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Peace on Earth? Hardly | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Sunday’s letters to the editor.
One Christmas tree's happy decoration.
One Christmas tree's happy decoration.
Published Dec. 5, 2021

Good will to whom?

Seasons greetings

As Christmas approaches, I look forward to hearing the words, “Peace on earth and good will to humankind.” Yet, I fear our nation is not at peace. We may have reduced our troops fighting abroad, but we are increasing the fighting amongst ourselves. This past Thanksgiving, gatherings were marked by loud, and at times violent, opposing political views. Instead of peace, I felt upset and anxious when I heard extremist views about a “stolen election.” Instead of good will, insurrectionist views were screamed into our ears by forces that linger in the outer edges of the political spectrum.

In the Popeye cartoons, Popeye the Sailor Man fought his nemesis, Bluto. Every episode was the same — Bluto beats Popeye, Popeye beats Bluto — and nobody learned any lessons. Violence did not teach Bluto to respect, and Popeye never learned to swallow the spinach before the fight. More importantly, was the violence that Popeye did to Bluto any different than what Bluto first did to him?

In Congress, the Popeye-Bluto cycle of violence is visible as Republicans beat Democrats and then Democrats beat Republicans. They’re proud of the name-calling and the violent memes on social media. Few are learning lessons from Jan. 6, and it feels as if another insurrection is brewing. This Christmas season, churches will sing “Silent Night” and pray for peace on Earth, but how can we have peace and goodwill if we, the people, don’t recognize the cycle of violence and refuse to join it?

Guillermo Marquez-Sterling, St. Petersburg

Doing the job

Omicron reminds us that now’s the time for COVID vaccines and boosters | Editorial, Dec. 1

While the current administration is working with sedulous diligence, much of the mainstream media focuses too much time on the outright lies and mis- and dis-information continuously being broadcast by the former president and his acolytes. Actual governance that benefits Americans is just too boring, I guess. We need to stop giving press to the detached-from-reality purveyors of radical bloviating and pay attention to the successes and continuing attempts of President Joe Biden to make the lives of the majority of Americans better. We need to stop listening to the sideshow of the previous president and focus on what the current administration is actually doing.

Mark Brandt, Dunedin

Wait, there’s more

Celebrity surgeon to run for Senate | Dec. 1

Just what our government needs — a candidate who, in my view, is just another grifter. Will Dr. Mehmet Oz peddle his fake cures and weight-loss treatments from the U.S. Senate floor?

Nancy Schubart, Seminole

Downtown no more

In Clearwater, no clear path for addressing Scientology-related land buys | Nov. 30

This story begins: “As companies tied to the Church of Scientology continue to buy more properties around downtown and keep them vacant, City Council member Mark Bunker on Monday proposed that city officials try to ‘understand what the hell is going on.’ ” It’s been how many decades and you still don’t know what’s going on? So you continue to spend money on what you still laughingly call “downtown” as Scientology continues its decades-long acquisition of the “downtown.” Why do you even care anymore? Just recognize there is no “downtown” anymore and that spending money in that long-ago place is just plain stupid. If the Scientologists want more, let them pay for it and do it themselves.

Howard Batt, Palm Harbor

All about the money

LSU hires Brian Kelly away from Notre Dame to be Tigers’ next coach | Nov. 30

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly, already making a reported $7 million per year, has left — no, abandoned — his team at the most important time of the season for a position at Louisiana State University, where he will reportedly eventually make $10 million a year. What does this tell us about the state of college football? What message is Coach Kelly sending to the young adults on Notre Dame and LSU, and throughout the country? What message is he sending to his own children? I think his message is clear. Money is the most important thing — more important than loyalty and more important than relationships. Disgusting.

John Skey, Bradenton