An offense against humanity
Re “Trump officials roll back transgender student policy” (Page 10A, Feb. 23): The action by President Donald Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos against protection for transgender children is an offense against humanity. Those who support it are willfully ignorant, bigoted and biased, and decidedly unpatriotic and unAmerican.
Strong words, but I intend them. I have been a teacher for more than 30 years, and I have met and worked with more than 3,000 young people in my career. All of my students, transgender or otherwise, deserve the rights proclaimed in our Declaration of Independence. To place them outside protections of the law is to create a lesser class of humans.
Tom Funk, Elk Grove
A ridiculous idea for bridge
Re “Lights, color sought for Tower Bridge” (Page 4A, Feb. 24): Adding multi-colored LED lights to the Tower Bridge is one of the more ridiculous proposals to come along in years. Just like the tacky overdone light displays that overwhelm the senses (and good taste) during the winter holidays, a permanent steel Christmas tree over the Sacramento River will hardly bring positive notoriety to the capital city. Even the Bay Area has the class to use only white lights on the Bay Bridge.
Bill Tubbs, Clay
Mayor doesn’t need side job
Re “Steinberg opens side business as consultant” (Page 3A, Feb. 25): The mayor wants a second job in private industry while receiving $127,722 a year in salary, plus retirement and medical. This wasn’t disclosed when he ran for mayor.
As mayor, if he has time on his hands, he could look into gigantic unfunded city employee retirement benefits. There is so much he could do with all that extra time instead of feathering his nest.
Indivisible didn’t crash event
Re “Feinstein banters with protesters at forum” (Capitol & California, Feb. 25): I wish to dispute your characterization of Indivisible group members as “crashing” a recent forum where Sen. Dianne Feinstein was the speaker. The Indivisible attendees “snapped up many of the tickets,” so had a right to be there.
Just because they were more vocal than the usual attendees at this event does not mean they should be described as forcing their way into it.
Diane Mahoney, Sacramento
Hayden would have let her speak
Re “Senator removed from floor after bashing Hayden” (Capitol & California, Feb. 24): Having known Tom Hayden since 1982, I was happy to attend his recent memorial service at UCLA. I’m not happy that state Sen. Janet Nguyen was escorted from the Senate floor after criticizing Hayden’s long and steady opposition to the Vietnam War.
If there is one thing I know about Hayden, it is this: He would have been the first to come to Nguyen’s defense. The founding fathers understood that free speech was a cornerstone of our democracy. When elected officials cut off their colleagues, they might as well be shredding the fabric of American life.
Nguyen was justified
Sen. Janet Nguyen was justified bashing Tom Hayden. Hayden and Jane Fonda went to Hanoi and gave comfort and aid to the North Vietnamese, claiming in a scandalous film that U.S. prisoners of war were being treated kindly at the notorious Hanoi Hilton where they were actually being tortured and killed.
Joan Baez, an ardent anti-war advocate, also went to North Vietnam and did a similar thing. But years later she had the courage to apologize for her inappropriate action, especially to the prisoners who were held in the Hanoi Hilton.
Hayden never admitted what he did was wrong. And the California Senate shamelessly memorialized him.
Joe Dobrowolski, Fair Oaks
Nguyen deserves kudos
Kudos to Sen. Janet Nguyen for rebuking Tom Hayden. He and his then-wife, Jane Fonda, should have been tried for treason for aiding and giving comfort to the enemy during the Vietnam War. Why is our Legislature playing him tribute? It baffles me.
Joyce Radke, Sacramento
Not a hyphenated American
Re “Longing for an identity, Kevin Leon became Kevin de León” (Insight, Feb. 21): When my father Yannis escaped the Ottoman Empire and arrived at Ellis Island, his first civic duty was to change his name to its anglicized version; John. He desperately wanted to be an American in both spirit and name.
We read of Kevin de León changing his name to celebrate his foreign heritage. This is what happens when we spend half a century “celebrating” our diversity. We find ourselves celebrating things that divide us, not unite us.
My father was not a hyphenated Greek-American, he identified himself as an American. By publicly honoring his Mexican-American-ness, de Leon contributes to the lunacy of foreigners coming to seek the largess of our country but demanding we honor their foreign spirit and name. I don’t vote for Mexican-Americans, I vote for Americans.
Denis Golemis, Rocklin
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