Primary election results
Voters want to get things done
Pundits and bloggers are having a field day over the meaning of the primary election results. There seems to be agreement that voters are not pleased with Washington, and so incumbents are presumed to be in trouble. Mysteriously, experience and even a track record of hard work and quality representation are increasingly seen as liabilities.
But in all of the commentary, few if any voices are asking, What is this voter unrest all about? What is it that voters have been so dissatisfied with for the past several major elections?
The answer is simple. The two parties have become so rigidly partisan that each side does everything in its power, regardless of how untruthful or dirty, to block the other side from doing anything. If by some miracle a piece of legislation is passed, the lies and mud that have been slung from the opposition create a stain so bad that voters are confused and infuriated, regardless of the actual pros or cons.
All voters really want is a government that actually gets things done. This country desperately needs immigration reform. This country desperately needs smart energy policy. This country desperately needs real health care reform.
Voters are sick and tired of politicians who stay within the box of party lines. Let's vote for the candidate who is committed to working with "the other side," whoever that may be.
Phil Courter, Crystal River
Out with the old
Out with the old and in with the new! Since Congress refuses to even consider the thought of term limits, the only recourse left for voters is to oust long-seated incumbents in favor of those candidates with new and invigorating approaches to solving our country's problems.
The defeat of U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania will hopefully be a harbinger of things to come as the primary season progresses. This anti-incumbent mood regarding both parties needs to persist if the "business as usual" so pervasive among the old- guard members of Congress is to be thwarted.
The country needs novel solutions, not the tired and played-out remedies of politicians who have stayed too long and offer nothing more than name recognition.
Earl A. Myers Jr., Tampa
Palin on rights of women | May 18, commentary
Palin sets up a straw man
Jonathan Capeheart's column doesn't make any sense. He states that Sarah Palin "makes a very interesting point" when she argues that "pro-woman" groups are hypocritical to tell young women that they are not capable of pursuing an education and career while having a child. This point might be "interesting" if there were any "pro-woman" groups that actually tell any young women this, but there aren't any.
Palin's argument is a classic "straw man" wherein she crafts an imaginary argument for her opponent, knocks it down, and then argues that, because her opponent's imaginary argument is wrong, hers must be right. This is not "very interesting;" it is very sophomoric.
Make no mistake: Beneath the smokescreen of "very interesting" rhetoric, Palin is advocating a system where the government, not young women themselves, decides whether pregnancies will be carried to term. One need look no further than China to see that a government with the power to make reproductive decisions for its people might not use that power in the way that Palin imagines.
Megan Foster, Tampa
Budget help in sight
I was amused by the dichotomy of two stories about Hillsborough County in the May 16 Tampa Bay section. The first (County hums along without Bean) praised Mike Merrill's efforts to get a handle on the county's financial problems.
The second story, about the Airstream Ranch (From a nuisance to a landmark), quoted Jim Blinck, operations manager for county code enforcement, as saying: "We haven't forgotten about the Airstream trailers." The article notes that Blinck plans to call a meeting to figure out how to fight the ranch. "It's never going to be over," he said.
If Merrill is looking for ways to cut costs, he might want to put an end to Blinck's continued tax- wasting crusade against the Airstream Ranch.
David Brown, Sun City Center
Go to moon, then Mars
As an Apollo 14 astronaut and the sixth man to walk on the moon, I urge President Barack Obama to continue moon missions as an important flight destination for testing next-generation rocket propulsion systems. I am a strong proponent of a manned mission to Mars, and see moon missions as prerequisite for testing spacecraft propelled by advanced propulsion systems.
I commend Obama's decision to strengthen the private sector's role in the space program. The intellectual energy of scientists and inventors as well as private entrepreneurs will catapult Earth's people into a space-faring race. As founder and chief science officer of Quantrek, I collaborate with scientists and experts in the fields of propulsion systems as well as other applications of frontier science.
Like the president, I agree that global collaboration and peaceful exploration are fundamental directives of our space program. I commend his refocusing of the space program from adversarial to a global collaborative effort. As a Florida resident for many years, I applaud Obama's commitment to job creation and retention in the public sector. I am pleased with his commitment to a $6 billion budget increase for NASA, which would add 2,500 jobs along the Space Coast plus 10,000 jobs nationwide.
My relationship with NASA spans 44 years. When Obama announced that "nobody is more committed to manned space flight, to human exploration of space than I am," I felt the cumulative excitement of every child whose dream is to become an astronaut.
Dr. Edgar Mitchell, Lake Worth
Survivor: 'God had his hand on this' | May 17
Why not prevent it?
As a nonbeliever, I have a question about the lady into whose house a light aircraft crashed. Since she declares that God's timely intervention saved lives, couldn't this omnipotent entity have averted the crash entirely?
Nick Hobart, New Port Richey
A breath of fresh air
Times staff writers Drew Harwell and Dominick Tao made my day. How wonderful to see God mentioned in the headlines and in a positive light, or for that matter, mentioned at all!
Usually, reading the newspaper leaves the reader full of bad news and despair. What a breath of fresh air these writers blew into our homes. Thank you and keep up the good work.
Claudia Ann Sodaro, Tarpon Springs