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  1. Letters to the Editor

Monday's letters: Weigh schools on performance, not politics

ITT closing stuns Tampa campus | Sept. 7

Weigh performance, not politics

By cutting off ITT Technical Institute students from federal education loans and placing punitive and unrealistic sanctions on the school, the federal government killed ITT just as it killed another for-profit (bad word) school, Corinthian, last year. This was all in the name of protecting the students. Taxpayers will have to cover the outstanding student loans. Current (now ex-) students are left high and dry.

In the meantime, it was revealed in the same edition of the Times that former President Bill Clinton, spouse of the Democratic presidential nominee, was paid $17.8 million for consulting for another for-profit (there's that dirty word again), Laureate International Universities. Laureate reportedly has lower graduation rates than ITT did and costs more to attend. Clinton got paid more in one year than the president of ITT got in five. And yes, it's all tied into the Clinton Foundation machine.

No one supports defrauding students as these schools were charged with, but something smells. And if we're talking about quality, costs, graduation rates and finding jobs on graduation, we might take a look at the nonprofit public schools and colleges and universities. Let's apply the standards fairly, without ideology and politics.

Bill Northrop, St. Petersburg

PTC panel proposes new regulations for Uber, Lyft | Sept. 7

Put consumers first

The Public Transportation Commission's issues with Uber and Lyft are not about the safety of the consumer, but about cab companies losing money and the city losing money from lack of DUIs. If cab companies are so concerned about losing business, perhaps they should step up their game and provide nicer vehicles.

It is all about politics. The rulings against ridesharing are an embarrassment to the community.

To the commissioners: Wake up, do your real jobs and actually be of assistance to the consumers and those who want a clean, affordable ride.

Damian Bisagni, Tampa

Afghanistan

War has gone on too long

Can someone tell me why our military is still in Afghanistan, 16 years and billions of dollars later? Yes, when 9/11 occurred, we had every right to get payback.

However, how long does it take to train the Afghan army? Why are we still fighting for them? Enough. Let our men and women come home. They have suffered enough.

Steve Cataldi, New Port Richey

Clinton, Trump field questions at TV forum Sept. 8

Not a leader to admire

My jaw dropped when I read that during last week's TV forum Donald Trump "renewed his praise" for Vladimir Putin, saying the Russian president has "great control over his country."

Does Trump know how Putin maintains that control? Does he understand that Putin uses tactics he learned in his years as a KGB agent — strategies like muzzling the press, spying on citizens and taking political prisoners?

How could the liberty-loving people of these United States consider putting a man who admires such tactics into the Oval Office? I hope the American people remember those words when they cast their vote for president of the United States.

Alison Strickland, Seminole

Trump plan to defeat ISIS

Donald Trump is reluctant to reveal his plan to defeat ISIS because the terrorists would then know what to expect. In the past, he has spoken about denying ISIS revenues from oil. And he has spoken about the convoys of tanker trucks that ISIS uses to transport the oil to a port for sale on the world market. And Trump has noted that President Barack Obama restricts the number of air sorties against ISIS to less than a dozen a day even though the assets are in place to conduct hundreds of bombing runs per day.

One doesn't have to be a brilliant military strategist to figure out that a couple of days of strafing runs on the oil convoys will break the money chain that underwrites ISIS. I'm guessing that Trump's plan to defeat ISIS is that simple.

David Brown, Sun City Center

U.S. military gets results

Once again, Donald Trump has decided to disparage the U.S. military. In an effort to stoke fear, he indicates that the U.S. military has allowed ISIS to run free in the Middle East while standing by and doing nothing. This is a disservice to the military.

The U.S.-led coalition has been fighting ISIS for two years. It has conducted 14,838 strikes (11,442 by U.S. forces). The coalition has damaged or destroyed over 500 tanks and other vehicles, launched 1,600 strikes against the oil infrastructure to stem the flow of money, and provided close-air support to Iraqi, militia, Kurdish, free Syrian and other ground forces. This has resulted in ISIS losing large areas of ground as well as key cities such as Manjib, Jarablus and Azar, the last entry points for foreign fighters into the conflict.

America has not gone without losses, with 22 killed in the past two years, three in direct conflict with ISIS and 19 in non-hostile events, while ISIS has suffered casualties in the thousands.

Perhaps if Trump should become leader of this country, he will come to understand that a good military leader wins battles, but a great military leader not only wins battles but inflicts maximum casualties on the enemy with a minimum number of casualties of his own.

Dennis Schoch, Spring Hill

Fast and loose with 'local' | Sept. 4

Tasty revelations

Once again, Laura Reiley provides a useful culinary inquiry into the misuse of the "local" farm-to-table label.

Perhaps it is time to provide a term for her salty sleuthing. How about: "ingestigative journalism"?

Kevin Thompson, Tampa

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