Saturday, June 23, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: Lobbying is a basic right

January Letter of the Month

January's Letter of the Month is from Patrick Bauer of Wesley Chapel, who wrote about income inequality

Inequality shredding social fabric

It would appear that all of a sudden politicians of all colors have discovered the appalling inequality in this country. President Franklin Roosevelt over 70 years ago famously said: "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little."

Unfortunately, inequality has increased exponentially since FDR's words and very little has been done to help. Politicians on the right resist any effort to help the people in need, based on the mantra that it would be wealth redistribution from the top to the bottom, which they equate with socialism and/or communism.

Nobel laureate economists Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz have warned for years of the serious dangers of inequality in our country. It erodes the social fabric of our society.

Those who argue that redistribution from the top to the bottom is socialism have no problem whatsoever accepting redistribution from the bottom to the top, which is exactly what is happening. In a system where the top people earn ever more and the middle and lower classes earn ever less, serious societal problems will arise.

Frederick Douglass also understood this back in the 19th century when he said: "Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe."

And so it is clear that fighting inequality is not some obscure communist tool to eradicate capitalism in this country, but rather a just, moral, and fair goal to achieve.

Patrick Bauer, Wesley Chapel

Jolly tied to interest group | Feb. 1

Lobbying is a basic right

In this article, the writers try to make David Jolly's job as a lobbyist somehow "sinister" and "underhanded," I assume in an effort to get an extreme left Democrat carpetbagger elected to replace C.W. Bill Young. Jolly representing people or groups of people with common interests and goals is not only perfectly legal, but is a right enumerated in the First Amendment to our Constitution — the same amendment that protects the press, including the Times.

Instead of all of the members of, say, the Sierra Club showing up at the Capitol, they send or hire someone to present their positions. Of course, the Times has no problem when it is a group on the left, only with those groups on the right.

David Zimlin, Dunedin

Campaign finance indictment

A case of retribution

The indictment of distinguished writer and critic Dinesh D'Souza on alleged campaign finance law violations provides an insightful portrayal of the Obama administration at the highest levels. Thoughts that come to mind include hypocrisy, pettiness, intolerance for the truth, overt contempt for the First Amendment, intimidation and revenge. This is what the so-called "most transparent administration in history" looks like.

D'Souza's well-researched book Obama's America and documentary film 2016: Obama's America expose and explain the truth about Barack Obama and his disastrous "hope and change" agenda. Any expressed truthful opposition to the government or its officials now appears intolerable, leading to harassment and retribution. Hence this inane, vindictive charade plays out before our eyes.

Jim Connolly, Tampa

Let facts speak on marijuana | Jan. 29, editorial

Slippery slope to legal pot

Times editors analyzed the topic and left a giant crater in the whole question surrounding the medical marijuana debate: Namely, everywhere this ruse has been tried its success depended on fooling the voters into believing that medical pot is only intended for the gravely ill.

If the proposition's supporters had honestly described their intentions — all-out legalization — there would be only a thin minority support for their idea. Only a couple of states have accepted the arguments for legalization — far more have blindly agreed to the medical pot proposal, to their regret.

Jim Parker, Lakeland

Let the doctors decide

On Feb. 1 PolitiFact weighed in on a number of arguments about marijuana. It was interesting and, no doubt, factual. Unfortunately, it failed to distinguish between the issue of legalizing marijuana for medical use, which is an issue in Florida, and the argument for legalization of marijuana for recreational use, which is not anywhere near being an issue in Florida.

The arguments against medical marijuana can be summarized simply: People with severe, debilitating and sometimes terminal medical conditions should be denied relief because they might become addicted. People who make such arguments are themselves lacking in common sense and/or basic humanity. This should be a medical decision; Florida should let the doctors decide.

Richard Long, Temple Terrace

Income inequality

Level the playing field

No one begrudges anyone being rich. However, we do begrudge those who are rich if they buy politicians to pass laws that make them even richer at the expense of the middle class. It's that simple.

Robert Widner, Pinellas Park

Airport's investment in the future | Feb. 2, editorial

Improve the jetways

For me, what makes the difference between a good airport and a great airport are the jetways. Jetways with glass walls or at least windows make an airport great. Let's hope TIA will change its jetways in the near future.

Elizabeth Corwin, Tampa

$200 for a taste | Feb. 1

Too rich for my blood

In these days of tough economic times, it seems that some people have more money than they need.

John Plichta, Clearwater


Monday’s letters: College instructors need classes in active shooter training

Active shooter perceptions disproven | June 21We need active shooter trainingThe only guns that I had seen before coming to the United States of America were in glass cases in museums. When I came to America to get a Ph.D. in English at the Unive...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Friday’s letters: What a new Rays ballpark would mean

Rays exec hints at stadium timeline | June 15What a new ballpark would doThe Tampa Bay Rays 2020 organization is working diligently with local business leaders and civic organizations to rally support for the Rays’ new ballpark in Ybor City. The ...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Thursday’s letters: On immigration there has to be a better way

‘Zero tolerance’ ignites outrage | June 20Find better way on immigrationOver the years I’ve voted for candidates from both parties. My observation of the Trump administration’s policy on immigration is not about politics. It has to do with having...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/21/18

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...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18

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