When the military brass spearheading our imperialistic drive to conquer the world are asked about civilian casualties connected with any planned aggressive activity, they always discount the anticipated human slaughter as so much "collateral damage."
Both Generals Allen and Petraeus were exposed as human beings because of a cat fight between two female social climbers. I wonder how they feel about collateral damage now.
In a 1997 letter to President Clinton concerning the railroading of U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Kelly Flinn for adultery, I placed the personal peccadilloes of military and political leaders in what I felt then and I feel now is the proper perspective: "She is among life's unfortunate minority who get caught breaking rules, and she should be punished. But if adultery and lying removed warriors from combat and politicians from government, who would fight our wars? Who would start them?"
Interestingly, the response from Air Force Lt. Col. Marcia Rossi stipulated: "The allegations that weighed most heavily against Ms. Flinn were those of disobeying the order of her commander and dishonesty by making false statements to Air Force authorities, rather than the allegation of adultery."
Almost the same legal justification for sending Martha Stewart to jail.
Nix Electoral College
There was a letter in the Tampa Tribune Nov. 13 from Bob Furtek about the Electoral College ("Time for a change," Your Views). Bob did not go far enough. The Electoral College should be done away with completely. Let the people elect the president, not the states.
Isn't this supposed to be about one person, one vote? No state, or states, should be able to swing the election one way or the other. If the president truly represents the people of this country, then why can't the people of this country elect the president by their individual vote? Why do the states have to get involved? What good did the individual votes serve?
The people of Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska and Kansas, etc. — you get my meaning here — and most states must feel as though they are left out. The people should have the only vote and be able to say who runs or ruins their lives, not the Electoral College.
What an enormous farce it is. We still have so far to go.
Stop blaming Scott
Many letters have been written about how Gov. Rick Scott should have extended the voting hours and how it was all a plot to keep Democrats from voting. I find it both sad and amusing. We had eight days to vote, including two Saturdays and one Sunday. The people in line on Election Day would have been there had we had 10 or 12 days.
Part of the problem was the long ballot, and another part, I am sure, was poorly set-up polling sites. We knew months in advance the number of days we had to vote. We knew when the polls opened, and we knew when they were going to close. No one — and I mean no one — works 18 hours a day for seven straight days and has a boss who will not let them either come in late or get off early to vote one of those seven days prior to Election Day. Then there is Election Day.
Stop blaming Scott because people failed to plan their time wisely. What would you have him do? Leave the polls open 24 hours a day so if someone gets the urge to vote they could stroll down and cast their ballot? Or maybe you want the polls open 24 hours a day so it gives you more time to bus your voters from poll to poll?
There have been a number of emails detailing the salaries of major help organizations and the salaries of the CEOs of these organizations. It is unfair to these charitable groups if false information is being disseminated. It will hurt those who truly need help.
Among the major organizations being spotlighted is The American Red Cross, United Way and UNICEF. I don't know about you, but I want to make sure that my contributions to those in need are being passed on prudently. I understand organizations have expenses, for which they should be compensated. But when I hear CEOs are receiving salaries in the neighborhood of a million dollars, plus expenses, which in one case includes a Rolls Royce, I just want to know where my money is going.
In December 1952, when I boarded a troop ship headed for Korea, I was so grateful to the Red Cross for the cup of coffee at the loading pier and for the presents they put on board because we would be in the middle of the Pacific Ocean on Christmas Day. I never forgot those wonderful people.
What part of the dollar I am contributing is actually going to those in need?