Letters To The Editor
Letters to the editor: No turning back
No turning back Well, the liberal element in this country has won. What they haven't won by legislation, they have won through the federal courts, including the all-important Supreme Court. Going back to Roe v. Wade, through Obamacare, and now the wiping away of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the court has removed any vestiges of religious or moral heritage that has defined this country for more than 200 years. There is no turning back now. Everything is fair game. The liberal court has once and for all decided how families will be delineated, how health care will be determined and how women will be the ultimate decision-makers on who will live and who will die. We have regressed beyond the Greeks and Romans back to the epoch of Sodom and Gomorrah. God help us in the days to come.Earl A. Myers Jr. TampaDeen's sin Paula Deen made a mistake. Not the one you think. Not the plaintive use of the N-word. Not the tearful pleas for forgiveness. Or the heartfelt asking of her business partners not to abandon her. None of these are Deen's sins. Paula's sin was to apologize. Hers also was one of bad theater. In the theater, we call it falling out of character; it is the kiss of death for a performer. For Paula to fall out of character is unforgivable. The brash, sassy, bottled blonde über hausfrau dared show us her soft underbelly, and like the good citizens of Rome, for her reward, we saluted her veracity by thrusting our sword. In America, as in ancient Rome, the people of great empires do not apologize - ever. We understand mistakes; we all make them. But to admit one is to show weakness of character. We might applaud an admission of guilt, but we do not respect it. Think not? Think back to what happened with Martha Stewart. Like Paula's, her sin was laid bare as well, but with one very important difference: She never apologized. True to herself and her brand, come heck or "hi, how are ya?", Martha suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous hubris only to squeeze chiffon out of the lemons handed to her by 12 angry customers. Can you say, "feng shui," in prisonese? She did - and we still love her for it. Paula 'fessed up. What the heck was she thinking? Deferring to her good Christian upbringing has proven as viable as it did for a certain carpenter's son 2,000-plus years prior. Now that she's felt the sting of the nails driven by Matt Lauer & Co., twice fallen on her own sword on YouTube and thrice denied by her biggest licensees, maybe she will take time to reflect and plan her resurrection. I hope so. The empire needs her kind. Who else is going to plug up our veins with such joie de vivre? J.C. Collier Lakeland Our most vulnerable Pro-abortion supporters' attempts to label pro-life activists as "anti-choice" would be laughable if it weren't so poignantly sad, given the irony of the immediate lack of choices that pro-abortion (or so-called "pro-choice") proponents strive to deny. For example, pro-life proponents not only fight for adoption as a life-saving choice, (which also provides a safe alternative for the mother to continue to pursue her life's ambitions), but for the assurance that our most basic and fundamental civil rights, including "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," will be protected, even for our society's most vulnerable. Nick Suszynski TampaDerelict in duties Pat Buchanan's column "The Pentagon's astonishing surrender to feminism" (Other Views, June 28) really hit the nail on the head. The short of it is that the Pentagon brass have cowed to the Obama administration by announcing plans to fully integrate woman into front-line and special-combat roles, including elite forces such as the Army Rangers and Navy SEALS. What rationale could possibly deem this move as improving the fighting effectiveness of these units or in any way lower the costs of supporting such units by adopting this inane policy? Buchanan's column mentioned that we don't even integrate any of our sporting events, from grade school to the pro level, for obvious reasons. The present administration in government has obviously pressured the military on this issue not because it is good for them (military effectiveness), but that it is good public relations, politically correct and a way to sooth a voter block (feminists). I find Pentagon brass derelict in their duties simply because they value their careers over the good of the soldiers and airmen they have been charged to protect. They have rolled over rather than doing the right thing. Paul Cotter TampaGambling on justice Sunday's Tribune gave a prominent spot to Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson's comments regarding a perception in some quarters that the United States has too many criminals behind bars ("The tragic success of mass incarceration," Views). He cited a figure of 2 million men being incarcerated. Despite using several hundred words, Gerson does not identify the real problem: Namely, our system of criminal justice has been corrupted by the public defenders and prosecutors. Some estimates show more than 90 percent of those charged with serious crimes are going to plead guilty to a lesser felony to avoid longer sentences and far higher legal fees. Over several decades we have wound up with a generation of prosecutors and judges who no longer attempt to rule on criminal cases based on their merits of evidence and real police work. The result? We now send men to prison in record numbers because they learn to make a calculation about their chances of winning in a system where they have no chance of prevailing apart from a plea bargain - which is no bargain at all to the accused, nor is this a good deal for our society. Jim Parker Lakeland
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