No child should start school day hungry | Aug. 27, Bill Maxwell column
Parents must take responsibility
Bill Maxwell's column regarding hungry schoolchildren is absolutely correct. In the past, he has not been afraid to point out that he believes many of our youth are failing in school or getting in trouble with the law due to a lack of care or guidance at home.
I find fault with any parent or guardian who would allow their young child to go to school with no breakfast. Pinellas County schools now offer free breakfasts in addition to the opportunity for reduced-price lunches.
For families struggling economically, the WIC program (Women, Infants and Children) is available for purchasing staple food products. There is no excuse for parents not to feed their children. I only hope that the audience that needed to read Maxwell's column saw it.
Elizabeth Fehr, St. Petersburg
Norquist talks politics at USFSP | Aug. 30
Republican Party's war on what it calls 'parasites'
Grover Norquist, one of the Republican puppet masters attending the Republican National Convention last week, made it perfectly clear that the Republican Party has declared war on the middle class and the poor of America.
In explaining the differences between Republicans and Democrats, he categorized Democrats as "competing parasites who want money from the federal government." So, if you are a senior citizen on Social Security and Medicare, you are a parasite. If you are poor and you are on Medicaid and need food stamps to feed yourself and family, you are a parasite. Or if you have lost your job and need to collect unemployment insurance until you can find another one, you are a parasite.
Norquist also made it clear that Republicans stand for deregulation, so the CEOs can go back to cheating the public, and for lower taxes — especially for the rich.
That's what I call a clear choice.
Chuck Wolowitz, Largo
History of opposition
It's laughable for Republicans to now tout themselves as the ones who will "save Medicare." Republicans have always opposed Medicare — even before the Democrats passed it into law. Ronald Reagan recorded speeches on vinyl records in the 1960s that warned that Medicare would be "socialized medicine."
So don't believe the GOP when they say they want to "save Medicare" — which really is another way of saying they want to turn it over to their friends in the health insurance companies.
Michelle Kenoyer, Riverview
'2016: Obama's America'
Get the facts
The documentary 2016: Obama's America is being given little attention by the mainstream media, but it should be required viewing for every U.S. voter.
It is based on President Barack Obama's book Dreams From My Father, with specific examples via conversations with primary sources like Obama's half-brother, who still resides in Kenya. This film gives the viewer a clear perspective of Obama's worldview.
Marilyn Renner, Dunedin
Republican National Convention
Divide and conquer
The divide and conquer message at the RNC was nothing new. This strategy, with slight twists in formula to fit the times, has been used since I started voting in the late '60s and has proven to sway many a voter. High points stated or implied in the message include:
• We, the Republicans, are the winners in life and America will be better off with winners leading the country.
• You, too, can join our winning club. Align the wealthy with the middle class and get all warm and fuzzy about our common heritage, e.g., we come from humble immigrant backgrounds and our families worked hard, just like yours, to reach the American Dream.
• Some people cannot join our club. Infer that the people at the economic bottom are losers, are to blame for their plight and we, the winners, are not obliged to help "those lazy poor people" whose American Dream is just to get a handout.
• The current president is the only thing in the way of each of us reaching our American Dream. He is one of those people wanting not only to give handouts to the losers, but who really wants to turn America into a socialist nation.
• Won't it be better to let us handle things? After all, we have the money. We don't need big government telling us what we can and can't do to reach our goals. It can be a very dangerous world out there. It is best to have people like us watching out and helping us all to reach our American Dream.
Renne Proulx, St. Petersburg
Mortgage relief arriving in mail | Aug. 30
Darn it! I knew I shouldn't have put more than 20 percent down when I bought my house. I knew I should have bought a house I could not afford. And I knew I should have quit making my house payments. Now I don't get a freebie.
Why don't the banks (and the government) do something for the (many) people who have equity and make their payments? We vote too.
Larry Heinkel, St. Petersburg
Pinellas schools select leader | Aug. 29
Dress for success
Hopefully Mike Grego will work out well for the Pinellas County school system. The first thing he should do is change the dress code for teachers. If teachers look as though they are in charge, they will be better able to handle rowdy kids. At my former job, less work got done on casual Friday and went back to business dress. Productivity went up.
Kay Kelly, Clearwater
Hidden agendas | Aug. 30, letter
A recent letter writer inveighed against Mitt Romney's business experience by saying all he did was "cherry-pick the best targets for corporate takeover." This misses some important points.
First, cherry-picking is a vast improvement over what the current administration does with borrowed money or your tax dollars. An examination of Solyndra shows the government shouldn't have invested a penny, let alone a half-billion dollars. Second, to know the difference between a cherry company and a lemon requires a deep understanding of business. With our economy, that level of knowledge would be good to have in a president.
Eric Greenbaum, Tampa