Sunday, June 17, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Tuesday's letters: Papal remarks echo nuns' stand

Catholics celebrate pope's remarks | Sept. 23

Papal remarks echo nuns' stand

What screams at you from Pope Francis' interview in America is that he is reiterating almost verbatim everything for which U.S. nuns of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious have been being investigated the past four years.

The investigation (a "doctrinal assessment," in the words of the Vatican) resulted in the finding that nuns need male oversight, a finding that Pope Benedict XVI corroborated and Pope Francis confirmed. It is now common wisdom that the motivation for this "investigation" was that the U.S. Women Religious departed from the stance of the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops by supporting the Obama administration's Affordable Care Act, a position that the bishops opposed, claiming the act would provide financing for abortions, a charge that LCWR and other Catholics contested.

The dialogue between the Vatican and the LCWR continues to take place in secret. Perhaps the nuns have agreed to this secrecy because they sense, once again, the power of the Holy Spirit working through the church and in particular through the amazing and compelling Pope Francis.

Jeanne Fischer Zylstra, Temple Terrace

Mercenary military | Sept. 20, letter

The choice to serve

Our military today is made up mostly of the poor and middle class, people who have far fewer options in life. After World War II and the Korean War, those brave returning vets came home to jobs. Today if your choice is: a) McDonald's, b) the military, or c) possibly being homeless, is it any wonder so many pick the military?

Many join the military for college benefits, as that's the only way they can afford it. My son-in-law is a career military man, and in exchange for his dangerous job he gets good benefits and good pay. I don't see anything wrong with that.

And as far as just up and leaving, my daughter tried to leave after 14 years of service and her discharge took a whole year. It was delay after delay. Why, no one said. But I suspect it was due to stop-loss. For that whole year we sweated it out wondering if her unit would be sent on her fourth deployment.

During World War II and Korea we had a draft. Those who served were a cross-section of all of America, not just a cross-section of the poor and middle class. If we truly want to end all wars, bring back the draft. If the idle rich are asked to serve and give the same sacrifice as the poor and middle class, there will never be another war, I can guarantee it.

Christine Jamesson, Clearwater

D.C. shootings raise security red flags Sept. 20, editorial

Start by checking for guns

It would be very difficult, if not impossible, to profile people who may at some future time become unhinged or go over the edge. I cannot comprehend, however, how someone can bring a shotgun into a secure Navy base. Something should definitely be done to address this, and that is where the prime emphasis should be.

John Francy, Clearwater

Mental illness raised no flags | Sept. 18

Note drugs' side effects

The front-page headline reads that Aaron Alexis' "Mental illness raised no red flags." Alexis was put on Trazodone on Aug. 23. It didn't take long before the warning label on the medication came true.

It reads: "Tell the doctor immediately if you notice worsening depression/other psychiatric conditions, unusual behavior changes (including possible suicidal thoughts/attempts), or other mental/mood changes (including new/worsening anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, irritability, hostile/angry feelings, impulsive actions, severe restlessness, very rapid speech)."

Alexis certainly had unusual behavior changes, committed an impulsive action, experienced "hostile/angry feelings" and had an "other psychiatric condition."

I would like to see an investigation into all the mass murders that have occurred, noting exactly what psychiatric drugs the perpetrators were on, listing all their side effects. The investigation might show that the "cure" is really the problem.

Elyse Van Breemen, Clearwater

McCain rips Putin as quasi-dictator Sept. 20

Problems of our own

John McCain calls Russia a "failed petro-state." What are we? Our infrastructure is decayed, our government has stagnated, and our population is violent and drug-riddled. Right now, I think we're failing. How does that saying go? People in glass houses …

We are a country that, despite a roaring mandate for gun ownership background checks, has a Congress who ignored their constituents and voted against such a bill. This is only one small indication of a House/Senate who are doing little more than infighting.

Further, it is not our job to defend international law. Who gave us that crown? Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan should be lessons learned. They gave us no victories and we have devastated those countries with our guns and bombs. We caused the death and maiming of thousands and thousands of young American men and women, not to mention the absolute destruction of local populations.

Worst of all, McCain is locked into the Republican war on America. Their goals: no health insurance, no debt ceiling, sequestration, no compromise, no working together, no restrictions on gun ownership, and a stalled and ineffective Congress that has been called "the worst in decades." But we're "better" than Russia.

Personally, and I am a rabid American, my vote's with Vladimir Putin.

Robin Sterling, St. Petersburg

Teacher guilty of sex with student | Sept. 19

It's not an 'affair'

It is time for the Times and other media to stop reporting adult female sex offenders as having "affairs" with their young male victims. Ethel Anderson has been found guilty of abusing a 12-year-old boy over an extended period and yet the Times reported this abuse as a "sexual affair."

Under no circumstances would the Times or any other reputable media outlet characterize this kind of abuse by a male perpetrator on a female victim as any kind of "affair."

Barbara Ann Leavine, Temple Terrace


Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Friday’s letters: Freight trains are infrastructure that works in Tampa Bay

Railroads are infrastructure that worksFreight trains carry the loadCentral Florida is our state’s fastest-growing region. We’re on track to outpace South Florida’s growth 2-to-1 over the next several years. Great news for our local economy, but it n...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Charter schools aren’t the enemy

Don’t plug your ears when schools ask for tax | May 20, columnCharter schools aren’t the enemyAs an educator, I am astounded when I hear claims from school board members that charter schools take away funding from the local public school system. ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: Trump’s words insult our Canadian visitors

Trade disputes torpedo G-7 summit | June 10Canadian visitors are owed apologyLike many Pinellas County residents, I’m pleased that we receive thousands of Canadian "snow birds" as part-year residents. Not only do they enhance our economy, but by ...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/13/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for June 15

Opinion: Commissioners arrogant and incompetentMy wife and I live in Hernando County. As such, we are represented by a Board of County Commissioners where all the members manifest two common traits. Those traits are arrogance and incompetence.The arr...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18

Tuesday’s letters: Fewer guns would reduce suicides

U.S. under suicide watch | June 8Fewer guns mean fewer suicidesIt is a fact that deserves more attention, but got only one sentence in the article about the U.S. "suicide watch:" "The most common method used across all groups was firearms." I spe...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for June 15

New group to address real women’s issuesLast Saturday our Congressman Gus Bilirakis sponsored a "Woman’s Summit" at East Lake High School that was supposed to deal with women’s issues. Some topics covered were gardening, weight loss and quilting.Mayb...
Published: 06/11/18

Monday’s letters: Bring back the ferry, kick-start transit

Cross bay, but who’ll pay? | June 8Ferry could be a gateway to transitIt’s great news that St. Petersburg is committed to bringing back the world class cross bay ferry service. What a common-sense and practical thing to do in order to ease us int...
Published: 06/08/18
Updated: 06/11/18