What’s up with Ric?

U.S. Rep. Ric Keller should be ashamed of himself `Happytown™, Nov. 1`. Standing with President Bush in denying poor children access to basic health care is the best example of what “leadership” is not about, and calls into question Keller’s own leadership skills. Obviously, Keller is made to follow and not lead.

In the real face of “compassionate conservatism,” Keller could have shown real leadership for the first time in his career and voted for keeping real American children healthy. Once again he sided with a president who hasn’t done anything right since he came to office.

The United States can’t afford a couple of extra billion dollars for healthy children, even though they are poor, but the administration and their suck-ups in Congress can spend half a trillion dollars on a war for oil.

John Brennan, Orlando

Down with the King

Our state of Florida is a hotbed for agricultural production, and farmworkers’ rights is just the logical subscript. Yet, farmworkers are often made to work in modern slave conditions that remind us of the feudal era, when serfs were made to toil, harvest and live on the land.

John Bowe describes the horrific conditions in his book Nobodies: Modern American Slave Labor and the Dark Side of the Global Economy. Many newcomers to our country are made to pay board for the “privilege” of living in hovels alongside exploitative working conditions. Where social conditions are at least better, farmworkers’ wages are still in the range of $10,000 or less a year – hardly a living wage.

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers was founded in the largest agricultural community in Florida to counter these conditions. They have successfully fought for wage increases given directly to the workers from McDonald’s and Yum Brands, and are currently in the thick of convincing Burger King to follow suit. So far, Burger King has refused to comply and publicly lied about the CIW’s negotiations.

In response, escalating actions will probably take place until a national day of action on Nov. 30, when people from all over the United States will go to Miami. There they will knock on the door of Burger King’s headquarters and present their plan: one cent more per pound of tomatoes.

Stephanie Colombo, Orlando

Welcome to Dislando

This city has always had a penchant for the “unnatural” in trying to rearrange nature to suit its needs `“Local swans penned, chipped sexed,” Nov. 1`. Can you say “Dislando”? Sometimes this makes for some rather ironic sites, such as the once beautiful, aptly named “Lake Emerald” in the downtown Lakes and Hills subdivision.

Only God and Orlando bureaucrats know what the plan was when this pretty little lake was drained, dredged, layered with red clay and a fiber liner, and then left to its own devices.


Wes gives John advice

John Edwards, you’re a good-looking guy. You’re the best-looking presidential hopeful since John Kennedy, so it’s time to use your looks. Do a TV commercial with you jogging in a tank top and shorts, or swimming in a Speedo. It’s time for you to shake your moneymaker, John.

Campaign in Michigan. The people there are mad because it’s been hit hard economically and all of the presidential hopefuls are ignoring them.

Put a $100 million bounty on the head of Osama Bin Laden, or say that you will. If you do that, John, you’ll have members of the Aryan Brotherhood voting for you.

No more catfights with Ann Coulter. No more Elizabeth Edwards catfights with Ann Coulter, either.

Say that you favor an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and an apology to the Iraqi people for what’s happened there since the Iraq war.

Wes Pierce, Orlando

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