Our symbol, our center
After democracy dies | Leonard Pitts column, June 7
In the United States of America our national symbol is the bald eagle. This represents who we are. The bald eagle has a left and a right wing. In the eagle’s center is its head, heart and talons. The eagle cannot fly without its wings, but the center is where our life comes from. There lies the ability to think, to care and to wage war. It is where compromise, compassion and rational thought lie. Our national symbol is being destroyed by greed and power pulling at the wings. We cannot survive with one wing. We must listen to Abraham Lincoln when he said that no foreign power will destroy us. We will destroy ourselves from within. Ripping a wing off for power is not how our country will survive. We must listen to the center and work together.
Richard Wilke, Port Richey
How to cut the carbon
As a young resident of Tampa, I am alarmed by just how vulnerable our city is to the changing climate. Sea-level rise threatens to flood much of our beautiful city. Moreover, we are especially vulnerable to the growing frequency of extreme storms. It was only by chance that we were missed by hurricanes Michael and Dorian, and spared the worst of Hurricane Irma. To safeguard and strengthen the Tampa Bay region — now and into the future — it is time for America to lead the way on effective climate solutions. That’s why I urge our leaders to support the bipartisan Baker-Shultz Carbon Dividends plan — a climate policy framework with the potential to save our planet while also boosting our economy. The plan would charge fossil fuel companies a fee for their emissions to incentivize a transition to a low-carbon economy and return the revenue collected to the American people as quarterly dividend checks. This would put money directly into the pockets of U.S. workers and families and also protect households from any increase in energy prices. Further, the carbon dividends plan would install a border carbon adjustment to strengthen U.S. industry relative to less environmentally friendly manufacturers abroad and phase out regulations made obsolete by this market-based solution. Carbon dividends is the best strategy to save our planet, our economy, and our city.
Adam Latif, Tampa
A pen pal
Stop looking away | Letters, June 10
I promised myself not to keep writing letters to the editor because it’s like preaching to the choir. And other readers are so much more eloquent in expressing the viewpoints that my inner voice keeps screaming. To that end, kudos to Lee Nolan for his letter, “Stop Looking Away,” and Jane Larkin for “Cowards in Congress.” Thank you for so clearly stating what should be obvious to nation founded on principles of liberty, justice, and decency. Why are so many Americans afraid of the truth?
Susan Sumnick, Riverview
What I learned in Germany
Gov. Ron DeSantis’ statement that teaching critical race theory “could lead white kids to see themselves in a negative light” is ludicrous. I’m from West Germany. We were taught all about Hitler and our role in bringing that awful man to power. In contrast, East Germans were taught that they were freedom fighters. Since the unification of Germany there’s been a rise of antisemitism and racism stemming from the former East Germany. If you don’t learn history, you are doomed to repeat it.
Melanie Yoshida, Tampa
An Olympic standard
In the debate over transgender athletes, I look to the Olympics as the model we should follow. Athletes who identify as female who have too much testosterone cannot compete in the women’s events. The Olympics once banned the entire Russian team for doping. Their women were doping with testosterone. Now, I don’t want to test every female athlete. And I don’t care about how people identify themselves. If you want to say you’re a male or female or neither, or something else, I just don’t care. Your self-image is your business. However, if you have a male body, you cannot compete against female bodies in sports. The male bodies have too much of a physical advantage over female bodies in sports competition. If you say you are a female trapped in a man’s body, I’m okay with that. But you have a man’s body and, therefore, you cannot compete against female bodies. I have two sons and three daughters. If one of my sons said he was really a she trapped in a man’s body, I would be okay with that. But I still wouldn’t let them box with my female-bodied daughters.
Russ A. Johnson, Hudson