We canceled our cruises
Governor’s posturing hurts local cruise industry | Editorial, June 16
My wife and I, and other relatives, were booked for two cruises this fall. Since the cruise lines had announced all passengers were required to have COVID vaccinations, we were comfortable with embarking on cruises and looked forward to it. However, Gov. Ron DeSantis and his “Big Government” approach to how private companies safely conduct their business has caused some cruise companies to blink and change their requirement of having passengers show proof of COVID vaccination. For us, the answer is very simple. We, and our relatives, all cancelled our cruises and instead are going to travel and vacation and spend lots of money in Hawaii and New England, where COVID-vaccination rates are sky high compared to Florida, and where leaders and the communities have addressed the COVID pandemic in a sound, science-based and common-sense based approach. We look forward to rewarding those states with our hard-earned vacation monies, and encourage others to consider doing likewise.
Timothy McClain, St. Pete Beach
One person, one vote | Letter, June 16
I totally agree with this letter writer about electing the president by popular vote rather than via the Electoral College. Imagine the time and issues state and federal representatives could spend on important legislation if they weren’t wasting it trying to come up with ways to hinder voting. One person, one vote eliminates all that manipulation and represents true democracy.
Teresa Patterson, New Port Richey
It’s not logical
On deck: DeSantis vs. cruise industry | June 15
The governor has pointed to freedom and privacy concerns claiming vaccine passports would create “two classes of citizens based on vaccinations.” Following this chain of “logic,” should he ban driver’s licenses, proof of college degree for some employment, proof of citizenship to vote, proof of age to consume alcohol, proof of vaccine to attend public schools? The list could go on and on. His position is entirely focused on appeasing his base for his own political gain, nothing more.
Terry Arnold, St. Petersburg
DeSantis signs school moment of silence law | June 16
Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to show his true colors. He is tone-deaf, out of touch and self-serving. The pandemic exposed a number of serious problems with the state health care and unemployment systems, and during the crisis our governor promised to address them. Now that we are on the mend, health care and unemployment are no longer worthy causes for his attention. He is focused instead on political issues that undermine Florida’s economic recovery. The governor’s actions show Florida is just a stepping stone to higher political office, and frankly I am tired of our governor stepping all over us.
Brian Valsavage, St. Petersburg
No mea culpa
Stop looking away | Letter, June 9
In response to the letter writer suggesting that white citizens are the equivalent of defeated German citizens forced to look at Holocaust victims in the wake of World War II: A key difference is that those Germans were complicit in the establishment of the Nazi regime, if not enthusiastic supporters. They needed to see what they had fostered and done. The vast majority of 21st century white people had nothing to do with Jim Crow, definitely had nothing to do with slavery and are more than likely in step with seeking an equitable society. They have nothing to make a “mea culpa” for. Those who are seeking to push a race-preoccupied history are likely to foster an attitude of disunity among the people of all ethnicities. It is probable that an almanac could be written cataloging every rotten thing that has happened to Black citizens since the foundation of our nation. Within the last month, I have learned of the Tulsa Race Massacre, and just recently saw a reference to the Ocoee, Fla., Massacre. I already knew about Rosewood.
At the end of the day, what is all this knowledge going to gain us? Our schools should teach where we have come from and include some of the ugly parts for context. But the focus should be on what we have become and why the United States is the envied destination for much of the world’s poor. Our schools should focus more on what is going right and less on factually dubious agenda-driven 1619-type projects.
Stuart McKinney, Gulfport
More guns than people
14 hurt in shooting | June 13
We are not even six months into the year and there have been 272 mass shootings in this country. Just this weekend, nine mass shootings occurred in six states. For every 100 Americans there are 121 firearms. Any time someone feels aggrieved, Americans display their anger through gunfire. We are so numbed to the shootings, the stories are now buried in the back pages of the newspaper. Nothing to see here; nothing new here. What in the world has happened to American values and culture? With even more guns being sold daily, let’s guess what the future holds.
Mark Brown, Brandon