The last gasp
Sadly, my home state of Wisconsin proved that unlimited money will win out over people power almost every time. It's a sad fact that the candidate with the most money, no matter how flawed (as proved in Florida in 2010) usually wins. The Supreme Court decision allowing billionaires and multinational corporations to pour unlimited money into campaigns allows for easy sale of our government. The Wisconsin election signals not only the last gasp of unions but an end to the middle class as well.
Big corporate money and the corporate/conservative media — the liberal media, a myth perpetuated by the far right, faded by 1980 — have brainwashed a large segment of our population into believing that unions are evil. If you will use some common sense and a do bit of research, it becomes obvious that the unions are one of the last bastions protecting the middle class. Without labor unions there would be no 40-hour work week and no minimum wage. Sweatshop conditions would still be the norm, and there would be no child labor laws or middle class. The height of the labor movement was also the height of the American middle class.
Over the last four decades, as union participation has faded from 30 percent of workers to about 10 percent, the percentage of Americans considered a part of the middle class has faded from well over 50 percent to 40 percent or less. The numbers in poverty have soared. As the wealthiest 1 percent to 2 percent continues to consolidate the nation's wealth and power, the rest of us pay the price.
Without a doubt the court's Citizens United decision will rival the Dred Scott decision in infamy while irreparably damaging the nation I love.
All but forgotten
The result of the attempted recall of Wisconsin Gov. Scott is nothing short of phenomenal. How can 46 percent of voters in Wisconsin be so-narrow minded and ideology-driven at the expense of a state and now a nation to even consider such a recall in the light of forward progress? Stupidity seems to be the norm, and dumbing down is growing at the cost of this great nation.
Why would any sensible person vote against a person lowering debt, creating jobs, reducing taxes and showing total fiscal responsibility to make a state or nation solvent? This seems to be the Democratic Party mantra — the ideology of what can I get free at the cost of others. We are losing the will to be better as a nation to lead this world economy out of the debt cellar. This needs to be reversed ASAP. John Kennedy's famous speech is all but forgotten: "… ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."
The massive welfare state and "pork" mentality needs to be reformed immensely. And the sooner the better to bring back a sense of responsibility and purpose in one's life and give people the pride in themselves to achieve better opportunities for their families.
Disney wasn't mean
Regarding "Disney raises stink over teen's Tinker Bell outfit" (June 6):
As a former Disney character in the 1990s and an annual pass holder for the last 12 years, kudos to Walt Disney World for not allowing the teen to walk the parks in the Tinker Bell costume. All characters go through training — how to pose for pictures, where their hands go, how to sign autographs, what to say or not to say, etc. Lawsuits have been filed over the years for characters "touching" guests inappropriately. So, allowing "adult" guests to dress as characters is a major liability.
I have never seen "teenagers" (guests), as April Spielman's father claims, dressed up as characters while in the parks. It is seems to be children under 10 dressed as their favorite princess. The father said Disney "could have handled it nicer" and that "they were so mean." Really? Disney gave the offending teenagers clothes to change into, plus "handfuls of passes to allow the family to go to the front of the ride lines." Disney could have been mean and kicked them out altogether. Instead of criticizing Disney, Spielman's parents should take responsibility for not following the rules and policies.
Get on board
We think it would be a huge mistake to destroy the old Gandy Bridge. The new proposal for renovating and reinventing the bridge looks like a project at least equal to Riverwalk in Tampa. The Gandy Bridge is part of the history of Tampa and the Tampa Bay area, and was enjoyed by thousands of people in the simple form of the Friendship TrailBridge. The new proposal would make it a place for locals and visitors to visit and enjoy. Commissioners, let's all get on board this project.
Eoc and Ruth Frazier
A few years back the Republican-led Florida Legislature decided to give the very richest among us a giant tax break. This tax break was capping the sales tax collected on private jets and yachts at $18,000. At a revenue-estimating conference it was decided this cap would only cause a loss of $1.5 million to the state budget. If you go to the website Yachtworld you can see numerous yachts for sale in Florida with asking prices in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Yet, buyers will only pay $18,000 in sales tax.
Just the sale of one $20 million yacht would generate $1.2 million dollars if the wealthy paid taxes like the rest of us. Meanwhile, the Legislature is chomping at the bit to tax you on that digital camera you buy on Ebay.
F. M. Younglove