In God's Name | Oct. 28
Don't ignore good that groups do
It is disappointing when the Tampa Bay Times chooses to focus on niche "Christian" groups that function outside the normal Christian ideology. It makes one wonder if this is a not-so-subtle attempt to help bring down Amendment 8. There are many Christian organizations in the Tampa Bay area that help those in need: groups working with the homeless, needy children, women who suffer domestic violence, drug abusers and others.
Metropolitan Ministries provides Thanksgiving dinners for hundreds during the holidays. They also provide food, emergency shelters and funds for electric bills all year. Someone Cares Tampa Bay reaches to the destitute, both physical and spiritual. Touched by an Angel provides a transition for those who need a lift.
Many of the churches that dot the area also provide meals, child care, and a multitude of other services for those in need. People who approach these churches find compassion, love, kindness and understanding. Even if Amendment 8 goes down in flames, it will not change the quality and desire these churches and Christian groups have to serve people as God commanded.
Bob Albury, St. Petersburg
In God's Name | Oct. 28
As an atheist/humanist I doubt that I would ever receive much support in creating a program to help young students in Florida. After all, I would promote the teaching of how to lead ethical lives that aspire to the greater good of society without evoking any religious dogma. Since the term "Christian" "god" or "religion" would not be a part of my curriculum, the backlash would be too much to endure. However, if I place these three words anywhere in my school's mission, I would receive state permission to treat my students any way I wish with no fear of retribution.
I am not sure what is the worst part of this tragedy. Is it that these schools were allowed to exist at all, or is that, after investigations of the alleged abuse, nothing was done to save these children? I hope I will never get used to the shameful hypocrisy of Florida politics.
John Gee, St. Petersburg
How can we believe him?
Mitt Romney continues to run an ad that lies about Jeep sending its jobs to China. He proudly proclaims that he approves this message. PolitiFact has labeled that message "Pants on Fire!" Chrysler and GM management have denounced the ad as completely untrue and have issued statements to calm the workers.
If Romney is willing to lie without any hesitancy, and continues to "approve this message," why should we believe anything that he says?
Gary Gibbons, Tampa
The world won't stop
On Tuesday, we will vote for whomever we think will do the least harm the next four years. On Wednesday, no matter who won or lost, the world will go on. And in four more years, we will still have a national debt that cannot or will not be paid off.
We have had a national debt since Andrew Jackson. Both parties have had the opportunity to do something about it, but haven't. They have borrowed from anyplace they possibly can. Neither party will even think about raising taxes. Both parties will blame the other for not working with them, and the merry-go-round will still go around.
In my many years (76), I have found there are two things that don't work in this country: our welfare system and trickle-down economics. I have never been on welfare and the trickle-down never got to me.
Weldon L. Comerford, Seminole
RNC to cost taxpayers $28,000 | Nov. 2
City got a great deal
I can't claim that I wasn't extremely upset about the $580,000 Republican National Convention estimate at first, but I reserved my opinions until I found out what our final costs would be after reimbursement. This independent voter, and taxpayer, wants to know why it's still going to cost us $28,000, but I will gladly pay my portion of that amount for St. Petersburg's gain of $500,000 in police equipment and training alone, not to mention the "sprucing up" throughout the county and the incalculable amount of tourist and advertising revenue the city continues to receive. Kudos to you Mayor Bill Foster for making such a great deal.
David Hoover, St. Petersburg
National fund needed
It's difficult to talk about monetary costs after a disaster in which people lost their lives, homes and jobs. But as someone trying to convince others to take research on alternate energy seriously, I need to focus on the multibillion-dollar price tag created by this latest weather catastrophe.
While no single weather event can be directly linked to our warming planet, all legitimate climate scientists agree that in the future such costly events are bound to increase, if not in frequency, then in raw power. As some have observed, we'll soon be having one of these hundred-year events every couple of years. We can only hope Congress will finally understand that a national catastrophe fund is necessary.
The price of converting to an electro-hydrogen economy should be compared to the cost of recovering from these events. Electric power taken directly from the sun would replace the costly carbon-oxidizing methods we use today. And cheap solar-based electricity means we can make low-cost hydrogen to power our vehicles and run the electric grid throughout the night.
So when we start talking about spending $20 or $30 billion to fix this year's climate-induced damage, doesn't it make sense to invest a few million to research some of the many alternate energy methodologies? The science is there; all we need is a serious commitment.
John Boyle, Brooksville
Romney and FEMA
If you haven't voted yet, I would encourage you to contemplate the images of disaster in the Northeast and the effective response by FEMA in assisting states and local governments in coping with the massive devastation. The Obama administration had the personnel and systems in place to respond because of an adequately funded and well managed Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Now I would suggest that you envision a major disaster in your area four years from now if Mitt Romney is elected and has a Republican majority in Congress. Romney suggested in a primary debate that emergency management should be returned to the states or the private sector.
Ask yourself: Can I depend on an adequately funded and well managed FEMA if Romney becomes president? Your life may depend on it.
Deette W. Preacher, Tallahassee