Don't dismiss Saudi woman Olympian
For female athletes in Saudi Arabia, change must start somewhere.
For the first time, in this summer of 2012, women have been included on the Saudi Arabian Olympics team. Mr. James Litke, in his "No boost for women's athletics," (Aug. 4) dismisses the affair as a "sham."
But change starts with events like these, and the perfect circumstances for change to happen never arise. Whatever the reasons for it, two Saudi Arabian women have at least had an opportunity to participate in the Olympics, which is a step forward.
As to the human rights activists, they may be pacified for now, but they won't stop at just the beginning. The history of African-Americans and women in our country has shown us -- is still showing us -- that activism won't stop until total parity is actually achieved.
What has happened is a decent start, but not an end in itself, and there will be a greater push for more women to take the stage. Or, as in the case of Ms. Shahrkani, the ring.
Pancreatic cancer -- know it, fight it, end it
In 2007, I lost the most important person in my life to pancreatic cancer. My mom, Rosemary Mintz, lost her three-and-a-half-month battle at age 56. I don't want to see anyone else go through what my family and I went through. Unfortunately,
Fortunately, there is hope. Congress is debating the Pancreatic Cancer Research & Education Act (S. 362/H.R.733), which would require the National Cancer Institute to create a long-term and comprehensive strategic plan to address pancreatic cancer with the goal of improving early detection methods and developing new treatment options. If Congress gets behind this bill, pancreatic cancer patients will finally have more options and ultimately more hope.
Blame culture, not guns, for the shootings
I was delighted to see the headline "Gun violence a disease, experts say" over Marilynn Marchione's article. Finally, there is some good sense! But I was disappointed when I finished reading the article.
She makes some good points about car safety. She's right. Cars are dangerous, but cars don't kill people, people do. Same is true of guns. But when it came time to propose a "cure for the disease," she missed the target by a country mile (no pun intended). She rehashed the old, worn out arguments about too many guns in people hands, no safety regulations and all the rest.
The disease has to be cured by curing people and the society. What do you expect when violence and killing is used as entertainment in our society? All the shoot-'em-up video games, movies, paintball wars, where killing people is as casual as can be?
When I was boy, 7 or 8 years old, World War II was in full swing. As all kids, we played war, whittled guns from wood, sneaked up on each other, did battles and shot our "enemies" -- our playmates -- dead. Bang, bang, you're dead! Once I ran headlong into my father and -- bang, bang -- shot him dead too. His reaction shocked me! He grabbed me by my ear (a customary thing, when he was angry with me or my brother), took my wooden gun and broke it in two on his knee. When I protested, "But Dad, it's only a piece of wood!"
He came back, "Never mind! Don't ever point a gun, any gun at another person!
That lesson has been etched in my brain and psyche ever since. I still shoot, with real guns now. From time to time I take shooting and coaching lessons. When the instructor asks me to point my gun (unloaded, of course) at his eye to see how I point my gun, I still get these pangs of guilt running down my spine.
That's the kind of medicine we needed to cure the gun violence disease. Change the culture of killing for entertainment! Killing people is not a casual and trivial matter, and certainly not entertainment, be it video games, violent movies, paintball wars, etc. Unfortunately, and very disappointingly, Marchione did not say a word about this!
Middle school student election analogy unfair
In an Aug. 8 CNN guest opinion piece, David Rothkopf lambasted our two viable presidential candidates and their campaigns for replacing substantive debate with petty, unsupported accusations.
After framing some of the pressing issues that these campaigns should be addressing, Rothkopf delivered the climax of his pointed criticism, accusing the president and Mr. Romney of "running a campaign that has the sensibilities and IQ of a typical middle school student council election."
Rothkopf should rethink his analogy, probably meant as a more graphic variation of adjectives such as "immature" or "puerile." But in pointing to middle school campaigns as the nadir to which our presidential campaigns have stooped, Rothkopf dismisses qualities such as idealism, patriotism and dedication, often especially evident in our young leaders, particularly those with the chutzpah to run for elected office at age 13.
Rothkopf should also take the time to observe some real middle school elections. Student leaders run thoughtful campaigns, and officers devote much time to helping run our schools. They often know more about school finance and governance than many adults. They deserve better from Rothkopf, and from their political elders.
Owners should clean up after their dogs
The Stealth Street path in Livermore is used by walkers, bikers and school outings. The problem is that people let their pets poop all over the walkway and then just continue walking on. There is an ordinance for this, but the police don't want to enforce it.
I met Steve today when I was walking my pets on Stealth. He had a shovel in hand and was clearing the path and throwing the waste into the bushes. He stated that he started doing this a week or so ago because he was walking his elderly mother along this path and got tired of the mess all over. He complained to the city about the problem, but they said they didn't have the resources
So the city, police and lazy people don't have the time to make sure all the children and adults that use that path don't get animal waste all over their shoes. I wish I could deposit all the waste on the violators' door steps.