December letter of the month
Editor’s note: The December letter of the month references a story headlined “They Become Our Family,” about Afghan refugees resettling in Fergus Falls, Minn.
Interesting that Afghan refugees are being accepted into a deeply Republican county in the Midwest. Something most of us recognize is that behind all the national demagoguery by their party, most Republicans are good people. And more importantly, when you get to know immigrants as individual people, most of them are just people looking for a safe haven to spend their lives. More subtly, as a lot of data suggests, given the chance, most immigrants who have the tenacity to make it to the United States will be contributors to our society, not the perpetual drains the xenophobes want you to fear.
Pat Ward, St. Petersburg
All charged up
Imagine Virginia’s icy traffic catastrophe — but with only EVs | Jan. 6
I want to dispute the conclusions in this column on potential problems if we all drive electric vehicles during winter storms. At least three Teslas were stuck in that massive traffic jam in Virginia (they made Facebook postings I saw). One Tesla driver tracked his energy usage. In 19 hours of sitting, he used 16 percent of his energy, or less than 1 percent per hour. This means, if he was sitting in a traffic jam starting with just 80 percent power, he would have been comfy for more than three days. Know any gas vehicle that has enough fuel for three days of running? As further evidence, a Houston resident camped in his Tesla last winter when they had their massive power failure. He and his wife were in 65-degree comfort, playing video games, web surfing or watching videos (all included in every Tesla) for four days, and could have gone at least five, before the power ran out. I do not own an electric vehicle, but I do my homework.
Colin Povey, Clearwater
By any other name
DeSantis disputes Jan. 6 events were an ‘Insurrection’ | Jan. 7
Gov. Ron DeSantis has claimed the invasion of the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters wasn’t an “insurrection” because no one has been charged with that crime a year later (although the evidence is mounting that one or more persons could be so charged in the near future). One wonders what the governor would call it if 1,000 leftist rioters had overrun the Florida Capitol in attempt to disrupt his inauguration while causing $2 million in damages? He also claimed the failed attempt by Trump supporters to thwart the peaceful transition of power on Jan. 6, 2021, pales in comparison with the attack carried out by Middle Eastern terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001. Notwithstanding his background as a graduate of Harvard and Yale law, as a member of Congress and lawyer in the Navy Judge Advocate General Corps, he seems to have forgotten his oath in both positions requiring him “to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign or domestic.”
Fred Kalhammer, Sun City Center
The worst day
Biden puts the blame on Trump | Jan. 7
Three important dates come to mind when thinking of our country’s darkest days: Dec. 7, 1941, Sept. 11, 2001, and Jan. 6, 2021. Pearl Harbor pulled us into World War II. Thousands died that day. But we defeated both Japan and Germany, and the world became a better place. On 9/11 the twin towers were destroyed, and thousands of people died. Later we tracked down Osama bin Laden and killed him. The world is a better place without him. But on Jan. 6, 2021, we were attacked not by outside forces, but by our fellow Americans. Five people died, not thousands like at Pearl Harbor or New York. But the damage was far worse. Buildings and air bases can be replaced. Lives and democracy cannot. That is why Jan. 6 was the darkest of those dark days.
John Polivick, Oldsmar
Cruisin’ for an illusion
I got COVID during a cruise. I’d take another | Column, Jan. 7
The columnist’s position embodies the singular reason I believe why many Americans, businesses and hospitals still struggle: selfishness. Wouldn’t it have been healthier for the columnist to take the opportunity to embrace and share the way locals at ports of call were required to behave during the pandemic — in a more responsible and non-selfish manner? While sick, he may have passed the coronavirus to others, who then affected business and commerce and may have likely infected others. Other less selfish countries and their citizens are conducting business in a responsible manner, instead of considering only themselves. Once individuals understand and grasp that it is about respecting others, illness will begin to subside, and the economy can get healthy again.
Darryl David, St Petersburg