The Occupy protests have sprung up because an oligarchy of financiers, traders and bankers, enabled by lap-dog politicians, is killing American greatness and the American Dream. The demonstrations are about protesting the moving of money up the ladder at the expense of the backbone of America, the middle and working classes.
The money doesn't go up simply to enrich millionaires and their Mediterranean parties on islands they now own, but rather to be recirculated back to lap-dog politicians as re-election donations. To perpetrate a financial crime against the people and the country, you must own the government. Wall Street does.
We need politicians of the people and for the people. Individually, we are powerless against the money machine. We must find a way to move our money back down the ladder to the people, but not in the form of more debt in loans favorable to the financial industry.
We need a total reboot: new rules, new ideas, new election financing, and new penalties for corporations that use politicians who bend the rules in their favor.
Michael Blowers, Largo
Let's get rich to buy here
The reality is that there are, and always will be, very rich people. They spend money that we common folk can't imagine: buying $100,000 cars, $1,000 dinners and vacations on private yachts whose price tags would sustain us for a lifetime.
So why do we harass them for doing it? Sobbing in our Ramen noodles while we clamor for more tabloid news about their glamorous lifestyles doesn't do us any good. We should concentrate our efforts on encouraging them to spend it here in our country. They are going to spend it anyway; it's no use trying to make them feel guilty about it.
Let's encourage the rich to help our nation by spending their money to help our economy. When they buy another mansion or island, they have to furnish it, build on it, buy helicopters and planes to get there, hire people to clean it, and put people to work.
Money sitting in a bank account just benefits the Wall Street people we are complaining about.
Michael Perchard, Land O'Lakes
The Occupy groupies who want a socialist United States want to cancel student debt in order to use the money, intended now for repayment, on purchases that would "spur" the economy. Great idea. Why not cancel all private debt, including credit cards, mortgages, etc., and we can all help by spending more on ourselves while the government and private companies go out of business? These people can't be taken seriously.
Edwin Ashurst, St. Petersburg
History, according to Marco Rubio Oct. 25, commentary
An insult to genuine exiles
Reading Alexandra Petri's opinion on Marco Rubio's history brought back hurtful memories of my childhood living in Cuba under Castro's communist regime. Unlike Rubio, my parents and I came from Cuba as refugees escaping a dictatorship on March 21, 1966. My family did not freely leave Cuba, but was driven out in search of freedom after being oppressed and losing everything my parents worked hard for.
My mother passed away early this year at age 95 and always remembered the day we gained our freedom, arriving in this country over 45 years ago with only the clothes on our backs. It is a disgrace to the Cuban refugee community that Rubio represents himself and his family as victims of Cuba's communist regime for political gain and sympathy, pretending "his parent's recollection of events" gave him that impression.
I am glad he is proud of his Cuban heritage, but please don't misrepresent your history for personal or political gain. It insults me personally, as it should all Cubans who didn't have the luxury of bringing their personal belongings and family heirlooms with them. We only have our memories and they are very precious.
Mechy Fernandez Wright, Oldsmar
Bucs in London
Sunday was an enjoyable day. The singing of our national anthem at the Bucs game in London was actually performed the way it should always be sung, rather than the screeching and howling we suffer through here at home. Why don't the promoters of sporting events find some true talent with a voice instead of all those rap stars?
Fred Beerman, Tampa
Could London be a second home? Oct. 23
Before the Bucs give up a home game every year, the following should be considered.
One of the selling points for building the stadium was the economic impact that would result. By giving up a home game, the economic impact from the Bucs will be diminished by 12.5 percent per year.
Since the NFL appears to be set on having a game (or two) in England every year, a rotating schedule of all teams would be a fairer plan.
James Molloy, Pinellas Park
Monstrously funny | Oct. 25
Play is not a comedy
John Fleming's review of American Stage's August: Osage County as a "comedic masterpiece" raises an important question: Is this, as he writes, a "monstrously funny" comedy with some tragic undertones — or is it a tragedy of first-order magnitude, with comedic overtones sufficient to conceal its predominant tragic theme?
To many of us in the mental health field, this play is an unspeakable portrayal of family tragedy — an epic description of within-the-family emotional destruction of siblings, children, spouses and partners. The character of Violet so unforgettably acted by Lisa McMillan will go down in theater history as the very epitome of the prototypical destructive maternal figure, on a par perhaps with Martha in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
That the audience laughed while registering the tragedy unfolding before their eyes hardly merits depicting the play as a comedy.
Edward H. Stein, Tampa
The crime of . . . improving citizens? Oct. 27, editorial
Individual's duty to register
Nobody had to hold my hand when I turned 18. I solely took responsibility for registering to vote and proceeded to cast my ballot in the next election in which I was eligible.
It's disingenuous to think people are registering others without a nefarious plan. ACORN was proof of that in the last election. Hence, the legislative response.
Politics are a pendulum. If citizens want to vote, then let them take the initiative. Keep third parties out of it.
Eric Webber, Palm Harbor
An unconstitutional folly | Oct. 26, editorial
Testing is widespread
Some are saying that drug testing for welfare recipients is unconstitutional. Really? I am employed by a major corporation, where I do business with government agencies. In order for me to maintain my employment and do business with these agencies, it is required that I be drug tested.
Yet my tax dollars are being used to pay welfare recipients who deem it inappropriate. So the recipients of our tax dollars cannot have their liberties infringed upon and be drug tested, yet my job demands it and the welfare recipients are relying on my compliance.
Kim Lee, Clearwater
Lessons from Japan
Your recent editorials and articles concentrating on the disastrous economics of Progress Energy's nuclear power plant fixes have been illuminating, yet overlook even more disturbing possibilities. Judging from what we have just seen in Japan, we now know how easily unexpected natural or man-made catastrophes can overwhelm nuclear sites and lead to horrendous radiation leaks. If our nuclear power "experts" are already bungling, what can we expect from them in an emergency?
The newly projected $2.5 billion "fix-it" cost for the Crystal River plant would be better spent on safe, local and clean electricity generation from solar or bioenergy sources.
Stephen Breslow, Tampa
A call to raise the bar on STEM | Oct. 27
Cuts hurt performance
"Students are not challenged enough," says Florida state Rep. Will Weatherford at the STEM Summit. "Schools must become more competitive."
How dare he simply demand more, faster, better from Florida's students without once considering the other side of the equation. Overall per-student K-12 funding is down $1,000 over the past two years. When Weatherford submits a bill to restore school funding, he can demand more.
Mike Poller, Miami