POWER PLANT CLOSING
PLEASE KEEP THE TOWERS
We have lived in the area of the St. Johns River Power Park for the last 13 years.
I am happy that it won’t be sending all of that coal smoke into the air.
But there is one thing I will miss:
The cooling towers are visible for miles in all directions.
Regardless of whether we were in a boat, on our motorcycles or inside a car, the cooling towers were always a beacon.
They were a beacon that always said:
“Your home is here.”
So I wish the towers could remain standing somehow — perhaps in a park.
It will be very strange to be without them.
Brian Olson, Jacksonville
KING WOULD HAVE BEEN FOR IT
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was a great civil rights leader.
I wish we had his leadership to fight for our civil rights that are now infringed upon by a federal income/payroll tax system with flaws that include:
• Denial of due process.
• No trial by jury.
• Forced self-incrimination.
• Unreasonable search and seizure.
• A lack of privacy.
• Unequal treatment of citizens.
• Complex and ambiguous laws.
The problem is the 16th Amendment, which enables direct taxation of the individual. With this amendment came:
• America’s first legal income tax.
• The Internal Revenue System.
• Payroll taxes.
• Tax withholding.
Government gained taxing power — and we lost civil rights, freedom and liberty.
Want your civil rights back?
The FairTax Act — H.R. 25 — would eliminate the old tax system and collect the same tax total with a progressive national sales/consumption tax system — and with only one tax refund of most value to the impoverished.
You determine with your spending how much tax you pay and your effective tax rate.
Join the FairTax cause for civil liberty, plus renewed freedom and liberty.
Learn more at www. bigsolution.org.
Paul Livingston, Jacksonville
EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT
FLORIDA MUST RATIFY IT
The Jacksonville Area National Organization for Women applauds state Sen. Audrey Gibson’s reintroduction of the Equal Rights Amendment at the opening of the 2018 Florida Legislature session.
“Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex.”
This unambiguous statement — known as the Equal Rights Amendment — awaits the passage of two more state legislatures in order to become the law of the land.
It would codify protections that are not currently provided for women in the U.S. Constitution.
Here in Florida, Equal Rights Amendment supporters have lobbied, marched, rallied and provided education and data to gain passage since 1972.
The same nonsensical bathroom-centered arguments designed to limit equality for LGBTQI people have been used to block the Equal Rights Amendment.
In 2018, women still experience income inequity — with particular consequences for women of color and Latinas.
Sexual harassment and all forms of violence against women continue to take place at frightening levels.
Women are underrepresented in the political halls of power — from the local to the federal level.
Reproductive health care is being whittled away with limits to coverage from childbirth to birth control.
Abortion rights are at risk as service providers are targeted for senseless regulations and mounting restrictions.
In 2017, Nevada became the latest state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.
More avenues to protect the rights of women are needed.
Our state legislators must understand how important this legislation is for our daughters, our sisters, our nieces, our mothers and our granddaughters.
And for ourselves.
Let Florida finally ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.
Judy Sheklin, president,
Jacksonville Area NOW,
THE BIRTH OF JESUS
The recent column “So what if Jesus had not been born?” has resulted in some very thought-provoking responses.
The most recent response described Christianity’s proud history while also reminding the Ponte Vedra Freethinkers of the benefits of Christianity.
As the daughter of a clergyman, I was raised in a religious household. And I am an active member of my congregation. But I have been somewhat of a freethinker all my life.
And this is what I got out of the Ponte Vedra Freethinkers’ response:
It did not deny the importance of the influence of Jesus.
Instead, it pointed out that what Jesus preached were Judeo-Christian values and that other religions and individuals also profoundly influenced millions of people in similar ways.
This is well-rounded history.
And I applaud that point of view.
The Freethinkers were also not pleased about being called “dreaded secular progressives” in a previous column written by Scott Powell.
But what moral, kind people would want to be called “dreaded”?
In a nation more deeply divided than ever, it is essential that we respect the choices we make regarding religion.
I’m pleased that the Times-Union chose to publish different sides of an issue that is an integral part of so many lives.
Rhoda London, Jacksonville