Don't get squishy
Your musings in this week's issue ["Editor's Note," Jan. 14] made for an interesting read. Think back to our nation's beginnings when the men who signed our founding documents pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to give birth to the freedoms we enjoy today. Think of the 400,000-plus who gave their lives in World War II to protect those freedoms from tyrants so that you and I can hold those freedoms so preciously.
Can we allow those who don't prize those freedoms to drive them out of our society so they can live in their misguided world, and we then must live in fear of these narrow-minded bigots? Remember, freedom was bought by blood and must be, unfortunately, replenished by blood, if need be, to protect our way of life.
I hope you're not becoming squishy when it comes to protecting your / our freedom of speech—and freedom of the press!
Lou Cumming, La Jolla
Hello! I read your Jan. 14 "Editor's Note." I understand that age and maturity does play a part in your decision. However, that doesn't mean anything for the victims of 9/11, the victims of the London bombing or the victims of the Boston bombing. They neither said anything nor did anything against the Muslim religion, yet they still suffered and/or lost their lives for the Muslim belief.
The thing is that you don't really have to say anything to be a victim in certain situations. I can walk out in the middle of the street and be shot just because of reasons. Again, I understand your decision, but as a cartoonist, I can't stand for censorship because someone is offended. Everyone is offended. From uptight liberal feminists to extremist religious cretins, everyone is offended.
People need to stop being so sensitive about certain things, especially comedy, entertainment or anything in general. That is art. Art is supposed to make people think, or make you feel uncomfortable, or scare, or make you happy, or make you sad. Art is a representation of life. That is life. Life isn't an easygoing stream. There will be things that piss us off, or offend us. And if a cartoon drawing offends you that much, then I think you need to re-think your life.
Schean Sagawa, Paradise Valley
CityBeat's a pushover
David Rolland's Jan. 14 "Editor's Note" on Charlie Hebdo reflected a rather disingenuous sadness for all of the ugliness and pain caused by religious invective. No such sorrow was ever shown in coverage of the Tony Award-winning musical Book of Mormon, plays such as Late Night Catechism or Larry Flynt's wicked satire of Jerry Falwell. This phony sensitivity obscures the real problem, best expressed by FDR: "nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror."
CityBeat has joined the ranks of all those bookstores that banned Salman Rushdie when a distant ayatollah issued a fatwah, and all those theater owners who shut down a stupid movie because a bizarre dictator issued a threat. What message does this communicate? A few whispered threats of violence from a few anonymous thugs (online or in-person) should be sufficient to get CityBeat to shut up or do what it's told on just about any issue. The San Diego power brokers will welcome you into the fold.
Jim Wade, Golden Hill
Charlie asked for it
In regard to your fear of dying for publishing what crazy Muslims object to ["Editor's Note," Jan. 14], I think the following:
It's not at all necessary for a free press in the West to ridicule Islam, or exaggerations thereof.
Our freedoms are ours, not those of other values, as insane as they may be, in our opinion—as well as mine personally. We are free from government control—our government, not each other, or our opponents.
As FDR said, fear fear itself, for the preservation of our legitimate freedoms from government, but fear indeed, the lunacy of others, and be certain of the reasonable reason to publish insults and ridicule.
Charlie Hebdo asks for it, and they will naturally get it; cartoons published to piss off people may be freedom, but it isn't necessary, appropriate in public discourse or in any way, smart. Publishing to appeal to childish mentalities is dangerous, so what Charlie gets from its victims is what it earns.
In the U.S., you should publish without fear of danger to preserve our freedom of the media, as stretched as we can make it, but fear of dying as a result is silly; bear in mind that you won't live to regret it. Freedom within our society will be preserved for the right to give your opinion; preserving your right to insult through comedy is a right you should ignore. Tell that to Charlie!
Saul Harmon Gritz, Hillcrest
Too many people = trouble
Just wanted to say that I enjoyed reading David Rolland's Jan. 21 "Editor's Note" on the Charlie Hebdo shooting tragedy. It's a tricky business to remain thoughtful once the mobbing of phrases and hashtags gains momentum. Religion rarely makes sense to me, either, and I was raised in a home where my dad was the Lutheran pastor.
We've got a world that's increasingly over-crowded with human beings, and that means trouble. I'm with you: The list of things I'd willingly die for is short—if I had been Galileo, I would have recanted, too.
Thanks for being the writer and thinker that you are. I love CityBeat.
Stephanie Mood, Ocean Beach
Laura's Law is scapegoating
I've just finished reading your Jan. 21 edition, in which in one article you discuss the likelihood of Laura's Law moving ahead to become an actual law. This is based on fear. It's based on the incorrect notion that people with mental-health diagnoses are more likely to commit crimes than people without.
First, let me state that any sort of forced treatment, including incarceration in a hospital, never really helps people. Having been through that, I know. Second, if you're truly concerned about violence, a better route is better gun control. Guns are a really easy way to kill people.
In the same issue, your cartoon of the week from "This Modern World" features another fear / safety issue: free speech, fear of terrorism and, dare I say it, fear of Muslims. The association of people throwing bombs and other acts of violence, in our minds, almost always is with Muslims. Is this correct? Isn't it just scapegoating, targeting one group of people to blame for all our terrors and worries. That, of course, is absolutely wrong. The average Muslim citizen is no more a terrorist than I, as a person who has been through the mental-health system, am likely to be a killer. We, as a society, are responding to both in the same way. Think about it.
Rochelle Glickman, Golden Hill
From your Jan. 21 story about Laura's Law: "Laura's Law is a paradigm shift for a mental-health system in which treatment is rarely proactive, said Therea Bish." She intends something far more specific. That paradigm shift has already occurred for the vast majority.
Also, Assemblymember Marie Waldron says she understands opponents' concerns that Laura's Law undermines civil-rights protections for the mentally ill. Someone believes in "the" mentally ill? Did they not learn from "the" blacks?
In all such forced-treatment plans, not once have I seen who is selected, nor how. Nor have I seen any evaluation of success or failure.
Harold A. Maio, Fort Myers, Florida
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