Money for wars but not seniors
Although gasoline and grocery prices have been rising steadily for many months, there was no 2011 cost-of-living adjustment for seniors. President Barack Obama spoke of a $250 stipend to help us carry on, but that was never approved.
I am wondering how a government that can afford neither a COLA nor a stipend can afford three wars. Where is that money coming from and why? As I haul more and more coupons to the grocery store each week and give my car an occasional day of rest to save on gas, I am getting the feeling that my money is going into bombs to kill people in other lands.
Young men and women are coming home with their bodies mutilated, the homeless stand begging at street corners, and the United States is engaged in three wars in places we have no business to be. President Obama, what happened to all those campaign promises?
Adele Ida Walter, Tampa
What about the others?
According to Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch, "Syria's security forces are showing the same cruel disregard for protesters' lives as their counterparts in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Bahrain."
When is President Barack Obama going to form a coalition to attack these other nations to protect civilians from being massacred? So far Libya is the only recipient of our humanitarian effort.
John R. Vlasek, Riverview
Sansom says: I'm vindicated | March 26
Honesty hard to find
When will the Florida taxpayer be free of these self-serving politicians who manage to take money from the public to give to special interests that will benefit them personally? Are there any of them who are honest?
No wonder we are in such bad financial shape with all these slick politicians stealing the public blind. Their response is, "Well, everyone is doing it." We need to get rid of all of them.
Sid Newton, Sun City Center
Public support erodes
There is now one more "vindicated" Florida politician we can add to the list. Prosecution continues to become more difficult as our judicial system seems to be misconstruing our constitutional rights as benefiting politicians rather than citizens. Meanwhile, underhanded deals hidden in proposed legislation continue to erode the support and faith of the public.
Tallahassee, Washington, Wall Street and even our court systems have been infiltrated and infected with a virus that is so contagious it is spreading like wildfire.
Paul Mitchell, Thonotosassa
There is a database | March 25, letter
Pills, privacy, prevention
With all due respect to state Rep. Larry Ahern, we do not have a database that tracks prescribing of controlled substances such as oxycodone. It is true the pharmacies apparently collect information on individual prescribing practices (so much for privacy), information they share with insurance companies, but this does not track the prescribing and dispensing practices that would capture the abuse that is killing seven Floridians a day.
That is why the monitoring bill was passed and why the state attorney general and most of the medical community and the maker of oxycodone are vigorously working to see implementation of the monitoring bill.
Meanwhile, Rep. Robert Schenck proposes to "cut off the head of the snake" by limiting the dispensing capability of legitimate pain management physicians. Since dispensing physicians account for only 16 percent of the oxycodone dispensed in the state, I fail to see how this will do anything more than decrease access to care for those who really need it.
Bonnie Sklaren, Gulfport
Back in the '60s, when I first began working, I was part of a union. I didn't care much for it; I felt it restricted my abilities to perform. I had a set number of parts to put out in an hour, and if I went over that, the union would let me know that I was making the other employees "look bad." After a while I quit that position and went into management where it suited me better and gave me a chance to perform.
As a former plant manager for General Motors and a retired General Electric plant manager, I am not anti-union. I have worked with and dealt with unions for years. However, it seems the unions are getting back what they put into politics. They have supported the Democrats for years, so they should not be surprised now that the tide has turned and they are on the "down" side of politics.
David Kendrick, New Port Richey
Nature's holy grail | March 20
Panthers on the links
I loved the panther sighting story. I was born in South Florida and have seen a lot of changes, but I had never seen a panther in the wild before moving to Citrus County in 1993.
My husband and I spotted an adult at a water hole on our golf course, and then about six months later while playing near that same hole with a foursome of friends, we were getting ready to tee off and were stopped when a mother panther and cub started to cross the fairway where our drives probably would have landed. As we watched, another cub walked out of the woods into the sand trap and used it as a litter box.
Sharon Davison, Beverly Hills
Scott's signature changes teaching March 25
Creativity takes back seat
I have been a teacher for four years in all low-income schools. I currently teach STARS, which is dropout prevention in the elementary schools. My first year of teaching I was amazed by the number of tests that students in Florida have to take. In third grade alone they have to take 21 tests from the state.
With all this, social studies has taken a back seat. These students do not even know what continent they live in or what is the capital of their state. It is sad. I have had children show success in the classroom all year long and on the day of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test they break down and start crying because of the anxiety and stress it causes.
This new bill will increase testing for these students, while teachers will be forced to teach children how to pass a test. Creative thinking will be out, replaced by paper and pencil drilling.
Kelly Glasgow, Clearwater