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Monday, Sep 01, 2014
Letters To The Editor

Letters to the editor: Poe set an example

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Poe set an example

Regarding “ ‘Visionary’ ex-mayor dies” (front page, May 3):

Those who opposed Bill Poe on the Community Investment Tax, of which the primary beneficiary was the Buccaneers, know in their heart he was correct. Too bad they do not have the courage to publicly admit it.

Poe was a moral individual who tried to do the right things for Tampa without gaining personal benefit.

Our current crop of politicians and supposed community leaders could learn a lot from how he conducted himself.

Dick Powers

Tampa

A win-win

The passing of the tax credit scholarship bill by the Florida Legislature on Friday is an amazing advancement to the school choice program.

By expanding the program, the legislation allows more parents to seek what is best for our children and give them one of the most valuable things we can leave them — a good education.

Many parents have been struggling to find options for their children, especially those in middle and high school.

Now they have hope and a clear vision of what their child can achieve with the Step Up for Students scholarship.

This is a win-win for all!

Linery Burgos

Tampa

Not buying it

Regarding “Garlands for a traitor” (Our Views, April 28):

I think most Americans will make up their own mind on whether Edward Snowden is a traitor. You, however, choose to support your position by parading before us the comments of two idiots, James Clapper and the U.K.’s Liam Fox. This is the same Clapper who had no problem blatantly lying to a House subcommittee about the NSA’s domestic spying activities in the first place. Of course, that was before he was caught in the lie by the Snowden revelations. You forgot to mention that little tidbit.

And are we now to give Clapper complete benefit of doubt as to the “most massive and most damaging” aspect that Clapper and the government keeps publicly propagandizing. Why should we believe it is as dire as they are telling us? But they’ll never have to give us specific examples or prove anything they are saying because they’ll always hide behind the veil of “national security.”

I just don’t buy into it anymore. The NSA collects signals and electronic intelligence. Our enemies, including terrorists, have known this for years. It’s nothing new.

So what did Snowden reveal? That U.S. intelligence is monitoring electronic activities? No. What his revelations disclosed is that the NSA’s antennae have been turned inward on its own people in a very pervasive way!

As for Liam Fox, I don’t know anything about him. But your editorial quotes him as saying, “We have actually seen chatter among specific terrorist groups. ....” Really. I thought Snowden’s revelations had compromised our ability to monitor those communications. I guess the terrorists haven’t gotten that memo, yet.

Stop underestimating our adversaries. With or without the Snowden revelations, we should never be content that we know all there is to know about our enemies’ bag of tricks. Their methods will constantly morph into other things, just as criminals do.

Our challenge — Snowden or no Snowden — will always be to morph along with them — but more ideally, to try to stay a step ahead of them.

Whether you think Snowden deserves any esteem or not, he is a young man who peeled the layer of secrecy off the massive government intrusion into our private lives.

And there exists no proper channel that would have penetrated the secrecy without years and years and years of stonewalling, if even then.

We need look no further back than the recent Washington scandals for proof positive of this reality.

Nobody can get answers from this government if the government doesn’t want us to know something.

It doesn’t really matter who’s asking the questions!

Robert Castro

Tampa

Sorry world

Regarding “A modest session to build upon (May 3):

Why didn’t your editorial include the stadium funding right next to your comment regarding child welfare issues?

What a sorry world we live in that makes it more important to help wealthy, for-profit sports team owners than innocent children in the welfare system.

How do those legislators justify that kind of thinking and newspapers not come down hard on them for doing so?

Margery Jakubek

Sebring

On the way up

Congratulations to The Tampa Tribune.

After giving the newspaper a makeover and enduring layoffs, the Tribune is one of two major Florida newspapers with an increased Monday-Friday daily circulation.

Just remember, it was the tortoise — not the hare — who won the race.

Indeed, the competition never ends. However, step by step the Tribune is inching its way up, and it’s not over till the fat lady sings.

Bravo! Keep up the good work.

JoAnn Lee Frank

Clearwater

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