Tom Jackson’s article “Climate professors and Rick Scott’s sphinxian agenda” is just another example of why deniers will never get it. Ask yourself: Why would the top scientists of this state put their reputations on the line if they didn’t believe it?
Jackson cites Professor John Cook as the debunker of the “97 percent of scientists nonsense.” The problem is that Cook has never cited his so-called sources and never will because that would prove he doesn’t have the sources he claims to have had. But Jackson uses Cook’s so-called research as the end all be all, for not only this article but also another article he wrote in May about the “97 percent.” Maybe the editor of this paper should check Jackson’s sources before printing him.
I just happen to pick up your paper while out for breakfast. I had stopped reading your paper years ago after reading similar nonsense. The problem is, if I don’t respond to this type of denier propaganda, then aren’t I really just another kind of denier?
Power and accountability
Kudos to Eric Newman for taking the time to acknowledge the efforts of our local community in trying to rescue Cigar City from the clutches of the FDA (“A proud day for Cigar City,” Views, Aug. 24). These efforts are extraordinary, and our community should be proud. But I do find it both interesting and disappointing that he would be reduced to thanking our elected officials, U.S. Reps. Kathy Castor and David Jolly, Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio and numerous other members of our government we are able to hold accountable. Does anyone know at what point in time our congressmen and senators were reduced to begging a federal government agency not to penalize members of a local community?
At one time in our history Congress would pass a law, and the government agency would oversee its implementation. Today it seems the FDA has been given legislative authority. We would be wise to remember the FDA consists of unelected and, therefore, unaccountable bureaucrats — bureaucrats who it would seem are able to pass laws leaving our elected representatives on their knees begging for exclusion. Why would Castor and the rest forfeit this authority? Does it make you wonder what other power our Congress may have relinquished?
In the case of Cigar City it is easy to gain the involvement and support of the Castors and Nelsons as the fate of 150 employees rest in the balance. But what would become of the small business, that little place downtown that we all enjoy but has only two or three employees? Can they expect the same level of assistance? Suppose the FDA or any government agency (there are those who would suggest the IRS has become too powerful) decided upon regulations that would have a dire effect on you or your family. Would you have recourse? How does the state of Florida respond to an attack on our local community? Does the Constitution not grant the state some level of sovereignty?
I would suggest it’s time that we as Americans neuter not only the FDA but every federal agency. This can only be done by wise choices in the election booth. Would Rubio vote to limit the authority of the federal bureaucracy? Would Nelson? Those are questions we need answered. It’s time for the power and the accountability to be returned to Congress.
Keith A. Poot
Deciding a course
The reason the Hillsborough County Commission has not shown leadership in the future improvement of public transportation as properly noted in a Tribune editorial on Sunday (“Time for leadership on transportation,” Our Views, Aug. 24) is because members are stuck with a major problem. They are being pressured by special interests to include light rail as one of the solutions. Yet they understand the cost of that option is so high that even with the huge intake from the proposed sales tax referendum, much more funding from state and federal sources is necessary to do light rail along with the needed road and bus improvements to benefit the entire county. But the commissioners know they face very long odds in obtaining that amount of extra government funding.
This means the County Commission has to decide between resisting the special interest pressure and play it fiscally safe by excluding light rail in favor of a more affordable plan of increased roads and buses. Or they can take a chance on trying to do it all with a price tag so high that it could scare off the voters on a referendum, and if it did pass, then dealing with calamitous risk of not being able to secure enough money to do it all.
Until the commission finally decides which course it will take, it will continue to dither along.
Stacy Snow Feiler
The rail question
Regarding “Time for leadership on transportation:”
We have leaders; where they are taking us is what should be in question. Your editorial overlooks an important piece of information: the A.E. Com study commissioned by the county in May. A.E. Com is a prestigious consulting firm with impeccable credentials. The study I refer to reveals there is no route for rail in Hillsborough County that comes close to qualifying for federal money.
Without federal money, we can’t do rail.
If we can’t do rail, then it begs the question: What will the county do with the $6.1 billion it proposes in new taxes?
I gave this information to one of your most experienced reporters. Why are you not reporting it?
Moreover, a few top leaders in the county saw the report in May, but most commissioners and the HART board were kept in the dark on this A.E. Com report until just recently. (To say it was not what those who first saw it wanted to hear is putting it mildly.)
This looks like a job for a good investigative reporter.
The writer is with Citizens Organized for $ound Transportation.