Monday, December 18, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: Shinseki served nation honorably

'We need to fix the problem' | May 31

Shinseki served nation honorably

What a disgrace. For political expediency, the president, under pressure from self-serving, spineless congressmen, weak-kneed advisers and bloodthirsty elements in the press, accepted Eric Shinseki's forced resignation — notwithstanding that, as a true patriot, Shinseki was more than willing to carry on, bust some heads and take names. He dedicated his entire adult life, with impeccable character, to serving his country. Now what is he guilty of? Believing what his subordinates told him.

The Washington establishment is a lot like the Pony Express — with one major difference. Instead of the horses being changed or reconditioned every four or eight years, it's the riders (the politicians) who are changed. All the while, the American people end up suckered, with a less than competent and often deceitful performance.

John Demas, Odessa

Twist in vote maps trial | May 30

Florida's electoral injustice

The trial over Florida's legislative redistricting is one huge exercise in ignoring the core issue at stake: equal protection under the law.

The GOP has no problem working up a froth about mythical "voter fraud" — its excuse for nationwide voter-suppression campaigns. Yet it seems blind to its own equally broad efforts to rig elections through the gerrymander. This campaign has a single, simple mission: to make the votes of likely GOP voters worth more than those of likely Democratic voters. It's not about crazy-quilt legislative districts. It's all about diluting the power of one group of voters ("theirs") while enhancing the power of another ("ours").

This clearly and unambiguously violates the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. If our courts had the courage and integrity we expect of them, it wouldn't be allowed. In the 2012 congressional elections in Florida, Republicans won 51.7 percent of the votes and Democrats won 46.7 percent. By rights, this should have sent 15 Republicans and 12 Democrats to the House. The actual split was 17 to 10.

This kind of injustice was repeated around the country. As we all know, it is even more unfair at the state level in Florida.

Buck Beasom, Tampa

Defending the law, or not

I've wondered where Pam Bondi has been during the redistricting lawsuit. Why should private groups go to court to enforce the Florida Constitution when the her office proclaims, "It is the attorney general's duty to defend Florida law"? Oops, that statement was issued concerning her objection to same-sex marriage.

Apparently she believes it is her duty to defend Florida law when it conflicts with the laws of other states and federal court rulings, but not when Florida law conflicts with state Republican Party objectives.

John Chamless, Pinellas Park


More meddling abroad

The U.S. House has passed by voice vote HR 4587, the Venezuelan Human Rights and Democracy Protection Act. It authorizes President Barack Obama to choose whom to apply sanctions against and whom to support. If passed by the Senate and signed into law, the president could interfere, at his discretion, in the internal affairs of another sovereign nation. It appears Congress has learned nothing from our actions in Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Syria, etc.

It also states that the United States can offer refugee status or political asylum to dissidents in Venezuela or assist in their relocation to other countries. We cannot secure our borders, but we will provide a base for dissidents to agitate against another nation?

This legislation also "authorizes appropriations for assistance to civil society in Venezuela." It doesn't specify how much will be spent or where the money will come from. I suspect the Treasury's printing press will be working overtime.

William Rueck, New Port Richey

Land of the grieved, home of the depraved June 1, Daniel Ruth column

A change will come

I feel a bit more optimistic than Daniel Ruth does, not because there is any accelerated progress toward gun control, but because change happens when you least expect it.

Who would have predicted a decade ago that we would be witnessing the epic shift in views on gay marriage? A February poll by the Public Religion Research Institute found that 53 percent of Americans support gay marriage and 41 percent oppose it. That is nearly a reverse of the same poll 10 years ago.

And who would have guessed 10 years ago that we would have an African-American president? Change seems to have accelerated faster in the past decade than it did in the previous decade. Perhaps it is our quickly changing demographic makeup that is driving our attitudes.

Whatever it is, one cannot discount the rapidity of change. So perhaps in another decade, or sooner, when we least expect it, gun control may take an unexpected turn. After all, the only thing inevitable about life is change.

