Prepare for warming
Climate change is a real problem that has already caused devastation in many communities due to rising sea levels and fiercer storms. We must act to reduce carbon pollution and increase clean-energy production. Only then do we have a chance to lessen our future negative impact on the environment and therefore avoid even fiercer storms and flooding. If we don’t act now, these will likely destroy many cities in the United States and hurt our economy. This must be a global effort, with the United States at the forefront. We also need to be better prepared to deal with the impacts of climate change that have already occurred.
Regarding the letter “Make U.S. the envy of the world again” (Views, March 13): This letter demonstrates a trend with Republicans to call any and all policies left of center to be evidence of some extreme but vague form of “socialism-communism.” However, socialism isn’t as far left as right-wingers make it out to be. The most pressing demands of modern-day socialists are simply a reasonable minimum wage, a more progressive income tax, and a reduction in military spending. None of these are particularly extreme, and all of these are justifiable. It’s worth raising the minimum wage and creating a more progressive income tax to reduce income inequality in the U.S. It’s also prudent to reduce our military spending, especially when you consider the fact that the U.S. spends more on its military than the next 15 countries combined, most of which are formally allied with us. Ultimately, real socialism is not about becoming like some South American dictatorship. It’s about making justifiable economic choices to ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to succeed in our great nation.
Most Americans know very little about Buddhism but view the Dalai Lama as the religion’s gentle, loving face devoted to peace and reconciliation. The sight of the protests that followed him on his tour of the U.S. probably mystified and confused them. The bone of contention, as reported in the news, is a figure in the pantheon of Tibetan Buddhas and deities named Dorje Shugden, whom they call the “dharma protector.” Dorje Shugden images had an honored place on thousands of Buddhist shrines around the world and prayers to him have been repeated by dedicated Buddhists for centuries. When the Dalai Lama declared Dorje Shugden “persona non grata,” Tibetan communities had to choose between loyalty to their political leader and Dorje Shugden, who had played an important role in their religious lives. Think how Catholics would react if the pope suddenly decided to remove statues of the Virgin Mary from Catholic churches and ban any mention of her. The political leadership of this nation should not honor or support any leader who has punished and divided his people the way the Dalai Lama has done, even if he has won a Nobel Peace Prize.
Sharpton off mark
Al Sharpton and others act like no one in Florida would get shot if it wasn’t for the “stand your ground” law. Going back to the night George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin: If someone is on top of you beating your head on the concrete and you shoot them, it would be self-defense, not stand your ground. Everybody has a opinion, but George Zimmerman is the only person who knows what happened that night. Al Sharpton said, “It isn’t about race.” When has he done anything that wasn’t about race? Reading the news coverage of the threatened boycott, it looks like it is about nothing but race. I also don’t think Disney World or Tropicana have anything to do with the “stand your ground” law.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein is enraged that the CIA may seek prosecution of Senate aides for breaking into confidential CIA files and characterized the move as a potential effort to intimidate her staff, and she is not going to take it lightly. How ironic; it is OK for the IRS to intimidate over 600 conservative groups, and less than six liberal groups for show, and the person who orchestrated this can plead the Fifth, and the White House can cover up the deaths of four civil servants in the Benghazi disaster, but no one had better try to intimidate her or her staff. With Feinstein and Pelosi representing California, who needs a Constitution, laws or just plain honesty.
Down on oaks
I personally think that all the “good” people derive from the scrub oak trees here in Florida, as in shade, is drastically outweighed by all the bad. So many people suffer from pollen allergies. The tree roots destroy sidewalks and driveways, not to mention what they do to underground water pipes. The leaves are never-ending, and one usually ends up with leaves from surrounding properties even when they don’t have a single tree in their own yard. The acorns and pollen stain driveways. I think it is time to start a grass-roots movement and pass a law to remove all the oak trees and start planting more palm trees and pine trees. Anything but those small-leaf oak trees. OK, my rant has come to an end.