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Trump's giving superheroes a run for their money: Letters

An HBO film examines the life of the Washington Post’s legendary editor, Ben Bradlee. It has a strikingly contemporary feel, since the hostility Bradlee felt from the White House in the Nixon era is similar to the Trump administration today.
An HBO film examines the life of the Washington Post’s legendary editor, Ben Bradlee. It has a strikingly contemporary feel, since the hostility Bradlee felt from the White House in the Nixon era is similar to the Trump administration today. (HBO via AP)

Fast-forward from Nixon to Trump

Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep, who are arguably two of our finest actors, are appearing in a new movie called The Post. It’s a déjà vu experience for older Americans and a cautionary tale for younger citizens. The story takes place 46 years ago when The New York Times and the Washington Post were at war with another president over publication of the Pentagon Papers.

Richard Nixon tried to prevent their publication, but in a six-to-three vote, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the press and set a landmark decision regarding press freedom.

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Now we have a new and much more dangerous president attacking the First Amendment. He has a Supreme Court stacked in his favor, social media loaded with false information, zero fact-checking and gullible followers.

He has control of both houses of Congress with a spineless GOP leadership. Our two superheroes from 1971 — the Times and the Post — are still on the job, but they face a much more potent enemy this time. I suspect even comic-book legend Stan Lee is worried.

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James Dowdy Orlando

Don’t patronize Lewinsky

With “friends” like My Word columnist Sue Scheff (“Monica Lewinsky — a person, not a scandal,” Orlando Sentinel, Dec. 5), Lewinsky doesn’t need enemies. To refer to her as a “victim” of President Bill Clinton in the 1998 scandal is a patronizing and demeaning view of a woman who, at the age of 22, was perfectly mature enough to make her own decisions about her own actions, for which she no more deserves to be patronized than judged.

Geny Rutland Maitland

Help save a billion

When it comes to water, the past 12 months demonstrated that although Florida generally receives ample rainfall, it tends to arrive in large gulps. Effects from this spring’s drought conditions followed by Hurricane Irma’s statewide saturation have shown that, as stewards of Florida’s water, we all must maintain an emphasis on both water conservation and water storage, even when the landscape seems saturated with water.

In the face of drought and abundance, the St. Johns River Water Management District works to strike a balance between the needs of people and the needs of the environment. During the rainy season, our local and regional flood protection projects help to mitigate flooding. As the weather cools and rain subsides, we are reminded of the need to conserve water.

With public water supply the largest category of water use, and irrigation accounting for a large part of residential water use, year-round watering restrictions help ensure efficient use of water. Current watering restrictions specify that watering should only occur one day a week before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.

This year, during the cooler months of December through February, the district is asking everyone to skip every other week of watering their lawns. If everyone in our 18-county region participated this season, it could save more than 1 billion gallons of water across north and east-central Florida.

Ann B. Shortelle executive director, St. Johns River Water Management District

Be fair to the accused

In today’s political climate, allegations of sexual abuse are being thrown out like candy at a Halloween “trunk or treat.” In many cases, there have been no charges or convictions; yet the people at the center of the allegations have lost their jobs and reputations and their families’ names are forever smeared. This is regardless of whether they committed the crimes; the world doesn’t care.

Our justice system is supposed to be based on the principle of “innocent until proven guilty,” but with the internet and social media being so far reaching in a matter of seconds, a person’s name and reputation can be quickly destroyed.

Many use the excuse that victims simply do not lie about abuse, and those who have been falsely accused can refute these claims. The pendulum has swung too far in the opposite direction from not believing victims to believing them instantaneously and completely without proof.

I’m in no way advocating sex crimes, but I am advocating for the rights of the accused. We carry on about the rights of victims, but the accused have a right to a fair trial instead of the kangaroo court currently taking place. Have we completely lost not only our humanity but our grip on what is right and fair?

Amy Stewart Lady Lake

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