Today, honor those who served
Veterans Day is observed to honor our military veterans who served with the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. It makes no difference if they are men or women, living or dead, killed in combat, lost or buried in American cemeteries overseas.
Veterans Day, as many will remember, began after World War I and was named Armistice Day as a result of the armistice that was signed with Germany on Nov. 11, 1918, that effectively ended World War I. After World War II, the name was changed to Veterans Day to encompass all wars where our troops fought.
Wars have been hell, and families have had their lives terribly disrupted as a consequence. However, because we have Veterans Day every year, families and loved ones can take the opportunity to honor their veterans, each in their own way.
As a suggestion, this would be an opportune time to call a veteran member of your family, a friend or acquaintance, to give them a lift in observing this significant day in their life.
Jack Keller Sr., Belleair Bluffs
Nine years of hardship
Nine years and counting. That's how long we've had troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. For too many, there are only two ways they come home: dead or damaged.
During the first six years, the wars were front-page news. Wall Street fiddled around with our economy on the inside pages, but we didn't notice. For the past three years, the war news has faded, and joblessness and foreclosures are all we read about and fear now — unless you're in the military, or you have family actively serving.
Our troops are made up of men and women, husbands and wives, and mothers and fathers who are fighting a war that's 9 years old. Remember them.
Apparently we can't stop the insanity of war, but we can honor all our men and women who are serving now and have served in the past. Think of them and attend a ceremony in their honor this Veterans Day.
Pat K. Kobin, Largo
Pipes, parks may not be all of Iorio's legacy Nov. 7
Tampa's mayor acted decisively, with courtesy
Elected officials and politicians aren't just remembered for the major public issues they supported and won or lost. Many are remembered for character, values and even lesser dealings they had that never are subject to news reports. Such is my view of Mayor Pam Iorio based on limited contacts with her while I served as chairman and vice chairman of the Florida Orchestra.
Mayor Iorio would invite the leaders of various nonprofit groups to her office annually to discuss what support the city could offer to them that year. My recollection is that the orchestra was among about a dozen large nonprofits that met with her. Most were Tampa-based. She viewed the organizations as important to the quality of Tampa's life and economic development.
In good years, the mayor was able to be generous in support. But as the impact of the recession became clear, she decisively and properly informed the group that support must be reduced to deal with other priorities. The group always respected her courtesy and time in explaining her decisions. Mayor Iorio was clear, gracious and direct about what she could and couldn't do.
While I am not a Tampa resident, I think this experience is the type of story the media is not often able to relate about a public official. One lesson is that few of us actually know many of the good but perhaps smaller positive contacts that occur with public officials.
James R. Gillespie, St. Petersburg
Foreign business takeover of Potash Corp. disallowed | Nov. 7
Canada takes right path
Kudos to our northern neighbor, Canada, for blocking "a $39 billion foreign takeover of Saskatchewan's Potash Corp. over concerns about giving up its strategic position in the world food supply."
I wish our Congress had as much guts. Maybe our economy would be in better shape.
Our economy will only revive when jobs American companies have transferred overseas have been brought back. All offshoring does is line the pockets of the chief executives of these companies. And who gets hurt? As usual, all the little guys who do the hard work for these companies and collect the least pay and benefits.
Gertrude McWilliams, Valrico
A bad precedent on removal of judges Nov. 5, editorial
Respecting voters' wishes
In your editorial, you state that the ouster of three Iowa Supreme Court justices "sent a strong message to judges around the country about the challenge to an independent judiciary." Some additional facts about this case may affect readers' opinions about what message is being sent and who is right, the Iowa Supreme Court or the majority of Iowa voters.
Your editorial should not be interpreted that Iowans oppose civil unions between same-sex partners. Other states, like Vermont and New Jersey, have created parallel same-sex unions along with traditional marriages. Polling in Iowa has consistently found that a clear majority of Iowans favor such recognition of parallel civil unions between same-sex partners. However, when ruling on the gay marriage issue, the Iowa Supreme Court specifically ruled that any attempt by the legislature to recognize parallel civil unions would also be ruled unconstitutional.
Courts can only interpret law; they cannot get involved in the political process by legislating from the bench. With their votes of no retention Iowans obviously decided that the Iowa Supreme Court exceeded its authority and legislated from the bench in ruling that Iowans don't have the right to enact legislation recognizing parallel civil unions. That's the message.
Darrell Dirks, Tampa
Scott's transition team
Same old faces
I want to express my dismay at Rick Scott's selection of a transition team of insiders/cronies. It is not about the competency of the people selected; it is about his promise that he would bring fresh faces and ideas to Florida's top job.
This is his first broken promise, and I dread that there will be more to come.
Martha Hodge, Tampa
Fed buys bonds
Buy mortgages instead
Rather than buying up Treasury bonds, the Federal Reserve should purchase underwater mortgages and replace them with modified mortgages that truly reflect current home values and reasonable terms. The stimulus to the economy would be immediate.
Louis Carliner, Masaryktown
Awaiting the cuts
The Republicans have control of the House and want to reduce spending. Finally, an end to the two wars that are consuming so many of our federal tax dollars. Finally, an end to corporate welfare. That is what they mean, isn't it?
Anita Jimenez, Ruskin
Disasters in Indonesia, Haiti
'Acts of God'
I remember when hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis and other natural tragedies were called "acts of God," even in insurance policies. Seems like that phrase is passe and we now place all the blame on poor old "Mother Nature." Is it because nature is a lady? Or is it because God only does good stuff like making touchdowns and home runs?
Edward J. McDougall Sr., Brooksville