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Friday, Aug 22, 2014
Letters To The Editor

Letters to the editor: Tolerance missing in Phil Robertson debate

Published:

Tolerance needed

Craig James of Fox Sports and Phil Robertson of the A&E Network were both dismissed for merely giving an honest answer to a question about sexual ethics. Liberals are quick to point out that private companies have a great deal of leeway to hire and fire as they see fit. One wonders if they would be as quick to defend, say, a meat-packing company that fires a prominent employee for admitting publicly that he’d become convinced that becoming a vegetarian was the right thing to do.

In the past, the bar for illegal discrimination was set pretty high. It needed to be demonstrated that a particular group was systematically being denied employment, housing or education opportunities. Viewpoint discrimination (which is a close cousin to religious discrimination) appears to be a growing problem that at least deserves public discussion. Most of the entertainment/media industry is unabashed about its disdain for those with a biblical world view. More insidious and widespread, however, is viewpoint discrimination in academia. Punishing those we disagree with, or just pushing them aside, is hardly the path to a more tolerant society that most claim to desire.

Mike Carlson

Weeki Wachee

Answers wanted

Here are a few questions I would like to have Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater ask the regulators now that Florida homeowners’ insurance premiums are the highest in the country despite not having a hurricane since 2005: Where did the profits go from all the premiums for the past eight years? Although no one denies the insurance industry a reasonable profit margin, why hasn’t a goodly portion of those millions, if not billions, of dollars gone toward a reserve fund? I am a native Floridian, and I am seriously considering moving out of state because of this continuing rise in my premiums, which affects my mortgage payment. I imagine there are many who cannot afford to buy a home today because of insurance premiums inflating the mortgage payment. Why are the regulators seemingly rubber-stamping these increases?

Robert Bernardez

Brandon

Blame lawsuits

News from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners shows that the average premium for Florida homeowners is nearly twice the national average. With no major hurricanes for the past few years, homeowners are wondering why.

One answer is the rise of frivolous lawsuits. Every time a policyholder sues an insurance company claiming property damage, when in fact the damage was due to normal wear and tear or long-term exposure, that’s a likely fraud. Fraudulent lawsuits must be curbed, as the rise in lawsuits is paralleled by the rise in rates.

The idea that no one is hurt if you sue your insurance company — after all, you paid your premiums — is totally erroneous. In fact, everyone is hurt. Florida homeowners feel they have a built-in excuse — heavy rains, flooding, winds, etc., occur with regularity, so why not blame the climate for the wear and tear on the house, patio, lawn, roof and file a claim? If the insurance company balks, sue. A win or even a settlement could pay for new furniture, the garage conversion or an add-on to the house.

The truth is everyone pays when the premiums rise. With more and more frivolous lawsuits, they will continue to rise.

Jason Wolf, P.A.

Fort Lauderdale

Under-handed tactics

Were it not for the fact that the subject of the Florida State University student’s rape complaint is a prominent football star this would not have made the news. It is much like the charges against the Duke lacrosse team a few years ago that proved to be a hoax, and the claims years ago by a prominent New York activist alleging similar false charges. It is unfortunate that there are some people who are so wrapped up in sports that they use under-handed methods to harass a hero of the opposing team.

Henry W. Foster

Lakeland

Can’t buy love

When do you think our country will learn its lesson? How many years have we been giving money to Egypt, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries and they still hate us? Pakistan is blocking our departure from Afghanistan, which will cost us a billion dollars to have to fly the equipment out.

Enough already. We need to stop trying to buy their love and respect (or whatever you want to call it). They will never like us, no matter how much we give them or try to help them. We must stop giving them our money.

Remember what the Beatles said, “Money can’t buy me love.”

Cindy Conti

Apollo Beach

Rethink the circus

I sincerely believe everyone possesses at least some compassion for elephants, the big cats and the hardships each species must endure to survive in the wild. For the sake of kindness toward these creatures then, please do not patronize circuses featuring animal acts. As numerous studies have revealed in recent years, circus animals lead agonizing lives of physical and psychological abuse.

In 2014, start a new tradition in your family: only attend circuses without animal acts. Traditional circuses deny animals everything that is natural and important to them.

Tom Bird

Tampa

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