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Today's Opinions

  • Was it a UFO or an Air Force refueling operation?

    Between 1952 and 1969, the U.S. Air Force conducted a study of UFO sightings known as “Project Blue Book.”

    Project Blue Book goals were to scientifically analyze UFO data and to determine if UFOs were a national security threat. In those 17 years, more than 12,000 reported UFO sightings were analyzed. Most of the “UFOs” were explained away as known aircraft or naturally occurring phenomenon.

    The project ended in 1969, when it was concluded there was nothing anomalous or dangerous about the reported UFOs and that there was no evidence that any of the UFOs were in fact extraterrestrial, according to the history website Fold3.com.

    One sighting was reported on a late Sunday night at about 10 p.m. Oct. 30, 1955, in Williston by a police officer whose name was redacted from the report. The officer was 40 years old and had attained a fifth-grade education.

    The report noted the “Source gave much thought to each question and asked and seems fairly sure of his answers. In the opinion of the investigator, source was fairly reliable.”

  • Free speech under attack in America

    I am writing this article the evening before Mr. Richard Spencer is scheduled to address an audience at the Phillips Center on the U of F Campus in Gainesville. He is billed as a white nationalist according to virtually all local mass media sources. 

    Personally, I do not support any organization where race is a prerequisite to membership. Therefore, I do not support Mr. Spencer’s National Policy Institute. Wait a minute, where is the race element in the title NPI? According to Wikipedia, ‘’the National Policy Institute is a white supremacist think tank based in Alexandria Virginia.” If Mr. Spencer is a white supremacist I will have nothing to do with him as I don’t and will not have anything to do with any race based groups, but I am uncomfortable with the double standard that is becoming very common in today’s society. Can you imagine if someone organized a Gainesville White Professionals organization? 

  • Don’t talk politics!

    Have your parents, or has someone important to you, advised you “Don’t talk politics!?” It’s one of those heated topics where most everyone has his or her own opinion, and may see talking politics as a threat, or fuel for a likely argument. But what’s the downside of keeping quiet about your own political opinions? We’re already headed towards being a more and more divided country, with today’s problems and challenges, and with all the diversity this “melting-pot” nation presents us with. So it may feel natural to hold back on your ideas or opinions, to avoid controversy, or to avoid taking sides and further dividing the nation. And we’re supposed to be a nation “by the people, and for all the people.” If we avoid discussing opposing ideas, we are likely to become less tolerant of other points of view. To be a true democracy, shouldn’t we listen to all points of view, consider them thoughtfully, and make intelligent, informed decisions? When we stop communicating well, we can’t make truly informed or wise decisions.

  • In 1967, we never thought we'd live to see the day

    About 50 years ago (1967), my 17 classmates and me who sat in Mrs. Weber’s English class were dumfounded when she suggested there were no reasons why we shouldn’t live to see the turn of the century!

    I think we all snickered a bit because it was so preposterous. There were so many reasons we shouldn’t live to see the 21st Century; first and foremost was the Vietnam War. Then there was the Mutual Assured Destruction, a military doctrine that emerged after the Union of Soviet Socialistic Republics (USSR) achieved nuclear parity with the United States. MAD reflected the idea that one country’s population could best be protected by leaving it vulnerable so long as the other side faced comparable vulnerabilities. In short: Whoever shoots first, dies second. Then, there were accidental deaths and diseases. We didn’t have a drug problem yet in my hometown, that came later after some of the boys started coming home from the war.

  • What’s in your future?

    What’s in your future? What do you have to say about it? I thought I had the rest of my life all planned out. I’d grow in my career of aerospace, defense, and satellites contract management, for the next ten years. I’d continue to accumulate wealth, then retire comfortably in the sleepy suburb of Manhattan Beach, California, and enjoy the rest of my life at the beach traveling and enjoying the warm California sun. But lo; it was not to be.

    Within one month, everything had been turned upside down and dumped out. I faced a divorce, lost my home, life savings, and most all my friends. I developed a repeating nightmare of everyone I knew crashing and dying in a giant 747 airplane. What a shock, when we find out our best laid plans can die overnight.

  • Florida’s dwindling water supply needs conservation, regulatory reform

    Florida is facing a water supply crisis. Large portions of the state are deemed “Water Resource Caution Areas” (WRCAs). The Legislature has directed the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and regional Water Management Districts to identify “alternative water supply” sources, including reclaimed and reused water and even expensive desalinized seawater.

    How did Florida arrive at this critical point? The answer lies partly in the fact that water has always been thought of as plentiful, and free for the taking. We have a culture – and a regulatory system – that encourages permitting groundwater withdrawals for virtually any use from golf course irrigation to cattle ranching to subdivision development.

    Public water supply and agriculture are by far the largest water users statewide, according to DEP’s 2016 annual water supply planning report. With over 1,000 people a day moving to Florida, DEP expects public water consumption to reach 3 billion gallons per day (bgd) by 2035, while agricultural use will increase to 2.8 bgd.

  • What makes good people do bad things?

    I knew this kid growing up. He was a good kid, quiet, friendly. I liked him. I liked his sister better. I never knew of Sonny doing anything truly bad, just kid stuff, teenager stuff, stuff that I hope he grew out of.

    He and his sister were raised by their father, Shorty, a single parent, who mowed yards and probably collected welfare for a living. I grew up in a very small, rural town. It was in an agricultural area and once a retail hub where farmers and their families shopped. Then came WWII and it seemed like most people moved to Dallas to go to work. The town was dying, but it never seemed to take its last breath. So, most of the people I knew were on government assistance in one form or another.

  • Love is all we need

    Too many tragedies, too recently. So many innocent victims. There is panic, but there is also courage, and heroism, and kindness that come out in tragic times and events.

    Maybe more than ever, this is the time to come together because of our humanity, empathy, concern for our fellow man, and to reach out in love, prayer, and good will for all. It’s what we’re made of.

    Let’s choose to believe that good always, and eventually, wins out over all the negativity in the world.

    Today, and every day, be kind to others. Reach out with a kind word and a smile.

    Resolve whatever may keep us separated from each other, and let’s be the wonderful people we are created to be.

    Help someone less fortunate than you.

    Be there for those who can use support and encouragement.

    Are you interested in a ground roots movement for bringing in a little more light and a little more love to your community, and to your world?

    Call or email me with your ideas, suggestions, or support for a meeting of minds.