Saturday, April 21, 2018

Monday's letters: Time to withdraw is now

Bomb hits near U.S. post | Sept. 13

Time to withdraw is now

When we leave Afghanistan, the country will likely revert to the tribal society that has existed there for centuries.

The Taliban will be poised to devastate the Afghan army. The surge of 30,000 troops sent in 2009 supposedly to assist in establishing democracy in Afghanistan has been effective only in exposing more of our soldiers to attacks from the Taliban.

From a military standpoint I could never understand the strategy of announcing a surge and a date to leave at the same time. It is time for our politicians to show some courage and order withdrawal now before another life is lost in vain.

Harold H. Dean, St. Petersburg

A campaign to sabotage health care | Sept. 13

Leave the navigators alone

I was shocked to hear of the Florida Department of Health's decision to bar federal navigators from county health units. The state has already made a reprehensible choice in refusing to accept the federal money for Medicaid expansion, and now they are preventing working class Floridians from even receiving information about how to enroll in private insurance plans while at county health departments.

By shutting out these navigators (trained to help guide people through the new health care system), the state of Florida has left some of its most vulnerable citizens in the dark about how to maneuver the online marketplace so that they may find the health care coverage they need and deserve.

With the Oct. 1 opening of the online health care marketplace fast approaching, I only hope that the state will reverse its policy immediately.

Karen Coale, St. Petersburg

A new timeline for Syria | Sept. 12

Smells like Iraqi WMDs

A Times editorial states that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons. But is that true?

There is at least as much evidence that it was the al-Qaida-linked Syrian opposition who were responsible for the Aug. 21 chemical attacks.

The United Nations has not determined who was responsible for the attacks. And the Obama administration has offered no conclusive proof that Syrian President Bashar Assad gassed his own people. Even some of those who have seen the classified information label Washington's case as "very thin."

U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson is among those who have stated that President Obama's claims are dubious. Indeed, what Obama has offered as evidence thus far is reminiscent of what the Bush administration offered as "proof" of Saddam Hussein's WMDs.

History proved Bush's WMD claims to be wrong and the Iraq war to be a mistake. If Obama eventually carries out a war on Syria based on the "gassed his own people" pretext, history will leave Obama and all of those in the media who acted as his stenographers in the dust.

Chris Ernesto, St. Petersburg

Waterfront comes at a price | Sept. 11

Flood zone folly

A letter writer equates owning a home in a flood zone with driving an expensive sports car and not being able to pay for repairs. He suggests that homeowners "sell and move inland" and complains that he, as a taxpayer, should not have to subsidize flood insurance.

Most home and business owners affected by the Biggert-Waters flood insurance reform are low- and middle-income people who can ill afford this sudden and overwhelming increase in their insurance rates. Nor can they just pick up and move as the writer suggests.

The federal government subsidizes a long and varied list of goods and services in the United States. No one could possibly hope to benefit directly from each and every item, but we all benefit from government programs including some that I'm sure benefit the letter writer.

I hope that the our elected officials at both the state and federal level address this issue before the coastal communities in Florida and other states are devastated by this crippling, unexpected and unfair tax burden.

Peter Gurtenstein, St. Pete Beach

Weatherford talks refusing Medicaid dollars at Tiger Bay | Sept. 9

Education not a panacea

House Speaker Will Weatherford says that Florida should increase its investments in education so that people can find jobs that will share the cost of their health coverage. Apparently Weatherford doesn't realize that businesses are slashing their contributions to medical benefits left and right.

"Investing" in education is a wonderful idea, but it has nothing to do with refusing federal money for Medicaid. I haven't seen Weatherford actually do anything for education anyway.

Many of those people on Medicaid will never get the kind of education to which he is referring, and those who will are mostly a long time away from completing the kind of education necessary to get a job with good medical benefits.

It would appear that Weatherford has no idea of who is actually on Medicaid. Some are not only poor but also are elderly or disabled, and incapable of getting such an education.

Or maybe, he just doesn't care.

