A tough road to democratic Libya | Aug. 23, editorial
U.S. should keep its distance in Libya
What we are experiencing in Libya — and by extension in the Arab world — are the belated aftershocks of European colonialism. "Europeans had behaved with unmatched brutality, wrapped in racist twaddle and hypocrisy … terror and exploitation," writes historian Fred Stern. The arbitrariness of their hegemonic behavior is obvious to anyone who looks at the straight-line boundaries of these various "states" that were created.
After nearly three generations, the chickens have come to roost. And Europe — and to some extent the United States — cannot restrain itself from wanting to meddle in Middle Eastern politics, as your editorial clearly shows.
Democratic Libya? Who wants "democracy" as we know it? Most of these parts of the world are ruled through tribal allegiances. Arabs have a strong mistrust of Western intentions — just look at their history. Democracy, as advocated in the past, is another way to re-establish Western control, to continue to exploit the Arab world's natural wealth and to use it as a market for Western consumer goods.
There are few democratic institutions in these parts of the world. The only institution of relevance and credibility is Islam.
Libyans, Egyptians, Somalis and the rest will determine their own future, just as the United States did in 1776. In the meantime, let the West keep its distance.
Sankaran S. Babu, Wesley Chapel
Libya teeters | Aug. 22
Not the only tyrant
Moammar Gadhafi was a horrible leader, but not worse than Bashar Assad of Syria, who has killed over 2,000 demonstrators. We have done nothing to Assad. Why are we and the United Nations blind to the horror in Syria?
It would have cost less in money, lives and infrastructure if we had worked with the Libyan rebel forces to capture or assassinate Gadhafi in some covert manner, like we did to Osama bin Laden.
Philip Tropea, Palm Harbor
Support our teachers
Why have so many state legislatures and governors (ours in particular) declared war on teachers? Are there some teachers whose performance is substandard? I would think so. Are there some bad police officers? Perhaps. Are there bad administrators and politicians? Most certainly. Does that justify the condemnation of an entire group? I don't think so.
Most teachers are hardworking, dedicated professionals whose primary concern is the welfare of their students. Let us support and encourage our teachers, not demean them.
Paul Gianniotes, Ruskin
Police chief wants armored vehicle | Aug. 23
So St. Petersburg police Chief Chuck Harmon wants to spend $250,000 on an armored "toy," er, vehicle for his department. Come on, chief, give the taxpayers a break. There are at least two in the immediate area. Get together with those organizations and work out a sharing deal with them.
Len Wilson, St. Petersburg
Business as usual
Americans keep reading that the small upper percent of our society is reaping the vast majority of the wealth.
Corporate America has shown how little its working people are valued. Outsourcing is only one way this is shown. Another is the fact the people left after a massive downsizing are often forced to do a double or triple load of work. The prime consideration is the bottom line; that people's lives are being destroyed doesn't matter.
Consider the ways those who caused the 2008 meltdown have been punished. Can't think of any? That's because business is ongoing as usual with all the obscene perks still in place for the culprits. Does anyone really believe the powerful in this country will allow fairness in taxation? Congress is in the pockets of the corporations.
We are returning to an era like the one of the late 1800s and early 1900s. Read the history. Discover how really bad the average working person had it. Without a massive turnaround, things will continue to deteriorate and America will become a "once-was" country.
Joan S. Schneider, Clearwater
Building up employment
Seventy years later, many structures remain to remind us that they were initiated and built by the Works Progress Administration, or WPA. Between 1935 and 1943, the WPA's purpose was to relieve unemployment, which it did for thousands of Americans.
In my opinion, this administration could create another WPA. Some funding for this project could come from the very expensive, but mostly unnecessary, government departments of Energy, Education and Commerce. Trim down or eliminate these departments and allocate the money saved to fund construction and infrastructure projects.
Pat Pfromer, St. Petersburg
Perry aims 'treasonous' phrase at Bernanke Aug. 17
Hypocrisy at its worst
It was interesting that a week after Texas Gov. Rick Perry prayed for the country, invoking Jesus Christ, he publicly said of the Federal Reserve chairman, Ben Bernanke, "Printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treacherous — or treasonous in my opinion."
What I find interesting is that you didn't hear an outcry from Christian ministers across the country denouncing this statement. I have heard so many times after a Muslim terrorist does an act of violence, "Why doesn't the Muslim clergy and religious leaders denounce these acts?"
I think it is hypocrisy at its worst for a Christian leader to suggest an act of violence against a public official. I never heard of Jesus condoning violence.
Rob Rowen, St. Petersburg