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    Letters to the Editors

    We shouldn't make change for change's sake

    © St. Petersburg Times, published October 30, 2000

    I know I'm not alone in saying that I resent our governor on national TV alongside his brother constantly vowing that he will "deliver the state" to him on Nov. 7. Perhaps our governor needs to wake up and realize that he is not a postman. Many Republicans like myself will be crossing the party line and casting our votes for Vice President Gore.

    Over the past eight years, our economy has developed into the strongest in world history, schools and teachers are better, crime has gone consistently down, and the unemployment rate is virtually non-existent. All Gov. George Bush of Texas can say over and over is that we need "change." For goodness' sake, why? Just because you don't like the party that currently occupies the White House? Get past the barbs and look at the record. It seems that they've done a pretty good job of fulfilling many of their campaign promises and moving the country ahead.

    I'm sorry, but change for change's sake is not a good enough reason for me to blindly stick with my party on a choice as important as this one. Stamp me "undeliverable."
    -- Joe Douglas, Clearwater

    President should respect life

    Re: George W. shows quite a callous side when he talks about death, by Martin Dyckman, Oct. 22.

    Praise the Lord! Finally! Someone has brought out in print the smirking and callousness of George W. Bush when he talked about putting people to death. The taking of life (regardless of whose life is taken) cannot be treated with a complete lack of sensitivity or respect for life itself.

    This is the man some people would put in the position of being able to send our boys into life-threatening situations if he should become president. Anyone who talks and acts with such total disregard would care little for the loss of American lives. His disdain for life was sickening and frightened me. I taped that debate and have watched that part several times, hoping someone would note it in print.

    Thank you, Mr. Dyckman. Perhaps voters will think about this when they get to the ballot box on Nov. 7.
    -- Anita de Palma, Clearwater

    Capricious justice

    Re: The truth about the death penalty, by Martin Dyckman, Oct. 16.

    That quote from the professor of law about serendipity and the reversal of death sentences was beautifully accurate. I've always known that and some other things that are in the same vein about the American criminal justice system: It's arbitrary, capricious and whimsical, despite the lip-service given to the public by self-serving professional politicians.

    Martin Dyckman for governor!
    -- Shane Hunter, St. Petersburg

    Why can't mothers campaign?

    I realize that your paper is prejudiced against Republicans. However, the cartoon about Barbara Bush was offensive to me. Barbara Bush is loved and respected by millions of people.

    I see no harm in her campaigning for her son. If wives can campaign, why can't mothers? The cartoon was in poor taste, to say the least.
    -- Dorothy M. Peasley, Clearwater

    Don't buy this freebie

    The presidential candidates are still bickering over a prescription drug plan for senior citizens. Al Gore is promising an expanded Medicare program that would pay for prescription drugs.

    But over 65 percent of seniors already have insurance for outpatient prescription medicines. Many others would enroll in a private insurance program that would cover medicines with a nominal co-payment. Under a George W. Bush plan, those who are truly destitute and cannot get insurance would be provided for.

    Gore's big-government plan would cost billions and place a gigantic burden on future generations in order to subsidize today's elderly. Senior citizens have had a lifetime to save some money and prepare for their old age. Let's get a better example of responsibility for our children and grandchildren.

    Please, folks, don't vote for Al Gore because he offers you another freebie. Believe me, it isn't free.
    -- Peter W. Jasin, Tarpon Springs

    No logic in restricting choice

    I am constantly amazed at the fact that any woman would consider voting for George W. Bush. He has embraced the Republican anti-choice platform and has stated his intent to appoint Supreme Court justices in the mold of Roe vs. Wade opponents Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

    There is no logic in restricting a woman's right to choose when this country cannot adequately serve the abandoned children currently in the custody of the state. The problem of unwanted pregnancies is pressing as is, and an anti-choice agenda would only lead to more abuse and neglect.

    I find it ironic that the alleged proponent of small, less-intrusive government supports state interference in the most personal decision any woman can make.
    -- Diane Chamberlain, Tampa

    Making promises they can't keep

    I wonder why the press or the news analysts don't seem to notice that the presidential candidates are making promises they can't possibly keep. I may be wrong, but aren't the things they promise to do if elected actually the work of the Congress, not the president? If I remember my high school civics lessons, other than signing or vetoing a bill after it was passed by both houses of Congress, the president, on his own, can neither make, change nor undo our laws, nor, in most cases, can he allocate money. Can a president really give teachers a raise in pay, or change, add to or subtract from Medicare and Social Security laws?

    To hear the two candidates speak, one would think our laws were passed by presidential decree and, if elected, they would single-handedly take care of all the national problems. Perhaps we should pay more attention to what our congressional representatives and senators are doing (or, in most cases, not doing) and spend less time listening to those two "special-interest puppets" rant and rave about what they are going to do, knowing full well that they can't even if they really wanted to and were sincere about trying.

    Surely, we should have a better choice!
    -- Charles T. Cyphert, Hudson

    Only Congress can make changes

    When I read the article in this morning's paper about the phone calls the Democratic Party is making to senior citizens concerning Social Security, I said, "Oh boy, here we go again!"

    When are the people of not only this state, but the entire country, going to realize that neither one of the presidential candidates can touch Social Security. They have nothing to do with it! They can send their thoughts and recommendations to Congress about Social Security, but the president can not touch it. Congress is the only division of the Federal Government that can make changes in any legislation.

    For either party to suggest that the other candidate can alter it in anyway is a downright lie.

    The Constitution of this country is very specific about this. The Congress is the division of government that makes the laws and can change or alter them -- not the president.

    This reprehensible tactic of deliberately frightening the senior citizen is a ploy of people that are desperate to remain in power and to continue their swilling at the public tax dollar trough. They are demeaning the intelligence of the senior citizens, who as a whole are very smart and can see through all the smiles, handshakes, kissing of babies, lies and other misleading rhetoric that spews out of the politicians' mouths.
    -- Mary Baker, R.N., St. Petersburg

    We need tax reform, not cuts

    Re: Group says some large companies paid no tax, Oct 21.

    Amazing, Gov. George Bush promises a tax cut for everybody, no matter how rich you are. If you are a low-income wage earner or poor and pay little or no taxes, you will get no benefits from Bush's tax cut. But the richer you are, the bigger your tax cut will be.

    If Gov. Bush wishes to get elected, he better think this one over. While he is at it, he might also want to think about the fact that there is a cap on the amount of income for which a person pays Social Security and Medicare taxes. That is, when you make more money -- over a certain amount -- you do not have to pay social security and medicare taxes. This should not be.

    Also, he might want to think about the fact that some multi-billion dollar corporations such as Texaco, Goodyear and Colgate-Palmolive did not have to pay any corporate income taxes in 1996, 1997 and 1998. This also should not be.

    If Gov. Bush wants my vote, even if I were rich, he would need to talk about tax reform, not tax cuts.
    -- V. Paradis, Seminole

    A question of location

    During the recent presidential debates and in many of his public appearances, George W. Bush has tried to slam Al Gore by saying he and his ideas are from Washington. What I would like to know is if George W. is elected, where does he think he will be working?
    -- Pat Brady, Treasure Island

    Culture of death vs. culture of life

    For those people who are confused by contradictory ads on TV and can't keep up with all the printed news, I have compiled the following to make it easy. If you have even a slight clue that something is amiss in our country, this will make it clearer to you.

    I ask you to discern which presidential candidate supports the following organizations: Planned Parenthood, National Education Association, American Civil Liberties Union, National Organization for Women, National Abortion Rights Action League, much of the media, and Playboy magazine, which has funded some of these organizations. These are all birds of a feather.

    ... or does your presidential candidate support these: American Life League, Concerned Women of America, American Center for Law and Justice, National Right to Life Committee, Alliance Defense Fund, the Rutherford Institute, Eagle Forum? These are all birds of a feather.

    It all comes down to the culture of death versus the culture of life. It's that simple. We either trust in divine providence to lead us into a deepening of the culture of life at this historic time, or we don't.
    -- Bernice-Margaret A. Grum, Dunedin

    Intimidation reaction

    The other night, someone destroyed my Bush/Cheney sign on my front lawn as well as many others in Shore Acres.

    Are the Democrats doing so poorly that they are intimidated by a Republican sign?
    -- B.E. Shorey, St. Petersburg

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