When the mind is a liar | Aug. 17, commentary
Triumphing over disease, despair
I have suffered from depression all my life and at least once I have been on the brink of suicide. As David Weigel illustrates very eloquently in his article, the suffering is compounded by the lack of allegiance or even of sympathy from friends and family members who fail to understand a mood disorder. It is much easier to be compassionate toward a person paralyzed by a stroke or a car accident than toward one paralyzed by a depressive mood, though both result from brain disorders.
I do disagree with Weigel when he describes depression only as a handicap. In my 45 years as a physician I learned that any disease, including depression, may represent a most valuable asset in the proper circumstances. Depression has removed the fear of death. Unlike many of other health professionals who skirt the thought of death, I feel very comfortable in ministering to and comforting dying patients, and I have to thank my depression for this gift.
If disease, suffering and death are the ultimate enemies, we are all doomed as we all are going to die. The only way to triumph over death and suffering is to co-opt these experiences and to learn how utilize them.
Lodovico Balducci, Tampa
One term of six years | Aug. 17, Perspective
The long-term lame duck
The article by Lawrence Summers concerning second terms by presidents was interesting. By showcasing the failures of every two-term president (with FDR, four), he makes a case for a single six-year term. One of his arguments is the lack of influence a second term president has. His opponents know that he is a lame duck and can just wait him out. The problem with a single term would come on Jan. 20 at 12:01 p.m. At that time, the president would become a lame duck and his opponents could just wait him out. Think there's gridlock now?
John Ways, South Pasadena
Rockets renew Mideast fighting | Aug. 20
Mideast power play
It is understandable that we should be concerned about the casualties the Palestinians have suffered as a result of collateral damage due to Israel's actions. But if Hamas' and Israel's capabilities were reversed and Hamas had the military power of Israel, what would happen? I think Israel would be blown off the map. Is it any wonder that the Israelis negotiate from a different point of view?
Al Weiner, Zephyrhills
Tension remains in 'KKK' incident | Aug. 17
It is beyond belief and in the realm not only of poor taste but positively nauseating to think that in today's day and age anyone could think that spray-painting KKK on a fellow worker, or in this case a subordinate and minority, would be amusing. There is simply no way this can be tolerated. Here in the South and the state of Florida, there are insufficient words to express the violence, horror or torture that will continue to haunt many of our fellow Americans when they see or hear these three letters.
Furthermore, there are some actions that without being severely punished will appear to be implicitly condoned. The public has a right to feel betrayed if the action is accompanied with a wrist slap or wink and a nod. Whether as taxpayers or ethical citizens, we should all feel ashamed that this was done on public time by a public employee.
Leslie Waters, St. Petersburg
Knowing Charlie | Aug. 10
We know him too well
For those of us who were here a few years ago, we don't need the Times or anyone else to tell us who Charlie Crist is. We were here when he was governor and can remember it well. Charlie Crist is all about money, power and living on "easy street" as a career self-serving politician. His line, "the people's governor," is ludicrous. The man couldn't wait for his first term to conclude so he could run to a Washington Senate seat he tried to reserve for himself. Fortunately for us all, his plan backfired and he was not elected.
Now Crist is back running for office again with his empty values and flip-flopping ways. Really? Hey Charlie, fool me once, shame on you — fool me twice, shame on me.
Alan Rowe, Dunedin
Nuisance and negativity
Many days I receive multiple emails from the Charlie Crist campaign for governor. The most recent — "Goal: 50,000 grass-roots donations" — came after I asked that my name be removed from the list. They keep coming.
The only good news was from Jessica Clark, deputy campaign manager, who advised that "after midnight Thursday, Aug. 21, Florida law says we can't accept a penny until after the primary."
The only thing worse than the receipt of these do-or-die emails are the late afternoon solicitation calls, which at least one can hang up on. Crist must really be desperate for votes and money, but he wins hands down in the disparaging comments department. The other day it was "if you're ready to get that shady guy out of office."
Does Crist have anything positive to say about himself or is negative campaigning the only way to go?
John Osterweil, Tampa
Holder reassures residents | Aug. 21
Where are the role models?
I have been glued to the TV and reading what has been going on in Ferguson, Mo. I have seen pastors and state police trying to calm people down. What I don't see are multimillionaire athletes (whom we look up to and place on pedestals) coming to the area and making an attempt to explain to the citizens that demonstrating violently and burning their own town and homes does not help. Our so-called sports heroes should use their status to calm the situation. My prayers go out to the Brown family and friends.
N. Piscitelli, Tampa