Threats fly, worry grows | Aug. 9
Guam is part of America
In the mid-1990s, I worked in Washington, D.C., in the governor of Guam's liaison office. Guam is a U.S. territory acquired from Spain after the Spanish-American war. In World War II, Guam was attacked and occupied by the Japanese and the people of Guam were subjected to the worst treatment imaginable. When American forces retook the island in 1944 after a relentless bombardment, Guam's residents waved small American flags that they made from scraps, so as not to be mistaken for combatants.
Guam is not simply a military installation. There are more than 160,000 patriotic Americans on this 200-square-mile island. Guam's people are warm and friendly and their hospitality is extended to all. As a U.S. territory, Guam has one congressional representative who can only vote in committee, not on the floor, yet Guam's voter turnout is the highest in the United States. Guam's people are our people. President Donald Trump does not need to escalate a war of words into a nuclear nightmare. It is time for thoughtful restraint, not white-hot rhetoric. Our fellow American citizens in the Pacific deserve better than to be an afterthought in yet another avoidable conflict.
Sandra Palmer, Tampa
History is a good teacher
Trying to figure out Kim Jong Un is an almost impossible task. In trying to do that and second-guessing his next often illogical move, we should consider some good advice from history. President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, "Never underestimate a man who overestimates himself." Think about it.
Tony Abbate, Valrico
Once upon a time, Lady Liberty welcomed all | Column, Aug. 8
Families of immigrants
I loved this column by J.M. "Mac" Stipanovich about his grandparents immigrating to this country. My grandfather, John Dlouhy, immigrated to this country in 1891 from what is now the Czech Republic. He established himself in Cicero, Ill., married, fathered two sons and five daughters. Without formal education, he became a contractor and built many buildings in the Chicago area. One son, my father, joined the Army at 17 and served in France in World War I, and I served in the Navy during the Korean Conflict.
Yes, this story can be replicated by millions, however, there is one thing Stipanovich failed to mention, that is his grandparents, my grandparents and the millions came to this country legally, abided by the laws and assimilated.
Robert J. Dlouhy, Lutz
The rules made sense
I immigrated to the United States in 1959. The requirements were that I had a basic understanding of the language and the major segments of government, that I had an occupation that would allow me to be employed, and that I was in good health. I realized this was not the turn of the century when people were desperately needed to work. Rather the country only needed people who would not be a burden on the community and taxpayers and welcomed them. I did not object to their requirements in 1959 and do not object to them now.
Valerie Visnage, Seminole
Our broken economy | Column, Aug. 9
Labor unions for the worker
One important step toward reducing the gap of wealth inequality would be a coordinated effort to significantly increase membership in labor unions. Unions give the less advantaged workers a voice, at least some leverage in negotiating with the company. In the years following World War II this country had a high percentage of unionized labor. There is a direct correlation with that and a historic increase in the standard of living for millions of Americans.
Dan Greene, Weeki Wachee
Rebel statue move stirs memories | Aug. 7
A reconciliation committee
It is becoming increasingly obvious that simply moving Hillsborough County's Confederate monument is not going to satisfy anyone's deeper needs. The statue is the symbol of the deep historical roots of our ongoing racial divide. Only a truth and reconciliation process that thoroughly examines those roots can heal everyone's festering wounds. We need safe public spaces for everyone affected to tell their truths and listen to other's truths about Tampa Bay's history with slavery, the Civil War, Jim Crow, lynching, segregation, unequal housing, failing schools and more.
Reconciliation is an ongoing and messy process. But surely we can convene a skilled group of Tampa Bay leaders to help us start our journey.
Eileen Senn, Clearwater
The president and Twitter
Tweet on, Mr. President
There has been a lot of speculation that retired Marine Gen. John Kelly will help to control the president's urge to tweet. This would match the desire of most Americans.
I offer another viewpoint. I believe the president should keep tweeting. Every speech and every tweet allows us insight into the mind of the president. The tweets allow us to view his grasp of the issues and understand how he treats "friends," peers and rivals. We get to see his knowledge of history and understanding of the law and most importantly we can see his emotional health.
I for one am glad that he shares the scary thoughts in his head with the American people. It continues to shape my opinions and beliefs.
Mike Hughes, Dunedin
Why the chicken adapted | Letter, Aug. 9
Let there be chicken wings
The letter writer seems to have a problem with the word "evolution" in the story about the Ybor City chickens. She says, "The chickens always have been and always will be chickens."
Well, maybe she can answer the age-old question, "What came first, the chicken or the egg?" Did God one day think, "Hmm, I've created cows, but my doctor tells me to eat more fish and poultry. I've got it: chickens!"
Michael Lang, Seminole