1. Archive


The more they do, the worse it gets - May 6, Daniel Ruth column

The column is funny and dead on. Mr. Ruth has nailed it.

This venal Legislature and governor have done more damage to this state in a single session thanks to the misguided zealots who voted them into office in November than any hurricane has ever done.

They have turned the whole state into a giant sinkhole. Or perhaps it is a giant rabbit hole a la Alice in Wonderland where everything is upside down. So laying people off creates jobs; environmental deregulation preserves our state's natural beauty; underfunding education improves our children's educational opportunities; making it harder to vote is good for democracy; mutual payoffs between lobbyists and legislators improves the moral climate in the capital; government intrusion into women's health issues fosters smaller government.

Welcome to our brave new world.

Sign a petition for the right to recall.

Mary Stephens, Largo

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Why is Geronimo bad now?

While reading about our "elimination" of Osama Bin Laden, I noted that our native Americans were complaining about the Navy SEALs using the word "Geronimo." Does my memory fail me, or do I remember all our paratroopers in World War II calling out "Geronimo" when the bailed out of planes? It was okay for our military to use it then? But not now?

James Bardsley, Madeira Beach

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Abortion legislation

Good for mother, child

Many people who have medical procedures and tests need and want as much information as they can to make an informed decision about how to proceed. This legislation will help give women of varying ages and maturity opportunities to avoid making an uninformed decision. Government intervention was accepted when women were given the right to choose to end their pregnancy. Now it seems that same intervention is unwelcome when the tables are turned.

This is really an effort to preserve the dignity of both mother and child who by all standards are unique living human beings by allowing every opportunity by receive and disseminate all information in regards to this decision.

B.A. O'Neill, Pinellas Park

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High-speed rail

Thanks, from Illinois

The Chicago Tribune reported May 5 that more than $186 million in federal money that Florida's Gov. Rick Scott turned down for high-speed passenger rail has been awarded to Illinois for improvements on part of the 110-mph corridor between Chicago and St. Louis.

Illinois' U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin, a Democrat, and Mark Kirk, a Republican, said the funds would increase travel speeds and create thousands of jobs. Thank you, Gov. Scott.

The taxpayers of Illinois appreciate your gift.

Don Evans, Barrington, Ill.

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Alliance prevents deaths

In honor of Mother's Day, let us remember the children around the world who are not as lucky as us to have a healthy and safe childhood.

Globally, millions of children do not have access to vaccinations, a necessity we take for granted as a part of our childhood.

The GAVI alliance is a global program whose goal is to get desperately needed vaccinations to children. They have already prevented an estimated 5 million deaths through giving vaccinations. Two of the major killers of children in developing countries are diseases for which we now have vaccinations: pneumococcal pneumonia and rotavirus.

The GAVI Alliance can help prevent deaths, and it is imperative that the president and Congress support and invest in the program. This is such an easy way to prevent deaths around the globe, and it isn't even expensive. There is no reason that children around the world should die from these preventable diseases.

Robyn Schickler, USF medical student, Tampa

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Osama Bin Laden

Terrorist still has hold on us

Dead or alive, Osama has won for as long as I need to show my passport at the Canadian and Mexican borders, suffer the indignity of being half- clothed and shoeless and patted down to fly, or wait far away from the gate for an arriving relative.

He still wins each time we spend our treasure and our nation's youth in pointless and distant wars, while being unable to fix our own highways and bridges, or heal our sick poor.

He is dead. When do we get our freedom back?

Maynard J. Hirshon, St. Pete Beach

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Reckless, radical, wrong - May 9

Voters have already spoken

The headline is most appropriate to describe the first 21/2years of the Obama administration. The voters elected the Legislature and there was no secret what they wanted this election -nationally and statewise.

Richard W. Cope, Clearwater

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Insurance premiums

More hurt for homeowners

The number of ways that the recently completed legislative session penalizes the average Floridian are to numerous to discuss in this forum.

However, as an economist, I feel compelled to point out the fallacy inherent in the passage of Senate Bill 1330.

This bill allows insurance companies to raise premiums, on a yearly basis, by up to 30 percent without government approval.

Republican lawmakers, bought and paid for the insurance industry, claim that by allowing premiums to rise, new companies will enter the market, which will eventually cause premiums to fall.

There are two problems with this theory.

One, insurance companies are not stupid. Even though collusion is illegal under antitrust laws, companies still collude, keeping prices artificially high and ensuring they continue to make healthy profits.

Two, this assumption of competition works only if both sides of the market are free to exit and enter. Consumers (the demand side) are forced to buy homeowners insurance if they have a mortgage. If the price set by the insurance companies is too high, we can't decline to buy their product.

Anyone with an ounce of common sense can see that this law tilts the market even more in favor of the insurance companies and penalizes Florida's homeowners.

Too bad our Legislature, and those who voter for them, don't have that ounce.

Joel Melvin, Clearwater

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Vindication of the U.S. war on terror - May 8

A narrow escape in 1998

"Bin Laden declared war on us in 1998," according to columnist Charles Krauthammer. "But it was not until 9/11 that we took him seriously."

Krauthammer apparently doesn't believe that President Bill Clinton was serious when he ordered the Tomahawk cruise missile attacks that narrowly missed killing bin Laden on Aug. 8, 1998.

James Nelson, Largo