Letters to the Editor for Jan. 28, 2012


Published: Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at 11:34 p.m.

Time to ask the hard questions in debates

The GOP presidential debates would be more relevant if the tough questions were asked to the candidates such as:

1. Do you support returning to the Constitution which requires that Congress declare war prior to fighting one?

2. Do you support taxing the public to pay for current wars instead of borrowing from communist China and requiring our grandchildren to pay the war debt?

3. Do you support the elimination of contractors, i.e., mercenaries, from doing the military tasks in war zones that have been traditionally provided by the U.S. Armed Forces?

4. Do you think there is a need to restore the military draft?

These are real questions that need real answers from real candidates.

Bill Boe,

Gainesville

Simplistic STEM ideas

May Christopher R. Cogle (Speaking Out, Jan. 22) be thrice-blessed for exposing, in a particularly knowledgeable way, the essentially one-dimensional and simplistic nature of the STEM proposals for Florida's higher educational system?

No one can get a good overall view of the world through a periscope, however technologically sophisticated that instrument might be.

I have three degrees: bachelors in English and in Wildlife Ecology, and a J.D. (Law). I would not give any of them up, and if I had it to do again, I would follow the same path I did.

As an “other” side to Dr. Cogle's “coin,” I would suggest that pre-law students who already have good verbal skills and are generally well read consider a major in physics, chemistry or mathematics, if that suits them. Those disciplines require structured, analytical thinking of the same sort that law school and law practice will, though the purposes are different.

Lance Lazonby,

Melrose

Wall of separation

On the separation of religion and the government:

The original colonist coming to America from Europe had lived through many years of religious wars and persecution. When the founding fathers were writing the the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, they remembered their history and intentionally planned to have religion separated from the government.

No religion or sect was to be able to dominate and/or dictate their beliefs on others. There should be no state religion of any kind.

Many of these founding fathers were men who believed in a supreme being, but they were unwilling to have their beliefs forced on others.

If we ignore the wisdom of our founders and this is allowed to continue, we could find ourselves in religious wars here and abroad. Perhaps we already are there.

Robert Poston,

Hawthorne

What can Beetle Bailey teach Gary Trudeau?

Ben Butler's Jan. 24 letter states, “Gary Trudeau should take journalism lessons from 50 years of Beetle Bailey or Bob Hope on how to present inoffensive military and political satire.”

Beetle Bailey joined Mort Walker's comic strip U.S. Army in March 1951 and has served his entire military career at Camp Swampy, where he has to cope with the tough Sgt. Snorkel. While he has participated in many training exercises at Camp Swampy over the past 60 years, Beetle Bailey has never seen combat.

In Doonesbury, Gary Trudeau portrays characters who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Big difference.

I think Trudeau's portrayal of returned veterans has more journalistic quality and is closer to the truth than Beetle Bailey could ever be.

William T. Vickers,

Gainesville

Maybe the real problem is eyesight

As much money as the government puts into Title I and No Child Left Behind to support schools, I'm wondering if they are missing the mark.

Just maybe these children who are not performing at their expected grade level have an issue with eyesight. Schools test children for nearsightedness, but it is up to the parents to take them to be tested by a doctor for close-up work.

If a child can't see the letters and words clearly on a page, how are they supposed to succeed? It seems as if the first line of defense for “No Child Left Behind” should be to provide the opportunity for these parents, who are unable to afford it, to get their children's eyes tested and to obtain glasses, if need be.

Jane Crawford,

Gainesville

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