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TIA scanners expose too much

A peek under your clothes | Aug. 8, story on TIA body scanners

TIA scanners expose too much

I am sure I'm not the only woman who read this story with absolute shock. Did no one at your paper look at the photo you printed? That woman is all but naked in only underwear, barely, with far more detail shown than the story text would lead you to believe.

The scanner manufacturers and TIA representatives seem to think it is perfectly fine for random strangers to view you with no clothes. The fact that the screener, of probable opposite sex, can't be seen by you is supposed to make you more comfortable about it? So the government can now do legally what peeping toms can be arrested for, just in the name of "security"? As though we needed another reason to avoid flying, but they have found it.

Lynn Webb, Palm Harbor

Obama, you're not the president yet | Aug. 3, Philip Gailey column

Telling omissions

Congratulations to Philip Gailey for spewing the Republican talking points so spot-on. It has already been documented that Dana Milbank of the Washington Post left out part of Sen. Barack Obama's comments to Democrats in Washington last month. Obama said, "it is not about me at all." That part was left out of Milbank's article and Gailey's column as well.

If you have read Obama's books or listen to his messages, Obama has said numerous times that he cannot do this alone and that he is concerned about voters' high expectations.

If the St. Petersburg Times is going to continue to play a part in this smear campaign, at least realize that your readers have access to the Internet and can verify for ourselves what the truth is. Perhaps that's why newspapers are on the decline.

Kathy Ferguson, Pinellas Park

Obama, you're not the president yet | Aug. 3, Philip Gailey column

He's proving himself

What other role does Barack Obama have to prove himself in besides the presidency? Philip Gailey berates him for acting too presidential before he's elected. As a relatively young and less experienced candidate compared to his rival, John McCain, this is exactly what Obama must do before Election Day — convince most Americans he is capable of being president.

Of course, he can carry it too far but, so far, he's kept it within reasonable bounds.

W.H. Riddell, Tampa

Uhurus keep democracy vibrant | Aug. 7, Bill Maxwell column

Flawed media focus

Bill Maxwell referred to a letter writer who attacked the Uhurus for heckling Barack Obama and the Times for its coverage of the event. But Maxwell seems to have missed the letter writer's point.

The letter writer's complaint was not so much about the Uhurus and their right to be heard but about the fact that the media (throughout the world, including the BBC) focused on the disturbance (which was actually less than 5 minutes) instead of Obama's message and the positive response of the attendees.

I guess it is not news to say that despite the heckling, Obama responded with reason and logic in the face of rude, disrespectful behavior.

I was there and I also was appalled by the headlines from the media (not just the St. Petersburg Times) for its focus on a small part of an excellent town hall meeting.

Michael Logan, St. Petersburg

Shield law hits Senate roadblock | Aug. 1, editorial

No special privileges

Media advocates for federal shield laws routinely state that their First Amendment rights demand special treatment for reporters. Nothing in the U.S. Constitution or in writings of that time comes close to offering a single class of workers such protections, apart from the free speech rights of all Americans.

Reporting on the facts is one thing, but today newsroom staffers are increasingly preoccupied with using the facts of a story for the purpose of writing a synopsis that says less about the facts and more about the reasons why the facts are newsworthy. So much of today's news content is thus agenda driven, from a distinctly left-wing perspective.

In a country where the news media have become so highly politicized, granting special privileges to the press is a dangerous and frankly shocking step.

Jim Parker, Lakeland

An expensive war

As an Iraq war veteran, I wholeheartedly agree with Sen. Barack Obama's foreign policy proposals — including the 16-month redeployment of our forces in Iraq. The Iraqi prime minister himself said that would be a reasonable time frame for withdrawal.

This war is needlessly in its fifth year and we have spent well over half a trillion dollars. The worst part about the financing of this war is that it's all on borrowed money. No war-tax surcharges have been proposed at all. Look at the inflation rate and gas prices. I believe the war is choking the economy.

John Vitali, Largo

Police cruisers rev up debate | Aug. 7, story

Where's common sense?

First of all, any one who thinks that the city of St. Petersburg needs "to purchase the vehicles quickly so they can get 2009 models at 2008 prices" is either stupid or getting a kickback.

The prices of these Crown Victorias and all "gas-guzzling" vehicles will not be increasing. Common sense advises that the automotive manufactures will almost be giving them away in the very near future.

Second, why did "the city" tell the manufacturer "that it intended to buy the cars" before the City Council even voted/approved this $200,000 purchase? Unless …

Let common sense prevail, St. Petersburg.

Jim Gannon, St. Petersburg

Police cruisers rev up debate | Aug. 7, story

Questionable process

The most disturbing part of this issue isn't the particular cars chosen, but the revelation that St. Petersburg city purchasing officials placed the order before the City Council's vote.

I'm amazed that the council wasn't reasonably concerned or even downright angry about being pre-empted in this decision. One has to wonder if this is a common occurrence in the possibly overused consent agenda slot.

A management procedural review is in order to prevent further gaffes such as this.

Scott K. Wagman, St. Petersburg

TIA scanners expose too much 08/09/08 [Last modified: Monday, August 11, 2008 2:58pm]
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