Yearbook flap about respect for authority
While I agree with Mr. Koos' mother about it not being a worthy battle, I think that is an understatement.
I suggest there is a larger question here: who makes the rules for the school? Who decides what is appropriate and what is not? If it is the students, I can tell you where that slippery slope will lead. If a student decides it is his or her right to hold the middle finger in front of their face for a yearbook photo, is that OK? I am not so old I do not remember the ways of youth and the penchant for testing the waters and did so many times. However, once those in charge told us we had gone too far, we knew to stop. Our hope was our parents did not rap us upside the head when we got home.
This is not about freedom of expression, an all-too-often misused and abused defense, it is about authority. Stick to your guns, Mr. Hansen -- there is a bigger issue involved here.
Mr. Koos, when you get there, try to test the boundary of good taste in the business community. The result of that is called "unemployed." Perhaps this event will provide a lesson for you and your peers, one that will provide some positive guidance in your careers. I hope so.
Vietnam vets faced spite upon return
Jim Beller's letter regarding the abuse toward Vietnam vets is biased and antiwar-driven.
He somehow feels the need to rewrite history just like the recent German attempts to deny the Holocaust. I would like to share my personal experience to counter his biased view.
I was an Army Huey helicopter pilot and served with the 101st Airborne Division in 1969, stationed at Camp Evans, South Vietnam. When I returned home I was "welcomed" at the Seattle-Tacoma and San Francisco airports with looks of hate and comments from antiwar protesters, including the infamous sneer of "baby killer" by one hippie girl close to my age of 23.
I was married one week after returning home and refused to wear my uniform to the ceremony, or at any time while home on leave, due to the antiwar hostility in the Albany/Berkeley area.
If you really want to understand history ask those who lived it and don't accept just one biased opinion.
Pleasanton Albany High School, Class of 1964
Fears about U.N. are laughable
First: the United Nations has no authority to levy taxes an any U.S. citizen nor can it "mandate" laws contrary to what the Constitution states. In order to "levy taxes," the United Nations would need to be a part of the legislative branch, and nowhere in the Constitution is that stated.
Second: Guns will never be outlawed, regardless of how one reads the Second Amendment. Even Justice Scalia has stated the Second Amendment leaves room for U.S. legislatures to regulate guns, including menacing hand-held weapons (Fox News 7/29/2012).
To hold such a view that our secretary of state is somehow working in concert with the United Nations in an effort to limit the rights of citizens -- that argument is spurious and laughable.
Shooting lion cubs was outrageous
Your story concerning the shooting of two mountain lion cubs in Half Moon Bay absolutely sickens me.
Anyone who believes that 25-pound mountain lion cub represents a serious threat to humans, would be better off staying home and hiding under his bed. The poor judgment by the "wardens" who shot the cubs seems like they decided on some "sport," rather than notifying the rescue organization that could have actually helped bring the situation to a satisfactory conclusion. I do not think that we need people of that caliber monitoring our safety.
How does shoe feel on the other foot?
I got a good laugh reading Mr. Steinberg's letter of Dec. 11 critically commenting on how the Mallard Fillmore cartoon has a one-sided right-wing message.
What was so funny was his surprise. Now you all know how it has been for those of us enduring Doonesbury, Candorville, etc. all these years! Of course they have viewpoints and you know "exactly where they stand." They All have viewpoints.
Maybe it was just a surprise to see an opposing viewpoint actually finding space in the newspaper -- I can understand that. I am just thankful that the news group finally listened to their survey responses and added some more balanced space to alternate viewpoints.
Upset? Well, what did you expect?
On Dec. 9 you published one of your frequent laments about the excessive and manipulated pensions of government employees.
I realize that journalists as a group aren't the brightest bulbs in the chandelier, but even you should be able to see the logical connection between the actions you decry and the election of the candidates of the party of government, the party bought and paid for by the public sector unions, the party whose candidates you almost always endorse.
It is time for you to stop your crocodile tears and adopt an agenda more in keeping with your newspaper's progressive agenda. Allow the productive citizens of California to keep just enough of their income to provide a subsistence safety net, and see that the rest of their income is confiscated for direct distribution to government workers, crony capitalists and the parasites with which the government party is so enamored. Then with corruption completely enthroned, we can have an end to your investigative journalism and faux outrage.
Roland Butnick, M.D., J.D.
Know your facts on public pensions
Another in a long line of writers who choose to put the blame for a failing economy on firefighters and police officers writes that he thinks pensions for public safety workers should be the same as he has or will get. (Art Turhal, Dec. 13).
Since the Times only allows letters of 175 words or less, there is not enough space to comment about his and others who have written in with ridiculous solutions or to make negative comments about the careers of police officers and firefighters, such as volunteer firefighters, two-person engine companies, etc.
The Marin Professional Firefighters have done the research and written something available on the web that should be read before writing about this subject by the uninformed. Simply go to http://www.iaff1775.org/news/local/294-the-truth-about-firefighter-retirement, and all your questions will be answered. Or just stop by a firehouse and ask the firefighters a few questions, they are always available and willing to meet the public.
San Ramon retired fire captain