Printing letter on July 4 unpatriotic

Why on earth would the paper publish the Debbie Downer letter regarding one woman's refusal to pay homage to our nation's flag in the Fourth of July edition? ("There's not much to be proud of lately")

She wrote: "Since I am not free to make a speech." What was her letter but a written speech? Could the paper not have waited until after our nation's holiday?

Margaret Gregory

Let's hear it for Island's old guys!

Great juxtaposition of front-page articles -- "Barber retires -- after seven decades" and "Lil Arnerich Week is proclaimed by Alameda" -- on the front page of the July Fourth edition, honoring two long-serving Alamedans, both 86 years young.

Old guys rule.

Will Golden

Birth control much cheaper than babies

I'm of the opinion that denying a woman certain types of pregnancy prevention medications is an idiotic notion.

What I can't figure out is why any health plan would ever consider discouraging a woman from preventing a pregnancy that is either unwanted or untenable. It makes no sense from a business standpoint. The cost of childbirth is astronomical. When you tack on the price of prenatal care and postnatal care for the mother and child as well as that of being saddled with another human to provide complete care for, it makes absolutely no sense profit-wise.


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A company that would inflict itself with such unnecessary costs without offsetting them in some way won't be in business very long, especially considering how inexpensive it is, in contrast, to help a woman who probably can't afford another child in the first place. After all, Hobby Lobby doesn't pay her all that much.

We should ask the billionaire owner of Hobby Lobby if he will now provide fully paid maternity care, affordable on-site child care, paid maternity leave and flexible scheduling.

It's easy for a wealthy man to dictate the choices a woman faces especially when he'll never have to make those decisions himself.

Erich Hayner

Oakland

High court got it wrong with ruling

The Supreme Court's decision to support Hobby Lobby's petition to deny paying contraceptive medical coverage for religious reasons for their female employees is abhorrent. This is the second recent judgment whereby women are the victims and whose rights are removed in favor of a growing faction of religious zealots who are pushing their agenda on female citizens of this country.

The striking down of the 35-foot buffer zone around Massachusetts abortion clinics -- keeping protesters from approaching patients because it violates the First Amendment right of free speech -- reeks of approving predatory behavior by protesters. In both findings, women seeking reproductive health care are being denied their rights. Why is it the business of strangers or an employer to interfere with a woman's right to choose? The high court is granting the employer ownership and control of the employee's life, a kind of slavery. The decision has opened the door to a plethora of future cases whereby a corporation's power trumps women's rights, which are currently being whittled away to nothing.

Linda S. Messick

Oakland

A's lease shows city's lack of competence

The brouhaha over the A's lease is indicative of the long-standing problem of manifest incompetence and absence of rudimentary business practices at City Hall. Irrespective of what one's position is on the details of the lease transaction, there can be no doubt that the ineptitude and schizoid mixed messages coming from Mayor Jean Quan and the City Council are cause for immense concern to taxpayers who expect first-rate competence from those entrusted with the operation of the city and the management of our municipal finances.

Deals are deals, and once negotiated and agreed upon are irrevocable. Grandstanding by hopelessly inept politicians does no good for anyone and once again confirms the overwhelming perception that Oakland is run by unqualified, inexperienced frauds who have done almost nothing of real consequence in the world of business and thus are doing the business of Oakland as a training exercise on how to function in the real world. The inevitable results are entirely predictable as mistake-prone, incoherent and imprecise policies are foisted upon the public and the responsible, organized and qualified parties attempting to do business here find this behavior to be stunningly unprofessional and alarming. It is the ongoing tragedy we endure hereabout. Abject incompetents run Oakland, and the evidence of their bungling is on display every day.

Jonathan C. Breault

Oakland