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Thursday, Jun 21, 2018
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Letters to the editor: Return to courtesy

Return to courtesy needed

In response to “Shot for being rude?” (Your Views, Jan. 30), it seems the Trib is acting like a jackass with blinders on. The Trib and the writer are missing the point of why this tragedy occurred. It is blatant rudeness and disrespect for other people in public places.

Yes, this is no excuse to shoot someone. But what Sandra Lowe (“Movie missiles and rudeness,” Your Views, Jan. 27) wrote was correct in that the theater did nothing to prevent this. And why are people nowadays using cellphones everywhere, carrying on loud conversations and texting without regard to anyone else in a public place? This is the problem of people today and of establishments that have no basic guidelines except for wearing shirts or shoes.

Why did the gentleman start throwing popcorn? This may come out at the trial, but the point is establishments need to get control like it used to be with ushers who in the past would tell you twice and the third time you were told to leave the theater. Basic courtesy needs to return to public places and needs to start with parents, schools, people in general, and business owners.

Stephen Burchett


Motivation questioned

Regarding “Confrontational tone reflects lower ambitions” (Nation & World, Jan. 29):

I thought articles in the news section of The Tampa Tribune were supposed to be news and that opinion was confined to the editorial pages. That’s why it was so surprising to find Scott Wilson’s “analysis” of the State of the Union Address anywhere other than the Views section.

Wilson, of The Washington Post, writes, “The more executive-style presidency scores high with the public after years of political deadlock in Washington.” If he’s pointing to people who were actually asked their opinion, then the results of the two polls I’ve seen on this specific question are diametrically opposed to his conclusion

After the State of the Union, a Rasmussen poll found that 69 percent of likely voters believe the president should work with Congress, while only 27 percent believe the president should go around Congress. A CNN snap poll conducted among those who watched it found similar results: 67 percent said they wanted Obama to compromise with Congress, while just 30 percent said they preferred for him to act on his own. And CNN oversampled Democrats by 19 points!

Wilson’s obvious error leaves one to wonder what his motivation was for such sloppy “reporting.”A few possibilities that come to mind are: He thought he was writing an opinion piece so research was unnecessary. He was too lazy to do any meaningful research and chose to report his opinion of what the “facts” should be as if they were actually “news.” He was writing historically about the president’s first State of the Union speech.

Shame on him for his careless work and shame on the Tribune for not having better quality control for guest “reporters” on its pages.

Terry Kemple


Minimum wage panacea

When I graduated with my shiny new engineering degree I was ecstatic to receive an offer of $400 per month. I thought if I ever could make $10,000 a year I would be rich beyond my wildest dreams. Now $10,000 a year falls below the poverty line. Then, 75 cents an hour was minimum wage. Now the minimum is 10 times that amount, yet we still have poverty in this country. If $10.10 per hour will solve the problem, let’s make it $15.15 or $20.20, and everyone will be rich. With the simple stroke of a pen we can eliminate poverty.

Why doesn’t this work? Simply raising the cost of labor does not create more efficiencies in the conduct of business. Therefore, the price of the products must be raised to provide the money needed to pay the new wages.

Forcing government contractors to pay more for labor will cause an increase in the price charged to the government. Where does the government get the money to pay the increased cost? The government raises your taxes. As Walt Kelly’s Pogo might have said, “We has met the payer, and he is us.”

Talk about raising the minimum wage as a panacea makes good politics but is terrible for businesses and increases taxes. It defies all common sense.

James P. Whitaker


United States slipping

The Jan. 27 Nation & World section had one article on the food stamp explosion in America (doubled use in the past five years) and another on the Democratic push for a minimum wage hike in 30 of our 50 states. And then I read how President Obama was going to focus his State of the Union speech on income equality. I’m starting to see some irony in all of these developments. I also read that the earnings of the wealthiest in the real estate and financial industry has doubled — I’m sure there is no government intervention that caused those events. Our health care and student loans have been taken over by the government. I wonder if the doctors will work for the new and improved minimum wage and if college loan managers will have to apply for food stamps.

America has just slipped to No. 3 in the world behind Germany in manufacturing. When are we going to wake up?

John Dautovic



I do not know how much a college English teacher knows about fracking, but at the end of John Crisp’s Other Views column on Jan. 29 (“Does fracking cause earthquakes and water pollution? Well ...”) he shows a gross lack of knowledge of history. Although it is true that the Mayan civilization collapsed in isolation, it is unlikely that the collapse had anything to do with environmental issues. We just don’t know. But what we do know is that the Inca collapse was caused by Francisco Pizarro and his Spanish Conquistadors who brought smallpox to South America. The collapse was not in isolation and had nothing to do with the environment.

Jerre Wilson


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