Risk won; taxpayers lost | Sept. 19, story
SBA debacle needs correcting
Congratulations on your good and timely reporting of the State Board of Administration's ongoing irregular activities. Apparently nothing was learned from the 2007 crash and subsequent loss of taxpayer money. All of the decisionmakers are still in place.
Mike Lombardi, director of short-term investments, Kevin SigRist, and Rob Smith should have been drummed out of the SBA as soon as their willingness to circumvent the rules came to light. The fact they weren't shows that the "good old boys" are still, very much, in charge. In my thinking, Bill McCollum's statement: "Sounds like we were cleared to me" was a bit of wishful and erroneous thinking.
The taxpayers who were robbed by the Local Government Investment Pool a.k.a. "Florida Prime" debacle should start correcting this thinking come November.
Russell J. Watrous, Land O'Lakes
The good guys
As a corporate lawyer, I was pleased to read in two of the front page stories last Sunday (Risk won; taxpayers lost and Reports warned Scott of trouble) that the lawyers were the good guys, advising their clients that what they were doing or wanted to do was probably illegal. It's a change from always being portrayed as the villains in the story.
Muriel Desloovere, St. Pete Beach
A hero finds victory in defeat | Sept. 20, story
History lessons are needed
All children in school should read this article as a requirement in their history classes.
I was young during the Vietnam War and did not understand the complexities, and for many years many did not know the allies were so loyal. All the Vietnamese were hated, regardless of their position, not to mention the hatred toward the American vets.
Please, teachers, teach your students about faith, friendship, allies, and the atrocities that we did not know about for so long. This man was a POW for 13 years. Unimaginable. Have them watch the movie The Hanoi Hilton.
Why people torture each other is something one cannot fathom. But no one taught me this history when I was growing up — it was too painful. Please teach them so it will not be repeated.
Tamara McCorquodale, Gulfport
Remember the poorest
On Wednesday, President Barack Obama made the case for continued American support of life-saving efforts in the world's poorest places.
Obama argued that when countries suffering in extreme poverty build sustainable pathways out of poverty — when they can provide clean water, food and vaccines for their people — the United States becomes safer.
In an increasingly globalized and dangerous world, we have not only a moral duty to help those in need, but also a compelling national security interest. America's development efforts save millions of lives and help prevent future conflicts that compromise the safety and security of the American people.
Floridians have joined ONE's local ONE Vote 2010 campaign to engage all three of our U.S. Senate candidates in the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease. ONE Vote 2010 has been active on the campaign trail since July, and is working to make sure our next senator will go to Washington with the world's poorest people in mind.
Kathleen Barclay, Tampa
Feeling the squeeze | Sept. 23, letter
Start thinking, voters
A recent letter writer wonders why our "leaders" act as though the voters do not know how to think for themselves and will believe anything they are told.
The reason they do so is that it is a successful strategy. Politicians know that in modern politics if you tell an untruth often enough and forcefully enough, people will believe it.
An example is the "stimulus." It has saved and created millions of jobs and kept us out of a depression. Yet by loudly and repeatedly calling it a dismal failure, the "outs" (in an effort to go back to being the "ins") have convinced a plurality of voters that it was a failure.
This strategy will continue until we voters actually do begin to think for ourselves and only accept what we are told if it is empirically true.
Edwin J. Bradley, Lithia
Rubio listed as "hero" to court | Sept. 23, story
I am utterly appalled and my intelligence has been insulted by the continued insistence of certain lawmakers that they did not advocate for the Taj Mahal of courthouses built in the state capital's own backyard. Specifically, if the speaker of the house at the time didn't "advocate" the project, then why wasn't an opposition mounted? Or is this a demonstration of the former speaker's legislative ineptitude?
Using the excuse that the bond issue was attached to an unrelated transportation bill only advertises complete incompetence or it's a back-and-fill technique to hide duplicity. Either way, the persistent arrogance portrayed has become almost laughable, when instead they could just speak the truth that they all thought it was good idea at the time.
The political backdoor wheeling and dealing in this state has reached new levels of absurdity and causes me to contemplate why I still live here.
Kevin Lavin, St. Petersburg
Liberating the party | Sept. 22, letter
A shaky plan
I've been a Republican voter for the past 40 years, but the letter writer's logic escapes me. He suggests that long-term positive results ensue when we liberate the party "from the death grip of electable buffoons" by nominating un-electable, and even larger, buffoons.
This strategy only ensures the delivery of the nation into the grip of an ever-increasing Democratic majority. It also leaves an impotent opposition possessing no say whatsoever to counterbalance said majority. Such a policy fills me only with horror, not hope, for the future my grandchildren will inherit.
Frank Anderson, Spring Hill
Why new lightbulbs save little | Sept. 19, Perspective story
A notion too bright
We are told compact fluorescent light bulbs are bad because they contain mercury. Now we are told LED lighting is bad because (as ridiculous as it sounds) it is too cost efficient.
The assumption that we will each increase our lighting use tenfold in the coming score of years is highly questionable. You only have to replace one 75 watt lamp with 750 watts of light in your house to (literally) see how absurd that assumption really is.
On the other hand, we may now know the secret to congressman John Boehner's permanent tan.
Lee Kasner, Tampa
Why new lightbulbs save little | Sept. 19, Perspective story
They'd just raise our rates
The article does not address another reason why there would be no savings from new forms of lighting.
If there were no increase in lighting usage (probably unlikely), the utility companies would see a decrease in their income. Oh my goodness!
Based on past performance, regulators would just approve an increase in our electric rates to keep the utility companies happy and avoid litigation. Look what happened to the last increase that was denied. Most who voted against the last rate increase are no longer on the Public Service Commission.
With the current regulations, it's still heads they win, tails we lose.
I wish I had a guaranteed return on my investment, even if it were only 5 to 10 percent!
Paul Schneider, Sun City Center
Rally seeks to make kids Florida's top priority | Sept. 21, story
Aim at parents
Does anyone besides me detect the irony in the statement from this article:
"A third of the state's children are not ready to enter kindergarten …"
It seems obvious to me that the top initiative of the new Children's Movement of Florida must be parental education.
Marilyn Renner, Dunedin
Wind could have parted the Red Sea Sept. 22
Wielding the winds
A recent story stated that scientists using computer simulations had determined that a strong enough wind could divide the Red Sea just as the Bible says Moses did.
Well, the Bible does not say that Moses did this but that God did and what could be more natural than that God should use his own creation: the winds?
So much for the naysayers who claim the parting could not have happened.
John Royse, St. Petersburg