Crist vetoes abortion bill | June 12
No place for government meddling
Charlie Crist has never been one of my heroes, but I applaud his veto of the abortion bill. Requiring distraught, confused women to view a first-trimester fetus and listen to a detailed description of it, along with its heartbeat — does that resolve anything? And what does it say about big government, the bete noire of the ultraconservatives?
State Sen. Andy Gardiner's remark, "If you really wanted people to change hearts, what better way than to see a heartbeat," is at the core of the problem. Is it the government's place to "change hearts"? Is it the government's place to shame and frighten private citizens at any time, especially at moments of emotional (and physical) stress? Should the government monitor our most private sorrows and crucial decisions? Crist is absolutely right: He is against making the government more powerful than it is now by using coercion in medical matters.
Further, there is a strange lack of logic in the exceptions for those pregnancies resulting from rape, incest, etc. Those "prolife" people vociferously referring to fetuses as "unborn children" seem to ignore the fact that those resulting from rape or incest are, accordingly, "unborn children" too. Yet they may legally be aborted. Isn't this discrimination?
Ah well. "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines," as Ralph Waldo Emerson said long ago. And it can be forgotten in the eager crusade to change the hearts of desperate, suffering women.
Gov. Crist, politician though you are, you did a splendid thing!
Abigail Ann Martin, Brandon
An act of betrayal
So, the governor vetoed a prolife bill requiring a woman to see an ultrasound of her unborn child before getting an abortion. Isn't this the same man who, during the election, rallied the prolife movement trying to get their votes? I guess his true colors are finally showing. He can't be trusted.
The prolife community should feel betrayed. Maybe the prochoice people are happy, but in the end, this isn't about being prolife or prochoice. It's about a politician who will say anything to get elected.
Let me ask those who call themselves prochoice: If it had been the other way around and Crist rallied your group to get your vote and then signed that prolife bill, how would you feel? Betrayed? I didn't vote for Crist, I never liked or trusted him, and this is why. He is not the people's candidate. He is a power-hungry politician who will say anything to get elected.
Kevin Given, Pinellas Park
Obama's policies are impeding the economy June 14, letter
Old ways didn't work
The author is correct about one thing. The American people are not fools. They are not about to go back to the same policies — tax cuts and deregulation — that put the economy on the edge of a crash in the first place.
The stagnant economy did not begin with Barack Obama's inauguration. If tax cuts were the panacea, how did they not prevent the crash?
Donald Rourke, Tampa
Big money drowns out other voices | June 13, editorial
Money may show merit
I find it offensive that the editorial called for a level playing field in order to run for office. When I think of groups like ACORN, which would absolutely love that outcome, I cringe because I know the welfare of our nation is more at stake now than ever.
Money can often represent hard work and success and not graft and corruption — a proven entity so to speak. I don't know about these candidates who prompted this editorial, but I know that an overreaction would be at the very least detrimental. The Supreme Court has it right.
Harriet P. Sherwood, Clearwater
Let the top two run, regardless of party? June 13, Howard Troxler column
Don't hold your breath
I have to agree with Howard Troxler. The Republican Party will never allow the "top two" system in Florida. They certainly aren't going to potentially allow their lock on the state to be put in jeopardy. That is despite the fact they are the minority party in Florida.
If you doubt it, just look at Amendment 7 (which lawmakers put on the November ballot to override citizen amendments for fair districting).
They'll just spend huge amounts of money to kill the proposal even if a sane electorate was able to put in on the ballot.
Doug Bauer, Clearwater
Navy Veterans Association
Cause for skepticism
As a 21-year Navy veteran and officer, I am appalled at the actions of the so-called Navy Veterans Association.
It was only a few months ago that this organization called me at home looking for support. At the time they called I had no idea what this organization was about, or if they were legit. I asked them how they got my contact info. The person on the line told me they got it from the VA clinic I use. I was surprised and a bit concerned that the VA would release my information to an outside group. However, I did not contact the VA, so I am not sure if the person calling was telling the truth.
He was looking for financial support. My reply is that I had spent more than 20 years in the military and that I had done my share and some. Now that this group's true colors are coming to light, I am glad I was skeptical of this group.
These, and people like them, should be ashamed of themselves. Veterans need support, and doing what this group does harms all of the many charities that truly help veterans. It is my sincere hope that the police will hold this group accountable and that charges will be forthcoming.
Our country is truly blessed because we have citizens who love their country and freedom so much that they put their lives on the line to protect it. We need to protect the protectors from the likes of those found within the Navy Veterans Association.
Frank Lewis Gallagher, New Port Richey
Health overhaul will dictate change June 12, story
Plans have been changing
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said that President Barack Obama's assurance that Americans would be able to keep their health plans was a myth.
In this he is right. What he fails to say is that it has been a myth for more than 20 years. All those who have lost their medical insurance over the years certainly had a change.
Speaking from personal experience as a Verizon retiree, my insurance has changed radically. The only people who have not seen change are those who have been wealthy enough to afford to buy their own insurance and absorb the increases to keep the policy the same.
Christopher Radulich, Apollo Beach
Obama offers $400M in aid to Palestinians June 10
Money ill spent
Well, President Barack Obama has finally thrown Israel under the bus with his $400 million offer to the Palestinians. Where does he think the money will be spent? Certainly not for the average Palestinian's welfare. I would think more like bombs, bullets and rockets against Israel.
It would make more sense to use the $400 million for the Gulf Coast oil spill recovery than to give it to Hamas.
Dayle R. Stevens, Largo