Letters to the Editor

Syrian refugees, Matsui, freedom of speech

House Speaker Paul Ryan, joined by House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana, meets with reporters on Capitol Hill following a GOP strategy session on Nov. 17. Calling it a “moment where it’s better to be safe than to be sorry,” Ryan said there should be a “pause” in Syrian refugees coming to the U.S. in the wake of the Paris attacks.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, joined by House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana, meets with reporters on Capitol Hill following a GOP strategy session on Nov. 17. Calling it a “moment where it’s better to be safe than to be sorry,” Ryan said there should be a “pause” in Syrian refugees coming to the U.S. in the wake of the Paris attacks. The Associated Press

Terrorism is real, but danger limited

Re “House OKs new checks on Syria refugees” (Page 1A, Nov. 20): This great alarm about the danger of Syrian immigrants is all about irrational panic and – unfortunately – where cowardly politicians doing anything it takes to gain political advantage. Even the new speaker of the House, Paul Ryan. How very sad.

My greatest fear is not about terrorism. Heart attacks or strokes will probably do me in, if an auto accident doesn’t get me first. Terrorism? Not likely.

If you want to be 100 percent safe, never leave the safety of your home. Don’t drive, don’t fly, don’t eat. Who knows what unknown dangers might lie out there?

If John F. Kennedy were a young man today, he could not find many “profiles in courage” among current politicians. Of course, we generally get the politicians we deserve, due to ignorance, inattention and listening to talk show propaganda.

In today’s political climate, all is about emotional appeal, very little about facts or logic.

Paul D Jordan, Volcano

Caution makes good sense

Re “Stop hysteria on Syrian refugees” (Editorials, Nov. 19): The Obama administration and The Sacramento Bee editorial board persist in pontificating their lack of situational awareness and/or lack of concern regarding the fact that we are at war with the Islamic State.

The Republican governors and presidential candidates are neither “xenophobes” or “demagogues.” Proposing measures calling for high security for refugees to enter the U.S. from countries with a known ISIS presence makes good sense and is absolutely necessary. To approach the refugee problem without implementing due caution and high security is mindless and suicidal.

Gilbert E. Miller,

Rancho Murrieta

Matsui’s vote shows integrity, courage

Re “Don’t let fear rule us, says Matsui” (Marcos Breton, Nov. 22): What a study in contrast. Congresswoman Doris Matsui displayed immense decency and sublime humanity when she cast her “no” vote for the recent House immigration bill. Rep. Ami Bera, presumably with an eye to an anticipated challenging election, voted “yes.”

Does fear, expediency and pandering to a frightened constituency trump the human rights embodied in our Constitution? Evidently a number of politicians are willing to say “yes.”

Thank goodness for people of courage like Matsui who embody not only honor, integrity and fundamental decency but have the moral courage to support humanity.

Stephen R. Hoover,

Sacramento

Prudent limits is not show of fear

Marcos Breton and Rep. Doris Matsui shouldn’t characterize anger as fear. Prudent action prompted internment camps to protect our country from foreigners who wanted to kill Americans. Anger at Pearl Harbor won the war, not fear.

Prudent limits on migrants are in order to prevent ISIS from carrying out their sworn commitment to kill nonbelievers in Islam. And anger is deserved at a government that risks terrorism at home while not expecting able-bodied migrants to defend their own country.

Robert Reark, Granite Bay

Freedom of speech is alive and well

Re “Protests by self-absorbed students are out of control” (Viewpoints, Nov. 19): I find it interesting that Ben Boychuk claims to be the guardian of freedom of speech when he clearly doesn’t understand the principles behind it.

One of the ideas underlying freedom of speech is the ability to criticize the viewpoints of others and advocate for change. That is why political speech is considered the core speech protected by the First Amendment.

If students wish to criticize perceived racial insensitivity by the faculty then they are allowed to do that by exercising their right of freedom of speech. And if students, through their duly elected representatives, choose not to spend their money to support so-called student alternative media publications, they have that right as well.

It seems to me that freedom of speech is alive and well on our campuses and Boychuk is the one who has problems enduring it.

Donald D. deRosier,

Carmichael

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