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Obama needs our support in this challenging year

Obama needs support in challenging year

This is going to be an awesome year in the history of the United States. No other country could or would go through an election like yours last November. The whole "free" world is waiting to see if President Barack Obama can make the changes that will get the global economy going again, probably the biggest challenge since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Whatever one's political beliefs — whether Democrat/liberal, Republican/conservative or independent/third party — Obama needs our support and prayers as he gets ready to be sworn into office. He has selected a Cabinet that seems to be nonpartisan, with many of his choices quite well equipped to disagree with him. That is as it should be.

Obama is certain to make mistakes and he will no doubt be tested at an early stage to see if he has what it takes to govern. He deserves a long honeymoon free of nitpicking and finger-pointing. He has a daunting task ahead of him.

Bill Murphy, Canadian snowbird, Sun City

House Speaker Ray Sansom

Taxpayer revolt may be required to jar lawmakers

I have written to Gov. Charlie Crist, my Florida lawmakers, Rep. Peter Nehr and Sen. Mike Fasano, regarding my fury over the giveaway of our tax dollars by House Speaker Ray Sansom to the college that hired him.

Florida has a serious cash shortfall and he couldn't care less. Tax collections are down and will probably continue to fall due to the economy. Many important institutions are having to cut their budgets drastically, but cronyism is in full bloom thanks to Sansom.

The silence of his fellow legislators is deafening. What do you do when your elected representatives don't give a hoot about ethics or what the electorate is asking for?

Perhaps a tax revolt would get their attention. What if most of us refused to pay our taxes? Something like "no taxation without representation." We could shut the state down and just have to pay some late interest on our taxes when we finally pay them, if we do get a response. How desperate do we have to get?

Call your legislators and hound them. Then think about my idea.

Marilyn Weaver, Tarpon Springs

Shameful government

Alex Leary's reports on Florida House Speaker Ray Sansom amount to a stunning indictment of the Destin Republican.

Sansom makes Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich look like a lightweight. And speaking of governors, what does Gov. Charlie Crist have to say about all of this?

Sansom should resign or otherwise be removed from public office immediately. Is this really how our government works?

Peter Motzenbecker, St. Petersburg

Session cracks door for advice | Dec. 31, story

An offer so generous

I just finished reading the story about the Legislature giving the public a fleeting chance to sound off this week regarding deep cuts in state programs.

In the Fast Facts box it says if you wish to speak up about the state budget you must be at the state Capitol in Tallahassee at 1 p.m. Monday. You will need to fill out a form and will get only a few minutes to speak.

As a retired transplant from New Jersey, I would like to offer in return to the GOP-controlled Legislature a chance to beat me at a street card game called Three Card Monte, and my cousin will offer to sell them a bridge in Brooklyn, N.Y.

How many Floridians do they think can afford the time and money to travel to Tallahassee for a few minutes to speak on the Legislature's programs?

A. Frank Panella Jr., Valrico

Unlocking the misery some atheists feel Dec. 28, Perspective story by Paul Bloom

What misery?

I know a fair-sized sampling of free thinkers in this area. They are mentally healthy and most are engaged in activities that promote the general welfare and quality of life. None are miserable.

Consider morality. It is, to me, safe to say that anyone whose actions are controlled by the promise of heaven or threat of hell has no morality at all. It is the same as a person going to a convenience store to rob it and driving on when he sees a police car in the parking lot. Surely a morality based on what is good for society and individuals is superior.

The free-thought community I see has social interaction and is both fulfilled and productive. Include the nominal Christians who are like the Danes and Swedes in the article and you find a large, vibrant, growing community.

Robert D. Collette, South Pasadena

Unlocking the misery some atheists feel Dec. 28, Perspective story by Paul Bloom

Fervent doubt

Thank you for publishing this excellent article. As a "recovering Catholic" and a fall-away Unitarian, I find myself poised on the edge of atheism.

I find it would be more socially acceptable to tell people that I sacrificed cats to the cat god Bast than to tell them that after many years of seeking, studying and observing my fellow man in religious environments, I doubt fervently the existence of a power-starved, merciless white-haired deity who doles out misery like cookies.

Vicki Klapper, Oldsmar

Unlocking the misery some atheists feel Dec. 28, Perspective story

Easy work for Satan

According to Paul Bloom, we might be surprised to see that secular societies such as Denmark and Sweden are in many ways more moral than Christian nations such as the United States. However, if we take the Bible to be true — a necessity for calling oneself a Christian — this should not shock us.

The Bible tells us that there is a cosmic struggle going on in the supernatural realm between good and evil, between God and Satan, with Satan's ultimate goal to overthrow God.

Overt evil is easy to condemn, but if Satan, the Great Deceiver, can influence a society to deny God yet still be "nice" to one another, has he not done his best work since the Garden of Eden?

Consider the prophecy the apostle Paul made in 2 Timothy: "In the last days … people will be lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God … having a form of godliness but denying its power."

J.C. Ford, New Port Richey

Chip Bok cartoon | Jan. 2

Pointless and small-minded

Some of us feel that it is about time to move on from the constant "Bush bashing" and give us something to think about for the future. Your Chip Bok editorial cartoon in Friday's Times is small-minded and of little substance.

Maybe it's okay to fawn over Barack Obama's abs, calling him "Buff" and George Bush a "Buffoon." Would it also be funny to compare Michelle Obama's butt to Laura Bush's behind? I don't think so, but that's how silly and unrelated to anything of significance this cartoon is.

Robert Inslee, Dade City

Obama needs our support in this challenging year 01/03/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 7, 2009 12:26pm]
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