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Truth would have averted this mess

Re: Robinson vs. Rocco

I find it amusing - no, probably downright scary - that we have two political candidates engaged in a legal dispute here in Hernando County.

We found that the winner of the election doesn't live in the district that she won. Definitely a no-no. But wait a moment, that is up to interpretation, and now we have to bring the lawyers and the judicial system into the fray.

It seems like the winner has tried, and lost, twice before.

If she did not learn the law in those defeats, or did not think the law applied to her, then what will make me think she will abide by the laws and campaign rhetoric in representing us, as she claims she will.

Could it be that she knew all along and figured that because she lost so many times before, she'd wait for the results before buying a house in the district? No sense spending all that money if she doesn't have to.

On the other hand, her opponent must have known about the district boundaries (she helped redraw them), so why didn't she make that public after the deadline for filing, put a stop to the campaign, run unopposed and save everyone the expense and headache that this has become.

I find it incredulous that we have one candidate who was a Democrat, became disenchanted with what the party stood for and converted to a Republican. The other candidate was a Republican and supposedly converted to a Democrat for the same reasons. I find it curious that had they both stayed with their original parties, the incumbent would have won this time as well, sighting the national trend to a "change" atmosphere.

My, my, what a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive.

It is so much easier to tell the truth. At least with the truth, you don't have to remember who or what you lied to or about. Simply restate the truth.

Charles Kleber, Spring Hill

Re: Islamic relations

Denounce killing before Americans

I am sorry, but I felt compelled to write in response to Ahmed Bedier's comments about ordinary Americans speaking out in regards to their feelings and beliefs about Islam.

In Brooksville, Mary Ann Hogan wrote that Islam was a hateful and vengeful religion that supported terrorism. Mr. Bedier, spokesman for the local Council on American-Islamic Relations, thought this was racist, wrong and dangerous, and he demonized Mrs. Hogan and anyone else speaking beliefs that did not agree with his.

Mr. Bedier, is it not hateful, wrong, dangerous and racist to target American and European troops in the Middle East just because they are not Muslim?

Funny, but I don't hear anything from your organization renouncing the violence, murders, racist targeting of civilians and bombings around the world, carried out by devout Muslims with the blessing of their religious leaders.

Maybe if someone with Mr. Bedier's stature and following spoke out against the violence and killing, then maybe it will be the start of something good.

Maybe if more Muslims spoke out against terrorism and killing, "normal" Americans would think more of them and their religion.

But until such time that Muslim leaders speak out against and try to stop the killing, bombing and terror, I have no choice but to think all Muslims are possible trouble waiting to happen.

Mr. Bedier, use your influence and money to start the good, and maybe people will think better of you, your organization and your people.

David Parker, Spring Hill

Hogans' view like that of their leader

The controversy that Mary and Tom Hogan have brought to bear exposes an unpleasant side of human nature that most of us would deny exists. We are more comfortable being surrounded by those who look like us, sound like us and believe as we do.

So we gather in our political parties, civic organizations, clubs and churches, comfortable in the knowledge that those sitting next to us are reflections of ourselves.

This phenomenon explains why those in the Republican Party who are gay are, more often than not, well ensconced in the closet. Despite their claims to the contrary (they are the "Big Tent" party), those who are not white, Christian and heterosexual or are in any way outside the mainstream are objects of ridicule and scorn.

"Liberals" are regularly vilified without impunity, and their side of the debate is busy scaring their own at the possibility of those terrorist-loving, troop-hating, immoral beasts controlling Congress, with President Bush leading the way.

When their leader exemplifies that part of human nature, are the Hogans not reflecting the true "values'' of the Republican Party?

Laura Smith, Weeki Wachee