Letters to the editor for Sunday, April 14, 2024

Gun Rights

Our readers share their opinions on a variety of topics

Mayor stifles healthy debate

It has become apparent that Cape Coral Mayor Gunter’s support for an official sole city spokesperson, and his sharp disapproval towards council members for speaking out are having a counterproductive effect on the overall functioning and harmony within Cape Coral government.While it is important for leaders to hold individuals accountable for their actions and decisions, the way his criticism is being delivered is causing division and discord among council members. Instead of fostering a collaborative and productive environment, the mayor’s approach seems to be silencing voices and stifling healthy debate.It is crucial for our local government to operate in a transparent and open manner, where all council members feel empowered to express their opinions and contribute to the decision-making process as they were elected to do. By trying to keep council members quiet, we are missing out on valuable perspectives and ideas that could benefit our community.Encouraging open communication, respectful dialogue, and constructive feedback will help cultivate a more positive and effective working relationship among all members and is beneficial to the city and its residents.

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Lou Walker, Cape Coral

DeSantis’ authoritarianism

The new mask opt-out law proposed by one of Governor DeSantis’ health agencies applies to health care settings, including hospitals and doctor’s offices.  According to the governor these measures will “ensure that medical authoritarianism does not take root in Florida.”

Unfortunately, DeSantis’ authoritarianism is the threat that continues to spread in Florida, first to the educational profession and now to the medical profession. 

Dorothy S. Kuzneski, Naples

Where’s hurricane tax relief?

Sometimes it takes a strong woman to clean up the House.As we send in our taxes for 2023, one thing is apparent:Byron Donalds did not do his most important job — our hurricane tax relief. He doesn’t know how.Kari Lerner knows how to pass legislation and shepherd it through Congress.“Byron Donalds… has failed miserably in his promise to reduce federal taxes with Hurricane Ian relief. Despite serving in the majority in Congress, Donalds’ Hurricane Tax Relief Act (H.R. 1494) — which he called his ‘utmost priority’ — has languished in committee for over a year.” Kari Lerner, candidate for Congress, Florida District 19.Kari Lerner is a Florida leader, businesswoman and experienced legislator who gets things done. Watch for her, support her.Mary Lewis Sheehan, St. James City

Draconian anti-abortion bill

If the Arizona citizenry vote in favor of the recent Arizona State Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the state’s draconian anti-abortion bill, what are the state’s OB-GYN physicians to do?  If passed, this 1864 measure would effectively ban nearly all abortions, including medication abortions (pills).  The one exception allowed would be to save the life of the mother. Participants in illegal abortions would include health care providers and manufacturers who would face one-to-five-year jail sentences. The estimated enforcement date is 60 days − affording Arizona’s medical community the opportunity to provide their patients two month’s notice that their practices may be closing. Such a scenario should not be surprising given elected officials and appointed judges rendering decisions outside of their expertise, i.e., medical science.

James L. DeBoy, Fort Myers

Truth and lies

We have all seen the reports that start out like this: Florida man wrestles alligator or Florida man drives into canal or Florida man flees police in golf cart and many other ridiculous scenarios.  Well I’m here to tell you I’m a Florida Man. No I’m not a native Floridian, I was not born in Florida, but I have lived exactly one half of my life in Florida. I also was not born yesterday, I know the difference between truth and lies. 

TRUTH: President Joe Biden won the election in 2020 by receiving more electoral votes then former President Trump. 

TRUTH: Former President Trump incited a violent insurrection on January 6th at the Capitol building ( I saw it happen on TV. )

TRUTH: Former President Trump took Top Secret and Classified documents to his Mar-a-Lago Country Club and then lied about returning all of them.

TRUTH: Former President Trump sexually abused and defamed E. Jean Carroll as found by a jury and was ordered to pay her $85 million.

TRUTH: Former President Trump’s company committed fraud in New York and was found guilty by a judge and is ordered to pay almost $500 million.

Now I will cover the LIES. Because the lies told by former President Trump are so numerous I will just say this:  It is my sincere opinion as a Florida Man if former President Trump is speaking he is LYING. 

