We enjoyed the op-ed piece about entitlement programing and why it
doesn’t work as intended as well as the perspective on taking food
stamps and other benefits as a way of life. Maybe we’re harsh but we
feel the only thing keeping these people from getting out of poverty is
their own poor decision making. If you are already in poverty, how do
you think having more children that you can't afford is going to make
that situation even better? If that weren't bad enough, why would anyone
in their right mind have a child with a man who is on public assistance
himself, can't take care of himself, and is mentally ill? In what fantasy
world does anyone think that is going to work out well? With more states
taking a liberal view, it looks like those of us who are responsible, and
work hard, will have more of our tax money taken to support these people
who are nothing but a drain on society.
Lou and Sarah Parkinson
I had to file for chapter 13 just to get out from my car payment. Your article
last month about debt slavery was EXACTLY on the money, I used
to have this giant ego, I had a new 2010 Mustang, but after continual
$400 monthly payments plus $120 insurance on a $1,500 take home, I
had to take payday loans just to pay my other bills. Part of it was not my
fault, since my company got bought out and they reduced the size of my
paychecks due to revised payday schedules, so it would take me 6
months(1) to recoup what I would have gotten over the bi-monthly
method. So, I gave the Mustang back to Ford Credit AFTER I had filed
for chapter 13, putting a stay of execution in place so it did not count as a
repo. I didn't pay anything out of pocket, but I do have to pay $69 every
two weeks for another 30 months to get out of the deal, and I'm glad I
did, because now I have a good running little car that I own that gets 40
MPG, and NO PAYMENTS!
I tossed out the ego, and took on some humility, the car doesn't turn
heads but it gets me from A to B and everything works great and it feels
new. But what feels good is having one paycheck every two weeks that's
just for me and not Ford Credit or any other lender. Screw new, I say, if
you don't have the cash, forget it!
All the advertising in the world won’t change my mind either!
I live in a red state. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. I'm making
my vote for a third party count by sending a message to the DNC that
they cannot buy by vote.
The higher the number of votes for a third party, the louder the message.
I am someone who has given up my first class seat to a solider and taken
theirs. I don't want to expect an atta boy because I have been in their
shoes coming home from deployment and stuck in a middle seat after a
freedom flight. I feel the same about the cops. One of my best friend was
a Marine than cop for a large city. I was and am proud of him for his
service and his conduct when he had justification to use his weapon instead
he used his feet to catch suspects.
You are an ignorant fool if you think cops are out to get you. They would
rather go home with an uneventful shift and be with their family.
A recent Harvard study, which is not widely reported by most news
“On the most extreme use of force — officer-involved shootings — we
find no racial differences in either the raw data or when contextual factors
are taken into account,” said Harvard economics professor Roland G.
Fryer Jr. in the abstract of the July 2016 paper.
Mr. Fryer, who is black, told The New York Times that the finding of no
racial discrimination in police shootings was “the most surprising result
of my career.”
It goes on: “An Empirical Analysis of Racial Differences in Police Use of
Force,” appears to support research conducted at Washington State University
showing that officers in simulation tests were actually less likely
to shoot at blacks than whites.
The paper also challenges the contention by the new wave of civil-rights
groups such as Black Lives Matter that racist police are singling out
blacks for shootings."
Odd, you never see the University of Washington study in the news either.
One wonders why these were never widely reported on - or suppressed.
Commissioner Larry Kiker, has marginalized Lee County voters by using
an election loophole to prop up a write-in candidate to close the Primary
in the Lee County Commission District 3 race. Closing the primary fits
Kiker’s pattern of unethical behavior that has characterized his time in
Eli Zonana, a pre-arranged write-in candidate who has no intention of actually
running for office, and according to Florida law does not even
have to be a resident of the state, closes the primary to only registered
Republican voters. In this case eliminating Democrats and non-party affiliated
voters – MORE THAN 230,000 REGISTERED LEE COUNTY
Mr. Kiker's strategy will fail because Republicans in Lee County are
well-aware that his election to the Lee County Commission in 2012 was
directly attributable to the generous financial support of U.S. Sugar. Not
surprisingly, Kiker has been noticeably silent on responding to the dirty
water crises impacting our tourism and real estate based economy and
our environment. Is the slimy green sludge fouling the shoreline on the
Florida east coast heading here? Time will tell. If so, will that prompt
him to slap the hand that feeds him?
Joe Miceli, Ph.D.
Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology (Ret.)
I’m a Republican candidate for the
Lee County Commission in District
3. I’m seeking election because
the decisions the Board of
County Commissioners make
today will determine the quality of
life in our county for years to
In four years in office, my opponent
Larry Kiker has shown he favors
expedient actions over tough long
term decisions that will benefit all
residents. He boasts he has balanced
the county budget. Bravo!
A balanced budget is required by
state law. Kiker likes to say he has
reduced debt. Really? What he
actually reduced are impact fees
designed to help growth pay for
growth (costing our schools and
road projects $50 million in just
the last 3 years!) It’s almost as if
Kiker is not aware that we are one
of the fastest growing communities
in the nation, with a $600 million
transportation funding deficit!
