Speak Up

Ballot confusion

Kudos to Mary Ellen Klas for her April 5 story, “Constitution panel proposes putting 24 ideas into 12 amendments on Nov. ballot.” This is tantamount to stuffing a one-pound bag with 24 pounds of excessive confusion for voter misinterpretation.

We applaud former U.S. Attorney Roberto Martinez’s assertions for clarity and transparency for voter understanding. After reading each proposal, it is clear that the Constitutional Revision Committee used the Confucius-mantra “confusion o-the enemy,” in this case, the voter.

I urge all voters to tell the governor and Commissioner Brecht Heuchan to simplify, clarify and lay out proposed amendments for voter understanding. Otherwise, expect voters to take time to read the amendments and voting opinion over cause. Have they stopped to think that bundling may see across-the-ballot votes of No?

Jim Angleton,

Bay Harbor Islands

Beautiful front page

I thank the Miami Herald for putting Leonard Pitts Jr.’s exceptional writing about the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination on the front page.

It is a powerful reminder that it behooves all of us to work toward eliminating racism, poverty and social injustice.

I do believe King lived in Pitts’ informative and deeply moving story.

Beverley Kagan,

Miami Shores

Ballot stuffing

Re the April 5 article “Constitution Panel proposes putting 24 ideas into 12 amendments on Nov. ballot.” The Constitution Revision Commission has been busy loading the 12 amendments with a lot of unrelated stuff.

In reference to Proposal 10, I’d like commission members to explain just what expanding civics education in public schools has to do with efforts to privatize education by allowing public school boards to authorize charter schools.

Segue to ethics proposal No. 39 and a vote with no debate and little discussion to remove a provision that had been approved by the full commission, to ban local governments from hiring outside lobbyists to assist in securing appropriations in the annual state budget.

This kind of manipulative strategy will confuse voters and weaken the democratic process.

Charles E. Hannemann,

Palmetto Bay

Rotten fruit

We’re being invaded by Mexicans! They’re coming to pick our fruits and vegetables! If we’re not careful, they will be cleaning our houses, mowing our lawns and putting roofs on buildings. Stop this craziness. Build a wall. Call out the Army. We want those jobs for our kids!

Come on — when are we going to realize that these immigrants are a critical part of our economy? They’re illegal because we have been too lazy (or too bigoted) to change the country’s immigration laws to issue work permits. Will it take seeing tomatoes and other food rotting in the fields to admit what value these people bring to our way of life?

While we are busy fixing a problem that doesn’t really exist, we bury our collective heads in the sand while nut-bags continue to shoot up our schools.

John L. Simpson,

Cooper City

Rush to judgment

The recently proposed Immigration Court (IC) quota system throws a wrench into an already inadequate justice system where immigration judges disperse “justice,” in often life and death cases, to largely unrepresented foreign nationals, many of whom are young children.

Only 37 percent of those who appear in IC are represented. Those who aren’t represented must have proceedings explained to them and must be provided notice of any relief to which they are entitled. This takes time. Most of those appearing in IC require the services of translators, prolonging proceedings. With the advent of quotas, judges will be forced to fast track justice. This won’t necessarily reduce the backlog, as many of the rushed decisions will be reversed on appeal.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has decided that statistics are more important than justice, and expedience more important than due process. Determining whether to deport a foreign national to a country where his or life may be jeopardized is not a determination to rush. We can only hope that federal courts reviewing the IC decisions ensure that due process is provided. Unfortunately, few of the rush-to-judgment cases will be appealed because of the lack of counsel. Sessions is counting on this.

Tammy Fox-Isicoff,


Harmful threats

The vicious threats being leveled at the students who survived the Parkland school massacre and their families is appalling, regardless of one’s political beliefs. Such vile behavior reflects a lack of moral conscience and decency among some NRA supporters.

Slandering and threatening kids who hid in closets while their classmates were slaughtered is unconscionable and is a disgrace to our country. The comments by the likes of Laura Ingraham of Fox News and the detestable musician Ted Nugent incite the lunatic fringe. Demonizing the victims of this terrible tragedy shows how much hatred has consumed this nation in recent years.

The March for Our Lives movement will not be intimidated by these demented excuses for human beings. Sensible revisions to gun laws will prevail, and those who oppose those necessary changes will find themselves on the wrong side of history.

Don Allen,


Lincoln guides us

President Lincoln went to the battlefield on Nov. 19, 1863 to dedicate a cemetery to those who died there. His remarks of a little more than two minutes are considered among the great speeches delivered by an American leader.

Lincoln didn’t want to sob over soldiers’ deaths; he wanted to use their deaths to elevate the nation. He wanted something positive to come out of something so sad. He encouraged the people of the nation to forever remember what the soldiers, both living and dead, did. Their unfnished task was to prepare the nation for a bigger task before them — one that still is in the works today.

Americans still are being prepared for things happening in today’s society. Terror, wars, political issues, social issues — and even problems that we confront each day. The Gettysburg Address was the blueprint for these tasks.

George Young, Miami

On the border

The media ask President Trump, “What will the troops do when they arrive at the Mexican wall?”

They will buy tacos and enchiladas from the Mexican vendors, along with strong Mexican beer!

Sid Morris, West Kendall

It’s the reverse

Now we know for sure that we’re in a trade war. The reason? President Trump says we’re not!

Anthony M. Paul,

Coral Gables