The American military isn’t the problem. America is | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Thursday’s letters to the editor.
Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on Jan. 6.
Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on Jan. 6. [ SAMUEL CORUM | TNS ]
Published Jul. 1

The numbers add up

Imagine if a Squad member called a general a stupid pig. Tucker Carlson just did | Column, July 29

While columnist Max Boot is spot on in calling out faux conservative bloviators like Tucker Carlson, he raises a false red flag. He claims the military has a problem because about 10% of the persons arrested in the Jan. 6 Capital riot were either active or retired military. Sorry to pour cold water on this argument, but fully 7% of the U.S. population are veterans and another 1% are active duty. The 10% of those arrested Boot quotes should have mentioned law enforcement. Correctly quoted, this represents almost exactly a random cross-section of America.

It’s not that the military has a problem, the military recruits from America, which is where the problem lies.

Steve Geiger, St. Petersburg

Let God be the judge

U.S. Catholic bishops okay steps toward possible rebuke of Biden | July 18

I have been a faithful and practicing catholic all my 80+ years and am very disturbed about the stance of the U.S. bishops possibly denying Holy Communion to any catholic because of his or her perceived beliefs. It is not up to the clergy to judge what is on a person’s mind and then deny any sacrament. This was the same thinking that led the church before Vatican II to deny catholic burial to a person who died by suicide. The church judged that person to have committed the sin of despair and therefore was in the state of sin at death. The clergy should minister and not judge. God will do that, for all of us.

Henry Kempf, New Port Richey

Enough ‘cruel’ interviews

Searching for life, and answers, in the Surfside building collapse | Editorial, July 30

I understand that the collapse of a building in Surfside is important news. In addition, updating the progress being made and methods used by first responders to search for those in the building who may still be alive is worthy of coverage. However, the repetitive interviews of emotionally distraught family members is not newsworthy. It is ghoulish, exhausting and turns news into a melodramatic soap opera.

As research in my discipline — communication — documents, while these interviews may help news networks expand their audience and thus make more money, they are inappropriate. This rhetorical practice, of course, is hardly new or unexpected. For many years news networks have intentionally exploited the emotional outpouring of people experiencing traumatic events, knowing that this would titillate their viewers — much as people can’t look away from automobile crashes. The networks’ tendency is to stick a microphone in the face of victims and ask them: “How does this (the traumatic event) make you feel?”

This preying on people’s loss and heartache is cruel. Sadly, I have little hope that news networks will eliminate this practice. As long as it has the potential to increase viewership, we should expect more of the same.

Richard Cherwitz, Austin, Texas

Shout out to Largo PD

Florida’s police reform bill touted as “good start’ by Senate, heads to DeSantis | April 18

Given the certain amount of negative press regarding the police, I am doubly motivated to shout my heartfelt gratitude from the rooftops (and from the Tampa Bay Times) to officers of the Largo Police Department who spent an inordinate amount of time to help me locate my elderly parents, residents of Largo, late Friday night. I especially thank Officer Rice who committed to helping me until my parents were found. I know he and his colleagues were “just doing their jobs,” but they did them professionally and in a very caring and calm manner, so essential when dealing with worrying and emotional circumstances. I can’t thank them enough. Bravo!

Ann Simonet, Largo

Meat’s got problems

Top 10 Tampa Bay area events for the week of June 28-July 4 | June 28

The scarcity of animal meat caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will keep our outdoor grills safer this Independence Day. Folks who grill hamburgers and hot dogs face a nasty choice. The U.S. Meat and Poultry Hotline advises grilling at high temperature to avoid food poisoning by E. coli and Salmonella bacteria. But the National Cancer Institute warns that high-temperature grilling of processed meats generates cancer-causing compounds.

Fortunately, we no longer need to choose between possible food poisoning and cancer-causing compounds. A bunch of enterprising U.S. food processors have met this challenge head-on by developing a rich variety of convenient, healthful, delicious plant-based veggie burgers, veggie dogs, and soy nuggets. These products don’t harbor nasty bugs or cancer-causing compounds. They are missing the cholesterol, saturated fats, drugs, hormones, and pesticides of their animal-based alternatives. And, they are waiting for us in the frozen food section of our favorite supermarket, along with nut-based ice creams, and other dairy-free desserts.

This Independence Day, let’s welcome the convenient, delicious, healthful, ecofriendly, compassionate plant-based meats and dairy foods into our kitchens!

Earl Blanchard, Redington Shore