Kiker’s lack of vision includes diverting
$40 million from the Conservation
20/20 program. This
program is vital to acquiring the
environmentally sensitive lands
that will support the explosive
growth already programmed for
Lee County. The 25,000 acres acquired
so far are our best hedge
against overbuilding and to provide
valuable lands for flood attenuation,
surface water quality improvements
and drinking water
supplies. Although Kiker’s most
recent op-ed seems to take credit
for the history of Conservation
20/20, less than 100 acres of conservation
lands have been acquired
since he took office.
He has had issues with accurate
record keeping, which has led to a
Florida State Ethics Commission
review. In fact, Kiker’s recent support
of the Grand Resorts on Fort
Myers Beach would have jeopardized
our beachfront with a half
mile seawall that would have exacerbated
coastal beach erosion.
Kiker has done nothing, other than
putting his name on a couple of
error-riddled newspaper columns,
to deal with the polluted water that
is destroying our beaches and estuaries
and damaging our reputation
as a great place to visit and relocate.
Voters recall that Kiker was
the beneficiary of approximately
$1 million of special interest funding
during his 2012 political campaign.
A large percentage of that
funding came from Big Sugar interests
which occupy lands south of
Lake Okeechobee. No wonder
Kiker has been a “no-show” in advocating
for the real solution to our
dirty water crisis – send the water
When you elect me, I will do better.
Here’s why. I know our
county—I’ve lived here for more
than 40 years. I have the educational
background and work experience
to tackle these tough issues.
My master’s degree is in Education
and Urban and Regional Planning.
I worked as principal planner for
Lee County. I was a member of
the grass roots team that got Conservation
20/20 off the ground 20
years ago. I have business experience
as the manager of operations
for WCI Communities, and educational
experience as an instructor at
FGCU having developed and
taught the course entitled The Economics
of the Environment. I will
use my skills and background to
work with county, state and federal
officials to start tackling, rather
than avoiding, our problems.
Lee County is at a critical juncture.
In less than 20 years, we will have
one million permanent residents.
Where will our water come from?
Will we reinvigorate Conservation
20/20 to preserve natural areas or
change our priorities and pave over
our open spaces like other Florida
counties have done? We do not
need to worry about stimulating
growth—we need to manage it so
that our children and their children
will love this place as much as we
As a candidate, I am offering voters
integrity today and a vision for
a livable Lee County tomorrow.
When you vote for me in the August
Republican primary, I will
vote for your interests as a member
of the Board of County Commissioners.
A Republican Candidate for Lee
County Commission District 3.
Resides in Bonita Springs.
Jaiveer Arya wipes sweat
from his brow as he squats in the
shade and watches workers weigh
his wheat crop at a grain market in
India’s northern Haryana state.
He’s hoping for a good price from
Unseen in Arya’s 850 kilograms
of wheat is about 128 kilograms
of water that’s embedded
within the food. Arya and millions
of farmers like him in India account
for about 2.5 percent of
global agriculture exports, meaning
that a large amount of water embedded
in produce is shipped overseas
and lost for good by a nation
still emerging from one of its worst
droughts in decades.
"We export agriculture
products without any thought,"
said Prashant Goswami, director
and climate scientist at CSIR-National
Institute of Science, Technology
and Development Studies
in New Delhi. "When water is embedded
in a product that’s exported,
it’s lost forever. That’s a
bigger danger for our water."
Goswami estimates India
could exhaust available water supplies
in less than 1,000 years because
of net exports of food such
as rice and wheat. He argues officials
must change farming policies
to turn the deficit in trade in embedded
water into a surplus. Growing
demand from industry and the
nation’s 1.3 billion people is also
adding pressure for better management
of the resource.
India -- the world’s top rice
exporter -- shipped agricultural
commodities worth more than 2.6
trillion rupees ($39 billion) overseas
in 2013-2014, government
data show. The nation exported
about 25 cubic kilometers of water
embedded in its agricultural exports
in 2010. That’s enough water
to meet the needs of nearly 13 million
Hundreds of millions of
people in India grappled this year
with one of the country’s worst
droughts in decades, following two
years of poor rainfall and the onset
of intense summer heat. The June-
September monsoon is bringing
some relief, but a longer-term challenge
looms from competition for
Arya, 44, grows both rice
and wheat in his 10-acre smallholding
near the border of Haryana
and Uttar Pradesh states. Another
common crop in the region is
water-intensive sugar cane.
Speaking at the market in
May, Arya said he draws water
from a 170-foot well for irrigation,
five times deeper than when his father
tilled the farm. He added that
he’s had to bore deeper three times
in the last five years.
Policies that effectively
provide farmers with free water as
well as free electricity to run
pumps are stoking over-exploitation,
according to Ashok Gulati, an
agriculture economist and former
chief of India’s Commission for
Agricultural Costs and Prices.
"Who has seen the future?"
he asked. "Farmers can’t see how
much water’s being depleted underground."
