Sunday, May 20, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Thursday's letters: Boston bombings part of a holy war

Boston Marathon bombings

It's a holy war, no doubt about it

There's been a lot of speculation about the rationale behind the ghastly attacks in Boston. The left wishes to steer clear of terms like radical Islam, terrorism and jihad, but this is indeed a holy war that is being waged on the United States and the West in general. The reasoning behind this is simple: America and the West espouse values, principles and ideals that are contrary to those of traditional conservative Islamic thinking. But it goes deeper than that — to the heart of American foreign policy and also to domestic policy.

The religious doctrine that composes the bedrock of radical Islam is a particularly virulent strain. The impunity with which imams and clerics indoctrinate the masses is sickening. Westerners find it hard to comprehend the true depths of depravity to which these individuals are willing to go.

The brothers' brazen acts of terrorism are inspirations to the millions of overzealous, trigger-happy jihadists waiting to pounce. Make no mistake, the horror that tugs at our heartstrings is the very fuel of their hatred. 9/11 was when the floodgates of radical Islam were finally opened on the free nation of America. Since then, Madrid, Paris, London, Tel Aviv, Bali and many other cities have witnessed the horrifying effects of the world's most vitriolic, hate-spewing strain, radical Islam.

We cannot hide behind political correctness in the hope that we can accommodate these types of people within our society. We must galvanize all those who cherish the sanctity of life against these tyrants who wish to tear us apart.

Brett Chatz, Clearwater

Boston Marathon bombings

Refusing to cower

Every time we have an incident like the bombing at the Boston Marathon, we are shown the video of the incident over and over. I don't know what good that repetition does anyone. Is the media concerned that folks missed seeing the explosions so perhaps they'll catch it this time?

It appears to be that they are saying, "You need to be afraid!" I refuse to be afraid, and it appears that at least the sports fans in Boston feel the same or they would not have turned out for the Red Sox game, certainly a venue that could be an opportunity for terrorism.

It appears that two amateurs carried out this carnage. Hopefully, we will learn where and how they became radicalized. However, I personally am not heading out to buy additional firearms; nor am I going to stop going to public events. We live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. I feel that Bostonians have shown their grit and their pride by returning to the streets as soon as the second suspect was apprehended.

I also do not think this incident should affect the debate regarding the immigration bill. That bill will make us safer as those who have been sidelined from our society will be integrated into it.

Thom Cooper, St. Petersburg

Gov. Rick Scott

Maryland versus Florida

I just returned from my home state of Maryland, helping my family celebrate my sister's 50th wedding anniversary. Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has accomplished the following:

1. Repealed the death penalty.

2. Banned certain assault weapons and large magazines and tightened the rules for gun registration.

3. Expanded voting for citizens.

4. Passed an infrastructure expansion bill, increasing jobs and investing in the future.

5. Passed an offshore wind energy bill.

Maybe this happens because almost two-thirds of Maryland residents have a college education. Maybe it happened because its students are ranked No. 1 in advanced placement tests.

Or maybe it is because Maryland's governor pushes these things through a legislature that reflects the thinking of its citizenry.

Gov. Rick Scott does not lead, he follows, and it is the path to ruination.

Martin L. Daugherty, St. Petersburg

Scott signs school bill | April 23

Monitor college admissions

New York City abandoned its four-tiered diploma system (commercial, vocational, academic, regents) in the late 1970s when we found two problems.

First, once students abandoned academic or regents-level courses, they were "damaged goods" for future college admission, should they change their minds.

Second, high schools were consciously tracking large numbers of students into less rigorous commercial and vocational strands in order to boost graduation rates.

Now that Florida has decided to return to the 1950s, it will require careful monitoring and adjustment in college admissions to see that we don't relive lessons already learned.

Stephen E. Phillips, former superintendent of high schools, New York City Board of Education, St. Petersburg

The lines blur on abortion April 23, commentary

The fundamental truth

The author's tortured evolution on abortion is indicative of the emergence of the truth about abortion: It always involves the taking of a unique human life.

What is "blurred" are not the lines defining viability but our collective refusal to acknowledge that fundamental truth.

In our society, the standard for taking human life is certainty. In a capital case the judge advises the jury to determine guilt "beyond a reasonable doubt." In a mine disaster we continue rescue efforts as long as there is the possibility that the victims survived. Why then do we abandon this standard in the case of abortion when there is abundant evidence of the humanness of the unborn child at almost every stage of development?

Norman Dusseault, St. Petersburg

No decision likely on health funding April 23

A senator's cold words

Buried on the last page of Section B is a claim by state Sen. John Thrasher of St. Augustine that "there is no fallout" for not going forward with Medicaid expansion. The comment is not based on the million or so Floridians who will suffer without access to health insurance, or the billions of dollars (unreimbursed) that will be spent in emergency rooms providing care to the uninsured. He goes on to state that he doesn't believe there will be "political repercussions." What a cold and calculating public servant.

Martha Hodge, Tampa


Monday’s letters: Focusing on the mental state of shooters misses the point

Texas high school shooting | May 18Criminals, angry people kill peopleSchool shootings are a distinctly American phenomenon. But shootings by people with serious mental illness represent less than 1 percent of all yearly gun-related homicides in ...
Published: 05/19/18

Friday’s letters: Putnam and Publix, two P’s lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17A pleasure to shop elsewhereMy family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye.Firs...
Published: 05/18/18

Saturday’s letters: For Florida to move forward, focus on a healthy and sustainable environment

Tampa’s future is bright | May 12Protect Florida, boost economyThis past year, Florida set another record-breaking year for tourism, welcoming more than 116 million visitors. While Florida boasts a unique quality of life and more than 1,300 miles...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Sunday’s letters: What conservatives stand for

How can conservatism survive after Trump | May 13, Nickens columnhed#6324 I think it obvious that traditional conservatism was squeezed out of the 2016 campaign narrative and has become a niche thesis owned by a small group of intellectuals. A gr...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Friday's letters: Putnam and Publix, two P's lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17 A pleasure to shop elsewhere My family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye. F...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 18

Re: Pasco panel okays Tampa Electric solar farm after five-hour meeting | April 9 storySolar farm offers many positivesThere has been much publicity regarding the proposed TECO Mountain View solar project slated for 350 acres in East Pasco that was r...
Published: 05/14/18

Thursday’s letters: Florida has arguably become the autonomous vehicle capital of North America

Autonomous vehicles in FloridaThe state for self-driving carsAlmost overnight, Florida has arguably become the autonomous vehicle capital of North America. In the last three months, Voyage, a self-driving taxi service, has begun service in the Villag...
Published: 05/12/18
Updated: 05/17/18

Wednesday’s letters: Florida’s Community Health Centers save $1.78 for every dollar spent

Florida’s Community Health CentersHealth centers are a great dealIf you gave someone a dollar and they gave you back $1.78, wouldn’t you consider that a fantastic deal? That’s the deal Florida’s Community Health Centers provide for the state’s citize...
Published: 05/12/18
Updated: 05/16/18

Monday’s letters: Good ideas to fix schools still require enough money

Another plan for faltering schools | May 9The right ideas, cash still neededThe administration of the Hillsborough County School District should be applauded for persistent efforts to find the right formula to improve educational results of stude...
Published: 05/09/18
Updated: 05/14/18

Saturday’s letters: Short-sighted prison cuts hurt society

Call to rethink prison cuts | May 10Short-sighted prison cuts hurt societyThe Florida Department of Corrections is dismantling successful substance abuse and re-entry treatment programs to fix a $28 million shortfall. The short-sighted action wi...
Published: 05/09/18
Updated: 05/11/18