George Chase, St. Pete Beach

Lobbyist nation

Even though Daniel Ruth's column covers the truth about how our Congress is bought and paid for by the NRA in all aspects of gun control, it also is a good example of how all government agencies are being run. Not for the people, but by lobbyists, with our elected officials reaping the harvest.

Mary Jane Callihan, St. Petersburg

Obama to force carbon cuts | June 1

Damaging regulations

It seems America has been rendered powerless by a slew of regulations that have stymied growth. Our infrastructure is in a sorry state — an ignored area for realistic job production. Instead, the president has plans for the demise of hundreds of existing coal-fired power plants while preventing new plants from coming on line.

He will force this scenario by introducing still more regulations, which he argues are for the benefit of a planet undergoing climate change. Forget about the thousands of jobs lost and the impact on our already-hurting economy. His use of executive order is a slap in the face to our Congress. We deserve better.

Orfeo Trombetta, Seminole


Monday’s letters: Tax plan bad for the country

Trump, GOP make good on tax cuts Dec. 14Tax plan is bad for the countryUnless senators such as Susan Collins, R-Maine, and our own Marco Rubio develop some backbone, the Republican tax bill could well pass.The bill would inflict harm on the people wh...
Published: 12/15/17
Sunday’s letters: Rule of law at stake in Mueller inquiry

Sunday’s letters: Rule of law at stake in Mueller inquiry

Justice official parries attacks | Dec. 14Rule of law at stake in inquiryConservative media outlets and a number of Republicans in both chambers of Congress have launched an all-out assault on special counsel Robert Mueller and his team in an eff...
Published: 12/14/17
Updated: 12/15/17

Saturday’s letters: Project silent on rising sea levels

Published: 12/13/17
Updated: 12/15/17

Friday’s letters: Put yourself in a business owner’s shoes

GOP plan favors owners | Dec. 11Perils of small business ownersI wonder if the author of this article has even a clue about owning a business. Businessmen — especially small business owners — risk it all. They risk their savings, their car, their...
Published: 12/13/17
Updated: 12/14/17

Thursday’s letters: Trump’s values hardly admirable

Finally, a president who cares | Dec. 13, letterTrump’s values hardly admirableThe letter writer is happy to have someone in the White House who "truly cares about our country’s business" and is "unafraid … of mentioning God and religious values....
Published: 12/13/17

Wednesday’s letters: Proposal would restore Florida Forever funding

Florida ForeverPlan boosts land protectionMost of us thought funding for land conservation in Florida would be restored when we voted the Water and Land Conservation Amendment (Amendment 1) into law in 2014. It passed easily, with 75 percent of voter...
Published: 12/11/17
Updated: 12/12/17

Tuesday’s letters: Writer should look to his own mistakes

Is anyone ever wrong anymore? | Dec. 8Writer should look to own errorsIn Mitch Daniels’ article about people who have been wrong, he finishes with the statement that our lives would be greatly improved with more people saying, "I was wrong."He mi...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/11/17

Monday’s letters: Don’t drill in Arctic refuge

Arctic National Wildlife RefugeStop plan to drill for oil in refugeOur nation faces yet another effort to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge reserve to oil and gas drilling. Drilling in the Arctic simply doesn’t make sound financial sense. W...
Published: 12/08/17

Sunday’s letters: Tax bill puts U.S. on right course

The GOP’s regressive tax plans | Dec. 5, editorialTax bill puts U.S. on right courseThe Times is already crying wolf over the new tax cuts, claiming that the new laws "could" result an increase in the national debt of $1.5 trillion over the next ...
Published: 12/07/17

Pasco letters to the editor for Dec. 15

Re: Helping Others Fulfills our purpose here on Earth | Nov. 17 guest columnThe good doctor acknowledges a CreatorThank you for publishing Dr. Rao Musunuru’s guest column. As Congressman Gus Bilirakis said in the Congressional Record, this good d...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/13/17