Friday, April 20, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Friday's letters: Nations can't tax their way to recovery

Clinton Global Initiative

We can't tax our way to recovery

At the Clinton Global Initiative this week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shared her views that taxes should be collected in a more "equitable manner," especially from the "elites" in every country. Isn't "elites" an interesting term for those who have accomplished some measure of financial success in their lives, usually due to hard work, determination and risk-taking?

She goes on to say, "It is a fact that the elites in every country are making money. There are rich people everywhere and yet they do not contribute to the growth of their own countries." This statement is either a staggering admission of economic ignorance or pure political demagoguery meant to fan the flames of class warfare.

Presumably, Clinton places no value on the basic concepts of capitalism, which are the ultimate drivers of growth and job creation. Speaking of taxes, I wonder how she reconciles her demand that equity requires the rich (whatever that might mean) to pay more in taxes when the top 10 percent of income earners in the United States already pay 70 percent of all income taxes collected?

At what point will Clinton and others like her be satisfied — perhaps when the last drop of blood falls from the open vein? We know that there is no way to tax ourselves out of this predicament, especially by punishing the job creators in our economy. We must get government spending under control. Until that time, punishing our most financially successful citizens will only make our problems worse.

Edward Sutton, Tampa

Pakistan hit by deadly riots | Sept. 22

Misdirected anger

Muslims are not happy. They are not happy in: Gaza, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria and Lebanon.

So where are they happy? They're happy in: Canada, Australia, England, France, Italy, Germany, Sweden, the United States and Norway.

They're happy in every country that is not Muslim-majority. And whom do they blame? Not Islam. Not their leadership. Not themselves. They blame the countries they are happy in. How dumb can you get?

Jeff Mikres, Palm Harbor

Amendment 8

Misleading initiative

Let voters beware. They are being told that Amendment 8 is the "Religious Freedom" amendment. In fact, it undermines the separation of church and state spelled out in our state Constitution.

Any group or sect claiming to be a religion could not be denied tax dollars if this amendment is passed. It would allow taxpayer money to be used to fund religious schools. Finally, it requires no oversight or accountability.

Please do not be misled by the title of the amendment. It is simply another attempt to undermine public education by siphoning money from our already grossly underfunded public schools.

Shelley G. Foster, Clearwater

Campaign 2012

Questionable input

Two questions are plaguing my conscience as we approach the November election:

First, why is a foreign leader so involved in my presidential election? Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has as much relevance to our American election as does Stephen Harper, the leader of our biggest trading partner, Canada.

Second, why are Florida judges and the system they protect being targeted for removal? Diversity respects all aspects of the truth. Bullying tactics are immature.

So please, no foreigners in my election and no cliques in my justice system.

J.M. Logan, Indian Rocks Beach

Contracts with teachers approved in Pinellas Sept. 25

Extra time will be missed

As a hardworking teacher in Pinellas County, I feel that the abolishment of early-release days is a huge letdown. While I understand parents' stances, I believe that teachers' voices are not always heard.

I must arrive at least an hour and a half early every day to complete a never-ending pile of paperwork and lesson planning. I take care of people all day and do not have the luxury of completing my work during my actual "work" day. Every teacher I know puts in countless hours at home.

I am frustrated when I hear from folks who don't have any idea what teachers have to deal with that we should not complain and that we have our holidays and summers off. It is those breaks that keep us going and sane throughout the year.

Don't get me wrong: I love helping my students reach their full potential, and I am fulfilled every day. But the loss of our Wednesdays is just another example of how teachers are not considered over others' uninformed thoughts.

Michelle May, St. Petersburg

'Fast and Furious' | PolitiFact

Pattern of prevarication

President Barack Obama's recent statement that the "Fast and Furious" operation began during former President George W. Bush's term has been ruled false by This is another example of how he will lie rather than have his administration admit to a tragic and stupid operation.

And to top it off, he has the gall to call the destruction of our consulate in Libya and the murder of our ambassador and three other Americans a "bump in the road."

Then at the United Nations, Obama again said that act was due to the video — when it was a planned terrorist attack on the anniversary of 9/11.

Our president continues to disgrace us with his lies and inaccurate statements that are clearly made for political purposes.

Leon Wittig, Hudson

GOP's bid to unseat justices is bad politics Sept. 26, Sue Carlton column

Holding judges to account

In the United States sovereignty resides with the people — not the judiciary, nor the executive and legislative branches. We, the people, have the right to call all these branches to account.

Judges are not omnipotent. The fact that so many lower court rulings are overturned should disabuse anyone of that notion.

It is naive to believe that politics plays no part in the appointment of judges. Any observer of the process by which our Supreme Court justices are appointed can see that politics play a major role in who sits on our highest court.

I look forward to being able to cast my vote in whether to retain these judges and I like the system that allows me to do so.

Donald Haverstrom, Spring Hill


Saturday’s letters: Don’t weaken rules on fisheries

Florida fisheriesDon’t weaken rules on fish stocksMembers of Congress are proposing changes to an important ocean law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, that would adversely affect coastal states including Florida.Since it...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Friday’s letters: We owe it to our children to teach them history

If we don’t understand past, future looks grim | April 19, Daniel Ruth columnThe history we owe our childrenIt’s not often I agree with Daniel Ruth, but this article was spot-on. I’m not sure when the schools started ignoring Germany’s World War ...
Published: 04/19/18

Thursday’s letters: Gun research can save lives

Gun ownershipCommon ground: Find the factsThere are many areas in the current debate about guns and gun ownership where both sides must agree to disagree. But there is one area where common ground ought to exist. That concerns the need for continuing...
Published: 04/18/18

Wednesday’s letters:

Poverty and plenty in bay area | April 7, editorialStruggling poor are not a priorityI commend your newspaper for continuing to produce real and relevant news, particularly the recent editorial pointing out that a prospering Tampa Bay should not ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for April 20

Bar Association celebrates Law WeekPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1958, as the first Law Day to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Every year on this day, we reflect on the significance of the rule of law and rededicat...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Tuesday’s letters: Stop cooperating with ICE

Sheriff’s ICE policy blasted | April 10Pinellas should end partnership with ICEPinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri recently participated in a community conversation on his controversial agreement with ICE to voluntarily detain immigrants in the...
Published: 04/16/18

Sunday’s letters: The future of oyster production

Shell game | April 15Future of oyster productionThanks to Laura Reiley for an excellent synopsis of the current state of oyster production in Florida. The collapse of the Apalachicola oyster fishery is merely the latest example of the demise of a...
Published: 04/14/18

Monday’s letters: Public education is foundation of the nation

Voters beware of ballot deceptionApril 13, commentarySchools’ role underminedIt was with great pain that I read (not for the first time) that we must be aware of "ballot deception." Public schools were founded to make sure that future generations of ...
Published: 04/13/18

Saturday’s letters: Health Department should butt out

Judge: Grow pot, Mr. Redner | April 12Health officials should butt outThe Times reports that the Florida Department of Health filed an appeal to the decision allowing a man who is a Stage 4 lung cancer survivor to grow pot in his backyard for his ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/13/18

Friday’s letters: Open and shut: Enforce the law

Sheriff’s ICE aid policy blasted | April 10Open and shut: Enforce the lawPeople and institutions that insist on the using the euphemism "undocumented immigrant" do nothing but affirm their lack of objectivity by using such a phrase to support an ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/12/18