Greer is a symptom; here's the cause, Howard Troxler column; State shutters solar future, Robert Trigaux column | June 3
Lax leadership has Florida suffering
The old saying, "All politics is local," is obvious when we read these columns by Howard Troxler and Robert Trigaux.
We should all be ashamed, and, yes, enraged at what our representatives in Tallahassee are doing, and what they are failing to do. When leadership is lacking, criminal activities can thrive. Men like Jim Greer and Ray Sansom who flaunt the law are the result of lax and unethical machinations within that body politick. When Public Service Commission members are removed because they oppose a big electric-rate increase, what does that tell us about this so-called leadership?
Then Robert Trigaux tells us, in the same issue, that state leadership voided the deal with TECO Energy that would build a solar power generating station. What are our representatives thinking? By the way, Gov. Charlie Crist loved the TECO Energy deal back in 2009.
Renewable energy is the way to go, but it seems that the Legislature isn't listening. All these political maneuverings should tell us that something's wrong in Tallahassee. Let us all write to the governor and to our representatives in Tallahassee. We all need to get involved to let them know that we won't tolerate this type of behavior anymore.
Lilyan V. Dayton, New Port Richey
State shutters solar future | June 3
An explanation is needed
We sit waiting for disaster to reach the Florida coastline where life as some of us have known it since childhood could be dramatically changed. What are state leaders (using the term loosely) thinking to ignore an opportunity to move forward with a clean, sustainable alternate energy source?
Robert Trigaux's article should open some eyes. Florida residents deserve a solid explanation for this stupidity.
Robyn Dalton, Largo
To Israel it's security first | June 2
Don't blame Israel for the poverty in Gaza
Kudos to Times senior correspondent Susan Taylor Martin on a reasonable analysis of the interdiction of the ship carrying "humanitarian aid" to Gaza. The world needs to understand one simple fact. The people of Gaza live in no less relative poverty than those in about a hundred cities around the world. The United Nations estimates that a billion people live in slums worldwide. The poverty in Gaza is bad, but to blame Israel is ridiculous.
It is estimated that last year, one ton of aid per person was allowed into Gaza. If the world cared enough, unlimited aid could be let in through Ashdod, the nearest port, after inspection as it would be with every country on Earth.
Instead of adopting the Singapore model, which is a successful, modern city-state, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority seem to want to keep Gaza a festering sore and blame Israel. The rest of the world can pour aid down a hole controlled by Hamas, or demand structural reform from the government.
The people of Gaza need to make a decision: endless war with Israel, or an open, free and democratic state that can live at peace.
Bob Tankel, Dunedin
An American is killed
Furkan Dogan, a 19-year-old American, was killed by Israelis who boarded in international waters a humanitarian ship headed for Gaza. He reportedly had four bullets in his head and one in the chest. I would not be surprised for the Israeli government to state that Furkan committed suicide. We have reached that level of lunacy.
You can find the picture of this murdered boy at the following site: http://blogs.alternet.org/speakeasy/2010/06/03/meet-the-19-year-old-american-killed-in-the-flotilla-attack/.
Those who do not raise their voice in protest are complicit in this crime.
Gregory Keuroghlian, Dunedin
We recently became aware of the deadly assault on a vessel in international waters by Israel, taking the lives of nine aid workers attempting to deliver what turned out to be humanitarian supplies.
Israeli forces are no stranger to this type of activity. Let us all remember 43 years ago in international waters on June 8, 1967, the USS Liberty was viciously attacked by air and naval forces of Israel, killing 34 U.S. sailors and wounding another 174.
The story was quickly concocted that it was a case of "mistaken identity" in an attack that lasted more than 45 minutes.
On the 43 anniversary of this atrocity, I urge all freedom-loving Americans to contact their members of Congress and ask for a full and impartial investigation for the sake of the remaining survivors. Please visit www.ussliberty.com for the full story.
Ed Ward, New Port Richey
Too quick to condemn | June 3, letter
Millions of victims
This letter refers to "hundreds of thousands of Jews" annihilated in the Holocaust. According to the files of Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi officer charged with implementing Hitler's "Final Solution," the number is 6 million.
Mary Ann Marger, St. Petersburg
A guide to making a difference | May 30, Bill Maxwell column
Tea party sentiments
Bill Maxwell refers to "social activists, veteran organizations, individuals and others who want to make a difference in their community." This is exactly what the members of the tea party and their followers are doing.
I am sure Maxwell will not criticize them based on this article about the book Soul of a Citizen, which he says "inspires people to act and to take a stand." I'm beginning to think Maxwell is a closet tea partier!
G.P. Sevachko, Holiday
A $1 trillion opportunity | June 1
An expensive military
I was impressed with the savings professor Paul C. Light pointed out if we accepted bureaucratic reform.
However, he missed one of the largest savings: the cost of our military presence in more than 123 countries and the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Edward Knecht, Sun City Center
More money games
The Republican Party of Florida is outraged that Jim Greer stole money from them. I find it ironic that they don't feel the same way about the Legislature playing similar games with taxpayers' money.
Jay Yardley, St. Petersburg