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Letters to the Editor

Megahed detention is un-American

Muslims urge release of Megahed | April 8, story

Megahed's arrest is un-American

Let me assure you, I am not a Muslim. I consider myself an American of Scottish descent. I too, urge the release of Youssef Megahed.

This great country was founded under a group of laws and rules by which all its citizens must abide. This young man was given a jury trial and acquitted. I repeat, acquitted of all charges. For Immigration and Customs Enforcement to detain and incarcerate him now on contrived assumptions is, simply put, un-American.

Megahed is a legal alien seeking citizenship. He should be allowed to pursue his aspirations. One could argue that this is just another form of rendition.

If we allow this to happen now, what will happen when we run out of Muslims? What group will be targeted next?

This is shameful and disgraceful. His release should be imminent.

Roy Monteith, Clearwater

Feeling safer

Our criminal court system couldn't do it, so I thank U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for making me feel I am in a much safer place in my own country.

I would be happy to help the Megahed family pack and go back to Egypt. I am certain that if I was in Egypt riding around on a camel with bombmaking materials, the Egyptian government would welcome me to stay. For God's sake, send these people back to where they came from. More trouble, we do not need.

Charles Poppelreiter, Hudson

Megahed arrest looks vindictive | April 8, editorial

Why don't the feds go after illegal immigrants?

Thanks for having the courage to criticize the government for arresting the Egyptian USF student just a few days after a jury of Americans found him not guilty of all the charges against him. The jury also deserves a lot of praise for not being herded into a guilty verdict by the false claims of terrorism by the prosecutors.

I couldn't help but react to the news that it took immigration agents in seven different cars to take the man away from his father in front of a Tampa Wal-Mart. I guess they felt that was easier duty than arresting the thousands of illegal immigrants who are crossing our borders every day from Mexico.

Megahed had a valid student visa to go to USF and was only one class away from getting his engineering degree.

The immigration people must be so proud of their work. It shows that the government doesn't like to lose.

Roger W. Gambert, Palm Harbor

Justice gone awry

So Ted Stevens gets convicted of seven counts of ethics violations and walks away from it acting like he's been exonerated, thanks to Attorney General Eric Holder and an incompetent Justice Department.

Meanwhile, Youssef Megahed is found not guilty by a jury of his peers, and his justice is meted out by seven carloads of federal agents who refuse to acquiesce to that verdict.

Is this the new day the Obamacrats have heralded? Is this the change we need? That shredded document that the present administration claimed they would put right has just become a bit more frayed.

Thomas Hayes, Dunedin

State budget

Obvious solutions

It's a given that the state needs to cut expenses and raise revenues, but it's hard to not see some of our lawmakers' proposals as off target (remember the idea to raid the Florida Prepaid tuition fund?). It is equally hard to understand why some of the most obvious solutions strangely elude them.

For a start, they should stop spending millions to give themselves health insurance for doing a part-time job.

Get rid of the lieutenant governor position. His duties consist solely of checking the obituaries every morning for the governor's name. In addition to the salary, this position also comes with a very generous travel allowance and personal protection detail. We can have a viable line of succession without paying for an empty placeholder.

Stop double-dipping. The steady stream of government employees who retire and come back to work a month later with full pay and retirement benefits smells worse than road kill in the Florida sunshine.

Let's talk about all the money that the Seminoles want to share with the state from the gaming revenues. Work with Seminoles for the benefit of all.

Lawmakers should take the federal stimulus money. And close the tax loopholes on those skyboxes and fishing charters. Stop giving away our spring water. Raise the cigarette taxes.

Watching lawmakers working on the budget in Tallahassee is like watching children trying to knock open a pinata at a birthday party. We see what needs to be done, but the blindfolded children swing wildly in every direction but the right one. It's time to take the blindfold off and work for the benefit of the taxpayers, not the special interests.

Terry Davis, Tampa

We need gambling revenue

There have to be many thousand of retirees like me living in Florida who are wondering what goes on in the mind of our legislators in Tallahassee. This is what happens when you have to raise huge sums of money to run for election. We wind up with people who don't live in the real world.

I am not a gambler, but lots of folks are, and they take their money to other states that do not attempt to legislate morality the way our elected officials do. So we lose desperately needed revenue — and for what? To satisfy some misguided legislators' sense of responsibility for my soul.

We need the gamblers' money to help our citizens who are in desperate circumstances.

D.G. Murray, New Port Richey

Lawmakers short on courage, vision April 9, editorial

Insulated legislators

Your editorial is absolutely correct, as our Tallahassee elected officials function in a virtual vacuum, unresponsive to the pressing needs of our state.

I believe the main reason for this "head in the sand" attitude is that most of them feel their legislative seats are safe thanks to partisan gerrymandering that makes re-election almost a certainty. That's why our elected officials are more responsive to lobbyists and special interests than to the people.

Floridians can change this corrupted system by signing a petition available at fairdistrictsflorida.org to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot in 2010 which, if passed, would end partisan gerrymandering and establish fair, unified and competitive districts in our state.

Frank Lupo, St. Petersburg

Megahed detention is un-American 04/09/09 [Last modified: Thursday, April 9, 2009 7:13pm]

    

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