Saturday, July 21, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Thursday's letters: Learn lessons from Afghan history

Trump gets bold, vague | Aug. 22

Learn from Afghanistan history

President Donald Trump is sending more troops to Afghanistan to "obliterate" the enemy. After 16 years, this country has learned nothing from our own history or Afghanistan's long history. For the last three centuries the greatest modern armies in the world at the time were defeated by the Afghan people — the British, the Russians and the Americans.

Outside the few large cities there are stretches of undeveloped desert ruled by warlords in a feudal system with an economy based on bartering.

You will not democratize the Afghan people. You can train them to fight for you, but they fight for themselves only. They will not be your friends. Osama bin Laden was a U.S.-backed fighter against the Russians and we know how that turned out.

Trump and the Joint Chiefs would do well to remember a quote from Rudyard Kipling's poem The Young British Soldier:

When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,

And the women come out to cut up what remains,

Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains

An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.

Joseph Ranalli, St. Pete Beach

What Jewish kids learn from witnessing hatred | Aug. 17, commentary

Teaching must start early

When Nathan Englander was a toddler, I was in high school in one of the most conservative areas in rural Pennsylvania that was 98 percent white and with very few Jews. Contrary to his experience, my high school class president was Jewish and while some racial prejudice existed, it was not pronounced. Apparently, such small confines can help blunt the type of overt segregation present in some larger communities.

His childhood clearly suggests that the bigotry he was subjected to originated within the family settings of those children who made the anti-Semitic remarks. I see an analogy that can be drawn between how we can approach the current vociferous rise of white supremacists and physical education in the early 1960s. Under President John Kennedy's leadership, schools across America adopted physical fitness programs.

Similarly, we can incorporate at a very early age the discovery of the human genome project into a rigorous socialization program in our schools. The finding that the portion of DNA denoting racial characteristics is minuscule is the type of hard science that can refute the misinformation being propagated by extremist groups. Combined with strong cultural education to foster human understanding from prekindergarten forward, our schools can be the environment to supplement parental influence in the home or to subsidize what may be missing in others.

Chris Kenney, Tampa

Condemn, but protect, the speech of hate Aug. 23, commentary

Violence is wrong — period

Pundits, politicians and progressives want us to believe that "bad" violence and "good" violence are different. They claim that violence committed by alt-right activists is evil (which it is) and that violence committed by alt-left activists is benign (which it is not). Every American has the right to express his or her views, but no one has the right to incite or commit violence. Bad and good violence are equivalent — both are illegal and immoral.

Ralph Warmack, Gulfport

Statue goal: Done deal | Aug. 18

A great day for community

Hooray, Tampa Bay, for coming up with the money to remove the Confederate monument from downtown Tampa. It is obvious that the Hillsborough County commissioners thought it would be impossible to raise that amount of money in 30 days, but it was done in 24 hours. It is time that these monuments of bigotry are removed from all public places. I am proud of all the people who were willing to step up and get the job done.

Nora S. Wilhide, Sun City Center

Self-interested motives

This article says "the community quickly rallied in raising the necessary money by the afternoon."

According to my math, $122,000, or 89 percent of the money, came from the business community (Chamber of Commerce), athletic teams (Storm, Bucs, Rays and Lightning), and local politicians (Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn). One has to suspect that their combined motivations were either for financial gain, political popularity or promoting their image with the community.

Only Tony Dungy's $5,000 and smaller contributions made up the $18,000 difference with no apparent self-interests involved.

The individuals in the community calling for the monument transfers have traditionally been at odds with the business community and political leaders over the issues of diversity in the workplace, minimum wage, equal treatment under the law and political issues of jobs, health care and housing, to name a few.

My, what a chunk of money can do to change the protesters' tone. The heavy contributors have always bought out legislators for their own self-interests, now they are buying morality under the guise of taking such noble action on the volatile issues of racism and anti-Semitism.

Brian P. Moore, Spring Hill

Let's tell the whole truth

There has been a backlash against removing Confederate monuments from our public space. Many have asked: Why? After all, we've been living with them for decades. My problem is they serve as a focal point around which the alt-right can galvanize when our unresolved racial problems bubble to the surface. Those monuments stand as a state-approved symbol that "the cause" was just.

How about by every Confederate monument or statue you put a sculpture, monument or picture of a lynching? If we are going to deify the actors, let's remind the public of what they were fighting for. Show the men, women and children who were sacrificed on the altar of white supremacy.

Jesse Glover, Tampa

Comments

Monday’s letters: More reaction to Trump

Trump sides with Putin over U.S.A. | July 17 editorialVoters will have to protect national securityThe American intelligence agencies are in unanimous agreement that Russia involved itself in the 2016 election, all to benefit the candidacy of Dona...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Sunday’s letters: What to do about the National Flood Insurance Program

Time’s running out on flood insurance | Column, July 18Kill the flood insurance programThe Republican ethos (Sen. Marco Rubio) is that government should not interfere in markets and that privatization should be implemented whenever possible. That...
Published: 07/19/18
Updated: 07/20/18

Saturday’s letters:

Time for more civil debate"Politics" is an activity which involves power and control, arriving at decisions based on differing interests. Normally, leaders weigh the needs of the individual with the abilities of the country. Can America afford a soci...
Published: 07/19/18
Updated: 07/20/18

Friday’s letters: Trump’s excuses about Helsinki

Trump got tripped up | July 18 A dangerous mix-up for a president President Donald Trump would have us believe that he misspoke when he stood on the world stage with Russian President Vladimir Putin and expressed belief in Putin rather than the un...
Published: 07/18/18
Updated: 07/20/18

Thursday’s letters: Watch what Trump does ... and what he says

Trump sides with Putinover U.S.A. | Editorial, July 17 Watch what he does — and what he says, too Anyone who still takes issue with the allegation that Donald Trump is temperamentally unfit to be president need only look at his shameful and ...
Published: 07/16/18
Updated: 07/19/18

Tuesday’s letters: Leave fireworks to the professionals

Nobody is scaring birds with fireworks | Editorial, July 16Leave fireworksto the professionalsThe situation with fireworks has gotten completely out of control. I was at Curtis Hixon Park on the Fourth of July, and numerous people were exploding ...
Published: 07/16/18
Updated: 07/17/18

Monday’s letters: Make investment in the Rays an actual investment with an actual return

Paying for ballpark will take teamwork | Editorial, July 12An actual return on investmentMuch attention has been given to the cost of the proposed Rays stadium in Ybor City and who will foot the bill. The three-legged stool of the Rays, the busin...
Published: 07/12/18
Updated: 07/16/18

Sunday’s letters: Stop burning of sugar cane near the Everglades

Florida’s land of black snow | Bill Maxwell column, July 1Don’t burn sugar cane, periodIn this column, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris King got a lot of things right about how sugarcane burning negatively impacts the Glades communities w...
Published: 07/11/18
Updated: 07/13/18

Saturday’s letters: The dangerous days before Roe vs. Wade

The reality of back-alley abortions | Column, July 11The dangerous days before RoeI am a 71-year-old retired nurse. I still remember when abortion was illegal and birth control was restricted to married women in the United States. In 1983, I set ...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/14/18

Thursday’s letters: The Rays’ Ybor City stadium will be magnificent

Rays’ big dream is small ballpark | July 11The new stadium will be gorgeousI had the pleasure of attending the unveiling of the Tampa Bay Rays "next-generation, neighborhood ballpark." I was blown away. As an 18-year resident of Tampa Bay, and ma...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/12/18