Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Thursday's letters: Extremists on all sides get the headlines

Vilification of Arabs

Extremists get the headlines

Many see the violence in the Arab world against the United States and assume that nearly all Arabs burn with hatred for us. That's a bit like saying that, in America, because we average two to three mass shootings a year, every one of us is a deranged killer. The Libyan government expressed sorrow over the attack and meant it. They relied on Ambassador Chris Stevens. Most Libyans do not approve of the attacks, and millions of them remain grateful for the pivotal U.S. assistance to overthrow Moammar Gadhafi.

We hardly improved our standing in the Arab world by our feckless "war of choice" opposed by the entire world (including the United Kingdom and Spain, if you count their domestic sentiment against the war) in search of nonexistent weapons of mass destruction and a ham-fisted occupation by Americans who generally spoke no Arabic. Neither has our inability to stop Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from building new settlements in the West Bank (a policy supported by only about one-half of Israelis) gone unnoticed by the Arab world, who see this as a gradual process by Israel to annex the West Bank and evict the Arabs from their farms and cities there.

The truth is, while a majority of Arabs distrust and even revile U.S. foreign policy, 99 percent are not directly connected with such violence. What drives the radicals in the Arab world? They wrongly assume that because a bunch of Christian survivalist bigots produced a ridiculously amateurish video staring a California surfer dude playing a sadistic, murderous Mohammed, this must represent the views of all Americans.

Unfortunately, in our current age, it's the extremists (survivalists on one side, terrorists on the other) who get the headlines and drive the debate.

Mark Cattell, Oldsmar

Young's stance on war praised, but not by McCain | Sept. 19

Let's get out now

Rep. C.W. Bill Young is correct. It is time for us to get out of the war. Sen. John McCain is wrong in saying it shows a weak America. Handled properly, it could be a show of strength.

Let's tell the entire world we will not meddle in your internal affairs. We will either be your best friend or your worst enemy, and you can decide which. Trade with us and we will aid you every way possible. Ignore us and we will ignore you. Damage us and we will destroy you.

Dale Conner, Weeki Wachee

Young: Get out of the war | Sept. 18

Late speaking up

After 11 years, Bill Young has finally decided, "We're killing kids that don't need to die." Tell that to all parents who have lost their children and wives who have lost their husbands fighting a "war without end" and "fighting a war without a cause." What took him so long?

Margaret Hyde, Clearwater

Romney: Nearly half 'believe they are victims' | Sept. 18

Now that's rich

The arrogance of this man is simply amazing. I cannot believe that retired folks like myself are cast in such despicable terms because we receive Social Security and Medicare (both paid into for many years) and no longer pay income tax since our income is so low.

As far as I am concerned, Mitt Romney has shown his true colors: He speaks for, cares for and, if elected, will govern for the wealthy and only the wealthy.

Jim Becker, Lutz

Hardly a parasite

I am proud of being a responsible American citizen. I have worked hard for over half a century. I am now retired and rely heavily on my investments in Social Security and Medicare for my livelihood. Although I have lived comfortably, I have never made over $200,000 a year and, apparently, have never been part of the nation's middle class. I am not the parasite on society Mitt Romney says I am. And, contrary to the beliefs of the Republican Party, I have never committed voter fraud and I have legally voted in every election since becoming of age.

Tom Schroeder, Clearwater

U.S. travel outfits decry tighter Cuba rules Sept. 16

Rubio's ridiculous stance

The tactics used by U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio in trying to undo the advances made in the people-to-people program with Cuba are appalling, un-American and ridiculous. At a time when we could be on the brink of an enlightened relationship with Cuba and an end to the embargo, he recites the Cold War bugaboo, labeling the program a "charade" that allows Fidel Castro to indoctrinate us. I rather feel that Rubio is the indoctrinator.

Cuba is moving ahead with some limited free-market changes and has a health care system that is well-respected worldwide. Too bad we can't say the same. There are in fact American medical students studying in Cuba.

