It's over: Officials, NFL agree to deal | Sept. 27
Dispute showed value of unions
Let's face it: The referee lockout was about greed on the part of the NFL commissioner and the owners. They disdain the union and the working man.
I have been in a unionized workplace all of my life with the exception of the military. I have been with the meat packers, pipe fitters, ironworkers, teamsters and firefighters. Everything I have now is because of the union affiliation. Every benefit I got from those professions we had to bargain for. Those company owners and city officials never came to us and said, "You people are great; here's a nice raise for you."
It's too bad that it took a referee lockout to see the importance of unions. The refs just wanted a fair shake for a job well done. Imagine if firefighters and police were replaced by inexperienced workers because they were not allowed to bargain for fair compensation. The current climate against organized labor is frightening.
This isn't just about unions but the whole working class. The rich just keep getting richer. Professional football owners and commissioners have shown their true colors: green.
Joe Kraeszig, Belleair Bluffs
Hit them in pocketbook
All the NFL owners and their commissioner care about is squeezing as much money as they can out of their players, officials, fans and, in many NFL cities, taxpayers.
They didn't care what happened to our game when they locked out the referees. They wanted to squeeze a few dollars out of the pockets of their employees to put in their own. It had nothing to do with the game and everything to do about owner greed.
This won't be the last time NFL owners stick it to the fans. Maybe we ought to lock them out by skipping a game or two, switching the channel or buying products the NFL isn't selling. Let's remind them that it's the fans who allow them the privilege to peddle their product to the masses. Hit them in the pocketbook and maybe NFL owners will think twice before they mess with our game again.
Gene Wells, Tampa
Consult the numbers
It is always helpful to look at the facts to understand a situation. So let's use the facts the U.S. Labor Department gives us to compare the Republican and Democratic parties.
The Republican Party has held the presidency for 28 of the last 50 years; the Democrats for 22 years. In that half century, the total number of jobs created by the Republicans was 24 million, compared to 42 million under the Democrats.
The stock market return under the Republicans was 109 percent and under the Democrats 992 percent; or, annualized, under the Republicans 2.7 percent and Democrats 11 percent.
Gross national product under Republican leadership grew 2.7 percent, compared to 4.1 percent under the Democrats. Income growth under the Republicans was 0.6 percent versus 2.2 percent under the Democrats.
Sharon E. Rapp, Homosassa
Fla. justice criticizes GOP attack | Sept. 25
Threat to democracy
I don't know any other term but bullying to describe the Republican Party's assault on democracy and freedoms in Florida. They are now going after Supreme Court justices. When I look back over the past several years at their actions, it seems the party is becoming more arrogant and intoxicated with political power. It's like they can do and get away with just about anything.
A judge does not have a militia, army or a police force to enforce orders. A judge only has a pen and the ability to use it on documents. So why do people in this land of democracy comply? It's our respect for and trust in our independent and impartial judiciary. We all know that an independent judiciary is the cornerstone of our democracy.
Al Mccray, Tampa
Time is short to stop Iran, Netanyahu says Sept. 28
No time for complacency
On Sept. 11, 2001, the world witnessed in graphic detail the result of an attack by Islamic terrorists on defenseless civilians in an effort to create maximum havoc. Had these same Islamic terrorists had access to a nuclear device, does anyone doubt they would have used it?
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears to be a voice crying in the wilderness while the world sits back. Complacency is a sign of weakness, which the Islamists relish.
Peter J. Brock, Sun City Center
Romneys release tax bill | Sept. 22
A charitable return
There has been a great deal of discussion regarding Mitt Romney's income taxes. Granted he paid only 14.3 percent on capital gains of $13.6 million. Under current law that is all he was required to pay. How many people do we know who pay more income tax than required by law?
However, going a little deeper we find that he donated $4 million to charities of his choice. Add that to the $1.95 million he paid in taxes and it constitutes 43.8 percent of his income. There is a strong possibility that the $4 million will reach as many, if not more, people in need than if it was paid to the government as tax.
Thomas Varnum, North Redington Beach
We can't tax our way to recovery Sept. 28, letter
Consumers are the key
The concept of not taxing the wealthy "job creators" because they are the economic engine of recovery is false. The economic engine of recovery is the middle class; their purchasing power drives our economy. Over 70 percent of the American economy is driven by consumer spending.
Business growth does not depend upon the wealthy. No matter how much funding is available, no business will grow without customers.
Jay Hall, Tampa
IEDs remain deadliest threat to U.S. troops Sept. 28
In addition to IED casualties, another ongoing tragedy are the civilian deaths caused by U.S. drone attacks. A report by Stanford/NYU researchers documents the effect of drone strikes on civilians living in Pakistan. It says: "The number of 'high-level' targets killed as a percentage of total casualties is extremely low — estimated at just 2 percent."
The effects on the civilian population of living with the terror of drones 24/7 are profound. We are terrorizing the local population.
Robert Van Wyk, St. Pete Beach