Letters to the editor for Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Link to Image

Letters to the editor should be 250 words or less. Include your name and city or community of residence. Guest opinions should be 600 words or less and include a brief summary of the author’s credentials relevant to the topic. Guest opinions may include a head shot of the author. For the Fort Myers News-Press, email submissions to mailbag@news-press.com and for the Naples Daily News to letters@naplesnews.com

Helpful county employees

Frequently, readers write to express unhappiness with something. I would like to extend kudos to a branch of Lee County government (yes, government!)

Recently, I was trying to get current tags for my cat and dog. I went to the Lee County Domestic Animal Services Pet Licensing Department. Of course, I arrived without all necessary paperwork, the vet’s office is in Charlotte County, and the vet’s computer system was acting up. The ladies in that department patiently waited through multiple incorrect/missing emails and faxes.

Throughout it all. They were friendly, pleasant, and helpful. They did everything possible to help. I wish all government employees were that good!

Patricia Casey Davis, North Fort Myers

Unhelpful IRS office

About two and a half months ago my wife made an appointment with the IRS office in Fort Myers for 11:00 August 3. When she drove 45 minutes to their office there were several people waiting outside. Some did not speak or understand English. There was a handwritten sign, closed August 3rd. I went on the website and it said open. She found out the office was closed also the day before, August 2nd. Nobody informed anyone who had an appointment that the office was closed. The sign also said call for an appointment and be prepared for a 15 minute wait. Unreal. Nobody who had appointments were contacted that the office was closed on either day. Where did all of the money the government allocated for additional IRS agents go?Typical federal government which does not serve the people but serves themselves.What has happened to common decency when the government is involved?Shameful.

Charlie Hirschfeld, Naples

The humane thing

This letter is regarding an article entitled “Trial set for East Naples Man Charged with Animal Cruelty.” The article states “Percy (the dog) will require surgery to remove his ear canals … and Percy will have to undergo surgery to remove both eyes.” Percy is currently at the Naples Humane Society.What is the definition of humane, and who decides when it is humane to euthanize? My question for the Humane Society is, why is this dog being kept alive to endure a life of suffering. When you remove the ear canals the dog will not be able to hear. When you remove the eyes, the dog will not be able to see. I thought it was an interesting coincidence that on page 3D of the same issue of the Naples Daily News there was an ad by a local church mentioning pets going to heaven. Humane Society of Naples, please do the humane thing and euthanize this dog so he/she can go to heaven and frolic with the other deceased pets instead of sentencing this dog to a life on suffering.

Claudia Kelley, Naples

Homeowner insurance

DeSantis runs for president while he and his Republican cronies in the Legislature mismanage Florida homeowner insurance market leaving thousands of Floridians wondering how their hurricane and other damages will be paid.

“Insurance companies have been given tremendous amount of leeway in Florida,” Birny Birnbaum, the director of the Center for Economic Justice and a former insurance regulator said in an interview. “Light regulation let these smaller companies come in and cherry pick what they want to cover. When there is no hurricane, they can make a tremendous amount of money. When there is one, executives can walk away without much liability and a lot richer.”

These legislators and this governor are not worthy of serving as dog catchers much less given responsibility to protect homeowners from unscrupulous insurance executives. These same executives probably are the largest contributors to the campaigns. They most likely contribute to PACs and other entities where they do not have to identify themselves. This is the horrible result of a decision by the Republican Supreme Court members in Citizens United who decided to afford greater rights to corporations than to human beings. Disgraceful!

The 2010 Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United vs FEC case effectively blocked the ability to enact limits on campaign spending. The Citizens United decision opened the floodgates to the billions of dollars that have since poured into the election system, enabling those with access to concentrated wealth to have vastly more influence over our political system than the average American. That means you and me!

We need to end this by recruiting Democratic candidates, financially supporting them, and, electing Democrats up and down the ballot in every election.

Robert Geltner, North Fort Myers

Moral thermometer

Here is a simple test for your moral thermometer.

Which people use the term “illegals,” or ” illegal aliens” vs. those who use the term “migrants,” “refugees” or “undocumented individuals.”

That’s it. Just a little thing. But so indicative of how one views other fellow human beings who are most in need.

J.C. Watson, Naples

Don’t buy Left’s message

I would like to compliment Richard Cacioppe of Naples on his letter published July 12. It was a 100% accurate summary of the divisive, destructive, hypocritical, and craven strategies of the Left, the Democrat Party and their practitioners in identity politics.

