University leaders bash plan to downgrade sociology | Nov. 29
Whether we are speaking of tribal chieftains or a Florida governor, historically, leaders like to be the smartest one in the room. One way it’s done is by withholding education, one subject at a time. First, take away subjects like meaningful civics education and learning cursive. In their place: book bans and muzzling free speech. Today sociology is on the chopping block as a general studies course at Florida public universities. This and actions such as installing a Republican politician with no higher education experience to “lead” South Florida State College do not instill confidence. We rely on educators, at all levels, to defend their profession and preserve the integrity of their craft for the sake of students who pay dearly for the benefit.
Leslie Phillips, Brooksville
A debatable debate
2 governors will face off | Nov. 30
For the life of me, I can’t fathom why California Gov. Gavin Newsom agreed to be in the same room with multi-millionaire snake oil salesperson and Fox host Sean Hannity and Florida’s own Gov. Ron DeSantis. Each state has its own unique qualities and weaknesses and can’t easily be compared. Newsom’s policy programs, although flawed, show a man interested in all of his citizens while, I believe, DeSantis’ policies show a man interested in protecting the big-money interests and Florida’s entrenched pay-to-play system, which has little regard for us average citizens.
Brian Walkowiak, St. Petersburg
Spelling it out
I won the National Spelling Bee. This is what it takes to master spelling. | Column, Nov. 29
Marvelous! The article by Dev Shah, the Largo student who won the Scripps National Spelling Bee, was a real treat. I’m a notoriously bad speller and old enough to be his grandfather, and I only wish I could have had the benefit of his spelling wisdom years ago. His hints might have saved me a lot of embarrassment and probably would have improved my grade-point average. It’s also wonderful to see that he can craft wording as well as he knows the art of spelling. Delightful.
Jon Crawfurd, Gulfport
Brains of the operation
DeSantis and health care | Nov. 29
After reading what a President Ron DeSantis’ health care policies might look like, I remembered that jellyfish have survived without a brain for more than 500 million years and realized that there might still be hope for us all.
Wayne Roblin, South Pasadena