farms who where enslaved, beaten and some were even made to pay for their lodgings in a locked furniture van where they had to use the floor in a corner for a bathroom. Is this a good example of someone getting rich by working hard and being creative?
Ellen Briggs, Gulfport
Rangel admits failure to pay taxes | Sept. 11, story
I read three papers a day and was surprised that those all placed "small" articles on Rep. Charles Rangel's tax evasion on pages 3, 5 and 7. There was nothing on the front page where it might tick off the voters or threaten the coming election.
Since when is Rangel allowed to say this was a mistake? I'm sure I better not make this kind of "mistake." Rangel is head of the House Ways and Means Committee, which writes tax law, and he should know better! He should hang his head in shame and resign.
I also heard the loan he received for the mortgage on a beach front property was interest free. Gee, why was that? What else is he up to that hasn't yet surfaced? If he was a Republican, the media would want to draw and quarter him, not relegate the article to pages 3,5 and 7 of their papers.
I'm ticked at all politicians thinking that when they get to the "public trough" then anything goes! I'm also ticked at the media for letting them get away with it. Shame on all of you.
Mary P. Sabatini, Tampa