The leftists profess to protect the poor and minorities, yet cities coast to coast run by Democrats for 100 years (e.g. Chicago) are crime ridden hell-holes with inner-city youth aging out of public schools controlled by Democrat-supporting teachers’ unions. Sadly most score at or below a 5th grade level in math and reading. This is the next generation of poor duped Democrats. Why else would a clear thinking and moral teaching professional be so vehemently opposed to School Choice? As Larry Elder has said many times, “The Democrats are scared to death of an intelligent and conservative Black man!” That cohort is not an easy mark for their “poor helpless you” rhetoric.

That’s also why goofy Democrat congressmen have turned MAGA into a four-letter word. If their constituents embrace the notion of being an “American” equal to, and on the same team as, all those other people of various nationalities, colors and creeds, why they may just up and develop hope and a sense of optimism that they too can make it in this great country! Stealing a man’s hope is an evil enterprise!

The Left’s strategy is to “Divide and Conquer” as the Romans did and indeed for a while they had conquered the world. Don’t buy the Left’s message, it’s a suicide pact.

Tom Perkins, Fort Myers

Workers needed here

Could somebody please tell me why Governor DeSantis is using Florida taxpayers’ money to send able-bodied men and women (potential workers) to other states when so many roofs are still covered with tarps, so many Floridians in Southwest Florida haven’t been able to repair their homes damaged by Ian due to a lack of parts and labor and so many offices and businesses are short on staff?

Joan Brandt, Fort Myers

Typical Republican lies

Trump and DeSantis frequently talk of American decline but never name in what way we are declining. What I see is very low unemployment, good GDP numbers, markedly lowered inflation and the world’s strongest military. Taking these into consideration their claims are nothing but typical Republican lies. Their campaign plans are nothing but lies and conspiracy theories. The liar in chief has been indicted and, in serious jeopardy of jail time, he spends his time attacking the process not denying the facts of his cases. If there is a decline it is in the intelligence of people who believe these lies.

Albert King, Naples

One for the libs

I am pretty sure that your diverse and inclusive team never looks at any Prager U information videos, but I found one they may consider. The title is, “Why I Hate Conservatives,” and it does a great job in drawing the contrast between the liberal and conservative viewpoints. The name alone should be enough to get your old liberal hearts pumping.

Don Rader, Naples

Ukraine and NATO

A couple of things need to be pointed out after the comments by a letter writer concerning the conflict in Ukraine.

The writer goes on to list the horrors we will face if Ukraine joins NATO — nuclear war, a combination of Vietnam and Afghanistan.

I’m sure Putin appreciates his comments, but President Biden has wisely said that Ukraine would NOT be joining NATO as long as they’re at war with Russia.

D. Wallace, Cape Coral

America on trial

The recent indictments as well as the upcoming indictment in Georgia of Donald Trump are not the trials the American public should be concerned with. The real trial is of America itself.

Ask yourself as an American citizen and voter what type of country we will be if a twice impeached former president, an election denier, a convicted sexual abuser, a power-hungry individual who thinks he’s above the law, with multiple indictments, one being trying to stop a federal election and reverse the will of the American people by attempting to stay in power, is elected president of the United States? What does this say about the morality and integrity of the American people? What message are we conveying to our allies, the rest of the world and to future generations of Americans? Are we not better than this?

Electing Trump is a life sentence of our great country to one of decay, moral depravity, revenge seeking and embarrassment on the world stage and the American voters will be the jury that did it. This is not the America we want or need. We are better than this!

Lou Vigliotti, Naples

Trump support puzzling

I find it hard to understand how so many people still support Mr. Trump. The only reasonable answer I have is ignorance of our constitutional government.A few decades ago there was quite a push to offer more STEM courses in the curriculum of our schools. It stands to reason that with a limited number of hours available for classroom instruction, adding new academic courses means removing others to accommodate the new additions. Now I wonder if the courses might have been United States History and Civics/Government courses. How else to explain the utter ignorance and lack of respect for the rule of law that is present in so much of our populace?At some point in time, Republicans in Congress will start fleeing from their support of the former president as these legal proceedings go forward. It could very well happen in time to deny Mr. Trump the GOP nomination. But, do not hold your breath!

