Monday, April 23, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Sunday's letters: Ending wars is not easy

A bitter pill | Jan. 14

Ending wars is not easy

"Bittersweet" is a gentle way to describe emotions after seeing the flag of the army you fought once again flying over the land that your friends died fighting in.

I served in Vietnam, in military region one near the Laos border and the DMZ, from July 1970 through July 1971. I know that sick feeling. I saw the flag of the Republic of North Vietnam flying over Saigon back in 1975, as the last helicopter left the embassy roof.

The buildup in Vietnam began in 1965. By 1968 the Battle of Khe Sanh had raged for four months.

In March 1971 I was operating out of the reopened Vandergrift Firebase that was overrun during the Marines' fight to keep Khe Sanh during the 1968 Tet offensive.

The veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who know the history of the Vietnam War should not be surprised that all wars come to an end, and not always the way many veterans would have liked to see. Presidents Bush and Obama, like Johnson and Nixon before them, had different views on what was worth losing American lives for. Dan O'Shea asks, "If the president doesn't believe the mission will ultimately be successful, should the men, and women he sends to achieve his national security objectives be willing to die for them?" The answer is yes!

Then again, O'Shea and I know we risk our lives for those fighting beside us not for the politics that caused the war.

The harsh reality that we face in America is that it's so easy for a president to start a war, but very hard for the next president to get us out of a war.

Janice Josephine Carney, Tampa

The leadership revival | Jan. 15

Burkean prescription

David Brooks' prescription for leadership revival is profoundly Burkean, as described in Yuval Levin's new book about the Right-Left divide: The Great Debate. There's something going on here.

Brooks counsels a deep respect for mentors, tradition and "feeling an awareness" of your community. He doesn't dwell on esoteric theory.

If I were to construct my revival for sensible reform based on awareness, I would start with three principled essays: Victor David Hanson's The Idol of Equality, Henry Olsen's Conservatism for the People, and Yuval Levin's persuasive language and ideas in Beyond the Welfare State.

Brooks' objective of "finding the things that inspire you" are all around us. Leaders need only revive and articulate them.

Gary Harrington, St. Petersburg

Unemployment benefits | Jan. 9

More homeless kids

As health and education professionals, we are appalled at the lack of sensitivity that was displayed by the Senate in refusing to extend unemployment benefits during this extended period of high unemployment.

As teachers in the Plant City area and also east Hillsborough County, we encounter children who are homeless. As a result of what the Senate has decided, the number of children who are homeless will increase exponentially.

Recent quotes regarding the number of people who will be affected is not static. It is estimated that approximately 72,000 people per week will lose their benefits.

As Americans, we are left to ask, where is the mercy and concern for all of the unfortunate in this country?

Anna & Stephen Feldman, Valrico

Mayor's office salaries | Jan. 15

Not a good start

Let us hope that the City Council holds our new mayor's feet to the fire on his request for more than $1 million annually in new salaries and positions.

Robbing capital funding for operating expenses and relying on one-shot gimmicks such as the sale of a building site are precisely the tactics that led to New York's budget crisis in 1975.

We are talking about $4 million over the course of the mayor's four years in office, not merely one year. That money could be put to much better use other places.

Stephen Phillips, St. Petersburg

Primary election | Jan. 15

Voters don't care

The majority of the people eligible to vote in the Republican District 13 primary election to replace Bill Young have expressed their opinion: They don't care who represents them.

About 73 percent were a no-show, didn't bother to vote.

Congratulations to the 73 percent! You are a part of the biggest problem facing our country: indifference.

Dave Loeffert, Dunedin

Illustration | Jan. 12

Kudos to the artist

For once, I'm compelled to write to the Times about something other than a political or social issue. I'm a creative director these days, but once upon a time, I was a professional illustrator, my work gracing the covers and pages of periodicals regionally and nationally. I'm fairly critical of many of today's artists who seem to rely more on digital resources than actual artistic skill to produce images.

Not so for Cameron Cottrill, evidently. His illustration accompanying the Amy Harmon "Seeds of Fear" article rocked me out of my chair. It looks like vector art (I'm guessing Adobe Illustrator), but it has the sublimely drawn, strongly composed and deft palette composition suggestive of many masters of the craft. The illustration has a hand-drawn feel to it, which is difficult to achieve in a digital medium. It's a striking visual. Darn fine work, done no doubt, under considerable deadline pressure.

Jim Kenefick, St. Petersburg

Comments

Monday’s letters: Term limits don’t work

U.S. Senate campaignTerm limitsdon’t workGov. Rick Scott has begun his run for the U.S. Senate with TV ads promoting term limits for representatives and senators. Aside from the probability that this would require a constitutional amendment, I think ...
Published: 04/22/18

Sunday’s letters: Problems with high-speed rail

Thanks, Gov. Scott, for ghastly I-4 drives | April 18, Sue Carlton columnProblems with high-speed railIn her Wednesday column, the writer bemoaned the traffic on I-4 and blasted Gov. Rick Scott for turning down free government money for a high-sp...
Published: 04/21/18

Saturday’s letters: Don’t weaken rules on fisheries

Florida fisheriesDon’t weaken rules on fish stocksMembers of Congress are proposing changes to an important ocean law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, that would adversely affect coastal states including Florida.Since it...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18

Friday’s letters: We owe it to our children to teach them history

If we don’t understand past, future looks grim | April 19, Daniel Ruth columnThe history we owe our childrenIt’s not often I agree with Daniel Ruth, but this article was spot-on. I’m not sure when the schools started ignoring Germany’s World War ...
Published: 04/19/18

Thursday’s letters: Gun research can save lives

Gun ownershipCommon ground: Find the factsThere are many areas in the current debate about guns and gun ownership where both sides must agree to disagree. But there is one area where common ground ought to exist. That concerns the need for continuing...
Published: 04/18/18

Wednesday’s letters:

Poverty and plenty in bay area | April 7, editorialStruggling poor are not a priorityI commend your newspaper for continuing to produce real and relevant news, particularly the recent editorial pointing out that a prospering Tampa Bay should not ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for April 20

Bar Association celebrates Law WeekPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1958, as the first Law Day to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Every year on this day, we reflect on the significance of the rule of law and rededicat...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Tuesday’s letters: Stop cooperating with ICE

Sheriff’s ICE policy blasted | April 10Pinellas should end partnership with ICEPinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri recently participated in a community conversation on his controversial agreement with ICE to voluntarily detain immigrants in the...
Published: 04/16/18

Sunday’s letters: The future of oyster production

Shell game | April 15Future of oyster productionThanks to Laura Reiley for an excellent synopsis of the current state of oyster production in Florida. The collapse of the Apalachicola oyster fishery is merely the latest example of the demise of a...
Published: 04/14/18

Monday’s letters: Public education is foundation of the nation

Voters beware of ballot deceptionApril 13, commentarySchools’ role underminedIt was with great pain that I read (not for the first time) that we must be aware of "ballot deception." Public schools were founded to make sure that future generations of ...
Published: 04/13/18