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Disinformation on stilts in D.C. - Sept. 18, Daniel Ruth column

I always enjoy reading the opinion page in the Times. I get pleasure out of reading what Daniel Ruth has to say, because he has a talent for saying things in a "cute" way. He defends our president with the same energy that he defamed our former president (which slows us his political preference).

I believe in freedom of speech, so he can say anything he wants about anyone. But your readers need to be reminded that you cannot believe everything they see in print. Like others, he belittles the crowd protesting in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 12. I watched the protest and saw good American citizens from all over the country, and from both political parties, peacefully expressing their legitimate concerns about their government (and that is their right).

All Ruth has to say on the subject is lost in his stupid remarks about "people who are dumber than a sack of Glenn Becks." He tries to belittle those who listen to Beck, but he probably never watches Beck's TV show (on Fox). That is where Beck shows us the truth: actual quotes and video of politicians (that is good for people who want to know the facts). And he probably does not listen to Rush Limbaugh, whom he calls a "simpleton." Limbaugh would not have been so successful for more than 20 years (and still growing), if he was not brighter than Dan Ruth himself.

We do not dignify ourselves by calling people demeaning things.

Arthur Olsen, Clearwater

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Disinformation on stilts in D.C. - Sept. 18, Daniel Ruth column

Both sides are guilty of spreading misinformation

Perhaps Daniel Ruth should take a closer look at the disinformation being wielded by those on both sides of the aisle in D.C.

Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden and Barack Obama were shocked that a congressman called him a liar when Obama said that no illegal immigrants would be covered by the health care reform bill put forth by the liberal left.

Really? Until that moment, there did not exist in any bill a way to guarantee that to be true. Democrats have since scrambled to put such a guarantee in a bill, but we won't even know until the bill is signed by Obama, if it ever is, that that guarantee will remain.

So the number of people protesting in Washington was misrepresented and an old photo was sent around on the Internet. Big deal. It's not going to affect your health care, is it?

Don't pretend that the left hasn't done their share of dispensing misinformation and fearmongering. "Hypocrisy abounds" for sure, but at least admit it is from both sides.

Winnie Bayon, Palm Harbor

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Quickly changing attitudes - Sept. 17, letter

A right to disagree

To the letter writer who described those who dare to disagree with the party in control of Washington as "a bunch of self-serving party hacks," here is what a former first lady said:

"I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration somehow you're not patriotic. We should stand up and say: We are Americans and we have a right to debate and disagree with any administration." - Hillary Clinton, April 28, 2003

S. Hutton, Belleair

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Missile shield scrapped - Sept. 18, story

Ceding power

The president has canceled our missile defense plans which were to be located in Eastern Europe. He has ceded U.S. power, if not in actuality then in appearance, and the appearance of weakness invites the playground bully to throw a punch and the rogue nation to launch a missile.

There is also danger here, at home. It appears a plot to bomb the New York City subway was just foiled. What next, Mr. President? Will you send tea and crumpets to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad when he visits the United Nations?

Charles V. Scott, St. Petersburg

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Missile shield scrapped - Sept. 18, story

Scrapped it wasn't

Who wrote this headline? Was it Fox News, Glenn Beck, or Rush Limbaugh? As can be seen from the first sentence of the story, the missile shield was not "scrapped." It was (pick your word here) changed, enhanced, improved, modified, modernized, etc.

What was scrapped was the land-based system that the Joint Chiefs of Staff felt would not work as well as the new system. To say it was "scrapped" was either irresponsible and biased, or was just an inadvertent mistake. I'm hoping inadvertent mistake was the case because I've seen your paper do excellent, accurate reporting. Unfortunately, lots of people only read the headline and then jump to conclusions, so it is important you get the headline right.

Howard Taylor, Land O'Lakes

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Getting cheated out of meager pay - Sept. 13, Robyn Blumner column

Capitalists aren't criminals

Greed is a common theme of Robyn Blumner's columns. In asserting, with the help of Oliver Stone, that Gordon Gekko, the antagonist of the movie Wall Street, is seen by some capitalists as a hero, she completely misses the boat. A true capitalist sees Gekko as a criminal. He rose to opulent heights through fraud and theft, and in the end, he was caught on tape admitting to crimes. In this way, the system worked.

Fast forward to today's corruption in the business world and you see corporate officers and boards are in bed with politicians. When they cheat by defrauding taxpayers and shareholders, they're not punished. They're rewarded with positions of power.

Rewards, not punishment, are the results of much corporate immorality. Are these examples of capitalism? No, they are examples of unpunished crimes committed against taxpayers and stockholders while corrupt politicians looked the other way.

Blumner makes a big error every time she lumps corporate criminals in with capitalism. A true capitalist doesn't achieve success through fraud. No person can be called successful if he achieves his means by violating the rights of others.

A capitalist provides a good or a service for an agreed-to price free of untoward influence. If Blumner can find immorality in this, she will find it anywhere commerce happens. Lemonade stands, beware!

Jason Barrera, Oldsmar

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France: Give economy feel-good factorSept. 15

Relief from the rat race

Let's hear it for the president of France and his proposal to create a more modern economic indicator. According to the Times news article, his desire to replace the gross domestic product with a more comprehensive indicator geared toward value of life would include "factors such as health care availability and leisure time" as well as "environmental sustainability."

This more inclusive measurement of a country's ability to provide a more satisfying life is to be applauded. The GDP is a valuable tool, but it can also be seen as a the curse of the rat race.

Let's get off the treadmill for a few hours and enjoy a glass of red wine. Vive la France!

Robert Tarnay, Palmetto