The Republican Party
Moderate path leads to future
Former Pinellas GOP chairman Tony DiMatteo could not be more dead wrong when it comes to Charlie Crist vs. Marco Rubio, and the heart and soul of the Republican Party (DiMatteo backs Rubio over Crist for Senate, May 10). He absolutely does need more Arlen Specters.
Not because Specter's now a Democrat, but because Specter thinks deeply and acts independently, which appears to be the way that Charlie Crist is headed. Crist's strong popularity comes not from the ends, but the middle. Just as the days of the hard left are gone, so are the day of the hard right.
The vast majority of Americans, especially Floridians, are moderates, and if you don't believe it, besides Crist consider the likes of John McCain on the subject of torture, or Barack Obama on military tribunals and the release of photos of tortured prisoners or prosecuting Bush administration operatives. That's deep thinking and independent action. Moderate viewpoints, moderate behavior, shifting directions — isn't that what the whole human experience is and should be all about, irrespective of politics?
Dick Cheney thinks Rush Limbaugh now reflects the lifeblood of the GOP. It's a train wreck!
David A. Eaton Sr., St. Petersburg
Marco Rubio personifies the Republican Party of today. He seems to want to cut out everything that helps people of meager means: Medicare, Medicaid, and all forms of welfare. Then he favors instituting a national sales tax that is the most regressive tax on earth since poor people have to spend every dollar they receive whereas the wealthy spend less than 25 percent of their net. Way to go, Republican Party!
Kay Kelly, Clearwater
A better Glades deal | May 16, editorial
Let environmentalists pay for Everglades land
So the St. Petersburg Times thinks it is a "good deal" to spend $536-million of taxpayer money to purchase perfectly good, revenue-producing, arable farm land and turn it back into swamp? This at a time when we are subject to budget cuts for our schools, fire and police protection and reductions in other necessary programs that our governments are obligated to provide to us.
I have a better idea and it won't cost a single cent of tax money. Let the environmental groups that have clamored for this "good deal" buy the land with their money. Surely, they must have at least 1 million members who are willing to donate $536 per member for what they deem to be a vital purpose.
Let them put their money where their collective mouths are for once, instead of forcing taxpayers to foot the bill for their causes when we can least realistically afford to. If they want to save the land, then they should do it.
David Zimlin, Dunedin
Good teenagers gone bad? | May 17, story
I would like to take exception to this article and its headline. Let's once and for all make a clear distinction between popular and athletically talented and "good." Nowhere in the article does it mention anything about grades, class conduct, volunteering, and there is very little about neighborhood behavior.
Most of the article focused on Diemante Roberts' athletic prowess. When did that make for a decent human being? We need to stop glorifying talent and return to an era where a child's behavior is recognized.
Kelly Treece, Valrico
Good teenagers gone bad? | May 17, story
Behavior is what matters
Give me a break. So what if these kids had a good future. What about the 13-year-old victim? I know that if it was my child I would be very angry.
These four boys should have known better, if they were as bright as every one says. It makes me wonder: How many more kids did they bully?
I believe that these kids deserve everything that is going to happen to them. If you do the crime then pay the price.
Sherri Ruben, Spring Hill
Doomsday Dick unleashed | May 14
Disrespect on display
Maureen Dowd continues to spew her wrath at the Bush administration even though President Barack Obama has occupied the White House for more than 100 days.
One would think that the calamitous days of the new administration would provide ample fodder for her insights. What really bothers me, however, is that she continues to refer to President George W. Bush as "W." While I understand the need to differentiate President Bush from his father, Dowd nearly always uses the reference in a derogatory way.
Most of us can remember being engaged in name-calling when we were young and, yes, it was almost always derogatory. When we grew up, however, following the admonition of St. Paul, we put away childish things and treated others with respect.
Dowd is paid well. She would do well if she were to respect the person in the highest office in our land while presenting her point of view. The office of the president of the United States deserves no less.
Earle W. Pratt, Lecanto
Where's the help for Haiti? | May 16, letter
Help at home
Where's the help for the United States? It seems that every time people try to make it to America and there is some tragedy and they do not succeed everybody feels bad.
Although I also feel bad for the plight of the people of Haiti and Africa, I so often wonder where the help is for the people of our own country. We are always expected to help the world. How about for once we help the people here at home that have been hurt by the recent economic downturn?
Yes, the president's stimulus package helps, but it is not going to really help until jobs are created and we can all go back to work. In the meantime there are people here that need our prayers, our understanding and our help. God Bless America!
Phil Du Bois, St. Petersburg
Bright Futures scholarships
Let's be clear: Bright Futures scholarships favor those kids who have spent time and energy studying and whose families have encouraged their academic endeavors. Students from any income level can qualify with the right application of drive and study time and parents who require and reinforce scholastic achievement. Keeping the academic achievers in Florida is worth every cent.
John Stefferud, Brandon