Stunning event in Hungary

As Hungarian-Americans and daughters of Hungarian Holocaust survivors, we are saddened and outraged to hear of the recent outburst by a member of the Hungarian Parliament asking for an accounting of all Jews in government for security reasons.

We are stunned that this chilling echo of our painful past, which saw the destruction of nearly 600,000 Hungarian Jews by the Nazis with the complicity of the Hungarian Arrow Cross, could take place today in the context of a democratic session.

That there was not a single immediate response of rebuke by any other Parliament members is beyond belief. Certainly disappointing was that it took 16 hours for the Hungarian government to issue a response of regret to hearing the incendiary remarks of the Jobbik Party representative who, even in his backtrack, said that only those members with dual Hungarian-Israeli passports were of concern to him regarding security risk in light of the Middle East situation.

We strongly urge the passing of legislation to forbid such incendiary, inappropriate remarks in our homeland that needs to move beyond its age-old anti-Semitic history. We also urge Hungarians of all backgrounds to join together for peaceful coexistence.

Marta Fuchs

Albany

Shara Gemes

Berkeley

Californians are apathetic

I was surprised to read Mike Harkleroad's recent letter in the Times regarding the attack on the Benghazi consulate, in which Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were murdered.

In California it is rare to read or hear anything negative about President Obama and his administration. What I find so disturbing is the total apathy and basic knowledge of this terrorist attack.

There were and are so many lies worked, in part, to shield Obama from assuming any responsibility or even culpability.

It doesn't matter to Obama's adoring public that numerous requests for more security from the people on the ground were denied over and over again. It doesn't matter that there had been two prior explosions on the consulate, or that England and the Red Cross had pulled out.

It doesn't matter that Stevens was telling the Obama administration they were concerned about the escalating threat from al-Qaida. It doesn't matter that the Obama administration perpetuated and continued a lie about a demonstration.

Sadly, to most Americans and particularly Californians, it simply doesn't matter.

Deborah Harris

Pinole

A victory at Point Reyes

I rejoiced to read Ken Salazar decided to keep faith with Congress and close the Point Reyes oyster farm, allowing the marine sanctuary to proceed. It's wonderful news.

But, the salmon are still endangered by our willingness to destroy their habitat in order to pump water to dry and desert areas.

Farmers, industries, and people who want to live in year-round sunshine keep up the pressure to get more and more fresh water from the Delta area. And there's pressure from all of us to keep in place, or even expand, the hydroelectric dam system, which produces most of our electricity. People vs. fish is a lot harder battle.

Similarly, mammals -- from tiny voles (smaller than a mouse) to magnificent wolves and grizzly bears -- are endangered by our desire to move into their habitat and use it for our purposes.

Thank you for keeping us informed about these life-and-death struggles in our waters and in our wilderness backyards. An informed people can find solutions where our current wisdom sees only impossibility and eventual catastrophe.

Teddy Knight

Berkeley

Bring offshore jobs back here

I am referring to the tragic garment factory fire in Bangladesh that resulted in the death of more than 100 workers.

I can think of at least one very economy-boosting, patriotic solution to preventing deadly factory fires in off-shore textile companies producing goods for U.S. companies: Bring the jobs back to the United States.

Mary List

Port Costa

U.N. vote on Palestine

I don't support the U.N. vote to recognize a Palestinian state. I believe the United Nations is a fraudulent body usurping our country's sovereignty and destroying our constitutional form of government.

The current Israeli state and the Palestinian refugee problem were created after World War II via a U.N. vote causing close proximity of these two ancient Biblical enemies. Palestinians will never accept Jews on land they believe belongs to them; endless conflict between the two peoples is inevitable. I believe this is the United Nations' goal in order to foment World War III.

Interestingly, neighboring Muslim countries with huge amounts of land and money have never offered to take in the refugees.

Jewish scholars believe the people currently living in the Gaza Strip are the Edomites, descendants of Abraham's son, Esau. God says this of the Edomites (Isaiah 34:12): "They shall call the nobles thereof to the kingdom, but none shall be there, and all her princes shall be nothing."

According to Biblical prophecy, any attempt to give these people statehood status will seal their doom.

Marilynne L. Mellander

El Sobrante

One view, one message is safe

With the subtlety of a hammer, comics page Mallard Fillmore and columnist Thomas Sowell remind me of a left-wing radio station a friend once recommended.

I listened and discovered they never interviewed anyone they ever disagreed with. One view, one message, all the time.

Just so with right-wing Sowell and Mallard Fillmore. You always know exactly where they stand: no surprises, no uncertainties, no questions, no complexities. Their world is such a simple place and their minds appear to be carved in stone.

You hardly need to read them, you know what they will say -- name a person, name a subject, name a concept -- it doesn't really matter, you're safe.

Stay safe, with your one-trick ponies, and never dare to question anything you now believe.

Michael Steinberg

Berkeley