John M. Simon, Cape Coral

Funding for charter schools

As a teacher who has worked in charter, public, and private schools, I can say charter schools are a major disappointment. The disappointment is not in academic outcomes but in the need for originality in securing funding. The purpose of a public/private enterprise like a charter school should not be to become a public service contractor. These administrations should solve funding problems with the critical thinking skills we are trying to teach our children. There are many ways to do this and I can outline some of them here.1. Corporate sponsorship and naming rights to sports teams. 2. Televisions in the hallways that display paid advertising during the passing periods. 3. Paid advertising displayed on the billboard in the parent pickup line. 4. Advertisements on every garbage can on the campus. 5. A cellular tower on the roof of the building generating rent from AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile. 6. Vending machines owned and stocked by the school. 7. Renting out space in the cafeteria to McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Subway, or whoever is the highest bidder. 8. Lengthening the school day and shortening the school week to four days to lower the cost of janitorial, transportation, and other services. 9. Renting out musical instruments. 10. If you want every idea that can pop into my head in three seconds I should probably be running the school.Anthony Rainone, EdD(c) – Education Administration, Cape Coral

Blame Hamas, not Israel

Do not blame Israel! Hamas started the war by its October 7, 2023 invasion of Israel and commitment of horrific atrocities against Israelis, which have been well documented. Since 2005, Hamas and other terrorist groups launched over 20,000 rockets and mortars at Israeli population centers. Since October 7 Hamas has fired about 11,000 missiles, rockets, and drones at Israel. Hamas has dug dozens of terror tunnels into Israeli communities. On October 7 Hamas took hundreds of hostages out of Israel and tortured many, if not most, of them.Hamas created a war fortress of hundreds of miles of tunnels under Gaza hospitals, schools, and homes, thus protecting themselves and sacrificing Palestinian citizens when they wage war. The tunnel tactic has made it difficult and complex for the Israel Defense Forces to engage Hamas in battles. Nevertheless, warfare experts have cited that Israel has done more to limit civilian casualties than any other army in history. Hamas determined the parameters for waging its war. Blame Hamas.Israel has previously held back from destroying Hamas despite the terrorist group’s stated and ongoing quest to eliminate Israel and the Jews. Israel had hope that there would be peace with Gaza, up to October 6. But those hopes were dashed and now there is recognition Hamas poses an existential threat to Israel.Despite the casualties incurred by Palestinians and the destruction to Gaza infrastructure, Hamas will not surrender. Hamas will not release the hostages. Blame Hamas for the continuation of the war.

Allan Pilver, Naples

Fear, anger drive MAGA GOP

Fear, the primal human emotion, has trapped Trump supporters.MAGA Republicans have been captured by fear.  The most basic human emotion is existential (live or die) fear.  By creating an atmosphere of existential fear, Trump has caused his supporters to become more extreme in their emotions.  By routinely describing illegal immigrants as murderers and rapists, and saying that Muslims hate America and want to destroy it, Trump systematically radicalizes supporters. A 2006 study found that making Americans think about their own mortality increased their support for extreme measures.  And a study published in 2017 found that participants viewed immigrants moving into their surroundings as an existential threat.

These experimental findings show that fear creates aggression, and aggression creates more fear. This establishes a self-amplifying feedback loop that leads to a collective anger, which then fuels unconditional loyalty. This collective anger is amplified by hyping the “use our tax dollars on illegal immigrants,” by blaming every perceived adversity (like inflation, gun control and prosecutions of Trump) on Biden and by generating a myriad of conspiracy theories.The emotions of fear and anger have grown so intense that facts, science and reason fall on deaf ears. The cure is elusive. Historically, common values were our Founding Fathers’ road to civil discourse, to compromise, to consensus. Fear and anger appear to have closed that road. Emotions prevail.Trump is all emotion. MAGA is all emotion. If Emotion wins, welcome to Planet of the Apes.

Joe Haack, Naples

Dereliction of duty

After losing the city of Avdiivka to the Russian tyrannical murderous thugs, the failure of our government to provide the military aid to the desperate Ukrainians is tantamount to dereliction of duty. Putin’s obese BFF is doing all he can to allow the takeover of the sovereign nation by telling his spineless congressional sycophants he doesn’t want to help so they took a two week hiatus while the Ukrainians literally count and ration their ammunition. Their orange titular head has become the distant speaker of the House. Along with scuttling the very well-crafted bipartisan border bill, they are now responsible for Putin continuing his rampage and his quest to invade bordering NATO countries. Doesn’t this worry anyone? Apparently not. 

