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Letters to the Editor

Let voters make up their own minds

Obama for president | Oct. 26, editorial

Let voters make up their own minds I read with dismay your recommendation of Barack Obama in the Sunday paper. I really wish the media would keep their thoughts to themselves and stop trying to influence people one way or the other. This is particularly applicable to the radio and TV media. I've never seen more biased media than in this election.

Once the media only reported the news and didn't try to influence it. It's time we returned to that position in this country and just print or publish the true facts and not try to bend people's feeble minds one way or the other.

Let us use our own judgment, and don't try to sway the voters one way or the other.

Doris Houdesheldt, St. Petersburg

Who knew?

Surprise, surprise, surprise. On Sunday, the St. Petersburg Times finally announced that it recommends Barack Obama for president.

Is there anyone who has read any issue of the St. Petersburg Times since the close of the primaries who didn't already know that the Times supported, endorsed, recommended Barack Obama?

Either you think your readers are very stupid for not already knowing that, or you are very stupid for not knowing that we already knew. Have fun.

Alfred J. D'Amario, Hudson

Good call

Thank you for your very thoughtfully written recommendation of Barack Obama for president. I was a longtime subscriber to the Tampa Tribune, and their increasingly biased "reporting" related to this election has been disheartening. The last straw was their endorsement of John McCain earlier this month.

Although this endorsement was expected, their article read like a campaign ad, with McCain as the gift the country has been waiting for and Obama as a source of great harm. They referred to the young and poor voters as "disaffected" and warned "mainstream voters" of the consequences of their involvement in this election. As a result, I have canceled my subscription with the Tampa Tribune and have just submitted my subscription to the St. Petersburg Times.

Lucie Darkes, Temple Terrace

'None of the above' should be ballot option

Only a week before Election Day, many polls showed 10 percent or more of voters still undecided between Barack Obama and John McCain. One reason may well be a reluctance to select one or the other of two major candidates.

Unfortunately, on Election Day, undecided voters not wanting to vote for their own party's nominee will receive a ballot that offers no acceptable option to leaving all presidential boxes blank.

A resulting stream of unvoted presidential ballots could bring charges of vote tampering or technical glitches and cast doubt on the legitimacy of announced election figures, as occurred in some Florida districts the last two elections.

To preclude this, I believe future presidential ballots should have an additional box for "None of the above." Voters could then cast a presidential ballot accurately indicating that they regard no candidate as acceptable. This would make election results a more accurate reflection of voters' opinion of the candidates presented.

In some cases the number of "None of the above" votes would almost certainly be an eye-opener for major political parties and could bring future improvement in the quality of those nominated for our nation's and the world's most powerful political post.

Jeff Corydon, Tampa

Times recommends

No choice can be best

I have always been puzzled why newspaper editorial boards feel it necessary to recommend a candidate even though they have a bad track record. Back on Oct. 16 you recommended Ken Hagan for Hillsborough County Commission District 2 after you said he "has a sorry record on almost every issue, and he is inaccessible and arrogant."

Excuse me if I find this thinking highly flawed and stupefying. You recommend Hagen because his challenger is "a mystery man." I have been gnashing on those comments ever since.

Why not vote for neither one? A refusal to vote for the clown is a signal that the voters don't approve. To vote in his favor sends the wrong signal. Down the road he can refer back to all his vote-getting prowess in past elections when in fact he was the default choice. It is not un-American to not choose either one.

Randy Wojahn, Valrico

Cure civic malaise: Vote | Oct. 28, editorial

Perplexing pick

Once again, the Times criticizes Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark's "stubborn insistence" on not opening more than three early voting sites. It is well known that early voters tend to be Democrats.

Republican Clark's vote suppression tactics shouldn't surprise anyone. More perplexing is why the Times is recommending her against her Democratic opponent.

Tony Branch, Madeira Beach

It's not McCain

I wish to congratulate you on your very astute analysis of the two candidates for the presidency. Your analysis and view of the two candidates are very close to those I have held for quite some time watching and listening intently to both.

I am registered as a Republican and I am also a Korean War veteran injured by a hand grenade two days and two months before all the guns went silent. After nine months in a U.S. Army hospital and three surgeries, my "glorious" Army career ended.

Consequently, I very much understand and empathize with John McCain and wish him well. However, I cannot in good conscience support his candidacy for the highest office of this country. I believe that he has made a great mistake by not choosing a better candidate for his running mate. And I dislike very much his distasteful campaign tactics. His behavior exhibits desperation and is unbecoming a future president of the United States. Sen. Barack Obama is so much more believable.

Christopher Flizak, Spring Hill

Teddy "spreads the wealth" | Oct. 27, commentary

A crass ploy

I almost choked on my doughnut when I read this article reprinted from the left-leaning online magazine Slate.

Teddy would rise out of his grave and say "balderdash" to any comparison between his modest progressive income tax and the kind of soak-the-rich class warfare proposed by Barack Obama.

Teddy would also worry that under Obama all taxpayers making up to $40,000 per year would pay no income taxes at all yet still receive a tax rebate. Bully that Obama finally added a work requirement for his largesse lest it be seen for what it is: welfare and a crass attempt to buy votes and in the process help destroy the work ethic of country.

Under an Obama presidency we will achieve the grim prophecy that our democracy will fail when citizens can vote themselves access to our treasury.

John Kriegsmann, Spring Hill

Right thinking

Cognitive linguistics scientist George Lakoff has just published a book titled The Political Mind, about how the unconscious mind participates, uninvited, in 98 percent of our decisionmaking. His references to the distinction termed "the right/left metaphor" caused me to recognize the clever use of "right versus left" by politicians.

It appears to me that "right" could be, intuitively, correlated with "correct," and also with a "majority" opinion because most people are right-handed. So, when dealing with contested issues, that "cognitive frame" causes my mind to automatically picture a "right" position favorably, while anything labeled "left" appears as a sinister minority opinion.

It's comforting to think that my opinions are always right.

Fred Whitehouse, Land O'Lakes

Let voters make up their own minds 10/30/08 [Last modified: Monday, November 3, 2008 7:13pm]

    

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