Politics today is full of hot air

Shortly after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, many major cities around the world, including Paris and Philadelphia, were experimenting with airships (hot air balloons). A friend of Thomas Jefferson, Francis Hopkinson was a lawyer, writer and signer of the declaration. He saw a witty connection between politicians and balloons: “A high-flying politician is, I think, no different from a balloon – he is full of inflammability, he is carried along by all currents of wind – and those who get carried away by them run a great risk of the bubble bursting and dropping them from the height to which the principle of lightness can lift them.

If only Hopkinson could see how many of these hot air balloons are flying today. Perhaps we could use a little more levity and less acrimony in politics. Maybe the sense of humor kept this great experience from falling down.

Charles Michel Sitero Ormond Beach

The purpose of increased surveillance of what happens in schools is to prevent young people from developing thinking skills that would really help them throughout their lives. Somehow some feel they are better equipped if real life is whitewashed and students don’t feel uncomfortable, stressed and/or responsible for the real events that happened in our country and the world.

So be it, here are some suggestions to keep us going down this path, even if it was only a matter of time for these events to fade away.

Don’t bring up World War I or World War II. Really some depressing ones that could stress out a lot of people. To say that the Germans insisted on teaching students about German history and the Holocaust; what were they thinking?

And what about this undeclared war in Vietnam? That naked child fleeing her bombed-out house? Just good TV and no one needs to watch it again.

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The great Depression. What a bunch of whiners. Did they ever receive their standard boot straps?

The list of topics to minimize, ignore or forget is endless. But memories are powerful. Today’s students will be deprived of the development of the basic skill of knowing the world around them. Let’s train them so they can make informed decisions and contribute their gifts and talents to a world that depends on them.

S. Lee Thompson Titusville

The loss of Queen Elizabeth II at the age of 96 is a deep sadness for many around the world. She was a beloved and respected Queen who completed her final duty this week, meeting England’s new Prime Minister.

I remember the famous words of John Donne: “The death of any man diminishes me, because I am involved in humanity.

People around the world are coming together to remember the Queen’s unwavering approach to her reign and she will hold a special place in the hearts of many Britons as well as others around the world.

Joy Peeler Mount Dora

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