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Letters: Monitoring Professors, Foster Abuse, Tibet

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Letters: Monitoring Professors, Foster Abuse, Tibet

From Our Listeners

Letters: Monitoring Professors, Foster Abuse, Tibet

Letters: Monitoring Professors, Foster Abuse, Tibet

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  • Transcript

Renee Montagne reads from listener letters. They include college professors being monitored, the alleged abuse of foster children, and our series about preparing for the afterlife in Tibet.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

We received a stack of responses to a report about a UCLA alumni group that monitors professors for far left political views. Jeffrey Hagansen(ph) of Redding, California writes, as a 17 year old, who has applied to UCLA, I was discouraged. I want to attend a university where the professors exercise their First Amendment right.

Free speech is a two-way street, writes Claus Buck of Sandy Springs, Georgia. He continues, when a professor compares the tactics of the alumni association to Eastern bloc police states, he misses a key historical point. These totalitarian regimes utilize the state to suppress dissent. The alumni association is composed of private individuals dissenting in the public forum.

My interview with the author of the new book Colony, about the Hawaiian island where people diagnosed with leprosy were exiled, brought this response from Susan Kennedy from Evanston, Illinois. She writes, I was reminded of hearing about lepers in the 50s. as a studentof catholic grade school, I learned to knit by knitting leper bandages; long narrow rolls of whit cotton to be sent to Molokai. I thought and prayed for the lepers often.

Mike Costello of Wichita, Kansas was among our listeners who missed hearing something in that interview. "No mention was made of the heroic work done by Father Damian who arrived in 1873. He built many of the buildings on Molokai, including houses and churches. He contracted the disease and died in 1889."

Cathy and Steve McCloskey of Paw Paw, Michigan wrote in after hearing report about alleged abuse in New York City's foster care program. These adoptive parents took issue with our use of the phrase natural father. They wrote, referring to biological children as natural implies that there is something unnatural about an adopted child.

Thank you to the McCloskeys. And we should have followed our own policy here at NPR and used the phrase biological father.

And finally, many of you were captive by our National Geographic radio expeditions this week in the mountains of Tibet. We reported on Buddhist pilgrims preparing for the afterlife. We now bring you a bit of sound we didn't have room for. We take you inside a place where the faithful set free goats, roosters and chickens that had been slated for slaughter. The Ringa Temple then becomes these animals' homes for the rest of their days.

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