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Wednesday's letters: Can any politicians tell the truth

Gingrich misleads with statement on defense spending | Aug. 30, PolitiFact

Will any politician tell the truth?

How many times do we need find these politicians getting caught in bald-faced lies before we stop supporting them? I've written in before requesting a regular listing of politicians and their ratings by PolitiFact. I don't need their political affiliations. All I need to know is whether they are liars. If they are, then I don't need to know anything else about them.

Once again, Newt Gingrich is caught in a bald-faced lie. Who is supporting this liar? My 5-year-old son knows better than to lie. Why doesn't Gingrich?

And not just him — any of these politicians who have any score less than mostly true simply do not deserve anyone's support. I don't care what party they're in. Right now, I'll settle for someone, anyone, who simply tells the truth.

Mark Parry, Clearwater

A display of timidity, not leadership Sept. 1, editorial

Self-service politics

Eighteen separate fire districts in Pinellas County makes as much sense as having 18 separate school districts, with 18 school boards, 18 separate administrations, and all of the staffing necessary to make each of them work. It's extremely inefficient and wasteful.

The Pinellas County commissioners, with the exception of Norm Roche, have shown that they are not about stewardship and being cost-effective with the taxpayers' money; they are about status-quo politics. Before they would ever consider consolidation, they would vote to increase the emergency medical services portion of property taxes by 40 percent. This once again proves that there is no such thing as public service any more; it has given way to self-service.

Dave Loeffert, Dunedin

Obama must balance beliefs, bipartisanship Sept. 2

Time for bold steps

Every morning when I pick up the paper or turn on the radio, I'm confronted with the two Big Lies of our political discourse. They are: (1) that the Great Recession has ended and the economy is recovering; and (2) that our present political situation calls for Barack Obama and the Democrats to compromise at any cost in the name of "getting something done."

Getting something done is hardly an accomplishment if it isn't the right thing. The fact is that we live in a country where 25 of the 100 wealthiest corporations spend more on executive salary than they do in taxes, and where two useless wars have cost us trillions. And yet, the discussion of deficit reduction is all about cutting government services. It's disgraceful.

So maybe what's needed isn't mealy-mouthed, hand-wringing Democrats, but bold, take-no-prisoners progressives backed by a robust and engaged political left. I know; I'm not holding my breath either. But it's a thought.

John Fernandez, Lutz

The lost generation of those without work Sept. 5, commentary

Workers losing power

It continues — the steady decline of our middle class earning power. How does this happen? Several ways. Labor unions, which support worker protections, have been losing ground since the mid '80s; U.S. corporations have been shifting jobs from their U.S. factories to Third World countries for their cheaper labor costs; and, as Robert Samuelson mentioned in his column, the social contract between workers and employers has changed, dramatically.

Years ago big corporations encouraged career-type positions for their workers. You spent a lifetime of work with a company and your reward was a comfortable financial retirement plan.

That was then. The new employment system favors big business.

The new system is called the "churn-type economy." Guess who gets "churned" with poor wages, poor job security and poor retirement? Us po' folk!

Cliff Wing, New Port Richey

A giant loss | Sept. 5

Quiet generosity

Lee Roy Selmon's achievements as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer, in building a serious and respected football team for USF, and in creating a restaurant chain are the kind usually only seen in longer lives.

As resident physician in pediatrics making rounds at Tampa General Hospital on Halloween night 1983, I witnessed another, quieter side to Mr. Selmon. The popular defensive end had appeared at the nurse's station, alone, wondering if he might visit with any patients who had missed trick-or-treating. I introduced him to my small patients and learned what giving back to one's community means.

Ten years later, now a pediatrician, I happened upon a sports radio channel hosting Mr. Selmon. Callers remembered his feats, statistics, awards. I thanked Mr. Selmon for that 10-years-ago lesson in character and integrity, wanting him to know the lasting impression of his Halloween visit.

Mr. Selmon remembered, then deftly steered the focus elsewhere. He was, quite simply, That Kind of a Guy.

Ted Meyer, Sarasota

Positive attitude

I had the honor of meeting Mr. Lee Roy Selmon in the late '70s at a Florida grocery convention in Tampa. I walked up to him to introduce myself and get his autograph. I ended up talking with him for almost an hour. He had been injured and was off for the season.

What a positive attitude he had. I am 73 years of age, and I left his side feeling 25 and ready to run a marathon. If I could have motivated my salespeople that way, I could have been president of the company I worked for. I saw him again some years later at a grocery store promoting his barbecue sauce. I told him I had met him years ago and he stated that he remembered. I'm sure he didn't, but what class he had.

My prayers and thoughts are with his family and those who were close to him. Sometimes this world just doesn't make sense. Mr. Selmon was what life and sharing is all about.

Tommy Sykes, Dunedin

A sterling family

In the late 1970s while a nurse at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, I was charge nurse for my floor over the weekend. Being short-handed, I was sent a substitute nurse to help with staffing the unit. It was Claybra Selmon. I had to overcome my feeling of awe because I was aware of the growing fame of her husband. As it turned out, she proved to be totally competent and friendly as well as cooperative.

I relate this experience to add one more kudo to the many others earned by Mr. Lee Roy Selmon. I regret the briefness of his life.

Ernie Agnew, Gulfport

Wednesday's letters: Can any politicians tell the truth 09/06/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 6, 2011 6:25pm]
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