This is no way to thank us for our service
I am an American veteran, born and raised right here in Florida. Since then, I’ve deployed six times to Iraq and Afghanistan, earning two Bronze Stars throughout 18 years of service. Veterans like me across this nation have fought to protect and defend the American ideals we hold dear — like the right to vote, and a free and fair election. To thank us for our service, Gov. Ron DeSantis just made it harder for more than 100,000 Florida service members to vote. While I was overseas, and while I’ve continued my service at various bases across the country, I have voted by mail every single time.
Florida has allowed absentee voting for veterans, seniors, military families and those in need for more than 20 years, with zero issues. Despite a lack of evidence, the governor now clamors to solve a problem that non-partisan experts and the courts say does not exist. Early and absentee voting are relied upon by voters across party lines, and these policies will have a disparate impact on military voters. It is crucial that we count the votes of our service members and veterans — and all Floridians who vote by absentee mail ballot. Our leaders shouldn’t be trying to make it harder for any person — but especially veterans — to vote.
Will Atkins, Port Richey
Just limit voting to Republicans
Why don’t the Republicans in Tallahassee just pass a law that only registered Republicans are allowed to vote in Florida? It would be a much easier way to accomplish their goals.
Janet Graber, St. Petersburg
How to share, not waste, the vaccines
Chains waste more doses | May 6
Two headlines today offered food for thought as we try to find our way forward. On the front page is “Chains waste more doses,” an article that details the waste of 128,500 doses of vaccine by CVS and Walgreen corporations. I would characterize this as another disturbing aspect of capitalism as usual. Farther back in the Times is this headline, “U.S. tribe shares vaccine with relatives, neighbors in Canada,” an article which details the Blackfoot tribe in northern Montana, with 95 percent of their 10,000 population vaccinated, sharing 1,000 leftover doses nearing expiration. I would characterize this as a humane, cooperative community and an aspiration of socialism. Reading the Times daily often offers opportunities to contrast and compare the different ways we may choose to move forward as a community and as a country. Next time when such obvious examples appear, please do us a favor and put both together on the front page.
Karen Putney, Tampa
Capitalism needs regulation
Capitalism didn’t produce the COVID vaccine on its own | Letters, May 6
American capitalism has been much criticized in the news media and in letters to the editor for a variety of reasons, some with justification. in a simple form capitalism is investment and ownership of production, distribution and wealth mainly via private individuals and corporations. The laws of supply and demand and the sanctity of private property are associated with the economic system that has produced a relatively high standards of living for many but also serious social and economic distortions.
Capitalism is heavily regulated at both the state and federal levels in an effort to control serious flaws. Just think of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Department of Justice at the federal level and utility regulation at the state level. Two of the most problematic concerns about the system are the considerable political power of corporations and the concentration of wealth. Similar concerns and responses thereto exist in many developed countries. There is a balance to be achieved between the power of wealth and the perceived social good which is best answered at the ballot box and often in the courts.
James Gillespie, St. Petersburg
Does it change lives?
Arrests Give Way to Citations | May 3
In this article, the Juvenile Arrest Avoidance Program is touted as a way to give youthful offenders a second chance. And I do wholeheartedly agree that the vast majority of youth offenses are better dealt with through assistance and diversion as opposed to criminal charges and incarceration.I’m just curious, because at no point is it mentioned in the article or previous articles you’ve published on this subject: How does this program affect the rate of recidivism among youthful offenders? That really is the true measure of a program’s effectiveness, how many kids does it divert away from a future of criminal and antisocial behavior. Knowing that this program does, in fact, change the lives of kids who are offered the second chance and assistance to make the most of that chance is the best publicity a program like this could possibly get.
Thomas DuSold, Tampa
Hed goes here.
Biden’s spending spree isn’t a new New Deal | Column, May 5
We have an interesting dilemma. The government is taking our tax dollars and giving them to people to stay home instead of working in an economy starving desperately for labor. This prevents the production to create the taxes that fund the dollars to keep worker home. A vicious cycle. And certainly not sustainable. My concern is that an increase in tax will thwart the economy that pays the workers to produce the profits that fund the taxes. A tax increase will certainly decrease the collections of taxes and the stagnation of the economy may keep those folks home involuntarily.
Daniel Raulerson, Plant City