Letters to the Editor March 17, 2024


Let’s look at root causes of conflict

The current Israel-Hamas war was triggered by the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks in Israel. But what are the root causes of the ongoing Israel-Palestinian conflict?

For decades, Gazans have lived in an open-air prison created by Israel’s border blockade, which has effectively collapsed the Gazan economy. Since 1967, Israel has continued expansion of illegal settlements in the West Bank — including recent approval for building 3,500 more homes. Palestinians routinely face violence from Israeli settlers that goes unpunished. Israeli state-sponsored violence includes unjust and indiscriminate imprisonment, and confiscation of Palestinian assets. Now, Israel’s punitive military assault in Gaza is targeting civilians, pulverizing Gaza infrastructure, and preventing humanitarian aid.

These facts help us to understand how Israel’s military control over Palestinians has caused intense suffering and provided fertile ground for violent extremism.

The U.S. ongoing support for Israel is immoral and endangers U.S. interests — military, commercial and civilian. The recent Houtthi rebel missile attacks offer a glimpse of what lies ahead under the present course.

U.S citizens must demand stronger action from the Biden Administration and from Congress toward these goals: A:  an immediate and permanent Israeli ceasefire; B: open borders to allow aid trucks; and C: Not another dime of U.S. support for Israel’s extremist, right-wing Netanyahu government.

Now is the time to abandon the two-state fantasy solution and redirect our full energy into the only practical path to eventual peace: a new one-state solution — composed of Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories — with equal rights for all.

Kimberly Gibbs, Merritt Island

Letter-writers misguided in supporting Trump

There were several letters in a recent FLORIDA TODAY Opinion page that caught my attention.

The first one started, “Don’t expect another Trump presidency to be as successful as the first one.” Please, do not try to gaslight us or make a fool of yourself. If you think it was successful, please tell us how. We are so close to losing our country to a demented, deranged, power-ungry psychopath who knows absolutely nothing about running a country successfully. Our country is not his personal business to cheat and corrupt. Unless we let him.

The next letter was “too many problems for one man to fix.” That is correct. The best man cannot “fix” all that is going on in our country especially a person like the one I referred to above. He is nor the chosen one by any stretch of the imagination. He is an insurrectionist by definition. If he is convicted of a felony, he will not be allowed to vote so why in God’s name should he be allowed to even run for the office of president, let alone be president of the United States?! Like the one letter said, supporting Trump is supporting Putin. Do you really want to be like Russia?

Last but not least is the letter titled “Backwards and in high heels.” Bravo to Ms. Taylor. I know who I am voting for, like Ms. Kornek. It wouldn’t matter which party the best man/woman was affiliated with. Best gets my vote. Search deep in your mind and do not let our beautiful country slip away to people who are so corrupt they tried to overthrow our government.  All they are interested in is taking it all away from the people and keeping it and using it for themselves. We are all born with that intuition of right and wrong. Where did it go?  

Donna Carroll, Viera

Cocoa Beach mayor way off in comments

As permanent residents of Cocoa Beach, both my wife and I find our mayor’s recent comment, “The residents couldn’t care less if tourists come here,” extremely alarming.

Based on that comment, it appears that our mayor does not understand that tourism is a major industry for Cocoa Beach, generating a revenue as well as employment for local businesses and our city government.

I’d suggest that the mayor visit the parking lots at the Cocoa Beach Country Club, parking ramp and churches to see the large number of our-of-state cars before he makes any future decisions or remarks like the above, for, without the tourists, the progressive city of Cocoa Beach and its residents will face a bleak future.

Tom R Baldwin, Cocoa Beach

The Sixth Amendment

In 1791, our forefathers ratified the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution, giving citizens the right to a fair and speedy public trial by a jury of their peers.

This amendment was implemented to guarantee that anyone falsely accused could have their day in court in a timely manner to face all evidence for and against them and be exonerated if found innocent. This seems to be a wise addition to the constitution. It prevents an innocent person from languishing with the cloud of suspicion over his head and provides the public with timely justice. An innocent person, with corroborating evidence, should be eager for his day in court to clear his name and get on with his life. Someone who is guilty and knows he is guilty would have every reason to delay and subvert the speedy trial laws.

Trump is accused of 91 felonies, and vehemently denies any wrongdoing. If this is the case, he should be demanding speedy trials to show the country that he’s the fine, upstanding law-abiding individual he says he is; have the trials guaranteed by the Constitution; and, if found not guilty, get on with his life. 

