Thursday, April 19, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Friday's letters: 'Socialism' no longer a dirty word

Rare elected socialist to serve Seattle | Dec. 29

'Socialism' no longer a dirty word

I read with interest about a candidate from the Socialist Alternative Party being elected to the city council in Seattle.

Contrary to popular opinion, "socialism" is not a dirty word, nor should it put fear into people's hearts. As Kshama Sawant would put it, socialism is the path to real democracy and protecting the environment. It is the best hope for young people who have seen their options crushed by the tide of low-wage, futureless jobs in the postrecession economy. Further, we should applaud her statement that workers "deserve the value of what they produce."

Capitalism has shown its ugly head, even before the recession of 2008, as evidenced by the resurgence of the new robber barons. In this land of opportunity, where immigrants still think that the streets are paved with gold, the rich are getting even richer and the poor are getting much poorer.

It seems that the poor and the 7.3 percent unemployed lost their last hope when Congress denied an extension of unemployment compensation.

In this environment, Sawant's advocacy of a single-payer health care system and getting workers what they deserve sounds pretty darn good.

Miklos Lorand, South Pasadena

The Great War's ominous echoes Dec. 29, Perspective

West dithers in Syria

Margaret MacMillan cites many parallels between the present and past in her excellent article, but one that is glaring by its omission is the ongoing bloodshed in Syria. The active diplomatic and material aid to the Bashar Assad government by Russia and Iran versus the willy-nilly Western support to the rebels is a classic example of each side sensing the other's political and military capital and resolve to use it. As we witness the tragic plight of the victims of those perfidious games, will the West ever learn from the mistakes of the past?

Jerry Rawicki, St. Petersburg

Distracting and dangerous | Dec. 29, letter

Manufactured emergency

I appreciate the letter about the digital billboard in Sun City Center, which calls to mind a billboard that has been used by Brandon Regional Hospital for a couple of years, currently posted near Highway 301 in Riverview. It says "Text ER to 23000 for Average ER Wait Times." I always wonder if this message to drivers is designed to increase the hospital's business.

Jay Cooper, Riverview

Website glitches lead to fines | Dec. 21

Florida finger-pointing

So why is it that when the Florida unemployment benefits website doesn't work, it's the fault of the consulting company hired to implement it, but when the Obamacare website doesn't work, it's the fault of President Barack Obama and his secretary of health and human servies, Kathleen Sebelius? We heard the "buck stops here" speech from Washington, but all I see from Tallahassee is finger-pointing.

W.A. Massey, New Port Richey

Here's the best way to modernize gas tax Dec. 30, commentary

You drive, you pay

Michael Webber's idea of having every vehicle inspected every year to have a state-licensed inspector read the odometer and assess a fee based on ton-miles driven would be funny if it were not so ridiculous. It is an idea that passes to the consumer more legislative and governmental responsibilities — admittedly a popular move with antigovernment lawmakers and pundits.

I have a better idea. Eliminate the gas taxes entirely and convert all transportation infrastructure to private companies who could charge tolls on all roads and bridges. We could each pay a quarter to leave our driveways, and then whatever the market will bear to use the roadways.

I feel certain the tea party members of Congress would be quick to embrace such a move.

David R. Watson, Tampa

Where do leaders pay a price for corruption? Dec. 30, commentary

Rank corruption

Joshua Tucker's study on countries that make their leaders pay an electoral price for corruption would have been more interesting had he included the United States in his examples. Given that checks from companies are given openly to House members and that campaign contributors' identities are mostly hidden, our country would seem to warrant a place on this list. And since many of our leaders are usually re-elected, would we rank above Sweden or below Moldova or Turkey?

Wayne Logsdon, Hernando

Answering call of center ring | Dec. 31

Cruelty plain to see

With social media reporting the latest news as it happens, no one can ignore the obvious cruelty animals endure in a circus. Why people continue to support an outdated tradition by buying tickets that promise animal enslavement disguised as cheap entertainment is beyond acceptable.

There are videos now that anyone can watch. Years ago animal activists held posters and chanted. Circusgoers ignored them. However, the media and ticket buyers cannot ignore YouTube or Facebook — the videos and pictures tell it all. People can rationalize all they want that circus animals are happy or that the circus conserves wildlife. Visuals, along with sound, now prove otherwise.

There are countries and cities that have banned the circus for good reason. Teach your children to respect life, observe compassion for all beings and stop animal abuse.

Louise Kahle, St. Petersburg


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...
Updated: 12 hours ago

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

Thursday’s letters: Focus on offender, not weapon

Use data to curb gun deaths | April 8, commentaryFocus on offenders, not weaponsThis article tiptoes around the issue: human violence. The authors point out that automobile manufactures were pressured by regulation and law to make automobile coll...
Published: 04/11/18

Wednesday’s letters: One county’s water affects us all

Sprawl seems a concern until Tampa land use lawyer appears | April 9Water impactsspan county linesThough I live in Pinellas County, I have followed the discussion on land use decisions made by Hillsborough County. Hillsborough’s decisions, perhap...
Published: 04/10/18