Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: Libya questions need answers

Panetta: Military in dark in Libya | Oct. 26

Libya questions need answers

The American people are owed more from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta than glib and, as it now turns out, misleading statements about lacking real-time information necessary to deploy forces. The American people are also owed an explanation of decisions that were made by CIA chief David Petraeus.

But the buck stops with the president. It is inconceivable that decisions to send or not to send military forces to rescue CIA personnel would not have been presented to the president. (If they were not, that would be a scandal of the first order.) So the question is not so much what Panetta or Petraeus thought, or what they recommended. The question is what the president did that evening of Sept. 11. Whom did President Barack Obama speak with? What meetings did he convene? What decisions did he make? Why?

John M. Whelan, Dunedin

A flood of attack ads | Oct. 27

Mouthpiece for Democrats

Noteworthy, but not surprising, was the "cover the front page" article about the evil conservative super PAC American Crossroads and how it is going to destroy political discourse in the country. Yet there's only a one-line mention in the second-to-last paragraph about its liberal counterpart, Priorities USA.

It's sad to see what the national and local press has become. There was a time when you provided a valuable service: holding public officials accountable for their words and actions. Now you've just degenerated into transparent mouthpieces for the Democratic Party.

David Klase, New Port Richey

Buying an election

A Times reporter shocks the world by expounding the obvious: Karl Rove, using billionaire mystery money from afar let loose by a hideous Supreme Court decision, might successfully buy a presidential election.

And Rove's billionaires might also buy a Senate and a few House elections to boot.

The real question will be: If he wins by unleashing such ugliness with so much unaccountable cash, will there be much of a democratic republic left to care about? I'll bet far less than we hope for.

Dale Friedley, St. Petersburg

Campaign 2012

Running the numbers

Mitt Romney has pulled the number of "12 million new jobs" out of thin air. There are no specifics as to how he would accomplish that. Like everything else Romney says, he says it because it sounds good, in the moment. Tomorrow he will say something different.

Massachusetts was 47th in job creation while he was governor. He is losing by 20 points in Massachusetts. The people of his state know his record and hated it. That's why he chose not to run for a second term.

Norma Bean, Tampa

Ex-secretary of state endorses Obama Oct. 26

Powell's reasoning

Your campaign note did not go into detail on what Colin Powell said on why he is supporting President Barack Obama. Powell's reasoning should be considered by any voter in this pivotal presidential election.

Powell took serious issue with Mitt Romney's foreign policy stances, saying, "One day he has a certain strong view about staying in Afghanistan, but then on Monday night he agrees with the withdrawal. Same thing in Iraq. On almost every issue that was discussed on Monday night, Romney agreed with the president with some nuances. But this is quite a different set of foreign policy views than he had earlier in the campaign."

Powell also said the president got the United States out of Iraq and has laid out a plan for leaving Afghanistan "and didn't get us into any new wars."

And he praised Obama's economic performance, saying that while difficult choices are ahead on taxes, spending and budgetary policies, "Steadily, I think we've begun to come out of the dive and we're gaining altitude."

Aaron Barman, Odessa

Voters deserve more than fear and mud Oct. 27, editorial

A nation's principles

Thank you for your editorial about the absurd and ignorant ad on television by Frank Farkas stating that opponent Dwight Dudley's representation of criminal defendants makes him unqualified to hold office and, somehow, guilty of his clients' crimes.

Any defendant is entitled to the best possible defense provided by his attorney. The attorney who provides that defense is upholding the principles of our country.

Jim Stillman, Lutz

HPV vaccine

Education lacking

An estimated 20 million people in the United States are infected with the human papillomavirus, or HPV. Of these, more than 11,000 will develop cervical cancer. This is alarming, especially for Florida, which has one of the highest HPV-associated cervical cancer rates in the United States.

The link between HPV and cancer has been clearly illustrated and supported by the medical and scientific community. Unfortunately, an understanding of this link is limited among the public. This is especially true in the South, which has one the highest rates of HPV infection.

The HPV vaccine has been proven to be safe, effective and life-saving, but this is not common knowledge in our state. As a registered nurse, I am concerned that our state government has not implemented legislation on the HPV vaccine.

How can our state afford to not educate the public when awareness is already low? We are doing a great disservice to the health of our children by not pushing for HPV legislation, whether it be in the form of vaccination or education.

Vincent Labarca, Tallahassee

Bruised but still standing | Oct. 29

Are we a theocracy?

Congratulations on the vivid descriptions of the horrors in certain private schools. Such an expose, shocking as it is, was certainly needed.

To me, one of the most amazing statements made is, "In 1984, Florida legislators passed a law that would allow religious homes to use corporal punishment if they could justify it with Scripture." Are we, then, living in a theocracy? If so, whose "God" is in charge? Whose "Scripture" is supreme?

Abigail Ann Martin, Brandon


Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Friday’s letters: Freight trains are infrastructure that works in Tampa Bay

Railroads are infrastructure that worksFreight trains carry the loadCentral Florida is our state’s fastest-growing region. We’re on track to outpace South Florida’s growth 2-to-1 over the next several years. Great news for our local economy, but it n...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Charter schools aren’t the enemy

Don’t plug your ears when schools ask for tax | May 20, columnCharter schools aren’t the enemyAs an educator, I am astounded when I hear claims from school board members that charter schools take away funding from the local public school system. ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: Trump’s words insult our Canadian visitors

Trade disputes torpedo G-7 summit | June 10Canadian visitors are owed apologyLike many Pinellas County residents, I’m pleased that we receive thousands of Canadian "snow birds" as part-year residents. Not only do they enhance our economy, but by ...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/13/18