In support of free speech

Posted: Friday, March 10, 2000

I read the recent article about the fuss over noise control and was amazed to see the comments made during a hearing before the Juneau Assembly.

In particular, I was blown away by the comments made by Mr. Dave Fremming, publisher of the Alaskan Southeaster Magazine. Here is a man, whose very business is based on the right of freedom of expression under the First Amendment, lining up to castigate folks who have the temerity to speak out. Not only that, he apparently wants the assembly to ``find these individuals and fine them.'' Me thinks Ol' Dave needs another civics lesson. I will be happy to send him a copy of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights if he desires. He very obviously needs to take a fresh look at it. Maybe he thinks it applies only to him?

I've noticed that many proponents of ``development at any cost'' are very quick to demonize those who oppose them. ``Whiners, tourism-hating minorities, complainers had personal problems, and over-educated and living on the fruits of someone else's labor'' were just a few of the comments thrown out. Give me a break.

As to an industry self-regulating, that really worked well with the tobacco industry, the cruise ship industry, the auto industry and the oil industries. Didn't it? Our assembly members need to have the courage to act in the interests of all citizens and make the hard calls. That's what they are elected for.

Erik Lie-Nielsen

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