Perks to be pricey on Crist's big day | Dec. 6, story
Well, it did not take long for Charlie Crist to show his true colors, did it? Come on - $500,000 per donation and how many big spenders are there? His statement is correct: "It is what it is." That speaks volumes about his true intent in governing our beautiful state.
I see that "After costs are met, receipts will be given to the Jessica Marie Lunsford foundation, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and Derrick Brooks Charities." So let's have an accounting of how much the "bash" will cost and how much actual money goes to each of these charities.
I am an insurance agent, and I counsel and console poor people every day regarding the fact that they must leave their homes without insurance protection, as the premiums are so high that they must choose to go without coverage.
In our agency, we collect Christmas gifts for children who otherwise would have no Christmas, and in our county there are hundreds of citizens who do the same. Most of us live from paycheck to paycheck but still find a way to help others.
Wouldn't it be a wonderful thing if the millions spent on the "bash" went to help others in need instead? How can "you people" enjoy this luxurious party when others are suffering? I would love to have an answer. The last time I had an understanding of our government, it was that these officials work for us.
Joan C. Slusser, Crystal River
Perks to be pricey on Crist's big day | Dec. 6, story
Here we go again - a politician spending gross amounts of money that could be used for more important issues. Instead he'll be doing the same old stuff - look at me, look at me, I'm important and you are not.
Mike Ellis, St. Petersburg
Time to leave Iraq
After closely following recent events in Iraq, including the Iraq Study Group report released Wednesday, which coincided with reports of the deaths of 11 more American service members, a reasonable person can only conclude that it is time to admit the war is not going well, and never will.
My feeling is that this is Vietnam all over again. During that conflict, the president of the United States and our military leaders refused to admit the obvious - that regardless of how many American service men and women we sent, we would not win.
The same mentality is now in play. President Bush, whom I voted for, and now regret that vote, and our military leaders do not want to have a "defeat" on their watch. Therefore they continue to advocate "staying the course," whatever that may be, and sacrificing more American service men and women so that they can save face. Shame on them.
I do not know how we can alter the direction in which they are leading us, but I do feel that if ample pressure is applied maybe those in power will understand the error of their ways and begin the process of removing our troops from Iraq. Let the Iraqis fight and kill their fellow countrymen, not ours.
David Young, Clearwater
No facts, please
I once had a supervisor who kept a sign on his desk that read: "Don't confuse me with the facts. I've already made up my mind."
Let's see. Does this remind you of someone in Washington, D.C.?
Shirley Craig, Largo
Iraqis have to step up
The Iraq Study Group report was good. I hope the president will adopt some of its recommendations.
If the Iraqis wish democracy and freedom, they must take control now. The carnage in Baghdad is out of control! For our part, we must step up training of Iraq military and police, and plan to start a withdrawal in 2008. We cannot forever be Iraq's supervising force of democracy. The Iraqis must be able to defend what they wish to have as a form of government or they will fall back into another totalitarian government.
Victor Wood, Indian Rocks Beach
"Cut and run" is the worst possible term that can be used to describe a previously successful strategy for ending unpopular wars, i.e. Korea and Vietnam. Better terminology would be: strategic cease-fire and withdrawal.
When a nation finds itself pouring billions of dollars and thousands of lives into a foreign war, to the detriment of its own citizens, it is wise for that nation's leaders to re-evaluate its involvement.
Does any intelligent person really believe that the United States will establish a democratic nation and a capitalistic economy in Iraq or Afghanistan? Does anyone think that the citizens of those countries want this nation to do that? What gives this nation's leaders the right to force other nations to adapt to this nation's form of government and economy?
Dennis Lysaght, Clearwater
Hearing aid needed?
I think President Bush is getting deaf. A recent editorial in the New York Times shares my feeling. The editorial said, "This administration has been orchestrating a foreign policy disaster of epic proportions, and history will remember both that the president failed to hear the warning bells, and that many others failed to ring them loudly enough."
Perhaps the president needs a hearing aid to get what so many in this country are saying.
Sol Helfand, New Port Richey
Wow! When Robert Gates, during hearings on his nomination to be secretary of defense, was asked a straightforward question about Iraq, he actually gave a straightforward answer!
Sen. Carl Levin: "Are we winning in Iraq?"
Gates: "No sir."
Does this mean after four years of misinformation, lies and general gobbledegook, the American people will finally be getting straight answers about Iraq from the Bush administration? No more "known knowns," "stay the course," "mission accomplished," "bring 'em on," "last throes" or "stuff happens."
I pray that the group that deserves straight answers about the Iraq civil war even more than the American people - the brave soldiers in Iraq and their families - will soon be getting the honest answers they deserve.
Richard Feigel, Clearwater
We need to know
This is in response to a couple of recent letters on the Opinion Page suggesting that the St. Petersburg Times selectively prints only the bad news.
Newspapers historically have been an important source of information in our democracy. In the business world, there is always the drive to be more efficient, to continuously improve worker/company performance, etc. We Americans have been programmed to look for problems and seek solutions and to better ourselves. We are also very concerned about fairness and justice.
Taking all this into account, it is very easy to understand why newspapers would devote more space to things that are going wrong than to things that are going right. Responsible Americans, as owners of our democracy, have the need to know what is going on in our government so that we can make sure that our interests are being attended to and that corruption is stymied. Responsible newspapers are an integral part of this process, because if we do not know about it how can we fix it?
The undeniable reality is that we are a nation at war, real wages are falling, health care is unaffordable, home insurance costs are out of control and property taxes are just plain unjustified! I have but one question for these proponents of good news: Is there enough space in your bubble for me? Ignorance is indeed bliss!
Leonard R. Kaul Jr., Treasure Island
Mistakes and profits
Condoleezza Rice finally admits that the Bush administration has made mistakes in Iraq. However she cannot speak about them now. "When I'm back at Stanford University, I can look back and write books about what we might have done differently."
Yes, that is correct, and in the process she will enrich herself because of her incompetence. There ought to be a law!
David A. Cimino, St. Petersburg
Seeing only green
In my yesteryear, our leaders of industry and our land had vision greater than their ambition. Today, ambition seems to only have a goal - money.
Hartley Steeves, Tampa