Think for yourself is the letter of the month

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think for yourself

April newsletter

Editor’s Note: April’s Letter of the Month reacted to a story about Governor Ron DeSantis signing a bill limiting tenure at Florida’s public universities.

We worry so much about the perceived indoctrination of our children by busy teachers, math books, CNN, etc. The solution is simple: teaching your children to think critically serves them well. We’ve always encouraged our kids to think critically, question everything, and see if an idea makes sense. Rather than trying to protect children from topics such as slavery (and the role of corporations in its historical effects even today) or any of the dozens of ideas, I encourage parents to ask their children to seek information from many sources. Our children should learn about capitalism, socialism, Marxism, comparative religions, slavery, and feminist issues, to name a few. Teach them to analyze what they learn and form their own opinions. These lessons will last a lifetime so they can analyze when something doesn’t pass the “sniff test”.

Far from indoctrinating our children, exposing them to different ideas from an early age encourages curiosity about the world around them. It creates global citizens with skills they will undoubtedly need in this increasingly biased landscape of fear, uncertainty and doubt. Knowledge is power. Better to have educated kids interested in discussing what they learned at school at the dinner table in order to understand it better than a bunch of sycophants who don’t question what they are drinking from a spoon in the hollow of their misinformation.

Thomas M. Schaefer, Madeira Beach

I aborted

Here’s a way for Floridians to protect the right to abortion | Editorial, May 4

I’m old enough to have gotten pregnant before abortion was legalized. I was just out of high school. I was separated from my parents. I had no money, no support and was in a toxic relationship. I was so not ready to raise a child and be a mom. I tried a remedy that was being talked about to force a miscarriage. It worked. It was an excruciatingly painful, terrifying and extremely lonely experience, but I was one of the lucky ones. I knew someone who died trying to have an abortion.

If I had had this child, we would have been on welfare. My child would have been called a welfare baby and we would have been taken from society by the same people who wanted to prevent my life from ending otherwise.

Safe and legal abortion not only saves lives, but allows a woman to live the kind of life she chooses, just like a man. How can it be legal for a problem (in this case, pregnancy) caused by 50% men and 50% women to punish 100% women and 0% men?

Shannon O’Leary-Beck, Clear water

The horrible case of my sister

Here’s a way for Floridians to protect the right to abortion | Editorial, May 4

My mother and I decided that my sister should have an abortion. We came to this tragic conclusion because as a psychiatric patient in a Florida state hospital with the mental capacity of a 5 year old, she couldn’t make the decision on her own. It was not an easy decision. But it was the right one, given the daily pharmaceutical nightmare that raged through my sister’s body in an attempt to control her psychosis and a host of other physical ailments.

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Although excruciating, this decision was necessary because a Catholic doctor took Mary off birth control pills when he took on her case. He did it without the permission of my mother, his legal guardian. This was done without considering what might happen if my sister, a sexually active, mentally challenged 42-year-old woman, carried a baby to term. Of course, she didn’t have the faculties to reason that out. My mother and I were forced to make one of the most difficult decisions of our lives for the sole reason that it supported her belief.

Well, here’s what I believe. Putting my sister in this situation was sacrilege. But with our decision, we prevented the birth of a child who, in all likelihood, would have been mentally or physically handicapped. And it was a blessing.

John Heagney, Tarpon Springs

what should happen

Here’s a way for Floridians to protect the right to abortion | Editorial, May 4

I am the proud father of three children and the proud grandfather of six children. Here’s what I think every state should do:

1. Provide high quality prenatal care for mother and baby, from conception to birth and beyond;

2. Provide high quality pediatric care from birth to young adulthood;

3. To provide top quality adoption services for mother and baby.

This is, I believe, the minimum that must happen.

Ross P.Alander, Tampa

Dollars for Disney

Who is the real Mickey Mouse in DeSantis vs. Disney? | Editorial, April 21

Disney sells entertainment. The more Disney World passes they sell, the more the company profits. Disney management understandably wants everyone to visit its theme park, regardless of people’s sexual orientation, gender identity or religious beliefs. If our governor acts to discourage visitors from Florida and Disney World, that’s bad for Disney’s bottom line, plain and simple. Disney management should speak for its shareholders, period. Companies are citizens and are entitled to their opinions.

Mike Allen, Dunedin


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