I keep looking for the word "advertisement" in small print with James P. Gray's columns.

Must be that my eyes are getting worse, because I just can't find it. Surely the Daily Pilot would not offer all of this space for him to pitch libertarianism for free, right? If he wrote only an occasional piece on the topic, I might let it pass, but it's been two weeks in a row.

First, why is it that the most vocal of the "get the government out of our business" folks seem to be those who have spent their careers earning a taxpayer-funded paycheck? Gray, a former judge, earned a taxpayer-funded paycheck almost his entire working career, and I am sure we are paying for a healthy pension as well, now that he is retired.

Second, his Sept. 28 column was more of a libertarian daydream than a fact-filled essay. Not sure most of us would want to upend our education system based on the things he says probably would happen if we followed him into this dream state.

Third, Gray suggested that more people are becoming attracted to the libertarian philosophy. Based on what?

If the Daily Pilot wants to give newspaper space to support other viewpoints than what Democrats or Republicans give us, it would be well advised to seek input from the millions of folks who base their reasoning on real-world ideas and real-world solutions to our problems rather than those who parrot the party line, be it Democratic, Republican or Libertarian.

Tom Walker

Costa Mesa

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Overlook appearances, talk to strangers

Re. "Letters From the Editor: Kindness of strangers shouldn't be so surprising," (Oct. 3):

After reading your column, I feel compelled to share my favorite "kindness" story.

Last year I was in a very long line at the grocery store. The man in front of me was about 35 and very graphically designed — tattoos everywhere. To pass the time, I said to him, "Let's talk tattoos."

I'm 74, and I'm sure he thought what on earth is she going to say but he said, "OK." I told him about getting Kat Von D's autograph and that I had the Dove of Peace on my ankle. The conversation lasted about 10 minutes.

When he left, he said, "Nice talking to you." Then he took several steps and came back and said, "Actually, I appreciated the conversation." Made me wonder how many times he had been discounted because of his tattoos. Thanks for the good writing.

Sylvia Hatton

Costa Mesa