I voted, but choices were poor
I voted Tuesday, as I always do. The choice of candidates was slim. For governor we had two flawed opponents. Neither one is very inspiring. I decided to vote for the candidate that I did not deem a thief.
For U.S. Senate, there was a troika of career politicians from which to choose, all bad choices. But I had to pick, so I chose the one politician who has always espoused the idea that what he did in his various positions was for the benefit of the people of the state of Florida. Yes, he was in it for himself as well, but at least this candidate had actually done something for the state, unlike the other two candidates.
I also voted for my U.S. congressman. My choices were another career politician who has accomplished almost nothing in his tenure in Congress, and an inexperienced candidate. This paper recommended the incumbent over the challenger merely because he was "more experienced." After consideration, I decided that the incumbent was not experienced before he was first elected, and chose to vote instead for new ideas and inexperience.
I voted, as well, for state constitutional offices and in that capacity I chose the minority party in the state over those who are in control in Tallahassee.
Locally, I voted too. The person who currently is my Florida state representative was recommended by the Times, even though the paper implied that he was unqualified for the position. Again, experience was the reason. I again decided to go with inexperience. The individual recommended and the opponent are proof that we need to have "none of the above" for a choice on the ballot.
I voted against judges — just out of principle, I guess, as I think they have no business being in a position "for life."
Two years from now I will vote again, and hopefully more times in the future. Perhaps, one day, the country will correct itself and move away from the extremist views that hold sway these days and back to the middle, as it was when I was growing up.
Dave Cordes, Clearwater
Here we are in a nation that does not have money for education, health care, and for the rebuilding of our aged and cracked infrastructure. However we do have unlimited resources to pour into political campaigns.
This money comes from industry that doesn't have the money to expand or hire people. This money comes from the wealthy who violently oppose a tax hike. This money also comes from the masses who are losing their homes due to foreclosure.
Hundreds of millions of dollars in this state and billions of dollars nationally are totally wasted on opponent-bashing ads.
This waste is appalling. How much more are we going to take of this nonsense? One year from now the 2012 presidential campaign will start and we will subjected to this garbage all over again.
Burt Yellin, Sun City Center
Pure free-market advocate citizens and politicians should not be complaining about current unemployment rates. Just the opposite. They should be protesting for even higher numbers as a necessary repercussion of a needed market correction.
If you see stimulus spending, bailouts of the banking and auto industries, universal health care and cap-and-trade as unnecessary government intrusion, state what you are for: complete bank failure, auto industry collapse, continually escalating premiums, tens of millions uninsured and environmental degradation. Let the market decide, no matter the consequence. That would be the principled stand.
Trumpeting home ownership for years and then simply blaming the other guy when it collapses is disingenuous. Ignoring or denying the problem as in health care and climate change is equally ineffective.
Or perhaps we need to recognize that desperate times can require desperate measures, and that economic stability is always a balance between free-market innovation and governmental regulation.
Michael Searcy, Tampa
Chemical cremation makes some wince Oct. 26
Organ donors: quiet heroes
There is another decision before the choice of funeral arrangements that makes people wince. That is the option to be an organ/tissue donor. Harvesting the organs and tissues is done by a surgical team that treats the donor with dignity and great respect for the life-enhancing and lifesaving gifts that may affect over 50 people.
During the National Donor Sabbath, Nov. 12-14, churches, synagogues and mosques are invited to participate in donor education and registration. Families of organ/tissue donors can have open casket funerals and their quiet heroes can be honored with the recycle life designation in their obituaries.
Bob Wise, Tampa
You can't keep these bad ideas down Oct. 28
Ideology trumps logic
This article was an excellent summary of politics today. If politicians are opposed to health care reform, we know they are being subsidized by the health insurance companies. If they question global warming or alternative energy, they are being subsidized by oil and coal industries. If they oppose banking regulations, they are subsidized by the financial industry. Logical thinking and scientific research are replaced by a rigid ideology where profit is the prime motivation.
Those who favor extending the Bush tax cuts for the rich are using faulty reasoning. It is claimed that the extra money will be used to provide jobs. That hasn't happened the past decade because there is more incentive to invest the money elsewhere. What would provide that incentive? First, higher taxes! Then give tax writeoffs to those who spend the money to hire American workers.
Ron Linder, Tampa
Operation Birthday | Oct. 29
Honor their sacrifices
Tears flowed down my cheeks as I read your story about Courtney Johnson, the military mom who traveled 8,000 miles from South Korea, where she was deployed for eight months, to get back home in time for her son's third birthday.
I hope that as Veterans Day approaches on Nov. 11 everyone takes the time to participate in events that honor the great sacrifices made by our military men and women and to reflect on the fact that we would not be enjoying the great freedoms that we enjoy today were it not for these brave men and women.
Sandy Hutton, Belleair
Made in China: apparel for Girl Scouts? Oct. 30
A shameful option
Shame on Barry Horowitz, vice president and general manager for merchandise for the Girl Scouts, for even entertaining the thought of soliciting proposals from companies outside the United States — including one in China — to manufacture sashes and vests for the Girl Scouts. The organization's name is the Girl Scouts of America, not Girl Scouts of China.
Horowitz put at risk a small American company and its 90 workers just to try to save parents a buck or two. Well, good luck selling your cookies. From now on, I'll be eating Oreos.
David Feeney, Dunedin