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Letters to the Editor, May 31

Free speech is costly

What’s happened to our sense of common decency and compassion toward others? How sad that we can pass off the tweets posted by Cal State Professor Randa Jarrar’s as her First Amendment right, and the crass comments from White House aide Kelly Sandler’s as a simple jest.

Professor Jarrar, shortly after the April death of former First Lady, Barbara Bush, tweeted insensitive, inappropriate comments regarding Mrs. Bush and the Bush family. White House aide Sadler “joked” that Sen. John McCain’s opinions regarding Trump’s CIA director nominee were meaningless because “he’s dying anyway.”

Yes, it can be said that Jarrar has her First Amendment rights, likewise Sadler has her right to air her sense of humor in a closed-door meeting, no matter how warped. Still, I find it distressing that such mean-spirited people are becoming the norm; and such callous remarks are ignored and taken as passing comments.

As Mark Twain said: It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either.”

Linda Green

Central Point

TV ads annoying

I am considering dropping my television membership because of all the commercials that pop up ruining the shows I watch.

I don’t need a car, or will never use the medicines in ads. Only doctors should tell you what you really need, so why tell us about medicines?

Is there any channel without all those commercials? Most of them are stupid!

Mary Thorpe

Talent

Ban cruel training devices

Kudos to the residents who are asking for a county-wide ban on painful training devices used to control wild animals used for entertainment (“Group wants ban on painful training,” May 23).

It is well documented that wild animals used in circuses are trained and controlled by using pain and intimidation. Bullhooks, which look like a fire poker with an added sharp hook on the end, are used on elephants’ sensitive ears and the backs of their legs to make them do unnatural acts such as headstands. Whips are used to intimidate tigers, forcing them to jump through hoops. There are many videos of behind-the-scenes brutal beatings of circus animals that “misbehave.”

I was dismayed to read that County Commissioner Colleen Roberts said the ban might lead to a “slippery slope.” How could eliminating cruelty from our community be a slippery slope?

Cities such as Austin, Oakland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Richmond and Miami Beach have already banned the use of these inhumane methods. I hope our county’s name will soon be added to this list of compassionate communities.

Janis Rosenthal

Ashland

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