Don't blame Miley | Aug. 27
Cyrus is to blame for raunchy act
The headline on this article should be an embarrassment to both the writer and your newspaper. This kind of attitude is what is wrong with our society and our country. If Miley Cyrus isn't to blame, who is? Did someone force her to dress and perform as she did? Was she under threat for her life to cause her to act so disgustingly? No.
We have become a society that overlooks and accepts anyone's actions with the explanation that it is someone else's fault. This approach is demonstrated from the current president's administration on down.
Not taking responsibility for one's actions only teaches children that it is okay to do whatever they want and we will overlook it because someone else caused them to act that way.
There should be no more excuses and free passes. The local judge who recently was charged with DUI demonstrated a lesson from which we should all learn. She willingly admitted her mistake, took full responsibility for her actions, and accepted the consequences of her wrongdoing without hesitation.
Jim Rechtin, Tampa
U.S. builds a case to act | Aug. 27
Keep our military out
The last thing America needs is to become embroiled in Syria. It could lead to another multiyear involvement or war in a country where Islamists hate America, leading to retaliation on our soil and costing American taxpayers billions.
For America, if anything, the use of sanctions that would hurt Syria economically should be our only involvement, not another war under the guise of a police action that could cost more American lives.
If military action is needed, let the United Nations use their forces exclusively for a change.
Richard Valentine, Palm Harbor
Let the Syrians settle it
And now we want to go to Syria, and save whom?
Since the Korean War, the United States has spent precious lives and resources to accomplish next to nothing. Our roads and bridges are in disrepair. We have hungry children and too many young people who can't afford a college education. Yet we throw away billions to unappreciative people who hate us.
Let the Sunnis and the Shiites settle their own battles. We have plenty of problems in our own backyard that need precious resources.
William J. Dixon, Odessa
Put U.S. interests first
It is not our place to attempt to "punish" Syria for using chemical weapons on its populace. President Barack Obama made a huge strategic error when he responded to a question about the use of those weapons with his "red line" comment. Now we are trapped into useless action.
Did Syria attack the United States or its citizens? No. Did they attack an ally with whom we have a mutual defense treaty? No. Are they trying to take over another country? No.
I am far from a pacifist, but tossing a few cruise missiles into Syria will have as much impact as when President Bill Clinton responded the same way to Osama bin Laden's attacks on the U.S. embassies.
We need a foreign policy that meets the strategic interests of the United States and its citizens, not one that is driven by foreign interest groups that manipulate the United States into acting on their behalf.
If this is such a big deal, let the Turks or Saudis respond. After all it is their region and they can use all those weapons that they bought from us.
Jeffrey Hausman, Tarpon Springs
Rubio travels on fundraising trail | Aug. 28
Senator needed at home
I must be missing something, as I presumed that during the Senate recess our senators were coming back to their states to meet with the citizens who elected them to hear the issues that concern them: the economy, job creation, the Affordable Care Act, housing, etc.
It appears that Sen. Marco Rubio is more intent on raising money for himself by traveling across the country, from Boston to California. He met with Mark Zuckerberg, who supports immigration reform, and then had a fundraiser in Monterrey where people paid up to $2,600 for a picture and $5,200 to sit with him for dinner. Must have been interesting table talk.
Now it appears that he will be campaigning with Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, who wants to regulate our bedrooms.
When is Rubio going to talk to his constituents and find out what we need and want him to fight for in the Senate? Many other senators are holding "town hall" meetings. What is the senator's problem?
Rosanne Paris, Palm Harbor
Voters sink Lens | Aug. 28
I realize being from Tampa I have no say in the Pier situation. However, given the defeat of the Lens on Tuesday, I have a suggestion. The two most successful piers in the country are probably the Santa Monica Pier and Navy Pier in Chicago. Both have the same concept: fun things to do, rides, food, games, etc. And both are always crowded. Perhaps "leaders" of St. Petersburg could pay them a visit and learn something.
Pete Klingler, Tampa
Build a boardwalk
One of my fondest memories is of vacationing in Wildwood, N.J., and visiting that city's boardwalk. It's typically packed in the summer with tourists and residents — walking, biking, taking the shuttle — visiting game booths, food vendors, restaurants and carnival rides.
A boardwalk in place of the pier would get much more usage than a Lens that you maybe visit once; land and amenity costs would be lower; and I'm sure that many vendors would pay a license fee and rent to be part of a destination such as that.
Dennis Miller, Brandon
Go for Common Core for the common good Aug. 26
Teaching over testing
Thank you for publishing Charles Blow's insightful essay on education. As a former educator, I found it right on the money.
He spoke of the folly of prioritizing testing over teaching, punishment over preparation, and the very necessary effort to attract and support great teachers.
Any student will tell you that the right teacher makes all the difference in the world.
Victoria Najjar, Oldsmar