<b>Distorted views</b>

EDITOR: Gail Collins expressed how offended she is because there are not many women in the Senate ("Gender progress, modest but real, in Senate," Dec. 12). Her assumption that sexism is the cause ignores the reality that female voters outnumber male voters, and women are more likely than men to vote.

Collins then shifted to the tired complaint that in medicine only men were used as experimental subjects. In her book "P.C. MD," Dr. Sally Satel found that feminists had distorted medical information to suit their need to target men as oppressors. The truth, Satel said, is that women get much better health care than men. Satel also discussed why males were used as experimental subjects: they don't get pregnant. She also discussed horrible experiments done to men, particularly to black, military and incarcerated men.

Objective writers about gender have written about the WAW effect — "women are wonderful" — and how that perception maintained by too many people allows feminist writers such as Collins to make claims that are not true so often that the public doesn't even consider that they might be false. This is harmful and not the type of sexist bigotry we should be teaching our children.



<b>Becoming leaders</b>

EDITOR: I want to echo Hugh Futrell's sentiments in about the current state of the Santa Rosa City Council and what can be done about it ("Steps to finding peace on SR council," Close to Home, Tuesday).

As a voter, I am exhausted by the self-righteousness of those on the "left" and the self-satisfied smugness of those on the "right." It is time we all learn to transcend our own small mindedness and practice the art of compromise — what true leadership really entails.


Santa Rosa

<b>Picking on seniors</b>

EDITOR: I find it strange that in Tuesday's paper there was an article about a very bad car accident on Highway 12, near Oakmont that held up traffic for hours ("Crash shuts Highway 12 near Oakmont"). The driver went to sleep. His age, 25, wasn't mentioned until about the fourth paragraph. If it had been an Oakmonter, or any other senior, the headline would have stated the age. Then there would be a big discussion about seniors driving.


Santa Rosa

<b>End Cuba embargo</b>

EDITOR: An article in Sunday's edition ("Cuba set to search for oil")caught my eye. Cuba can't use a drilling rig owned by a Norwegian company if "it contains less than 10 percent U.S. made parts." Really? No business with Cuba, but we trade with China?

How come? Short version: In the late 1950s Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista was overthrown by Fidel Castro. Batista was a butcher, but he was "our" butcher. Castro was a communist. Our CIA, expert in overthrowing governments, convinced the newly minted President John Kennedy to launch the Bay of Pigs invasion, which was a glorious failure. Castro felt threatened and asked the Soviet Union for help. It jumped at the opportunity and tried to send nuclear weapons to Cuba, which Kennedy stopped. To make sure Cuba would never succeed as a communist state, our government passed a law to blockade and starve it.

If we had used engagement with Castro instead of bullying, perhaps there would have been a velvet revolution in Cuba, as there was in Eastern Europe, instead of a communist country 90 miles from Florida's shores. It is time we got rid of this silly law.


Santa Rosa

<b>For the children</b>

EDITOR: We are spending too much time arguing about gay marriage and not enough time encouraging and protecting the marriages we have. It's time we turned our focus on the kids being hurt by easy divorce and irresponsible parents.

The state has a compelling obligation to see to it that the children of a marriage are protected and provided for. Tax exemptions and other benefits are really to support families, not Tom and Mary (or Tom and Harry) who simply want to make a public commitment to one another. That's not the business of the state unless Tom and his partner want to have kids of their own or adopt children. Then the government can and should have a role.


Santa Rosa