Opening our eyes to shame | June 30, Bill Maxwell column
Time to clean up our act at home
Out of sight, out of mind. Thank you, Bill Maxwell, for reminding me about our history of brutalizing American Indians. I, too, had forgotten our history of shame — or at least had not thought about it in a long time.
I am ashamed that our country continues to engage in doomed-to-fail attempts at nation-building in other parts of the world while ignoring the blight, plight and pain of those we attempted to annihilate. Our nation-building should start here, now. It is a moral obligation.
I don't want to hear that we can't afford it. That is laughable after the billions thrown away in Iraq and Afghanistan. We can afford to send weapons to those we want to support. How about not exporting our "democracy" overseas but creating a model here in the Indian nation for other countries to see and want to emulate?
It is time to clean up our act at home and make appropriate amends in hope of at least some atonement for past sins. Thank you again, our prized Bill Maxwell.
Marilyn Weaver, Tarpon Springs
The outcome of the "smaller government is better" crowd is being felt by many and has finally reached MacDill Air Force Base. The rolling furloughs are the result of sequestration and are only the beginning of the slimming down of the federal government.
Voters obviously did not see this coming and are unhappy. Remember you have a voice in government, and it includes your vote.
Robert W. Bucklin, Zephyrhills
Corporate tax trickery | June 17, editorial
Ireland's tax policies
In this recent editorial, reference was made to "small tax-haven countries, including Ireland."
As you will be aware, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development identifies four key indicators of a tax haven: the first is having no taxes or only nominal taxes; the second is a lack of transparency; the third is an unwillingness to exchange information with tax administrations of OECD member countries; and the fourth is absence of a substantial activity requirement. As has been set out by the Irish government on several occasions, none of these criteria applies to Ireland.
Ireland is committed to working closely with the United States through the operation of our Double Taxation Agreement and recently became one of the first countries in the world to sign an agreement with the United States to improve international tax compliance and to implement FATCA, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.
In addition, Ireland is fully supportive of international efforts to address aggressive tax planning and we are an active participant, together with the United States, in the OECD project addressing base erosion and profit shifting. We have also been committed to playing a leading role within the European Union and, as outgoing EU president, to securing progress on a number of key issues in the area of tax evasion and tax fraud.
U.S. and other international firms that operate in Ireland have set down significant roots in the Irish economy and engage in substantive activities that employ significant numbers of Irish people. Trade and investment between Ireland and the United States are important drivers of jobs and opportunity for all our peoples.
Ralph Victory, Irish Embassy, Washington, D.C.
Gay nominee causes a stir | July 3
Church's poor example
The Bible quotes Jesus as saying in Matthew 7:12, "So in everything, do to others as you would have them do to you. For this sums up the law and the prophets." Yet Monsignor Pablo Cedano is quoted as saying: "He is going to suffer" due to cultural differences "and he'll have to leave."
How sad and disappointing that a perceived leader of the church is not only throwing his weight around on political issues but also predicting such an outcome. It would seem the monsignor's title and influence would be better suited to promoting the message of the man he professes to be God.
John Wright, Apollo Beach
Photo in poor taste and Keep it light June 25, letters
Open eyes to abuses
Yes, these photos are disgusting, but you cannot just sweep these atrocities under the rug — out of sight, out of mind. Get your heads out of the sand. The only way to stop these obscene acts is to keep showing pictures like this. It just may cause enough of an uproar against these countries in the form of protests and boycott of their products.
Take off your rose-colored glasses.
Mike Devine, St. Petersburg
Church abuse scandal
Cardinal should resign
I was a Catholic priest for 40 years with the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers. Last year I was expelled from the priesthood because I refused to stop my public support for the ordination of women in the Catholic Church.
How upsetting to learn that Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York, while archbishop of Milwaukee, devised a plan to pay Catholic priests who had sexually abused children to leave the priesthood.
Documents released by the Milwaukee archdiocese also reveal that Dolan transferred $57 million into a trust fund for "improved protection" as the archdiocese prepared for bankruptcy. Attorneys for the sexual abuse victims believe, as I do, that this was designed to keep money from going to the victims.
Cardinal Dolan should do what Pope Benedict did. He should resign immediately.
Roy Bourgeois, Columbus, Ga.
She failed at 'code switching' June 30, Eric Deggans column
Rachel Jeantel, the 19-year-old friend of Trayvon Martin, was put on the world stage in the murder trial of George Zimmerman. This venue would be frightening to anyone. Eric Deggans points out that Jeantel proved bad at "code switching," or communicating with people outside her friends, family and culture.
The truth is, Jeantel did not fail at "code switching." The legal system failed by not using all means available to secure her valuable testimony. All effort should have been given to assist her in her limited ability to communicate in the vernacular in which she is accustomed.
Vince Cocks, St. Petersburg