The dangers of socialism
The followers of Saul Alinsky and other socialist liberals need to look no further than the abject poverty in Cuba and the collapse of the economy in Venezuela to see that this form of society can never work. Russia abandoned communism and became a capitalist nation that is moving rapidly toward world leadership. We see China shifting toward capitalism and now is a world economic leader.
The article by Rafael Osio Cabrices (“I escaped Venezuela for North America, and here’s my story,” Other Views, July 8) defines a major problem in Venezuela — one that we have seen in Cuba that perpetuates the continuation of a failed socialist economy. Like the Cabrices family, many upper- and middle-class citizens abandon evolving socialist countries to escape the abject failures of this type government. Left behind are the poor; they are enslaved in a growing poverty situation that is starving their families. There is no escape. Today in Venezuela, most airlines have reduced or eliminated flights to that country because of the lack of ability by Venezuela to pay its bills in an acceptable currency. The once-strong bolivar is worthless!
And we are seeing a similar exodus of wealth from the USA. Never has more money and wealth moved offshore to escape an expanding socialist USA. The basic crux of the problem is the lack of higher education in the USA. Most universities and colleges in the USA have adopted ultra-liberal teachings similar to those of Alinsky. They seek social engineering to eliminate poverty but end up creating greater poverty like that in Cuba or Venezuela. They lack the basic common sense or intellectual capability to see the facts in front of them. We gave the youths the vote, and now they are using it to destroy the USA with idealistic and impossible scenarios.
Stop the fireworks
Here I sit on July 5 with many thinking it is still the Fourth. None of my neighbors have a farm or fisheries, yet they are setting off illegal fireworks to keep the birds away. I need to inform everyone that birds bed down when it gets dark. We have flying squirrels, and I started reading about them. Do you know the reason flying squirrels only come out at night is because during the day predator birds will kill them?
By signing a form to purchase these illegal fireworks, you are lying. I guess that does not bother the people who do it. I guess it also does not matter to them that veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder are also affected by the fireworks.
I think it is time that personal fireworks be stopped. Go see them when the professionals do a show.
They are illegal. What part of “illegal” do these people not understand?
Stop the dumbing down
My thanks to Ashley Bateman regarding “Why Pledge still stands as civics fall” (Other Views, July 4) for pointing out the lack of social civics and history lessons being taught in our classrooms today. Frequently we see the man-on-the-street interviews with high school and college students where their pronounced lack of knowledge of historical facts and current events elicits laughter from the spectators when they fail to answer correctly even the simplest questions. Many do not know who our vice president is, nor can they explain why our three divisions of government, under our Constitution, are necessary. World history is beyond them in most cases, and few can identify a country even when shown a map.
The inappropriateness and oftentimes mangling of the truth in the schools’ curricula is appalling. Folks, these teaching deficiencies cannot be entirely made up by parents and those few remaining teachers who really want to educate our children. Many parents today are unaware of the subject matter taught to their youngsters and rarely get involved except when their child fails to make the cheerleading squad or advance to a higher grade. Yet these same parents will lug their children from one sports venue to another without question, apparently thinking they are serving the needs of that child. In retrospect they are not doing these children any favors, especially upon graduation when they are confronted by the challenges of the real world. This problem will persist until such time as the states rebel and cast off the federal controls placed on them and eventually say goodbye to the U.S. Department of Education.
It’s time to start thinking that our children can be better educated, and with less money, at the state level. Who in Florida, other than the unions, think that Washington, D.C., can educate our children better than we can? Can’t we all see that this dumbing-down, lock-step standardization of curricula and testing follows the model used by socialist regimes?
And not only should the Pledge of Allegiance be said in every classroom, but the preamble to our Constitution also should be said daily to instill national pride.
Roger H. Oddson
Sun City Center
I am writing in response to “Hobby Lobby ramifications” (Your Views, July 10) and “Hobby Lobby ruling wrong for women, wrong on facts” (Other Views, July 10). I’m not Mr. Religion, but I do believe that people should be able to practice religion without the interference of any government. These two authors are so disingenuous when they say the Hobby Lobby ruling means that women won’t be able to take birth control. The decision says Hobby Lobby does not have to provide four forms of birth control out of the 20 offered under the ACA. Those four are the ones taken after the act of intercourse. So, ladies, you have 16 options of birth control before any sexual activity, and that includes the pill. The left loves casting the right as women-haters.