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The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision about the Westboro Baptist Church and freedom of speech exceeds the rights granted by the First Amendment. If 48 states and 42 U.S. senators have voiced their support of the Snyder family, this shows that a clear majority of the U.S. has voiced its opposition to the majority ruling of the court.

As I recall, we are a country “of the people, by the people, for the people.” It is only in dictatorships that the will of the people is superseded by the will of the few.

Using the excuse that the members of Westboro Baptist are allowed to spread their hatemongering, which inflicts pain and suffering upon large groups — whether they be military, families of military, gays and lesbians, or any other group — is the same as endorsing the speeches of Adolf Hitler and his minions that preceded the Holocaust. It is the same as the attitudes many — including the Ku Klux Klan and the McCarthy commie hunters — had toward minorities here in America the first 200 years.

It was through bills and amendments, voted on by the majority, that change happened. To preach from the pulpit, to their audience, is the church members’ right — or to have them spread their word one by one to others is their right, no matter what the word is.

It is no one’s right, however, to spread hate and deceit in public to damage others. Rather than condemning the lone dissenting justice, he should be commended for his insight and common sense, something that the rest of the court appears to be lacking.

David A. Bentley


Adding 2 cents to Chase’s ad

My March 2 edition of Stars and Stripes included a full-page ad from JPMorgan Chase. Regarding Chase’s claim of its lower mortgage interest rate, 6 percent is not required by the government. That 6 percent rate is the maximum allowed, but current mortgage rates are much lower than that.

Chase’s plan to donate 1,000 homes to armed forces families and veterans is excellent. My question to Chase is: How many armed forces families and veterans lost their homes due to illegal foreclosures? These Chase victims should be the first in line to get the donated homes. Did Chase consider them “our troops and their families” then?

Bottom line: Chase broke the law over and over in illegally taking homes from deployed members and their families. Now we have robber banks.

Maj. Patrick Ross (retired)

Trier, Germany

Rather pull wool over my eyes

I thought it was quite funny that Stars and Stripes would publish an article about how to wear the microfleece cap (“No Coneheads: Army regs govern wear of winter cap,” Feb. 1). The simplest way to avoid the “conehead” look is to dump this overpriced microfleece rag and go back to the wool PT cap. The wool cap is cheaper, ($4, not $10), it breathes better, it’s warmer, and it can be folded.

Switching to something new just because it’s high-tech is never a good idea. It just shows a complete disregard for the American taxpayer and all the hardships he suffers to make everything we do possible.

Also, even though I’m in Kuwait, I’ve been stationed in South Korea and I do know what cold weather is!

Sgt. Eric Johnson

Camp Arifjan, Kuwait


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