Letters: Mike Pence, Bernie Sanders, Facebook, Aurora Shooting, Term Limits

Our reputation is fadingRe: "EU sticking with Iran nuclear deal — Official defies Pence's call to follow U.S. out of the agreement," Feb. 16 news story.Vice President Mike Pence addressed a multi-national security conference in Munich, Germany, on Feb. 15. He began by saying he brought "greetings from the 45th president of the United States, President Donald Trump." I'm sure Pence and his speechwriters anticipated the audience would respond with warm applause. There was instead a pregnant pause and silence. How embarrassing. And so sad how far the reputation of our country has fallen under the Trump administration in the eyes of other nations. The eventual Democrat nominee for president in the 2020 election should adopt the campaign slogan MARA — Make America Respected Again.Fred R. Neary, Far North DallasWhy no age limit?Re: "Sanders announces another run — Vermont senator seeks Democratic nod after stunning 2016 run," Wednesday news story.If a candidate must be 30 to run for the Senate, why is there no upper age limit on those running for president? Over the years, before-and-after pictures documented the toll the office took on all the incumbents. The 2020 race provides an opportunity for fresh candidates, fresh ideas and leaders who will be around to witness the legacy of their time in office.Cynthia Stock, GarlandTech giants shouldn't be exemptRe: "Tech Giants Publish at Our Peril — Fines can't atone for Facebook's free ride," Monday Editorials.As this editorial noted, tech giants like Facebook and Google act like traditional publishers in many ways but are exempt from many of the laws that govern regular publishers. Under copyright law, for instance, as "Internet Service Providers" they are shielded from liability for their own direct infringement of copyright and also from liability for infringement of copyright by users of their services under the so-called safe harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.They have also benefited from the eagerness of courts to accept arguments for the social utility of these services that let them off the hook for what would otherwise be regarded as infringing activity. Thus, in a series of cases in the Ninth Circuit Court concerning Google's posting of images, the company was able to successfully defend itself by claiming its uses to be "transformative," i.e., using the images for a purpose different from the original intended use.Now that the behavior of these ISPs has been exposed as causing as much harm as good, maybe courts and lawmakers should take a second look at the special treatment they have so far gotten as "publishers."Sanford G. Thatcher, FriscoAdvocating federal control?This editorial does not mention that Mark Zukerberg has recently hired 10,000 additional employees to monitor the contents of Facebook. Could this editorial be advocating federal control over another company?Charles Mahler, SunnyvaleWe should be outragedRe: "Fired worker kills 5 — He also shoots 5 police officers as they arrive before he is fatally shot," Feb. 16 news story.If this were any other developed country, the news of five citizens being murdered by a firearm would be front page news for days, would prompt great public outcry and would lead to reforms significantly reducing the chance of any subsequent act of gun violence from taking place. However, their is no great public outrage over the shooting in Aurora, Ill., with coverage of daily gun violence getting tucked away in places like page 6A or in the Metro section. The absence of outrage by both the American people and our leaders speaks to the reason as to why we lose more Americans to gun violence in a day than some other westernized countries will lose in an entire year. After the Santa Fe High School shooting in May of 2018, The Dallas Morning News, a newspaper devoted to in-depth coverage for news in our state, only had four days of front page coverage of the deadliest high school shooting in Texas history. If other countries view one death taken by a gun as a national emergency, why shouldn't we?Michael Clarke, Far North DallasTwo terms is enoughPeople don't get it. They want better gun control but keep voting for Republicans who are pawns of the National Rifle Association. Someone suggested that the only way we can get a fair shake is to vote for term limits. In the meantime, I believe any politician who has been elected for three consecutive terms in any particular office has served one term too long.Edward Lindsay, Fort Worth  Continue reading...

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