After well capped, much work remains | Aug. 16, editorial
Drilling ban is no longer useful
We don't agree that the ban on deepwater oil and natural gas drilling in the gulf should continue. The co-chairs of the presidential commission investigating the gulf accident have questioned it. Regulatory monitoring of offshore operations has increased. Each of the 33 deepwater gulf drilling rigs has passed inspection. And the industry is improving its safety standards and best practices. A group of the larger oil and natural gas companies recently launched development of a $1 billion rapid response/offshore well containment system.
While more work will be done responding to the accident and enhancing safety, it is unclear continuing the drilling ban would achieve anything constructive. The only thing it has clearly done is send Americans to the unemployment lines and damage the economy. Many thousands of gulf residents have lost their jobs.
The affected workers need to be allowed to get back to work supporting their families, and they need to continue helping to provide all of us in America with the energy that drives our economy, including the 25 million gallons of transportation fuel and 2.9 billion cubic feet of natural gas that Floridians consume every day.
Dave Mica, executive director, Florida Petroleum Council, Tallahassee
An immigration law too far | Aug. 18, editorial
Don't reward illegality
It is infuriating to read wrongheaded editorial opinions in a paper that I pay to receive.
I recently immigrated to the United States from Canada. This took considerable resources, but I wanted to be here legitimately. How anyone can propose to create a path for citizenship for those who broke the law when they illegally slipped into the country is beyond me. What part of illegal do you not understand?
My right to remain in the United States depends upon obeying this country's laws. By proposing to legitimize illegals, you encourage more to break federal laws in the hope that the crazy minority will somehow politically cause their legalization.
How many resources will the police spend to make a phone call to the feds when someone cannot produce government ID when pulled over? About one minute! Anyone who does not have government ID needs to have a follow-up residency check no matter what their national origin — period.
Ed Clarini, St. Petersburg
An immigration law too far | Aug. 18, editorial
A real solution is needed
The Times plays on the fact that states do not have the resources to deal with locating, processing and deporting illegal immigrants. While I agree with this, these same states have to come up with the resources to educate, provide free health care, feed, house and process and incarcerate the same folks that we cannot afford to send home. It seems to me that's about a break-even deal at worst.
Also the editorial advocates a "path to citizenship" for illegal immigrants. What? How about closing that path and providing the same service for legals first. It's past time to get something done rather than bounce the political football back and forth.
Don Niemann, Seminole
Just how gullible do they think we are? Suddenly it becomes important to pass a border security bill. This wouldn't have anything to do with the upcoming midterm election, would it? Obviously Sen. Charles Schumer sees this as an opportunity to ease the way into the big push for comprehensive immigration reform. (I read that as amnesty, and a resurrection of the DREAM Act.)
It is a smokescreen, nothing less. Further, it is a transparent move to appease and gain the vote of the Latino community, which is not too happy with the Obama administration for dragging its feet in not fulfilling promises made during the campaign.
In my view, nothing has changed. Before supporting any immigration reform, border security must be improved significantly and demonstrably.
Orfeo Trombetta, Seminole
'One sole loyalty'
The growing national debate on creating a fair and reasonable immigration policy has caused me to conduct some historical research, and I would like to share one of these findings with your readers.
Theodore Roosevelt's ideas on immigrants and being an American in 1907:
"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American. … There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag. … We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language … and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."
Here we are — more than 100 years later — and President Roosevelt's views remain sound and continue to ring true for me. In fact, to do anything less should be considered to be un-American.
Ron Wolfe, Ruskin
Nick Anderson's editorial cartoon | Aug. 14
Nick Anderson's cartoon showed two Native Americans hiding in the woods complaining about Pilgrims and their offspring. It was drawn, I suppose, to show the absurdity of the argument about the negative effects on society of "anchor babies." This terminology is being used to describe children born in this country to illegal immigrants.
However, I suggest that the Times now print another cartoon, one that has fast-forwarded a few hundred years to show what became of the accumulation of all those Pilgrim "anchor babies." They can call the strip "Wounded Knee." And then tell us all about the harmlessness of anchor babies.
Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.
Phillip Marmanillo, Safety Harbor
Careless with our money
Other People's Money appears to be the drug of choice among the politicians in Florida.
Taxes are levied to pay the price of living a civilized life in reasonable comfort and safety. Responsible infrastructures are built to give us water, electricity, and paved streets necessary for commerce, good health and the freedom to live decently. Law officers, firefighters and health personnel are supported by taxes. These are good things to support with taxes.
Politicians appear to feel that Other People's Money belongs to them to allocate as they see fit, with no benefit perceivable to those who gave that money. They give OPM to virtually unknown colleges for personal benefit and, when caught, protest they see nothing wrong with that. They use OPM to build courthouses intended to show how important the judges are, not to honor the law.
It would be helpful if the Times were to issue an "OPM Assault in the Making" sort of chart to track politicians, rather like hurricane tracking maps, so one could see from the beginning who is silly enough to support spending for trash like that and nip them before they can do any real harm.
Nan Sawyer, Sun City Center