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In response to the March 18 letter “Ruling didn’t endorse Westboro”: It is true that the Westboro Baptist Church has the right to freedom of expression and speech guaranteed by the First Amendment in the U.S. Constitution. However, that amendment is not an open-ended right.

There are certain types of speech that are prohibited and censored in the U.S. Obviously we can agree that the majority of the country abhors this group and the only people who agree with them are the church members themselves. When Albert Snyder filed suit against Westboro Baptist in 2006, it was for “defamation, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of distress.” That doesn’t really apply to the protest because he never actually saw the protesters at the funeral (thanks to the Patriot Guard Riders blocking them from the funeral).

Westboro Baptist posted a rant two weeks later on its website titled “The Burden of Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew A. Snyder,” which accused Albert Snyder and his wife of raising their son “for the devil and “teaching him about adultery and divorce” among other things.

Would you let a group of people who you have never met in your life slander you and your family, including your son who died for those people to have the right to spread their hate? I wouldn’t. They had no right to post that on their website, considering that Albert Snyder, his son and family are not public figures. What need was there to publish that diatribe?

Freedom of speech is a right guaranteed by our Constitution, but that does not mean we are allowed to say whatever we want. The protest was covered by the First Amendment, but the website post was not. Bottom line: Westboro Baptist had no right to defame this family.

Staff Sgt. Kelly Calder

Fort Meade, Md.

Super E-10 fuel price too high

I completely agree with the March 17 letter “AAFES must justify its prices.” The Army and Air Force Exchange Service has its fuel contract with Esso and, starting this year, it is offering the new Super E-10 fuel. It is better for the environment and, I guess, AAFES’ bottom line.

I find it odd that, at every Esso station through our region of Germany, the price of the Super E-10 is between 5 and 8 euro cents cheaper than Super per liter. At an AAFES gas station this is translated into a 2 U.S. cent discount per liter (or an 8 U.S. cent difference per gallon).

By my math and the exchange rates used by the banks here, 5–to-8 euro cents would be 9–to-12 U.S. cents off per liter. That is just simple math. How does AAFES justify the lack of a discount?

AAFES cannot even use its standby excuse that it is based on the stateside average, since AAFES does not offer super E-10 stateside. Can anyone explain this to us?

Aaron Schroeder

Wiesbaden, Germany


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