The jobs we didn’t get
Gov. Rick Scott’s hypocrisy is obvious. He is spending a fortune trying to convince voters of his humble upbringing, his concern for the unemployed in Florida and the homeless. How many jobs did Scott cost Florida when he torpedoed the federal money for high-speed rail? Construction workers, service persons, new businesses, support and repair businesses — the list goes on and on.
Why would anyone believe him or vote for him? There are 50 governors in this country, and Scott has to be the worst. It would be senseless to give Scott any chance to hurt the good people of this state again.
Constitution and religion
Regarding “Obamacare’s attack on faith” (Our Views, April 1):
If the Tribune’s opinion writers had taken a quick look at the all-important “supremacy clause” in Article VI, perhaps the piece on the ACA vs. religious freedom wouldn’t have been so obtusely errant.
It is worth quoting: “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States ... shall be the supreme Law of the Land.” This was in large part a pointed reference to the new government’s supreme authority over religious usurpations since the 4th century, of which Madison and his compatriots were acutely aware. Article VI ends with the famous ban on any religious oath or test for any office or public trust under the United States, which powerfully punctuates the secular nature of our government.
The supremacy clause is also important because it delimits the prohibition against the free exercise of religious practice held forth in the First Amendment — any religious practice that involves a violation of a civil or criminal statute is excluded from this prohibition. In other words, the freedom to practice religion is not absolute. Santerians can’t go around cutting open chickens on the town square to read their entrails for advice. An ardent Christian Scientist can’t rely solely on prayer to heal his ailing child without running afoul of child welfare laws. Mormons so inclined can’t take more than one spouse, and a Baptist public school student can’t be allowed to yell out “Praise Jesus!” or “Hallelujah!” in the middle of classes.
The Tribune’s position implies an even more perilous implication. If some are serious about their faith to the extent that they absolutely refuse to become complicit in what they consider to be immoral acts, then why not allow them to refuse to hire people who think otherwise, or perhaps refuse to offer them the same business services as would be offered to those who shared their religious beliefs?
The Tribune claims that the administration “ignores the reality that individuals make corporate decisions,” but the Tribune ignores the reality those same individuals must make their decisions within the purview of the Constitution.
A first-class operation
On behalf of the Charles Fendig Book Club, I am writing to acknowledge the much-appreciated effort that the Charles J. Fendig Public Library staff in Tampa put forth for a meeting of our club March 13.
The book club had the unusual opportunity to interview two people who were featured in The New York Times best-seller,“The Girls of Atomic City, the Untold Story of the Women who Helped Win World War II” by Denise Kiernan.
Since these two elderly women were unable to travel from Oak Ridge, Tenn., our club could only interview them via Skype. It is because of the technical support provided by Taras Harrington and the staff support of Librarian Ann Delaney and Fendig Branch Manager Brian Mahoney that we were successful in conducting our interview from Tampa.
Staff such as Taras, Ann and Brian make Hillsborough County’s library system a first-class operation in not only meeting but exceeding our community’s needs and interests.
Thank you for the support that Hillsborough County government extends to our library facilities and library staff. They are worth their weight in gold!
Jacqueline Marie Dolphin
Trash early start time
I woke out of a sound sleep. It was a Saturday morning. I looked at my clock, and it was 5:45.
What woke me was the Waste Management trucks picking up our trash. Could you imagine a company having their customer service representatives calling customers at 6 a.m. on Saturdays?
Monday through Friday, starting at 6 a.m. is still extreme, but starting at 6 a.m. on a weekend is the epitome of terrible customer service.
I’ve learned some Hillsborough County officials signed a contract allowing this to happen. This contract needs amended immediately — or maybe the Saturday pickup can start in those county officials’ neighborhoods!
Is Microwave 101 next?
Regarding “Helping students navigate the wilderness” by Brett Burkey of Hernando (Letter of the Day, March 23): How can a 30-year veteran of the Florida public school system, a leading educator in his district and a trainer of teachers from Pensacola to Miami make such remarks? Would the writer next mandate the following topics and dumb down the education system some more? One-half credit course on cooking, microwave use and food preparation; one-half credit course on how to dress for the real world; one-half credit course on how to be honest, not lie and cheat in real life; and one-half credit course on drug and alcohol use, and responsibility. The list goes on and on.
Be real — no more mandates. A professional educator and trainer of teachers should know “personal finance” is taught in numerous math classes.
I am a retired educator with 48 years of experience, with a master’s degree in education administration.
The “complicated world of personal finance” is quite simple: If you can’t pay for it, don’t buy it.” This should be a basic rule in the home of these most talented students.
Don’t snow us, Steve
Regarding Steve Otto’s column on climate change (“I won’t be snowed on climate change,” Metro, April 2):
I was shocked and surprised to know he is an expert on climatology. I want to thank him for his keen insight on the future of our fragile planet. You see, I thought he was an expert on Cuban sandwiches and chili, never realizing he was a scientist as well.
I think he ought to stick to judging chili contests and comparing recipes for the best Cuban sandwiches in Tampa. Let’s leave the science stuff to the professionals.
Danielle A. Stutts