I have been active in politics for more than 50 years. In all this time I’ve never witnessed such dirty campaigning as is happening this year. What in the world will 2016 be like?
Stacy White must have been somewhat ashamed of the mailer that landed in mail boxes yesterday since I had to use a magnifying glass to ferret out from whence it came. If he has to go to these lengths by attacking his two opponents with half-truths and questioning their character, then to me that says a great deal about his lack of character.
Janet Dougherty is to be commended for running a campaign on her qualifications and years of public service, and has done it without saying one derogatory word about her opponents.
Sun City Center
The beauty of Florida
A long time ago, I was four years old and had no words for what I was seeing for the first time through the glass bottom of the Silver Springs tour boat.
Without words, I couldn’t deal with this vision at the conscious level. I could not trap it and tame it into words like “beautiful” or “amazing” or “I had no idea.” I could not look away because some deep part of me had brushed aside my four-year-old consciousness, grabbed this treasure streaming in through my eyes and joined with it permanently.
I know this because over the years, every now and then, the vision, and variations of it, rise up in intense dreams, always showing me an achingly beautiful world for which I long but from which I am separated.
I have learned not to figure this stuff out, but just to accept the gift.
I looked into the heart of one of Florida’s great natural springs at a uniquely vulnerable age, so I know how pitifully inadequate the words are when we say, “We should preserve the natural world for its recreational value, too.” We took home a little model of the glass-bottom boat. I remember liking it very much.
I’ll tell this story to a judge on Monday as a standing witness for conservation groups challenging the St. Johns River Water Management aquifer-pumping permits for Sleepy Creek Lands, formerly Adena Springs Ranch.
In response to the Aug. 11 editorial “Democracy not always path to peace” (Our Views): This was excellent. I wish those who advise or make decisions in our nation’s capital would think that way. I am happy at least someone locally does, and may be able to influence those who are in power.
Hire the right people
When we vote, we are hiring the people we want to directly impact our life. Think you have no power over bureaucrats making decisions that make your life better or worse? Vote. Take, for instance, the job of county commissioner. Did you know the county commission is the legislative and governing bodies of the county in which you live?
Vote if you use any of the following county services: road systems, fire protection, hospitals, ambulance services, health and welfare programs, parks, playgrounds, museums, recreation areas, water supply, waste collection, public transportation, beaches and libraries.
Take the first step to hiring the right people. Do some research on the candidates, and vote in the primaries on Tuesday.
A prize for your vote
The Tribune had an article this week indicating that Los Angeles wants to incorporate a prize system to bring out more voters because of poor voter turnout. It’s not April Fool’s day, so it must be legit. Voting is a privilege, and as a registered voter, voting should be expected. It is our duty as American citizens to vote. Along with that comes the responsibility to learn about the candidates to make the proper decision.
You shouldn’t have to be rewarded for the privilege to vote. Positive reinforcement works well for dogs when you want to train them. Once trained, they tend to keep that behavior. However, with most humans, you take away the punch bowl and the behavior you were trying to achieve usually doesn’t stick. This means you’ll have to keep the rewards going from now on.
You want voters to make thoughtful, educated decisions when casting ballots. If a prize is offered, you’ll get people who will make any pick down the ballot just to be eligible for a prize without considering who they are selecting. This will result in a pool of random selections, and you might as well just put all the candidates’ names in a hat and pull one out. On the positive side, it would save a ton of time and money for everyone since we wouldn’t be inundated with glossy mailers, TV ads and political phone calls.
Does everything people do have to be motivated with a prize attached? Maybe if people don’t vote within a certain number of elections, they should have the privilege to vote revoked until they earn back the privilege instead of being rewarded just for showing up. Then, maybe they might take it a little more seriously.
Wouldn’t the candidates prefer voters who take the process more seriously as opposed to just getting the largest number of voters involved?
As you know, we are dealing with having thousands of children from Central America walking across our borders. We who are seriously concerned about the campaign against human trafficking in this country wonder whether these kids will become victims if they are allowed to stay. Most arrive unescorted. There is no easy answer, but in balancing the feelings of compassion for these youngsters against the real possibility of them falling into the wrong hands, our preference would be that all should go through the formal immigration process and abide by the limits set by our government for total immigration numbers. To do otherwise will expose many of these children to those involved in human trafficking.
The sheer numbers involved demand this tactic and will hopefully avoid overwhelming our immigration department and making many of these poor children victims of this horrific crime.
The writer is a member of the Sun City Campaign Against Human Trafficking.