Glenn Chenot, Cape Coral

Liberal thought process

A recent article in the Naples Daily News indicated that current abortion laws will tip the population of Florida to re-elect Joe Biden. If I understand the liberal thought process correctly, being able to get high on legal marijuana while killing your unborn child is the path to victory. That is one great political platform.

Don Rader, Naples

Biden buying votes

If Joe Biden gets his way in his continuing saga of buying votes (forgiving all student debt), it will cost American taxpayers $1.6 trillion dollars! There are 12 zeros in a trillion!

It will cost more than these programs have cost since 2000, Unemployment Insurance, Earned Income Tax Credit, Food Stamps, Supplemental Social Security Insurance, Housing Assistance Program, Pell Grants, Welfare, School Breakfast and Lunch Program, WIC and Low Income Energy Assistance.

Where is the fairness in this? 

People who went to trade schools (it’s not free!) haven’t had their loans forgiven. How many people are struggling to make ends meet who wouldn’t make it without a credit card? Their debts aren’t being forgiven. Why just students?

Let’s forgive car loan debt, mortgages and credit card debt while we’re at it. Let’s be fair to ALL Americans.

Maybe you shouldn’t have gone to college if you or your family couldn’t afford it.

Why is that debt being put on the backs of other tax paying Americans? Because Joe is buying votes, that’s why! Let’s call it what it is, a bailout!

Rick Manuel, Dade City

Biden works for the people

Joe Biden is tackling the climate crisis while creating good-paying, clean energy union jobs.Trump and Republicans deny the climate crisis.Biden is lowering family costs and ensuring the wealthy pay their fair share.Trump has and will cut taxes for the wealthy.Biden is rebuilding our roads and bridges with the historic bipartisan infrastructure law.Biden and the Democrats are codifying the protection of Roe v. Wade.Trump and his political party, formerly the Republican Party, want to ban abortion nationwide.Biden is lowering Medicare drug prices, capping insulin at $35 per month and working to lower prices for all Americans.Trump/MAGA will make drastic cuts to Social Security and Medicare.Biden is expanding background check and banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.NRA funded Trump and Republicans want to roll back gun control policies and background checks.Biden is assuring that every eligible American can exercise their right to vote and have fair and safe access to the polls.Trump and the Republicans are gaming the system with unfair voting maps and enacting restrictions to prevent voter access to the polls.Biden and the Democrats are protecting our democracy.Not all Republicans are MAGA.

Dennis Raube, Fort Myers

Biden weak, inept

Our diminished president just had a brief but cordial TV public appearance with the Prime Minister of Japan. Nothing of substance just pleasantries and yet Biden had notes on his lap from which he read.Meeting with an adversary how can anyone think that Biden could handle difficult negotiations? Biden is a weak, fumbling, inept individual. A vote for Biden is a vote for our enemies.

Michael Zubrow, Naples

Performance or diversity?

I’d love to hear a meaningful discussion about DEI − diversity, equity, inclusion. Let’s focus on diversity. Many have said that diversity is our strength. My question is why is that the case? I would like to hear examples where diversity makes for a better outcome. Many argue that diversity provides for a wider variety of input. That may well be true, but where does that reflect in performance, or is performance not the focus and if not, why not? Does it suggest that, for example, all white males have no diversity amongst themselves? If that is true, then why aren’t all white males either Democrats or Republicans? If diversity is the key to success, then why do we have the NAACP, Black colleges, separate men’s and women’s teams, and LGBTQ+ organizations, to name a few? Certainly, professional sports teams do not consider diversity in their players. If all those non diversified organizations are OK, where do we draw the line? Should all organizations have an equal number of Democrats, Republicans and Independents in order to satisfy diversity? Do we really want our military to satisfy diversity or do we want the best soldiers?I’m trying to think of a service I would use where I think it is important that diversity behind that service would be something I thought was helpful. Medical profession, pilots, chefs, lawyer, CPA to name a few where it is not important to me that there be diversity. In fact, a focus on diversity in any of these would make me wonder if I am receiving the best performers.

Ron Wobbeking, Naples

Empowering sense of self

The suppression of identity in schools or in any other institution is detrimental to the non-dominant class.

White racial identity is more often silent or proclaimed as normal. “Just normal” is often the response when whites are asked to identify themselves as to race or ethnicity. This means that they are secure in privilege, white superiority assumption. Whereas non-dominant identity must be expressed with vigor to message the non-acceptance of inferiority rooted in this racist society. The task of people of color is to develop and message an empowering sense of self  in the face of non-acceptance of racism.