Joe Crites, Clearwater

Citizens premiums to rise 6.3% | Sept. 10

This is the 'good' life?

So Citizens is going to sell out policies to other providers, and they will raise our rates.

Duke will also be raising our rates (unless our lawmakers vote this down) by as much as $10 a month, this after we have been charged for a nuclear plant (despite the fact that private companies should pay for their own improvements and systems). First developers begged us to retire and enjoy the "good" life in Florida. Now they are raising rates to drive us out.

Rosalie M. Ceschi, Largo

Sacrifices aren't shared | Sept. 9

History always repeats

The letter writer states it well: Few people living today really understand what war entails.

One of my earliest memories is of my first-grade teacher, a pretty, dark-haired young woman. And somehow, through many decades I still see the diamond ring she wore, and felt awe at being told that her lover had been killed in the war. Which war? The one our then-president (Woodrow Wilson) called "The war to end war."

Abigail Ann Martin, Brandon

Romano: Okay, now who sounds like a hysterical teen talking about guns?

Romano: Okay, now who sounds like a hysterical teen talking about guns?

The writer of the letter sounds hysterical. Perhaps a little desperate. And maybe thatís just who Marion Hammer is these days.Most of the world knows her as the take-no-prisoners maven of the National Rifle Association who directs Florida politicians...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Editorial: Allegiant Air still has safety issues

Editorial: Allegiant Air still has safety issues

Allegiant Airís safety record remains troubling, and the Federal Aviation Administrationís reluctance to talk about it is no more encouraging. Those are the key takeaways from a 60 Minutes report on the low-cost carrierís high rate of mid-flight brea...
Published: 04/21/18

Editorial: Womenís work undervalued in bay area

Even a strong economy and low unemployment cannot overcome the persistent pay gap affecting full-time working women in Florida. A new report shows women in Florida earned 12.5 percent less on average than their male counterparts, and the disparities ...
Published: 04/21/18
Goodman: In America, truth is missing in action

Goodman: In America, truth is missing in action

Itís "Mueller Time," as the nation grows ever closer to a confrontation with the truth.Was collusion with the Russians an illusion? If not, who was involved, what was done, and when? Did it impact the 2016 campaign, the fate of Hillary Clinton and no...
Published: 04/20/18
Editorial: New Cuba president is chance for new start

Editorial: New Cuba president is chance for new start

For all the symbolism, Raul Castroís handoff of the Cuban presidency this week amounts to less than meets the eye even if his handpicked successor, the Communist Party functionary Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, is the first person not named Castro to le...
Published: 04/20/18

Editorial: A missed chance for open primary elections

The Florida Constitution Revision Commission did a lot of things wrong this week by combining unrelated or unpalatable provisions into single amendments that will appear on the November ballot. It also wasted an opportunity to do one thing right. The...
Published: 04/20/18
Editorial: When they visit Natureís Classroom, kids are right where they belong

Editorial: When they visit Natureís Classroom, kids are right where they belong

The Hillsborough school district planted a fruitful seed with the opening of Natureís Classroom five decades ago on the cypress-lined banks of the Hillsborough River northeast of Tampa. ē The lessons taught there to some 17,000 sixth graders each yea...
Published: 04/20/18
Howard Altman: Tampa company analyzed strike on Syrian facilities

Howard Altman: Tampa company analyzed strike on Syrian facilities

After President Donald Trump announced the U.S., France and England had carried out attacks on three Syrian chemical weapons centers, a Tampa company began its own analysis of the bomb damage.The analysis, by geospatial intelligence firm Radiant Solu...
Published: 04/20/18

Editorial: Equality pays off on Southwest Flight 1380

The passengers of Southwest Flight 1380 can be thankful that, 33 years ago, the U.S. Navy took the lead on equal opportunity.Capt. Tammie Jo Shults was piloting the flight from New York to Dallas on Tuesday when an engine exploded, blowing out a wind...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18
Editorial cartoons for April 21-23

Editorial cartoons for April 21-23

These cartoons are from various Times wire services.
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18