Upholding pictorial free speech
Re “A cowardly attack on freedom of speech” (Editorials, Jan. 8): Wednesday night Jon Stewart simply said, “Those guys were killed for their cartoons.” I grew up in a political home. It was important to my parents that my brothers and I be educated in current events and indeed, the morning paper was as much a part of breakfast as the Wheaties. Our daily education came from the news and the opinion page of the L.A. Times, and right there next to the editorial board’s words were the political cartoons. These cartoons were honest, to the point, and had a touch of satire that spoke volumes.
On our coffee table was “Herblock’s Special for Today,” National Geographic and Edward Steichen’s “The Family of Man.” I was reading and understanding pictures well before I developed the skills of actual reading. By my early teen years, Paul Conrad was drawing for the Times, and embellishing what I was reading about Khrushchev, Cuba, civil rights and Vietnam. Here in Sacramento we are blessed to have had the talents of Rex Babin and now Jack Ohman, who continue the long legacy of creating truth put to cartoon. Freedom of that truth was murdered yesterday, and yet the truth will persevere, as long as we teach the children to “read” the cartoons.
Kathleeen Stricklin, Sacramento
World War III is already here
Re “Manhunt for brutal terrorists” (Page A1, Jan. 8): United States, Canada, England, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Bulgaria, Russia, Turkey, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, Lebanon, Israel, Iraq, Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, Iran, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Algeria, Thailand, Indonesia, China, Madagascar, Ethiopia, Malaysia, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Australia and more.
People need to stop kidding themselves, wake up, and recognize that this is World War III.
Robert Marchal, Dixon
Use discourse, not violence
I woke up this cold Wednesday morning to news strikingly more chilling – 12 innocent lives were brutally taken in Paris by terrorists. Muslim terrorists. As a Muslim American, I condemn the reprehensible atrocities of today and extend my profound condolences to the families of these victims.
While the perpetrators felt that the Charlie Hebdo magazine had desecrated the image of the Prophet Muhammad, they responded by desecrating the name of God, chanting “Allahu Akbar” – Arabic for “God is great” – while committing these horrific acts. Clearly, these terrorists do not represent Islam, as the Quran exhorts believers that, “the killing of one ... is like the killing of all mankind” (5:33).
To any Muslim worldwide who wrongfully supports these attacks: Yes, I found the cartoons distasteful, but we must learn to respond to satire and criticism with discourse, not violence. Hopefully, together, we can find a more wholesome way to glorify god, a more inspiring reason to roar “Allahu Akbar.”
Sajeel Malik, Berkeley
Open border, tight gun control
Although a terrible tragedy, it wasn’t surprising. France has had open borders and has among the tightest gun control laws anywhere. This combination is lethal.
This newspaper has been attacked before. They expected to get hit again. Yet they were practically powerless to defend themselves. Letting anyone in the country unscrutinized and enforcing gun control laws that put them in the hands of criminals and out of the hands of citizens who want to protect themselves will lead to incidents like this. Even the police in France were unprotected. Can we learn from these mistakes?
Will Carpentier, El Dorado Hills
Teachers aren’t making $87,000
Re “Teacher pay affects students,” (Letters, Jan. 6): To letter writer Steve O’Donoghue, who mistakenly thought that Rocklin teachers make $87,442 a year, kindly check your facts. I have taught in this wonderful district for 16 years. I have a master’s degree. My salary doesn’t come close to $87,442. In fact, I don’t know of one teacher that makes that kind of salary.
Gloria Chesbro, Fair Oaks
Reaction to foie gras shocking
Re “Foie gras can be sold again in California” (Page B6, Jan. 8): I was quite taken aback when I read the article that foie gras could be sold again and the delight in which the news was greeted by local chef Patrick Mulvaney. I have eaten at his restaurant many times and have felt that the menu was quite good without foie gras. I’m not sure I understand the glee that this decision has created. I understand that eating any kind of flesh results in the death of an animal, but the torture that the animal has to endure prior to its death is just disgusting. I feel the same way about veal. As the person from PETA says in the article, “foie gras is the French word for ‘fatty liver’ and ‘fathead’ is the American word for the shameless chefs who actually need a law to make them stop serving” it. Sorry Patrick, but if the shoe fits.
Linda Clear, Sacramento
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