Help choose Letter of the Month
Letters to the editor offer a significant contribution to the discussion of public policy and life in Tampa Bay. To recognize some of that work by our most engaged readers, the Times will select a letter of the month and the writers will be recognized at the end of the year.
Help us choose from the nominations for letter of the month for August by visiting the website listed below by Monday. Read through the three letters and vote on the ballot at the bottom of the Web page. We will choose the finalists each month based on relevance on topical issues, persuasiveness and writing style. The writer's opinion does not need to match the editorial board's opinion on the issue to be nominated. But clarity of thinking, brevity and a sense of humor certainly help.
To see the three August nominees and vote, go to www.tampabay.com/opinion.
The bribery standard | Aug. 26, commentary
Foundation does good work
It was funny to read Charles Krauthammer's column about the Clinton Foundation as I had the day before read an article in the New Yorker about the Clinton Foundation. Evidently Krauthammer has no knowledge of the organization. The Clinton Foundation was given an A rating by Charity Watch. It was reported that 88 percent of the money they collect goes to projects and only 12 percent to overhead.
Additionally, 46 million children have been given access to education and 11 million girls and women have been supported through empowerment initiatives from the foundation. Also, 27 million people have increased access to safe drinking water and sanitation. The foundation has also brought down the cost of AIDS drugs in poor countries.
In addition, there has been no evidence of impropriety with regard to the donors who have met with Hillary Clinton. Maybe Krauthammer should be less worried about how much Bernie Sanders knows about Clinton's emails and a little more concerned about the "truthiness" of his own column.
Ann Jamieson, Tarpon Springs
Lifesaving medical care
Each year my wife and I have a practice of selecting a different nonprofit, charitable organization to which we make what is, for us, a significant financial donation. Because we were impressed with the great work it does, several years ago the organization we chose was the Clinton Foundation.
Now it is being characterized as a scandal that of the thousands of people with whom Hillary Clinton spoke as secretary of state, a handful of them had actually demonstrated support for humanitarian aid and lifesaving medical care for suffering people in Third World countries. Personally, I wish that every single one of those thousands of people who spoke with Clinton had made a contribution to the Clinton Foundation.
Jonathan K. Jaberg, Largo
As Zika closes in, politicians squabble | Aug. 25, John Romano column
Protecting the unborn
I share John Romano's concern that the political theatrics that are causing a delay in launching an all-out effort against the Zika virus are an unacceptable threat to unborn children. As he put it, "A child's birth is one of the most precious events imaginable."
However, is the Zika threat unique or are all unborn lives precious and thus must be protected? Is life so precious that abortion should only be allowed when the mother's life is at risk or the pregnancy is the result of incest or rape? Should we condemn the Democratic Party's 2016 platform that calls for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment that prohibits the use of federal funds for abortion other than in the case of risk to the mother's life, rape or incest? If all unborn lives are not precious, then why worry about the Zika virus? Mothers have the option of an abortion to avoid having a child that may be brain-damaged.
For those who refuse to see the dichotomy in screaming that the unborn must be protected from the Zika virus while championing abortion on demand, to quote from the same Bob Dylan song that the column quoted, "even Jesus would never forgive what you do."
Don Ottinger, Tampa
How the world sees us
Traveling to South Africa this month, we experienced people from many parts of the world. A couple from Spain commented that it is incredible that the "greatest country in the world, America, has a clown running for the office of president." A young man from Denmark said that the Danes are totally opposed to Donald Trump as president. These comments should make us aware of the influence our choice will have on the rest of the world.
Theresa Rodriguez, Sun City Center
Group home brings worry | Aug. 27
Chance for a new start
The teens who will be living in the group home need a loving home that will help then navigate their way into adulthood. Why would the neighbors not want those teens to have a chance, like their own children do?
Where is the home supposed to go — a rural area where they wouldn't learn how to live among neighbors? Instead of being fearful, neighbors should rejoice that someone cares enough about the plight of children without a home to do something about it. If the neighbors act afraid of the teens, what kind of message is that sending?
Melissa Rice, Tampa
School test rules dealt a blow | Aug. 27
Timed test shortfalls
I was glad to see that a judge in Tallahassee nullified the action of not allowing a third-grade student to advance because of failure to pass a state-mandated test.
Years ago I worked with a very smart guy who could not do well on tests. He had dyslexia, a condition that caused him to read things in reverse, therefore requiring more time. He was extremely smart but did poorly on timed tests. I would hope that teachers are trained to identify children who may suffer from dyslexia, thus allowing them to be graded in a manner other than a timed test.
Dan Groner, Lecanto