Thursday, June 21, 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: On immigration there has to be a better way

‘Zero tolerance’ ignites outrage | June 20Find better way on immigrationOver the years I’ve voted for candidates from both parties. My observation of the Trump administration’s policy on immigration is not about politics. It has to do with having...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Friday’s letters: Freight trains are infrastructure that works in Tampa Bay

Railroads are infrastructure that worksFreight trains carry the loadCentral Florida is our state’s fastest-growing region. We’re on track to outpace South Florida’s growth 2-to-1 over the next several years. Great news for our local economy, but it n...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Charter schools aren’t the enemy

Don’t plug your ears when schools ask for tax | May 20, columnCharter schools aren’t the enemyAs an educator, I am astounded when I hear claims from school board members that charter schools take away funding from the local public school system. ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18