Sunday, December 10, 2017
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


Monday’s letters: Don’t drill in Arctic refuge

Arctic National Wildlife RefugeStop plan to drill for oil in refugeOur nation faces yet another effort to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge reserve to oil and gas drilling. Drilling in the Arctic simply doesn’t make sound financial sense. W...
Published: 12/08/17

Sunday’s letters: Tax bill puts U.S. on right course

The GOP’s regressive tax plans | Dec. 5, editorialTax bill puts U.S. on right courseThe Times is already crying wolf over the new tax cuts, claiming that the new laws "could" result an increase in the national debt of $1.5 trillion over the next ...
Published: 12/07/17

Saturday’s letters: Don’t inject political money into churches

Tax billKeep political cash out of pulpitA provision buried in the 429-page House tax bill, Section 5201, nullifies the Johnson Amendment, which protects houses of worship from partisan politics by prohibiting them from endorsing or opposing politica...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Friday’s letters: Most unpopular tax bill ever

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3The most unpopular tax bill ever"Democracy dies in darkness" is the motto of the Washington Post. At 2 a.m. on the dark morning of Sunday, Dec. 3, 51 Republicans approved the most wildly unpopular tax bill in U.S. h...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Thursday’s letters: Give your child the gift of reading

Fatherhood Involvement in Literacy CampaignGive your child the gift of readingPart of a successful game plan in sports is identifying plays that can put points on the scoreboard. Whether I was playing quarterback at Florida State or running the point...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/06/17

Wednesday’s letters: Bill gives small businesses tax relief

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3Small businesses get tax reliefThe Senate and House have now passed their respective tax bills. Once Congress sends a final package to the White House, President Donald Trump will deliver us the most powerful tax re...
Published: 12/04/17
Updated: 12/05/17

Tuesday’s letters: Transplant bill will help Medicare patients

November Letter of the MonthThe winning letter addressed the unresponsiveness of elected officials.Representatives aren’t listeningFor whom do our legislators work? I ask because my Florida senator doesn’t appear to work for me. I drove 27 miles on N...
Published: 12/04/17

Monday’s letters: A citizen’s heroic act

Suspect arrested | Nov. 29A courageous citizen’s actOn Nov. 28, a courageous act occurred in the Tampa Bay area. It was one that law enforcement professionals applaud and hope becomes more frequent. An ordinary citizen did the right thing and spo...
Published: 12/01/17

Saturday’s letters: Historic preservation process needs fixing

A preservation problem | Nov. 25, editorialApplication process needs fixingThere is a reason why smaller rather than larger groups of property owners are getting together to seek historic district designation: It is St. Petersburg’s application p...
Published: 11/30/17
Updated: 12/01/17

Friday’s letters: Allegations from distant past have political tinge

Published: 11/30/17