Letters and feedback: July 3, 2022

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Ooh, aah, no: Can backyard fireworks

I'm writing, again, to ask all residents to please attend public displays of fireworks and refrain from launching them in their own backyards.

Every year, my poor dogs go through the misery and fear of neighborhood fireworks.  Drugs do not seem to help and various other methods recommended are useless. The party starts days before the Fourth and ends days after. The fireworks go on at all hours of the night and day. If these folks could see the fear my dogs experience, then maybe they would understand the cruelty.

Please be considerate of your neighbors. Happy Fourth!

Summer Devlin, Merritt Island

Rick McKee
Rick McKee

Public money should stay in the public

How does it feel to know that in a few weeks the Brevard County Commission may vote to give away over $30 million in tax-payer dollars to a private hotel developer — Driftwood Capital — a major hotel developer?

Beware when someone says something won’t cost you a penny. Bed tax is collected on short-term rentals, is administered by the Tourist Development Council and benefits the entire County. Thirty million to a private entity will be $30 million less for countywide marketing, beach renourishment, cultural event grants and funding for the Indian River Lagoon — some of which are seed funds for millions in state and federal grants.

Why would a majority of the current county commission — heavily influenced by lobbyists — push through such an extraordinary taxpayer-funded gift to benefit a private developer?

This proposal undermines the future of bed tax uses and sets a horrible precedent. It subsidizes a single private entity at the expense of all other collectors of bed tax. The proposal is also ripe for fraud as there will be no oversight as to how they spend these marketing funds or who they pay for advertising — including possibly paying themselves.

At their last meeting, members of the Tourist Development Council were almost unanimously opposed to the request for all these reasons. Nonetheless, a majority of commissioners support it.

Public money needs to stay in the public. Ask our commissioners to vote against giving public tax dollars to benefit one private developer.

Susan Hammerling-Hodgers, Viera

Editor's note: Hammerling-Hodgers is a former member of the Tourist Development Council's Cultural Committee.

Local Democrats ready to rebuild, win

A June 24 FLORIDA TODAY article just missed the bullseye, in my opinion. Democrats number two-thirds of the number of Brevard Republicans, but due to the roar of the loudest voices, you’d think we were extinct.

I became a committeewoman in 2017, at the beginning of a movement, the “Blue Wave.” Between 2017-2020 we had candidates — teachers, scientists, veterans, retirees — run for nearly every county office. We won many elections when voters looked at candidates without a declared party, but zero elections where party is declared. I believe that’s because when voters actually look into candidates, they choose ours. I was shocked at the attack on our candidates in partisan races. For example, 2018 senatorial candidate Melissa Martin, a retired U.S. Marine Corps major who would have served county residents as she did her country, was painted as a radical.

FLORIDA TODAY is right: We, the Brevard Dems, have lost ground. A pandemic hit; we took the side of caution. We have only recently begun meeting in person. But some of our members resigned. We have not found enough everyday Brevard residents willing to run in contests where voters don’t look deeper, past slander and attack ads.

Alton Edmond may have made a smart move when he changed his party affiliation to independent. He is still the same great candidate who ran as a Democrat against Sheriff Ivey, but without the target that comes with being a registered Democrat — a target I wear proudly as I try to rebuild District 2 for Democrats as a district leader.

Michelle M. Green, Merritt Island

Abortion-rights protesters demonstrate near the home of Associate Justice Clarence Thomas in Fairfax Station, Va., on June 24, 2022, after the Supreme Court opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established a constitutional right to abortions.
Abortion-rights protesters demonstrate near the home of Associate Justice Clarence Thomas in Fairfax Station, Va., on June 24, 2022, after the Supreme Court opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established a constitutional right to abortions.

SCOTUS decision personal, not legal

Today we live in a world of real-life political satire and irony with a Supreme Court majority representing only a minority that they achieved through an overt abuse of senatorial rules that Sen. McConnell has promised to repeat if he gets the opportunity.

The Court made a decision actually based only the justices' personal opinions. How do we know this? Because they state in the decision that they won’t go after the other rights like contraception or marital sex based on the right to privacy. Justice Thomas listed most of those rights and states that they should be addressed if they come before the Court. However, he didn't list interracial marriage, the only right that would obviously impact him. Thus, he lets us all know that his opinion is simply personal rather than legal.

Penny Storm, Titusville

Justices masquerade as impartial

The Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade. The U.S. joins only three countries — El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Poland — that have rolled back abortion rights since 1994.  Those are countries, like here, where democracy has eroded. The overall trend worldwide has been toward legalizing abortion (e.g. Ireland in 2018).

Conservatives have long derided Roe as untethered from the Constitution. Alito's majority opinion makes it so.

Alito denigrates his predecessors writing “Stare decisis … does not compel unending adherence to Roe’s abuse of judicial authority.” “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences." Really? If there was ever a decision by this court where that was true it is the disastrous Citizens United ruling.

I guess the Declaration of Independence's "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” only applies to the fetus in these jurists minds. Not to the mother, or victims of rape or incest.

These five Justices have done the very thing they testified not to. Barrett, Kavanaugh, and Gorsuch essentially lied under oath, testifying that stare decisis (following judicial precedent) applied to Roe, and that Roe was settled law.

Clarence Thomas now proposes "in future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents" for issues like same-sex marriage and the right to contraception!

Sadly, these five conservative Supreme Court justices are simply unelected political operatives masquerading as impartial jurists. Their "abuse of judicial authority" disrespects women and women's rights and is unapologetic conservative Christian authoritarian activism.

