Sunday, June 24, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Saturday's letters: President allowed to set enforcement priorities

After noting the "executive order regarding immigrant children being brought here by their law-breaking parents," a letter writer continues with, "A year ago he (President Barack Obama) said he had no authority to overturn immigration law on his own."

It is obvious that the writer gets news from Fox News, because this week that network ran a video interview from nine months ago with the president in which Obama did make a statement that appears to validate the letter's claim.

What Fox viewers did not see was the rest of the interview. Fox cut off the president immediately after the above statement and just before he clarified that he did have the authority to prioritize immigration enforcement.

A unilateral decision such as this has precedent going back to as recently as President George W. Bush who, in 2007, issued an executive order on immigration that did the same thing that Fox edited from the Obama interview.

It is unfortunate that Fox News continues to manipulate the news to the detriment of their viewers who do not bother verifying the "facts."

Jon Rector, Tampa

Write-in ploys shut voters out June 19, editorial

Put reform on the ballot

Every election, write-in candidates are used to close primaries and effectively disenfranchise voters, and every election, you rightfully editorialize against the practice.

You are correct that it is long past time for the "write-in loophole" to be closed, but it is unlikely the Legislature will step up and pass the necessary legislation, as they have shrugged off calls to do so in the past. Instead, we'll need to do it ourselves; a constitutional amendment will be necessary. A petition drive should be organized now so that this measure can be on the ballot in 2014.

Sean Krummerich, Largo

Big sky, clean politics — let's keep it that way June 21, commentary

Montana does it right

Praise should be heaped on the shoulders of Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock for his stand against the corporate vote-buying approved by the Supreme Court in Citizens United. Logic would indicate support for him would come from the conservative wing of Congress and its vitriolic supporters who espouse "states' rights" over federal interference and scream about the evils of "judicial activisim." Of course we have learned that in their narrow world view it is perfectly acceptable for a right-tilting Congress to trump any "liberal" state action and for rapture to flow over the decisions of what is probably one of the most "activist" courts in the history of this country.

In his opinion piece, Bullock provided the clearest expression of the wrongness of Citizens United when he noted that "electoral races aren't as transparent as NASCAR races" where the companies are proud to display their logos on cars and drivers. Voters of all stripes should be very afraid of a political system that equates corporate bodies with people and allows its politicians to conceal the logos of their sponsors from the public eye.

Arthur N. Eggers, Tampa

Slain officers' wives sue jailed suspect June 20

No place for snideness

I was shocked to read the opening line of this article on the front page of today's Tampa Bay Times: "Jail isn't enough. Now they're coming for his soda and stamps." This refers to the widows of two slain police officers who do not want the person charged in the deaths to have access to any funds donated for the purchase of "jailhouse extras" that make him comfortable.

I deem this wording insensitive, mean-spirited and much too subjective. If the snide opening statement angered me, I can only imagine how it would have affected the women it referred to.

Carol Lee O'Shea, Trinity

Hand gator took can't be reattached June 15

Offensive language

As a Christian, I found this article's quotation from a 911 call to be very offensive. Why was this use of the Lord's name, which is considered inappropriate language or swearing, included in the article for people of all ages to read?

The quotes could have been left out and it would not have changed the nature of the article at all. I find it to be a poor case of editing that I am sure has offended many people of faith.

Andy Mason, Seminole

Reliever puts Rays in sticky situation June 20

Keep it classy

Say it ain't so, Joe!

I hope I'm misreading the story, but it seems like Rays manager Joe Maddon is tolerant of his players breaking the rules, a.k.a. cheating.

Everyone loves a winner, but those of us who love the game know that it matters how you win. While putting pine tar in a pitcher's glove may be "common practice," it's still against the rules.

The Rays organization is a class act. What neither they nor Tampa Bay needs is for this team to begin the slide into becoming just another bunch of "characterless characters."

Rich Reidy, Tampa

Dalí plea: Don't fence us in | June 21

Museum deserves a break

I realize that the Grand Prix race is important to St. Petersburg. But aren't the Dalí Museum and Mahaffey Theater equally important? They will be there long after the barriers are removed. They need to be open to remain successful.

The City Council and mayor say a lot of revenue is generated from the race. They could take some of that revenue and give it to the Dalí Museum and Mahaffey Theater to compensate them for their losses.

J. Townsend, St. Petersburg

'Fast, Furious' feud rolls | June 21

An abuse of power

Now that the fox has decided to guard the henhouse by invoking presidential privilege in regard to Congress' probe into the "Fast and Furious" investigation and Attorney General Eric Holder, what's left to stop this kind of abuse of power from going further in retribution and retaliation?

Where's all that transparency that was promised by this administration when they first took office, and the promise of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to drain the swamp?

This is just the same old politics.

Ray Brown, Tampa

European success story | June 21, letter

Programs come at a cost

Germany taxes its citizens at significantly higher rates than we do in the United States. A German taxpayer, married with two children and earning the equivalent of $100,000, would pay combined income and social security taxes of $31,400 (after taking into consideration the child allowance). Compare that to his American counterpart with no itemized deductions whose combined tax bill is $15,920, or almost half. The comparison at $50,000 is worse, $9,900 in Germany versus $3,600 in the United States.

If you want increased social spending, everyone will have to pay more in taxes, not just the top 2 or 3 percent.

Mary Anne Reilly, St. Petersburg

Obesity

Government's appetite

New York City's proposed ban on large sugary drinks aims to create a fitter, slimmer population. By guaranteeing that the public consumes only approved healthy products, obesity-related health complications — and there are many — would decline. Thus the money the government spends for health care would also drop. With New York's declaration of war against those fountain sodas, and consideration of expanding the ban to encompass other unhealthful products, an essential question arises regarding the government's role in subsidizing health care costs.

The federal government will spend $846.1 billion on health care-related expenditures in fiscal 2012. Rising obesity rates have boosted health care costs. In fact, the government's outlays related to obesity equate to nearly 20 percent of health care costs.

If we rely on the government to assist us in paying for our health care costs, should it not have the power to influence our daily consumption habits? As we continue to compromise our health and rely on the government to assist us in paying for our bad habits, should not the government get a growing say in our personal behavior, since they are stuck with the bill?

With the Supreme Court set to decide on the health care overhaul, pay close attention to the court's opinion of the substantial effects test, which, under the guise of the interstate commerce clause, allows the government to intervene in commerce that substantially affects the nation's economy. Health care obviously substantially affects the economy, and obesity substantially affects health care costs.

If the court extends the interstate commerce clause's power and permits the government's individual mandate, the government may next look to curb its health care costs by limiting consumer options to healthy foodstuffs.

Kyle Caudell, Clearwater

Comments

Monday’s letters: College instructors need classes in active shooter training

Active shooter perceptions disproven | June 21We need active shooter trainingThe only guns that I had seen before coming to the United States of America were in glass cases in museums. When I came to America to get a Ph.D. in English at the Unive...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Friday’s letters: What a new Rays ballpark would mean

Rays exec hints at stadium timeline | June 15What a new ballpark would doThe Tampa Bay Rays 2020 organization is working diligently with local business leaders and civic organizations to rally support for the Rays’ new ballpark in Ybor City. The ...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Thursday’s letters: On immigration there has to be a better way

‘Zero tolerance’ ignites outrage | June 20Find better way on immigrationOver the years I’ve voted for candidates from both parties. My observation of the Trump administration’s policy on immigration is not about politics. It has to do with having...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/21/18

Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18