Monday, January 22, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Friday's letters: Neither markets nor government is always right

A scandal that matters | Column, Aug. 8

Markets, government both err

Kimberly Strassel ends her column about the alleged massive bank fraud perpetuated by government employee Imran Awan and his family by equating the failure and incompetence of the government to catch him with the classic line of "that's the same government that wants to run your health care, reform your children's schools and protect the environment."

Strassel seems to conveniently forget that in 2008, the markets committed a massive debacle of banking incompetence that almost destroyed the entire country. The government's incompetence to catch Awan pales in comparison to the "too big to fail" banks' incompetence to see their own failures. And today, those same businesses are flagrantly repeating those same behaviors.

The constant bickering that markets are capable of running everything well and governments are inept at running anything is simply not true. Instead, let's focus on the real issue: humans. Within markets and government we have many good and capable humans and we also have incredibly greedy and incompetent humans. Both have created wonderful things — the internet (government), Google (markets). And both have created horrible things — Awan's alleged bank fraud costing taxpayers millions (government), 2008 Great Recession via bankers' incompetence (markets). The truth is, we need both markets and governments. If we want both to work well, let's put our energy in strengthening the humans within them. The result? Stronger markets and government working effectively together.

Ann Kramer, Brandon

North Korea dismisses threat from Trump | Aug. 10

Watchful waiting

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently said that "Americans can sleep well tonight" regarding the North Korean threats of taking out Guam. Let's face it, North Korea is a bully much in the same way our president is a bully.

North Korea knows that the United States possesses far more nuclear capability than it could ever hope to have. Kim Jong Un isn't a dunce. He is a master politician at his young age, and he knows that any nuclear attack on the United States or its allies would mean certain destruction for his country and, more important, him.

So what should the response be? Christopher Hill, past ambassador to South Korea, thinks we should continue sanctions and wait them out. He knows they're posturing, as is President Donald Trump, so "watchful waiting" may be the first order of defense.

George Chase, St. Pete Beach

Families of immigrants | Letter, Aug. 10

With hope, they'll come

The letter writer self-righteously proclaims that his ancestors came to this country legally in 1891. Many others say the same. A quick review of American history reveals that the Immigration Act of 1921 established quotas of 3 percent of the existing population of that nationality group at that time. So all those whose ancestors arrived prior to 1921, of course, they were legal. Contagious disease was about the only thing that kept them out.

The Immigration Act was designed to maintain the northern European dominance in this country and limit the influx of southern and eastern Europeans and others. Current immigrants, legal and illegal, are looking for the same things his ancestors sought: work and a better life. As long as American business hires them, they will probably come.

Alice P. Williams, Sun City Center

Mother shares story of Jimmie | Aug. 10

They were children

Our hearts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the children who perished in the car crash. And make no mistake, they were children, but older beyond their years from years on the streets.

We cannot imagine the horror and grief of all involved, including the police and the first responders who showed up at the scene of this terrible outcome.

The innocent person who happened to be in their path survived the impact of 112 mph. His injuries will no doubt affect him forever. And this man forgave the lost ones.

As the Times reported in its "Hot Wheels" series, these kids and their families, and many others just like them, are caught in the throes of nothingness for their future. "How do we stop this from happening?" I wish we knew, but apparently no one does when desperation and despair are involved. Bless the souls of the dead teens.

James Major, Palm Harbor

Hopeless start can bring on tragic end | Column, Aug. 8

Spend on this, not that

A stark contrast came to mind while reading John Romano's column on hopelessness that is brought on by poverty. What if the millions of dollars spent on political campaigns were used to improve the lives of children living in poverty?

Anne Snyder, Belleair Beach

HART slashes bus routes | Aug. 8

A need to move people

I have never been to a world-class city that did not provide every transit option. If Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik wants to build a world-class city right here, then our political leaders may find it prudent to start acting instead of talking about mass transit. A recent Washington Post article referenced Los Angeles and its adoption of light rail, and along with it, its success. The $2.43 billion project (funded by a tax) has received incredible reviews. The article also references that 70 percent of the population were not users of transit before (does that ring a bell here?).

With new technology like hyper loop, trains can be a step to the future of building smarter, sustainable communities rather than a slower form of an airplane. There is no excuse for our local government officials anymore.

Thomas Vacca, Tampa


Monday’s letters: Tampa Bay deserves rail as an option

New transit option: BRT | Jan. 12Tampa deserves rail as an optionI was disheartened by Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s statement about his exhaustion with public transit discussions. It sounds like the government of Tampa has given up on ever realizin...
Published: 01/21/18

Sunday’s letters: Bay area shortchanged on foster care funds

Opioid crisis herds kids to foster care | Jan. 9Bay area foster care shortchangedAs mentioned in this article, the growing opioid epidemic is unfortunately bringing more children into the Florida foster care system. While substance abuse has hist...
Published: 01/20/18

Saturday’s letters: It’s not the word, it’s the racism

Presidential precedent | Jan. 14It’s not the word; it’s the racismThe Times went in the wrong direction and printed information that is rather useless. And that is strange. You usually get it right.I am talking about President Donald Trump’s prof...
Published: 01/19/18

Friday’s letters: Help for boaters against modern-day ‘pirates’

Marine towing and salvageHelp against modern-day piracyAs an avid recreational boat owner and sixth-generation Floridian, I know there’s no better way to enjoy our state’s spectacular waters than taking your boat out. Unfortunately, the fun of boatin...
Published: 01/17/18
Updated: 01/18/18

Thursday’s letters: All Americans need health care

Doctor: Trump got perfect score on cognitive test | Jan. 17All Americans need health carePresident Donald Trump’s extensive health exam has apparently declared him physically fit for office. As I was reading about the battery of tests he received...
Published: 01/17/18

Wednesday’s letters: St. Petersburg’s culture, vibrancy impresses

St. PetersburgImpressive culture and vibrancyI recently visited Tampa Bay and celebrated New Year’s weekend in downtown St. Petersburg. I was awestruck by what I encountered and experienced. It has been several years since I last visited, and the tra...
Published: 01/16/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Jan. 19

Re: Walking leads to shocking catalogue of trash | Jan. 12 column Bring back anti-littering campaignJust came back from the beautiful, clean city of Singapore, where there is a $1,000 fine, plus community service for littering. I think a presiden...
Published: 01/16/18
Tuesday’s letters: Trump’s accomplishments unheralded

Tuesday’s letters: Trump’s accomplishments unheralded

President Donald TrumpAchievements go unrecognizedAre Americans even aware that our economy is healthier and growing much faster, that ISIS has been defeated and lost their territory, that China and other countries are buying more American goods and ...
Published: 01/16/18

Monday’s letters: Don’t be fooled by drilling turnaround

Deal blocks drilling off Fla. | Jan. 10Don’t be fooled by turnaroundWhile I am very grateful that Florida has been taken off the table regarding offshore oil drilling, it is clear this is a political move to champion Gov. Rick Scott as he conside...
Published: 01/14/18

Sunday’s letters: Left wing late to the #MeToo cause

#MeTooDemocrats come late to the causeThe Times devoted an entire page to the #MeToo issues on Sunday. The ironies here for longtime observers are nearly boundless. Twenty years ago, folks like myself were called "prudes" and worse because we found P...
Published: 01/13/18