Ed Lee was correct to break up encampments 

In response to your Oct. 19 story “Occupy SF heckles Lee for encampment raids,” Mayor Ed Lee was absolutely correct to have the police break up the Occupy San Francisco encampments. While these people have every right to protest, they do not have any right to create a health and safety problem by setting up permanent encampments and impeding the free flow of movement by other people.

Like every right protected by the Constitution, the First Amendment right to free speech is not unlimited, and just as you can’t create a hazardous situation by yelling fire in a crowded theater, your First Amendment right to free speech does not give you the right to create a hazardous health and safety situation for others. If the Occupy SF activists want to protest, then they must do it in way that respects the rights of others. Acting otherwise is just plain hypocritical.

E.F. Sullivan
San Francisco

Media silent on Thailand

With 315 deaths across Thailand, thousands of farmland and urban acres flooded, and now the main Bangkok airport threatened by the worst floodwaters in 50 years, I wonder why the American press is so silent on this disaster.

About the only way people can get news of this daily is through the Bangkok Post and the Nation, Bangkok’s two English-language newspapers that are easily accessible online.

The monsoon floods have gone on since summer and the fate of Bangkok itself is in doubt at this moment. Would this be the case if it were happening in France or Germany or some other European country? I think not, so why this lack of press interest about a country in Southeast Asia?

Irving Q. Waldorf
San Francisco

Romney stays consistent

Some conservative leaders and many “grass-roots” activists are expressing reluctance to support Mitt Romney in the Republican presidential primary field. Yet Romney is a self-professed conservative whose clear policy differences with President Barack Obama have been articulated on the campaign trail and are set forth well in his book, “No Apology.” His current positions on issues are completely consistent with those he advocated in his 2008 presidential race.

Romney hasn’t changed from 2008 other than to become an improved candidate in 2012, focusing on jobs and economic issues best suited to his background. He remains the most viable conservative candidate in the field for 2012 and a forceful, intelligent advocate against President Obama’s big-government excesses.

Jim Hartman

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