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Abuse of free speech

I am a Chinese American living in Orlando for 20 years and got my degree at the University of Central Florida. I feel so shameful of seeing a local newspaper featuring a cover and a topic like this `“Screw China!,” Nov. 15`.

I am not sure what the writer is trying to accomplish here and what kind of education he got. From my point of view, the content is not legitimate and the words he used on the cover are very humiliating. There is no evidence to support what the author (also an editor) said in the article; Bob `Whitby` himself admitted it. The article is very misleading. It is an abuse of freedom of speech. The content itself is discussing how Wal-Mart is selling all Chinese-made products. Don’t you think the focus should be on Wal-Mart, but not China?

Shally Wong, via the Internet

Bad taste

As a member of the Orlando Asian community, I am outraged at your article titled: “Screw China!” `Nov. 15`. I think your article is poorly presented and reflects a racist and offensive tone towards Asians. I was not aware that Orlando Weekly condoned such articles that are derogatory to minority groups and I believe your position on buying American products could have been more tastefully portrayed.

Your article is in bad humor and taste calling “them” dog and cat “killers” who have a “disregard for the environment” and “could” have poisoned “thousands” with “their … tainted toothpaste and lead-heavy toys.” It is an unfair and racist depiction of Asians and I hope that a retraction and/or apology to the Asian community will be printed in your upcoming issue.

Melissa S. Mak, Orlando

Bob Whitby responds: It’s unfortunate that some readers have interpreted a criticism of Chinese economic and political policies as a racist slur, but such are the times we live in, I suppose. It would be difficult to argue that the quality of products imported into this country from China isn’t a serious concern, that China’s addiction to cheap power from dirty coal-fired plants hasn’t degraded the environment, and that trade policies with China aren’t detrimental to the United States’ economy. Pointing out the reasons for my personal boycott -– in a manner designed to catch the eye, admittedly -– was not intended as a slight.

Be a leader, Ric

I’m responding to the article I read in the Mailsack section of your paper `Nov. 8` concerning Ric Keller and his inability to be a leader when it comes to health care for poor children. I agree totally that the Bush administration is ass-backwards not to mention heartless concerning this issue. Logic leads me to believe that it would cost far less to offer health care to those who are poor in order to maintain their good health and to prevent or catch a catastrophic illness before it cost the taxpayers far more to treat it after the fact. Did we all forget that old saying that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? Maybe if it was rewritten like this these politicians would get it: “A dollar spent to prevent will save the billions it would cost to cure.”

To go even deeper, maybe one of these children will be the cure for the billions spent protecting these oil-producing countries by discovering or creating an alternate fuel and energy source! Count the billions saved by this child because we no longer need Iraq’s oil!

So Mr. Keller, why don’t you use your God-given brain to take the lead by thinking beyond the boundaries, outside the norm? Offer alternative ideas and possibilities beyond mainstream thinking by limited politicians and take the lead. Aren’t you sick and tired of being a follower? Think about it for a change.

J. Norton Johnson, Orlando

It’s simple, really

Why don’t you admit you were wrong to run the ads and stop running them `“Operation MBI Shame,” Oct. 25`? Why you are pointing your fingers at the MBI and “Everyone else does it” is not an ethical stance in breaking the law.

Donna Larsen, via the Internet

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