World's offer of help comes with a cost | June 19
U.S. generosity taken for granted
I was outraged to read that while at least 22 countries have offered oil skimming equipment, booms, technical assistance, etc., to the United States, most, according to the State Department, expect to be reimbursed!
Among those offering nations expecting payment for their assistance are, most notably, China, whose economy would collapse if Americans stopped buying their products and which has huge foreign currency reserves, and Israel, which receives $3 billion a year in financial aid as well as countless billions over the years in military hardware and credits. All the other countries listed have also received assistance from this country yet expect reimbursement. Britain, where BP is based, should be ashamed to expect payment for dispersants and booms.
Every time there is a disaster anywhere in the world, the United States is right there with food, water, medicine, military personnel, shelter and money, all with no expectation of compensation.
Apparently, our generosity is expected and taken for granted any time a disaster strikes anywhere in the world but is quickly forgotten when we have a need for assistance. This issue certainly makes Uncle Sam come across as Uncle Stupid for his long record of unconditional humanitarian efforts! It also tells us who our friends are!
Jack Brand, Hudson
Keep the money here
I read with interest and disgust the article outlining nine countries that have offered their help with the gulf oil spill and that want to charge us for their help.
I have never understood why we have to rescue every country and then support them financially for what seems like forever. Does this make them our friends who will support us? Not always. Our tax money in the billions (read: my money and yours) is being sent overseas. This money, paid for by citizens of the United States, can be better used here where the people who paid it can see some benefit.
It is time to stop sending money out of the country and keep it here at home to do some good in our country.
The countries who have offered their help for a price have shown their true colors. Refuse their aid and cut off the money we send each year.
Jean Centore New Port Richey
Attack the U.S. oil addiction | June 18, editorial
America needs a real energy policy
Sen. James Inhofe is the ranking member of the Senate's environment and public works committee. He shows who is paying his bills (Big Oil) when he says, " 'It remains a mystery' how the new energy policy and the gulf disaster are linked." That statement alone tells me this is not the guy we (U.S. citizens) want as the ranking member of an environmental committee and is part of the reason America is addicted to oil. We are addicted to oil because we have no energy policy, but we sure have an oil policy. And anything that comes along to lessen that addiction, it is defeated.
It sure is easy to stop our addiction: All they have to do is price oil, gasoline and coal at their true costs, not at the price without all the hidden costs of air pollution and land pollution. If that was the case, alternative energy sources would not be more expensive. If other countries, some the size of our states, can depend on nuclear power, why don't we?
It's obvious: Big Oil and the coal states will never allow it.
Even in our state, TECO's plan to buy electricity from a solar photovoltaic generating plant failed because of our Legislature. Big Oil and coal have control of the situation and whenever there's any chance to lessen the addiction, it seems something happens behind closed doors, and the plans never materialize.
But now, all of Congress is upset with this spill and they want to take their frustration out on BP. Yes, this was BP's well, and it's obvious corners were cut. But the true culprit here is Congress, for the lack of an energy policy, too often derailed by Big Oil. Now it is time to stop this oil addiction or at least start to lessen the demand for it.
America, don't let people like Inhofe determine our energy policy. The only way to lessen the chances of another disaster is to vote these frauds out and certainly let them know that you're not falling for their rubbish reasons for not having an energy policy our children can depend on.
J.R. Demmy, Kenneth City
Amazing. On Sunday, the Times gives nearly 14 column inches, including a photo, to the BP CEO (who had just recently been relieved of his duties in the United States) going off to watch a boat race.
You then devote less than one column inch to President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden spending their time playing golf.
They are both "fiddling while Rome burns," but I wonder why one "fiddler" is worth 14 column inches, and the other two "fiddlers" rate less than one.
And then you sit up there in your ivory tower and wonder why you and the rest of the mainstream media are perceived as being biased.
We need media watchdogs, not lapdogs. We need honest media that view the scandals and indiscretions of liberals and Democrats in the same light as they see the scandals and indiscretions of conservatives and Republicans, and which will report on both with equal fervor.
Kenneth R. Gilder, St. Petersburg
Gulf oil spill
Stop the flow now
What are we waiting for? Do people realize that this spill is going to turn our beautiful Gulf of Mexico into a permanent toilet bowl? Then BP can claim the gulf is a useless dump anyway, full of toxins, no longer able to sustain life and therefore they might as well drill, baby, drill for more oil.
I don't like what I foresee. There's no time for a relief well. This well should be bombed, closed and sunk immediately. Use those robots to do the job. Why is a foreign oil company in charge of a decision that effects our livelihood?
Come on, President Obama, American scientists and bomb specialists. Assist and insist on BP in closing down this well immediately. I am sick of blame game. Get the job done!
Elaine Liles, Largo
Recognize step-parents | June 19, letter
I am a stepfather. My "step" children honor me with all the affection possible for a person who had no responsibility for their creation and upbringing. My "step" daughters-in-law send me greetings by mail and phone on Father's Day, so I am quite blessed.
Unless we need to require Hallmark and other greeting card companies to add to the blizzard of greeting cards that already inundate the postal workers around Mother's and Father's days now, I for one do not see a need. Maybe I'm lucky, but Father's Day is enough for me. Also, I am a "step" grandfather and great-grandfather. Hallmark, beware!
Howard Raymond, Valrico