Wednesday, March 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


Thursday’s letters: School safety requires funding

Constitution Revision CommissionSchool safety requires fundingThe Constitution Revision Commission should consider amending a proposal (45, 93 or 72) to allocate the necessary recurring funding for the new school safety mandates, separate from the ba...
Published: 03/21/18

Wednesday’s letters: Let the teachers decide on guns

Trump touts arming staff as key in plan for school security | March 12It’s the teacher’s call on weaponsPlease, let’s try an alternate view about guns in the classroom. First, it hasn’t gone unnoticed that the preponderance of letters about guns ...
Published: 03/20/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for March 23

Re: Residents object to solar farm | March 16, storyLakeland Electric has shown that residential customers can be incentivized to allow placement of utility-owned solar panels on their roofs. Likewise, business owners can be incentivized to allow...
Published: 03/19/18

Tuesday’s letters: It shouldn’t be this hard to fly

Tampa International AirportIt shouldn’t be this hard to flyI’ve given the train two tries now from economy parking at Tampa airport. It’s a lot of work. How silly to go down one bank of elevators, then take a good walk to the next set of elevators to...
Published: 03/19/18

Monday’s letters: Protect Floridians’ right to privacy

People push for changes at Constitution hearing | March 14Protect Florida’s right to privacyI attended the Constitution Revision Commission’s public hearing at USF St. Petersburg last week. I was there because I thought it was important to have m...
Published: 03/18/18

Sunday’s letters: Effort to stem pet cruelty pays off

Puppy millsEffort to stem cruelty pays offThank you to everyone who contacted their legislators, and a huge shout-out to the Tampa Bay Times for letting us know that state legislators were considering a bill to eliminate the hard-achieved gains on lo...
Published: 03/17/18

Saturday’s letters: Insurer focused on repairs, not fees

Citizens hit with $12.7M verdict | March 15Insurer’s focus: repairs, not feesCitizens Property Insurance Corp. has spent the past several years making sure that insurance proceeds for sinkhole repairs are used to restore a home and make it whole....
Published: 03/16/18

Friday’s letters: Put young people to work rebuilding infrastructure

Smart way to pay for infrastructure | March 13, commentaryMake rebuilding a youth project Raising gas taxes to pay for infrastructure may not be the best way to go. I suggest we re-invent the old WPA (Works Progress Administration) and draft high...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/15/18

Thursday’s letters: An alternative for giving: Breadcoin

Panhandling paradox | March 11Innovation in giving: BreadcoinPanhandling is destructive to the donor, panhandler and our community — a guilt trip that erodes personal dignity, respect and self-worth, making the recipient more beholden and entitle...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/14/18
Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Daylight saving timeDaylight bill is bad for businessI encourage Gov. Rick Scott to veto the daylight saving time extension bill. It makes no sense. It puts Florida out of sync with the rest of the country. Commerce will be affected. The entire Easte...
Published: 03/13/18