Make us your home page
Letters to the Editor

Thursday letters: A line must be drawn somewhere on disgusting protests

High court to hear protester case | March 9, story

A line must be drawn somewhere

"Thank God for dead soldiers," "God hates the USA/Thank God for 9/11," "Priests rape boys" and "Thank God for IEDs." These signs were displayed by antigay protesters outside a funeral being held for a Marine who lost his life in Iraq.

The father of this Marine sued the protesters for invasion of privacy in his right to mourn. He won his case in a lower court but it was overturned by a federal appeals court. Now this case comes before the U.S. Supreme Court. The question is whether the protesters are protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution.

Regardless of what the Supreme Court should decide on this case, how can we expect our troops fighting abroad to maintain high morale when they learn what is taking place in their home country by people who dare call themselves Americans?

There must be a line drawn in allowing protesters to express their beliefs, just what they can express and most importantly where. These signs were blaspheming not only to God but also to the right of an individual to mourn the loss of his son who served our country. The protesters are of a church which I find disgusting.

I was once proud to be a veteran. However, I can no longer admit it as so many people in this country are shameful to begin with and the bureaucracy has become an even bigger shame to allow a display such as what took place regarding this dedicated Marine.

Jack Burlakos, U.S. Navy Vietnam War veteran, Kenneth City

Tasteless and cruel

I was very upset by the TV coverage of the antigay people picketing the funeral rites of a Marine who died in Iraq. There was a question of whether this kind of thing is allowed under our "free speech" entitlement.

In my humble opinion, it was tasteless, cruel, and un-Christian, whether or not it is covered by the Constitution. This soldier served his country and paid the ultimate price. And they are harassing his family during a time of grief?

If these people are going to heaven, I want to be as far away from them as possible, now and then. They should be ashamed of their behavior!

Mary L. Kiefer, North Redington Beach

Mentally ill wait as illegal immigrants get treatment | March 8, story

A national failure on the immigration front

To criticize the dilemma of the mentally ill illegal immigrants is, I know, to invite the wrath of that community of people. Nevertheless, the position they find themselves in is a direct consequence of their illegality. Simply stated, illegal aliens are not qualified for Medicaid.

And the reported cost of $19.6 million to cover the care of only 86 undocumented patients is, in my view, too burdensome on the health care system.

This is not a new problem. Reporter Cristina Silva discusses only the 86 mentally ill patients, but also in the mill are an untold number of other health care seekers creating an equally grave situation. No one knows for sure how many illegal aliens are in this country. Anywhere from 12 to 20 million are reported estimates.

The disturbing fact is that our government has failed miserably in addressing the immigration problem. Merely enforcing existing laws over the years could have controlled the influx of illegal aliens. Unfortunately, the needed resolve was not present. Hopefully the plight of the 86 in question will reawaken the need to undertake methods to prevent illegal entry into America.

Orfeo Trombetta, Seminole

Mentally ill wait as illegal immigrants get treatment | March 8, story

Send them back

As the self-proclaimed leader of the "common sense" party, allow me to solve the problem of mentally ill illegals getting help ahead of legal Americans.

Once it is established that the patient is illegal, you have a health treatment person and a security person and the illegal put on a plane back to where the illegal came from. That's two round-trip tickets and one one-way ticket. Cost: $3,000 to $5,000. Savings: more than $220,000. Having one less illegal: priceless!

You may not like or agree with this, but this as this is how so many of us working people feel as our tax dollars are sucked out of our paychecks to support illegals while real Americans suffer.

James Molloy, Pinellas Park

Mentally ill wait as illegal immigrants get treatment | March 8, story

Waiting for a crisis

Give me your tired, your poor, not your illegals!

This article reveals another blatant example of why Congress cannot pass a health care plan. We wait until something breaks before we attempt to fix it.

Health care must be developed with a cost-effective, proactive methodology. Florida, as one would expect, remains in reactive mode.

Jack Bechtold, New Port Richey

The Walmart Hippies | March 9, David Brooks column

A distorted view

David Brooks misses the point in his zeal to label the Tea Partiers as radical and similar to the New Left.

As with the rest of the compliant mainstream media, he fails to do the research to understand that most people in the Tea Party movement are just trying to get the country and the government back to the vision of the original framers of the U.S. Constitution.

There are radicals in every movement, but the Tea Partiers, for the most part, are not antigovernment and antiestablishment but anti-large government, anti-"Big Brother" and antispending.

The problem is that the mainstream media so disregard the Tea Party movement that they can't bring themselves to report the real motivations of those who make up the movement.

If Brooks could objectively get back in the trenches and interview some of these Tea Partiers, he would find that most are not radical at all but normal everyday people who have been awakened by the frightening reality of the radical make-up of the Obama administration and its unending thirst for control and spending.

Winnie Bayon, Palm Harbor

Explaining the Gates Grant

Questionable use of funds

The first thing that the communications firm Hill & Knowlton can do for the Hillsborough County School Board is explain to taxpayers how their $375,000 fee is a better expenditure than for it to go toward actually "revamping the way teachers are recruited, trained and paid."

Tracye Hill Brown, who is already being paid by the school board to communicate on the Gates Grant, could simply hold news conferences (along with the district's regular communications staff), answer questions and thereby get the word out anytime for free.

Let's not forget that every dollar of Gates Grant money spent must be matched with a dollar of our tax money.

Fred Jacobsen, Apollo Beach

A divisive ad

The negative ad the Republican Governors Association is running against Florida gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink is un-American. It's not what the ad says about her personally, it's the tag line: "Not one of us. One of them."

We are all Americans. We are all created equal, and in this nation it's "we the people," not us and them. It's wrong to advance the idea that we are not one people, Americans. America divided will fall.

Already foreign countries can see the negativity being spewed by Republicans and believe we are weak because we allow it to happen and no one in responsibility stands up and says we are one nation.

The more we fight among ourselves about long-held principles and ideals, such as being a nation of laws not men, the more we weaken our country.

Citizens, wake up and realize that you are being led down a path from which you can never return. It's not us and them; it's we the people.

Kay Kelly, Clearwater

Thursday letters: A line must be drawn somewhere on disgusting protests 03/10/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 6:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours