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Letters to the editor: Couldn't they improvise?
Couldn't they improvise? A vacation cruise ship loses power and has to be towed back into port, which required a few days of inconvenience for those on board. According to news reports, one should believe that they were totally helpless, requiring them to live in squalid, unsanitary conditions and nearly starving to death. Many of us are old enough to remember not having flush toilets; thus, to prevent a hundred-yard dash to the out building in the middle of the night, we used "chamber pots" — if we were wealthy enough to afford them — or the "pee can" if we were lower on the income scale. Covers were used to prevent odors after use during the night, and they were emptied in the morning. Food was available, and more was brought to the ship, along with water.A person will not starve or die of thirst within a few days, so I would think that decent people, with any ambition or sense, would have been able to maintain sanitary conditions for themselves, considering sea water was available all around the ship and could have been retrieved for sanitary purposes with something as simple as a bucket and a rope. Creature comfort was compromised, but not totally unbearable. After all, this was a vacation ship with chairs, lounges, etc., that could be brought out and used, too. Apparently, many of the people on that ship were incapable of thought processes that would have allowed them to improvise and show just how resilient thinking humans can be. James D. Blair Zephyrhills Butt out Time has come for The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the Emergency Committee for Israel, working on behalf of Israel, to butt out of our politics, specifically with Chuck Hagel's nomination. It's disgusting enough to realize that our Middle Eastern foreign policy is unduly influenced by Israel, but to have Israeli lobbyists and groups attempt to control our political nominations, not to mention our presidential election, based upon Israel's interests is beyond me. And it's time for our bought-and-paid-for congressmen to stop being influenced by foreign interests and do what's best for America. As former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said to Simon Peres on Oct. 3, 2001: "Don't worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and Americans know it." Hagel's confirmation hearings appear to confirm what Ariel Sharon said. George Ajoue Land O' Lakes Nuclear epidemic North Korean leaders know they could not win in a nuclear exchange with the United States; however, the larger threat is if they shared their knowledge and plutonium with another anti-American country as mentioned in Your Views' "Irrational North Korea" (Feb. 11). Nuclear proliferation is becoming an epidemic. Our defense leaders must make this a priority and come to final solutions, even if it does not suit other powers. We are the ones in the sights of this enemy, and the others only would give lip service as in 9/11 if we are attacked. John Mannone Tampa Lack of courtesy So President Obama wants the federal government to step in to help make sure voting is always easy and uses an elderly woman from North Miami as a not-too-subtle way to point to Florida as the place with the main problem. But is the cause of those delays every election from too little early voting opportunity? Pennsylvania has no early voting at all, yet we never hear of any issues there. And why is it in Florida that it's only those southeastern Democratically controlled counties that have lines so long that it's a concern that everyone will be able to cast their vote in time? And what are we to make of the effort of 102-year-old Desiline Victor to wait so long to get her ballot counted? Is that how a frail old woman is normally treated in that area? Did nobody either waiting before her or the poll workers there not have enough common sense or respect for the aged to let her get in the front of the line? Hopefully it was an anomaly, but I fear this lack of courtesy to a senior citizen is one more sign of a breakdown of the traditional values our society once held. Daniel Montanez Jr. Riverview Carrying weapons Regarding "Everyone on notice" (Your Views, Feb. 16): Most of the time when Arthur Hayhoe writes a letter, I laugh it off. However, the letter about the Pasco sheriff and guns takes the cake. Of course, all uninformed liberals don't want guns, and if they don't want them, they are free to not have them. We all must remember that an AR15 is not an assault rifle, and none of the shootings was done with one. If you are a gun owner and don't want a high-capacity magazine for your rifle or handgun, then don't have one. Trying to change the liberties of good Americans because of mentally off people is absurd. As a military veteran in Libya and other places, I know the effect of carrying a weapon, and I know that by carrying one, it offsets the problem of anyone trying to rob or kill me. It is no fun being shot at, and it is less fun to be shot at and not be able to shoot back. Remember that if all teachers, and/or school supervisors, were carrying a gun, there would not have been any school shootings, period. And if the movie theaters were not posted as "no guns allowed," and some moviegoers had concealed-carry weapons, there never would have been a movie theater shooting. John Lallemand Dade city