Why don't lawmakers care? | April 28, editorial
For results, eject party in power
This editorial asks, Why don't lawmakers care? That question is answered on the front page of Perspective. They care for the show and the dough. They do not care for the citizens and voters of Florida. It would be interesting to find out if the people mentioned in the editorial vote, and if so, for which party.
The solution to the problems with state government is very simple. For several decades state government has been controlled by the Republican Party, and the quality of life for the average Floridian has deteriorated. We have historical experience to know the results of Republican control of state government.
If we want change, we must vote to remove control from the Republicans.
As long as our state government is bought and paid for by special interests, lobbyists and big business, then we will continue to ask pointless questions and receive illogical answers.
Daniel Lemon, Seminole
Teach ethics for these reasons April 28
A need for moral courage
Hugh LaFollette's article regarding reasons for teaching ethics has very practical implications for society. Ethics curriculum should be considered for implementation with hopes for a trickle-down effect, as he states, and not for immediate changes in society.
As the article suggests, it is common to assume that schools and the educational system can serve as a salve to society's woes. The easiest and most popular remedy from legislators is to enact measures that require year-round evaluation of student performance and teacher effectiveness, all of which culminates in an overall school grade. The opinion is that if only we could fix both primary and higher educational institutions, then society would fare better.
The harder choices, however, involve acknowledging and understanding that society's woes of poverty, violence and avarice must be dealt with directly. Moral courage is necessary in both the state and federal legislatures. A school is only a reflection of society, and society is not a reflection schools.
Barbara Drake, Tampa
Winning at all costs
This piece by Hugh LaFollette is a breath of fresh air. In today's society, many view ethics as an obstacle to success. They have the idea that any means justifies the end. As long as they win, it doesn't matter how they do it.
We all become targets of the entitled. If we get in the way of someone's success, then we are a problem. We must ask ourselves: Is this the society we want? If not, then change it.
James W. Cone, Thonotosassa
Schools explore conduct issues | May 1
Focus on behavior
I read with interest about the workshop at Middleton High School where Hillsborough school officials gathered to address the preponderance of suspensions meted out to African-American males.
I was disappointed, but not astounded, to read that the workshop chose to address the matter from the perspective of race rather than behavior. If one removes the racial lenses that are all the fashion these days, one can address the real problem to be solved. This was articulated best by a School Board member: "A lot of our students who come to school don't even know what inappropriate behavior is."
This isn't a School Board problem; this is a parenting problem. Feel free to test my hypothesis by inviting the parents of these suspended students to your next workshop. My guess is that you'll see a preponderance of empty chairs.
Mike DeWitt, Tampa
Chill of suspicion among friends | May 2
Tighten up the borders
One of three college students arrested Wednesday in the Boston Marathon bombings case reportedly was allowed to return to the United States from Kazakhstan in January despite not having a valid student visa. Is it unreasonable to ask why no one seems to be monitoring the status visa classifications?
Numerous reports tell us that students, and others who invalidate the terms of their valued cards, are able to travel at will, absent themselves from the classes they are supposed to be attending, and still enjoy freedoms and entitlements without fear of consequences. The control over the program is laughable.
And it is tiring to hear our protective agencies claim that they are just too overwhelmed by the sheer numbers involved. We are admittedly over-generous in all of our immigration/visa endeavors, and too soft in protecting ourselves from those who intend to harm us. We the taxpayers deserve better.
Orfeo Trombetta, Seminole
Chaotic day in House tangles major bills May 2
Standing up for the voters
Many times in my life I have watched people I have voted for come into office and not continue the passionate, unwavering, battle mentality they displayed on the campaign trail. I follow a few issues and skim news coverage here and there. Something occurred last week that took me by surprise and sent shock waves around our state. In a bold move, House Democrats demanded that every bill be read in full to protest the stalemate on health care reform.
I'm inspired by the unified stance Democrats took to stand up to House Republicans and stall a scaled-back approach that rejects federal dollars to expand Medicaid coverage in Florida.
The Senate voted 38-1 to adopt its health care proposal. The plan, which was endorsed by Gov. Rick Scott, hospitals and business groups, would cover an estimated 1 million uninsured.
I applaud the brave, courageous leaders who stood up for those of us who believed in them when we cast our votes.
Grace Gonzalez, Tampa
Put a stop to partisanship
The Florida Senate was right in overwhelmingly passing a bill to extend health coverage to over 1 million poor Floridians. The House, under the leadership of its new wonder boy Speaker Will Weatherford, has decided to do nothing and let the poor, who desperately need medical care, continue to suffer and continue to overwhelm the emergency rooms in Florida's hospitals.
This failure to act appears to be a continuation of the Republican Party's war against President Barack Obama. I believe the people in Florida want that fight to end and the partisan politics to stop.
A.P. Gibbs, Dade City