To Michael Boyink:
Thank you for your elegant expressions in last weeks ‘THE SNOOP’ column regarding FREEDOM of Speech and FREEDOM of the Press. I was quite amazed that people would call upon your paper to censor opinions that they dislike. The tradition of dissent is about the most American tradition there is, and in fact, we wouldn’t be Americans if not for the dissent of our founders against one King George. Censorship is happening all over the internet by the likes of Facebook, Google, Twitter, Youtube, etc. It had mostly been a suppression of conservative views, but lately it has evolved into a virtual war against all opinions about the coronavirus panic that differ from the mainstream CDC positions. Content is being suppressed and even deleted every day. Thank goodness for local newspapers like the Douglas County Herald. You have the integrity to print all views. The funny thing is that while some people want to suppress opinions they hate, they probably would not like to have their own opinions equally suppressed. Open dialogue is a strength. It can open our eyes to perspectives that we just never before considered. I was taught that the purpose of the First Amendment is to protect speech that is ‘unpopular’ – as popular speech needs no protection.
There is a quote that I am pretty sure is from DaVinci on the subject of his own genius and how he attained it, which goes something like this: “First question the things about which you are absolutely certain.” This is the only way to learn, to grow, to become your best self. This is why open debate and public discussion is vital. There is no monopoly on truth, and while it is often elusive, I have found that it is usually much easier to discover the lies and untruths we are told. So we question all authorities and experts. If they speak truth, they should have no issue with being questioned, and they should be happy to respond.
Regarding the question of the existence of my wife Kimberly; I give you my word of honor, as an Officer and a Gentlemen, that she does in fact exist. Ha. And yes, she is a retired Medical Doctor with about two decades of experience. Does she need any other credentials to express an opinion?
I can understand that folks might disagree with our perspective on the Covid-19 issue, but why would they be ‘upset’ and try to pressure you to suppress them? I guess if they put it in writing they would have to sign their name publicly instead of just moaning anonymously. In my last letter I specifically invited people to write to your paper and express their disagreement with us in order to begin a dialogue. Isn’t that the reasoned, mature, adult way to function in a polite society? We fear that the America we grew up in is fading. Perhaps some folks who are being bullied by our politicians take that as a sign that it’s ok for them to bully others as well. Can’t we just talk about these things? Can we no longer question the status quo? If not, I fear for our nation and our culture, as we will be doomed to mediocrity. The only way to preserve a free America is to act like free Americans, not the cowed citizens of a third world socialist dictatorship.
Regarding the people who read Kimberly’s letter aloud at their protest in Oregon. The situation there is much more serious than here in Douglas County. While we empathize with the people of Oregon, and protesters in many other states, we do not agree totally with their demands. If they wish to ‘reopen’ their businesses, they should simply do so, as some brave souls are doing around the country. They do not need permission from their Governor. Demanding an authorization to ‘reopen the state’ implies that the Governor had the legal (constitutional) authority to close it in the first place. We would disagree. This is where civil disobedience is appropriate. And yes, preferably non-violent. It’s usually the state that threatens violence if you don’t OBEY their dictates. The vast majority of people are peaceful and just want to be left alone. The American people I know have common sense, intelligence and compassion. They can conduct their business and run their lives, and act in ways that respect everyone else’s rights, all without Government edicts. I wish success to the people of Oregon.
We can survive the coronavirus panic without tearing up the Bill of Rights (or what’s left of it). Eternal vigilance! Michael, you’re a FREEDOM fighter. Ben Franklin would be proud of you and the Douglas County Herald. We certainly are.
Live FREE, Bob Urban