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Letter: Allow one person at a time to speak

Wanted: Critical thinkers who are willing to examine issues objectively, determine facts, weigh pros and cons of positions, consider possible and probable outcomes, convey their ideas to others in a calm manner and listen openly (not preoccupied formulating a comeback).

Anger clouds judgment. Ridicule distracts from discernment.

“We are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights … life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” states the Declaration of Independence. No one can proclaim they must have liberty if they are not willing to extend the same liberty to others. Every person was given a brain and free will by his or her creator.

To commentators on TV and radio, could you allow one person at a time to speak? More than one is unintelligible. Apportion time among panelists, similar to a chess clock. Time is charged to a person from when he or she starts speaking until he or she stops.

If a person interrupts, the interrupter is charged double minutes. When a person’s allotted time is up, she or he can no longer speak. Apportioned time may be adjusted, for instance, if there are five panelists on one side of a discussion and one representing the opposing side.

— Margaret Smetana

Pinehurst

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