Pacific trade agreement flawed
Re “Region has big stake in Pacific trade agreement” (Viewpoints, Dec. 29): The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal is badly skewed in favor of Wall Street and corporate America. Economists Joseph Stieglitz, Paul Krugman and Robert Reich all point out that American labor loses out with this agreement. There is no guarantee that the reporting and policing restrictions in the agreement can or will be enforced.
Many of the participating countries have a history of cheating and denying. It’s doubtful that they will suddenly become diligent and willingly comply with labor restrictions.
Workers are the backbone of our good fortune. No company is successful without competent and diligent employees. These kinds of agreements undermine our nation’s security.
Benjamin B. Fuentes,
Nursing training falls short
Re “CSUS, 3 colleges to join forces on nurse training” (Insight, Dec. 29): The efforts of CSUS and the junior colleges to provide BA degrees to nursing students are laudable but fall short of future needs.
A few trainees will hardly put a dent in the demand for trained registered nurses. As it is, most nurse training programs in public colleges and universities are severely impacted, with far more applicants than spots available.
Without room in these institutions, students too often rely on the for-profit schools, setting themselves up for large student loans. Kaiser Permanente just announced a medical school for doctors; they and other large medical providers should provide similar opportunities for the training of nursing students.
But why is a four-year degree necessary to train entry-level nurses? Why not use expanding medical technology to train them as they work?
Eileen Glaholt, Sacramento
Kick the habit before Medicare
Re “Program helps send a bad habit packing” (Explore, Dec. 29): In her piece on the UC Davis smoking-cessation program, Claudia Buck mentions retiree Buster Halcomb. Buster is 66, so he is covered by Medicare.
He was probably amazed to find out, as was I, that the fairly expensive nicotine patches, gum and lozenges are not covered, because they are over-the-counter drugs. In contrast, my younger wife got her patches from Kaiser with a small co-pay. If you are thinking about quitting, do it before you turn 65.
John Kwasnik, Sacramento
The world is diverse now
Re “We’ll be missed” (Letters, Dec. 28): I am appalled by the letter from George Palma, M.D. My current doctor, who is black, has treated me and many other patients for nearly 40 years. I will miss him dearly when he retires soon. I have seen what is going to follow Dr. Palma. A new crop of diverse health care providers, male and female, are willing to work those long hours, miss nights and weekends with loved ones and provide compassion and care to their sick and dying patients, too.
Lane Owyang, Elk Grove
Criticizing Israel isn’t anti-Semitic
Re “UC must do more to stop anti-Semitism on campuses” (Viewpoints, Dec. 29): It’s getting tiresome. Yet another “expert” sows panic about “growing new anti-Semitism” on UC campuses “directly related” to boycott and divestment campaigns targeting Israeli policies.
But the only actual examples she can cite are occasional, anonymous hateful graffiti and fliers. In several instances elsewhere, perversely, “victims” themselves turned out to be perpetrators.
Campus Palestinian-rights supporters make clear their criticism of Israel’s occupation and repression of human and civil rights doesn’t target Jews or Judaism. As growing numbers of Jewish students and faculty among them note, it is actually anti-Semitic to assume all Jews identify with Israel or support its policies.
Even Kenneth Stern, author of the “State Department definition of anti-Semitism” that Naomi Friedman touts calls it utterly inappropriate for U.S. campuses.
Watchfulness against all hate is important. But amid a real wave of Islamophobia and anti-Arab xenophobia, it’s absurd to conflate anti-Semitism with criticism of state policies.
David L. Mandel,
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