Letters to the Editor

Nunes’ lawsuit: Letters to the editor, March 22, 2019

Then House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Tulare, walks out the White House in Washington, Wednesday, March 22, 2017, to speak with reporters after a meeting with President Donald Trump.
Then House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Tulare, walks out the White House in Washington, Wednesday, March 22, 2017, to speak with reporters after a meeting with President Donald Trump. AP file

Feeling pity for Devin Nunes

Poor little Devin Nunes. All the media pick on him. It is all a liberal conspiracy, according to Devin. His paranoia and thin skin have him whining again.

If, as he charges, Twitter “censors” or blocks his conservative tweets, then how and why is it that I read almost daily several incendiary rants from his idol, the guy who occupies the White House?

Devin needs to understand that, being a public figure, he is the subject of attention, both complimentary (but rare in Devin’s case) and uncomplimentary. Suppose SNL (”Saturday Night Live”) does a skit on him? The freedom of speech and thought allows them to do that as long as their satirical skits are not libelous. SNL skewers Trump daily. He doesn’t like it, but there is nothing he can do about it. That is a burden of being a celebrity.

Twitter is a social media site where basically unfettered thoughts can be cast out to whoever wants to view them. (see guy in the White House) But Devin doesn’t seem to understand that concept. Too bad, Devin. Your grandstand lawsuit will be fruitless, as have other suits against Twitter and other social media.

Freedom of speech is a guaranteed right, Devin. Go back to reading Breitbart and listening to Hannity. Their rantings fall under the same free-speech umbrella. And, Devin you are co-sponsor of a bill to stop “frivolous lawsuits”? Your lawsuit is clearly a frivolous one, Devin. It would be better if you actually did your job, which is to represent the interests of the citizens of your congressional district rather than your immature self-interest.

Larry A. Smith, Fresno

Good kids protest climate change

Kids are demonstrating worldwide, fearful that they’ll all die. Truly, it’s not that bad. Almost everywhere will still be habitable in 20-30 years. Not good either, though.

Unfortunately, global leaders gather regularly to sip wine and network. Lots of talk. Little action. Why?

Representative governments, and humans in general, are pretty good at reacting to crises and disasters, but terrible at seeing and acting on looming future crises. So, not doing anything but reacting to the damage of climate change is normal behavior for us.

From the kids’ perspective, climate change has been a looming disaster their entire lives, and the adults have dawdled and dithered. But from the adult perspective, climate change is a new thing, only in the forefront of the news for less than two decades — and nothing to really get too worried about yet compared to all the other things adults worry about.

So, yes, kids. Have at it, and keep at it! You will be the ones to keep us old folks focused!

If you want to protest for something, here are some do-ables now: Outlaw the manufacture of gasoline-and-diesel-powered land vehicles and machines after 2030, and plant millions of carbon-gobbling trees.

Susan Weikel Morrison, Fresno

School unfairness goes back years

Students benefiting from the college admission scandal have probably benefited from cheating and gaming the education system during their entire K-12 school years. Therefore, cheating, scheming and lying to be admitted to the colleges of their or their parents choices was the natural entitlement thing to do.

As a student at Washington Union High School in Easton during the 1960s, I had the unfortunate experience of learning as a black student what money, white privilege and entitlement looked like. My tenth grade science class was assigned an insect collecting project. I collected butterflies, bees, ladybugs and other insects, lined the bottom of my cardboard box with aluminum foil and carefully assembled the insects. I was proud and pleased with my collection and eager to turn it in. On the day the projects were due, there were professional insect collections turned in and praised by the teacher. The students with the professional insect collections received A's, and to my disappointment I received a C grade. The teacher, who I choose not to name, was more guilty of this travesty than the students and their parents. To this day, I still feel contempt for this science teacher.

Some may ask after all these years why I still carry the weight of this unethical educational experience. The answer is simple: I know there are teachers, administrators and parents who continue to undermine, discourage and discriminate against poor students of color at all levels of their schooling.

While the college admissions scandal is in the forefront, it will not go away. People with money and those who believe they are entitled to special treatment will find a way to game, cheat and get what they want for their children and themselves. It's not and never has been about a level educational playing field.

Dorothy “Dottie” Smith, Fresno

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