School district's outrageous failure

It is outrageous that the Brentwood Unified School District superintendent, the school principal, and the classroom aides are allowed to keep their jobs after failing to report the abuse of an autistic child, which is a legal mandate.

To simply transfer the abuser to another school goes beyond the pale. That the classroom aides who witnessed the abuse kept quiet because they feared losing their jobs is sickening.

These are all folks who should never be allowed to work around children again. Their irresponsibility in protecting vulnerable children is staggering.

Beyond the bad publicity, none of them seems to have suffered any negative consequences personally. Instead, the school district (read: taxpayers) is paying $950,000 to settle the lawsuit brought by the child's parents.

Shame on all of them.

Treva Peterson

Pleasant Hill

Questioning our social unrest

I'm almost afraid to think this, or say it out loud: Is it possible that the social unrest in our country the past four years is really about President Barack Obama?

Is the focus on gun problems and the NRA, and some Southern states discussing seceding from the union, because we have a black president?

Don't think about it ... ask your heart.

Patti Ruff

Lafayette

Headquarter the U.N. elsewhere

Most of the United Nations member countries hate Jews.

They could never make a fair decision about the Palestinians, who are controlled by terrorists who want to kill all Jews. The terrorists hate us and they hate Jews.

Most of this area was the land of the Jews 3,000 years ago. The Jews occupy only a small part of what was originally theirs.

More than 12,000 rockets have been launched at the Jews in the past three years. Palestinian terrorists build their rocket launchers next to schools, residential areas and hospitals. Should they have more Jewish land so they could kill all the Jews much sooner?

Most U.N. members almost always vote against Israel. Why do we allow the United Nations to be headquartered in the United States? We should give them five years to build another headquarters in France. Good riddance!

Sidney Steinberg

Berkeley

Pitts' column was hypocritical

In Leonard Pitts' Jan. 21 column, he laments the sad state of Congress, which is so polarized that a group calling itself "No Labels," made up of legislators getting together in an attempt at bipartisanship, becomes news.

Pitts is all for this meeting, as the degree of polarization has all but crippled our government.

Then, with a straight face and in the spirit of bipartisanship, he states this problem exists "because the GOP has been taken over by inflexible extremists."

When I disagree with you, I am principled and visionary; when you disagree with me, you are an inflexible extremist.

Pitts doesn't even seem to be aware of his hypocrisy.

Colin McKenna

Lafayette

Sowell is wrong about France's fall

Recently, Thomas Sowell weighed in on a historical calamity: France's sudden surrender to Nazi Germany in 1940, claiming the responsibility lay with socialist secularists preaching passivity. This is untrue.

Leon Blum's socialist government of 1936 to 1938 made the only meaningful steps toward rearmament for the war that everyone saw coming.

France has been a nation divided since before the revolution of 1789 (the Dreyfus affair of the 1890s is an example) and up to the present day. The Right of France -- Catholic, militaristic and reactionary -- had a sneaking sympathy with Europe's fascists. Having bungled the opening phase of the war in the Ardennes, they quickly fled south, surrendered the army and navy to Hitler, and abandoned two-thirds of the country to fascism, while ruling a puppet state and deporting Jews to the Holocaust. The left joined the Resistance.

I recommend an excellent book, "The Fall of France," by Julian Jackson.

Pat Finucane

Pinole

Heart bleeds for Phil Mickelson

I see that Phil Mickelson is complaining about possibly having to pay up to 60 percent of his income in state and federal income taxes.

As Golf Digest magazine estimates that he earned only about $45 million last year, you can understand exactly where Mickelson is coming from. Given his monumental contributions to mankind, it does seem so utterly unfair that he be expected to survive on a mere after-tax income of $18 million.

David Talley

Berkeley