Letters to the Editor

Transgender rights, Republican strategy, unsavory allies, etc.

Detroit Free Press

Proud of transgender rights?

Re “California prisons take lead on transgender rights” (Editorials, Nov. 8): So, California taxpayers must spend several million dollars to help murderers, rapists, drug dealers, etc., feel better about themselves at a time when state employees have been furloughed, schools are badly underfunded, and there are veterans living in poverty and on the streets. As a California taxpayer, I should be proud of this waste of money?

This diatribe lists some qualifications the inmates who want sex therapy or surgery must meet, but it doesn’t say a sex crime conviction disqualifies. Should I be proud that my money is being used to satisfy the sexual whims of a child pedophile, voyeur or rapist?

Gregory Alan Reiner,


We’ve entered the Twilight Zone

A criminal doing time for crimes against society is entitled to sex reassignment surgery paid for by the victims of crime? Our prisons can barely cope with legitimate health issues for which the state is constitutionally mandate to provide care. And no doubt medical resources are spread thin even for those with life-threatening conditions.

The editorial advocates for what is essentially elective surgery for criminals with at least two years left on their sentences. So if someone wants expensive reconstructive surgery, just commit a crime that puts you in prison for at least two years and you can be rewarded. I think we have entered the Twilight Zone.

Chris Kephart, Orangevale

An appeal for moderates

Re “For Republicans, anger is not a winning strategy” (Forum, Nov 8): As a lifelong moderate Republican, I can fully agree with Ashley Snee Giovannettone’s main thrust in her commentary – that extremism on either side ruins our democratic processes. But why then does she undermine her own thesis by saying President Barack Obama “has successfully alienated half of the nation and radicalized both parties”?

That is a perfect example of a grossly unfair extremist statement, which deliberately ignores the earlier and more extreme alienating roles of such players as Newt Gingrich. Let us have appeals for moderation which are themselves moderate and reasonable.

Donald E. Hall,


Do we need unsavory allies?

Re “For U.S., another unsavory but friendly ally” (Viewpoints, Markos Kounalakis, Nov. 8): The U.S. strategy of backing unsavory allies to achieve its global policies and then hope that that we can press for human rights and dignity is naive, vulgar and has never worked. It is like saying that my neighbor beats his wife, commits incest with his children and tortures animals, but he is part of neighborhood watch so I’ll overlook his short comings.

Let’s look at the two countries mentioned: Iran and Nicaragua. Iranians kidnapped our embassy workers as payback for interfering in their country’s elections and for placing the shah of Iran in power. Who can blame them? And the overthrow of murderous Somoza regime in Nicaragua put the U.S. on the wrong side of the question of human rights and the will of the people, again.

As the saying goes: with friends like these who needs enemies.

Michael Santos, Antelope

Cancer treatment claims ring false

Re “U.S. limits fight against cancer” (Letters, Nov. 8) Allen Green poses as knowledgeable about cancer treatments in the U.S., yet he doesn’t mention a single cancer treatment he’d like to see available here beyond surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. His claim that money drives the American Medical Association, Big Pharma and government agencies to prevent cancer cures available in other countries rings false.

If there’s a cure, there’s money to be made. If the bogeymen are as greedy as he thinks, they’d be first in line to regulate and monopolize these cures.

Robert Todd Carroll, Davis


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