Mattis and other generals can't last in D.C. 'dog pit'

I think former Defense Secretary James Mattis and other generals who were career officers with no civilian, business or political understanding will never, ever work long term in the “dog pit” of Washington.

Generals are used to subordinates who have no political or economic agendas. They are used to working in a pure and utopian world where everyone is on the same page strategically, tactically and personally.

Generals focus on one mission: Prepare for and execute war with our enemies. Generals will never adjust to the backstabbing of politicians or the constraints of economic policies, or the scrutiny of whiny and weak partisan politicians.

They only know how to win battles and wars, not compromise and look over their shoulders for the next media story or next politician looking for his 10 seconds on CNN that undermines their plan!

Col. John W. Saputo, retired, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Longboat Key

Democrats refuse to work for the good of the nation

Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and the rest of the Democratic leadership continue their election revenge by obstructing anything the current administration tries to do, even when the actions or policies proposed would improve the well-being of U.S. citizens.

The most recent, blatant action by the Democrats is failure to negotiate to improve the safety, security and financial well-being of taxpayers by exploring how to secure our southern border to stop the influx of illegal immigration which brings with it crime, disease and a massive financial burden to each and every taxpaying U.S. citizen.

Conservative estimates put the price tag at $115 billion annually to provide public assistance for housing, food and medical care and, most important, to prosecute and incarcerate the criminals.

While the Democrats refuse to discuss building a wall to secure the border, they fail to offer any alternative plan.

The Democrats have become a party of obstructionists, doing everything in their power to derail the administration without any consideration for the taxpayers who elect them.

Imagine what could be accomplished if the Democrats decided to work for the good of the country instead of their self-serving interests.

Gary L. Miller, Sarasota

Instead of funding wall, help Puerto Rico rebuild

I find it difficult to believe that our president demands spending $5.7 billion for a wall while Americans in Puerto Rico are getting almost nothing to rebuild their infrastructure after the hurricane devastation.

Timothy Lenz, Sarasota

Decisions at the border should be based on facts

Truth should not be an evasive character trait.

There is no such phenomenon as “alternate facts.” All facts and truths are supported by empirical research or infrequently must rely on anecdotal evidence.

Therefore, as we evaluate the need for this wall on our neighbor’s border, either we have a true issue with persons or products coming over that border or not.

From legitimate sources, we have learned that there is a decrease in such “illegal transients,” not an increase that should prompt the spending of $5.7 billion when such monies could and should be spent on true concerns facing our country: environmental problems, infrastructure needs, food deprivation in many pockets of the country, homelessness, and physical and mental-health issues.

Leadership is more than quick, three-word sound bites that only denigrate problems rather than seek solutions.

America needs to re-establish its moral and ethical code, realize its role in the world regarding its neighbors, and again symbolize that sentiment that is so well written on that statue in the harbor: “Give me your tired ... yearning to breathe free ...”

Al Mahan, Sarasota

Suggestions for DeSantis on building cleaner future

The DeSantis administration must put Florida's health first.

If we clean her waters and seas, invest in green, renewable energy and promote earth/water friendly agribusinesses and practices, we will diversify and grow our economic engines.

Some suggestions to consider:

• National/state water infrastructures are aging and inadequate. Working with the federal and state/local governments to coordinate funding for a phased plan to build/rebuild infrastructure will provide jobs while improving health.

• Amendment 1, passed in 2014, for land acquisition, conservation and water preservation has not been properly implemented. If it is, the natural flow of water from north to south will return, the Everglades will be aided and toxic flows to our coasts will be reduced.

• We should replicate renewable-energy models in the city of Orlando and Babcock Ranch's solar-powered town statewide.

• We should support the UF/IFAS Hemp Pilot Project. If viable in Florida, hemp will have positive economic and environmental impacts. Hemp cement is a worldwide construction material. We can grow it, manufacture it and build with it here or export it.

I congratulate Ron DeSantis on earning the privilege of being governor. He can make us proud by leading us into a brighter, cleaner future.

Darienne Oaks, Nokomis