Monday's letters: Florida State Guard, freedom, just verdicts, more

·4 min read
Gov. Ron DeSantis visits the National Guard Armory in Pensacola on Dec. 2 to announce his proposal for a state budget increase of more than $100 million to better fund the Florida National Guard and re-establish a Florida State Guard civilian volunteer force.
Gov. Ron DeSantis visits the National Guard Armory in Pensacola on Dec. 2 to announce his proposal for a state budget increase of more than $100 million to better fund the Florida National Guard and re-establish a Florida State Guard civilian volunteer force.

DeSantis’ Florida State Guard ‘laughable’

So, now Gov. Ron DeSantis thinks we need a volunteer force of 200 individuals (the “Florida State Guard”) to assist the Florida National Guard in “state-specific emergencies.”

I predict that this $3.5 million force at the governor’s disposal will be composed of gun nuts and wannabe Navy Seals, minus the discipline and training.

Who in their right mind thinks that the National Guard needs the help of a company-sized strike force? It is laughable.

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The cynics among us might guess it is to be dispatched to enforce his new law designed to “combat public disorder” (a law that, by the way, would make felons of the patriots who participated in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot if it had taken place in Florida).

Does this governor know nothing of history?

Barry Spivey, Sarasota

‘Freedom’ an excuse for deadly policy

Freedom is a wonderful thing, but the word itself has too often been used to justify evil.

And now, here in Florida, we see yet another example of this evil as Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Republican Party condemn thousands to sickness and death. By what moral standard can they invoke the word “freedom” to justify blocking universal masking, discouraging social distancing and refusing to mandate vaccinations?

As our neighbors and loved ones perish unnecessarily, what other word could better describe this perversion of freedom than evil?

Patrick Bidelman, Nokomis

Verdicts show justice system is just

Three men were accused of murdering Ahmaud Arbery. One defendant spoke in his defense, explaining why he felt threatened.

A jury of their peers found all three guilty of murder last week. No question the verdict was absolutely correct.

I watched quite a bit of the murder trial of Kyle Rittenhouse and the prosecutors’ version of why he should be found guilty.

Mr. Rittenhouse in painful detail explained how he was chased and threatened and how he shot the three men who chased him down. Why he pulled the trigger and defended his life. Self-defense.

The video absolutely backed him up. The jury cleared him of all charges. Absolutely correct decision.

Yet, the very biased media and some of the public have been more apt to praise the first jury decision and feel the second verdict was arrived at wrongly.

My simple take: Although none of us should play Monday morning quarterback, I feel the verdicts were dead right in both cases and our system of justice is still intact and working just fine. Especially when put in the hands of the likes of you and I as jurors.

End of story.

Al E. Bavry, Sarasota

Stick with Sarasota’s iconic logo

Why are we even thinking of changing Sarasota’s unique and iconic logo (“City of Sarasota plans to revamp its seal and logo,” Nov. 23)?

Changes have been proposed by the city commissioners, at least one of whom thinks that the Ringling Bridge is more iconic than the statue of David. Will our future marketing be “Visit Sarasota – we have a bridge”?

On our logo, the statue of David, from the Ringling Museum of Art, signifies the rise of Sarasota into a modern city and the elevation of our panache, which remains with us today.

John Ringling’s investments and land development were the positive actions in the 1920s and ’30s that allowed us to grow from a fishing village into a tourist mecca.

Ringling’s mansion and museum are the historic cultural attractions that set us apart from other cities. The statue, a replica of Michelangelo’s David, is unique to our town and conveys the distinctiveness of Sarasota.

We have a quality brand. Why do we want to change that?

Carole Nikla, Sarasota

Holmes’ words resonate in abortion case

The current Supreme Court's acceptance of yet another case inviting reconsideration of the nearly 50-year-old Roe v. Wade abortion decision brings to mind some often-quoted words of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes.

“The life of the law has not been logic: it has been experience. The felt necessities of the time, the prevalent moral and political theories, intuitions of public policy, avowed or unconscious, even the prejudices which judges share with their fellow-men, have had a good deal more to do than the syllogism in determining the rules by which men should be governed.” “The Common Law” (1881)

“The prophecies of what the courts will do in fact, and nothing more pretentious, are what I mean by law.” “The Path of the Law” (1897)

Harry W. Quillian, Bradenton

This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Florida State Guard proposal 'laughable,' verdicts in 2 trials just

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