Monday, December 11, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Friday's letters: Intimidation of court is alarming

Botched execution fallout likely small | May 4

Intimidation of court is alarming

I understand why people are concerned about how this execution was handled and the type of drugs used.

What I do not understand is why there has been so little concern about the Oklahoma Legislature intimidating the state's Supreme Court into reversing its original decision to put a hold on the execution until research was done on the drugs.

Members of the Legislature threatened to impeach members of the Supreme Court who voted to halt the executions temporarily.

How is a court going to stay independent of politics if its members are going to face the threat of impeachment any time they make a decision that may be controversial? So much for the separation of powers.

Anthony Artemisio, Weeki Wachee

High court okays legislative prayer | May 6

Exclusionary prayers

I am disappointed the Supreme Court ruled that religious, sectarian prayers given at town meetings are constitutional, even if they consistently favor one religion over another. Having attended several official public and military gatherings, I can tell you of my displeasure when the invited clergy offered a strictly Christian prayer, as if everyone in attendance practiced that faith. It should have been obvious from the numbers alone that many people attending were not adherents of that religion. I felt as if I was a nonentity, excluded from the masses and dismissed as unworthy of some respect.

After the opening sectarian blessing at those occasions, my interest in the whole ceremony was diminished and all I could think about was what I might say to the clergy for the insensitivity shown to me as a non-Christian attending a nondenominational, nonreligious event inevitably attended by members of different faiths.

Further, it was inappropriate for the court to defend their judgment with historic precedence, as if that justified a decision totally lacking in understanding of the multiethnic nature of our society. Prayers, in my view, do not belong at nonreligious public meetings unless they are nondenominational and inclusive in nature.

Stephen Feldman, Valrico

Obama's critics aren't just neoconservatives May 5, commentary

Wars benefit the few

Lawrence J. Haas is trapped in the military-industrial complex that President Dwight Eisenhower warned about. He, not the president, is wearing blinders.

The defense industry needs profits. A more peaceful world doesn't work for them. Therefore, if a dog barks, they want people to shoot and then buy more ammo.

I'm 75, retired Army and a university graduate. Plus, I lived 16 years overseas in nine countries and spent time in 21 more. It is impossible to declare what the world thinks of America, as Haas brazenly does. Blinders limit his vision.

As a Vietnam veteran, I know what war does. To Haas, it's theoretical. During my years I've experienced the expanding gap between haves and have nots, and unnecessary wars harm many and benefit few.

Doug Hicks, Tampa

Careful foreign policy

This column is simply a rehash of the usual Republican talking points against President Barack Obama's careful, measured foreign policy. The right wing apparently cannot stand the fact that we have a president who would rather talk than fight; who would rather use sanctions than troops.

Instead of the bellicosity of the previous president, this president is determined to use a softer approach, which is fully in keeping with the public's desire to avoid more wars.

Lewis Lederer, Clearwater

A good springs bill dies | May 7, commentary

Voters must be heard

Estus Whitfield's article about "business as usual" in Tallahassee regarding the state's springs was enlightening as well as disheartening. Come on, Floridians, think about what drew you to Florida and vote these myopic, self-serving, business-over-environment pols out this November. Let your voices be heard.

Dan Boyle, Sun City Center

Radicals kidnap more girls | May 7

Protect the weakest

We sit at home and watch the kidnapping of women in Central Africa who are treated like property. But this is not some mythical Game of Thrones — it is all too real. As a descendent of Holocaust victims, I do not see how this is any less a crime against humanity than that was.

Yes, we cannot be responsible for everything that happens in the world, but this is beyond abhorrent. And as the biggest and strongest guy on the block, it is our responsibility to protect the weakest. President Barack Obama issuing statements is almost laughable. Words don't scare anyone.

Action needs to be taken. Go to the United Nations and get a force together and do whatever it takes to free them and bring their medieval, barbarian captors to justice. And if the United Nations won't act, find allies who will.

Jeffrey Hausman, Tarpon Springs

SunRail system up and running | May 1

We need rail too

On April 30, Orlando ushered in a light-rail mass-transit system with 12 initial stations. Gov. Rick Scott approved a deal because he was sold on its job-creation benefits and potential to reduce congestion on Interstate 4. On the first day of operations, the crowds were overwhelming.

You have to wonder when Scott will approve a deal that affords Tampa the same opportunity as our Central Florida neighbors. Tampa roads are also badly congested. I'm looking forward to taking a light-rail train to Tampa International Airport and beyond in the near future.

Fred Dettmann, Oldsmar

New inquiry sought on Benghazi | May 3

Selective histories

A recent report on television mentioned the fact that during the George W. Bush administration there were 13 strikes on U.S. embassies and consulates around the world. Sixty people were killed. Why are none of these incidents in the news with a comparison made to Benghazi?

Marge Poland, Sun City Center

Comments

Mondayís letters: Donít drill in Arctic refuge

Arctic National Wildlife RefugeStop plan to drill for oil in refugeOur nation faces yet another effort to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge reserve to oil and gas drilling. Drilling in the Arctic simply doesnít make sound financial sense. W...
Published: 12/08/17

Sundayís letters: Tax bill puts U.S. on right course

The GOPís regressive tax plans | Dec. 5, editorialTax bill puts U.S. on right courseThe Times is already crying wolf over the new tax cuts, claiming that the new laws "could" result an increase in the national debt of $1.5 trillion over the next ...
Published: 12/07/17

Saturdayís letters: Donít inject political money into churches

Tax billKeep political cash out of pulpitA provision buried in the 429-page House tax bill, Section 5201, nullifies the Johnson Amendment, which protects houses of worship from partisan politics by prohibiting them from endorsing or opposing politica...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Fridayís letters: Most unpopular tax bill ever

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3The most unpopular tax bill ever"Democracy dies in darkness" is the motto of the Washington Post. At 2 a.m. on the dark morning of Sunday, Dec. 3, 51 Republicans approved the most wildly unpopular tax bill in U.S. h...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Thursdayís letters: Give your child the gift of reading

Fatherhood Involvement in Literacy CampaignGive your child the gift of readingPart of a successful game plan in sports is identifying plays that can put points on the scoreboard. Whether I was playing quarterback at Florida State or running the point...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/06/17

Wednesdayís letters: Bill gives small businesses tax relief

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3Small businesses get tax reliefThe Senate and House have now passed their respective tax bills. Once Congress sends a final package to the White House, President Donald Trump will deliver us the most powerful tax re...
Published: 12/04/17
Updated: 12/05/17

Tuesdayís letters: Transplant bill will help Medicare patients

November Letter of the MonthThe winning letter addressed the unresponsiveness of elected officials.Representatives arenít listeningFor whom do our legislators work? I ask because my Florida senator doesnít appear to work for me. I drove 27 miles on N...
Published: 12/04/17

Mondayís letters: A citizenís heroic act

Suspect arrested | Nov. 29A courageous citizenís actOn Nov. 28, a courageous act occurred in the Tampa Bay area. It was one that law enforcement professionals applaud and hope becomes more frequent. An ordinary citizen did the right thing and spo...
Published: 12/01/17

Saturdayís letters: Historic preservation process needs fixing

A preservation problem | Nov. 25, editorialApplication process needs fixingThere is a reason why smaller rather than larger groups of property owners are getting together to seek historic district designation: It is St. Petersburgís application p...
Published: 11/30/17
Updated: 12/01/17

Fridayís letters: Allegations from distant past have political tinge

Published: 11/30/17