Letters to the Editor

‘The Interview,’ Elizabeth Warren, prisons, bullying, etc.

Film industry is gutless

Re “Hack source nailed down” (Page A1, Dec. 18): So now some anonymous thug in Pyongyang decrees which movies we can watch in California? A nice Christmas present to all those who have bled to defend our freedom.

Isn’t this the same movie industry that shows up year after year to demand subsidies and tax breaks, and vilifies any criticism at home, because free speech is so important?

It’s easy for industry officials to get nasty here, safely protected by the rule of law. But let a genuine bad hombre growl at them, even a third-rater like Kim Jong Un, and they fall tamely in line.

Like the man said, you don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Martin Owens, Sacramento

Sony should be ashamed

Shame on Sony Pictures and all the theater chains that have pulled “The Interview.” Giving in to that North Korean punk Kim Jung Un shows absolutely no respect for all the American men and women who have given their lives in the fight against totalitarian regimes.

William J. Hughes, Sacramento

Stand up to North Korea

Communist countries and now terrorists are dictating what movies we can watch. We aren’t governed by their ideology. What’s next, dictating who we vote for?

Come on, Sony, don’t bow down to North Korea or anybody else.

Bill Moore, El Dorado Hills

Sony made wise decision

Kudos to Sony Pictures for having the common sense to pull the release of a comedy about the assassination of Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Why would we want to take the chance of putting moviegoers in harm’s way over a potential threat from an inappropriate movie?

We would be outraged if a movie with the same theme were made about our president. Free speech doesn’t always come without consequences, and in this case public safety should take priority

Greg Koerner, Elk Grove

A fan of Warren

Re “Warren has passion on her side” (Viewpoints, Dec. 17): I support Elizabeth Warren’s fight against banks. The current system is corrupt. It allows the banks and their lobbyists to influence politicians to pass legislation that enables the banks to do business without any repercussions. As a result, we have the best politicians that money can buy.

We need to get past the usual political rhetoric and address the issues of average Americans who deserve better from those who represent us in Congress. Warren is on the right course. We should support her and others who truly believe that our country is not for sale. The new budget only encourages bankers to continue their current way of doing business.

I hope she gets the Democratic nomination for president. I, for one, will do everything I can to get her elected.

Joseph Mevorah, Lincoln

Spend more on schools

Re “Once punished, criminals deserve a second chance” (Viewpoints, Dec. 16): California’s cost to incarcerate a prisoner: $49,000 a year. California expenditure per K-12 student: $9,500 a year.

Maybe if governments took a good look at how much they spend on our criminal justice system, they might see that this money would be much better spent up front on education. It might reduce, or eliminate, some of the billions we spend on crime and criminals.

Many of the people who end up in jail and “deserve a second chance” might be better off if they had a real first chance. Too many kids of very poor families, often of color, end up with poor education, no job skills, no jobs and no future. Crime looks like an alternate “career path.” We need to change our education system so we don’t have to give so many people in California a “second chance.” Let’s make sure we give them a real first chance.

Don Perera, Rocklin

Schools need more authority

Re “Schools can prevent bullying” (Letters, Dec. 17): After a quarter century of work in the public school system, I have not seen any school district or school work effectively to eliminate bullying. If we want bullying eliminated, we need to grant schools the authority to effectively deal with the problem with some legal clout. A simple suspension or reprimand doesn’t seem to stop a bully.

What would happen if Ronin Shimizu’s bullies were held accountable for their actions that led to his suicide? Their prosecution would send a message to the bullies of the world: Stop.

Robert Foster, Rancho Cordova

Avoid ‘code words’ on bullying

I am struck by the code words used to describe Ronin Shimizu. Apparently, he liked “art and fashion,” and a family friend described him as better at cheerleading than many girls. One report said he once told a girl that her “purse was cute.” And so he was bullied.

Nowhere in these articles does it reflect that he was a victim of hate speech and other forms of intimidation. Nowhere does anyone own up to the obvious – the perception by others was that he was gay. Whether he was or not is a moot point now. Let us not hide his suffering and that of others behind code words and generalized bullying.

Nancy E. Gotthart, Sacramento

Victims are punished

Why should a child who is bullied be moved from school to school, or be forced into a home school situation, when the bullies should be expelled and their parents forced to find a solution?

We punish the wrong children. A 4-year-old can be taught that being a bully is wrong, so why aren’t parents doing their job? I think it’s because the kids face no real consequences, and neither do their parents.

Carol Brooks, Antelope

Teachers surely saw bullying

Missing from the recent discussion has been the accountability of Ronin Shimizu’s teachers. The bullying he was subjected to at each school he attended could not have gone unnoticed. Surely there were signs of abuse given the degree of psychological damage done to this very young boy.

Then, what about these kids who are still attending schools after inflicting enough harm to eventually cause a 12-year-old to commit suicide? These cowards need to be identified and in some manner held responsible for their intentional conduct.

There are also the hangers-on who stood by and did nothing to stop the ones bullying. They knew what was taking place. They are as responsible in some ways as the perpetrators.

Rudy Nolen, Sacramento

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