Tuesday, January 23, 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


Do you have a gold star yet?

Do you have a gold star on your Florida driver’s license, and are you REAL ID compliant?Florida is a federal REAL ID compliant state, which means that driver’s license and identification cards here meet federal law as to security standards and confir...
Published: 01/22/18

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

Tuesday’s letters: Diagnosis by journalist playing doctor

Trump’s sanity grades | Jan. 19, commentaryAn inept journalistic diagnosisI was worried the Tampa Bay Times wouldn’t find someone qualified to rebuke the findings of noted physician Dr. Ronny Jackson. To the rescue came the brilliant Gail Collins...
Published: 01/19/18
Updated: 01/22/18

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