Voters beware of ballot deceptionApril 13, commentary
Schools’ role undermined
It was with great pain that I read (not for the first time) that we must be aware of "ballot deception." Public schools were founded to make sure that future generations of citizens have an appreciation for democratic values and the skills to be productive members of society. Article IX of the Florida Constitution declares, "The education of children is a fundamental value of the people of the state of Florida … the funding of which should be appropriated only to the support and maintenance of free public school."
How far we have come from the vision of founders of both our nation and our state, that now we must pick over specific words in a constitutional amendment meant to deceive us into giving a good portion of that hard-earned money to "corporate charter school profiteers."
The author suggests letting the members of the Constitution Revision Commission know that we are not happy. We can also, of course, turn out to vote and defeat it. Perhaps one additional step would help: Please, Times editors, keep reminding us of this important piece of revision as we prepare for the November ballot.
Anne Bowman, Odessa
Target Assad himself | April 13, commentary
Into the quagmire?
Bret Stephens beats the tocsin for a full-scale air offensive against the Syrian military, perhaps even taking out Bashar Assad himself in punishment for his use of poison gas against his own people. What if an air offensive fails to achieve Stephens’ stated goal of defanging Assad? What then? Do we follow up with a full-scale ground invasion involving the whole of the American military like the Desert Storm offensive that toppled Saddam Hussein? How long do we stay afterward? What like-minded replacement thug or what group of screaming fanatics takes over after Assad?
President Donald Trump is spot-on in his desire to get out of and stay out of the Middle Eastern quagmire.
Robert Beatty, Tampa
Comey’s memoir pulls no punchesApril 13
Speak out on the abuses
To quote former FBI director James Comey: "What is happening now is not normal. It is not fake news. It is not okay. … It is … wrong to stand idly by, or worse, to stay silent when you know better while a president brazenly seeks to undermine public confidence in law enforcement institutions that were established to keep our leaders in check."
I am speaking out and doing what is necessary as a citizen, and I implore you, Rep. Vern Buchanan, Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. Bill Nelson, to not stay silent during these attacks by our president as he seeks to undermine democratic institutions for no other purpose than to protect himself.
Darlene McConnell, Ruskin