Bob Ford, Fort Myers

Absolute evil of Trump

Trump threatened witnesses for his trial “If you come after me I will come after you.” With Trump’s mobilization of his mafia thugs January 6, maiming and killing Capitol Police officers, this is no idle threat. Facts provided by Trump’s associates (including VP Pence) to the grand jury were sufficient evidence to indict Trump who now goes to trial. Like a mafia don, Donald Trump threatened them with bodily harm if they testify at his trial.Trump’s close associates, including his attorneys, are “co-conspirators” who will be defendants in their own trials subsequently placing them “between a rock and a hard place.” If they testify truthfully, Trump states that he will order his goons to attack them and possibly their families. If they take the Fifth, it will be an admission of their own guilt to be used against them in their own criminal trials. If they refuse to testify, their testimony to the grand jury that indicted Trump will be read to the jury and convict Trump as well.Our country, our democracy is at its greatest risk since the Civil War. Millions of Americans are like robots under mind control by Donald Trump. Is there no potion other than love, logic, fact and kindness to open the minds of Trump’s supporters to comprehend/grasp the absolute evil of Trump as described by his psychologist niece Mary Trump?

William Pettinger M.D., Bonita Springs

Trump deflects after indictment

For the third time in the past two months, Donald Trump was indicted, in a Washington D.C. courthouse for his participation in the Jan. 6th insurrection. Before boarding his private jet in the rain heading back to his home in Bedminster, NJ, he had a few words for the public. You would have thought that his main concern would have been his First Amendment rights and his prosecution and persecution by the special counsel who he considers deranged.

No. His first statements were how filthy and foul-smelling the DC area was. He said it wasn’t like that when he left Washington, implying that the Biden administration bears responsibility. He also mentioned the many crumbling buildings he saw on his way to the airport. This is a familiar Trump tactic. Convince his base that these are the important issues and not the real issues that really indicted him.

What he failed to mention was the building that showed the most damage and filth because it was within eyesight of where he was indicted. That was the U.S. Capitol building. He couldn’t blame Joe Biden because he knew damn well that he was solely responsible for the Capitol’s destruction, deaths, and the many jail sentences his naive supporters received.

In conclusion let me say that if his base doesn’t doesn’t wake up as Chris Christie, Mike Pence, Liz Cheney and many others have and they help Donald Trump get re-elected, it’s not only Washington D.C. that will crumble and decay, it will be the entire United States of America and American democracy.

Gerald Curcuru, Fort Myers

Excuse to vote Republican

Although I admire Joe Biden, I am angry that he is allowing his ego his distort his judgment, resulting in his decision to seek a second term. And I am angry at the Democratic leadership for supporting this potentially disastrous decision that may eventuate in Trump or DeSantis being elected president.

Anyone paying attention knows that Biden is immeasurably preferable to either of the two demagogues previously mentioned. But his age and health raise valid concerns, and make him vulnerable to criticism and potential defeat. If elected and he becomes incapacitated or worse, Kamala Harris would assume the presidency, which I do not believe is acceptable to most Biden supporters. Such a possibility just provides “fence straddlers” an excuse to vote Republican, when what this country desperately needs is a strong independent centrist statesman, free from party affiliation. If Biden would allow for such a candidate to receive Democratic Party support, the America of our founders could be saved from demagogues intent on destroying it. And Biden would receive the heartfelt thanks of a grateful nation.

Ed OKeefe, Bonita Springs

Get fiscal house in order

The Fitch credit downgrading reflects losing faith in our fiscal policies. You cannot sugarcoat this, it is bad. Our debt and spending have mushroomed under progressive policies that have put trillions into our economy resulting in snowballing debt, rising inflation, increased interest rates and escalating prices. Partisan wrangling over spending and the debt ceiling will put a damper on the U.S. economy and affect our competitiveness.

It took our nation 200 years to amass this country’s first $2T deficit. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated the deficit in FY24 alone will be $2T. Spending has gone up nearly 50 percent since 2019 and our debt today is over $32.7T and projected to hit $40T in 10 years. These trends are the reasons why President Biden and congressional Democrats caused the U.S. to lose its top sovereign credit rating.

Biden-omics has hoodwinked Americans into thinking our economy is sustainable. House Republicans are trying to force the issue by lowering the debt and spending. President Biden calls Republicans extremists trying to undermine our democracy while seeking tax giveaways for the wealthy. There seems to be no common ground to close the gap between spending and revenue.

We will all suffer if politics prevents a long-term solution on debt and runaway spending. Voters need to take charge by supporting candidates who understand economics and the consequence of the Fitch downgrade and get our fiscal house in order. There are solutions to improve our fiscal sustainability. The nation needs leadership.

Frank Mazur, Fort Myers

This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: Letters to the editor for Wednesday, August 9, 2023