Solid record of accomplishments
I do not subscribe to the "Donald Trump/ Russia" conspiracy, but just suppose for a minute that the Russians did interfere. What exact harm was done? Let's see.
• We now have a president who genuinely loves this country and wants to "make America great again" — not a bad thing.
• We have preserved American jobs and put thousands of Americans back to work — not a bad thing.
• We have removed thousands of unjustified slackers off the welfare and food stamp rolls — not a bad thing.
• Illegal immigration is down about 70 percent — not a bad thing.
• We finally have a president with the backbone to tell NATO that since 1945 American taxpayers have kept Europe safe, after rebuilding their industrial base, and it's high time they pay their fair share for their own protection. Putting NATO on notice: not a bad thing.
• Trump has reversed executive orders by President Barack Obama that curtail American businesses large and small — not a bad thing.
• Trump told the G7 "global warming conspirators" that U.S. taxpayers will not pay hundreds of billions of dollars to other countries so their economies may grow while American industry shrivels up and dies — again, not a bad thing.
The list can go on and on, but you get the picture.
Daniel Beck, Safety Harbor
Science through the ages | June 15, letter
Predictions vs. data
This letter is missing one important fact: Predictions are not science and cannot be categorized as fact. That is why some do not believe the scientists' predictions.
The study in science of past climate changes is based on provable, measurable data. The projection of climate change in the future is nothing but a hypothesis that is based on assumptions and unproven theory. I suggest people look in the dictionary for the difference between hypothesis and fact. The climate models used to predict future climate events are not based on fact, but theory, and therefore cannot be proven. For instance, hurricane strength and landfall projections are not proven events.
The funny thing is after the volcanic eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991, the Earth cooled by 0.72 degrees Celsius (1.6 Fahrenheit) in 1992, a measurable data point. The reduction is much more than the predicted 0.2 Celsius decrease by 2100 under the Paris Climate Accord.
I am not proposing more pollution, just pointing out that things are not always black and white.
Stephen C. Zakrzewski, Oldsmar
Two shootings, two results | June 17, letter
Paranoia isn't helpful
As an avid shooter, it never ceases to amaze me how rampant paranoia is causing people to rush out and obtain a concealed weapons permit. I hope they read the handbook very carefully. This writer claims he carries a firearm "everywhere" and he may very well be violating the law if he does.
The list of places you cannot carry is too long to list here, but applicants for a permit are given a handbook with all the rules when they take the course. Concealed weapons permits, in my opinion, do little more than give people a false sense of security. And you can never forget you're carrying. Every day people are arrested for "forgetting" their weapon in a prohibited place. And do you really need one? You can legally keep a properly secured firearm in your home and auto without a permit.
Bob Dalzell, St. Petersburg
Single-payer pitfalls | June 15, letter
Yes, single-payer plans do have pitfalls.
The Medicare program is a single-payer, government-run program. Do you know one person who would willingly give up their Medicare? I don't … not one.
Anne Rost, Clearwater
A handful of Republican senators is meeting in private to plan changes in health coverage for tens of millions of Americans. During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump promised he would cover everyone and do it cheaper and better than under current policy. Do you think that if even one of those promises were true that this cabal would be meeting in secret?
Paul Robinson, Tarpon Springs
Rage is all the rage | June 18, commentary
Anger on all sides
Peggy Noonan believes we'd be better off if the left would just tone things down. I guess that means she's okay with body-slamming reporters, Second Amendment "remedies" and "beating the crap" out of tomato wielders. There is incendiary rhetoric on both sides, and I'd have more respect for Noonan if she was less partisan in her outrage.
Keith Johnston, Safety Harbor
Remove Confederate monument June 20, editorial
Reminder of our history
Another piece of history is in danger: a memorial that was erected to honor soldiers from Florida who fought in America's Civil War. The monument is described as a symbol of hate and racism. If that is true, why don't we tear down the Washington Monument as it was built with slave labor? The Capitol building also was built with slave labor. Custer National Cemetery should be abolished too, as Custer went there to annihilate the American Indian, an act of hate and racism. And let's not forget about removing Confederate monuments in Gettysburg, Shiloh, Bull Run and others.
Not all vestiges of Nazism were removed after World War II. In some countries, parts of the death camps still exist as a reminder of the evil they were. We must remember the times that brought about the Civil War and the differences in cultures. We need to preserve and maintain these memorials as reminders of where we were, how far we have come and how far we have yet to go.
Wayne Parlow, Ridge Manor