Let’s not worry about playing games Dec. 25

I agree with legendary Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson that NBA games shouldn’t be played on Christmas.

Not just because it is a Christian religious holiday, but because it is a day when families like to be together to celebrate, talk, eat and share memories and good times. NBA families shouldn’t be cruelly excluded from these festivities.

But just like the NFL plays games on Thanksgiving, I can see why the NBA plays games on Christmas, often with premier teams, because it is a business and wants to make money and generate publicity.

Since people are often at home on such holidays, it is an ideal time for playing such games.

Kenneth L. Zimmerman, Huntington Beach

Defining ‘homeless’

In Britain, there are no homeless. There are “rough campers.” This is an acknowledgment that the problems of the underclass do not begin with poverty, hard luck or victimization. Rather, the focus is on bad choices leading to bad behavior, both served by screwy values. (This is not a talking point in leftist sociology classes, by the way.)

In Britain, the underclass is marked by certain shared traits. Among these, the dysfunctional family, truancy, alcohol and drug abuse, criminal recidivism, welfare dependency, boorishness and a contempt for authority.

Unlike here, race does not muddle the equation, thus white guilt is not a 300-pound guerrilla standing in the doorway. Ergo: “rough camper” instead of “homeless.”

Paul Burton, San Francisco

A twisted take on policy

From first being in favor of repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell,” Republican Sen. John McCain voted against and declared it was a sad day for America when 65 senators passed the repeal.

How twisted can your mind be when you are saddened by an act that does away with a grave injustice against soldiers who put their lives on the line and serve us admirably?

Besides correcting a basic human-rights violation, top military brass agree doing away with “don’t ask, don’t tell” will be good for our armed forces and homeland security.

Let’s be thankful that a dinosaur like McCain lost the election.

Jorg Aadahl, San Mateo

Preserving the past

Rather than overly fixating on singular solutions, divergent thinkers often see multiple solutions to the same problem. Otherwise, San Franciscans wouldn’t have preserved cable cars, historic districts or saved San Francisco Bay. Or stopped rampant freeways, tall waterfront development, tunnels under Russian Hill, a bridge from Telegraph Hill to Angel Island-Tiburon.

So-called progress did remove “blighted” Victorian neighborhoods like the old Fillmore, Western Addition and Nihonmachi, and landmark architecture like the Fox Movie Palace, City of Paris, Fitzhugh Building and significant homes.

Learning from the past, we should lean on historians and scholarly evaluations to guide our decisions — because community churches, modernist libraries, playgrounds, open space and neighborhoods can embody historical, architectural, cultural and societal merit.

Howard Wong, San Francisco

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