Why the fuss over the Confederate battle flag?
Quit using Florida law to celebrate Confederate traitors | Editorial, May 9
Being a Southerner through-and-through, and having lived in Florida for 16 years, I must say that I am completely unaware of the birth dates of Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis. I had no idea their birthdays are legal holidays in Florida, nor does anyone I asked. This makes me wonder why an entire editorial was written about drawing a line through these references in state law. I do not understand the issues taken with the Confederate battle flag. It’s a flag. It represents the Confederacy, it does not represent slavery. And traitors? The folks making up the Confederacy were not traitors. They simply were striving to protect their legal rights of secession. The signers of the Constitution agreed upon the right to secede. Secession was legal — look it up. Gen. Lee and Mr. Davis were simply leading the charge against a Union that used military force to stop the Confederacy from following through on its legal right.
Lori Stroud, Tampa
FEMA is overburdened
Virus hits FEMA storm prep | May 3
The reporter Emily Kopp very ably details the difficulties that FEMA has in preparing for the upcoming hurricane season. These dedicated people have been working exhausting hours during the pandemic and their new role in vaccinations. Many of the FEMA personnel have been working overtime without vacations for more than a year. They have been given extra duties with vaccinations, which is not their usual mandate. This article did not mention the added burden of President Joe Biden’s order to send more FEMA people to the southern border to help with the border crisis that he created.
President Biden used poor judgment in creating a southern border crisis during this historic pandemic. He reversed President Donald Trump’s southern border policies that have controlled the southern border well. President Biden then ordered the overburdened FEMA personnel to the southern border, further hindering their capability in preparing for our predictable storm season. This is a lack of judgment on all counts by the president.
Robert Karp, Tampa
Cyber attacks will get us
Ransomware attack hits major pipeline | May 9
Another cyber attack on America’s infrastructure has happened. When are the alphabet agencies — that is, the FBI, CIA, NSA — and all tech agencies and corporations going to realize drastic action is necessary? Isn’t it enough that other nations are trying to interfere with our democratic elections process?
Carol Hess, Hudson
Nuclear is the answer
Why America should go nuclear for energy | Column, May 10
Abating greenhouse gas effects is impaired by our narrow solution set. If we considered alternatives to the alternatives, and all the trade-offs involved, would we place our multi-trillion-dollar bet on wind and solar or re-open our eyes to nuclear power? The columnist Murad Antia cites a short list of comparative advantages, but there are even more.
The United States does not have a single generation 3.0 nuclear plant. Generation 3.5 plants are operational elsewhere, and generation 4.0 systems are ready for deployment with, as Antia notes, a lot of smart people, capitalists and environmentalists alike, supporting them. I wouldn’t choose a 1958 car over a 2020 model either. This straw man comparison used by nuclear opponents misses the point. It also misses the vast opportunity available to those willing to forego the blinders that we have dubiously donned. Some call the Green New Deal radically ambitious. I find it unduly modest and insensitive to other considerations. With advanced nuclear energy, we could achieve our own carbon emission abatement aims faster, more surely and less disruptively. But we could also prosper economically and strategically via a new American export industry as we electrify and green the world.
Pat Byrne, Largo
Who cares except the GOP?
The GOP is at a turning point. History is watching us | Liz Cheney column, May 7
The different political parties are voluntary organizations that form their own rules. If you don’t agree, you are free to leave and join a different party. Whether Rep. Liz Cheney loses her House Republican leadership position or not is of no concern to anyone except Republicans. If they self-destruct, so be it. The closest we’ve come to a despotic leader was Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was elected to four terms — the last when he knew he was dying. If Liz Cheney’s leadership position is the most important issue we have to worry about, then we are in very good shape as a nation.
Charles Moffitt, Odessa
A party of one?
Why is Charlie Crist running for Florida governor again? | Column, May 10
Daniel Ruth’s opinion piece on Rep. Charlie Crist certainly has a ring of truth to it. If Florida had an Opportunistic Party, Charlie would be in line to lead it.
Jerry McDermott, Largo