Sunday, June 17, 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


Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Friday’s letters: Freight trains are infrastructure that works in Tampa Bay

Railroads are infrastructure that worksFreight trains carry the loadCentral Florida is our state’s fastest-growing region. We’re on track to outpace South Florida’s growth 2-to-1 over the next several years. Great news for our local economy, but it n...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Charter schools aren’t the enemy

Don’t plug your ears when schools ask for tax | May 20, columnCharter schools aren’t the enemyAs an educator, I am astounded when I hear claims from school board members that charter schools take away funding from the local public school system. ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: Trump’s words insult our Canadian visitors

Trade disputes torpedo G-7 summit | June 10Canadian visitors are owed apologyLike many Pinellas County residents, I’m pleased that we receive thousands of Canadian "snow birds" as part-year residents. Not only do they enhance our economy, but by ...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/13/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for June 15

Opinion: Commissioners arrogant and incompetentMy wife and I live in Hernando County. As such, we are represented by a Board of County Commissioners where all the members manifest two common traits. Those traits are arrogance and incompetence.The arr...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18

Tuesday’s letters: Fewer guns would reduce suicides

U.S. under suicide watch | June 8Fewer guns mean fewer suicidesIt is a fact that deserves more attention, but got only one sentence in the article about the U.S. "suicide watch:" "The most common method used across all groups was firearms." I spe...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for June 15

New group to address real women’s issuesLast Saturday our Congressman Gus Bilirakis sponsored a "Woman’s Summit" at East Lake High School that was supposed to deal with women’s issues. Some topics covered were gardening, weight loss and quilting.Mayb...
Published: 06/11/18

Monday’s letters: Bring back the ferry, kick-start transit

Cross bay, but who’ll pay? | June 8Ferry could be a gateway to transitIt’s great news that St. Petersburg is committed to bringing back the world class cross bay ferry service. What a common-sense and practical thing to do in order to ease us int...
Published: 06/08/18
Updated: 06/11/18