Thursday, May 24, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Sunday's letters: Refundable carbon tax is best bet

A Republican solution to stem climate change | June 29

Refundable carbon tax is best bet

Thank you for your recent coverage of various well-known government officials and opinion writers who are in favor of a carbon tax. One particular kind of carbon tax (if it can even be called a "tax") has not been mentioned, even though it is by far the best one for the economy. That kind is one in which the revenue collected is returned totally and evenly to all consumers.

This past week such a revenue-neutral carbon tax proposal was presented to over 500 federal legislative offices. Each presentation was by five people from Citizens Climate Lobby, an organization that had more than 600 of its volunteers in Washington, D.C., specifically to give those presentations.

In addition to understanding climate change, all those volunteers were armed with a recent study from Regional Economic Models Inc. that showed their program would generate 2.2 million jobs and raise the gross domestic product by $80 billion to $90 billion in 10 years. There would be 13,000 fewer deaths from the effects of fossil fuel emissions each year, and many catastrophic economic impacts of global warming would be avoided.

It seems to me that any legislator can and should support a revenue-neutral carbon tax for its economic and health benefits.

John E. Darovec Jr., Bradenton

Unemployment insurance

3 million still need help

Members of the House and Senate are again introducing legislation to renew the emergency benefits of unemployment insurance. A bill passed the Senate in April that would have done this, but it was ignored by the House and quietly died June 1. The new legislation removes the retroactive provision of the previous bill, which was exceptionally egregious to Republican members.

I am among those whose benefits were cut. I have been both surprised and saddened by the lack of protest against and coverage of this issue. There are 3 million of us. Are we so numbed by the political process that we expect nothing from Washington and will lay down like sheep in the slaughterhouse? And media coverage has been confined to specialty websites.

How many individuals will lose their homes, run up huge credit card debt and go broke because of this? The congressmen who are roasting us on the spit won't need unemployment insurance — we will keep voting for them. Shame on us.

Stephen Murphy, Tampa

Ruling hits Obamacare | July 1

It's a man's world

It's not a surprise that a court dominated by conservative old men would consider it their right to restrict a woman's right to choose her contraceptive tool. Just don't touch their Viagra.

Warren Klein, Oldsmar

An attack on liberty

The court's decision did not "hit" Obamacare; it hits thousands of women who work for companies that claim the right to impose their religious beliefs on their employees. Our country was founded on religious freedom and I find this ruling to be contrary to that.

Diane Pearson, Dunedin

Religious preference

This ruling opens the door to the installation of the Christian organized religion as the de facto U.S. national religion. If this had been a different religion and objection under that faith, the outcome would have been different.

Damon Castle, Clearwater

Birth control choices

The Supreme Court ruling regarding Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties has started a firestorm of criticism. But over what? The companies did not challenge all 20 birth control methods in the Affordable Care Act, just those four that cause abortions.

Liberals drag out the same tired scare tactic of "endangering a woman's health." Just because you have to pay for something doesn't mean your health is in danger — you're not "sick," you're pregnant, and it's not a disease. If you're old enough to have sex, then you're old enough to pay for your own birth control.

Debra Ford, St. Petersburg

Big tent or pup tent? | June 29, Daniel Ruth column

Move beyond sarcasm

Daniel Ruth's comparison of Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel's conservative platform to deposed Egypt's Mohamed Morsi and the Klu Klux Klan is a vicious character assassination. Is he really implying that the 49 percent of Mississippi citizens who voted for McDaniel have dead brain synapses and are potential "terrorist supporters"?

The public's need for in-depth analysis in today's world requires more than character assassination and sarcasm. Our country has been targeted by real "terrorists" who want to attack us again.

Pat Jenkins, St. Petersburg


Lessons from history

I could not understand why so many voters, particularly low- to middle-income members of the Republican Party, continue to re-elect leaders who don't have their interests in mind. Then I remembered the song Cool, Cool Considerate Men from the musical 1776 — worth watching over this holiday weekend.

The piece is sung by the monied Congress members who continue to vote against the Declaration of Independence because it would risk their prominence. They ask John Hancock, himself a man of prominence, why he sides with John Adams in favor of independence.

John Dickinson: Mr. Hancock, you're a man of property. … Why do you persist on (siding) with Mr. Adams? Be careful, sir. History will brand Mr. Adams and his followers as traitors.

John Hancock: To what? The British crown? Or the British half-crown? Fortunately, there are not enough men of property in America to dictate policy.

John Dickinson: Well, perhaps not. But don't forget that most men with nothing would rather protect the possibility of becoming rich than face the reality of being poor. And that is why they will follow us. …To the right, ever to the right …

Terri Benincasa, Palm Harbor


Wednesday’s letters: Thanks to jurors for fulfilling civic duty

May is Juror Appreciation MonthThanks, jurors, for your serviceTrial by a jury of one’s peers is among the bedrock guarantees that make our representative democracy exceptional. Without it, the courtroom fates of defendants and civil litigants would ...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Thursday’s letters: Heated chemotherapy won’t treat most ovarian cancers

Heated chemotherapy has promising results | May 16Cancer treatment not a cure-all While we were pleased to see the story about ovarian cancer treatment, we are concerned that the article could mislead many patients. The treatment described has be...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/24/18

Wednesday’s letters: A princess gives us a lesson to live by

Royal treatment | May 21Princess offers advice for us allThe radiant and joyful Princess Anna Noela Lokolo of the Democratic Republic of Congo, recent Eckerd College graduate, has given us a huge gift in her parting words. "If people have a negat...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/23/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Central High School bomb threat suspect to be tried as adult | May 4Angry mob rhetoric not helpfulWe have observed the public discourse surrounding the case of Mizella Robinson with increasing unease. A sampling of the more common sentiment...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Proposed TECO Solar Plant Opposed to the TECO solar plantAs a 21-year resident and property owner, I am writing in opposition to the proposed Tampa Electric Company solar plant in rural northeast Pasco County.The solar plant will be .2 miles from...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Tuesday’s letters: If you don’t like the Electoral College, then amend the Constitution

The popular vote | May 20, letterIf you don’t like it, amend ConstitutionA recent letter supports the idea that a state should be able to change its Electoral College vote to match that of the national popular vote winner as opposed to the result...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Monday’s letters: Focusing on the mental state of shooters misses the point

Texas high school shooting | May 18Criminals, angry people kill peopleSchool shootings are a distinctly American phenomenon. But shootings by people with serious mental illness represent less than 1 percent of all yearly gun-related homicides in ...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/21/18

Friday’s letters: Putnam and Publix, two P’s lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17A pleasure to shop elsewhereMy family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye.Firs...
Published: 05/18/18

Saturday’s letters: For Florida to move forward, focus on a healthy and sustainable environment

Tampa’s future is bright | May 12Protect Florida, boost economyThis past year, Florida set another record-breaking year for tourism, welcoming more than 116 million visitors. While Florida boasts a unique quality of life and more than 1,300 miles...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Sunday’s letters: What conservatives stand for

How can conservatism survive after Trump | May 13, Nickens columnhed#6324 I think it obvious that traditional conservatism was squeezed out of the 2016 campaign narrative and has become a niche thesis owned by a small group of intellectuals. A gr...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18