Verify the facts
It is no surprise that Len Tria is again writing right-wing, false rhetoric hatred in an attempt to portray the "Occupy" protests across this country as nonsense, un-American, anti-capitalist individuals creating disturbances and chaos.
In his column, Tria talks about a small group of protesters who broke windows and acted in a criminal manner. What Mr. Tria does not say, of course, is that the original protesters denounced the small group's action and that the next day the original protesters were helping and apologizing to the businesses that had been damaged.
Even the police said the small group had splintered off from the original protesters and had acted alone. Another false statement that Tria says is that the protesters went into a Bank of America, disrupted their business, and caused a chaotic scene. What he again does not tell you is that they were protesting in the front of the bank branch — not inside it. Some of the protesters did enter the bank to close their accounts. I think that action is not illegal and is well within their rights as Americans to do, unless, of course, Mr. Tria suggests that the Republicans in Congress write another new law to favor their masters.
Now I have a few questions for Mr. Tria. Why is this un-American and wrong in your eyes while it is perfectly alright for tea partiers to chant racist remarks about the president? Why is it OK for a group of right-wing racists to boo a gay service man at a GOP presidential debate? Why didn't these forthright GOP candidates condemn those remarks on the spot? Why do the far right wingers and the tea partiers scream less government while passing laws that takes away a person's right to choose?
We see the far right wing attacking what the Declaration of Independence calls the "pursuit of happiness!" Oh! I see the ones screaming less government continue to ask the government for more money every day, claiming that more money in their pockets will create more jobs, the old "trickle-down" theory that has been proven over and over again to be a failure.
The next false statement from Mr. Tria is that teachers and longshoremen are in the top 10 percent of wage earners. I mean, really, where do you get your information from? (Please do not say Fox News.) You see, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2010) the average salary for a longshoreman was $44,510. If a longshoreman wants to make good money close to $100,000, he needs to be certified in many areas and have many years of experience. In addition, this work is not only demanding and full of stress, but requires a person to be in much better physical shape than average.
And, as we all know, the average salary of a teacher in the state of Florida is $50,770. Those who are employed in those two jobs are nowhere near the 10 percent of wage earners. Mr. Tria, your apparent lack of knowledge in this area is absolutely astounding.
So as usual, our friend Len Tria is peddling false information, this time apparently simply to spread lies about and incite hate against the protesters across this country. He writes that he has heard some of the protesters and that what they are sounds like a bunch of incoherent babble.
Well, Mr. Tria, I have been reading your articles for several years now, and I must admit you write some of the most incoherent babble I've heard, so you are quite familiar with babble.
I'm certain there are those who will attack my letter with opinions and personal feelings. All I ask is to verify the facts!
Serving their sacrifice
It was tough watching the TET offensive on the History Channel Nov. 9 in recognition of Veterans Day because I was teaching in Ohio in the mid-1960s and most of my students went to war.
They were the students I had in a small village and the heroes I helped come back home, even the 27 who were returned in caskets when I was a reporter for the local newspaper after leaving teaching in 1968.
I have relived Vietnam for the past 20 years working here in Hernando County for 10 years certified by the state of Florida under House Bill 293 that urges each Florida county to have a representative for veterans to assist with claims to be considered by the Department of Veterans Affairs at its state regional office. I have been volunteering as a service representative for the past 10 years. In all these years, I have assisted thousands with their claims for benefits, working with those from every branch of service in every period of time.
I know every corner of Vietnam, its major offensives; and I know the effects of war on these scores and hundreds of men as well as their duties for the various branches of the military especially the Marines located at the demilitarized zone where the North Vietnamese regulars were simply a few miles north of their base camps all along the Quang Tri province in rugged, hilly, jungle terrain.
I know that Tan Son Nhut Air Base near Saigon was the busiest air strip in the world, serving in support of the war effort and taking injured and killed soldiers back to hospitals in Hawaii or the states. Veterans can tell you of the hundreds of body bags lining the air strip.
Then, I know of the Mekong Delta that covered the rubber plantations south of Saigon. I know of the swift boats running the Saigon River to bring the enemy to surface as target for air support. My students came home confused and estranged from their former glories as football stars with girlfriends waiting or those who were academic scholars I mentored.
I am 78 years of age now, having served during the Korean War shortly after World War II, and I go where the veterans are and combat survivors and those who wore the uniform in any period of service and make myself ready to serve them in the prosecution of claims to which they are entitled.
My service to veterans is often challenged by others in the business. My task is to serve. I do this because I can and because my students sacrificed so much.
Handout vs. perk
Why is it, if I apply for Medicaid and food stamps, it's considered a "handout," but when my government representative gives him/herself a pay raise and free health care for life, it's considered a "perk?"
Remind me again what the government representative's job description is?
Shouldn't they be drug tested?
Editor's note: This letter is in response to letter writer Abel Tarrada.
You have proved me right again! This is like shooting fish in a barrel. Another petty, angry rant. Unemployment rate 2008 was 5.8 percent. Look it up.
I will not subject the readers of this paper to a tit-for-tat with you. I do, however, have some bad news for you. Bush has been gone for three years. Get over it. From now on, I will let the readers decide who is credible and who has no idea what makes this country great.