Spend time with your children

Americans are hobbled by an unending desire to have somebody else do something about the myriad problems facing our nation.

This month, it is social media's obsession with the "thigh gap." The antidote is easy: Turn off the computer and raise your daughter. But why isn't this the obvious solution? Because it requires self-centered parents in a self-centered nation to harbor a flicker of interest in their children. And that's way uncool.

Thigh gap is only the latest (but not the last) ridiculous and dangerous mania to sweep through our youth population. We eagerly wait for a feminist therapist to make a pronouncement and hope for push-back among teens.

However, the best route would be to spend enough time with your children so you actually know their friends, their pursuits, their interests -- and be a parent.

Let's aim for the next fixation: passionate parents actively raising their children. That would produce interesting children fascinated with subjects other than social media and television.

Cathy Lucas

Martinez

Boston tragedy cartoon depiction

The Times published a cartoon last week giving a perspective on the horrible Boston Marathon tragedy.


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It showed a group of rats under the street celebrating the explosions. I read your meaning to be that the people responsible for this act of terrorism were like sewer rats. But there's only one animal on this planet that commits such heinous acts, and they are not rodents. They are humans.

James P. Tuthill

Lafayette

Sanitary service less than great

James Bennett's recent letter praising Richmond Sanitary Service must be coming from someone associated with the company -- it is certainly not the company I've been doing business with for the past 20-some years.

Richmond Sanitary's motto: "We make our customers work so we don't have to."

I've always thought its rates were the highest in the area, while providing the least amount of service. Yard cleanups: They'd prefer to have it gift wrapped, judging by all the rules associated with pickups, such as specific bag type and prearranged quantity.

Bulky items that don't fit in the can? Forget it. As to Christmas trees, cut them up so they can fit in the can.

Did you ever try paying online or use its confusing pay-by-phone service? Did you ever try complaining?

It's a monopoly! I'd say Richmond would be better off with any other company.

Kirk Essler

Richmond

Important fundamentals

With all the momentum seemingly on the acceptance and legalization of gay marriage, or the more politically correct civil unions, it's imperative to stress the important fundamentals of traditional marriage and its outcome.

It's still a big deal when a woman gives up her maiden name and devotes her life thereafter to the institution of traditional marriage. This means enduring the devotion and caring through the rigors of pregnancy and ultimately the pain, suffering and joys of childbirth and the aftermath.

Along the way, a traditional family encounters the daily stresses of rearing children, the day-to-day worrying of a mother's love for the safety and well being of her children, and the father's burden of being the man, the giver of security, income and hope for the future.

No matter how liberal and self-sufficient a society becomes, the health and steppingstones that determine man's existence and his propagation of the species depend on these very things.

Richard Dierdorff

Concord

Get informed about tax code

For readers who actually know the tax rates imposed on higher income earners, it is getting quite tedious to read letters such as the one from Karen Beck on April 17.

Given that some of Beck's neighbors are paying combined marginal rates of more than 50 percent, can it be suggested that such folks deserve the designation of "superpatriot?"

Patriots pay their taxes. Nonpatriots do not pay their fair share. Blah, blah. Spend five minutes with a certified public accountant to gain an understanding of our income tax code and its progressivism.

Bill Fraser

Lafayette

Thanking police for all they do for area

The week of May 12-18 is National Police Appreciation Week. It is a week to honor fallen officers and to thank those in law enforcement who risk their lives every day to protect us.

As a sign of respect, we would like to invite neighbors, schools, businesses and the San Leandro community to join us by displaying blue ribbons on homes, schools and businesses to show these brave men and women our appreciation and support.

This is a simple gesture and a wonderful way to honor and remember them.

As a suggestion, we used royal blue plastic table clothes to make our ribbons. One tablecloth can make several ribbons that can be shared with neighbors and friends.

If you should see a police officer, it would be nice if you said "Thank you."

Pamela and Rick Richards

San Leandro