Florida’s Punishment of Disney World

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  • Antidepressants Work for Many Patients
  • Mr. Biden, Let the Ukrainian Refugees Keep Their Dogs
  • North Korea’s Nuclear Boast

Walt Disney World in Florida. For 55 years, Disney has had a special tax privilege that effectively allowed it to self-govern the theme park complex.Credit…Eve Edelheit for The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Florida Cuts Tax District for Disney” (Business, April 22):

Florida’s Republican governor and Republican-dominated state legislature recently passed a law that deliberately harms Disney World financially for publicly opposing the “Don’t Say Gay” law. They publicly, proudly used government power to harm a specific corporation for opposing them politically.

This violates freedom of speech and the principles conservatives say they believe in. Principles that oppose government overreach. Abuse of power. Using law and tax authority to oppress a political opponent.

How does Gov. Ron DeSantis, and any legislator who supported this governmental vengeance, now pretend that they cherish limited government and fundamental freedoms over raw power?

Randy Welch

To the Editor:

Re “Rebuke of Disney Is Sign of a Shift by Republicans Away From Big Business” (news article, April 23):

You suggest that Gov. Ron DeSantis’s move to rescind Disney’s special tax status is a reaction to the ways in which corporations are increasingly taking a stand on political issues.

But American corporations have been deeply engaged in American politics for many years — lobbying vigorously for lower taxes, fewer regulations and relaxed antitrust enforcement, pouring money into state-level initiatives and state-level races, and enthusiastically funding climate denial and politicians who question the reality of climate change.

The news from Florida is not that corporations are becoming increasingly politically active. It is that they are taking a stand on political issues in ways that are not aligned with the Republican Party’s agenda.

Rebecca Henderson
The writer is a professor at Harvard Business School.

To the Editor:

My wife and I are considering places to live in our coming retirement, warm weather being a prime consideration. The recent events in Florida have persuaded us to avoid that location.

One of our adult children is non-gender-conforming. We would never live in a place where he would be verbally harassed (or worse). Unfortunately, the hate-filled rhetoric from the Florida Legislature tends to promote just that sort of incident.

Randall Feenstra

Antidepressants Work for Many Patients

Credit…Illustration by Joan Wong; Photographs by Getty Images

To the Editor:

Re “Studies of Depression Weigh Efficacy of Pills” (Science Times, April 26):

Long-term studies are important and needed. But I and many other psychiatrists who have treated people suffering with severe depression for decades know that many individuals require long-term use of pharmacological agents.

When symptoms recur after attempts to slowly taper the medications, they are not from a discontinuation syndrome. Their benefits outweigh risks when side effects are closely monitored.

It’s great when people don’t require medications, but depression, because of its consequences (the level of emotional distress, impairment in functioning and suicidal thinking), must be taken seriously. Many patients will concur that antidepressants work for them.

Jeffrey B. Freedman
New York

To the Editor:

I was shocked and saddened at the skepticism about the efficacy of antidepressants. As the “survivor” of a major depression, I can honestly say that in conjunction with other treatments, those medications gave me my life back.

During these times especially, when depression and suicide rates are soaring, we cannot afford to cast these miracles of modern medicine aside.

Nothing can take the place of a caring and knowledgeable medical team to treat any disease. With the proper oversight as well as patient cooperation, these medications can save lives.

Let’s not bring back the days of the Bedlam hospital and “Cuckoo’s Nest” portrayals of the mental health facilities of the world.

Our lives and the lives of our children depend on the advancement and knowledgeable use of these medications.

Jeanne Genovese
Mineola, N.Y.

Mr. Biden, Let the Ukrainian Refugees Keep Their Dogs

Ira Hrytsenko and her dog, Eddie, leaving their hotel room in San Ysidro, Calif. Credit…Mark Abramson for The New York Times

To the Editor:

This lifelong dog lover and current guardian to three precious canines was heartbroken to read “Ukrainians Face New Hurdle at U.S. Border: Getting Their Dogs Across” (news article, April 16).

I have been struck by the number of Ukrainians who have been pictured with the dogs they love — members of their family. To be told that they cannot enter our country unless they relinquish their beloved animals is cruel, heartless and wrong.

Our president is a dog lover, dog guardian and man of great compassion. Surely he can make some revision of policy so that the beleaguered Ukrainian people who are fortunate enough to make it to our country will not have to sacrifice a beloved animal that has helped them to get through what no human being should ever have to endure. Please help, Mr. President.

Oren Spiegler
Peters Township, Pa.

North Korea’s Nuclear Boast

A photograph provided by North Korean state media showed what it says was a newly built intercontinental ballistic missile, the Hwasong-17, during a military parade in Pyongyang, North Korea.Credit…Korean Central News Agency, via Associated Press

To the Editor:

Re “North Korean Leader Boasts of Nuclear Arsenal and Threatens to Use It” (news article, April 27):

How very telling (and sad and dangerous) that Kim Jong-un feels that “the symbol of our national strength” is his nuclear arsenal.

Not the standard of living of his people, nor their educational level nor their physical well-being — only the fact that the country is capable of blowing other people up. What a glorious value system.

Daniel R. Martin
Hartsdale, N.Y.

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