1. Archive

Zell Miller's critics have overlooked his message

Re: An honorable career ends on shrill note, Sept. 12.

As Philip Gailey points out in his column, after Sen. Zell Miller's address at the Republican National Convention, Miller was attacked by Susan Estrich (suggesting that Miller may be losing his mental faculties), David Gergen (Miller was associated with Lester Maddox 40 years ago) and former President Jimmy Carter (who accused Miller of "historically unprecedented disloyalty").

What do these critics of Sen. Miller have in common? They all attacked him personally but said nothing about his motivation that the safety of his grandchildren was more important to him than any party affiliation. These and other critics failed to respond to the litany of "no votes" he cited from John Kerry on defense-related issues. Simply put, if you can't refute the message, attack the messenger.

It should be pointed out, Sen. Miller started to become disillusioned with the Democratic Party when he attended a Democratic caucus after 9/11 and Sen. Tom Daschle and other Democratic senators wanted to block the homeland security bill because it would make employees of the new department nonunion workers. Miller believed that the Democrats were putting politics ahead of the security of our citizens. He refused to attend another Democratic caucus after that.

Those who attacked Sen. Miller have to accept that at some point, John Kerry will have to run on his record. Uh oh.

Mike Lyons, Apollo Beach

The sky is not falling

Re: Americans are vulnerable to dictatorship, by Martin Dyckman, Sept. 12.

First, I have to admit I am an independent who will vote for John Kerrynot that the tirade by Martin Dyckman made my decision any easier.

His panic attack on the louts he claims are voting for George Bush certainly made me think about changing my mind. Dictator schmictator _ the sky is not falling, as Dyckman obviously believes. His list of almost dictators covers some of my favorite presidents. I certainly don't believe Bush belongs in that list of luminaries.

Dyckman should take some aspirin, put a cold towel on his forehead and lie down for a while.

Thomas W. Soule, St. Petersburg

A courageous column

Re: Americans are vulnerable to dictatorship.

I want to thank Martin Dyckman for this courageous and enlightening column. Courageous because today it takes courage to speak the truth and bluntly denounce the sinister and real specter of dictatorship prowling on our democracy. There is no doubt that Dyckman will be submerged by a salvo of heinous letters fired by outraged "true patriots" burning with the desire to emulate the "swift boat" mudslingers!

And yes, enlightening. In one short article, Dyckman has perfectly defined what should be Sen. John Kerry's campaign. How I wish that he would deliver his vision of our future and explain his approach to solving the problems afflicting our nation and the world with such unadorned, yet convincing, eloquence.

Simon Agmann, St. Petersburg

Power is in the private sector

Re: In Bush's America, rich get richer, by Robyn Blumner, Sept. 12.

Blumner and all her left-wing friends would have us believe that an ownership society is bad for the United States. She would rather shift a trillion-dollar burden of health care onto the taxpayers, forming a huge bureaucracy that would force Americans into a "one size fits all plan." She says that a health savings account would only benefit the rich, which is preposterous. How about encouraging lower-income people to start saving their money tax-free and start making decisions for themselves about their own health care?

The thing these people will never understand is that the United States is the richest country in the world because of our work-dominated society. Socialist countries can never compete with us because their workers have no incentive to do the best job they can.

Blumner would have the government make all the decisions for us, but the heart and soul of this country lies in the private sector.

Sean Jacobus, St. Pete Beach

Failed health care policies

Re: In Bush's America, rich get richer.

Robyn Blumner is absolutely right. The Bush administration has failed us with its horrendous health care policies.

The current administration has colluded with the drug companies to ensure their huge profits at the expense of our seniors with their highly touted Medicare drug program. This new program prevents Medicare from negotiating with the drug companies to get better pricing.

Seniors on monthly fixed incomes try to make ends meet by traveling to Canada to buy their prescriptions drugs at more economical prices.

Drug companies could well afford rethinking their pricing to entice seniors to buy domestically, but instead they say that drugs bought over the border are not safe. How despicable.

Michele Durst, St. Petersburg

A reminder of their sacrifice

I would like to commend the editors of the Times for continuing to carry the weekly list of the soldiers who have died in Iraq. With the need for unprecedented hurricane coverage, it would have been all too easy to overlook this grim reminder of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the 26 military personnel who are listed in your Sept. 12 edition.

When this war is over, I wonder if those who have died and those who will return will be treated in the same fashion as we honored those who served in World War II. Sadly, I do not feel that will happen. We, of course, did not start World War II. We did start the war with Iraq.

Jim Lyman, Lutz

So much hot air

Re: The costs of global warming, letter, Sept. 12.

I expected that there would sooner or later be those who would contend that George Bush has single-handedly ruined planet Earth in four short years. Despite ice ages, warm ages and other natural fluctuations that have been under way since way before mankind even existed, there are those who see this hurricane season as a political opportunity to blame those nasty Republicans.

As a lifelong Florida resident I can assure the letter writer that we have had spells of bad weather as far back as I can remember under both Democrat and Republican presidents. As for blaming this on so-called global warming, I have heard that this has actually been an unusually cool summer in North America.

Leonard Martino, Tampa

Signs of a slant

Reading the Times every day, I usually laugh at people claiming liberal bias (because there's usually someone in the next letter claiming right-wing bias). But reading the Perspective section last Sunday I thought it fairly strange that out of the nine main "columns," seven of them were dedicated to anti-Bush screeds, one even claiming he's some new age dictator.

I don't know if your editors are unaware that their are more open-minded columnists out their or if there really is a liberal bias at the Times. But last Sunday's Perspective section sure would make some believe the latter.

Tom Alday, Seminole