The spark when workers come first | April 15, Robyn Blumner column
Company is a model for future
I was heartened to read Robyn Blumner's column about the U.S. company, Lincoln Electric, and how employees will never face layoffs due to a lack of work after they have passed a three-year probation period.
To quote Blumner, "There's not much appetite for this Lincoln Electric model, even if it demonstrates that productivity soars, turnover plummets and a sense of teamwork pervades."
After viewing The Hunger Games, I felt very strongly that it was a metaphor for something that is already happening in today's world, and I think Blumner found that connection in stating that corporate executives "want the freedom to treat people as just another expense, easily expendable."
Transformation of the corporate world will only happen as thinking and feeling individuals in seats of power recognize the inherent dignity and worth of every human being and how we are all part of an interconnected web of existence.
This idea surpasses all national, cultural and religious boundaries and is surely an idea whose time has come.
Barbara Bedingfield, Largo
Young black male | April 15
Sending a signal
I found the remarks made by the young men very enlightening, especially the ones by Joshua Nichols. Many young people want to express themselves in different ways to show others they are individuals, or members of a group, and can do as they please. But as this young man says, what you do sends out a signal — just make sure it isn't the wrong signal. This is a big mistake made by many in today's world.
Robert Petrosky, Spring Hill
Congress targets racial profiling | April 18
Facts form perceptions
In a perfect world we would be attuned to the words of the great Martin Luther King Jr. and judge a man by the content of his character.
In the real world it is statistics that form perception.
Statistics show that the majority of terror attacks have been carried out by radical Muslims. The rest of the Muslim community bears the fallout.
Statistics show that a disproportionate number of crimes are carried out by young black males. The rest of the black community bears the fallout.
Statistics show that many Hispanic farmworkers are here illegally. The rest of the Hispanic community bears the fallout.
Congress can legislate all it wants, but it cannot change the reality: The underlying statistics must change before the perceptions change.
Laura Harris, Brandon
Republican National Convention
Grounds for argument
I intend to demonstrate peaceably at the coming Republican National Convention in Tampa, but I am afraid that, if I enter into a discussion that morphs into a contention and then possibly an argument, that my adversary, primed by some slick attorney who has informed him that "standing your ground" is verbal as well as literal, will shoot me because he is "losing his ground" in the argument, whereas I am not even allowed to carry a plastic water gun to give him a soaking in return. Should I be worried?
Paul Thomas, Largo
Expand natural gas use
UPS, FedEx, GM, Frito-Lay and a plethora of other companies are asking Congress to implement an energy plan that would expand the use of natural gas for the heavy-duty trucking industry. Fuel costs are skyrocketing; therefore operating expenses are skyrocketing. These costs will eventually have an adverse effect on the U.S. economy and the American people.
Recently, the U.S. Senate rejected natural gas legislation for heavy-duty trucks. The Republican mantra was, "We can't pick winners and losers." And yet that is exactly what they did. They chose diesel over natural gas. They chose OPEC and foreign oil over American companies by choosing to keep tax subsidies in place for big oil and snubbing subsidies for natural gas.
Our dependence on foreign oil is a national security issue. American military personnel are in harm's way protecting our addiction supply lines. We should support energy independence.
Doug McClaugherty, Sarasota
Turning clock back to when women's rights were honored | April 19, commentary
Abortion treated callously
I was taken aback by the callousness in Susan Heath's recounting of her abortion. The decision to terminate a pregnancy must be difficult. Unfortunately, the casualness expressed in the column failed to leave that impression on me.
The continuing availability of choice seemed to be her main point. To be sure, Roe vs. Wade is settled law and should remain so. The decisions that are made within those confines are for those directly involved with the situation. Living with the ramifications of any decision should be a private matter.
If one chooses to share the experience outside of a personal memoir, then all aspects including any spirituality or moral considerations affecting the decision should also be related. Otherwise the gravity with which such individual choices are to be made is somehow lessened.
Wayne Logsdon, Hernando
Inquiry looks at Rays' future | April 19
Let them talk
Why shouldn't Hillsborough County be allowed to talk relocation with the Rays? It's patently obvious that St. Petersburg has no use for our baseball team. The mayor stands at the castle moat clutching a contract that he brandishes like a sword. The city attorney flings more veiled threats than a meeting of the Five Families.
The Tampa Bay Rays have shown love for St. Petersburg. The city of has returned this affection with the back of its hand.
Gary West, St. Petersburg
All in Thursday's issue: Adam Smith's negative Mitt Romney column, Maureen Dowd's negative Ann Romney column, PolitiFact Florida's negative Rick Scott article, Susan Heath's proabortion column and three anti-GOP letters to the editor.
The Times is really kicking off the political season in a fair and balanced way.
Daniel Pennisi, Palm Harbor
Progress Energy has been saturating the airwaves with an oh-so-upbeat commercial touting their ability to help us save money with their energy-saving services. Progress Energy, you want to help us save money? Pay for your own botched nuclear plant construction scheme.
Terri Benincasa, Palm Harbor