Putting down Trump
EDITOR: Why do you always put President Donald Trump down with your headlines? On Wednesday, you said, “Tax papers show Trump took write-off of $100M.” When in reality it was good news that Trump paid $38 million in income taxes — 25 percent of his income in 2005 while Barack Obama paid only 18 percent in 2015 and Bernie Sanders 13 percent, also in 2015.
You also failed to acknowledge that the tax report was obtained illegally.
Women’s health costs
EDITOR: Jean Grant claimed that defunding Planned Parenthood would have little impact on women’s health (“Women’s health,” Letters, Wednesday). I respectfully ask that she check the latest figures from the Congressional Budget Office, which concluded that the resulting increase in pregnancies and births among Medicaid patients no longer able to obtain long-acting birth control would mean that “defunding Planned Parenthood even for a year would increase Medicaid spending by $21 million in the first year and $77 million by 2026.”
Whether access to birth control would remain readily available and affordable in Sonoma County, I’m not prepared to say — Grant didn’t identify the alternative sources of women’s health in the county — but the projected national impact is almost certainly not based on “alternative facts.”
Punishing the victim
EDITOR: A 14-year-old middle school student gets arrested for threatening to bring a gun to school and shoot those who were bullying him. This victim, and he is a victim, was booked into juvenile hall on felony and misdemeanor charges. His life is changed forever. Suspended from school, he faces time in a juvenile detention facility until he turns 18. He is robbed of a normal teenage childhood by bullies who continue on their way as if nothing has happened.
This 14-year-old victim fought back the only way he knew how, by threatening extreme violence to get these bullies to leave him alone.
All of the school officials have failed this student. School administrators stress that students were never in any danger. Yet the severest form of punishment is meted out to this young student who wanted nothing more than to go to school in a safe and sane environment. As a victim of bullying myself, I feel the helplessness that this person feels.
I have a novel idea. Why don’t we put the bullies, instead of the victims, in juvenile detention and leave a safe and peaceful environment to those who really want an education?
EPA chief on climate
EDITOR: Scott Pruitt, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator, was quoted as saying “there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of (human) impact (on the climate), so no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see. … We need to continue the debate and continue the review” (“Pruitt bucks EPA on climate, draws ire,” March 10). I can present cases of people who have jumped or fallen out of airplanes and lived to tell about it, sometimes with little or no injury. Thus, until we determine that falling from an airplane can cause injury, parachutes are an unnecessary expenditure.