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Free Speech Is The Bedrock Of America

Dear Editor:

     This is in response to the publication of Michael Priem’s letter which apparently is being broadcasted across all newspaper publications in America for political reasons.

     First, for those that don’t know, it is exactly people like Mr. Priem with his Marxist totalitarian views that are doing everything possible to eliminate the most important Right American’s have – Free Speech. Free speech is the bedrock of America and it’s embedded in our most important First amendment. So, he is attacking the very foundations of America. That makes these comments as a representative of an advertising agency in Minneapolis getting free publicity with his broadcast bombardment even more amazing. He tries to make the case that our Leftist American corporations are correct in boycotting Facebook (of which I am no fan and don’t have a Facebook account) because they don’t censor Conservative comments from the President of the United States like they do now on Twitter.

     Hello? Mr Priem has no clue about the importance of free speech to a Republican Democracy and, in order to make his case, falsely conflates conservative comments by our President with the likes of yelling fire in a crowded theater. Don t be fooled by his motivations. His side has brazenly brainwashed our children who need safe rooms when confronted by cognitive dissonance. Simply hearing another side opposed to his world of Leftist lies may incite the unhinged to violence, yes. But the answer to this little problem is not to eviscerate the first amendment. The answer is to teach children to think critically by giving them all sides of the debate so they can respond rationally. Unfortunately, they aren’t given all sides exactly because they are living in safe rooms. And that must change.

     We are at a crossroads in America when people in the advertising business like Mr. Priem are against free speech. But, I suspect, he is just towing the line for a Corporate America that has moved so far Left they are for killing free speech and our Constitution. AT&T just fired a long term employee for simply having a private conservative conversation. Mr. Priem would likely think this is acceptable because the pseudo Leftist goal is to prevent riots in the streets. But in fact they actually encourage riots to suppress the very free speech they abhor. In other words, if you want the kids to stop rioting stop that awful Free Speech! The goal is to kill off Conservative thought, maybe even Conservatives altogether, and replace them with one mindset so the kids don’t burn down stuff.

     The free speech we need to protect, enshrined in our Constitution, is exactly the speech that should cause some people to squirm. Protecting speech everyone agrees with is a meaningless exercise. If people feel they cannot handle what they hear, maybe going into a safe room is their best bet. Or moving to China. Because if they riot in the streets and destroy property just because they disagree with someone’s politics, the other kind of room we have for them won’t be safe and won’t be comfortable.

     BTW, I respect the rights of the Decatur Tribune in publishing his letter. I can take it.

Rob Branson,  Hendersonville, N.C.

Please Consider Health Of Others: Wear A Mask

Dear Editor:

     I am a smoker and I have smoked for over 50 years. I have always enjoyed smoking, and I still do. Yes, I understand the health consequences and I am willing to accept those consequences. Very few of you would deny that I have the right to put my OWN health in jeopardy by continuing to smoke. There was a time, not too long ago, when smokers were allowed to smoke at their workplace, in any store, or any bar or restaurant.

     Now we can’t. Why? Because it has been shown that our second hand smoke affects the health and comfort of those around us. If I want to smoke in public now, I must go outside (at least 15 feet from the entrance). Has my right to smoke been infringed upon? After all, it’s not yet illegal to smoke.

     Now to the crux of this letter. If you are one of those people who refuse to wear a mask in public places because you feel it’s an infringement on your rights, and wearing a mask is uncomfortable, and you are willing to take your changes of catching the COVID-19 virus, (after all it’s YOUR health), consider this. It has been shown that when you don’t wear a mask it may have an effect on the health and safety of OTHER people around you.

     You may be a carrier of COVID-19 and have no symptoms. Because of the virility of this disease, should you infect just one person, it is possible that through the chain of contacts of both you and the person you have infected, that you have potentially passed this disease to hundreds of other people. Unlike second hand cigarette smoke, which can cause immediate physical discomfort to non-smokers, such as watering and burning eyes and coughing, there are no immediate physical symptoms caused by you not wearing a mask.

     However, you not wearing a mask causes mental stress and discomfort to others near you. Those people wearing masks do not want to be exposed to the potential of contracting COVID-19 through your self-centered actions. Please consider others. I think wearing a mask is uncomfortable, but I do it. I can always go outside and take off my mask for a breath of fresh air, and I only have to be 6 feet from others (not 15 feet should I want to have a smoke and fresh air). I love having a cigarette after a meal, especially with cup of coffee, but I don’t do it in a restaurant.

     I am willing to postpone my immediate pleasure for the sake of your comfort assuming you are a non-smoker). In addition stores, bars and restaurants are open to the public but they are, in most cases, privately owned or operated. The owner, even if it is a large corporate enterprise, has the right to decide what is and is not permitted in their establishment. If they deem that face coverings are required in their business, it’s their choice, not yours. Leave your ego at the door and wear a face covering if required.

     I understand that you feel your rights have been infringed. As a smoker I have learned to adapt to the laws and regulations regarding smoking in public. At first it was frustrating, but I complied. Now I have adapted and it’s simply the way it is. I know first hand that you can comply with these new regulations. Please do.

Wayne Frederick, Decatur

No Comparison Between Spirit Of People During World War II And Now

Dear Editor:

     In response to your City Beat article on our spirit now compared to time of World War II. No, there’s no comparison. I was 10 years old during that time. I see that spirit has slipped away slowly through the years. We had a spirit of all belonging as one. We bought and sold War bonds. We had ration stamps for hard to find items such as sugar, canned food and nylons. Each family got a book of ration stamps for each child and we stood in line to purchase our items with the stamps.

     My Dad was an air raid warden for our block. We had an air raid once a week and he would walk the block making sure each house was black. If he saw a house lit he would help with ways to seal it to make it look black. We were #12 on the hit list because of Staleys. I read the very interesting stories of Houdaille Hershey Corporation. I think they called her “Rosie the Riveter”. We also had the defense plant at Illiopolis. That was one place they made ammunition. I understand there is still some bunkers buried in the area.

     I lost my older brother during a raid in Belgium. He was a navigator on a B17 bomber and probably a sitting target from the position he had in the plane. Fathers and boys went to war, mothers took over their jobs and made the ammunition in Illiopolis and Decatur. I know my memories are 75 years old but at times it seems like yesterday.

Edna Ping Burgener,  Oreana 

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