Today's Opinions

  • New texting ban is another farce

    Years ago, when the Florida Legislature, under pressure from the Feds, adopted a mandatory seat belt use law, they made it a secondary offense. In other words, police couldn’t stop you for not using a seat belt.
    They had to stop you for something else before you could receive a seat belt citation.
    Eventually, someone realized how silly this was, so they made it a primary violation. Now if you drive down the road without your seat belt hooked up, you can be pulled over.

  • Mom's sacrifice: Learning to drive

    The year was … well, it was in the late 1940s, I’m not sure exactly what year it was.
    I was just a little kid then, but I remember going out in the car with my dad and mom. We went to a vacant parking lot and, shock of shocks, my folks switched positions and mom got behind the wheel.
    She was learning to drive.

  • More medicine dropoff points needed

    One of the services that law enforcement agencies provide a couple of times per year is the “pill take-back day” that was held last Saturday.
    On that day, people can drop medication, usually unwanted or outdated, off at any of the sites and it will be disposed of properly. Nationally, the Drug Enforcement Administration pushes the event, and local law enforcement agencies cooperate.

  • Appreciate your teachers

    They are among the most dedicated workers anywhere. They are extremely important to the community and the families within.
    They take your children, some at a young age, and try to mold them into productive citizens, making sure they learn the basics.
    They are, of course, the teachers in our schools.
    Next week is Teacher Appreciation Week in the Marion County Schools.
    Most teachers are hard-working people. Some of the problems they have to endure are not of their own making.

  • A procession of steps toward social democracy

    When asked if he had any political affiliation, humorist Will Rogers used to quip: “I am not a member of any organized party. I’m a Democrat.” If he were alive today, Rogers could claim membership in either of two disorganized parties.
    Republicans didn’t learn much from their disorganized politics under presidents Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover, which led to the Great Depression (1929-1939). During those three presidencies, Republicans controlled both houses of Congress (1921 to 1933).

  • wanted for prosecution: one groundhog

    When I was a kid, living up north, I always wondered how, on Feb. 2, some silly little animal in Pennsylvania could predict the weather.
    It was Groundhog Day, and supposedly if the groundhog saw his shadow and scurried back into his hole, there would be six more weeks of winter. If he didn’t see his shadow, there would be an early spring.
    The biggest celebration is in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. In fact, a cult movie starring Bill Murray was made in 1993 featuring this festival and, indeed, a festival has built up around this holiday.

  • Letters to the editor 2-15-2013

    Health care action

    The 2013 Legislative Session begins in three weeks. Two weeks ago, the governor released his budget recommendations, which yet again contain cuts in payments to Florida hospitals for the care of low income families, children, the elderly and the disabled. This is just one of many challenges facing us in the upcoming Legislative Session. Yet, the biggest health care policy decision Florida faces was not addressed in the governor’s budget because that decision will be up to the Legislature.

  • Pope's resignation was a shock

    When I was a young boy in Catholic school, we sang a hymn, “Long live the pope his praises sound, again and yet again; his rule is over space and time, his throne the hearts of men.”

    The pope in those days was Pope Pius XII, and I always thought that Pius was a strange name, and it was even stranger that there had been 12 of them. Of course, he was followed by John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, who is still pope today.