Speak Up

Blank slates

Okay, it’s a new beginning! Our slates have been wiped clean. It’s time to return to being the kind human beings we used to be.

Listen. Think. And count to 10 before you speak!

Diane Goodman Dolcourt,


Happy displays

My thanks to the home owners in Pembroke Pines — between Taft Street, Pasadena Boulevard, University Drive and Douglas Road — who made my family that much more cheerful and enjoyable with their Christmas lawn displays.

May the force be with you.

Bob Cebrat,

Pembroke Pines

Questionable deal

Re the Dec. 30 article by Franco Ordoñez, “White House targets MLB deal with Cuba.” I was disappointed at the lack of emphasis on the real problem of the agreement between Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Cuban Baseball Federation. It is only in the last few paragraphs that the problem is briefly touched upon. The article tries to sell the agreement as a very benevolent solution for Cuban players to avoid the risks of leaving their country illegally and paying entrepreneurs for smuggling them out of Cuba.

Cuba has, for 60 years, exerted a rigid dictatorship on its people. Let’s not forget: Its citizens are state property. Cuba had developed a very productive business of exporting health care providers, retaining a percentage of their salaries (payed in dollars), prohibiting them from taking their families with them, and being closely supervised to prevent defection. A real example of modern human trafficking.

Now that Brazilian president-elect Bolsonaro has finished this productive business for the Cuban government, Cuba has found another way of making money, using a similar arrangement with MLB disguised as very generous for the players. The agreement calls for the government to take 15 to 25 percent of the signing contracts, and the players sign a less productive contract (as draft) rather than as free agents.

The Cuban Baseball Federation is, as everything else in Cuba, a state-owned operation. Except for a few small businesses (cuentapropistas) every business is the property of the oppressive system that has ruled Cuba for 60 years. It is a shame that MLB is participating in this obscure deal with the Cuban dictatorship.

Federico R. Justiniani,

Coral Gables

Ageless news

Almost 150 years ago, English/Irish writer Oscar Wilde (who wrote “The Picture of Dorian Gray”), said the following: “In America, the president reigns for four years, and journalism governs for ever and ever.”

These words are still true.

Alan A. Campbell,


Higher learning

The Army has West Point. The Navy has Annapolis. The Air Force is in Colorado. Where will the Space Branch academy go?

Why not Patrick Air Force Base?

We have buildings, base housing, office space, runways for drill fields, a chapel and a hospital.

There are thousands of Cape Canaveral families willing to go to the Space Cadet College. We have the Cape’s facilities for advanced on-the-job training.

Where is the Economic Development Corporation?

Trump got $13 billion over 5 years to put a Space Branch in place. Where better than Brevard County?

Bob Brewster,


Tweeter leader

Doris Kearns Goodwin’s masterful history, “Leadership in Turbulent Times,” describes the crises during the terms of four former U.S. presidents — Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, and LBJ — and their brilliance and leadership skills which led to the solutions of those crises.

Leadership is defined as the art of mastering a group of people to act toward achieving a common goal. That person in the group possesses the combination of personality and leadership skills that make the others want to follow his or her direction.

Two of the most important characteristics necessary to become a great leader are honesty and integrity. Tweeting is not listed.

The contrast between the incumbent president and the four leaders listed above leads me to the joint dilemmas: Where did we go wrong, and how do we solve it?

Harry N. Turk,


Social motives

It’s only the second day of the new year, but I’m still up to my old 2018 habits of grabbing my phone, first thing, and checking my Instagram.

Today is a bit different because I see a survey request at the top of my feed. It makes me feel a bit special because it states that this survey has only be sent to a few of its users. I begin.

From the first few questions, it seems that the company is concerned about its ads. Do I like the Instagram ads? Are there too many of them? Do they cater to me?

Nothing extraordinary until the next few questions that ask if Instagram ads are an invasion of my privacy. Has Instagram been using my data unethically? Do I feel that it has changed from its original vision.

I can’t help but judge Instagram’s motivation. It feels all too paranoid and insecure.

Understandably, privacy should be a new year’s resolution for any Facebook company after the scandalous year they had in 2018.

Instagram is definitely concerned and gauging its audience to set itself up for a strong new year. Reputation is everything and Instagram seems deeply concerned.

Dan Russo,


UM coaching

A few weeks ago, University of Miami’s football defensive coach Manny Diaz, accepted the head coaching job at Temple University.

With the sudden resignation of head coach Mark Richt, Diaz was offered the head coaching job for the Hurricanes, which he immediately accepted.

His decision to forfeit the job at Temple will cost UM $4 million to buy out his contract from Temple, for which he never coached a down.

Four million dollars could have provided 60 students with full scholarships, tuition, room and board included.

Another way of assessing how that money could have been better spent would have been to obtain 40 tenure track assistant professors for the university, at an average salary of $100,000 per year.

Universities like UM are totally misguided as to where their focus and priorities should be.

Charles Tien,