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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Today's Letters: Immigration bill is bad for common people
By LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published May 31, 2007
On immigration, bill is a good start May 24, editorial
I am sad to say that this editorial is very disappointing to one who has over many years thought that most editorials point out what is in the best interest of the "common" people! If the Times or anyone can point out what is wrong with this country's current immigration law, I am a ready listener. The truth is that those in charge of enforcing this law have overlooked and ignored the profuse illegal migration from Mexico for more than 20 years.
This bill is not a "good start" and will exacerbate the current horrendous situation. I vehemently take exception to the editorial's statement that "Republicans call this 'amnesty' which is not exactly true." Ballentine's Law Dictionary defines amnesty as "an act of the sovereign power granting oblivion, or a general pardon for a past offense." Using semantics is not going to make it any less in overlooking the "offense" of this migration. Of course to accept this definition one need acknowledge the illegality of millions of Mexican migrants now in this country.
I am an independent voter and agree with those Republicans opposing this law. This "comprehensive" bill is formatted with political posturing at its worst! Is it any wonder why most Americans are displeased with both Republican and Democratic members of Congress?
It would be nice for this "people's paper" to succinctly point out to its readers what this bill will do "to" the common workers in America. These workers are not going to get the point from the White House and Congress.
Russell Lee Johnson, St. Petersburg
Martinez at heart of debate on citizenship May 26, story
In this article about Sen. Martinez's involvement in the immigration reform bill, he says he receives a lot of mail from his constituents who are opposed to the bill, and as he travels the state he comes face to face with people who support it. I would like to know how many are opposed and how many are for this bad piece of legislation.
What I do know is that in poll after poll, the majority of Americans are against amnesty for people who broke the law when they entered America. They also want illegal immigration stopped at the border, and legal immigration cut back as well. I have expressed my sentiments in many letters to Sen. Martinez and he has not even had the courtesy to respond.
In your article, he tries to justify his pro-illegal immigration position, and is quoted as saying, "I don't pay a lot of attention. It's so clear what I need to do for the nation, for the state, for my party. I don't feel torn inside about what I am doing." What arrogance!
Anyone who thinks it is good for America to allow 12-million to 20-million mostly uneducated people who don't respect our laws to stay here should think seriously about what it will cost American taxpayers and why certain legislators are supporting this bill. For Martinez and the Republicans it is their love of big business, which wants the cheap labor; for the Democrats it's because traditionally these new Americans will vote Democratic.
I hope those who voted for Martinez will remember his arrogance and role in rewarding lawbreakers and the raising of taxes that is sure to follow if this legislation passes, and vote accordingly.
Sharon Lam, Hudson
Even military pay is a partisan proposition May 27, David Broder column
GOP support for troops is questionable
Once again the hypocrisy of the Bush administration is on display for all to see. The members of administration ridicule the Democratic Party for "not supporting the troops" when they want benchmarks in the war to see if the Bush strategy of a "new way forward" is working (after all of Bush's other ideas have failed in Iraq).
The reality is, it is the Republican Party that does not support the troops. Tax cuts for the ultrawealthy are fine, but a little extra money for people who are risking their lives to support the Bush Iraq war is not acceptable. I keep wondering when America will stop watching American Idol long enough to care about our service people.
Jeffrey W. Kenney, Seminole
Can he judge fairly?
The selection of Gen. David Petraeus to report progress in Iraq is a conflict of interest. Namely, Gen. Petraeus reports to and is beholden to President Bush - his boss - and he will be reporting on his own progress.
A status report by a British general or a retired American general - neutral third parties - would have more credibility.
Harold Stelliing, Crystal River
Failed war plans
As we near the end of another month of the Iraq war and as the casualties continue to mount, President Bush is still trying to sell his failed war plans by repeating that it's better to fight them over there. What he fails to see is that we're fighting them over there, but too many funerals are held over here, along with the need to rehabilitate the injured troops.
He claims the installment plan on war funds won't work. Well he had unlimited funds for more than four years and most of his plans failed. The casualties rise and the national debt grows. The ink gets redder and the blood flows deeper.
He should ask: Are the Iraqi people better off now than before the war? Are we better off? Was it worth it? Bush will never convince me.
Dominic Grillo, Dunedin
Coal-state lawmakers seek "alternative fuel" breaks May 29, story
Big Oil and Big Agrobusiness have long fed at the trough of subsidized public largess, and now Big Coal wants to join the party. My goodness, if cheaply granted "mineral rights" were not already enough to make coal company owners rich, Congress is now considering artificially high prices and guaranteed loans to further sweeten the pot.
When a private industry vital to the national security cannot make enough profit (and when is enough ever enough?) maybe we should consider nationalizing that industry instead of subsidizing it with our tax dollars. After all, the natural resources that lie under the ground of this nation belong to the people of this nation, not to the politicians to give away to cronies and campaign contributors.
Fred Jacobsen, Apollo Beach
Enough already. We've had months of stories and pictures of Steve Stanton with his hands in their posed "prayer" position. Would we be reading for this long about any other person who lost a job for other unusual circumstances and was seeking a new one? No. Enough!
And stop calling him a "she." He is not a she because he dresses in women's clothes and puts on makeup. If I put my husband's clothes on and paint stubble on my face, I am not a man. I am still a woman. Your own words from Tuesday's paper say: "She has since applied for a legal name change, but gender reassignment surgery is at least a year away. None of this has happened yet! And everyone is referring to him as a "she." Get a grip. This is a story that does not belong in the newspaper day after day.
N. Gallo, Holiday
Will he save the world? May 29, Floridian story
A heartening story
I graduated from high school in 1967 during the "summer of love" with some of the same ideals as Steve White. If someone had told me then that the world would be in such a dismal state 40 years later, I would not have believed him. I now adhere to Lily Tomlin's line: "No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up."
It is heartening to know, however, that energetic, smart young people like Steve still exist and are focused on a meaningful life. Why the news media do not focus more on these achievers rather than meaningless people like Paris Hilton will always be a mystery. Godspeed, Steve.