Endless search: to find closure | Feb. 7
Don't forget the unsolved cases
Last week, it was reported that law enforcement believed they had identified the killer of Tiffany Sessions. The news brought great relief and interest, but it also brought back memories of many unsolved homicides of women in Florida.
At the time Sessions went missing, I was handling death penalty cases for Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth. Although Gainesville would soon experience the savagery of Danny Harold Rolling, the Sessions case stood out because she appeared to vanish completely from a bustling college town without a trace. Unfortunately, like the Sessions case until last week, many others remain unsolved to this day (the Jennifer Odom case comes immediately to mind).
Improved technology such as DNA and shared databases have helped to solve many of these difficult cases. Many others, however, have been solved by victims who luckily escaped and could later help convict the perpetrators.
I look forward to the day when the news reports that the Odom case is solved, and remind women to fight an abduction attempt as if your life depends on it — because it does.
Joseph R. Bryant, Tampa
Custodians of King legacy use it as ATM Feb. 9, commentary
Gifts beyond reckoning
There really are such things as "priceless heirlooms." The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had very little to leave his children in the way of money — but a vast amount of blessings for this nation. That legacy will remain regardless of the pettiness of some of his heirs over bits and pieces of his personal property.
Leonard Pitts is right: This is unbelievably disgusting. These heirs should be ashamed. But my question is: Who would tempt them, who would offer millions of dollars for King's paltry physical legacy? Why would they want it? What would they do with it?
Answer these questions, and you'll find the devil in this story.
Barbara Cromwell, Palm Harbor
Selective judgments | Feb. 9, letter
Church's spotty record
The letter writer chastises the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child in his statement that "the Catholic Church has been on the forefront of every battle to uphold the dignity of each and every human life." I think you can read this as the church's stand on abortion.
Other than that, this statement is patently and historically false. Witness the Inquisition, gay rights, the barring of women from the priesthood, the irrational stand on contraception and the initial lack of response to sexual abuse and forced adoption. If the church had not been pushed by outside forces, it would not have made the progress that it has regarding sexual abuse of children by the clergy.
David A. Cimino, St. Petersburg
Health, work, lies | Feb. 10, commentary
Blow to the economy
The Congressional Budget Office reported that as many as 2.5 million Americans are expected to leave the workforce as a "benefit" of Obamacare, and the liberal media has been falling all over itself reporting what a great thing this is. How is it that when the state employment numbers are reported, the same people singing the praises of people leaving the workforce for Obamacare find fault with the governor because people are leaving the workforce?
There seems to be no reporting about who is going to pick up the tab for the millions who leave the workforce, not just for health care costs, but for all the additional costs associated with this voluntary unemployment. How is 2.5 million leaving the workforce going to help the pet rock issue of the week, "income inequality"?
Nobody seems to have done the math to determine that even if all those leaving the workforce are minimum-wage earners, it amounts to $37 billion less in the economy each year. Anybody have an idea how that income shortfall is going to help grow the economy?
Peter Clark, Tampa
Crist: U.S. policies on Cuba hurt Florida Feb. 9
Time for normal relations
I agree with Charlie Crist's suggestion that it is time to end the U.S. embargo against Cuba; actually, it is way past time. But why is this question always accompanied by the issue of "bringing democracy to Cuba" or "changing the regime"? Do we have the right to impose our standards on that country? We should be able to interact with them as other countries do, without requiring that they convert to our way of thinking.
Cuba, in fact, has some positive values that we lack — namely free health care and education, plus a literacy rate of 99.8 percent. They have a health care system that is well-respected throughout the world, the lowest infant mortality rate in Latin America, and the number of doctors per capita ranked No. 1 worldwide. Wherever an emergency occurs, Cuba is always one of the first responders with medical teams. And there has been economic change in recent years, with the government encouraging formation of cooperatives and self-employment.
There is so much that we can learn from each other. It is my hope that President Barack Obama will end the embargo, that we will stop treating Cuba as a rogue nation, and that normal relations between our two countries will develop.
Claire McCarthy Lutzmann, Dunedin
'The Monuments Men'
A pleasure to watch
Fie on the critics, including yours, who gave The Monuments Men mediocre reviews. It's an excellent movie appealing to those interested in art, history, the military, religion and World War II. No, you won't see sex, drugs, rock and roll, or f-bombs. But you will be moved. Thanks to George Clooney who co-wrote, directed and acted in this fine film. It was a pleasure to watch this true story unfold.
Wynelle Gilbert, Tampa