Grandma’s abortion and a DNA answer
I think life begins at conception, but the Texas abortion law is wrong | Column, Sept. 25
My 11-year-old grandson informed me at my birthday dinner last week that abortion is child murder. I informed him that I had had an abortion years ago, before his mother was born. We finally agreed that no one likes abortions and we should do what we can to not have them. Here’s my suggestion: According to UNICEF’s Convention on the Rights of Children: “Children have the right to their own identity — an official record of who they are which includes their name, nationality and family relations. No one should take this away from them, but if this happens, governments must help children to quickly get their identity back.” For every unwed mother, there’s an unwed father. Using DNA and social media, social services can track them down and charge them for their share of their unborn children’s medical and living expenses. Note: Vasectomies start at $600 and they’re reversible. Why do our macho men lag behind the rest of the world in snip-snips? What’s with this sowing-wild-oats-ha-ha-ha? It takes two to tango, but right now, our culture is only punishing one. With DNA, we can end that inequality.
TravisAnn Sherman, St. Petersburg
What is ‘fair share’?
Wealth distribution perceptions, realities | Column, Oct. 2
When the talk turns to raising taxes, I’m always hearing how people should pay their “fair share.” This is incredibly vague. What does it mean? I propose that the Tampa Bay Times assign a staffers to investigate what people think is “fair.” No doubt the answers would range from “all of the other guy’s money, none of mine” to “nobody pays” and various points in between. We never get asked. We simply get told, “Pay up and shut up.” Tossing out the outliers on either side of the curve — those who say pay nothing and those who say take it all — there must be that sweet spot on which the majority can agree. If we can achieve this goal, we can then plan our lives accordingly. Eliminating one more source of class envy can only be a major plus for society. Poll your readership, interview the person on the street, and let’s answer that old question: What is my “fair share”?
Steve Thomas, Tarpon Springs
Gen. Washington knew best
Why does Florida have so many more COVID deaths than other large states? | Editorial, Oct. 3
During the Revolutionary War, Gen. George Washington defied the Continental Congress to mandate smallpox vaccinations for his army. He, along with virtually all well-informed American decision-makers who have followed him, recognized the critical role vaccines play in maintaining U.S. security at home and American leadership globally. The obvious way that vaccines protect the United States is by defending those who defend us. Soldiers can fight diseases or our enemies. They can’t do both. Vaccines also defend the United States by maintaining economic stability, a key component of our national security strategy and vital to maintaining America’s place in the world. Widespread vaccines were one of the most significant advances of the 20th century. U.S. soldiers, first responders, civilians and national security depend on the stability vaccines have brought over the last century. Rolling back those achievements to appease the uninformed would make the nation considerably weaker and more vulnerable to attacks on our health and liberty.
Nicholas Cropper, Tampa
Save the trees
U.S. announces 23 species have gone extinct | Sept. 30
Driven by human interference, 23 species have gone extinct. One way we can prevent further extinctions is to stop destroying their sparse habitats — especially in sprawling urban areas. Let’s start with trees! When I moved from my Tampa home of 28 years, the new owners murdered every single tree on the property — all the ones I planted myself, and they got special permission to destroy a protected live oak. I was so distraught I wrote a poem and painted a picture about the tragedy. Since our Florida Legislature passed a law three years ago that supersedes any local ordinances to protect our trees, anthropogenic residents destroy at will to suit their own needs, punishing innocent creatures whose tree-dwelling ancestors were here before any of us were born. Save as many trees as we can, I say, so their homes aren’t destroyed to make way for our own. Never underestimate what each of us can do to protect all God’s creation.
Ginger Goepper, Treasure Island