Power bills likely to rise | Nov. 16
Florida's socialist utility policy
Customers of Progress Energy, the Florida Public Service Commissions staff is sticking it to you again by recommending customers continue to pay for the additional costs created because Progress Energy broke their Crystal River Nuclear Power Plant. In a time of continuing diminishing jobs and wages, when many working families can barely make ends meet, the PSC staff arrogantly thinks Progress Energy's investors should not have to suffer financial loss at the hands of inept management.
It's bad enough the state Legislature and the governor have packed the PSC with pro-utility commissioners to make sure that none of these commissioners get any wild ideas about siding with consumers. Those same legislators claim that President Barack Obama has socialist policies. Well, our state Legislature openly practices socialism for Progress Energy by making sure they're guaranteed millions of dollars of income regardless of how well or poorly they run their company.
Richard Magda, New Port Richey
'Occupy Progress Energy'
Here we are being held accountable for Progress Energy's screwup, and we are already paying in advance for a nuclear plant that keeps getting delayed? Why isn't Progress Energy required to use their profits to cover the repair? We cannot change electric suppliers; we are forced to have whoever gets claim to the area.
Maybe we need an "Occupy Progress Energy" to go to their offices and protest. Then go to our state representatives and demand action. Never in my 67 years did I think I would I say this: Let our government take over the electric companies, or a nonprofit company sure sounds good to me.
Christina Ennist, New Port Richey
Rubio: Ease up on heated immigration rhetoric | Nov. 15
It's clear reform is needed
It is a healthy sign that U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is pressing the Republican Party to craft a better and clearer position on immigration if it hopes to attract the votes of a diverse Hispanic population. The problem is his message is as ambiguous and fragmented as President Barack Obama's message and actions. At least the president has made clear he will focus on deporting illegal immigrants for criminal cause.
America has an immigration law that is not consistently supported and enforced, and which has driven several states to pass measures that show federal reform is a must.
James Gillespie, St. Petersburg
Occupy Wall Street
Turn anger toward Congress
The people who have started "Occupy Wall Street" should really be "Occupying Congress." The root of corruption starts with the members of Congress. First in bailing out the big businesses, second by being a party to insider trading and third by not cutting their pay or benefits.
Somehow these insane people running our country need to be held accountable. The millions that will be wasted of our tax dollars on the upcoming elections is a crime.
Lynn Wood, Tierra Verde
Foreign policy naivete shows in GOP debate Nov. 15
A modest proposal for war
The lack of caution regarding war shown by most of the candidates during the recent GOP debate unfortunately is shared by many, if not most, Americans. A partial cause of this problem is that most Americans have had no personal stake in the wars that our armed forces have fought since the Vietnam War. Ownership of war now vests almost exclusively with the president and professional military.
Assuring that every American has a personal stake in future wars should create caution. In that regard, I propose the following three actions: First, reinstate the draft so that all Americans of the appropriate age have a risk of a call to military duty. Second, except for very limited exceptions, no president should be permitted to send any member of the military into combat without a declaration of war by Congress. Finally, in the event of a declaration of war, Congress should be required to enact a temporary tax increase for the duration of the war, and every taxpayer should be required to purchase at least one war bond each year during the duration of the war.
Ben Reese, Clearwater
Candidates naive on Iran
Watching the Republican presidential candidates debate was painful and full of half-baked, uninformed comments (with the exception of Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman).
A number of the candidates seemed to be saying we should use force to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. Preventing Iran from getting a weapon is a laudable goal, but using force probably leads to sending troops to fight in Iran. Mitt Romney (the supposed moderate), Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain and Rick Santorum all advocated actions that, if not immediately successful, would seem to suggest the use of force against Iran. Have we learned no lessons from our costly, and perhaps futile, efforts to bring democracy to Iraq? I must point out that if Iraq was difficult, Iran (three times the population and four times the size of Iraq) would be a bottomless pit.
It was also interesting that the Republicans have been complaining about Obama not consulting the Congress sufficiently on the war; none of the hawks seemed concerned about the Congress or U.S. public opinion. Sounds like the Imperial Presidency all over again — as Ron Paul pointed out.
Michael Francis, Homosassa
Lifeline or a loophole | Nov. 16
Better to sell than to steal
Really?! People are upset that a few poor people are selling newspapers to feed themselves? How is it possible that our neighbors, including our mayor, disapprove of citizens abiding by the law and selling newspapers? People have to eat, and they deserve to live lives of reasonable decency. Would we rather that desperate people steal in order to survive? And are people really suggesting that we'll boycott the advertisers and sponsors of the newspaper project? It is beyond belief that the adults who lead this community would criticize a legal, organized and low-impact project to help the poor citizens of our community.
Marlene Rubin, Tampa