Speak Up

To our shame

I implore anyone who harbors ill feelings toward the people crossing our southern border seeking safety, to research the history of United Fruit in Guatemala. Any wall on our border should be built to keep Americans in. But it is too late for Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala and other Latin American countries.

Our Southern neighbors should have erected a barrier to keep American corporations out. These companies only contributed to their poverty.

Fredric Bernard, Boca Raton

Facts matter

When some Americans say, “Make America great again,” they’ve got to tell me what that means in social, political and economic terms. A slogan is not a solution.

When President Trump says “fake news,” tell me why and what the real news is.

If they’re unhappy with the lose of income and decline of the middle class, I feel their pain. But being mad is not a solution.

An overwhelming majority of climate scientists say humans are the major cause of global warming. But attacking science doesn’t address the facts at hand. How do we even discuss the problem?

Dealing only with facts is tough and goes against our nature. We just know “such and such” is right. And when we’re proven wrong, it’s a bitter pill some people cannot swallow.

Facts matter. Facts are stubborn. Without them science and society cannot exist.

Howard Perer, Fort Lauderdale

Don’t be ashamed

Re the July 1 letter, “Go to the polls,” in which the writer states that when traveling abroad and asked if she is from the United States, she lies and says she is from Canada. I read this comment with dismay and disgust.

On this July 4th, we should remember that men and women have fought and died to protect our freedoms and give us the ability to live as we do.

No leader is perfect or to everyone’s liking. In this great country, we have the ability to replace our president every four years. As in the expression, “This too shall pass,” President Trump could become a moment in the history of our nation in 2020.

What will always remain constant, however, is the greatness of America and of the men and women who work and fight to uphold its place in the world.

Americans, whether young or old, should never be ashamed of their country, not under any circumstances. Stand tall when abroad and remember that we have the ability to right our own wrongs.

Nancy Singer, Key Biscayne

Civility

Re the June 28 letter, “We go high.” I agree with the writer in many respects, including his approach to opposition and respect. But it’s the latter that I wish to address.

Like any organization — from a family to a classroom, to a corporation, to a government — the tenor of communications tends to be set by the head of the organization, be it the parent, the teacher, the CEO or the government leader. This is where our president fails us.

As long as he persists in the bullying and the name-calling, people are going to have a knee-jerk reaction in kind. I don’t say it’s right, I just say I understand it. Perhaps if he showed a little more respect in his own musings, we might be more respectful of each other and our differences.

I know it’s asking an impossibility, but until we disavow his tactics and refuse to acknowledge them as a nation, this is going to only get worse.

Rona Edelman, Miami

Cave rescue

The finding, and hopefully soon, rescue, of the soccer team and coach in the Thamg Luang caves in Thailand is a wonderful news story and a great example of what people can do.

The international cooperation and support for finding the team is another example of what can and should be done. It also should be recognized that the search is dangerous and the divers went beyond the normal expectations of bravery.

Obviously, they are now safer and will soon be fed and checked, but next comes the difficult task of actually rescuing them as there is still a danger of further flooding and the difficulty of getting untrained people through the waters and tunnels.

Cheer and be glad the parents’ prayers have been answered so far and believe the support that has arrived will get them out in a few days.

Dennis Fitzgerald,

Melbourne, Australia

LeBron exits

The smoke is becoming unbearably thick again over Cleveland as once again fans have thrown their LeBron jerseys into the barn-fire!

Diane Goodman Dolcourt, Pinecrest

Pursuing the ideal

I am usually very partisan in thought and deed, but the time has come to put down our swords and speak out instead of attempting to eliminate our opponents.

The opinion page of the Miami Herald offers diametrically opposed points of view, which is good for political digestion, but spends more time describing the problem than producing a solution. We may devote more time disagreeing on almost everything, but we should not be opponents out to destroy each other. This slippery slope was well demonstrated by Rep. Maxine Waters in her recent diatribe on solving our differences by confrontation rather than arbitration. Controversy must reflect an honest and well-reasoned difference of opinion, conducted in a respectful manner.

In his essay, “The Pursuit of the Ideal,” Sir Isaiah Berlin discussed the question of how we deal with theological and philosophical disagreements. He rejects the position that all arguments have equal weight, and contends there is such a thing as truth and falsehood. It is therefore within our power to decide between these conflicting elements in our daily diatribes on TV and newspapers. Now is the time to make that decision. We must base our decision on understanding each other rather than fear each other.

Bill Silver, Coral Gables

Affordable housing

As a recent first-time homeowner, this 4th of July I’m thinking about the great American Dream of home ownership. As I watch the plethora of luxury condos rising to the sky in downtown Fort Lauderdale, I wonder what kind of home — if any — can a person of modest means afford?

I read about developers wiggling out of their responsibility to build affordable housing by writing fat checks to local governments. Officials have no problem collecting millions, but they do have a problem getting affordable housing built.

Governments should not be in the business of home building. Our leaders must require developers to own up to their responsibilities and build affordable housing. It’s time to open the American Dream to our low- and modest-income neighbors.

Chad Van Horn, Fort Lauderdale

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