What the draft would do
Biden speeds up pullout from Afghanistan | July 9
For all who have a problem pulling out of Afghanistan after 20 years: How long would the American public have let us stay if we still had a draft?
James Miller, Tampa
Coming home to roost
The Jan. 6 insurrection comes home
The Department of Justice has unveiled a major indictment against five Tampa Bay-area residents accused of assaulting police officers during the U.S. Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6. The assailants repeatedly attacked the police guarding the building, using stolen riot shields and flagpoles, bashing the cops in the head and neck and later resorting to punching, kicking and elbowing the officers, according to the complaint. The big picture: The five, accused of leading the charge during the insurrection, face among the most criminal counts of the Capitol riot cases. Indicted were: Michael Perkins of Plant City; Joshua Christopher Doolin, Jonathan and Olivia Pollock and Joseph Hutchinson, all of Lakeland. The big picture: The indictments highlight the violence police faced at the hands of the pro-Trump mob — and the role of Tampa Bay residents. That might be one reason the U.S. Capitol Police announced that it is opening a field office in Tampa to protect members of Congress against threats. This is the state we’re in: Florida has the most insurrection defendants of any state in the country. And these are the kinds of people whom the Florida GOP is standing behind.
Ed Coursey, Tampa
Not for freedom
Neither I nor my Black colleagues had heard of critical race theory | Column, July 12
From the faux-outrage about critical race theory to the new Florida law requiring an annual assessment of “intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity” at public colleges and universities, it is clear that Republicans are running scared. But why are they so frightened? They are fundamentally afraid of the truth — that our students will learn the true history of the nation, not whitewashed by myths about slavery, myths about the impact of racial prejudice on wealth distribution and opportunity in this country. They’re afraid that an education will lead to critical thinking, which in general leads to a more liberal viewpoint. They’re afraid of the voters themselves, erecting barriers to voting wherever they can. And they’re deathly afraid that the citizens of this country will see their apologist position on the terrorist/traitors of Jan. 6 for what it is — complicity in an attempt to thwart the workings of our Constitution. For a party wielding so much power, Republicans are spending a lot of energy suppressing thought, the vote and the truth. Isn’t that the very definition of an authoritarian party? And I’ll bet you think it’s all for “freedom.”
Jerry Nepon-Sixt, Tampa