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LETTERS: Freedom of speech helps make us Americans

(SHNS file photo)

I would like to sincerely thank the Sun-Times Editorial Board for its inspiring editorial regarding the issue of free speech. The demonstrators who marched peacefully demonstrated what is truly unique about our First Amendment right to free speech. Without this right, we are not Americans, nor are we the inheritors of this wonderful document that gave us this right.

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Congratulations again to the Editorial Board for this thought-provoking editorial. I would only wish that all Americans would read it, especially the one who resides in the people’s house at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Dean Starr, Libertyville

Puerto Rico needs lifeline

When the richest 1 percent among us faced financial ruin, Congress and a Republican president passed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. This program provided hundreds of billions of dollars of support to avert a disaster. Today, another 1 percent of Americans, the 3.4 million citizens of our country living in Puerto Rico, need a literal lifeline. Our government always seems to have the money when the rich and powerful are desperate. Today is the day we have to find it for the most vunerable.

Don Anderson, Oak Park

Balancing rights

Contrary to the assertion of Mary Hallan FioRito, Roe v. Wade does not hold “abortion should be legal in all cases, at all stages in pregnancy.” The opinion goes to great lengths to balance the rights and needs of the fetus with those of the mother, with those of the fetus becoming more important with each trimester. It is not a blanket endorsement of abortion. Those who are pro-life would agree with this balancing view.

Elaine Nyquist, Barrington

Read the Bill of Rights

So Coach Mike Ditka thinks the players are demonstrating against the Constitution that he believes in. Is that the Constitution with the First Amendment that not only protects freedom of speech but also “the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for redress of grievances”?

Since only a few players were demonstrating prior to the president’s saying the “s.o.b.s” should be fired, what was last Sunday’s demonstration of solidarity trying to show? Were they protesting against our military or American values? Perhaps Ditka and others who agree with him should play fewer card games and actually read the Bill of Rights.

Walter Fulton, Dyer Ind.

Don’t abuse your electronics

It was not the presentation of Apple’s thumb-print recognition that sparked my epiphany. It was not the new developments in robotics that amazed me, nor was it the introduction of self-driving cars that forced me to recognize the significance of technological advancements in our world.

Instead, what triggered my awe — at my impressionable age of 17 — was watching my mother whack her workplace fax machine in a fit of frustration; only after staring at my upset mother from an office chair in Rogers Park did I recognize how truly astonishing the current state of technology is.

More importantly, I realized that it is unfair to yell at or belittle our tech devices when they malfunction. Instead of allowing agitation to overcome your emotions once your GPS takes you on a wrong turn, you should acknowledge the device’s intelligence — perhaps your mood would not chance so drastically remember if you were to remind yourself of when paper maps were your only source of direction.

New-age GPS devices allow you to get directions from Point A to Point B within seconds. Circling back to the magnificence of the fax machine — it is important that you try not to grow too upset with your telefax when the line you are trying to reach is busy. Instead, take a step back and remind yourself of a time when the only way to exchange documents was through mail, which, subsequently, took days to reach your recipient. In short, please don’t abuse your electronics, they’re trying their best.

Sydney Bock, Dunning