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Monday's Letters to the Editor


Legal discrimination

EDITOR: Given legislation in Arizona and elsewhere seeking to legitimize discrimination against homosexuals based on religious views, I recall a letter by Dave Geoffrion ("Uneven praise," Feb. 19). He felt stigmatized by sports columnist Lowell Cohn for following his particular religious faith. Yet Geoffrion has no problem stigmatizing homosexuals such as football player Michael Sam as "immoral."

There is no war on religion. Fundamentalist Christians aren't denied civil rights in this country simply for being themselves. No politician proposes legislation legalizing discrimination and quasi-segregation of Christians. They rightfully live, work, worship, love and marry in this country without legal or moral sanction. Gays? Not so much.

Geoffrion is free to publicly express his views concerning homosexuality, but selectively choosing which Old Testament verse to follow is hypocritical. Can we sell our daughters into slavery? Kill those who work on Sunday? Which "unchanging truths of the Bible" apply in the 21st century?

Christ requested we not judge others. Unfortunately, social conservatives not only pass judgment but seek to force others, via law, to suffer their particular beliefs. Why such fear and un-Christlike intolerance? In America, religious faith doesn't supersede the constitutional and human rights guaranteed all citizens. Homosexuals deserve liberty and equal protection under the law. Live and let live.

MARK ALTON

Petaluma

Misusing science

EDITOR: For the second time in a month, Charles Krauthammer cherry-picked and misrepresented scientific evidence, this time to support the idea that "science is rarely settled" ("The myth of settled climate science," Feb. 22).

This time, he cited a study that he claimed shows that mammograms don't help in reducing deaths from breast cancer, contrary to "settled science." What he didn't say was that this was one study out of many and that the authors readily admitted that their findings are contradicted by another study in Sweden. One outlier study out of many does not unsettle the science. What such a study does is prompt us to look closely at the methodology to see whether it's sound. And this one study cited by Krauthammer has indeed been criticized for its use of invalid methodology.

When 97 percent of climate scientists agree that average global temperatures are rising, and that human activity is causing it, they are doing so based on overwhelming factual evidence. Theories and opinions may change as new facts come to light. But the facts never change.

CHRIS LYMAN

Santa Rosa

Learning from Holden

EDITOR: I can only speak for myself, but I read "Catcher in the Rye" when I was 17 or 18 and continued to read afterward ("Give teens better books than &‘Catcher in the Rye,' " Close to Home, Feb. 23). It led me to "Siddhartha" by Herman Hess and "The Metamorphosis" by Franz Kafka and more.

I realized that my feelings were close to those of Holden Caulfield in that I, too, wanted to be rich, famous, a hero — a "catcher in the rye" to the damsel in distress when she got thrown from the train. Like Holden, I had no idea on how to go about accomplishing such a thing. However, it led me to the realization that there probably were others my age with the same dreams.

So now we have such people as Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian, whom I suspect retain minimal talent, yet they're "famous." If teenagers were made aware that they held this desire in common with other people, maybe they wouldn't be so ready to emulate outrageous acts of these "famous" people.

Witness the time in the checkout line when I saw two tabloids, side by side — one trumpeting Kardashian's secrets to a successful marriage, the other headlining how her marriage was now over. It sounds like something that Kafka could have written and only proves that times change, people don't.

CARL MERNER

Santa Rosa

Medicare Part D rules

EDITOR: As an independent pharmacist, I write to commend the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for aspects of a proposed rule that would improve Medicare Part D for beneficiaries, in particular the effort to expand patient choice of pharmacies.

For several years, Medicare has experimented with restrictive networks that often limit the best prescription drug copay options to certain chain pharmacies, which limited choices and didn't necessarily result in cost savings. In recognition of these issues, CMS has proposed that any pharmacy willing to accept the terms and conditions of a contract can participate and offer reduced co-pays. This would expand the options available to seniors and will let them focus on selecting a pharmacy based on service and their particular needs.

The best way to reduce costs in Medicare Part D is to foster competition, and I urge all readers to voice support for these proposals to CMS and to their elected officials.

JOHN STASZEL

Lark Drugs Pharmacy, Inc.

Guerneville