Speak Up

Students attacked

The tragic story of the horrible attack on two MAST high school students reported in the Sept. 12 Miami Herald described the attacker as “a 16-18 year old black male wearing basketball shorts.”

A follow-up story in the Sept. 14 paper featured a composite image of a suspect who is clearly not black, wearing a white T-shirt and cargo shorts. Curious as to why the initial report seemed to follow racial stereotypes and how this information was promulgated.

Anthony and Jaye Abbate,

Fort Lauderdale

Simple test

I am not a judge, attorney, senator or congresswoman. I’m simply a woman with a simple idea.

Why not have Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh take the same lie detector test given by the same person who gave it to Christine Blasey Ford? Surely, if he has nothing to hide, he would welcome this simple idea.

Vickie Adel Kane,

Coconut Grove

College studies

Public colleges/universities should not be vocational and technical schools, as Marshall Criser III, Chancellor, Florida State University, seems to imply in his Sept. 17 letter to the Miami Herald, “Work study.”

While businesses like to save costs, job specific training is the responsibility of individual companies.

Today, businesses invest little if anything in training, especially in customer service. They hope colleges/universities will do the training for them.

Colleges/universities should be leaders in offering a liberal education; i.e., a broad knowledge and exposure to multiple disciplines, plus internships and study abroad. Students need to study the humanities, arts, values, ethics, and civic engagement, as well as an in-depth study in a specific area of interest.

Politicians seem to think students only need to study science, technology, engineering and math courses to make the United States “more competitive!”

We need well-rounded students with critical thinking skills, common sense, and knowledge of our political system.

Are civics and political science still taught?

We need thoughtful citizens, not people with flock behavior!

Tom Comerford,

Pompano Beach

Cause for outrage

Republicans complain about the money that has been spent by Robert Mueller in his investigation into Russian meddling in our democracy, which is far less than what the Justice Department will recoup from the forfeiture of assets ($22 million) from Paul Manafort.

If there is to be a sense of outrage for Republicans, it should be over the many lives sacrificed and lost in battle and the expenditure of billions of dollars in Iraq, only to have an Iran-backed Sunni Arab elected as speaker of the parliament.

One can only imagine what this wasted money could have done for us in terms of infrastructure or even healthcare.

Rosa Maria Hanchett,

Coral Gables

Tough process

Senate Democrats have now brought up the sequel to Anita Hill into the judicial committee in an attempt to destroy another well-qualified Republican judge.

When Bill Clinton nominated Ruth Bader Ginsberg, she was approved 98-2 in spite of the fact that she was extremely liberal.

Unfortunately, the Democrats destroyed Robert Bork, tried to destroy Clarence Thomas, and now are trying to destroy Judge Kavanaugh. How can we expect good judges to go through such a process when they are treated so despicably?

Jerome S. Reich,

Miami

Jewish voters

David Smiley’s Sept. 18 story, “Gillum says attacks casting him as anti-Israel are ‘irresponsible,’ ” quotes University of Miami chairman of Geography and Regional Studies, Ira Sheskin, that Jewish voters don’t “place heavy weight on a candidate’s views toward Israel.”

Sheskin’s comments urged me to appeal to the Jewish-American community and remind them of the SS St. Louis. This was the German ship with Jewish refugees that nobody wanted in 1939, including then-U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Every Jew in the world, regardless of nationality, has a moral obligation to support the Jewish State of Israel, established so that innocent and defenseless people, such as my grandparents, will not be murdered because of their religion.

Let us be proud Americans and also proud Jews, defenders of the Stars and Stripes, as well as the Star of David.

Celia Kaufman,

Coral Gables

Headline grabber

Ruth Marcus paired, in bold font, Brett Kavanaugh’s name with the word “scandal” in her Sept. 18 op-ed headline, “Déjà vu: Kavanaugh allegations recall 1991’s Supreme Court scandal.” No matter her lame whispers of fairness in her piece after she shouted this deafening headline.

“Based on where we are right now,” she wrote, “it would be unfair to block Kavanaugh’s nomination.” This should have been the headline. How much more transparent and slick can a journalist be?

Gail Kalik,

Aventura

Watchdog freedom

The Herald’s Sept.16 article, “Convention hotel and a $439M upgrade for Miami Beach? Voters will decide in November,” mentions allowing the inspector general (IG) to work under the umbrella of the Miami Beach Audit Department. This is a very bad idea.

An effective IG needs complete independence. The audit department has contributed to and not prevented financial scandals.

I am a former city employee, but in my own time, I was ignored and threatened to remain silent about missing permit monies.

In recent times a single, unsophisticated thief was able to cheat the city’s treasury out of millions of taxpayer funds, all undetected for months.

Only with the kind support of Commissioner Michael Gongora was I able to get a sympathetic ear and the resulting political support and action for an IG.

The cost of funding this position will be paid back many times over with the effects of better government and a true watchdog.

David Weston,

Miami

Sway with me

Palm trees are beautiful, but not all over the city! The huge fronds, when they fall on the road, obstruct traffic and whoever sold them to the city or the county doesn’t pick them up.

I’d love to know how much taxpayers paid for them and who got the profit. Oh! And they collapse easily in a hurricane!

Sonia Cabrera, Miami

Credit Trump

I join with President Trump in his disgust at the Democrats for not giving him his due credit.

Tom Tighe,

Wilton Manors

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