Georgia soars near top of U.S. aid list | Sept. 4, story
Russia invades, America pays The Bush administration has announced it is giving a billion dollars in aid to Georgia to help repair the damage done to the country by the Russian invasion.
The Russians invaded Georgia, destroying buildings and infrastructure and slaughtering many civilians. They have not been punished in any way or been made to pay any reparations to Georgia. But the American people, thanks to President Bush, are going to pay the bill.
Is this any way to run a foreign policy?
Bill Jassmann, Dunedin
The United States had to borrow the cash from China to give our citizens an IRS stimulus check. Where are we getting the money for Georgia? We don't have the money.
Jeff Mikres, Palm Harbor
Tax cut, voucher plans tossed | Sept. 4, story
Look for relief at the local level
With Amendment 5 off the ballot, tax relief now has to come from the Pinellas County School Board and the new superintendent. There is too much waste in the administrative staff personnel.
We are soon to elect School Board members. Someone who is dedicated enough to run for this important position must also be dedicated to the entire community and stop the waste. The majority of our property taxes are for the school district. If we eliminate the unneeded administrative personnel and have leadership willing to tell the tax collector not to give them so much money, we will be able to save our community.
High taxes have severely hurt our local real estate market and, therefore, our economy. We don't need the Legislature. We need strong, fiscally responsible local leadership at our school district.
Steve Goot, Indian Rocks Beach
Tax cut, voucher plans tossed | Sept. 4, story
We've been misled before
So we will be denied a chance to vote on the "tax swap" amendment because the Florida Supreme Court decided it was "misleading."
Where was this court years ago, when the "Save Our Homes" amendment, with its insidious provision allowing our property taxes to rise even as our property values plummet, appeared on the ballot? How misleading was that?
Chas. E. Lehnert, Riverview
I feel it's a shame that in order for someone to run for president of the United States he or she has to have millions of dollars and their expensive homes and whatever else their "big bucks" buy them.
There are so many other qualified people out there who would have been a much better choice than what we have now to vote for. But no money.
What we need, in reality, is a person who is out there living in the real world who knows what it's like to be affected by all the economic disasters and rising costs of everything. Those in Congress sit up there and look at the world through their "rose-colored glasses" and have no idea what it's like because they have their huge paychecks and pensions. The cost increases the average American has to face don't faze them at all. They sit up there, making decisions for all of America that in some cases are entirely wrong.
Carol Levey, St. Petersburg
Oasis for prayer at USF | Sept. 4, story
I wonder if the young ladies shown in the photo with this story realize how lucky they are.
Lucky to be praying in a safe, secure sanctuary where there's little chance of them being blown to bits by a fellow Muslim who doesn't share their same interpretation of Islam.
Lucky not to have to fear being beaten, shot, then buried alive by other Muslims who believe they should not have the right to choose a husband.
Lucky that they won't be buried up to their necks in the street and stoned by neighbors because of an infraction of the Koran.
Lucky they won't likely be the subject of an "honor" killing by a brother for even so much as a rumor that they had a friendly relationship with a boy who's not a relative.
Lucky to be getting an education in a non-Muslim country where they're treated as equals.
Food for thought during this Ramadan.
Bob Dalzell, St. Petersburg
How do we respond? | Sept. 4, letter about electronic strip searches at airports
I have heard that long-term studies have shown that all terrorist attacks on airplanes resulted in death for all those on board. Talk about ill-effects!
The reason other nations aren't scanning passengers is that their airplanes weren't slammed into buildings on their soil. As I see it, either don't fly or take the train.
Greg Walleigh, Palm Harbor
Report the repression
One of the most sacred freedoms protected under the Constitution is the freedom of the press. When a journalist gets arrested for covering an event it should strike fear into the hearts of all other journalists.
AP photographer Matt Rourke, Democracy Now's reporter Amy Goodman, two of Amy's staff and two student journalists from Kentucky along with their adviser were all arrested while covering the protests outside the Republican National Convention.
The police are not planning to charge the AP photographer presumably because he works for AP. They say they are planning to charge the remaining journalists, but from videos shown on the Web it appears the journalists were not doing anything wrong. The police claim they may have been swept up with the protesters when they were arrested. But all of these people were wearing press credentials. Goodman's are clearly visible in the video of her arrest and she could be heard telling the police she was a member of the media.
The St. Petersburg Times and other papers that have paid little attention to this story should be ashamed of themselves. One of the first steps toward a totalitarian state is shutting down the press.
Sandra Sherman, Palm Harbor
Recently I've read numerous references to the prospect of "no more newspapers." In my opinion should this ever happen, it would be a catastrophe. Although I read several newspapers online — the New York Times, the Guardian (in the United Kingdom) and Le Monde (France) — I find the most rewarding reading is usually in the form of my breakfast edition of the St. Petersburg Times.
I figure I pay about 35 cents a day for the privilege of having a newspaper delivered almost unerringly to my door early every morning. I do not have to go out in the car, costing me gas and considerable frustration in the rush hour traffic, to purchase a newspaper to read with my morning coffee. For this service I would be willing to pay twice the 35 cents a day cost. Seriously!
As a retiree who lives on a fixed income, I make careful fiscal choices. However, I can assure you that I would eat out less often, drive fewer miles, and cut down on my cable TV options in a heartbeat rather than give up the pleasure of reading the paper edition of St. Petersburg Times every morning.
As they say on TV: "Priceless."
Jane Young, Tampa