What happened to insurance promise?

My health insurance company has just canceled my policy.

This is an individual health insurance policy that I've had and successfully used for more than 10 years. I'm now compelled to find new insurance.

I will not qualify for a subsidy on the new policy. The new policy will cost much more than what I've paid before. I don't want new insurance -- the one I had was fine. I researched it and I determined it was suitable for me. I do not need the federal government to decide that I should have a better one.

What happened to President Barack Obama's promise that I could keep my current insurance? Did the administration even anticipate the millions of Americans like me that would be adversely affected by the new program?

Debra Nolan

Castro Valley

Tactics long used to oppress women

I am incredibly disappointed by Jim Harrington's piece on Selena Gomez. Essentially, his article was a manifesto on how young women are supposed to act. While praising Gomez's good behavior, he simultaneously derided Miley Cyrus for committing such atrocities as "resorting to controversial antics."

How dare a young woman be controversial? Girls are made of sweet and spice and everything nice -- they're not supposed to misbehave. The horror.

What Harrington does not seem to realize is that the pressure and expectation for females to behave has been used as a tool to oppress women for hundreds of years.

Every time someone makes the comparison between so-called good girls and bad girls, and praise one over the other, that person is policing the ways in which women are allowed to act -- a practice that is oppressive, sexist and ultimately not their responsibility.

Instead of comparing the behavior of these two women, perhaps it might be more relevant to focus on their music. Or better yet, say nothing, and keep the misogynistic mansplaining to oneself.

Colleen Joy McCullough

San Francisco

Excellent coverage of brilliant tenor

Thanks to Angela Woodall for launching the highly acclaimed tenor Friar Alessandro in his first American appearance for 1,400 children from poor neighborhoods in San Francisco and Oakland at the Cathedral of Light on Oct. 30.

The friar's first CD, "Decca's Voice from Assisi," has been nominated for best classical album of the year in Britain. The event was a coup for Oakland, and Angela's story was a coup for the paper.

Supervisors in San Francisco declared Nov. 1 Friar Alessandro Day, but Angela got there first. She arrived at the cathedral before any other reporter, and interviewed Carol Weyland Conner, creator of the Francis in the Schools program.

Kudos to Angela and the paper for publishing such inspiring news.

Susie Kohl

Walnut Creek

Those who didn't serve mocking veterans

Surely the title of Veterans Day should be changed to Draft Dodgers' Day as the majority of American males, from President Barack Obama on down, never served in the military.

No doubt Obama ostentatiously lays a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknowns while secretly laughing up his sleeve. Draft dodgers think military people and veterans are stupid, but one of these days they may need us.

Peter Garland

Oakland

Parents react with kindness, not anger

I wish all Oaklanders could read the beautiful message sent to Sequoia School parents by Karl Fleischman, the father of the young man who was burned on the bus. Fleischman is a well-loved teacher at the school.

It is a message not about anger but about trying to understand how such a tragedy could occur and the importance of teaching children tolerance for people who are peacefully marching to a different drummer and that playing with fire is literally and figuratively incendiary.

Fleischman's last paragraph says it all: "None of us can know the mind of the kid who lit a flame to Sasha's skirt. But I have a feeling that if he had seen Sasha's skirt as an expression of another kid's unique, beautiful self and thought 'I love Oakland,' I wouldn't be writing this now."

Sasha, who is recovering well, is lucky to have parents who could have lashed out in anger but instead have responded in a manner that has been healing in a lot of ways.

Yvonne Byron

Oakland