Honor for a great man's achievements

Although our attention was on the horrors of the Boston Marathon bombing and its follow-up, we can balance our attention with an inspiring event that took place April 17 when Muhammad Yunus was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.

He is one of just seven people who have received the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and, now, the Congressional Gold Medal.

This banker to the poor has proved the effectiveness of small loans to the poorest people to lift themselves out of poverty. In the past 20 years, more than 100 million families have had access to credit. Yunus has given the world a way to achieve the worthy goal of ending poverty.

There are 1.2 billion people in the world who live on less than $1.25 a day; 60 percent are women. Congress and the World Bank need to fund such lifesaving, poverty-eradicating programs.

I thank Rep. Barbara Lee for her championship of microcredit, as well as the other Bay Area representatives, the California senators who were part of the 290 representatives and 66 senators who voted "yes" to this award.

I also thank the persistent efforts by those in the small, anti-poverty citizens lobby called Results who introduced microcredit to Congress.

You can find the full ceremony on YouTube.

Sue Oehser

Oakland

Thanking police for all they do for area


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The week of May 12-18 is National Police Appreciation Week. It is a week to honor fallen officers and to thank those in law enforcement who risk their lives every day to protect us.

As a sign of respect, we would like to invite neighbors, schools, businesses and the San Leandro community to join us by displaying blue ribbons on homes, schools and businesses to show these brave men and women our appreciation and support.

This is a simple gesture and a wonderful way to honor and remember them.

As a suggestion, we used royal blue plastic table clothes to make our ribbons. One tablecloth can make several ribbons that can be shared with neighbors and friends.

If you should see a police officer, it would be nice if you said "Thank you."

Pamela and Rick Richards

San Leandro

Must change laws to stop terrorism

After the Boston Marathon terrorism, it seems that we need to change our immigration laws.

Among these laws is this statement: "Immigration law does not consider membership in a terrorist organization, or advocacy of terrorist acts, as grounds to exclude a foreigner." So, if the FBI or CIA knows of a terrorist in America, or immigrating to America, they cannot take steps against this terrorist until they have proof of the implementation of a terrorist attack.

These terrorists have rights, and law enforcement cannot use profiling to investigate them. Because of these laws, we have sleeper cells here in America, which cannot be investigated, until an attack.

So, it looks like there will be many more terrorist attacks, at least, until we decide to protect ourselves.

Don Crook

Fremont

Important fundamentals

With all the momentum seemingly on the acceptance and legalization of gay marriage, or the more politically correct civil unions, it's imperative to stress the important fundamentals of traditional marriage and its outcome.

It's still a big deal when a woman gives up her maiden name and devotes her life thereafter to the institution of traditional marriage. This means enduring the devotion and caring through the rigors of pregnancy and ultimately the pain, suffering and joys of childbirth and the aftermath.

Along the way, a traditional family encounters the daily stresses of rearing children, the day-to-day worrying of a mother's love for the safety and well being of her children, and the father's burden of being the man, the giver of security, income and hope for the future.

No matter how liberal and self-sufficient a society becomes, the health and steppingstones that determine man's existence and his propagation of the species depend on these very things.

Richard Dierdorff

Concord

Get informed about tax code

For readers who actually know the tax rates imposed on higher income earners, it is getting quite tedious to read letters such as the one from Karen Beck on April 17.

Given that some of Beck's neighbors are paying combined marginal rates of more than 50 percent, can it be suggested that such folks deserve the designation of "superpatriot?"

Patriots pay their taxes. Non-patriots do not pay their fair share. Blah, blah. Spend five minutes with a certified public accountant to gain an understanding of our income tax code and its progressivism.

Bill Fraser

Lafayette

Boston tragedy cartoon depiction

The Times published a cartoon last week giving a perspective on the horrible Boston Marathon tragedy.

It showed a group of rats under the street celebrating the explosions. I read your meaning to be that the people responsible for this act of terrorism were like sewer rats. But there's only one animal on this planet that commits such heinous acts, and they are not rodents. They are humans.

James P. Tuthill

Lafayette