Today's Letters: Leaders seem clueless about the public's anger

Published July 29, 2007

Taxes and insurance 

Leaders seem clueless about the public's anger 

I really wonder if any of our elected officials ever read the letters to the editors of the local papers. I do not believe that any of them have any idea of the level of anger that exists among homeowners out here.

You recently ran a story concerning the property tax decrease and how it will affect local communities. One thing that I believe everyone may have garnered from the story was that the property taxes nearly doubled between 2002 and 2007. This was, of course, due to the increase in property values,

I wonder how many of your readers have had their income double in that time period. Mine has not. I'm retired and whatever increase we get from Social Security, Medicare steps in and takes it back.

So if we have to live on what we were making four years ago, why can't our local governments? Maybe it's because for these years past, they were living in a windfall world, where they got mega-buck revenue increases without having to pass any tax increases.

I do not know of any friends, neighbors or family who have had a homeowners insurance decrease, despite the back-slapping by the legislators who "fixed" the problem. So is it any wonder that we are now faced with school closings for lack of student enrollment, and moving companies are reporting that they are moving more people out of Florida than they are moving in?

A lot of people may be surprised when all these angry people show up at the polls for the next election.

Donald Kennedy, Largo

We're all renters

This is the "land of the free and home of the brave," but if you are brave enough to invest in a few square feet of the land, watch out for the tax collector. He stands ready to snatch it from you if you don't pay up, even though Amendment 5 of the U.S. Constitution says " ... nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." Not paying taxes, even at today's rates, hardly qualifies as receiving "just compensation."

Apparently no one "owns" any property. "Buying" it just buys the privilege of renting. Don't pay the annual rent, called "taxes," and the property will be seized and put up for auction, which may or may not realize something for the one mistakenly called the former "owner."

Sydney K. Potter, Tampa

Time to harness the sun July 22, editorial

Take a sunnier view

I work with a solar power company as an independent consultant. This editorial may tend to discourage the less informed as to the viability of this vitally important technology. Your paper must restate your commitment and support of solar technology and educate the public about solar energy as a near-term goal.

You wrote: "Other countries are moving ahead in solar research, and it would be a mistake for the United States to relinquish the lead."

I have been studying solar power for more than 10 years. During that time, I have never seen the United States take a position that would make us a leader in this field. The president and Congress seem more intent on placing a human footprint on Mars than adequately funding NASA to research solar as a priority.

Think positive.

Jack Bechtold, New Port Richey

To win, Dems must fight July 22, Robyn Blumner column

Elitist attitude

Finally we read in the Times what I suspected was the paper's true feeling all along: that we the people are emotional boobs, incapable of rational thought when electing our leaders. What a churlish world view: The people don't agree with me, so they must be idiots.

People didn't vote for Michael Dukakis because he allowed a convicted murderer out on a weekend furlough. The murderer didn't return and wound up raping a woman and assaulting her fiance. Al Gore didn't counter George Bush's accusations because they were true and because he simply wasn't a leader. He needed an adviser to teach him how to be an "alpha male."

So despite the clear and convincing facts, the Times seems to prefer its own Colbertian truthiness that the people are just not analytical enough. In my opinion, it is the hypocrisy of the Democratic leadership that turns voters off, and this article lays it out for everyone to see. Voters are too stupid to know what's in their own best interest so sit back and let us tell you what you think!

Bob Lowe, Clearwater

Microchips for people raise fear and hopes July 22, story

Chipping at freedoms

This article paints a frightening picture for the future of all Americans. It states that some people feel this high-tech electronic tag implanted under the skin will provide us with increased security, consumer conveniences and improved personal identification.

In reality, the microchip will invade your privacy and allow the government to access your personal medical and financial information. It will consume many of the liberties that most of us take for granted. Your freedom to hold a job, collect Social Security, travel by air, conduct personal banking, and even shop for food would all be compromised. The article also indicates that the technology to pinpoint a person's exact location 24/7 does not yet exist. If it doesn't, it's only a matter of time before the government will be able to track your every move.

Americans need to become aware of the storm that's brewing on the horizon. Implanting microchips into humans will not make us more secure. It will give government the ability to take away our freedom.

Philip Ambrozy, Tampa

Opening up on FAMU July 22, Bill Maxwell's talk with Castell Bryant

Fixing FAMU

A common tactic to deflect accusations such as inefficiency, cronyism, nepotism and the like is to redirect criticism back to the one voicing the criticism, saying, for example, "She was abrasive."

I believe such was the case in the comments criticizing FAMU's former interim president Castell Bryant as she methodically and perceptively sought to untangle the gargantuan mess that has dragged that university down to its current level.

Sadly, I have seen this played out in other, albeit smaller, institutions. For FAMU's sake, I hope the incoming president, James Ammons, will proceed with the same tenacity to bring about the changes necessary to make FAMU a "viable institution" among Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Jeanne Cohen, Tampa

The attack experts July 22, story

Buried in mud

Thanks to Lucy Morgan for exposing three white guys who get rich off attack ads and Dr. Paige Kreegel who fought back and won his election .

These ads are a cancer on our democracy. They discourage good people from seeking office and anger voters who must fight their way through the lies and half-truths. We need to work for transparency in campaigns, not this mudslinging.

Marilyn Hafling, Madeira Beach