Girl's rape tough to reconcile for GOP | Sept. 7, Sue Carlton column
No one has right to take a life
The Republican "no exceptions" abortion platform statement should not be criticized. It is logical and consistent. The child of rape or incest is every bit as much a human child as anyone else.
Indefensibly, the real inconsistency, as noted in Sue Carlton's column, is the position of candidates and officeholders who run as conservative Republicans and yet do not follow that "playbook." Equally as incongruous are the schizophrenic laws which allow for a homicide charge when the "wanted" child is killed by an assailant, while the "unwanted" child can be legally dismembered in an abortion without the blinking of an eye.
Until society views the unborn child as a person and confers equal rights upon that person, the mealymouthed politicians will continue to look hypocritical, talking out both sides of their mouths and making ridiculously illogical comments.
Until we acknowledge that no one has the right to choose to kill an innocent human being — regardless of the circumstances of conception — we will continue to see politicians and voters who are willing to accept the killing of some of the babies some of the time.
Jana Carpenter, Clearwater
Democratic National Convention
I found Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's excuse for the omission of God and Jerusalem from the DNC platform very interesting. According to her, the president was not aware that the two were left out (intentionally or otherwise).
If that is indeed true, then it appears that the president subscribes to the Nancy Pelosi school of the legislative process: "Let's pass it so we can read it and see what's in it."
Michael P. Catalano, Palm Harbor
Remember the cuts
I can't stand by any longer without commenting on the new education TV ad where our esteemed Gov. Rick Scott brags about allocating $1 billion this year for education. What he refuses to mention is that he and our Florida Legislature cut $1.3 billion for education out of the budget last year.
I am sick and tired of the smoke and mirrors this administration continues to practice. Do they really think we are all uninformed idiots?
Lou Bader, St. Petersburg
Program rife with abuse
Recent articles on the food stamp program point to a seemingly black hole of fraud and waste. As a food stamp certification worker for three years back in the 1980s, I personally turned in over 500 cases of OFR (overissuance, fraud and recoupment).
It was a disgusting job — underpaid (some certifiers were on food stamps) and dangerous (clients carry guns and knives) — and those who needed help the most couldn't get it.
The main concern was, like with any other government program, to give out as much as you did last year if you don't want your funding cut. There is no incentive to get people off food stamps, only to keep them there. There is no incentive to clean up the program, or they would have done so in the 30 years since I left it.
Craig R. McNees, Tampa
The liberal media touts the new job numbers as great news for the president. But the facts are that the unemployment rate went down to 8.1 percent with only 98,000 additional new jobs, and 368,000 people dropped out of the workforce.
The president's strategy of providing more handouts will further enhance his chances of being re-elected by encouraging an additional couple of million people to drop out and seek public assistance so the rate will approach 7 percent, a number more conducive to his quest for re-election.
Peter Hofmann, Gulfport
Heads in the sand
The latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that from July 2008 until July 2012, the working-age population in Florida grew by 954,000 people. Yet the same data show that 211,000 fewer people are now working. In other words, more people are riding the wagon and fewer people are pulling it.
Already in January 2010, I wrote the Pinellas County Commission that the labor force participation rate was decreasing to dangerously low levels. Since that time and according to the BLS, the Florida labor force participation rate has declined another 1.7 percent. It now stands at 60 percent.
In the face of the grim economic reality that the average working citizen faces, a majority of the Pinellas County Commission now wants to raise the property tax millage rate. By doing so, they are telling you that the government's needs and wants come before your needs.
Federal and state officials already have their heads in the sand; don't let our local elected officials also stick their heads in the sand.
Tom Rask, Seminole
Feds: State is warehousing kids | Sept. 7
Put focus on children
I find it outrageous that the Times would bury an article in a side column on page 3 of the local section regarding federal investigators accusing Florida of violating federal law by warehousing hundreds of disabled children for years in nursing homes.
Yet you managed to headline articles on Scientology, Tampa jobs for visas and other items that I don't feel are as important as the abuse of our children.
John Peterpaul, Clearwater
Clean up the signs
It has now been a month since the end of the local elections and primary. It is past time for the candidates to have removed their campaign signs. We are quickly headed into the next election round, which means more pollution on the side of our roads. This is disgraceful and disgusting.
If the candidates and/or their workers don't remove them, then anyone should be allowed to pull them out of the ground and put them in the garbage.
Let's clean up.
Brenda Calabrese, Seminole