Saturday, March 24, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Friday's letters: Arab nations stay on sidelines

Syrian crisis

Arab nations on sidelines

It's terrible to see television footage from Syria of a shelled city and reports of civilian deaths.

Syria is not what I would call an ally of the United States, and it is definitely not a friend to Israel. However, on television there was a Syrian man asking for America's help. He wasn't shouting for help from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, or any other Arab nation.

Why aren't we hearing reports of Arab nations threatening to send in troops to quell the senseless killing and bring stability to Syria?

Randy Eisenberg, Valrico

Obama's budget blueprint | Feb. 21, editorial

Obama's lack of leadership

Certainly the enlightened way to address critical budget issues — especially the alarming deficit — is to both raise additional revenues through tax increases and closed loopholes, and to slow the growth of America's entitlement programs.

This is a balanced approach. And the Times has rightly emphasized the failure of Republicans in Congress to look realistically at raising taxes and closing loopholes. But isn't there an important distinction here? Republicans don't control the White House. President Barack Obama, whom I often admire, is a Democrat. Quite correctly, Americans look to presidents more than to Congress for leadership.

Particularly after the abysmal failure of Washington to address the deficit crisis last year, I would have been far more confident in national leadership if Obama had been less "politically prudent" and more fiscally responsible in leading the way with ideas to trim entitlements effectively.

Eventually, someone has to do it. Surely it will involve presidential leadership — Republican or Democrat, now or later. The sooner we start, the easier it will be on us all.

Larry Paul, Nobleton

Campaign 2012

Is he running for pope?

With Rick Santorum's thinly disguised theological pronouncements on contraception, abortion, public education and the environment, it sounds like he's running for pope, not president of one of the most religiously diverse countries in the world.

Mark W. Brandt, Dunedin

Keep church, state apart

Why all the questions about who is Muslim, who is Mormon, who is Christian, and who is not? Whatever happened to separation of church and state?

Candidates must be judged on what they stand for and who they are — not on what their religion is or is not.

Cynthia Gay, Dunedin

Stewards of the Earth

I recall the days in the 1970s when I taught confraternity of Christian doctrine to my Catholic confirmation class students. On the cover of the workbook was a picture of the beautiful Earth in a box covered with gift wrap. The lesson was about Earth's gifts and our obligation to take good care of them by respecting human life and wildlife and by preserving the air, land and sea. In more familiar words, "Be stewards of the land." There hasn't been a change in that doctrine, and my grandchildren were taught that same lesson.

Now Rick Santorum preaches in his speeches that we should not work to preserve it but "use it up." That sounds a lot like Santorum's own theology and not that of any religion.

Jean Becker, Sun City Center

Deal lessens rate increase | Feb. 21

Hardly a refund

Doesn't "refund" mean getting money or something back? Progress Energy is still getting an increase in rates. So now refund equals rate hike?

Of course the lawyers for Progress Energy say this increase is fair, just and reasonable. Why is the company not responsible for the damage that occurred due to their lack of judgment in trying to repair the plant themselves?

Marianne Gaeta, Palm Harbor


Start a car campaign

NASA didn't build a replacement space vehicle, so why not put all of that unused genius brainpower to work to develop a better Earth vehicle? If they could figure out how to build a vehicle to get a man to the moon and back in 1969, I have great confidence that they can figure out how to build a vehicle to cheaply and efficiently travel a few hundred miles on Earth — without dependence on oil. Let's face it: battery and hybrid cars have major limitations.

This would be a catalyst to launch a whole new industry and potentially put thousands of people to work. I'd rather look at this option than $5 a gallon gas. Now let's get to work.

Ken Gagliano, Clearwater

Odyssey to relinquish Spanish coins | Feb. 18

Don't reward the thief

The federal judge's ruling to return the bullion salvaged by Odyssey Marine Exploration to Spain is clearly wrong. This was obviously stolen silver to which Spain never had any legal claim. To return stolen merchandise of any kind to the thief goes against everything that is moral. It is probably true that the original owners may not be definitely known, but the thief is known.

I believe a far more equitable solution would be to return the silver and artifacts to Peru with a generous finder's fee given to Odyssey Marine Exploration. Spain should get nothing.

Sidney Sistrunk, Clearwater

Shutting out Florida students, yet again Feb. 20, commentary

Make your voice heard

The authors of this column are of course correct that the Legislature has little interest in Florida students having any say in education.

To these young men, I recommend two things. First, find someone with deep pockets to get behind your issue, and you will see the Legislature reverse itself quickly.

And second, get out the vote. Florida's elected officials are not the sharpest tacks in the shed, so they actually think they can get away with such counterproductive (yet self-serving) behavior because they don't have to worry about your vote.

Terri Benincasa, Palm Harbor


Sunday’s letters: We need better intelligence, not more hardware

Myths about U.S. military spending | March 22, commentaryMore intel, not hardware, neededI am concerned that a discussion of excessive military budgeting is alarmingly absent from today’s water-cooler crowd and Twitter universe.William Felice, in...
Published: 03/24/18

Monday’s letters: Driverless cars on perilous roads

Driverless cautions | March 23, commentaryDriverless carson perilous roadsHaving watched the video of the tragedy in Tempe, Ariz., I believe the police are correct. This accident could not have been avoided as the pedestrian stepped out of the sh...
Published: 03/23/18

Friday’s letters: Think through assault weapons ban

Gun controlThink through assault rifle banI recently emailed a Florida state representative who had pledged, among other things, to ban assault rifles in the state. I asked him if he would ban the sale and transfer of these guns or ultimately make th...
Published: 03/22/18

Saturday’s letters: Tax guns to pay for security

Million-dollar questions | March 21Tax firearms to pay for securitySo public officials are wondering where they’ll get the money for stationing an armed guard in every school. How about heavily taxing every gun? It’s the proliferation of the weap...
Published: 03/21/18
Updated: 03/23/18

Thursday’s letters: School safety requires funding

Constitution Revision CommissionSchool safety requires fundingThe Constitution Revision Commission should consider amending a proposal (45, 93 or 72) to allocate the necessary recurring funding for the new school safety mandates, separate from the ba...
Published: 03/21/18

Wednesday’s letters: Let the teachers decide on guns

Trump touts arming staff as key in plan for school security | March 12It’s the teacher’s call on weaponsPlease, let’s try an alternate view about guns in the classroom. First, it hasn’t gone unnoticed that the preponderance of letters about guns ...
Published: 03/20/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for March 23

Re: Residents object to solar farm | March 16, storyLakeland Electric has shown that residential customers can be incentivized to allow placement of utility-owned solar panels on their roofs. Likewise, business owners can be incentivized to allow...
Published: 03/19/18

Tuesday’s letters: It shouldn’t be this hard to fly

Tampa International AirportIt shouldn’t be this hard to flyI’ve given the train two tries now from economy parking at Tampa airport. It’s a lot of work. How silly to go down one bank of elevators, then take a good walk to the next set of elevators to...
Published: 03/19/18

Monday’s letters: Protect Floridians’ right to privacy

People push for changes at Constitution hearing | March 14Protect Florida’s right to privacyI attended the Constitution Revision Commission’s public hearing at USF St. Petersburg last week. I was there because I thought it was important to have m...
Published: 03/18/18

Sunday’s letters: Effort to stem pet cruelty pays off

Puppy millsEffort to stem cruelty pays offThank you to everyone who contacted their legislators, and a huge shout-out to the Tampa Bay Times for letting us know that state legislators were considering a bill to eliminate the hard-achieved gains on lo...
Published: 03/17/18