Lejeune cancer numbers rising | Nov. 28
Expose wrongs done to Marines
The story about the contamination of water at a principal Marine Corps base is oozing out from its official government keep. Your investigative story, the kind we will lose if newspapers go away, is just one of several the public must become more aware of.
A great documentary film, Semper Fi: Always Faithful, has been short-listed for the Oscars this year. It centers on one Marine's efforts to get officialdom to come clean about poisoned water at Camp Lejeune to attain closure for his daughter's leukemia. The male breast cancer story you are helping expose is just one of many rounds to come.
It is becoming evident that something very wrong has been done in our name to those we feign to hold so high, as we let our promises to them collapse from under them when they become ill. Acknowledging the horror is the least we can do for these victims. However, we owe them so much more.
Dale Friedley, St. Petersburg
Beautiful air | Nov. 27
Giving the gift of life
The followup story of Enock Mezilas' lifesaving lung transplant is a beautiful example of the many miracles created annually by the gift of organ and tissue donation. Enock's chance at life is thanks to many — his loving family, skilled medical professionals, the community who rallied to support him and his own strength and perseverance.
The most important link in providing this new life a chance to blossom, however, was Enock's donor and their family. Somewhere in the United States a family lost a loved one, and in the midst of their grief they helped carry out their loved one's wish to save lives as an organ donor. One person's decision spared Enock's family — or perhaps several families — the same tragedy of loss by choosing to give the gift of life.
During this time of year, which is focused on giving, the generosity of such anonymous individuals sets an example for the rest of us. Decide to become an organ donor. One donor can save the lives of eight people and impact many more through tissue donation. There are more than 112,000 people like Enock waiting nationally for a lifesaving transplant — and each of us has an opportunity to become a hero every time we say "yes" to organ donation.
Jennifer Krouse, LifeLink Foundation, Tampa
Last resort and New U.S. reactors may get nod soon | Nov. 27
Bring jobs back home
At first glance, it would seem that these two articles — about nuclear power and homeless families — have no connection.
The reactor article relates how turbine parts are coming from Japan, supplied by Toshiba. So what is the connection? Jobs.
There is a connection between where things are made and the economy. We need to come up with creative ways to get those jobs back home.
No community or economy will survive when it starts importing more goods than it exports and the biggest export becomes our jobs and our national wealth.
Bruce J. Black, Clearwater
Immigration not state's top priority | Nov. 28
Agribusiness to blame
It's not that Americans are lazy and unwilling to harvest crops, as this editorial implies. Construction, for example, is hard work, but its pay and benefits are traditionally good. Thus, there is no shortage of American construction workers.
The problem is that American agribusinesses, like American corporations, want dirt-cheap labor. Our agribusinesses can't outsource jobs overseas like our corporations do. So they exploit poor, illegal Mexicans willing to accept low pay with no benefits. If agribusinesses paid a livable wage with benefits, American harvesters would come.
What's more out of touch with reality than unemployed Americans replacing illegal immigrants in the fields is expecting American corporate executives' compensation to fall in line with the rest of the world's. Their motto is: Less money for those at the bottom means more money for us at the top. But living-wage jobs, including a "field of dreams" for American harvesters, should be at the top of the state's to-do list. And this encompasses prioritizing illegal immigration.
Crystal Lynn, Seminole
Go big, Mr. President | Nov. 27
Hold lawmakers to account
I hope everyone who is disturbed by the current dysfunction of our government will read Thomas Friedman's column and send it via email or U.S. mail to their respective senators and representatives and to their chosen presidential candidate.
Take a few minutes to act on your civic duty. Demand that our representatives cease posturing and acting in their own self-interest. Demand that they make the hard choices and, yes, compromises that are crucial to good governance.
Sharon Boulter, St. Petersburg
A giant stash for little cash | Nov. 28
Politicians let us down
I am not a young man and remember the Depression. Things were very difficult, and around Christmas my father used to repaint our toys — these were our gifts. The article on how to save on Christmas gifts brought back memories of the Depression era.
Then on 60 Minutes I saw how people in Central Florida are living in cars and trucks.
How can any politician walk around in daylight? They let us down big time with their bickering and childlike behavior.
Are we better off now than we were three years ago? Forget Republican or Democrat. These people in Washington are so far removed from reality it is insane.
They have no idea how close these protesters are to violent behavior. God help us all.
John Masterson, Spring Hill
Signe Wilkinson cartoon | Nov. 28
Wealthy pay plenty
I find your choice to so prominently display this cartoon in extremely poor taste. It is preposterous to promote the idea that the rich do not pay taxes. Everybody with even a basic understanding of how the system works knows that the top 10 percent of taxpayers pay about 90 percent of all income taxes collected. And 48 percent pay no income taxes at all.
To publish this cartoon can do lasting damage to the understanding by the general public of our tax system.
Stephen Casakos, New Port Richey