Rubio should not deny Americans the freedom to travel to Cuba because of his partisan bias.

Claire McCarthy Lutzmann, Dunedin

Elton John concert traffic

A real sour note

While the Elton John concert at the USF Sun Dome was fabulous, the lack of any traffic control almost ruined the evening. There were no Tampa or campus police in evidence, and no thought that 10,000 people would be trying to get to the concert. We missed 45 minutes of the show, and hundreds of cars were behind us. To be stuck in traffic for an hour to travel less than 4 miles using the route emailed to us from USF highlighted that the Tampa area cannot handle any type of traffic that other cities in the country or the rest of the world can.

Why can't the powers that be understand how desperately good public transport is needed in this area?

G. Peters, Seminole

Kids, go out and play and build your brain Sept. 17 column

Park your helicopter

It is reassuring to find someone still around with a modicum of common sense. Lenore Skenazy hits the nail on the head about overprotecting kids and how the media, in an effort to manufacture news, scares the daylights out of everyone by making it sound like there is a bogeyman around every corner. Hopefully, some will get it and allow their kids to learn some life skills without a helicopter parent on the scene over them at every moment!

G.G. Williams, St. Petersburg


Wednesday’s letters:

House Bill 21Opioid proposal merits supportIn 2016, Florida recorded 952 heroin-related and 1,390 fentanyl-related deaths. Four in five new heroin users began by misusing prescription pain medications, also known as opioids. Despite the widespread op...
Updated: 12 hours ago

Hernando Letter to the Editor for Feb. 23

Re: Hernando business leaders push to loosen development rules | Feb. 9; Re: Deny Brooksville mine expansion, planning commissioners say | Feb. 16Wish to register my opposition to both the draft of the new Hernando County Comprehensive Plan that elim...
Published: 02/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Making politics personal is one way toward reasonable gun control

The Parkland shootingMake gun politics personalAs an educator of 32 years, it encourages me to see our young people engaged after the horror at Stoneman Douglas High School. The tragedy at Parkland has awakened the sleeping giant that is the millenni...
Published: 02/19/18

Sunday’s letters: Congress must act on firearms

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Congress must act on firearmsIt’s time for Congress to be counted.The failure of Congress to act to: (1) limit access to assault rifles and (2) require meaningful background checks for all gun purchases is appalling.Surel...
Published: 02/17/18

Monday’s letters: Call it by its name: terrorism

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Call it whatit is: terrorismLet’s just call it what it is. It’s terrorism. No school in the country is immune. They all have procedures for sheltering in place or emergency evacuation from a shooter. It’s prudent to be pr...
Published: 02/16/18

Saturday’s letters: Payoff to porn star not front-page news?

Lawyer: I personally paid porn star | Feb. 14Where we’re at: This is 4A newsOnly under the Trump presidency does a story about the president’s lawyer paying off a porn star to cover up an affair with the president show up on page 4A. Never mind t...
Published: 02/16/18

Friday’s letters: Water quality too important to gamble on

State to update water rules | Feb. 10Don’t gamble with water safetyI wondered whether this front-page article was an early April Fool’s joke. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection "updated" its pollution regulations in 2016, with str...
Published: 02/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Bill protects pharmacy customers

House Bill 351Bill protects pharmacy customersWe all need the protections provided in Florida House Bill 351 to ensure pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, are transparently operating with patients. Currently, PBMs are not regulated by the state and o...
Published: 02/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: The ocean is no place for amateurs

Youthful dream sinks in two days | Feb. 12Ocean is no place for amateursFirst of all, let me say I am sorry this couple lost their boat and I do applaud their adventurous spirit. However, I have spent over 20 years at sea and would like to commen...
Published: 02/13/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Feb. 16

A vote against Pasco’s jail bond issueThere are two stories on the front page of the Feb. 9 Pasco Times that drew my attention.The top headline reports that the Pasco County commissioners are discussing submitting a $185 million bond issue to the vot...
Published: 02/13/18