Lawmakers look to head off Pentagon cuts | Nov. 5
Military spending should be cut
Here we go again. Military and political leaders feed fear of foreign threats and acts of terrorism. Then, in our present budgetary crisis, with millions out of work and suffering, they insist "most of us will move heaven and Earth" to protect Pentagon spending from deep cuts.
The military/industrial complex (as President Dwight Eisenhower long ago warned) continues to siphon off revenue essential to domestic welfare to feed its greed and fill its already deep pockets.
Sadly, too many struggling Americans buy into the "need" for ever more expensive weapons systems, even as hard-working citizens suffer at home and our young people are dying and being maimed in unwise, morally indefensible military adventures in distant lands.
Peter L. McNamara, St. Petersburg
City impedes needed EMS cost-cutting Nov. 2, editorial
feeds higher costs
Thank heavens Pinellas County commissioners are trying to hold down the cost of emergency services. It's unfortunate that the mayor and city officials of St. Petersburg are not interested in reducing costs.
I am tired of seeing a full-size fire truck, rescue truck and an ambulance at a fender bender or at a residence where an elderly person falls down. If there is no fire, then there is no need for a fire truck. That is only common sense.
I think the fire departments are taking advantage of the people of Pinellas County.
Robert Bond, St. Petersburg
Short on drugs, hospitals wary of 'gray market' | Nov. 7
Please explain to me why usury is a crime and gas stations are punished for jacking up prices during disasters, but vendors are allowed to overcharge hospitals for drugs that are in short supply.
This affects human life, and the Food and Drug Administration merely shrugs and sticks its head in the sand. Perhaps the drug companies are complicit and reap a little reward from that outrageous markup.
Fred Beerman, Tampa
Education's real purpose is teaching how to learn | Nov. 7, commentary
While the bulk of my courses in college fell into the STEM field — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in my first two years I was required to take courses in the liberal arts category, like humanities and English literature.
I enjoyed these courses and think they have been very helpful in understanding people. I deal with people daily, and the ability to communicate with them is essential. Courses like these, along with psychology and sociology, help you understand how people may react to what you tell them and give you some insight as to how your presentation should be tailored.
Henry T. Culbreth, St. Petersburg
Occupy Wall Street
Decades with no progress
Thanks to the attention that the Occupy Wall Street protesters are getting, more Americans are finally learning about a sickness that has been growing here steadily for almost 40 years. It is obscene that America, so good in so many ways, is one of the worst in the world in its unfairness in how the national growth in wealth is distributed among its citizens, all of whom contribute to economic growth.
While the rich get much richer, the rest of us get an economy where over 90 percent of Americans have seen virtually no growth in their income and quality of life for their families in almost 40 years. That's not the America that I want to leave to my children and grandchildren. And it is doubly sad that so many basically decent people have been duped into believing Republican leaders' arguments that the system does not need changing.
Brad Hardin, Venice
U.S. general fired from Afghan training post Nov. 5
General deserves support
I am willing to bet many Americans are siding with the general who dared criticize Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, who has stated that his country would join Pakistan in a war against the United States.
Citizens are tired of spending billions of dollars in foreign aid to attempt to buy friendship. We sacrifice our lives and significant assets that could be put to good use taking care of our own, while seemingly ungrateful countries continue to abuse us by tolerating terrorists and taking our benevolence for granted.
I say well done, Maj. Gen. Peter Fuller. Our foreign aid should be limited to our true friends who support our values.
Edwin Ashurst, St. Petersburg
Regional transit is key to growth | Nov. 5, editorial
Stuck in the last century
This editorial should be applauded for recapping the lackluster performance of Gov. Rick Scott on all fronts. In my opinion most grievous is the killing of federal funding for high-speed rail between Tampa and Orlando.
I have spent almost 40 years in aviation and I know the killing of the federal funds probably cost Florida about 100,000 jobs. I have worked in transportation in the United States and Europe and it is inconceivable to me that the average Floridian cannot grasp the importance of having a functional high-speed train network that would lift Florida into the 21st century.
Fred Dettmann, Oldsmar
Nelson seeks vote inquiry | Nov. 4
Voting solution is simple
Will this topic never go away? No one needs to be disenfranchised. One phone call will set up absentee ballots to be sent to your home for every election. There was never a need to waste taxpayer money on extended voting days.
If for any reason the 12 open hours at the polls do not work for your schedule, ballot by mail has been available as long as I have been old enough to vote.
There is no excuse for not voting unless you just like to whine about something. Let's get on to other important matters that desperately need attention and put this matter to rest once and for all.
Robyn Dalton, Largo