Sanctions on Russia?

President Obama "demanded" that Russia stop supporting separatists in Ukraine after the downing of an airliner by a missile he said was fired from rebel territory.

That very likely was a missile supplied by Russia, regardless from where it was fired. This brings to mind the fact that the United States is the leading exporter of military armament on planet Earth. Dare I ask, "Isn't this a case of the pot calling the kettle black?"

Bearing in mind that President Vladimir Putin's last job was head of the Russian KGB, I recall an adage about what to expect if you step on a cat's tail.

The Russian economy is already hemorrhaging from sanctions imposed by the United States and our allies. Isn't it time for Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry to find a better way to deal with the Russians than "demanding"? More sanctions? Think Cuba.

Jim Losinger Kissimmee

Let love between any 2 human beings show

I was outraged by Lydia Demola's letter to the editor on Tuesday. She was perturbed that the Sentinel published a picture of "two lesbians kissing," as she described it.

These are two living, breathing people. Two human beings who love, pay taxes, work, enjoy life, help others and inspire their fellow human beings.

Yet, to Demola, they are just "two lesbians kissing," not worthy of children seeing them express their devotion and love. These two valuable lives, and their love for each other, it seems in her statements, should be hidden away.

It is bigotry to argue that gay people are different, so their actions are wrong and sinful. The Nazis thought that Jews were different and unequal. Slaveholders thought black people were subhuman. Many Southerners thought blacks and whites shouldn't marry because it was against God's definition of a "sacred union," as Demola put it.

All of these fear-induced prejudices, once preached as solid "God-approved" social bulwarks, have been shown to be what they are: ignorance-fueled bigotry, hatred and racism.

Demola, and those like her who hate seeing change, need to check their judgmentalism at the door and get used to seeing people of the same sex expressing their love for each other.

Love is universal and can't be stopped. It seems only those who preach hate and discrimination are the ones who want to deny it to all human beings equally.

Larry D. DavisLongwood

Gardiner off base in teachers-union attack

I found incoming Senate President Andy Gardiner's reflexive attack on teachers unions troubling. When the Florida Education Association filed suit against SB 850, which includes voucher expansion, he said the unions may have given up on these children, but he hasn't ("State teachers union sues over broader voucher law," Orlando Sentinel, Thursday).

First, that's arguable; this Legislature has routinely slashed education budgets, attacked the teaching profession and made policy decisions on Common Core, high-stakes standardized testing, vouchers, charter schools and merit pay that are not supported by evidence but which quite often benefit legislators' campaign donors. Given those things, not protesting a hastily thrown together bill that violates the Florida Constitution's single-subject clauses have caused exponentially more harm to children.

Unions don't establish budgets, create curricula or hire or fire teachers. All they do is try to make sure the mutually agreed-upon contract language, the rules, are enforced. Furthermore, because Florida is a right-to-work state, things like strikes — the one truly effective tool that unions have — has been taken out of their toolbox.

The truth is, we have serious issues in education, many caused by the policies Gardiner supports; unfortunately, instead of trying to fix them, Gardiner seems more interested in hyperbolic rhetoric and blaming one of the groups trying to do so.