Free Speech Letters, 11/29/11

The rise and fall of the U.S.
Dear Editor,
When the leaders of the Soviet Union wanted to increase their power, they explained to the masses all of the things that they were entitled to. That was made clear in the Soviet constitution. To pay for all of these things, the rate of taxation was increased, not only to 100 percent of income, but 100 percent of possessions. The very wealthy were eliminated. The people who had created jobs were eliminated. Everything was under the control of the government. Within a few years, Russia became one of the poorest nations of the world. The politicians, to help maintain their power, promised entitlements to everybody. Nobody had any personal responsibility; everyone turned to government for all of their needs. Government gave to the people as government saw fit. Government determined where people should live and provided only government approved food. Government limited the amount of health care people could have. Even before our current socialist regime in America, our gutless politicians never met a special interest group they were not willing to fund with taxpayers’ money. Even now, with the economic collapse of a few European countries to learn from, our politicians continue to squander our money, seize our wealth and income, and gain lucrative loans and grants for their friends -at the same time guaranteeing for themselves re-election and lucrative pensions.
Our country will survive if we can stop the entitlement mentality. We need to explain to people they are not entitled to the benefits of someone else’s labor. We should restore the system whereby individuals can keep what they have earned and if they don’t work, they shouldn’t eat.
Floyd Coates
Lexington, Indiana

Give me that First Amendment
Based on the First Amendment, Occupy Dayton has the right to peaceably assemble and air their grievances, or whatever free speech that is legal (i.e., no yelling “fire” in crowded theatres). Camping and occupying isn’t new in America and it is a protected form of speech protesting conditions. Google “Bonus Army 1930s,” people.
J.S.
Dayton, Ohio
[RE: Debate Forum Topic: “Occupy Wall Street and the First Amendment,” 11/22/11]

What it’s all about
Spot on. Abandoning a protest every single time it may offend someone runs in direct opposition to what a protest is about.
Wes Bishop
Dayton, Ohio
[RE: Debate Forum Left: “The right to remain silent” by Jolene Pohl, 11/22/11]

Public? Property?
It seems to me that if you are invalidating the concept of public property, you are invalidating the First Amendment.
Christopher Erb
[RE: Debate Forum Right: “The violence and greed of Leftists” by Mark Luedtke, 11/22/11]

That’s logistics
For me it all boils down to a matter of logistics. Most people think all there is to camping out is throwing up a tent, grabbing some sleeping bags and setting up house. For those of us who have actually made camping a lifelong hobby we understand the real logistics required to maintain a working camp and from what I’ve seen of the Occupy Dayton movement, none of them possess the skills to do it right. It is one thing to debate rights, but the reality is that with rights come responsibilities too. If you plan on occupying something like Courthouse [Square] in Dayton you need to do so in a manner that is respectful of the environment. So far from what I’ve seen of the Occupy Dayton campsite, their camp is not only not being respectful of the environment, they are also through lack of camping knowledge presenting a danger to others trying to use the Square. Tents are not properly secured and when the wind kicks up the billowing tents create a serious threat to pedestrians. Sanitation? Trash removal? Power? These are all issues which the campers appear to have no clue how to effectively manage on their own. They cry about rights, but seem to have no sense of responsibility for maintaining their presence on Courthouse Square. Other cities are moving away from permanent camps. They’re recognizing the tremendous drain upon organization coffers that maintaining the tents truly is and are adapting their tactics to Occupy public venues temporarily during certain hours and sending everyone home after events where they are warm, safe and out of the cold. Camping is a very expensive endeavor. Every dollar invested in trying to maintain a camp can purchase bullhorns, fliers, buttons, signs and the materials to spread the Occupy message. They’ve learned the truth that sometimes the principle of “conservation of resources” is more important than the right to camp. Having the right to do something and standing on it isn’t always the right choice. Doing something right is more important than standing on a right to do something. When a camp becomes dangerous to more people than it serves, the city must move to protect the safety of the majority. Do it right or don’t do it at all. So far the Dayton Occupiers aren’t doing it right…
Dirk Star
Dayton, Ohio
[RE: Debate Forum Topic: “Occupy Wall Street and the First Amendment,” 11/22/11]

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