I read with horror the Herald’s online stories, “Fight Club,” on the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). Some of the same writers regularly detail the horrors of the foster care and other child welfare programs run by the Department of Children and Families.
What’s the common denominator? These are our kids. Our sons and daughters. Our community’s future.
What’s special about this group of people? They don’t vote. And most of their parents don’t either. They don’t have time to worry about who is running their state because they are busy working multiple jobs, navigating an impossible system to get services for their families, and dealing with children that don’t do well in school, don’t have a safe place to go after school, and don’t know what it means to have a childhood.
These are the same kids, over and over. They start out as foster kids. They don’t get the right case management and support, so they end up with DJJ. Once they’re old enough to be out of the hands of DJJ, they settle back into their old neighborhoods, unprepared for adulthood. They have kids of their own and maybe try to take care of them, maybe not. They are desperate to support themselves and their families, they make bad decisions and they end up in jail or prison. And the cycle begins again.
This is not a new problem. But if we truly want to have a resilient community, put all of our best resources to good use, and have a positive influence globally, we need to take care of our babies.
I’ve read that you can tell a lot about a society by how it cares for its elderly. You can tell even more about a society – and predict its future – by looking at how it cares for its children.
How can anybody who’s never had any class prove he has a higher IQ?
Barry Levy, Miami
Please add my sentiments expressed in this letter to those of many others, I’m sure, who have already written in concerning the issues raised in the First and Second Amendments of the Constitution of the U.S.A.
Are we awaiting another massacre rather than parsing with care the words of the Second Amendment — “a well-regulated militia” — and acting on them?
Amendments to the Constitution have been changed to accord with changing times and conditions in the past; why not now?
Joyce B. Allgood,
Recently, we all have observed the president reaching out to Democratic leaders. Frankly, it is hopeful that Trump — finally — is learning the “art of the deal” in politics. To be sure, this is something that many of us have deeply longed for since his first minute in the White House.
In truth, America is a country that can only be effectively run from the center; not only because moderation is a virtue worth striving for, but also due to our character as a nation.
We are the most heterogeneous nation on the face of the earth. While many other countries are populated by members of only one race, only one religion, only one philosophy or only one ethnic group, our nation is very diverse.
In that context, holding only to the interests of one single, particular, group is not only blatantly unfair, but also downright stupid, politically.
Let us, at last — Republicans and Democrats — get together and discuss every divisive item of the current healthcare law and decide, once and for all, what will be best for all the American people.
President John Adams tried the Alien & Sedition Acts in 1798 — almost identical to what Trump wants to do regarding immigrants and freedom of the press — and it didn’t work then.
Helping Puerto Rico
After a mere three weeks, the president of the United States of America has said that FEMA cannot remain in Puerto Rico indefinitely.
An apparent allusion to an unwillingness to bear the cost of reconstruction. On the other hand, the United States has been in Afghanistan since 2001, at a cost of over one trillion dollars.
What does that say about our priorities? Like the drunk who leaves his family’s needs unmet, we willingly spend without limits on military adventures while our neediest suffer myriad indignities. Is this really who we are?
Martin Bingham, Weston
Attack on women
The attacks on women never cease and this time, the Trump administration is eliminating the guarantee of birth control coverage under the ACA for 62 million women.
Nine out of 10 women of reproductive age will rely on birth control at some point in their lives.
Birth control allows me to make decisions about my life, including whether I’m ready to have children or not, or need to focus on my career.
My best friend has endometriosis; without birth control, she would have to go to the emergency room and suffer in constant pain that is often severe and intense; something a male politician will never have to experience.
Extremist politicians in D.C. have no place in a woman’s healthcare, especially at the state level. A woman’s reproductive healthcare is between her and her doctor.
This is my fundamental right — to be able to decide for myself if and when I’m ready or want to have children. There is no excuse for my boss, or especially the president, to be involved in my healthcare decisions.
Lai Eng, Miami
In the Oct. 12 Miami Herald, “Conservatives are getting a bashing from late-night hosts,” Gary Abernathy has written one of the most even handed editorials in discussing the sometimes crude, and always negative “jokes” aimed at conservative Republicans in general and President Trump specifically. He compares the olden days (read, before Trump) when both sides, conservatives and liberals, were joked about in a relatively gentler manner than today.
One of these reasons is that the three main offenders — Fallon, Kimmel, and Colbert — couldn’t be funny if they tried. If Trump would leave politics today, these three would be off TV in a week.
There were always comedians in the past 20 to 40 years who picked on people, politicians of both sides and all persuasions. But they were rarely rude and, frequently, quite funny. Whether the joke was about you or me, we were both able to laugh.
These late night hosts should be toned down a bit and try to be more even-handed in their derogatory statements in an attempt to increase the volume of canned laughter.