Americans, show your colors
Flag Day means that our proud symbol of the United States of America is to be displayed once again. "The Red, White and Blue," or "The Stars and Stripes," as our flag is sometimes called, demonstrates to the world our patriotism and loyalty to our country.
The American flag epitomizes the fact that we are a freedom-loving people adhering to these words from The American's Creed: "I believe in the United States of America, as a government of the people, by the people, for the people; whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed; a democracy in a republic; a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States; a perfect union, one and inseparable; established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes."
Newcomers to our shores should become familiar with what the American flag stands for. Nowhere else on Earth will immigrants enjoy the freedom of a republic more than in America. Our flag represents a democracy that we are proud to say is among the finest in the world. New immigrants should become citizens as soon as possible; to do less would not be conducive to the way of life in this free society.
Be sure to display your American flag, regardless of how big or small, in the front of your residence. Be proud of our flag, and be proud that you live in the United States of America.
Jack Keller Sr., Eighth Air Force B-17 combat veteran, lifetime charter member, World War II Memorial Society, Belleair Bluffs
Obama's policies are impeding the economy
After 18 months of Keynesian economic policies it's now clear that the problem with our economy is self-inflicted. Current GDP growth will never create enough jobs to reduce the unemployment rolls by any appreciable amount.
Small business owners are scared to death of President Barack Obama's health care plan and his intention to ram through his cap-and-trade bill. Both will mean higher operating expenses for business owners who don't see any light at the end of the tunnel. They will not begin to hire new workers or rehire laid off workers until they see more customers coming through their doors. It ain't happening.
Obama still insists that the stimulus plan is working better than expected. So high unemployment was the plan all along? No reasonable person can look at Obama's economic policies and see anything but a looming disaster. And yet, liberals still try to make the argument that more stimulus spending is the answer! As if doing nothing and government spending are the only two choices.
The American people are not fools. How about pro-growth policies? How about tax cuts for small business? How about tax write-offs this year for new business equipment? How about forgetting the ideological agenda that is not pro-business? The fix for the economy is not rocket science. Free the economy from Obama's policies.
Jay Johnson, St. Petersburg
President too quick to speak
President Barack Obama appears to be setting a pattern of voicing accusations, legal conclusions and similar public statements before all the facts are known or the usual forums of public investigation such as regulators, Congress and the courts have had a chance to investigate and take action.
The administration's statement that BP must cover all the costs of rig workers put out of work by the drilling moratorium is an example. This may be right by some measure of fairness, but the respective villainy of BP, Transocean and the federal Minerals Management Service have yet to be clarified.
Obama has spoken his mind on occasions when silence and no judgment would have been preferable, and his statements may potentially influence jurors and other decisionmakers when they shouldn't. Some other examples include his comments about the U.S. Supreme Court during his State of the Union speech and his condemnation of much of the financial services industry when his own federal regulatory apparatus was in fact sleeping at the wheel, if not incompetent.
The more serious question is whether such expressions of prejudgments do more damage than good. Obama well knows that the terrible crude oil leak will be in litigation for years, and the variety of damages and losses are immense. The government, rather than the president, has ample methods for settling and adjudicating myriad claims as well as retooling regulatory oversight.
James R. Gilllespie, St. Petersburg
Our national anthem
Show some respect
Why is it when the national anthem is sung at either a sports event or other public ceremony that so many people don't sing it? If you watched the June 6 NBA basketball game you would have observed that just about the only person singing was the guest artist. Is it that the athletes don't know the words or that it has become just a formality?
Likewise if the folks in the crowd are not going to sing, at least they could put their hands over their hearts. Isn't America the home of the brave and the land of the free, or have we forgotten how we have got here?
Remember, America, those young men and women who are this day in harm's way in Iraq and Afghanistan so that others of us can enjoy the NBA, the golf tour, or see a good movie. Think of them when our nation's national anthem is sung or played and pause for a moment and honor them by at least mouthing the words. Take off your hats, place your right hand over your heart and thank those who wear that uniform.
John Osterweil, Tampa
Sanctions on Iran
Sanctions are placed on Iran, which has no nuclear weapons and has signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
Meanwhile, no sanctions are placed on India, Pakistan and Israel, which do have nuclear weapons and adamantly refuse to sign the treaty.
It is difficult to imagine a beneficial, rational result from such an irrational action. Lunacy rules the land.
Gregory Keuroghlian, Dunedin