Thursday, December 14, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Tuesday's letters: Inequality shreds social fabric

Fact vs. fiction in income gap debate | Jan. 26

Inequality shredding social fabric

It would appear that all of a sudden politicians of all colors have discovered the appalling inequality in this country. President Franklin Roosevelt over 70 years ago famously said: "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little."

Unfortunately, inequality has increased exponentially since FDR's words and very little has been done to help. Politicians on the right resist any effort to help the people in need, based on the mantra that it would be wealth redistribution from the top to the bottom, which they equate with socialism and/or communism.

Nobel laureate economists Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz have warned for years of the serious dangers of inequality in our country. It erodes the social fabric of our society.

Those who argue that redistribution from the top to the bottom is socialism have no problem whatsoever accepting redistribution from the bottom to the top, which is exactly what is happening. In a system where the top people earn ever more and the middle and lower classes earn ever less, serious societal problems will arise.

Frederick Douglass also understood this back in the 19th century when he said: "Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe."

And so it is clear that fighting inequality is not some obscure communist tool to eradicate capitalism in this country, but rather a just, moral, and fair goal to achieve.

Patrick Bauer, Wesley Chapel

Strengthen privacy of drug database Jan. 24, editorial

Prescription for trouble

The first sentence of this editorial is all you needed to write: "Florida's prescription drug database is a valuable weapon in curbing the public damage from drug-related deaths, narcotics tourism and criminal trafficking."

There was a huge problem, that to some extent still exists, and there's no better way to help stop it than the prescription drug database. You need to view prescription narcotics as deadly weapons in the wrong hands. They can be as deadly as a gun. To rationalize that some people's personal privacy is at risk is ludicrous when the focus is to help stop illegal prescription drug distribution at the source and try to prevent the practices of these "legal dealers." Please don't take away the victims' rights.

Jeannette Fraser, Deltona

911 calls rang with fear | Jan. 25

Raising the temperature

An average person entering a mostly empty movie theater and encountering a noisy area would probably move to a more quiet section. The retired policeman entered the theater with a gun. Did he feel that this made him a more powerful person with the ability to argue with noisy people and escalate it to any level because he had the ultimate means to protect himself? This strange ability to raise our testosterone levels above and beyond our rational control is the scariest thing about guns.

Tom Reid, Seminole

Which one is the thug? | Jan. 25

All of the above

In reply to the question of Dean Obeidallah of the Daily Beast, asking which one is the thug, Justin Bieber or NFL player Richard Sherman, the answer is: both. Both are wealthy people who act very inappropriately in public, showing that money and fame do not convey good sense.

Richard Driscoll, Clearwater

First step: Accept money | Jan. 25, letter

Redistribution magic

This letter, along with most of your stories chronicling the evil Florida Republicans refusing to take the $51 billion from the generous federal government for Medicaid expansion, fails to mention that they haven't offered to fund the program indefinitely, just to help with the kickoff. Where is the gargantuan pile of money supposed to come from to keep it going? The answer is the Florida taxpayer.

Now that we've moved on from watering-down and making more expensive health care for the middle class in the latest Democratic wealth redistribution sleight of hand, perhaps the new initiative to equalize incomes for all will produce the needed funding. What happened to freedom and how did we get to a place where your income isn't really yours?

Funny that Obamacare and now income equalization have one thing in common: The more pro-Democrat a particular interest group or societal subset, the more likely it is to be on the receiving end of redistributed confiscated income. What a coincidence.

Dwayne Keith, Valrico

Mayor steers clear of Cuba | Jan. 18

End the embargo

I'm so over the embargo on Cuba. Kudos to Rep. Kathy Castor, the University of Tampa team, etc., for their efforts to bring us closer to mending fences.

The embargo has been a failure, the Castros are still in power and the people continue to suffer.

We lost more than 50,000 soldiers in Vietnam, but they are now our trading buddies. We only lost money in Cuba, but we maintain this failed embargo 90 miles from our shores. It's a sad statement about our values.

Ana Golan, Tampa

Ukraine unrest spreads beyond Kiev Jan. 25

Striking image

The AP photo of the Ukrainian unrest on page 3A of the Times is quite striking. The lighting, color, framing and staging is as beautiful as a movie promotional photograph.

It captures the current political unrest in the Ukraine and at the same time looks medieval with the robed priests in the foreground and the shield-bearing line of enforcers in the background.

It's stunning how this photograph arches over a millennium, reflecting how the fight for influence over these lands has been going on for centuries.

Emmett Walsh, Gulfport


Friday’s letters: Put yourself in a business owner’s shoes

GOP plan favors owners | Dec. 11Perils of small business ownersI wonder if the author of this article has even a clue about owning a business. Businessmen — especially small business owners — risk it all. They risk their savings, their car, their...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Thursday’s letters: Trump’s values hardly admirable

Finally, a president who cares | Dec. 13, letterTrump’s values hardly admirableThe letter writer is happy to have someone in the White House who "truly cares about our country’s business" and is "unafraid … of mentioning God and religious values....
Published: 12/13/17

Wednesday’s letters: Proposal would restore Florida Forever funding

Florida ForeverPlan boosts land protectionMost of us thought funding for land conservation in Florida would be restored when we voted the Water and Land Conservation Amendment (Amendment 1) into law in 2014. It passed easily, with 75 percent of voter...
Published: 12/11/17
Updated: 12/12/17

Tuesday’s letters: Writer should look to his own mistakes

Is anyone ever wrong anymore? | Dec. 8Writer should look to own errorsIn Mitch Daniels’ article about people who have been wrong, he finishes with the statement that our lives would be greatly improved with more people saying, "I was wrong."He mi...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/11/17

Monday’s letters: Don’t drill in Arctic refuge

Arctic National Wildlife RefugeStop plan to drill for oil in refugeOur nation faces yet another effort to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge reserve to oil and gas drilling. Drilling in the Arctic simply doesn’t make sound financial sense. W...
Published: 12/08/17

Sunday’s letters: Tax bill puts U.S. on right course

The GOP’s regressive tax plans | Dec. 5, editorialTax bill puts U.S. on right courseThe Times is already crying wolf over the new tax cuts, claiming that the new laws "could" result an increase in the national debt of $1.5 trillion over the next ...
Published: 12/07/17

Pasco letters to the editor for Dec. 15

Re: Helping Others Fulfills our purpose here on Earth | Nov. 17 guest columnThe good doctor acknowledges a CreatorThank you for publishing Dr. Rao Musunuru’s guest column. As Congressman Gus Bilirakis said in the Congressional Record, this good d...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/13/17

Saturday’s letters: Don’t inject political money into churches

Tax billKeep political cash out of pulpitA provision buried in the 429-page House tax bill, Section 5201, nullifies the Johnson Amendment, which protects houses of worship from partisan politics by prohibiting them from endorsing or opposing politica...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Friday’s letters: Most unpopular tax bill ever

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3The most unpopular tax bill ever"Democracy dies in darkness" is the motto of the Washington Post. At 2 a.m. on the dark morning of Sunday, Dec. 3, 51 Republicans approved the most wildly unpopular tax bill in U.S. h...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Thursday’s letters: Give your child the gift of reading

Fatherhood Involvement in Literacy CampaignGive your child the gift of readingPart of a successful game plan in sports is identifying plays that can put points on the scoreboard. Whether I was playing quarterback at Florida State or running the point...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/06/17