Sunday, December 17, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Saturday's letters: Government fails to stop migrant influx

In spite of the ongoing invasion of our nation by people from Central America, there has been no mention in the Times of the Mexicans who are ferrying illegals across the Rio Grande on water scooters at $100 a head while U.S. officials stand by and take no action. This was reported on several news channels and Internet news sites.

Article 4, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution states that the federal government has a duty to protect the states from invasion — any invasion, not just military.

Why are our elected officials turning a blind eye to this? They are elected to protect the citizens of the United States, not foreign nationals breaking our laws.

It is far past the time to round up those people who have flouted our laws with their illegal presence in the United States and enact crippling penalties on the business people who place profit over loyalty to those who make their businesses possible.

If drastic action is not taken soon, the United States will become another failed state. A nation that cannot and will not protect its borders is no nation and none of its inhabitants owe it any loyalty.

Richard M. Hoffman, Ruskin

Economic recovery

Spending power eroded

As talk increases about economic recovery, so do expectations about future growth and prosperity. Is a recovery likely, or are we setting ourselves up for disappointment?

After all, the stock market can be making all-time highs (it is), GDP can be on the rise (it is), auto sales can be healthy (they supposedly are), and employment can be approaching 100 percent (it is not), but if the majority of people don't have money to spend the economy will remain stuck in the mud.

Some three-quarters or more of Americans are feeling the squeeze of flat or declining incomes and growing expenses to the point that their discretionary income is disappearing. It's difficult to envision wages increasing in a global economy where competition for jobs increasingly comes from foreigners willing to work for far less than we're accustomed to.

Big-ticket expenses such as property insurance, health care, education and transportation have escalated in the past 10 years, taking substantial bites out of consumer budgets. We should certainly not expect a return to the high-flying, champagne-drinking days of just a decade ago.

Chip Thomas, Tampa

Public to weigh in again on Pier plan June 18

Back to the future

My idea for the new pier is to return to the original Million Dollar Pier, with restaurants, a ballroom, a rooftop nightclub and an electric trolley for access. The original pier complemented the architecture of the Vinoy and blended into the waterfront so well.

Nick Glover, Odessa

Citizens' voices will be heard on All Aboard Florida | June 16, letter

Train plan about developers

I find it interesting that Gov. Rick Scott is defending All Aboard Florida and the quiet zones that will be created to protect citizens between Miami and Orlando from the noise of the 32 trains a day that will run the rails at the end of this project.

I used to live in Palm Beach County in the 1970s. I had to plan my day around trains and bridges back in the day — and there were very few trains. Today, where All Aboard Florida plans to run 32 trains a day, there are less than a dozen trains running now. The law does not allow them to hold up traffic for more than five minutes. What in the world will happen when 32 trains are running on those same tracks? Thirty-two times five minutes is a lot of minutes stuck in traffic.

The trains are not the important thing here. The private developers already own property in Miami and Palm Beach County where they plan to develop depots, restaurants, shops and the like. They believe that these things will attract 400 people per train, 32 trains per day, from Miami to Orlando. Really? Twenty years from now, those trains will likely no longer run. The restaurants and shops will be gone. But the developers will have made their millions and moved on to other projects.

Judy Hess, Palm Harbor

Caution, calm best Iraq policy June 18, editorial

Foreign policy naivete

I found this editorial to be stupefying in its naivete. The statement that President Barack Obama should "continue to move methodically, encouraging conversations with other nations" ignores the fact that the barbarians are at the door.

When faced with this imminent crisis, Obama sucked it up and went on vacation to California for four days, during which he played a couple rounds of golf, gave a speech and held three fundraisers. Upon his return from the Golden State, he fired up Air Force One for a trip to New York so he could have another fundraiser. As you recall, the morning after the attack in Benghazi, he could be seen boarding a flight to Las Vegas for, yes, a fundraiser.

And this is our commander in chief?

As to "conversations with other nations," that is so absurd that if the situation were not so dire, it would be laughable. You mention the Saudis. The Saudis are the ones who funded ISIS to begin with. You also state Obama should "build international pressure for a negotiated end to the violence." Maybe the United States, Canada and Belize could make this happen, but I have strong doubts.

Mike Lyons, Apollo Beach

Government openness

Secrecy and cover-ups

Liberal President Barack Obama pledged to run the most transparent administration in history. In this, his administration has been a dismal failure. Secrecy, cover-ups and withholding information have been the rule and not the exception. The IRS, Benghazi and domestic spying on U.S. citizens scandals are proof of how little this administration cares about being honest with the American people.

Even liberal Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont has complained about the growing trend by government to withhold large swaths of information from the public. As Leahy said, "If you screw up in government, just mark it top secret." This effectively prevents the administration from having to disclose anything under Freedom of Information Act requests.

