In the March 17th edition of the Wheeling Intelligencer, Mr. J. Cohen of West Virginia notes that "we have friends, neighbors and family members that have horrible political beliefs." I would ask, based on whose criteria? Is not civil liberty the ability to hold whatever political views you wish?

He goes on to say, "We need to change minds." How so? Indoctrination camps for those that do not share the views of the ACLU? Is this North Korea, where dissent is unacceptable? Already too many people are nervous to express opinions because they may run afoul of political correctness. Are West Virginians entitled to independent thought and opinion?

Finally, Mr. Cohen makes the remark -- "Come on it is West Virginia," what does that mean? How dare you sir, be so arrogant and condescending. Mr. Cohen says that "we can at least talk" -- but perhaps only when he hears what he and his cronies wish to hear.

Mr. Cohen, free speech still exists in the U.S. despite the best efforts of people who wish to stifle alternative views

Russell Lee-Wood, M.D.

Barnesville, Ohio