Court upholds Ariz. law on illegal workers | May 27
A lack of backbone on E-Verify
Isn't it fascinating that Florida's Senate chickened out from passing E-Verify just weeks before the U.S. Supreme Court upheld an Arizona law that could put companies out of business for hiring illegal immigrants?
State senators in Florida — along with a complicit Gov. Rick Scott — became cowards instead of leaders when they failed to prevent employers from hiring cheap illegal labor instead of law-abiding American citizens.
"Not only is this law (Arizona's) constitutional, it is common sense. American jobs should be preserved for Americans and legal workers," U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said after the Supreme Court's 5-3 ruling last week.
In fact, Smith told the Wall Street Journal that he plans to introduce a bill mandating nationwide use of E-Verify, which currently is voluntary.
We know Democrats in the U.S. Senate would block such a move, but it's nice to know that at least one Republican in the U.S. House has backbone.
That's more than can be said of many GOP senators in Florida's Legislature, including one who wants to become a U.S. senator next year.
Mike Kersmarki, Tampa
Scott tries to shift blame | May 28
Governor blames others, just like in business life
I was not surprised to see that Gov. Rick Scott put the blame on others for doing his dirty work of removing people from his budget signing who were not his known supporters. This is his format; this is how he handles his working life.
A perfect example is his handling of the Medicare fraud scandal as a chief executive. While his company was being lauded for its growth and high earnings, he took all the credit — it was all to do with his leadership. When the accusations of fraud were made, suddenly he knew nothing about what had been going on — it was everybody's fault but his.
Here we are again with him using the same pass-the-blame game as governor. A leopard does not changes his spots.
Patricia Houghtalen, New Port Richey
$615,000,000 | May 27
Finding a hidden message
I got a chuckle from the front-page picture of Gov. Rick Scott at the budget signing. Apparently, the background behind him read "Promises Made, Promises Kept," but the way the photo was presented, it read "Promises, Promises."
Diane Miller, New Port Richey
Aid to homeless vets cut
Gov. Rick Scott — and our Florida Legislature — cut $12 million in funding for the National Veterans Homeless Support Group last week.
This cut is hardly fitting for the week of Memorial Day, and likely made by a group in which few have served their country in uniformed military service.
But then Rick Scott has found a new way to use Florida's uniformed police force — ridding dissidents at public events.
Ronald F. Heimburger, Riverview
Scourge of the self-serving
It's a sad day for Times readers when as courageous and honest a voice of reason as Howard Troxler goes silent. He has consistently pierced the rhetorical veil thrown up by politicians, regardless of party affiliation, and spoken truth.
His integrity makes him that person most dreaded by the self-serving, the inept and the greedy. Tragically, such voices are needed now more than ever. At a time when political rhetoric and self-serving pandering is drowning out all criticism and all semblance of reason, it will be much harder for those who speak truth to be heard over the din.
Philipp Michel Reichold, Largo
Pinellas' Hispanic numbers shoot up May 29
Congress must act
With reference to the immigration problem, the one thing we cannot do is nothing.
I am not without sympathy and compassion for children who through no fault of their own find themselves in illegal status. However, a reported 71 percent increase in the Hispanic population alone cannot be ignored. The only logical starting point is to secure and take absolute control of our borders, and to seriously review and curtail our far-too-generous visa programs.
Illegal aliens who have been living within our society with the help of forged and fraudulent documents must be deported. There is no political will, on either side, to enforce the existing laws of the land.
If the millions of illegal immigrants now living in America are granted amnesty and become qualified for all the benefits of citizenship, there will be a great impact on many facets of our way of life for a long time. The judicial system, police departments, education, medical care, housing and many other parts of our infrastructure will be affected financially.
Hard decisions must be made. Congress, deal with it.
Orfeo Trombetta, Seminole
Who authorized killings?
On May 1, an air strike directed against Moammar Gadhafi reportedly killed Gadhafi's second youngest son and three of Gadhafi's grandchildren.
What government body — it was certainly not the U.S. Congress — authorized this air strike, or for that matter, the killing of Gadhafi?
What constitutes a "war crime" or a "crime against humanity" today?
Thomas Murphy, Clearwater
Boy or girl? Parents keep gender secret May 28
A matter of terminology
The Times, Associated Press and the Canadian media need to be more accurate with their terminology.
In regard to baby Storm — the child whose parents won't reveal his or her sex — it is not the gender of the child they are keeping a secret. Gender is what you personally identify yourself as.
This 4-month-old child, I'm sure, has not put much thought into what it identifies itself as in a sexual and cultural context. What we do not know is the child's sex, or what the child is — male or female — biologically. Let's not confuse more people with this story than we already have.
A.M. Ibarra, Tampa