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Offers reminder about First Amendment

Published 7:05 pm, Tuesday, November 20, 2012
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To the Editor:

I have been an entertainer now for almost forty years. For the past twelve years or so, I have been performing mostly in schools and theaters throughout the U.S.

I present a show that promotes creative problem solving, tolerance and respect. It was developed in response to the shootings at Columbine High School.

Our company also presents an entertaining show on civics, teaching students what our government actually is and does, as opposed to what we assume.

Perhaps because of this, I support President Obama's approach to education and, like him, believe that more of it leads to less ignorance on every level.

I ought to be happy then, about the election. The people I supported won.

Health care, human rights, environmental and social responsibility, respect for elders -- these are just a few of the issues that might now get a place in the debate.

But I live in a town where, evidently, disagreement is not always tolerated, so I don't get to enjoy the moment. I have to deal with this.

I placed an election placard in my yard supporting President Barack Obama. Just before the election it was taken from my yard.

Having neither the time nor the money to replace it, I made new signs out of plywood and spray paint.

On election night I went out to the mailbox to get my mail and what I found was crap. I don't mean more campaign flyers. I mean crap. In a bag. I kid you not. Imagine the proud parents.

Imagine, too, my surprise to find the same thing again at the base of our flag. On Veterans Day. Right where my kids stand to wait for the school bus.

I am surprised the people who so voraciously wrap themselves in the constitution have no idea about or respect for the very First Amendment, my right (and yours) to free speech.

I explain to my kids, as we drive around town, that the red X painted onto a Linda McMahon poster is disrespectful and wrong. I wish we could all be afforded the same respect.

I'd like to hope the person responsible for the waste in my yard would wake up, smell the coffee and give some new ideas a chance.

But, right now, all I can think is that they must be ashamed to be an American.

Tim Latta

New Milford