India is one of the world’s
biggest users of groundwater, and
the World Resources Institute estimates
more than half of the nation
faces high water stress. A 2009
study by the University of California,
Irvine, and the National Aeronautics
and Space Administration
showed groundwater depletion in
northwestern India from 2002 to
2008 was equivalent to a net loss
triple the capacity of Lake Mead,
the largest man-made reservoir in
One possible policy step for
Asia’s No. 3 economy is to curb
sugar cane subsidies and abolish
levies on imports of the sweetener,
to encourage farmers to grow crops
that need less water, Gulati said.
“Let imports flood the market,” he
India could learn from
China, according to Goswami,
who’s published his work on embedded
water in the journal Nature
along with co-author Shiv Narayan
Nishad, a mathematician at the
M.S. Ramaiah University of Applied
Sciences in Bengaluru.
China imports more waterintensive
produce while exporting
food that uses less water, their research
“Policy makers need to sit
down and ensure that we import
food in such a way that we bring in
more water,” Goswami said. “The
world is no longer innocent of this
virtual water trade."
and Pratik Parija
John Scott, native and lifelong
Floridian and passionate advocate
for Florida’s environment,
publicly announced his candidacy
for Florida State House District 79
against Big Sugar funded incumbent
Matt Caldwell who hasn’t
found a corporate special interest
he doesn’t like.
According to recent
records, 93% of Caldwell’s
$206,000 campaign funds raised
so far this season have been from
corporations such as Big Sugar,
Big Tobacco, Big Oil, Big
Pharma, etc. There is a pattern
here. Of the 7% of non-corporate
money, only ONE donation was
from within District 79. He is
more concerned with his own political
aspirations than representing
the people of District 79.
There is a direct correlation
between Caldwell’s campaign
contributors, his voting record and
resultant policies and their effect
on our environment and economy.
The public announcement
of John’s candidacy will address
environmental concerns, specifically
our local and statewide water
quality problems, algal blooms,
Lake Okeechobee discharges, and
buying land south of Lake Okeechobee
so we can store, treat and
convey fresh, clean water into the
Everglades and Florida Bay.
This is a moment for all
Floridians to take notice. After
flirting with, and now enduring,
water quality havoc for the past
several years along South
Florida’s east and west coasts and
in the Everglades, we have to
question if our governor, federal,
state and even some local officials,
are willing to do whatever is necessary
to protect Florida’s waterways.
Are they simply too
political, too partisan, too beholden
to corporate special interest
polluters to do what must be done?
To spend what must be spent to
protect our state’s most valuable
John Scott has a “whatever
it takes” mindset to solve our
water crises while Matt Caldwell
has a “whatever it takes” to win
the next election mindset: takes
trips to King Ranch, takes enormous
sums of dark special interest
money and takes marching orders
from his paymasters when voting
for policies that are destroying our
way of life in South Florida.
In addition to environmental
concerns, John will also address
other, numerous issues
where he differs with Caldwell.
The People’s Voice has
been lost in Tallahassee. John
Scott wants to represent the people
of District 79 and all of Florida as
a public servant. He hasn’t taken
corporate money, preferring to run
a people powered campaign instead.
John Scott has officially
qualified and will be the Democratic
candidate on the ballot in
The open-carry movement faced a
very public test in Dallas last
week. It failed.
While concealed carry can be
championed ostensibly as a means
of self-defense, open carry prioritizes
performance over pragmatism.
After all, openly carrying a
firearm is an ideological statement
more than a self-defense posture:
It cedes the crucial element of surprise
to an armed assailant. Open
carry's true goal is to normalize
extreme gun culture by making
firearms familiar, visible and ubiquitous.
Last Thursday, more than a dozen
participants in Dallas's Black
Lives Matter protest came prominently
armed. When shots from a
sniper rang out, police officers had
to discern instantly -- working in
chaotic conditions, at night, under
fire -- whether the armed protesters
were murderous criminals or
something else. Police stopped
some of those carrying guns, and
designated one a "person of interest."
Trying to divine the intentions
of the armed marchers
diverted time and energy from the
pursuit of the sniper.
This led Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings
to observe that, "in a shooting
situation, open carry can be detrimental
to the safety of individuals."
That's true as far it goes,
which is not nearly far enough:
Open carry is detrimental to public
In addition to exposing the danger
of open carry, the mayhem in Dallas
revealed once again the inanity
of the National Rifle Association's
"good guy with a gun" talking
point. The simplistic assumption
that the world can be divided between
good guys and bad guys
bears no relationship to reality. Before
he went on a murderous rampage,
there was nothing to identify
the Dallas sniper as anything but a
"good guy with a gun." Likewise,
a man carrying a rifle down a
street in Colorado Springs, Colorado,
last fall was deemed a
"good guy" right up until the moment
he started killing.
In Dallas last week, open-carry activists
did not serve as protectors.
Instead, they heightened the risk
faced by police officers and civilians
and made a fraught, uncertain
and dangerous situation all the
To contact the senior editor responsible
for Bloomberg View’s
editorials: David Shiple