The sad thing is that there are people who apparently believe children ought not to learn values from their parents. That is where kids learn most of their values, and that is just the way I would want it to be. Although, to be truthful, by 8 years old, most kids are starting to take those values and test them against what they see and learn in other places. Knowing a little about Gabriella Hebert (she is a neighbor of mine) I have no doubt her comments about Wal-Mart reflect her own thinking, as well as her family's values.
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I suspect from his comments on Wednesday that Doug Cooper may champion freedom and the right to free speech. Gabriella's letter is a prime example of those rights. Effective use of free speech is to listen and debate the issues, not to denigrate those with whom you disagree.
If you are a fan of Wal-Mart you could cite the plethora of cheap goods and the jobs as benefits of having a Wal-Mart in town. Or you might try to counter the arguments that those jobs are undermined by lousy personnel policies, that Wal-Mart drives out local business, and that it kills downtown areas. Done well those responses would earn my respect. Comparing the Heberts to suicide bombers does not quite make the cut.
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