Letters to the Editor - Jan. 13, 2011

Published: Thursday, January 13, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at 6:38 p.m.

Rebuilding trust

Kudos to Roger Ailes who, in the aftermath of the Tucson shooting, has instructed Fox News commentators to "tone down their rhetoric."

In that spirit, as a so-called liberal Democrat, I too will try to express less prejudice and hostility toward Republican policies and politics.

If our democracy is to continue, we must all learn to more conscientiously seek out factual information and be wary of rumors and media pundit opinions.

It will take time to rebuild trust between those who have a different world views in our country, but I pledge to try harder to pursue understanding and respect for those differences.

Marjorie Abrams,


Blaming the gun

I knew the minute I read about the shootings in Arizona that the anti-gun faction would be out in force.

If the forces who want to limit gun ownership held sway, then it is only right that we limit the use of automobiles. Automobiles in the wrong hands also cause untold harm, death and destruction.

Who in their right mind thinks that if guns are taken out of the hands of the citizens that would also eliminate guns being in the hands of criminals or the truly deranged? I don't think so.

Marilyn Johnson,


Good job, Jack

Kudos to Jack Putz, botanist at UF, for his beautifully satiric take on green lawns In Sunday's Issues section. Putz once again proved that well-written satire is a sharply-honed scythe, mowing down any crabgrass bold enough to get in its way!

Well done and hopefully, a message sent and received by all of us sowing and mowing and agonizing over our "perfect" lawns.

Mary Jay McClave,


Lousy job, Jack

In response to the Jan. 9 Speaking Out, "What's so bad about a nice green lawn anyway?" by Francis E. "Jack" Putz:

What a disgraceful article! If this was intended as satire, then I believe it was a colossal mistake; many people will take it literally in support of their profligate ways.

If Putz is sincere, he is doing a great disservice to the citizens of Florida and the reputation of the University of Florida by advocating such disregard for our environment.

Rosanne Morse,


State corruption

Thank you for your Jan. 7 editorial titled "The corruption tax."

Some years ago Gov. Chiles appointed me to the Florida Commission on Ethics, from which I resigned in despair. The ethic rules were written by the Legislature and applied to very few of the unethical acts that are so common in the Legislature.

We spent hours on some small dubious infringement by local public officials, while the House and Senate continued to wheel and deal.

Jean Chalmers,


Too much fluoride?

Born in the 1970s, my sons grew up with fluoride supplements and consequently have strong, no-cavity teeth. This was a miracle to metal mouth me, having spent many hours of my childhood with our family dentist and a slow grinding drill.

Recently, when a small cavity was found in one of my young grandson's teeth, I suggested that his Gainesville pediatrician was not aware that he lived in the country and drank non-fluorinated well water and should be given a fluoride supplement. Now, I'm not sure.

How much fluoride is in bottled water and sodas? Fruit juices? Where on the label is the fluoride content disclosed and if not, why not?

Beth Foley


The Bard on lawyers

In response to his Jan. 9 column, I wonder if Ron Cunningham understands the context in which Dick the Butcher spoke the words, "First thing we do is kill all the lawyers."

If Cunningham was using the phase pejoratively against lawyers, he is seriously misguided about his Shakespeare. Even a cursory reading of the context in which the lawyer killing statement is made in King Henry VI, Part II, (Act IV), Scene 2, reveals that Shakespeare was paying homage to the legal profession as the front-line defenders of democracy.

Indeed, Shakespeare's acknowledgment that the first thing any potential tyrant must do to eliminate freedom is to "kill all the lawyers" is a classic and well-deserved compliment to the legal profession.

Bill Watson,


Don't knock lawyers

Apparently, Ron Cunningham relishes the delicious irony he achieved by expressing his dark disdain for lawyers on the editorial page of Sunday's paper, while the front page reports of the horrific slaughter in Arizona.

The Sun never hesitates to unleash its battery of highly paid lawyers to attack any encroachment on its lawyer-drafted protection under the First Amendment, which is another conspicuous irony.

The maxim that an American may disagree with what you say, but will fight to the death your right to say it, is still alive in this country, but it becomes contorted beyond recognition when the death threat comes from the principal beneficiary and is directed against the ones who are the protectors of that right.

Rick Smith,


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