Letters to the Editor - Jan. 7

Published: Wednesday, January 7, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 7, 2009 at 1:23 a.m.

Jeb was Florida's ‘popular' governor? Give me a break

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About the widely promoted myth that Jeb Bush was Florida's "popular governor":

Has the Terry Schiavo debacle been forgotten? Or, his redesign of Florida's higher education on a napkin at lunch?

What about Jeb's repeated attempts to subvert the class size amendment, which was approved by Florida voters, and his aggressive promotion of charter schools, which was rejected by the Florida Supreme Court?

Just ask some educators how popular this governor was. Then ask some African Americans how they felt when Jeb ejected members of Florida's legislative black caucus from his office.

Think about his appointment of the right-wing Children and Family Services director and the scandal in that department.

Under his rule we saw the privatization of many state services with poor or no accountability. Social service programs were reduced as a budgetary necessity, while funding millions of dollars to subsidize a private research corporation at FAU?

Have we forgotten Jeb's complicity in the scandalous 2000 presidential election, and his association with a felon-matching program which disenfranchised legal voters?

Does anyone mention Jeb's preference for government by secrecy (sounds familiar)?

These and other actions during his two terms not only enraged many people in the state, but his version of "compassionate conservatism" was virtually a test kitchen for George W.'s now discredited socioeconomic and environmental policies.

No, the only way in which Jeb Bush seems different from George W. is that he appears to be a bit smarter and a lot more arrogant. His so-called high approval rating leaving office may be more a testament to short memories or just plain relief than it is to his popularity. This country cannot withstand another Bush in national office.

Marjorie Abrams,


Oh lighten up, profs, let ‘em skip

I just read in The Sun that a few UF faculty members have stated that missing classes on Thursday and/or Friday will adversely affect a students grade. What arrogance and pettiness. Why should they care whether a student attends class or not? Are their lectures and classes so important that if a student misses a couple, they will fail the class or be unable to learn the material they missed?

Part of going to college is to experience everything college has to offer. Part of this is the school spirit that comes with a winning sports program. The students and faculty alike revel in the victories of the football team. They show that support by going to home and away games. Sometimes this means that schoolwork suffers a little.

Why punish the students for missing a class or two. And why are the faculty taking roll in the first place? It is not up to the faculty or the university to make sure students attend classes. It is the student's responsibility.

Faculty must realize that individual lectures are not that important in the overall scheme of the class. The class will not devolve into chaos or anarchy should some students miss a lecture or two. Get over yourselves. Let the students enjoy the moment. Whether the UF football team wins or loses or whether some students or faculty miss classes on Thursday or Friday, the students, classes and the university will survive.

Kurt Baumgartner,


Three cheers for the State of Israel

Hurray for Israel! This tiny country, which moved relatively quickly into the 21st century after only 61 years, has once again taken aggressive action against its neighbors. Neighbors who have just one overriding desire; total eradication of Israel and the end of its entire Jewish population of some five million.

As a rare democratic sovereign nation in the Middle East, it shines beside all the Muslim nations surrounding it. I know this first hand as I've been to all of them on several occasions.

If Canada, just as an example, decided to lob rockets across the border into Washington state, I can easily imagine the reaction of the United States. The reaction would be the same as that of Israel's valiant efforts to stop the rocket attacks and killings of Israeli civilians.

Israel's huge mistake was falling for the ridiculous idea of giving up land for peace. In return for giving back the entire Sinai Peninsula to Egypt and for giving up its occupation of the West Bank to the PLO it attained no peace whatever. It should have retained them as occupied territories, including the Gaza Strip.

Hopefully, Israel has learned its lesson and will never barter land for peace again. It didn't work before and it won't work now. Viva Israel!

Toby R. Madison,


Sorry, liberals, but higher taxes aren't the answer

Evidently, George Barnett (Speaking Out, Jan. 5) thinks higher taxes is the American way to prosperity, just like every other leftist in our society. If Barnett thinks that cleaner more efficient trains are the most important measure of success in infrastructure of a society, I will pay for a one-way ticket to China for him and Thomas Friedman so they can ride and work on their laptops all day; providing they both promise to never step foot in this country ever again.

If he thinks government needs more money than it presently receives to rebuild our infrastructure, then why don't he and his leftist buddies band together and start a private collection and give it privately to the U.S. Treasury. I am sure it would gladly accept his gift.

To ask the government to take more of his neighbors' money is just pure robbery.

Barnett should look up the definition of greed and tell me just who he would appoint as communist czar to decide what is too much for one individual to have. It is one of those words that have a nebulous meaning, but is used incessantly by the left to conjure up wealth envy and hatred for the rich, who by the way, the last time I checked employ and send paychecks home to the poor.

Darrel Kirkland,


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