High court sides with whites in bias case | June 30, story
Ruling stands against discrimination
I applaud the decision made by the U.S. Supreme Court Monday. The use of race in determining qualifications is always inappropriate, and tests should never be adjusted to accommodate anyone.
The high court ruled in a suit by 18 white firefighters, one of them Hispanic, that firefighters in New Haven, Conn., were, in fact, discriminated against because of their race, and were unfairly denied promotions.
This was a win for all the people of the United States. The firefighter ruling indicates that New Haven was wrong to scrap a promotion exam because no African-Americans and only two Hispanics passed the test given to all.
In my opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy's words denouncing the idea that employers being allowed to discard the results of a lawful promotional exam would amount to a "de facto quota system," sums it all up nicely.
Orfeo Trombetta, Seminole
Fanning racial flames
Instead of this headline, you could have printed "High court rules against discrimination" or "High court protects firefighters' test results" to trumpet the news about the U.S. Supreme Court's reversal in the case of the New Haven, Conn., firefighters' promotion exam.
But no. You never miss an opportunity to pit one race against another, especially the sure-fire inflammatory whites vs. blacks.
Richard Reedy, St. Petersburg
Hondurans protest president's ouster June 30, story
Honduras sought to defend its constitution
This is not your typical banana republic military takeover, but is a case of another leader ignoring a nation's constitution and courts. Ousted President Manuel Zelaya acted above the law when he tried to rewrite the constitution to his benefit like his buddy Hugo Chavez did in Venezuela.
Changes to the Honduran constitution can only be done through a national referendum approved by the Honduran Congress. In addition the Honduran Supreme Court ruled Zelaya's referendum illegal.
This is not a coup but the military acting on a court order to defend the rule of law and constitution, with the support of the Honduran Congress. Honduras is simply fighting back to protect its constitution and preventing Zelaya from becoming another dictator like Chavez and Fidel Castro. From reading the AP article it seems the facts behind the arrest and ouster are being ignored.
R.T. Harrod, St. Petersburg
Lining up on the left
President Barack Obama did not want to meddle in Iran's affairs but wasted no time jumping in to support the leftist president of Honduras who was thrown out of office by the military on orders of their Supreme Court for trying to change their constitution to remain in office indefinitely.
Yes, now we have our own president allied with Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro to prop up a fellow socialist in Central America. All across the Americas socialists are finding how easy it is to get elected and stay in office indefinitely by passing out other people's money to the poor and uneducated masses, a dangerous new twist on democracy.
Ronnie Dubs, St. Petersburg
Will they learn?
For the next 150 years, Bernie Madoff will officially never want for a place to live, food to eat, or health care. It's ironic his prison sentence guarantees him the twilight-years security he systematically denied many others.
But as a deterrent? Please. We're fooling ourselves thinking the personality type that seeks to game the system for greater wealth isn't well aware of the cost-benefit of getting caught and doing federal time.
The only thing that scares these people is the idea of living a life like the faceless "little" people they swindle: no control; financial uncertainty; living paycheck to paycheck; barely making the mortgage; trying to afford a home in a safe part of town. You know, like so many of us.
Now that they're out, do any of us really believe that Michael Milken or Martha Stewart really think they did anything wrong?
If we want to deter this kind of crime, white- collar convicts need to go to the kind of prisons where dread is everyone's cell mate. Why not make Madoff's old-age security maximum security?
Andrew McAlister, Tampa
Another fallen Marine
Tuesday night, my nephew, retired Gunnery Sgt. James Fischer, died after two years of exhaustive chemotherapy treatments at Duke University Hospital. He was 48 years old and had served our country for 20 years. He leaves a wife, Donna, and two sons, James and Daniel.
The latter part of his last years as a Marine were served at Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Our personal thanks go to St. Petersburg Times reporter William Levesque for his articles exposing the shame of our government in its failure to acknowledge its role in the deaths of those who sacrificed so much for their country.
John R. Hahn, Gulfport
Birthday gift is a home run | June 29
From the heart
That was one of the sweetest stories I've ever heard. That a young boy, being so thoughtful, could do such a thing! I didn't think children like that existed anymore.
There are plenty of good children, but today, how many of them consider someone other than themselves? It's not their fault; they have been raised like that. We have made them feel so important.
That young man's feelings come from the heart, and his parents are to be congratulated for the wonderful product they have created.
F. Sullivan, Largo
Not a role model | June 28, letter
The letter writer's cruel words: "Where are they going to bury this guy? On the moon?" regarding the untimely death of Michael Jackson were utterly insensitive and unnecessary.
Michael Jackson was a pop culture icon who led an increasingly bizarre personal life which we will never understand. When you strip away the oddities, the ugly rumors and allegations, the money and the fame, all that's left is a grieving family. His parents lost a son. His brothers and sisters lost a sibling, and his children lost their father.
We mourn a lost soul, the sweet little boy who once sang convincingly about a rat named Ben. The Jackson Five's song I'll Be There is now hauntingly poignant and meaningful.
Debbie Stenstrom, Spring Hill