Thursday, June 21, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Monday's letters: Doers, doubters and complainers

Obama goes it alone on immigrant crisis | July 2, editorial

Doers, doubters and complainers

The president accuses Congress of doing nothing. Congress accuses the president of doing nothing, but then wants to sue or impeach him when he does something.

If Congress would do something instead of nothing, then President Barack Obama might not have to do something to get something done. The Republican talking heads call him weak because he has done nothing, then accuse him of being a dictator when he does something.

Obama has done next to nothing in Iraq instead of something. President George W. Bush did a lot of something when he should have done nothing, and we all know how well that worked out. It appears that Obama's doing next to nothing in Iraq is the correct something that needs to be done.

In the meantime, while our government is doing nothing, the economy is growing. And that is something.

Alan Raun, Largo

New pressure for manatees | July 2

Protect the manatees

I applaud Times writer Craig Pittman for the excellent article about the petition to change the status of manatees from endangered to threatened. I am especially grateful for the directions and link to send a comment to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which will consider the petition.

My hope is that the wildlife service's computers will be crashed by the overwhelming response from people like me who think reducing the protections for manatees is absurd. The species is hanging on by its fingernails, and the forces of human population growth, habitat loss to development and poisoning of the environment that nearly caused extinction have not abated.

Guy Hancock, Largo

Ruling hits Obamacare | July 1

A narrow decision

I am mystified over all the hue and cry surrounding the Supreme Court's ruling that some corporations do not have to provide contraception coverage if it contravenes their religious beliefs. You would think from the reaction of the abortion-rights faction of the population that women were being denied the freedom to have sex, that they were being prohibited from obtaining any type of birth control, that they would be impoverished after they purchased any such pills or devices.

The Supreme Court ruling was, in fact, very narrow in scope. It did not strike down birth control benefits provided under the Affordable Care Act. It simply stated that once conception occurs, faith-based corporations do not have to provide coverage for abortion pills or devices to terminate a pregnancy. This, according to the court, would infringe upon the religiously held position of many "closely held" for-profit family corporations.

This, to me, makes perfect sense. Women can still obtain their morning-after drugs at their own expense. They can still work for small or large corporations that offer the full range of contraceptive contrivances under the Affordable Care Act. And they still can be assured that their consciences will not been compromised while allowing others to exercise their own freedom of conscience.

Earl A. Myers Jr., Tampa

Imposing an ideology

The Supreme Court, at the behest of the Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby, made a grave error in this ruling. The family was quoted in the article as saying, "Today the nation's highest court has reaffirmed the vital importance of religious liberty as one of our country's founding principles." It is not affirming religious liberty to grant power to an entity to take away someone else's choices.

The Green family's statement, as a matter of complete honesty, should have read, "The Supreme Court granted our company the freedom to impose its own ideology on its employees. We understand that this takes away important freedoms from others, but we don't care because now we get to tell others how to live based on our own religious beliefs."

The Supreme Court is our ultimate protector of constitutional principles. This ruling goes in the opposite direction, and is in fact a step toward theocracy, where Christians would be telling our entire diverse country what to do based on their own beliefs. This is not at all a good idea, as history has proved again and again. We need to work to preserve our Founding Fathers' wise belief in the principle of a separation between church and state.

David Bowman, St. Petersburg

Rights, responsibilities

The Times ran a picture of women holding signs with Justice Samuel Alito's picture, saying: "This guy shouldn't get to decide about my birth control." What about a picture of Hobby Lobby owner David Green with the caption: "This man shouldn't have to pay for your birth control." Women have the right to whatever birth control they want to use. They just do not have the right to make someone else pay for it.

Bob Bost, St. Petersburg

Corporate overreach

A corporation is by definition legally independent from people who create it and is a business model limiting the liability of its creators. English Lord Chancellor Thurlow of the late 18th/early 19th century is quoted as saying, "Corporations have neither bodies to be punished, nor souls to be condemned; they therefore do as they like."

Which is exactly the door opened by the Supreme Court for corporate entities to opt out of adherence to any law they judge to violate their corporate "religious beliefs."

Eugenia Clark, Tampa

A Republican solution to stem climate change | June 29, Perspective

Stop the polluters

Do Republicans have to leave public service before they can express what they really believe? This was an excellent article by Henry M. Paulson Jr. He can't be alone among Republicans in recognizing the effects of polluting the planet, so exactly who is really in charge of that party?

When are we going to get the big-money contributions out of elections so voters stop electing candidates with the most TV commercials? The big polluters know they won't live another 100 years, so they don't care about future generations, only today's profits.

Elinor Wencka, Tampa


Thursday’s letters: On immigration there has to be a better way

‘Zero tolerance’ ignites outrage | June 20Find better way on immigrationOver the years I’ve voted for candidates from both parties. My observation of the Trump administration’s policy on immigration is not about politics. It has to do with having...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Friday’s letters: Freight trains are infrastructure that works in Tampa Bay

Railroads are infrastructure that worksFreight trains carry the loadCentral Florida is our state’s fastest-growing region. We’re on track to outpace South Florida’s growth 2-to-1 over the next several years. Great news for our local economy, but it n...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Charter schools aren’t the enemy

Don’t plug your ears when schools ask for tax | May 20, columnCharter schools aren’t the enemyAs an educator, I am astounded when I hear claims from school board members that charter schools take away funding from the local public school system. ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18