An overdue response
Regarding “Veterans court sends wrong message to public about vets” (Views, Sept. 15) by Erik Anthes:
Regardless of the practices and policies of the military services from whence they came, each of these combat veterans will carry a “package,” and that baggage will become a burden when they return to a society whose everyday lives do not involve death and mayhem. I read an awful lot of “I’s” in the article but very few “we’s.” Perhaps young Anthes should take into account the multitude of considerations, incentives and programs afforded to the average person coming before the courts. This is not about giving the veteran special consideration; it’s about leveling the playing field.
I, too, am a combat veteran, and I, too, have behaved within the law for all of my 66 years. And I lived with the aftermath of Vietnam, something Anthes has only read about in his history classes. I also continued to give with a life’s work as a law enforcement officer — so what? I don’t expect any special considerations, but everything I have accomplished in my life should be good for something. It’s a measure of character we are talking here. Perhaps when Anthes returns to civilian life he will then recognize the imperfections and scars every veteran carries.
It’s not the wrong message, Mr. Anthes — it’s the overdue and long-awaited response to a major crisis in our society and one that must be abated swiftly and yet with compassionate understanding for those who served. Thank you for your service.
Joseph D. Sprowls
New Port Richey
Tax exemption on line
“The pulpit should be free of politics” (Views, Sept. 15) states that the ban on politics in the pulpit ought to be enforced more aggressively. In the coming weeks, this ban will be tested as U. S. Catholic Bishops are planning for priests to use their Sunday sermons to push for passage of a version of the Senate Bill 744 in the U. S. House of Representatives. This bill would give legal status to 11 million illegal immigrants, double the number of guest workers in the country, and double the inflow of immigrants to 46 million by 2033.
Catholic voters should resist the political pressure from their bishops. If the bishops put illegal immigrants ahead of vulnerable American workers, then they should suffer the consequences of losing their tax-exempt status, which is worth millions of dollars. I am a practicing Catholic, and if I hear one word about amnesty from the pulpit, I will immediately contact the IRS.
The Trib has gone over the top again! I am amazed that one of your reporters can consume a page and a half of print and basically supply no information on a topic as important as Obamacare as you did on Sunday. Ironically, reporter Mary Shedden canned the summary of all her work in the second line of the second paragraph of the first story: “ ... but with a lack of straight talk regarding the nation’s new health care law.” And then she proceeded to pen a bunch of the concerns that citizens have without answering a single one of their questions. Seems it is much easier for her to just repeat the rhetoric (smoke and mirrors) that has thus far been put out by the Trib. Free health care is not free. Unfortunately, we will all soon see that.
I have had a season parking pass forever and always entered Lot 8 going north on Himes Avenue as instructed by the Tampa Sports Authority Web page. On Sunday, Lot 8 entrance was blocked, and there was no way to enter from the south without jumping the median and making a U-turn and then going in the entrance to Lot 10. There was no one giving directions. It was bad enough when the Bucs/sports authority last year backed up traffic at the lot entrance selling parking for cash.
Parking and security lines will affect whether I renew my 30-year season tickets. I know the excuse for the security lines — it is required by the NFL. That’s baloney. Hire more help and make more gates. I have been in business for 60 years and do not treat customers that way.