A right turn back into the spotlight | April 22
Bible and guns don't go together
I have little respect for anyone, especially a person claiming to be a minister of God, who holds a Bible in one hand and a gun in the other. Jesus never held a sword. The Bible teaches that if you live by the sword, you die by the sword.
"Stand your ground" is an unnecessary law. If someone is coming into our homes uninvited, we have always had the right to protect ourselves. With this law, it gives certain people the feeling they have the right to antagonize a person to the point of a fight. When they kill the person, they use the "stand your ground" law because they claim they felt threatened.
And no, you cannot legislate morality. What's moral for one may not be moral for another. To do so we would have to become like the Taliban. I for one love the United States because we are so diverse.
All we need is a little respect for each other. So, Dennis Baxley, you can drop the NRA and replace it with a hug and a smile for all. I'm pretty sure that is what Jesus would want.
Mary Ann Sheppard, Riverview
Inquiry looks at Rays' future | April 19
Rays belong in Pinellas
Is anyone else as disgusted as I am with Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan talking out of both sides of their mouths? While professing they are going to rally Hillsborough residents to attend Rays games in St. Petersburg, they have made it very clear they want the Rays in Tampa. They are smugly undermining efforts by St. Petersburg officials to increase game attendance. Maybe they ought to spend more time figuring out how to increase attendance at Bucs games so that every home game isn't blacked out.
Do they realize what a traffic nightmare it would be trying to get into Tampa (and Channelside, yet) for a 7:10 p.m. game, especially if nearby venues also have events going on?
The challenge is on for Pinellas County businesses and individuals to pull together, increase attendance, and send a message to Hillsborough's roguish officials. The Rays belong in Pinellas County.
Douglas Meredith, St. Petersburg
Cuts hurt those in need
As president and CEO of Suncoast Center Inc., I am concerned that Gov. Rick Scott used his line-item veto to eliminate additional funding for statewide sexual assault services.
The $1.5 million appropriation would have gone through the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence to 30 certified rape crisis centers to fund the direct services victims need most: rape crisis hot lines, advocacy assistance and accompaniment through the medical and legal processes, crisis intervention, support groups and counseling.
Suncoast Center would have received $50,000 to address the services children and adults need in our community when confronted with such a horrific experience.
Studies illustrate that victims who do not receive recovery/survivor services are more likely to have substance abuse problems, mental illness, separation from employment, lower educational attainment, and are at greater risk of suicide. Without access to services, the societal costs far exceed $1.5 million, while the toll in personal suffering is incalculable.
We care deeply about victims and believe that anyone who is victimized deserves to have someone standing with them. We need the state of Florida standing with us as we continue this vital work.
Barbara Daire, Pinellas Park
Social Security falls faster | April 24
Funding solution is evident
I'm fed up with all the gloom and doom predictions and scare tactics about Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. There is a simple solution that would solve the problem and make all of them solvent forever. The problem is it would take moral and political courage, and those traits are sorely lacking in our politicians today.
The solution is to take the cap off the withholding that we all pay into the system so that everyone would pay on every dollar they make, regardless of how it is made. That solves the problem and makes the system fair and equal from bottom to top.
Mark Schumerth, St. Pete Beach
Why not just put Warren Buffet in charge of the Social Security fund? He seems to do well at making money grow. Just a thought.
Gail Burke, Hudson
It's the wrong time for Rubio | April 24, Daniel Ruth column
Lack of accomplishment
I agree with Daniel Ruth. What has Sen. Marco Rubio done? He worked his way up and out of the murky, good ol' boy, you-scratch-my-back-and-I'll-scratch-yours Republican snake pit that is Tallahassee, and he's only been in the Senate for 18 months. Spiro Agnew and Dan Quayle notwithstanding, does that qualify him for vice president?
The Batista community in South Florida has had way too much influence on American policy toward Cuba for way too long, but do they deserve to have one of their own just a heartbeat away from the White House? I don't think so.
R.G. Wheeler, St. Petersburg
Farewell New Frontier | April 23, commentary
Fact and fiction
What a hoot! Right next to Charles Krauthammer's column, in which he states, as fact, that our nation's current budget deficit is "the result of a massive three-year expansion of federal spending," is the Rex Hupke column "Facts Died," the it-would-be-funny-if-it-weren't-so-true eulogy to the death of the fact in today's discourse.
There I was actually agreeing with Krauthammer for a change on the wrongheadedness of Congress' decision to waste the tremendous momentum we'd established in space exploration, when he had to go and sneak in that little piece of sci-fi. Perhaps Krauthammer was managing the moon with his dear friend Newt Gingrich during the eight years of the Bush presidency when our large surplus was turned into an even larger deficit.
Indeed, "As the world mourned … some were unwilling to believe Facts was actually gone." I now believe.
Terri Benincasa, Palm Harbor
Crisis of authority turns America into a 'vetocracy' | April 24, commentary
I cannot recall reading a more lucid and thorough description of why the U.S. Congress is so ineffective. I am not a big government proponent, but the United States does need an overarching government tending to the business of the nation.
Thank you for publishing this thoughtful and compelling opinion. I suggest that members of Congress tape this article to their bathroom mirror and read it each morning before they go to work for the country.
Thomas W. Klein, Tampa