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Keep the police

On Feb. 17, Brent Batten wrote on behalf of the editorial board that the Marco Island City Council should “sack” the city’s police department. That was due to transgressions and violations recently made by a few officers. In my opinion anyone who would contemplate that response is injudicious.

Do we “sack” the news media because of some bad apples? Wouldn’t it more prudent to fix the problems rather than toss them away? In my opinion, and I know I am not alone in this thought, sacking Marco’s police department would be ill advised.

The recent choosing or an interim city manager is a start, along with a big change in the City Council. If this city manager is sincere in his desire to stabilize and “correct errors” in the police department, then he needs to start at the top and work down. Professional leadership needs to return to the police. For too long the department has suffered under incompetent or no leadership at the top as well has the city administration. The department has not, “reached a point of no recovery.”

It is management that failed the police and the public, not the department in its entirety. I am aware of the good work that the majority of officers and supervisors do, and I know that the public approves of the department overall. You don’t throw that away!

We need to go back to a basics. Find competent, experienced officers, choose competent supervisors that will do their job and find an experienced, well recommended and well vetted chief to take control and serve the City of Marco Island again.

Thom Carr, Chief of Police Marco Island, retired

Enemy of the truth

I was again surprised last week to read a letter from a writer who still

questions the value of Robert Mueller’s investigation, at one point quoting presidential puppet Rush Limbaugh’s opinion that it’s been a waste of time and money. One wonders if these people have been lost on the Planet Fox. So far, Mueller’s work has produced criminal charges against 34 people: Twenty-six were Russians accused of interfering in the 2016 election, while six were close advisers and/ or friends of Donald Trump. Four of them have already pleaded guilty. To any serious patriot, these issues should be important.

During the 2016 primaries I read numerous articles about Donald Trump’s business career that reported in detail his habit of underpaying contractors by alleging false defects, always trying to claim illegal deductions from the IRS, bankrupting investors in his failed businesses while rewarding his own incompetence with millions in “bonuses,” victimizing thousands of students in his fraudulent Trump University scam, repeatedly lying about his wealth as $10 billion (researched as $3.5-4.5 billion by Fortune, Forbes and Time); and repeating the same lies even after being confronted with the truth. Psychologists suggested he suffered from “NPD” (Narcissistic Personality Disorder.) So, there were certainly warning signs Donald Trump was not fit to be president. Now that he’s calling the icon of free press the “enemy of the people,” informed citizens realize his real enemy is not the press, but the truth.

Tom Lippert, Marco Island and Cincinnati

How much you know

My dad once told me no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care. Successful politicians have mastered the counterfeit of empathy by kissing babies and patiently listening to hard luck stories from potential voters, but they cannot fake the real thing. Some of the U.S. population are convinced they know more about pretty much everything than those who do not agree with them. We had a middle to balance this once but identity politics by design has all but devoured the last middle.

In society, without a political middle, we’d be at each other’s throats with tribal viciousness. Are we there now? Political and religious tyrants are never satiated with submission. Totalitarian intent always finds criteria to divide and oppress by appearance and speech.

With healthy negotiations, pursuit of a sustainable middle ground can have a predictable result. Without this we have violence, force and war. When extremes rule, bad things happen as history has shown us.

Disaster is always at the end of the road.

In this Republic if you do not acknowledge the pursuit of happiness and the inherent God-given, Constitutional rights to live free, then the firewalls of freedom are breached and we we’ll soon find ourselves in bondage as the riptides of fascism and division sweep across our country.

Walter R. Jaskiewicz, Marco Island

Statuesque

This year’s Oscar ceremony was a step from tradition of theatrical festivity into a dull low-budget event.

Previous Oscar award ceremonies brought us lots of unscripted fresh elements. Take, for instance, Best Actor acceptance speech by Leonardo DiCaprio in 2016. The audience gave him a standing ovation. Some had tears in their eyes. If the money in the organizers’ pockets got scarce they still could try to amuse public within new limits of the digital era. It looks like the trophy lost its soul. The award ceremony has become metallic too.

Dmitriy Shoutov, Marco Island

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