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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: Government abuses power in Bonds case
Letters to the Editor
Published November 18, 2007
Bonds is indicted in steroid inquiry Nov. 16, story
Let me start by saying I like watching great performances of any kind: Tiger Woods dismantling the best golf courses ever designed, Lance Armstrong's seven consecutive Tour de France victories, Dan Jansen finally getting Olympic gold. Spectators watch to see what might happen next. Enhanced performances are what we want to see.
Barry Bonds is no more than a product of his environment. Had he played in another era, his accomplishments still would have occurred. But because he plays in this modern environment, we watch his accomplishments and then dig through his closet to question how he does it. There won't be many players left standing if we remove all the athletes from all the fields who have ever taken anything to help enhance their performance.
A grand jury inquiry, congressional involvement, a federal indictment: That is a whole lot of resources committed to what isn't even really a problem. We are so blinded by the sensationalism of the headline that no one cares about the abusive authority of our government into issues that are none of its business.
Barry Bonds lied to us? As though anybody alive tells the truth exclusively. Spare us the outrage. Our government should indict most of those in its own halls if lying is an issue.
Enhanced performance is the reason athletes do what they do. It is also the reason people to watch. Who exactly is the victim in this crime?
Jason LaCroix, St. Petersburg
Power to the voters
The constitutional amendment sought by Florida Hometown Democracy illustrates the frustration voters feel about all levels of government. The simple truth is that we don't trust our leaders. Because of this, you will see more and more citizen initiatives that will take power away from government and return it to the voter.
It is easy to understand why we feel we must take back the reins of power. The very nature of the election process is corrupt. The costs of running for office are outrageous, so anyone who wants to run must have donations from sources who are buying support. The higher the office, the more it costs and the more corrupt the process. Does anyone believe that large corporations donate millions and expect nothing in return? The fact is that our political system is for sale to the highest bidder.
I am not sure if I support the amendment sought by Florida Hometown Democracy. But I do favor taking power from our government and giving it back to the voter.
Ronnie H. Holt, New Port Richey
Congratulations to congressman Bill YoungNov. 11, advertisement on Page 5B
Boot the bigspenders
The full-page ad from Max P. Linn, president of Florida's Citizens for Term Limits, speaks out forcefully on a subject dear to me: spending habits of all the Washington, D.C., elected officials.
The voters rejected the spenders of the Republican Party in the last election and brought in the same kind of spending - pork and otherwise - plunging us taxpayers further in debt.
Isn't it time we threw them out - all Republicans and Democrats - and elected an independent with business experience and dedication to a balanced budget and reducing the national debt? We need a big change from the "just-spending-to-be-re-elected."
Let's go independent! And stop this line of "we are the richest country in the world" when, in fact, we are the biggest debtor.
Donald W. Fridell, Ocala
Fla. college leaders score high on payNov. 13
One word should say it all - "obscene"! What greedy educators we have, and somebody doesn't care how they spend taxpayers' money.
R. Biggers, Clearwater
To everyone at the St. Petersburg Times, thank you. We just returned from our annual pilgrimage to the Dali museum. We always look forward to reading the Times while we're in town. The Hampton Inn downtown "comps" you a copy every morning, and what a great way to start and plan your day.
It's just a top-notch publication, from reporting, writing, photos and editing down to the layout and design. I'm in the newspaper business and envy your abilities.
Robert Trapp, Espanola, N.M.
Letting down veterans Nov. 11
Vets deserve help
Bill Maxwell's column needs to go to every lawmaker in the country. Maxwell is so right. We have let down our veterans for many years, and yet due to their loyalty to their country, Americans continue to serve when they are called. It's also strange that the lawmakers who send them to war are the same people who refuse to give them the medical help they need and deserve.
When do we repay our veterans for their sacrifice? Would America still be free if they had not served when they were called? What is our freedom worth, anyway?
I believe that if all our lawmakers served at a soup kitchen for a few weeks, they would soon learn that those who gave so much now often have the least of all.
As Maxwell stated, we need to inundate lawmakers with our letters until they get so tired of hearing from us that they give all veterans and their families full medical coverage.
Fran Glaros-Sharp, Clearwater
Name tainted, pension secure Nov. 15, story
An unlikely pawn
The Thursday article about Pinellas County Property Appraiser Jim Smith's "tainted name" quoted him as saying, "I was a pawn in this whole thing."
I confess I never learned to play chess, but I always thought of a pawn as being a rather insignificant player on the board, maybe one that is sacrificed for better objectives. Who was sacrificed in this fiasco?
Wilmer LaBrant, Largo
Dollars down the drain
Another waste of taxpayers' money. Why can't Major League Baseball police themselves? Does anyone care that Barry Bonds took steroids? I don't think this should be our national issue. No wonder our government is so screwed up.
We have other issues to be dealing with like national health care, wind storm damage, high gas prices or the war in Iraq, which is costing us billions of dollars.
Let Major League Baseball be in charge of this and stop wasting taxpayers' dollars.