Free speech everywhere
In our frenzy to defend free speech after the Charlie Hebdo shootings, let’s not forget about Saudi Arabia.
After denouncing the brutal attack on the satirical magazine, it brutally sentenced its own satirist Raif Badawi to 1,000 lashes on the ambiguous charge of insulting Islam.
Where’s the outrage? Where’s the coverage?
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The prophet Muhammad spent his lifetime responding to stoning with prayer, to denigration with listening ears.
Therefore, the life and birthplace of a man so accepting and forgiving should set the standard of open discussion and demonstrate why the self-anointed avengers in France were so horrendously wrong.
My fellow free speech advocates, and more importantly, my fellow Muslims worldwide: While we are valiantly decrying the Paris attacks, Raif received his first 50 lashings on Friday.
Until we stand for free speech everywhere, until we criticize Saudi Arabia for its inherent hypocrisy, this breach on speech will not end.
I am Raif.
— Sajeel Malik, Houston
Republicans can’t let go of the Keystone XL pipeline regardless of the damage it will cause.
They harp on job creation and energy independence, shallow arguments considering the estimated 35 permanent jobs the project will create.
The export of the refined crude to markets outside the U.S., mostly China, will help pay on our massive foreign debt, but at what price to the U.S.?
Last fall, inspectors from the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration discovered a shockingly high percentage of shoddy workmanship.
Almost three-quarters of the welds on the “safest pipeline in the world” required redoing.
And 830,000 barrels of highly corrosive oil a day will be pumped through those pipes over a distance of 1,750 miles.
Major spills are a virtual certainty.
In addition, the extraction/transmission/refining process will add CO2 to the atmosphere equivalent to the amount that would be produced by an additional 5,500,000 vehicles on our roads.
CO2 levels will rise well above 450 ppm,100 points higher than the level considered safe for human existence.
If Obama vetoes the bill, the Republicans will attach it as a rider to a “must pass” budget bill.
Somebody plans on getting very rich at our expense.
— Steve Turner, Haltom City
When I first heard about President Obama’s proposal last week to give free tuition to junior college students, I thought it was just another part of the populist fantasy of a person who has never held a real job and still doesn’t understand that nothing is free.
Then I realized it has nothing to do with helping people, but is just a political ploy to bait the Republican Congress, who will likely not support funding for another giveaway program, so they come out as the bad guys who aren’t interested in helping middle class families.
— James Withaeger,
Mayor Price was quoted as saying: “In a strong city, we simply have to put some focus back on our neighborhoods” (“Fort Worth manager sets yearlong plan for changes,” Jan. 14).
That statement is contrary to her recent position at City Council on Jan. 6, when she voted in favor of a zoning change from residential to commercial for a parcel of land in the Crestwood neighborhood.
Thank goodness the majority of the council stayed focused and voted against the change.
I would suggest Mayor Price needs to refocus her focus.
— Dick Burk, Fort Worth
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