Gays in Scouts
EDITOR: Wow. In Brad Potter's letter ("Terrible mistake," Thursday) regarding allowing gay youth into the Boy Scouts, he manages to provide some amazing images in three short paragraphs: homosexual militants with a (presumably malevolent) agenda; indoctrinating children into a (presumably malevolent) gay lifestyle; allowing Sodomites to put their (presumably malevolent) foot in the door; and encouraging pedophiles to infiltrate who knows what. And then he is certain this entire drama will be covered up by a presumably liberal media.
I can't help but think he may be watching too much Fox News — which will gleefully cover every facet of this evolving spectacle.
EDITOR: I admire Juliane M. Schmidt ("Three strikes and I am out," Close to Home, Wednesday) for her courage to present to the public and her colleagues why she chose not to participate in a fourth strike at Memorial Hospital.
My concern is with her view of nursing as a profession. She states that she is only "an employee." She is more than just an employee, she is a licensed professional with standards of practice, a legal scope of practice and responsibilities for the health care environment in which she practices.
Schmidt says that she is a staff nurse and therefore can go home "and forget about her job." This is an attitude that limits her professionalism. She has responsibilities to be informed about the policies and practices of her hospital and the care provided there.
I don't think she has a "lousy attitude." I think she has a limited understanding of her crucial role as a professional nurse to help make the much needed changes that face health care delivery.
This sequence of strikes may not be the issue that she chooses to be involved in, but as a nurse I hope she will choose to be involved with changes that are needed in health care.
SANDRA DEBELLA BODLEY
Emeritus professor of nursing
Sonoma State University
Put the kids first
EDITOR: Santa Rosa High teacher Ron Reichmuth had to pull the plug on a program for special education students after Mike LaPointe, president of California School Employees Association, complained ("Special ed project curtailed after union complaints," Thursday). It appears that the union doesn't like special ed students raking leaves, weeding and collecting recyclable materials. Shame on the union. The last time I looked, there was plenty of work to do around every high school in Sonoma County. Shouldn't the kids come first?
Gitmo: Time for change
EDITOR: Victor Chechanover's letter ("Downward spiral," Tuesday) placed the issue of what we should do about Guantanamo prison front and center. Petty politics thwarted President Barack Obama in 2009.
As was noted recently in the Economist, prisoners are on hunger strikes to protest inhumane treatment there. The military is force-feeding protesters. If this isn't torture, what is? When there is no struggle, the procedure takes about two hours. First, a tube is inserted through a nostril into the stomach. If the personnel aren't careful, this can involve a good deal of bleeding and trauma to the nasal passages and back of the throat. A full liquid diet is forced into the prisoner's stomach.
Costs are mounting. Each year costs $3 million. The Pentagon seeks $450 million to upgrade the prison. What about the Geneva Conventions? Indefinite imprisonment is a form of cruel and unusual treatment. The Founders tried to stop it.
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