I was appalled by the recent letter from a Kings Point resident who wrote about how someone decided to photograph and “turn over to the authorities” the two non-aggressive alligators in the neighborhood pond. Thanks to her [the photographer’s] interference these two beautiful creatures are now dead. I’ll just add her to the list of the many residents in Sun City Center who don’t have anything meaningful to do in their lives except harass their neighbors (two-legged and four-legged).
Sun City Center
I was very disturbed in reading the “Messianic synagogue Sukkot celebration” article because of its misleading attempt to legitimize a religious group and its endorsement by a local church. Ron Goldberg has no more right to call himself “Rabbi” than I, with no medical training, have the right to call myself “Doctor”. To be called a Rabbi, one must undergo 4-5 years of Jewish training at a Jewish Seminary and be ordained by the governing body.
“Mr.” Goldberg has done neither.
No Jewish Synagogue or Temple includes Jesus in their prayers or liturgy. Jews believe that the Messiah has yet to come because when that Messianic time occurs there will be peace and harmony throughout the world. Obviously since world peace is still only a dream, Jews do not believe that the Messiah has arrived. We respect that other religions feel the Messiah has arrived, but Jews can not.
Beth Israel, the Jewish Congregation in Sun City Center, does have a Rabbi who has completed the required Jewish studies and has been ordained. The Congregation uses Jewish prayer books published by The Central Conference of American Rabbis in which there is no reference to Jesus. Respectfully, those who believe in Jesus as the Messiah are called Christians, not Jews.
Past President of Beth Israel
A few weeks ago I wrote a letter to the editor taking the Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Dempsey, to task for attempting to balance the military budget on the backs of the service members by cutting back on their pay and benefits. They insisted that in order to pay for the necessary training of the troops and the purchase of needed weaponry, it would be necessary to cut back on the personnel costs — in effect making the warriors pay for their own training and equipment.
Then came the VA crisis. Once again the military personnel received short shrift with regard to gaining access to needed care for service-connected conditions. At first the VA Inspector General would not admit that some 40 deaths could be shown to be a result of an inability to secure timely appointments. Then, when it could no longer be denied, it was admitted that some of the deaths were in fact directly related to the long waits for appointments. Coupled with that was the inordinately long period of time it takes to obtain a disability rating. Fortunately, the new VA secretary, Robert McDonald, has initiated bold actions to try and turn this disgraceful situation around. Responsible administrators are being fired, new facilities are being leased and constructed, and more medical personnel are being recruited. Medical care in areas over 40 miles from the VA facilities or sites where appointments cannot be obtained in 30 days or less are being allowed to seek care by community health care providers.
Now we have another unbelievable decision being made in the name of military budget cutting. A decision has been made to cut the Military Funeral Honors program run by the National Guard in each state. Incredible! The burial ceremonies range from a two-man flag-folding ceremony and the playing of “Taps” to a gun salute and color guard involving 21 people, with no costs to the veteran’s family. The federal money pays for travel and lodging costs for the detail that performs the ceremony. Unless this decision can be reversed, this free military funeral ceremony will be discontinued or paid for and provided by the next of kin. It costs $181.95 per two-person detail to perform the simplest ceremony, and it is beyond belief that we cannot find the funds to continue this service for our veterans’ families. Their children gave their lives for their government, yet their government cannot pay for a funeral ceremony. The next of kin apparently have not suffered enough through the loss of their loved one, now they will be expected to add insult to injury by paying for their funeral ceremony. How much lower can our government sink?
B. Frank Kepley, CAPT, USN, (Ret)
Sun City Center