Re “NPR tweets the Declaration of Independence, and people freak out about a ‘revolution’ ” (sacbee.com, July 5): I read this article with great amusement. President Donald Trump’s supporters were quick to pounce on tweets of the Declaration of Independence as revolutionary talk from a government-funded media outlet. NPR has had a tradition of broadcasting the Declaration on the Fourth of July from its beginning. This time they chose our president’s preferred medium. That was genius. I hope that the detractors sit down and actually read the Declaration. There is some juicy stuff in there.
Chris Hickman, Sacramento
Re “Do we still have free speech? Only until we disagree” (Anders Gyllenhaal, July 1): What a timely and accurate article. Am I the only one who feels civility is becoming a forgotten virtue?
Dianna Knuth, Orangevale
Anders Gyllenhaal quotes Edward Wasserman of Berkeley as follows: “I don’t think the world is a worse place because Ann Coulter doesn’t get to say something she’s already said a thousand times.” It is a worse place and certainly so is Berkeley. The fact that this would be said by the dean of the graduate school of journalism probably explains the depths to which that once noble profession has fallen.
Paul Greisen, Sacramento
The intent of the First Amendment was to allow dissent and criticism of the government without retribution, arrest or imprisonment. It was not intended to allow someone to open their mouth and let anything fall out their mouth. Do you think that the Founding Fathers would have accepted someone like Hitler expressing his thoughts? The free flow of ideas follows free speech. Does one think violent, inflammatory speech toward another race, sex, or religion is really advancing any ideas?
Michael Santos, Antelope
Red state voters
Re “Trump vows to support and defend religious freedom in US” (sacbee.com, July 1): It is reassuring for Donald Trump to hold campaign-style rallies, where throngs of adoring devotees show up to praise their unsound leader. I wonder how many will still show up after their health care is taken away, especially those hardest hit in red states. I guess there wasn’t enough room on those Trump Campaign hats for the full slogan: “Make America great again for the Wealthy and Privileged.”
Stephen Farr, Folsom
It’s not normal
As a Naval officer during the Vietnam era, and a lifelong educator, I am shocked by Donald Trump’s immature, divisive, toxic, and unprofessional behavior. This includes his willingness to attack or attempt to discredit fundamental democratic processes such as freedom of the press and the independence of the judiciary. I am more shocked at what appears to be the normalization of this behavior by his supporters or other individuals who may rationalize this behavior by simply saying this is the way he is. This behavior would be unacceptable for almost anyone holding a position of responsibility in America. It certainly is unacceptable for a Naval officer, an educator, or a student. His behavior has diminished the Office of the President and America’s standing in the world. The enabling needs to stop.
Jim Arack, Sacramento
Urban vs. rural
Re “We celebrate July Fourth, while basic beliefs are under attack” (Editorials, July 4): I view our freedom as burning brighter than ever as more Americans are interested in politics, are observing statements and actions from Washington, and wanted to participate in the process. What I find distressing is how our nation’s media outlets appear to picking sides in the discussion. While many media are questioning the administration, they are ignoring the underlying issue that caused much of the nation to elect Trump. In urban areas, I hear criticism of the president and voters who selected him. In rural areas, I hear the exact opposite, extreme pleasure over the election. Perhaps the electorate is better informed and less partial than the press itself.
Ryan Baum, Davis
Re “Facing worsening wildfires, Congress seeks bipartisan answer. Where’s Tom McClintock?” (Editorials, July 6): What a through-the-looking-glass world The Sacramento Bee editorial board lives in. It rightly raises alarm over the practice of raiding fire prevention funds to fight fires. But then it attacks my support for the Resilient Federal Forests Act, which comprehensively fixes this problem, because it has “gained little traction.” Really? This act passed committee in June and will be voted by the House of Representatives this month. Last session it passed on a bipartisan vote, only to be blocked by a handful of Senate Democrats. Ironically, the bill touted by The Bee has never moved out of committee in either house due to strong fiscal opposition. The Resilient Federal Forests Act forbids raiding prevention funds and opens natural disaster funding for forest fire fighting. More importantly, it overhauls the bureaucratic laws that have made it impossible for us to manage our forests to keep them resistant to disease, pestilence, drought and ultimately, catastrophic wildfire.
Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove
Re “Joey Chestnut wins 10th title, gobbles a record 72 hot dogs” (sacbee.com, July 4): Think of all the hungry people who could be fed with all these hot dogs. The hot dog eating contest is a act of gluttony and should be banned. Maybe these hot dog eaters should give out food instead of extreme overeating.
Sam Pickering, Gold River
The city of Sacramento wants to raise some revenue on the backs of pet owners by having us license our pets. My cats are indoor cats and were scared out of their wits on July 4 because enforcing other laws against illegal fireworks isn’t a priority. I’ll license my pets when the city sees fit to at least pretend that it is inappropriate to turn our neighborhoods into war zones to “celebrate” Independence Day.
Maryann Hopson, Sacramento
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