Attracting good jobs, or just jobs - Oct. 15, editorial
Nothing is ever good enough for the Tampa Bay Times. What your editorial fails to mention is that these 1,000 jobs that will be created are an opportunity for 1,000 unskilled workers to unshackle themselves from the dependency of government. These 1,000 jobs provide a chance for people desperately looking for work in this weak economy.
Of course we want well-paying jobs for our community, but not everyone is a college graduate. Should we have a community where you are either on the government dime or you have a well-paying, great job? It is these service-level jobs that can help people climb to the middle class.
How about a little optimism about our counties and state bringing jobs to Florida? I think a lot of people would rather subsidize a company to employ people than subsidize a government that enslaves people.
Eric Webber, Palm Harbor
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Privatization and choice
I would have preferred a single-payer medical plan, which would have been simpler, cheaper and far more beneficial and comprehensive. Just think of the paperwork that would have been eliminated and the profits to middlemen avoided.
The present plan is the result of an attempted compromise with the Republican Party, which today rejects the very part of the plan that sought to include privatization and choice. No law is perfect, but to attempt to deny coverage to the many uninsured because the law falls short of perfection is shortsighted and lacking in justice and charity.
Shortsighted because failure to insure all will mean increasing medical costs, not decreasing them; and lacking in justice and charity because a society that doesn't care for those in need is one devoid of that human harmony that holds it together.
Paul Lupone, Spring Hill
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Origins of the debt
The Republicans are worried about Obamacare leaving a massive debt to our future generations. Where was their concern when we went to war and cut taxes at the same time under the Republican administration? That's when the debt began growing again.
When George W. Bush took office, he inherited a surplus left by the Clinton administration. Bush is a good man, but he had very bad advisers. It seems the likes of them are still around.
Paula Xenakis, Holiday
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Groom makes a grand entrance - Oct. 13
I was saddened to see the Times glorifying an elephant being ridden by a groom at his wedding. Surely the groom could find a better way to make a grand entrance at this celebration.
One need only to check out the website for PETA (or other animal protection societies) to see documentation on how circuses and zoos have brutalized these majestic animals to make them docile (and do dumb tricks).
One particular image that comes to mind (and the photos are available if anyone has the stomach to view them) is of a baby elephant chained spread-eagle while trainers take turns beating her. Not that she had done anything wrong, but this was part of the training just to make her so terrified of them that she would do anything that they demanded of her.
Love elephants? Watch videos of them in their natural environment instead of subsidizing their suffering.
Jayn Meinhardt, Redington Beach
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Fix Tampa police - Oct. 15, letter
Dedicated public servants
To insinuate that the entire Tampa police force is corrupt because of the reckless actions of a few bad apples is reprehensible. It is a slap in the face to all the dedicated men and women who put their lives on the line every day so the good citizens of Tampa can safely go about their business.
All these officers want to do is serve and protect to the best of their ability and return home safely to their loved ones. In case the letter writer hasn't read the papers recently, they don't all make it.
John Waitman, Palm Harbor
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Chief acted decisively
The letter writer is off-base in calling for Tampa police Chief Jane Castor "to go" because one of her own made a very bad decision. Pick any occupation, public or private. If one employee does something wrong, why does that make everyone they work with "questionable"?
Police departments are made up of men and women from our community. Like all of us, they make mistakes. There is probably nothing the chief could have done to prevent this if the member didn't have the ethics to "do the right thing."
The important thing is that Castor took decisive action. That's what I want in a leader.
Jim Main, Seminole
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To have voice, join a party
I am a registered Republican. But I am in no way a Republican. I am as independent as the day is long.
So why have I registered? Simple: to have a meaningful vote in the primaries. Independents cannot participate in party primaries in Florida and I believe that is the only chance we have of changing our representation in Washington and Tallahassee. Once we get to the general election the results are predetermined by the stacked voting districts and the incumbent remains.
I suggest all independents consider this course of action and join a party; either party. Let your voice be heard.
John Kupkovits, Tampa
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People's interests ignored
When did the common good cease to be the basis for negotiating the country's interests? Through which doors did civility, good faith and honesty leave the halls of Congress unnoticed? When did we cease believing that it was "government of the people, by the people, and for the people" that would not perish from the Earth?
Evidence that Congress is increasingly detached from the will - and settled laws - of the people, raises questions about the core values motivating and guiding the federal Congress in its inability to conduct the government's business. Complicit in the disdainful political culture are the well-financed lobbies and a minority that has no respect for the will of the majority. An election of a president by the people is not sufficient for establishing the people's position.
Alan Simpson, a Republican U.S. senator from Wyoming from 1979 to 1997, commented, "If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don't have integrity, nothing else matters." After observing the political circus and listening to the insulting rhetoric during the last few weeks, one has to ask, what really matters in Washington now?
James L. Paul, Temple Terrace
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Billions spent, but no answers and The money behind the governor - Oct. 14
If there were any remaining doubts that Florida government is owned lock, stock and barrel by large moneyed interests, they are laid to rest by these two Page 1 stories.
The state Public Service Commission's outrageous agreement to allow Duke Energy to charge customers $3.2 billion for services we will never receive, along with the list of big-money contributors to Gov. Rick Scott's campaign slush fund, demonstrate that this state is of the corporations, by the corporations and for the corporations.
Shame on our elected officials for so blatantly failing to protect the public interest, and shame on all of us for electing such self-serving, mean-spirited representatives.
John B. Robinson Jr., Dunedin
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Blame? Look in the mirror
Do not blame the utilities for ripping us off. Do not blame the insurance company for raising our prices. Blame the person you see the next time you look in the mirror.
Yes, blame yourself if you are one of the people who continue to vote for the same legislators who allow these ripoffs to continue. The next time you vote, think about this; maybe it will help.
Henry D. Reiss, St. Petersburg
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Testy debate, familiar issues - Oct. 16
Mandatory vs. universal
I'd like to offer a point of clarification to the terminology used at the Times-sponsored St. Petersburg mayoral debate this week and in subsequent press coverage. There is no push for mandatory curbside recycling in St. Petersburg. The People's Trash campaign has always supported universal curbside recycling. It may seem like petty semantics, but there is a big difference, and I've noticed that people often seem to confuse the two.
Mandatory implies that people will be forced to recycle. To do this, some municipalities levy fines or provide incentives. This solution is not being proposed for St. Petersburg.
By contrast, universal curbside service would see the city sponsor collection service and give each household a bin, but participation would still be voluntary. This approach is the one we have rallied around.
Timothy Martin, St. Petersburg