Readers Write: Sept. 14

Employers have right to restrict speech

In “Does freedom of speech extend to all,” Readers Write, Sept. 6, a letter-writer questioned why freedom of speech does not apply to Colin Kaepernick. It’s quite simple. When an employee is paid by an employer, that employer has the right to set rules regarding that individual’s appearance and behavior. Employers may establish dress codes, appearance standards and behavior rules. The counter worker at a fast-food place cannot solicit your vote for a specific candidate. As a volunteer at a major Atlanta non-profit, I must adhere to certain dress code and personal appearance standards as well as limit my comments to factual statements about the exhibits without editorial comment. If an employee (or volunteer) does not like the employer’s rules, he/she is free to work elsewhere. Exceptions do not apply to an employee who happens to be a rich, famous ball player with national television exposure.


‘Unprecedented’ may be the new normal

Of all the adjectives used about the Harvey and Irma, “unprecedented” seems to me to be the most appropriate. Climate scientists have been warning about unprecedented storms for a long time. Deniers say this is the wrong time to bring up the climate issue. To the contrary, there is no better time if we are to plan a better future. While we cannot point to these superstorms as being directly related to climate change, we are absolutely certain that increasing levels of greenhouse gasses warm the atmosphere and ocean and increase the odds of extreme weather events such as heavy rainfall, storm surges and heat waves. Our elected representatives continue to ignore our rapidly changing climate. They should forsake the funds showered on them by the fossil fuel companies and establish a climate fee and dividend program which would benefit everyone. Failure to do this will make “unprecedented” the new normal.


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