Jeff Dorman, Satellite Beach

Former Vice President Mike Pence give a short speech about American energy policy during a brief on-camera appearance before a round table discussion with members of Ohio’s natural gas and oil industry at Enerfab in the Winton Place neighborhood of Cincinnati on Thursday, June 16, 2022.
Former Vice President Mike Pence give a short speech about American energy policy during a brief on-camera appearance before a round table discussion with members of Ohio’s natural gas and oil industry at Enerfab in the Winton Place neighborhood of Cincinnati on Thursday, June 16, 2022.

Let's think logically on energy policy

The U.S. Energy Information Agency statistics tell us that fossil fuels provide 78% of the nation’s current energy needs and renewables only 12.5%.

You’d think those statistics would drive renewable advocates to a logical path to reverse those numbers. But the political left seemingly believes they can simply declare the climate to be in such a state of existential emergency that they can quickly phase out fossil fuels and switch our dependency to renewables. But renewables can’t meet demand, resulting in severe shortages and crippling inflation. To prevent what?

Assuming the above circumstance to be factual, necessitating a transition toward a new balance between fossil fuels and renewables, the transition must thoughtfully consider maintaining society’s energy needs, costs, technological realities and public opinion. Proceeding without pre-conditions, every possible source of energy should be considered. Even some of the most extreme climate-activists are beginning to be convinced smaller nuclear plants could overcome environmental and safety concerns. U.S. fossil fuel extraction is the cleanest in the world. Even coal technology produces a cleaner product and natural gas significantly reduces carbon emissions.

Government should level the playing field, considering energy needs and sources that can meet those needs in the cleanest way possible.

I know climate-change advocates want to ignore or discount religious faith, as non-scientific, but as a Bible-believer, I’m comforted by Revelation’s end-time prophesy that earth will even survive Armageddon. The message to believers: Man can help God conserve His creation, but man can’t destroy what God controls.

Ed Taylor, Satellite Beach

In a photo from Jan. 22, 2021, protesters stand in front of Congressman Bill Posey's office at the Brevard County Government Center in Viera. They were demanding the resignation of the congressman for his opposition to certification of the results of the 2020 election.
In a photo from Jan. 22, 2021, protesters stand in front of Congressman Bill Posey's office at the Brevard County Government Center in Viera. They were demanding the resignation of the congressman for his opposition to certification of the results of the 2020 election.

Making a list for future elections

Here is a list of people who either requested a pardon from the former president or were involved (and still are) in questioning the 2020 presidential election. Sorry if I missed anyone.

Scott Perry; Jeff Clarke; Mark Meadows; Rudy Giuliani; John Eastman; Steve Bannon; Louie Gohmert; Andy Biggs; Matt Gaetz; Marjorie Taylor Greene; Mo Brooks; Ken Klukowski; Ken Blackwell; and Sidney Powell.

“Honorable” mention: Michael Flynn; Roger Stone; Paul Manafort; George Papadopoulos; Ted Cruz; Josh Hawley; Tim Scott; Rand Paul; Mike Lee; Peter Navarro; and Jim Jordan. Do not support or vote for these politicians. They are SRINO’s (Spineless Republicans In Name Only). Their allegiance is not to Americans or the Constitution — they are aligned to just one individual.

One hundred and 47 members of Congress opposed certifying the results of the Electoral College in the 2020 presidential election, including Sen. Rick Scott and Rep. Bill Posey, the latter of whom later congratulated Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on their victory. Do not vote for Scott, Posey or Marco Rubio, either.

For your information: Look up the 14th Amendment; Section 3.

John Buscemi, Melbourne

Enough with the hearings already

Considering all the chaos over the Roe w. Wade being overturned, the very detrimental high inflation rate, lack of adequate food items and ridiculous fuel prices, it is too much to believe that Congress should be working toward solving these issues — but they are too concerned with repeating (ad nauseam) the events of Jan. 6, 2021.

I voted for Mr. Trump, twice. It wasn't until his refusal to accept defeat, and his declining to stand up and denounce the rioting and damage occurring, that respect was lost. All who entered and caused damage are not patriots, nor are they decent citizens of the USA.

Will anyone total the hours spent by members of Congress, witnesses, attorneys, administrative staff and those copying the documents? The expense to the federal budget; cost of printing the numerous copies; and miscellaneous items? Will this sum be made public? Who pays for the ridiculous amount of repetitive TV time?

I believe it is time for all members of Congress to start performing the duties they were elected to do. Work together, both sides of the aisle.

Garey Hartman, Melbourne

Jan. 6 witness 'wise beyond her years'

True patriotism was demonstrated June 28 during the Jan. 6 investigation hearings by Cassidy Hutchinson (aide to ex-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows), a 25-year-old young lady. Ms. Hutchinson, wise beyond her years, valiantly testified to the truth regarding goings-on among Trump's inner circle during and prior to the insurrection.

It was abundantly clear the riotous actions of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers on Jan. 6 were instigated by comments from Trump and Giuliani, with no objections from Mark Meadows.

Ms. Hutchinson (a strong Trump supporter) had the audacity, where others failed, to come forward unafraid of retribution from the former president, answering all questions, never taking the Fifth as did many prior witnesses.

The unscrupulous actions staffers were willing to take to appease Trump's delusions of fraud in an effort to overthrow the fair election were extremely disturbing to Ms. Hutchinson, causing fear and consternation. Ms. Hutchinson's appearance was an example of honest patriotism, one that might motivate others to come forward.

Perhaps the cowards fearful of Trump's ire and reactions to those telling the truth (a practice alien to him) will have the intestinal fortitude necessary to testify and answer the tough questions.

Gregory W. Hewitt, Melbourne

This article originally appeared on Florida Today: Letters and feedback: July 3, 2022