Scandal hysteria needs a dose of facts | May 18, letter
Public deserves facts on scandals
In an attempt to defend the indefensible, the letter writer blames conservatives and Fox News for the White House debacle in Libya and a George W. Bush appointee for the IRS scandal. How convenient; blame Bush again.
I do not remember the New York Times, Washington Post or Tampa Bay Times ever being accused of being conservative, yet all these publications have written that the public should know all the facts and who is responsible for both the Benghazi failures and the alleged illegality by the IRS.
No credible news outlet has said President Barack Obama had anything to do with either disaster, any more than Richard Nixon personally burglarized DNC offices at the Watergate complex. However, they occurred on Obama's watch and he must provide answers, not hide behind plausible deniability.
Four Americans including a U.S. ambassador died needlessly, and there must be answers to the tough questions. Why was the ambassador sent there without adequate protection in the first place? Why were two CIA employees left to defend themselves and others with only a machine gun against a coordinated attack by trained fighters using heavy mortars? Why were these two brave men denied any assistance although the battle raged for more than eight hours? Why was the FBI team held in Tripoli for three weeks while reporters, photographers and local looters trampled the Benghazi crime scene?
If this is scandal hysteria, it is of the Obama administration's own making.
The families of those killed and all Americans deserve answers, not a retort of "what difference does it make."
Dennis Roper, Clearwater
Governor steps up inmate deaths May 20
Justice delayed too long
I take issue with reports that seem to shed a negative light on the speed with which the governor is signing execution orders. How can anyone complain when these convicts have been on death row for over 20 years?
I don't think the governor is acting fast enough. Why should victims' families have to wait over 20 years for justice? In the examples cited in the article, these murderers have been on death row for 23, 25 and 26 years. Enough is enough.
Ken Popek, Land O' Lakes
British system worked well
During a recent visit to London it became necessary for me to visit a hospital emergency room. Within five minutes, intake was completed; within 30 minutes, I had been seen by a doctor; and within another 30 minutes, I had the necessary prescription to treat my condition. My total out-of-pocket cost? About 12 U.S. dollars.
Despite the fact I was an American tourist, there was no issue about my being treated. Based on my personal experience, I have nothing but praise and appreciation for the British system of socialized medicine.
Bruce Bevins, St. Petersburg
Recalling Heller the radical activist May 19, commentary
A voice of moral courage
I was both amazed and stunned to read the letter Helen Keller wrote in 1933. I must admit that as one who has taught about the Holocaust for years, I had not known about her early concern for the Nazi persecution of Jews. The irony of her remarks is shocking: Here is someone who was blind and deaf, who could see so clearly what was about to happen. Yet sadly, so many others, both here and abroad, who could see just fine, did absolutely nothing until it was too late for so many. Helen Keller is my new hero.
Ronald Medvin, Tampa
Even in surplus, few mercies May 21
Movie magic and money
Regarding the benefits of a possible Dolphin Tale sequel, the USF St. Petersburg College of Business completed a study forecasting the direct economic impact of Dolphin Tale to Pinellas County at $2.1 billion for just the first five years. The movie spent approximately $15 million locally for production expenses. More importantly, it created an enormous tourism influx for Pinellas County via its global marketing campaign, branding our area to millions around the world.
Hundreds of thousands of tourists continue to visit our area from watching the movie. A Dolphin Tale sequel would build growth on top of growth, and continue to create jobs in our No. 1 industry, tourism.
David Yates, CEO, Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Clearwater
Time for offense on pier project May 18, editorial
Lens is ugly, unwanted
It's ugly and it's not worth $50 million. That sums up what we heard from St. Petersburg citizens who signed 20,559 Stop the Lens petitions. We are going to have a vote on Aug. 27 on whether the Lens project shall be terminated.
The original Lens design was an elegant art object that belongs in Dubai or any place where the water is crystal clear and the government has money to burn for public art. Its main feature, the giant curved concrete canopy, may not have been ugly judged as a work of art, but ugly is a good description of the substituted metal canopy being offered now.
In its vision statement, the Pier Advisory Task Force said: "The architecture of the main building should reflect our history and unique identity as a place and city, and be a worthy symbol of our great city." The Lens doesn't even have a main building. The polls taken of our citizens strongly suggest that the Lens does not reflect the character and history of our city.
William C. Ballard, president, Concerned Citizens of St. Petersburg Inc., St. Petersburg
Doctor's son charged in abortion pill deception | May 16
More serious than a 'trick'
Please be more thoughtful in your choice of words. In a story last week about the "abortion pill" crime, the caption under the photo on page 9A says that Remee Lee was the unwitting victim of a "trick." Tying someone's shoelaces together is a trick; hiding someone's keys is a trick. Killing a baby is not a trick.
Linda B. Hope, Tampa