Sanctions target Iran's energy, financial sectors | Nov. 22
Put Iran claims under scrutiny
Will journalists be up to the job for the coming Iran war?
Before the Iraq war, journalists ate up everything George W. Bush said as he led us into a quagmire with no WMDs and almost 5,000 dead American soldiers. The media didn't have the guts to question evidence sources that proved shady, while reputable counter-statements were ignored.
On Democracy Now, Seymour Hersh said we are following the same scenario. The administration is pushing propaganda to vilify Iran on questionable statements, with no new evidence to support a nuclear weapons program. Whether a war is right or wrong, journalists should be scouring evidence sources for reliability before the shooting starts.
War is a profitable game for weapons manufacturers and mercenaries. They don't care how many die or the cost, which is profit to them.
William Gilbert, Weeki Wachee
Tampa International Airport
On a few recent visits to Tampa International Airport, I have noticed an increasing number of cars parked at the curb in front of the terminals.
When I made my latest visit on a busy Monday afternoon at about 5 p.m., I was forced to park in the second lane to pick up two elderly neighbors who needed assistance. While struggling to get them and their luggage to the car, I asked the traffic officer why the people sitting in their cars at the curb weren't getting ticketed for just sitting there. I was informed that the policy had changed and that management had decided not to ticket for that violation and apparently not to bother chasing them either.
What would be the logic for such a decision? Forget that it causes more dangerous loading in the roadway, more difficulty finding the party you are trying to pick up, and in general a chaotic traffic situation. How many hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent to build the cellphone waiting lot to prevent this exact problem?
This is not to mention that allowing people to park in front of the terminal could present a terrorism threat.
Bob Russell, Hudson
State hired law firm with Scott ties | Nov. 16
Plenty for the favored few
Listening to the people in our state government talk about having to cut expenses and lay off people to balance the budget doesn't hold water anymore with me.
The good old boys (and girls) just found, in this case, nearly $400,000 of taxpayer money to spend on a "good old boy" law firm to defend a law. How is it so easy for Gov. Rick Scott to spend this kind of money without getting approval from the Legislature?
Edward R. White, New Port Richey
Blame is everywhere
Excuses, excuses, excuses. Ever since the economic downturn, people, institutions and government are excusing themselves from all sorts of selfish and shameful behavior — blaming everyone and everything for their own failings and incivilities.
Occupiers are blaming the rich while excusing their destruction of property, barring people from their workplace and living in squalor.
Students at UC Davis are refusing to respond to the campus police while vilifying them for their lawful use of force.
Democrats and Republicans in Congress are blaming each other for the supercommittee's failure to reach a satisfactory compromise on taxes, spending and the deficit.
The Obama administration is angry at the current crop of GOP candidates for misrepresenting the facts, and the candidates in turn are using every means at their disposal to discredit the president for his inactivity and lack of leadership.
The poor blame the rich; the jobless blame corporations for not hiring and for awarding exorbitant bonuses; mortgagees blame banks; banks blame Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; and both of them blame Congress for forcing them to give shaky loans.
On and on it goes, and no one takes responsibility for his or her self-seeking or self-concerned actions. Who would have ever thought that we would reach this point in our history where we openly and without guilt choose to take the easy way out by blaming others while excusing our own negligence.
Earl A. Myers Jr., Tampa
Shift change in order
I believe a randomly selected group of fast food workers would not do any worse than the present Congress.
Richard P. Flatau, Seminole
Progress bills will rise soon | Nov. 23
Free market frauds
The best example of an oxymoron I know is to write "Republican" and "free market" in the same sentence. For Republicans, "free market" has only one meaning: freedom for corporations to squeeze the customers to asphyxia.
I wonder what is more disgusting: the heartless Progress Energy using and abusing the laws that let them strangle the citizens, or the complacent cynicism of our "leaders" endorsing the blatant blackmail of these monopolies as "reasonable" actions? Or perhaps the worst thing is the obtuse credulity of Floridians who elect them again and again.
Simon Agmann, St. Petersburg
Hold company responsible
Progress Energy showed a total disregard for the consequences of its actions in trying to do repairs in-house when they were advised strongly by experts in this particular repair not to go ahead. Now the bill to fix their mistake is going to cost many times the original cost.
I feel Progress Energy should be held responsible for any and all costs over and above the original bid to have repairs done correctly. Furthermore, Progress Energy should be held to having to pay the costs directly from their profits rather than being able to just pass the bill onto the customer.
Alan Goodale, Dunedin
No tip left for Hooters speaker | Nov. 19
Over the last years we have been informed of child sexual abuse by teachers, ministers, priests, doctors, lawyers, coaches and many more professional people. I have yet to hear a case against a Hooters waitress.
Larry Raponi, Clearwater