Any law banning this teaching or expression of sense of self identity severely harms people of color, impedes expressing the message of non-acceptance of inferiority and self-defense. To the contrary, the task of white is to develop a psychological white identity based on “white pride” which is realistic, not an assumed superiority and not develop an unrealistic sense as klan membership or MAGA.

Lewis Robinson, MD., Fort Myers

Stable democracy or Trump?

Wouldn’t it be nice if all dictators were benevolent?If world history has taught us anything, it’s that benevolent dictators are extremely rare.Could it be that the wise framers of our Constitution established the Separation of Powers for that very reason? A necessary “three-legged stool” for an enduring and stable democracy.Let’s not fall for Mr. Trump’s grifting sales pitch: a gold painted, one-legged, MAGA Trump Power Stool.Do you really think that our precious democracy will be safe on a Trump Power Stool? If so, it’s ”Yours for just one easy payment on November 5th!”“But wait! Send $300 now for a pair of gold Trump sneakers to wear on November 5th as you proudly cast your ‘payment’ for democracy’s demise!”

J. Cant, Naples

Fear, anger and hate

The fear, anger and hate strategy!It appears this has become symbolic of one party for the fall election.Winston Churchill said the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Immigrants from other countries are our doctors, lawyers, lawn care, government officials and a vice president.Anger is twisted to portray an election as stolen, total misinformation on a variety of subjects easily Googled and to rebel against the judicial process.Hate is easily seen against the LGBTQ, immigration, and even the opposing media.The United States can do better than this blueprint of one political party.This fall “ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.” Save democracy from authoritarianism.Glenn Mueller, Naples

Deception by the left

Recently, the president apologized for using the term “illegal.” What could be worse for the thought police on the left? Hearing the leader of their party describe a criminal in unflattering yet truthful terms required a public apology. The fictional “Thought Police” of “1984″ would blush with envy at the slick use of language by today’s left.The left continues to be very creative in their attempts to deceive us. Last year they spent a trillion dollars we didn’t have and called it The Inflation Reduction Act while keeping a straight face.Or, take note of the strident calls for “The protection of Women’s Reproductive Rights.” Where’s the beef? We “Right to Life” proponents are all for women’s reproductive rights. What we want is to restrict “Women’s Termination Rights.” So, to be more precise, let’s have the left call for “Women’s Termination Rights.”In addition to getting that clarification, let’s all get behind “The Senate Effectiveness Enhancement Act” and call for the term limits of those who think they’re fooling us.

Richard Cacioppe, Naples

Trans people deserve respect

I have been following the Nex Benedict story from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Such sorrow and the country should be outraged.Nex was a 16-year-old who went to Owasso High School and was beaten in the bathroom February 7 by three girls. No ambulance was called. No police report except to the the school resource officer. The school nurse did check Nex in the nurse’s office.According to the NY Post, CNN and newspapers the altercation did not cause Nex’s death. As an RN I find this difficult to believe.I am calling for justice and an investigation in the whole issue. The Oklahoma state government made new judgments for bathroom use by the LGBTQ+ community in 2023.All students deserve to be protected and safe in our school in our USA. Trans people deserve respect and safety, this lack of respect, cruelty, and hate are unacceptable.Justice needs to be served.Kathleen Callard, RNBS, North Fort Myers

Israel vs. Hamas

Genocide is defined as the deliberate killing of a large number of people from a particular nation or ethnic group with the aim of destroying that nation or group.

The Hamas Charter states that “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it” that Hamas “strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine” and that “unceasing holy war is the only way to attain that objective.”  Its statements and actions before, during and after October 7 make clear its intention to erase Jews and Israel from the map of the Middle East. The only reason Hamas hasn’t committed genocide is that it can’t. It has the intent but lacks the capability.

The U.S. Census Bureau International Database data estimates that Gaza’s Palestinian population increased from 265,800 in 1960 to  2.1 million in 2023.  Israel has the ability to inflict mass casualties and death on Gaza but lacks the intent.  Even if we accept Hamas’ highly questionable data there have been less than thirty thousand mortalities, including both civilians and armed combatants. If Israel is trying to commit genocide it is doing a terrible job of it.

Ed Alexander, Naples, CAMERA/Naples Christians and Jews United

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