Friday, December 15, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Sunday's letters: Sen. Marco Rubio should take lead on Cuba policy

The power of symbols and myth | June 24, Bill Maxwell column

Rubio should take lead on Cuba

Rather than create a myth, why doesn't Sen. Marco Rubio actually do something material?

Richard Nixon, a dedicated anticommunist, was the one who opened up China during Mao Tse-tung's rule.

Rubio is uniquely positioned to do the same type of thing with Cuba. He could spearhead the movement to normalize relations with Cuba.

After all, U.S. policy has been a complete failure for over 50 years. A sign of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. The United States is the only country still enforcing the isolation strategy that did nothing to remove Fidel Castro from power.

Rubio would lose some or most of the radical Cuban immigrant vote who represent a small (but vocal) contingent, but would gain voters from the entire spectrum of Floridians. Havana once was Tampa's largest trading partner. Cuba could be a new customer for a broad range of U.S. products and services, plus we'd get the benefit of Cubans visiting Florida.

Jim Hunter, Lutz

Okay, here's why I'm a 26-year-old virgin June 24

Important values

We really enjoyed Arleen Spenceley's thoughts about chastity before marriage. Everyone should read them carefully and reflect on the merits of respecting others and ourselves. The values that she describes are important in all of our relationships whether personal or business, and go far beyond the subject of sex.

Spenceley should be commended for providing an approach to prospective marriage partners that will result in happier couples and children amid this culture of selfishness and superficiality.

Raymond Kerker, Largo

I didn't need to know this

Kudos to Arleen Spenceley, the virgin who will, presumably, rightfully don a white wedding gown someday. It's admirable when someone follows her informed conscience, especially amid society's opposition.

However, why am I privy to this? I long for the day when I don't see anyone's sexual preference or exploits in the Sunday paper. I don't have the right or need to know.

A public confession of chastity makes one neither holier nor wiser. Everything in moderation, and that means no sex too. Being hyper-focused on chastity risks impeding the objective of finding a balanced, wholesome partner.

Dianne Skripek, Odessa

Moral compass

I would like add my congratulations to Arleen Spenceley for her courage to share with us her very personal story about her virginity in Sunday's issue. I hope and pray that all the parents and young women who read her article listen to what she is saying and re-examine the choices they have made or will make that will determine their path.

As a 74-year-old father and grandfather, I felt proud of Spenceley for her honesty and sincerity. Our society seems to have lost its moral compass and her article was indeed timely.

Robert W. Goodin, Tampa

Trop to hop with 20,000 at RNC party June 26

Pricey party

I thought the convention and visitors bureau was to help promote our area and encourage visitors. The Republican National Convention has already selected our area. Giving them $600,000 for a party is outrageous.

Len Wilson, St. Petersburg

Protests and public order | June 28, editorial

Stifling free speech

In this editorial the Times appears to advocate for free speech, while at the same time rationalizes how the city of Tampa's stifling of free speech during the upcoming Republican National Convention is a good thing. Of course the Times doesn't label what Tampa is doing as stifling; if it did the Times' two-faced position would be evident.

It is disingenuous to claim that you are for free speech while at the same time condoning limitations on First Amendment activities. According to my copy of the U.S. Constitution, there is no middle ground. If you believe there is middle ground, then you don't believe in "free" speech, so label your beliefs differently.

By saying there is a need to balance the right to protest with public order, a presumption is made that protests lead to violence. In fact, in almost every case it is the states' response to protests that is violent, not the protesters themselves. There is no such thing as balancing free speech and public safety. This is a false argument created by those who want to stifle dissent (but won't admit it) by using exaggerated threats.

During the RNC protesters should be allowed access to any public space they so choose. Permits? A protester's permission comes in the form of the Constitution. In the unlikely event that a demonstrator gets violent, there will be $50 million worth of law enforcement and cameras around to remedy any situation. To pre-emptively put limitations on the people's right to speak is an affront to the Constitution.

Marianne Huber, St. Petersburg

USFSP leader resigns early | June 26

Chancellor set high bar

Margaret Sullivan, chancellor of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, is a whirling dervish of talent, persistence, compassion and humor who will be sorely missed by this board member and I daresay all the others, as well as by those in this fine community who have come to know her.

Sullivan has set the bar high for our next chancellor. I wish her Godspeed in her "new adventures." I have great confidence that USF president Judy Genshaft, who brought Sullivan to us, will be able to provide a new chancellor to lead us upward from the lofty levels that Sullivan helped USFSP achieve.

Bob Churuti, USFSP Campus Board, St. Petersburg


Friday’s letters: Put yourself in a business owner’s shoes

GOP plan favors owners | Dec. 11Perils of small business ownersI wonder if the author of this article has even a clue about owning a business. Businessmen — especially small business owners — risk it all. They risk their savings, their car, their...
Published: 12/13/17
Updated: 12/14/17

Thursday’s letters: Trump’s values hardly admirable

Finally, a president who cares | Dec. 13, letterTrump’s values hardly admirableThe letter writer is happy to have someone in the White House who "truly cares about our country’s business" and is "unafraid … of mentioning God and religious values....
Published: 12/13/17

Wednesday’s letters: Proposal would restore Florida Forever funding

Florida ForeverPlan boosts land protectionMost of us thought funding for land conservation in Florida would be restored when we voted the Water and Land Conservation Amendment (Amendment 1) into law in 2014. It passed easily, with 75 percent of voter...
Published: 12/11/17
Updated: 12/12/17

Tuesday’s letters: Writer should look to his own mistakes

Is anyone ever wrong anymore? | Dec. 8Writer should look to own errorsIn Mitch Daniels’ article about people who have been wrong, he finishes with the statement that our lives would be greatly improved with more people saying, "I was wrong."He mi...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/11/17

Monday’s letters: Don’t drill in Arctic refuge

Arctic National Wildlife RefugeStop plan to drill for oil in refugeOur nation faces yet another effort to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge reserve to oil and gas drilling. Drilling in the Arctic simply doesn’t make sound financial sense. W...
Published: 12/08/17

Sunday’s letters: Tax bill puts U.S. on right course

The GOP’s regressive tax plans | Dec. 5, editorialTax bill puts U.S. on right courseThe Times is already crying wolf over the new tax cuts, claiming that the new laws "could" result an increase in the national debt of $1.5 trillion over the next ...
Published: 12/07/17

Pasco letters to the editor for Dec. 15

Re: Helping Others Fulfills our purpose here on Earth | Nov. 17 guest columnThe good doctor acknowledges a CreatorThank you for publishing Dr. Rao Musunuru’s guest column. As Congressman Gus Bilirakis said in the Congressional Record, this good d...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/13/17

Saturday’s letters: Don’t inject political money into churches

Tax billKeep political cash out of pulpitA provision buried in the 429-page House tax bill, Section 5201, nullifies the Johnson Amendment, which protects houses of worship from partisan politics by prohibiting them from endorsing or opposing politica...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Friday’s letters: Most unpopular tax bill ever

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3The most unpopular tax bill ever"Democracy dies in darkness" is the motto of the Washington Post. At 2 a.m. on the dark morning of Sunday, Dec. 3, 51 Republicans approved the most wildly unpopular tax bill in U.S. h...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Thursday’s letters: Give your child the gift of reading

Fatherhood Involvement in Literacy CampaignGive your child the gift of readingPart of a successful game plan in sports is identifying plays that can put points on the scoreboard. Whether I was playing quarterback at Florida State or running the point...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/06/17