Monday, November 20, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Sunday's letters: Don't surrender U.S. sovereignty


Republican hubris, then as now | Dec. 17, commentary

Don't surrender U.S. sovereignty

David Lee McMullen states that Senate Republicans voted against the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities using the "same argument (used) to block the Treaty of Versailles after World War I … thus keeping the United States out of the League of Nations." Opponents in both cases said ratification would "infringe on American sovereignty, undercutting the nation's freedom and independence." They were correct. Entanglement with the United Nations is usually ill-advised.

For example, this month in Dubai, the International Telecommunications Union, a U.N. agency, passed a supposedly nonbinding draft treaty that gives governments powers to close off access to the Internet in their countries. The majority included such information-friendly nations as China, Russia, Iran and much of Africa.

The Internet works because it is not operated by governments. Its open architecture makes information difficult to restrict. The ITU should be abolished. Both houses of Congress voted against the treaty. We do not need U.N. interference with our care of persons with disabilities or the Internet.

Jim Blanco, Tampa

A slap on the wrist for a wayward bank Dec. 17, editorial

Money manipulators

You quite correctly criticized the slap on the wrist received by HSBC amid allegations of money laundering. You also criticized the "too big to prosecute" concept.

Yet where was your criticism in August when Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner announced that there would be no charges brought against Goldman Sachs (which formerly employed Geithner as well as several other high-ranking administration officials)?

Yes, "too big to fail" justified the enormous amounts of our money put into the financial institutions. But "too big to prosecute" did not start with HSBC.

It seems to me that the all-too-cozy relationship between our government and the money manipulators of the world is a subject richly deserving of journalistic investigation.

Ray Kelly, Spring Hill

Teachers should be armed | Dec. 19, letter

Not the answer

If the shootings in Newtown weren't so horrific, I would have to laugh at the letter writer's suggestion that teachers should be armed.

I am a teacher, and I assure you that I would not be comfortable carrying a firearm, nor would my students want to see me packing. Remember the gunman at the Empire State Building? Police fired numerous rounds at him, only to hit a number of bystanders; thankfully, none were seriously wounded.

Does anyone really think teachers would be better shots than trained officers? Will target practice be a part of teacher planning every year? There is no easy solution to the horror we witnessed, but giving guns to teachers is surely not going to solve anything.

Ronald Medvin, Tampa

Life lessons for children

Does the letter writer not realize that teachers, in addition to curriculum, are also responsible for educating children about social dynamics, personal restraint and nonviolent communication?

If I, as a teacher, am remembered for nothing else by my elementary students, I hope they remember the following life lessons I consider most important to their education:

• " Two wrongs don't make a right."

• "Treat others the way you'd like to be treated."

• "It's okay to be angry, but let someone help you work through your anger safely."

If I were to walk into my classroom with a gun, those lessons would be lost forever. I would practically be endorsing the motto, "It's every man for himself."

That is most certainly not the lesson the teachers who lost their lives in the Newtown tragedy will be remembered by. Violence is not a lesson, or an answer.

More guns are not the solution for unbelievable violence with guns.

Kristin Schmitt, Dunedin

Educators: We don't want to be armed Dec. 20

Guns and schools

This headline makes it sound as if you took a scientific poll of thousands of teachers and administrators. You didn't. You took a few comments and extrapolated them to everyone.

Secondly, the phrase "guns in class" is both misleading and inflammatory. What has been discussed is the availability of a firearm on school campus, locked up, but within access of properly trained school personnel.

Think about this: In another section of the paper was a small article entitled "Orange County to post deputies in 60 schools." It discussed how the county was posting armed deputies at 60 elementary schools. What a crazy idea. Guns at an elementary school. To keep kids safe. Apparently, some educators and administrators are okay with the idea, aren't they?

Ron Keller, New Port Richey

Rate of rear-end crashes up 44% | Dec. 20

A question of injuries

Of course there were more rear-end collisions after the cameras were installed. Everyone knew that would happen. The important questions are: how many accidents in the intersection, how many fatalities, and the extent of injuries.