Additionally, with the attack on free speech by liberals, as pointed out by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the recent Harvard commencement, we have a pattern of intolerance by Democrats and their supporters that is far worse than anything ever experienced in our country.

Louis Ciardulli, Safety Harbor

Health care

Technology improves care

As a council of the National Kidney Foundation, we focus on three things: awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease. The combination of health care, broadband and advances in medicine is making great strides related to prevention and treatment.

Smartphone and tablet apps are helping medical professionals monitor and treat patients. They also help patients with kidney transplants learn how to stay healthy.

The market for mobile medical apps will significantly grow over the next few years. These apps and other technologies are critical to preventive care and treatment.

I hope Florida's congressional delegation sees the potential and will support modernizing the Communications Act. Continued advancements of the health care industry are directly linked to the communications industry. A new law will put health care technologies in the best position to grow. Leaving an outdated law as-is is a hindrance to future technologies.

Terence Stevens, chairman, Citrus Council, National Kidney Foundation of Florida, Lakeland

Washington Redskins

Branding challenge

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has just ruled that the name "Redskins" is disparaging and can't be protected. NFL team owner Dan Snyder will either have to change the name or counterfeiters from Baltimore to Bangladesh will retool their production lines — and they'll be able to get away with it.

You can argue all you want about the wisdom (or morality) of the "Redskins" moniker, but to the tender sensitivities of an NFL team owner, licensing royalties trump just about everything else.

So what do we call them now? Doubtless Snyder will be tempted to call in one of the country's smartest "branding" experts. These are the same guys who gave Tampa Bay the bright idea of using what looks like a skull and crossbones as a tourist logo. "Hey, come visit!" it screams: "We've got poison!"

Since professional football can get pretty violent, let's give Washington's team a name that'll provide America a collective "Weekly Hate" worthy of George Orwell.

Let's call them the Washington Bureaucrats. Just think how much fun it'll be to watch the tackles.

Mike Collins, Tampa


Monday’s letters: Tax plan bad for the country

Trump, GOP make good on tax cuts Dec. 14Tax plan is bad for the countryUnless senators such as Susan Collins, R-Maine, and our own Marco Rubio develop some backbone, the Republican tax bill could well pass.The bill would inflict harm on the people wh...
Published: 12/15/17
Sunday’s letters: Rule of law at stake in Mueller inquiry

Sunday’s letters: Rule of law at stake in Mueller inquiry

Justice official parries attacks | Dec. 14Rule of law at stake in inquiryConservative media outlets and a number of Republicans in both chambers of Congress have launched an all-out assault on special counsel Robert Mueller and his team in an eff...
Published: 12/14/17
Updated: 12/15/17

Saturday’s letters: Project silent on rising sea levels

Published: 12/13/17
Updated: 12/15/17

Friday’s letters: Put yourself in a business owner’s shoes

GOP plan favors owners | Dec. 11Perils of small business ownersI wonder if the author of this article has even a clue about owning a business. Businessmen — especially small business owners — risk it all. They risk their savings, their car, their...
Published: 12/13/17
Updated: 12/14/17

Thursday’s letters: Trump’s values hardly admirable

Finally, a president who cares | Dec. 13, letterTrump’s values hardly admirableThe letter writer is happy to have someone in the White House who "truly cares about our country’s business" and is "unafraid … of mentioning God and religious values....
Published: 12/13/17

Wednesday’s letters: Proposal would restore Florida Forever funding

Florida ForeverPlan boosts land protectionMost of us thought funding for land conservation in Florida would be restored when we voted the Water and Land Conservation Amendment (Amendment 1) into law in 2014. It passed easily, with 75 percent of voter...
Published: 12/11/17
Updated: 12/12/17

Tuesday’s letters: Writer should look to his own mistakes

Is anyone ever wrong anymore? | Dec. 8Writer should look to own errorsIn Mitch Daniels’ article about people who have been wrong, he finishes with the statement that our lives would be greatly improved with more people saying, "I was wrong."He mi...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/11/17

Monday’s letters: Don’t drill in Arctic refuge

Arctic National Wildlife RefugeStop plan to drill for oil in refugeOur nation faces yet another effort to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge reserve to oil and gas drilling. Drilling in the Arctic simply doesn’t make sound financial sense. W...
Published: 12/08/17

Sunday’s letters: Tax bill puts U.S. on right course

The GOP’s regressive tax plans | Dec. 5, editorialTax bill puts U.S. on right courseThe Times is already crying wolf over the new tax cuts, claiming that the new laws "could" result an increase in the national debt of $1.5 trillion over the next ...
Published: 12/07/17

Pasco letters to the editor for Dec. 15

Re: Helping Others Fulfills our purpose here on Earth | Nov. 17 guest columnThe good doctor acknowledges a CreatorThank you for publishing Dr. Rao Musunuru’s guest column. As Congressman Gus Bilirakis said in the Congressional Record, this good d...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/13/17