Re: Is parenthood really that bad? (tbt*, Feb. 24)
Becoming a parent is a little like starting your own business. In the beginning, it needs a lot of time and money, but you have to invest wisely. Getting that kid an expensive toy is like buying a TV spot for your start-up business. That's a lot of money you could better invest someplace else.
You don't even really start to get a decent return for about three years, but the more you invest during that time, usually the better the return. Up until 13, they tend to be moldable, but don't get used to it. They have to learn for themselves, and nothing you say or do can prevent that.
They will not meet your greatest expectations, but they will also not fail as miserably as they could. (There are exceptions.) You choose to take this path in the hope that you might put something in this world that makes it a little better. Where there is a big reward, there is always risk.
Where businesses and kids greatly differ is the reward you are hoping for in return. With a business, your hope is for monetary return mostly; with kids, you will never see that money back. Investing in kids is like investing in hope, because hope is important. You will sacrifice things you will never let them know about because you hope they will have the chance to do the same for their kids.
The horror stories you hear about is because crap happens. Crap happens in life. (See the news.) Crap happens in business that you never hear about. Crap happens to us. And crap happens to our kids.
John Cloward, Tampa
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If you want to commit yourself to raising another human being in an already overpopulated world, please put more thought into your decision than you would buying a car. Don't whine later about the amount of work involved and don't ask me to babysit. I am childless by choice and I have better things to do with my time.
Vivian Burnett, New Port Richey
So I'm a Hitler?
Re: Let us praise armed citizens (email to the editor, Feb. 21)
If I follow Bill King's reasoning regarding gun control correctly, am I somehow akin to Hitler because I don't want to get shot in a movie theatre over texting? Am I equal to Stalin if I don't agree that a young man doing nothing more than walking through a neighborhood at night should be murdered? Am I Mao or Pol Pot if I don't think a crazy person should be able to shoot at a car full of teenagers because he doesn't like their loud music?
Like most Americans, I'm not anti-gun. But it's hard to support a law that lets you kill people because they make you mad.
Erin Mahoney, Riverview
Keeping it in the family
You reported Tuesday in a Candid Talk that Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., the longest-serving member of Congress in history, will not seek re-election at the end of his current term due to the "acrimony and bitterness" in Congress. What you didn't report is that he's hoping his wife will run for his seat. Jerk!
Chris Bridges, St. Pete Beach
Re: Miley Cyrus kisses Katy Perry (The Juice*, Feb. 24)
Every young generation has its older generation's criticism. In my day as a Boomer we were a bunch of dirty, lazy, pot smoking hippies who hated the establishment and would amount to nothing. Now ironically some of us are the establishment, pot is turning legal and those ripped jeans we wore cost $50. But I guess now it's my turn to be the older generation. When I read about Miley Cyrus and her lewd behavior, or Bieber's daily criminal activity, I can't help but wonder what's next? Or what's even left for that matter? When today's young generation grows up, what will their kids do to offend them? I'm not sure I wanna be around to see it.
Roger Daltrey of the Who once sang "Hope I die before I get old" at a concert with a lot of other famous bands. It was called Woodstock and it was free. Now I would have to pay $200 to see Roger sing the same song as an old man. Maybe he was right the first time.
Peter Malinchock, Temple Terrace
Tbt* posts its cover on Facebook. Here were some of the reactions on Facebook to Tuesday's story about the Magic Kingdom raising ticket prices to $99:
Karen Mullins: Now if only they paid their employees a living wage.
Colleen Savard: They will continue to raise prices as long as people continue to pay it. If you don't like it, don't go. It's very simple.
Bennie Bowerman: At some point it's too much. Plus outrageous food prices. A lot for a family.
Katarina Tepesh: Time to boycott Disney!
Mike Dukes: I would recommend that, if you don't like the pay increase, you do one of two things; A. Don't go or B. Don't go. It's just like the new fee that tbt*'s parent newspaper charges to read stories on its website. I didn't like it so I stopped looking to it for local news, which is abundantly available on 15 other news outlet websites. It's a perfect example of supply and demand. If people will pay for it, then why not charge for it?
Joel Bigham: I don't understand the logic behind this. Once you get in there, every dime you pay goes in their pocket. Not like they have any external vendors inside.
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