Thursday, December 14, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Sunday's letters: Bangladesh climbs economic ladder

Goodwill toward sweatshops | Dec. 2, Robyn Blumner column

Climbing up the economic ladder

This is not an exoneration of the negligence or perfidy that culminated in the death of over 100 workers in a Bangladeshi garment factory. However, as we sort out blame and prescribe reform, let us not forget that over a thousand living workers, and their families, are going hungry.

I have been to Greenville, S.C., where they now make cars. I have been to Mumbai, India, where they now produce electronics. Both bootstrapped up the economic ladder after starting in the "rag trade."

In the 1990s, more than half of the population of Bangladesh lived below subsistence. Millions died. Over the period since, Bangladesh has tripled its market share of international garment manufacturing and, not at all coincidentally, the poverty rate has declined by over 1 percent per year. Millions more live. I urge caution before summoning the regulatory and union cavalry.

J.P. Byrne, Largo

We should make marijuana legal Dec. 2, commentary

Facts will turn the tide

Marijuana prohibition is the most wasteful, destructive social policy since the Jim Crow laws of the Deep South. I don't know what it will take to reach the tipping point toward legal cannabis, but data is accumulating that may help.

Researchers at universities in Colorado, Oregon and Montana have studied the 17 states that enacted medical marijuana laws between 1990 and 2010. They found that the law was accompanied by significant decreases in traffic fatalities, with strong indications connecting this to decreases in alcohol consumption.

These researchers also plan to look at crime rates. Does anyone believe legal cannabis will be found to be associated with more domestic violence, barroom fights, turf battles and murders? Not I.

John G. Chase, Palm Harbor

What's next? Cocaine?

When enough states legalize marijuana, the federal government will probably do the same. This will lead to many more people using it because they didn't want to break the law.

I predict that after federal law allows the recreational use of marijuana, the drug activists will begin campaigning for the legalization of cocaine. The arguments for legal marijuana will also apply to cocaine.

It seems that America is heading down the path of moral degradation.

William Armstrong, St. Petersburg

Prohibition drives crime

If the goal of marijuana prohibition is to subsidize violent drug cartels, prohibition is a success. The drug war distorts supply and demand so that big money grows on little trees.

If the goal of marijuana prohibition is to deter use, prohibition is a failure. The United States has double the rate of marijuana use as the Netherlands, where marijuana is legal. The criminalization of Americans who prefer marijuana to martinis has no basis in science.

It's time to stop the arrests and instead tax legal marijuana.

Robert Sharpe, Common Sense for Drug Policy, Washington

Save Florida's springs | Dec. 2, editorial

Population pressures

I enjoyed Craig Pittman's articles on our springs, and your editorial made me think. The population growth in Florida from 1970 to 1990 was 91 percent, and in Marion County, where many of these springs are located, it was 188 percent.

It seems that a lot of the deterioration of our springs is attributable to the increasing demand for water created by population growth and the associated development required to support this growth.

It also seems obvious that this is a cost associated with choices we have made. Our state has pushed growth for a long as I can remember. I guess we never thought about the consequences. I hope it is not too late for us to take action to restore these vital assets.

H.T. Culbreth, St. Petersburg

Winning on and off the field Dec. 2, Bill Maxwell column

Put education first

I've never been a fan of Bill Maxwell, but his column on Notre Dame made me very proud of him. Every university should put education first. The percentage of student-athletes who can make a career in professional sports is very low. Congratulations on an excellent article.

Charles Farrell, St. Petersburg

A birthday few like Riley reach | Dec. 4

Err on the side of grace

Thank you for the update on Riley Joy Allen. I am struck by so many things in Riley's story, but one thing stands out: "Addie wants Riley dedicated in her grandmother's church. But the pastor won't do it for unmarried parents."

I've been a Christian all my life, and a "professional Christian" for nearly 25 years. It's amazing how we do all we can to thwart God's grace when God's grace is called for most. While my denomination does not dedicate, we do baptize infants. And I would baptize Riley in a heartbeat. Because it's about her, about God's blessing on her life, about how God loves her before she can even or ever realize it. Different churches can argue any number of points I've just made. I would choose to err on the side of grace.

God bless Addie, Ryan and Riley. A Christmas story in the making.

Rev. Laurie Wirth Palmer, Riverview

Sex-disorder victim kills herself | Dec. 5

Courage and compassion

It is sad that Gretchen Molannen was not able to experience the compassion that resulted from her sharing her story. When someone is that far down the road to suicide it is difficult to turn matters around. It took courage for her to be interviewed and photographed. It took courage for the Times to publish on such an uncomfortable topic. Her sharing cannot help her now, but it will help others in the future. Gretchen, thank you and God bless.

Rich Brown, Tampa


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

Saturday’s letters: Don’t inject political money into churches

Tax billKeep political cash out of pulpitA provision buried in the 429-page House tax bill, Section 5201, nullifies the Johnson Amendment, which protects houses of worship from partisan politics by prohibiting them from endorsing or opposing politica...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Friday’s letters: Most unpopular tax bill ever

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3The most unpopular tax bill ever"Democracy dies in darkness" is the motto of the Washington Post. At 2 a.m. on the dark morning of Sunday, Dec. 3, 51 Republicans approved the most wildly unpopular tax bill in U.S. h...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Thursday’s letters: Give your child the gift of reading

Fatherhood Involvement in Literacy CampaignGive your child the gift of readingPart of a successful game plan in sports is identifying plays that can put points on the scoreboard. Whether I was playing quarterback at Florida State or running the point...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/06/17

Wednesday’s letters: Bill gives small businesses tax relief

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3Small businesses get tax reliefThe Senate and House have now passed their respective tax bills. Once Congress sends a final package to the White House, President Donald Trump will deliver us the most powerful tax re...
Published: 12/04/17
Updated: 12/05/17