Ed Dean, Merritt Island

There are still Good Samaritans

Recently, my daughter Barb and I were driving north on U.S. 1 and stopped at a red light at State Road 520. In the middle lane, in front of us, was an old pickup truck. You knew it was old since it had antique plates on it. It was a workhorse of a truck, bearing the scars of years of useful service, with no tailgate and a wild assortment of stuff in its bed.

As we chatted in our car we failed to notice that the pickup was still stopped in spite of a green light. Then a small, elderly woman got out and started to push the old pickup. Suddenly the car in front of her started, made an abrupt right turn across the inner lane and the driver left his car on 520, in a traffic lane, to come over to give the lady some help.

He was very thin, shirtless and maybe 40ish, and as he came over, he moved on a bad leg. Obviously, he had a mobility problem, but he hastened to join the pushing effort. He was soon aided by another motorist and the battered red truck made it to a safe parking lot.

That good citizen risked his car, even his health, as he painfully helped a stranger away from that crowded intersection. In this day of nastiness in much of our daily lives, he represented the very best of Brevard.

Robert Willett, Rockledge

Character matters

If a political candidate ridicules handicapped people and those who are not straight and white and encourages his followers to laugh and jeer at them, what does that say about this candidate? What does it say about these followers who vote for him? Character matters.      

We straight white people will never be able to understand the depth of fear suffered by people who are different, because we can’t walk a mile in their shoes. We can, however, speak for them because straight white people matter to political candidates. So stand up and speak, every chance you get. Check the facts, speak against the lies, write to the candidates, write to those in office, write to newspapers, and encourage your friends and acquaintances to do the same.

Be the voice.

Ann Coburn, Cocoa

You may want to stay away from the Bay

Do you like to visit Palm Bay’s waterfront? If so, be sure to wear a hazmat suit and update your vaccinations.

See all those “scenic” sailboats out in the Bay with the liveaboard residents (and their pets) living on them?

Well, if you choose to recreate in the Bay of Palm Bay, you are swimming or fishing or paddling in their septic tank. Yes indeed folks, not only do those “residents” urinate and defecate each day into that bay, their bathwater, shampoo and dishwater is also dumped or pumped directly into that water for your recreational pleasure. It’s all poopy water so try to keep all your orifices shut and a drum of sanitizer close.

Scenic sailboats? Actually they’re septic sailboats. Think that must be illegal? It’s supposed to be. Prove it, the cops say. No, pictures aren’t acceptable evidence. A cop must personally view it. What about our elected officials like the Palm Bay City Council or Rep. Randy Fine? You can write to them like we have. Apparently they’re not interested, since we never received any response. Some of those boats haven’t moved in 10 years and we have the pictures to prove it.

Be careful out there folks, there’s lots lurking just below the surface in those waters. That squishy stuff between your toes when you touch bottom may not be what you hoped for. Perhaps “Fecal Bay” would be a more accurate moniker.

Ray Walton, Palm Bay

Communism in lower grades?

Why would the history of communism be taught in lower grades? I know what will happen. Kids will start playing communist games instead of western games or pirate games or hopscotch or tag. 

What is happening in our school system? What happened to teaching the history of democracy?

Geraldine Hoyt, Melbourne

Rule of law be damned

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson needed to avert a federal shutdown last week. He was able to pass a spending bill through the House, only with Democrats’ support. He said he made “cuts to some of the agencies that are really overreach and have been turned against the American people.” The bill cuts each of these agencies — DOJ, ATF, FBI, and EPA — and it’s “just a start,” he says.

Johnson recently refused to take up the toughest bipartisan anti-immigration bill ever to come from the Senate.  Now he is bragging about defunding law enforcement agencies that protect against terrorists, drug cartels, illegals, and gangs.

Is “let illegals and cartels have their way” the new MAGA security model? No? Then why is the Republican-led House ignoring the Senate’s strong immigration and national security bill, and now defunding justice and national security agencies?  

Because Trump told them to. Trump detests the DOJ, the FBI, the courts, and the IRS. Why? Because they are a threat to his lawlessness and have cost him over $500 million in recent judgments. 

With his longtime ally Michael Whatley and his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, now running the RNC, Trump has cemented his takeover of the Republican Party. Lara even committed to have it pay his millions in legal fees.

Trump cares only about money and power. Our national security and the rule of law be damned. 

The most dangerous “overreach” that has been “turned against the American people” is by Trump and his MAGA Republican cult.

Jeff Dorman, Satellite Beach

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