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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Today's Letters: Passenger's T-shirt was tasteless
By LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published October 7, 2007
Clothes call dings Southwest - again Oct. 5, story
To the operators of Southwest Airlines: Your recent apologies to people who wear tasteless clothing or other displays of juvenile behavior are worse than the actions taken by your employees who attempted to safeguard the traveling public from the boorish minority who evidently don't know better.
To the editors of the Times: My rights under the Second Amendment stop when I arrive at the airport. Security reasons require it to be so, and this has been validated repeatedly in the courts. The man who wore a tasteless T-shirt while traveling on Southwest's flight has First Amendment rights, but they likewise have limits, which unfortunately neither the Times nor the officials at the airline seem to understand.
To the man who flew wearing his silly shirt: I'm not impressed by your sense of humor nor am I convinced by your lack of discretion. There's a time and place for everything and evidently you don't comprehend it.
Jim Parker, Lakeland
Two Democrats to sue over primary Oct. 4
The recent suit filed by U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and congressman Alcee Hastings is a continuation of entrenched Democrats' political warfare against Howard Dean's Democratic National Committee leadership, with its emphasis on grass-roots, low budget campaigns, and a 50-state strategy. Dean and Co. make status quo Democrats, including Florida's well-heeled party chair and legislative leadership, very nervous.
The big winner in the current debacle over the primary calendar and delegate selection, is the big money, big name recognition candidates. They (read "she") will win big on Jan .29, get a needed boost in Iowa and South Carolina, and "run the table" on Feb. 5. In gratitude, Florida's delegates will be seated at the national convention. That's the game plan of the Florida Democratic Party.
However, with so many Democrats running, there still is the possibility of a brokered convention, in which case no prospective nominee will seat Florida's delegates. So much for real democracy in the Sunshine State!
Adrien Helm, chair, Pinellas Democrats PAC, St. Petersburg
Guns bring killing Sept. 30, letter
A misplaced fear
The letter writer said that if it was only the police, military and security that had firearms, there would be fewer killings. Clearly he appears to be very concerned over the number of guns in America.
I suggest he consider moving to a country like China, Cuba, Burma or North Korea, where the police, military and security forces are the only people bearing arms. Then his fears will be alleviated.
Of course, in those countries a letter to the editor might bring a knock on the door in the night from those in the police, military or security forces with guns.
Paul Sovran, Kissimmee
We the people feature
Reminder of rights
Thank you for highlighting the value of our constitutional rights in your "We the people" feature in Perspective. It's good to be reminded how we are affected in fundamental ways by rights established in the Constitution.
It's sad to read about the Sixth Amendment. It has taken such a beating lately because of the Military Commissions Act and the striking out of habeas corpus provisions. I think what bothers me most is that the new law leaves the determination of "enemy combatant" status in the hands of a single person.
Your series reminds me that our Constitution can only be strong if we protect it. I hope it reminds us all that these rights are so revered because they have been so needed throughout human history.
Patsy Shafchuk, New Port Richey
Florida, you get uglier by the day Sept. 23
Freezes took a toll
In Bill Maxwell's column deploring the "handiwork of developers" in Florida and Lake County, in particular, he neglected to mention a very important fact. He states that the environs of Eustis, Tavares, Yalaha and Howey-in-the-Hills are no longer blanketed with rolling citrus groves but with subdivisions, strip malls and Wal-Marts.
If Maxwell will remember, back in the '80s, that area suffered two back-to-back hard freezes that killed all the citrus trees. Since it would be foolish to replant and suffer the same loss again, what were the citrus growers to do? They sold the land to the only people who wanted to buy and had the money. I would have sold, too, rather than lose everything.
The developers did not bulldoze live trees and build on the land. Mother Nature took care of the trees; the developers took advantage of it. I guess you call it progress. Sad but true.
Terry Rupert, Hudson
The longing Sept. 30, Floridian story
Kate Brassfield's story was a superbly written and poignant one that captured the hope and pain associated with infertility issues. I could relate to all of Ms. Brassfield's feelings since I myself struggled with infertility for a time. My husband and I also underwent IVF when we were not able to conceive. We were fortunate in that we conceived our daughter with just one round of IVF.
Ms. Brassfield's comments about avoiding pregnant women and baby showers hit home with me. During the time I was trying to get pregnant it seemed as if every woman I encountered was pregnant. I remember thinking I should be overjoyed when my friends announced their pregnancies to me, but all I could think about was my own pain.
In an ironic twist I am currently pregnant again, this time with no medical intervention. I now find myself on the other side of the fence, wondering how to break the news to my friends who have not been able to get pregnant.
Thanks to Kate Brassfield for having the courage to write this article and for letting others struggling with infertility know that they are not alone.
Ann Silva, Palm Harbor
A dress code needed
I'm not a great fan of "cattle car airlines," but one of the reasons is that they don't deny seats to enough inappropriately dressed people.
Airlines should have dress codes for passengers. Any messages on clothes that you wouldn't want to explain to your grandmother would not be allowed. Any exposure of body parts that are too sexy to show in church are not allowed. Likewise, any body parts that are too ugly to expose anywhere are not allowed. Also, all passengers should be required to have been somewhat recently washed - with soap.
I don't care what you do in the privacy of your own home. But the second you step out your front door, you are in public space - a space you share with me, and I don't want to be exposed to you.
Cattle car airlines should be congratulated for making that man change his shirt.