States' rights and wrongs and Romney | Jan. 15, Robyn Blumner column
Privacy doesn't trump all rights
In this column, Robyn Blumner states that the right to an abortion is an essential element of personal privacy. But privacy properly defined and applied in a nonhypocritical and non-self-centered manner would simply blow abortion on demand out the window.
If left alone, these "microscopic clumps of embryonic cells" that Blumner considers so trivial will develop into fully realized and defined human beings who can partake of life and the world as much as Blumner and the readers of this newspaper can. If you kill a person, you violate their privacy as well as their future.
Abortion denies the destroyed future person the full spectrum of rights and choice that Blumner holds so dear, including the right to grow up and do their own procreating. If we cannot recognize the humanness of the preborn, that is a failure of our imagination and an artifact of our desire for convenience over the humanity of others. It is not a failure of nature.
Privacy is a right, but it is not the right that trumps all other rights.
Robert Beatty, Tampa
A way out? | Jan. 15
Back to the future
If we take the advice of this article, we will be back to spring training and minor league ball at Al Lang Field. I think that's where we started in the '50s. We also will need to redevelop the land on which Tropicana Field sits. Maybe it could be turned into an orange juice processing plant.
Don't forget the research the Times did a few years back when the plan for a waterfront stadium was floated and then sunk. When people were asked what they wanted to see there, it was an Ikea, a Saks or a Nordstrom's. All these companies were contacted and said they had no intention of putting another store in the Tampa Bay market since they already were represented by their Tampa stores. You see the concept of St. Petersburg as a part of the Tampa Bay area is a double-edged sword.
If the team leaves, I just want the mayor to get a fair price for the years remaining on the contract. A deal's a deal, after all.
Donna Skibo, St. Petersburg
Struggling to fill the seats
This article puts forth the most reasonable scenario I've read regarding the future of the Rays in St. Petersburg.
However, it doesn't mention some important, but unpopular, factors.
Attendance is down at all three of our professional sports franchises, and two of the three are in Tampa. In fact, they are both recent championship teams and they still struggle to fill seats. None of the teams sell out the premium seats and, by my count, at least 35 percent of the suites are dark at the Bucs and Lightning games.
As a sports fan who has season tickets to two of the three teams, I want them all to succeed, particularly the Rays.
Maybe when we get out of this recession, the regular fans will return. But I think we need to admit that, under the current business model of professional sports, Tampa Bay doesn't have the corporate presence to properly support three teams. We need to address this fundamental problem. Moving the Rays across the bay won't solve it.
William Crawford, St. Petersburg
Just the ticket | Jan. 15
Hillary Clinton should have been the Democratic nominee for president in 2008. (I am a moderate GOP/independent and would have voted for her). To even suggest that she should be vice president to Barack Obama is ludicrous.
Why put a woman of her talent, intelligence, savvy, etc., in a VP role? Typical of a man to suggest that a woman having much more talent than her boss be relegated to "junior" status just to make him look good and get him elected.
Mary Lee Hanley, St. Petersburg
Romney's gains may mean loss of voters Jan. 15
Robert Trigaux did a good job of citing the objections that will be raised by Mitt Romney's opponents to his wealth and work at Bain Capital, but I thought his comments on investment banking were a bit one-sided for a business writer.
He correctly stated that "Bain is very good at finding wheezing companies and slicing off what's not healthy." The objective — for Bain or any of us — is to get a good return on your money and make a profit. Bain didn't make a company sick — it identified it, analyzed it, decided it could be turned around, and then invested millions to do so.
Sometimes it doesn't work out, and the Bain investors — not the taxpayers — lose their money. Sometimes, pieces of the company can't be fixed, so plants are shuttered and folks lose jobs — unfortunate, but that likely would have happened with or without Bain's intervention.
If a company is salvaged, Bain then sells it or takes it public, earning profits. Equally important, a lot more people keep their jobs at the formerly "wheezing" company than would have without a private investment firm risking its own money.
Peter Ford, Tierra Verde
Romney for Republicans | Jan. 17, editorial
Protect access to medicines
As we approach Monday's GOP primary debate, I wonder if Mitt Romney or any of the candidates will stand up for the health of the ever-growing group of Florida's 3 million senior citizens on fixed incomes. Unfortunately, these seniors often find themselves having to make the unconscionable choice between filling their prescriptions and buying groceries.
More than 90,000 Floridians a year — and I am one of them — import their prescription medications. Some do so because they cannot afford the very same brand-name medications that are sold in the United States. Others import drugs because they refuse to pay the exorbitant costs of prescription medications in this country when there is a more economical way that is just as safe.
Whether Romney or someone else emerges as the nominee, it is essential that the candidate oppose current legislation in Congress that would cut off access to safe, legitimate Canadian and other international pharmacies.
On the surface, these bills, the Stop Online Piracy Act in the House and PROTECT IP Act in the Senate, do not seem so bad. No one would disagree that rogue online pharmacies are a public menace. However, these bills do not differentiate between the "good guys" — the licensed, legitimate pharmacies that require a doctor's prescription to order medicine — and the "bad guys" who sell everything from diluted or fake medicine to dangerous narcotics.
I ask the candidates to stand up and oppose SOPA and PIPA for the health and well-being of all Floridians.
Russell Carter, Tampa