There are more rear-end collisions because it has been a culture in this area to expect the car in front of you to accelerate, not stop, when the light turns yellow. That will eventually change.

Were it up to me, I would install many more cameras at critical intersections and hundreds of fake cameras at the others. The signs would read, "Cameras MAY be in use."

Leonard C. Silva, St. Petersburg

Tradeoff on crashes

If red-light cameras cause a spike in rear-end crashes but reduce T-bone crashes in intersections, and the result is fewer serious injuries, I'd say that's a major benefit.

Thomas Miller, Clearwater

Crist supports gun controls | Dec. 20

Promotional material

It's pretty obvious that your paper wants Charlie Crist back in the governor's office. You seem to find a way to glamorize him every day.

Crist changes his opinion depending on which way the political winds are blowing. As far as I can see, Gov. Rick Scott seems to be doing a decent job.

Howard Dunn, Wesley Chapel


Monday’s letters: Doctors should speak up on harassment

Sexual harassmentDoctors need to speak upThe recent widespread recognition, followed by disapproval, of sexual harassment across many workplaces signals a paradigm shift in social attitudes toward abuse of power that is long overdue.The male-dominate...
Published: 11/17/17

Saturday’s letters: Reservoir project off to a good start

Lake OkeechobeeReservoir project off to good startThis year, more than 70,000 Floridians contacted their legislators to support expediting a reservoir project south of Lake Okeechobee. Another 150 business people, anglers, health care professionals a...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Sunday’s letters: Roundabout way to help the rich

Senate GOP’s tax plan to kill ACA mandate | Nov. 15Devious way to hurt middle classSo, let’s see if we have this straight. The proposed amendment to the Senate tax plan, to kill the individual mandate, will cause young people to not buy health in...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Friday’s letters: Stop laying blame on teachers

Hillsborough teachers are set to protest | Nov. 14Stop laying blame on teachersI am a veteran teacher, coming up on 30 years of service to public education. My mother was also an educator, clocking over 40 years of service in public education. Sh...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/16/17

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Nov. 17

Questioning fees draws snarky responseYou are probably aware of the new Pasco utility fees that became effective last month.Under the dubious title of "convenience fee" for making utility payments by credit card or e-check, Pasco Utilities adds $2.75...
Published: 11/15/17

Dollars need to stay at home if south Brooksville is to survive

As a member of the Moton High School Class of 1967, I grew up a poor but very happy child because of the love given to me by all. So all I had to do was be a child and not rush to be an adult.There were many black businesses along a four-block area o...
Published: 11/14/17
Updated: 11/18/17

Wednesday’s letters: Generosity makes all the difference

National Adoption MonthThe difference generosity makesAs a football coach, I always had to be ready to overcome unexpected challenges. With injuries, crowd noise and especially weather, the game plan is always adjusting to overcome adversity.Our stat...
Published: 11/13/17
Updated: 11/14/17

Monday’s letters: Moore is not fit for public office

Woman: Candidate pursued her as a teen | Nov. 10Moore is not fit for public officeIt is sad that Roy Moore, a self-professed religious man, is running for a Senate seat when he is clearly unfit for any job involving the public for so many reasons...
Published: 11/10/17
Updated: 11/13/17

Monday’s letters: Don’t fall for the tax cut ruse

Tax billDon’t take your eye off the ballThe rush is on. The Republican Congress is rushing to pass a modest tax cut for the middle class while giving corporations a massive tax cut. While taking away some of the tax deductions from ordinary taxpayers...
Published: 11/10/17

Sunday’s letters: End greyhound racing in Florida

Tom Lee wants to phase out greyhound racing | Nov. 8Put a stop to this cruel industryKudos to Sen. Tom Lee for shepherding a constitutional amendment to end greyhound racing in Florida. Greyhounds forced to race live in misery and frequently die ...
Published: 11/09/17
Updated: 11/10/17