Missing the point
Saree Makdisi misses the point (“Simplistic ‘Je suis Charlie’ widens our cultural division,” Tuesday).
The foundation of free speech is the old children’s saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
Free speech means Charlie Hedbo has the freedom to be offensive, so long as it does not encourage violence.
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If the French government is suppressing a comedian merely because of the anti-Semitic nature of his comedy, then the French government deserves criticism.
But that is a far cry from violence and murder in retaliation for cartoons, no matter how offensive.
— Don Davidson, Bedford
Paying a ‘fair share’
After listening to President Obama, I was so glad to hear that 10 million people now have health insurance.
But I feel I now don’t have health insurance, although I have been paying premiums for 20 years.
My premium is over $1,000 a month and my deductible is $12,000. So I will spend $24,000 a year before I see coverage.
Oh — I do get free checkups!
That’s for the tests. You have to pay the doctor to read them, and that is out-of-pocket.
When I worked at a major local hospital, we were forced to donate at least $1 dollar per paycheck to an annual charity campaign so the percentage of workers would be high to show what a great giving facility we were.
I guess this is what paying my “fair share” is all about. Just be careful of whose definition of “fair share” you use.
— Tim Marron, Grapevine
Defining middle class
Watching the State of the Union speech, I was overwhelmed by the “free stuff” programs offered by the president.
Then the wheels started turning, I asked myself, just what is middle-class? Could someone explain that?
I’m not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination and I do not consider myself poor. Having lived a life of hard work to support my family while planning and saving for the future. I don’t smoke and have never considered drugs.
Am I middle-class?
I have never drawn unemployment or any kind of welfare program. Maybe that was pride as I never stayed unemployed long, even as a high school dropout.
I own my own home and car and managed to put two boys through college.
Am I middle-class?
My father lost his farm in the 1930s as he could not pay the taxes. He always said we were just poor folk.
I attend church and volunteer where needed. I pay my taxes and served my country in Vietnam as a Marine. Retired on Social Security that I paid into for over 50 years.
So I ask again: Am I middle-class?
What is middle-class? What’s free stuff? Free to whom?
— Con Shuck,
Listen, don’t protest
As hundreds protested Islam outside of the Garland Convention Center this past Sunday, I was confused.
I was confused why protesters were at an event where Muslims were against terrorism.
And I was confused why they would not attend the event and hear the point of view from the common Muslim who is against everything for which Boko Haram and the Islamic State stand.
The acts these terrorist groups commit should reflect on no one but themselves.
Instead of letting their miniscule numbers represent the teachings of Islam, let the more than 1 billion moderate Muslims voice the true Islam.
Instead of protesting at these events, please join us and listen to what we have to say.
— Ahmed Malik,
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