Goldwater Institute isn’t NAACP
Re “Nonprofits should be able to keep their donors private” (Viewpoints, Dec. 31): While freedom of association is undoubtedly important, Jon Riches misconstrues NAACP v. Alabama, which he invokes to defend his claim that all 501(c)(3) organizations are entitled to keep their donor lists secret from the government.
The unanimous Supreme Court made it clear that prior revelations of the NAACP membership list had subjected NAACP members to economic reprisal, loss of employment and physical coercion. Even with that, Alabama still could have obtained the membership list by demonstrating a compelling interest.
The Goldwater Institute is not the NAACP, this is not Alabama, and it is not 1958. I sincerely doubt that donors to the Goldwater Institute are in realistic jeopardy of being lynched.
If organizations wish to be granted tax-exempt status, the price they pay is submitting to government supervision – including disclosing their donor lists for adequate governmental interests.
Donald D. deRosier, Carmichael
Forget bags, carry groceries
Re “Reaction mixed as free bags go away” (Page 1A, Jan. 2): The ultimate act of dedication to the environment is to carry your groceries in your arms without bags. My hat’s off to Patty Welch and husband. I’m doubly impressed at their thriftiness by saving 10 cents for a paper bag. Being from Granite Bay, they probably can afford the dime, but by declining the paper bag they showed their dedication to saving our forests.
Or maybe I got it wrong. Perhaps they were just sending another message, something like “Stick it to you, Sacramento. We love our plastic bags.”
Doris Concklin, Carmichael
Food stamps and bags
Watch for higher prices at grocery stores as shoppers stroll with empty backpacks, bags, suitcases, etc. and claim they already had items in the bag from a previous store purchase. This will create more shoplifters for large retailers. It won’t be long until food stamp recipients will need increases to pay for packaging too, and once again the average person is double-dipped with higher taxes and bag money.
Dave Mulvehill, Rancho Murieta
Too many casinos
Re “Wilton tribe seeks land for casino” (Local, Dec. 30): Well, I knew if I waited long enough I’d get an Indian gambling casino close enough to ride my bike to. According to the website 500nations.com, Northern California is home to 42 Indian casinos. Wow. I just hope the tribes are getting the financial benefits those casinos have generated over the years.
Michael Hamiel, Elk Grove
We can’t do much to stop shootings
Re “Tearful Obama outlines steps to curb gun deaths” (Page 1A, Jan. 6): What really can be done? Intensifying background checks won’t be an easy process. Will it stop people who have no criminal records? Will it stop people who were born in the U.S. but have become radicalized? We have no way of vetting people from areas that don’t keep good criminal records.
Would it stop people that have medically diagnosed mental problems? Currently, health records are private. As I said, this wouldn’t be an easy process especially without taking away some basic freedoms.
End ‘steer tailing’ now
The state Legislature reconvened this week. In 1994, it banned the Mexican rodeo’s (“charreada”) brutal “horse tripping” events, supported by the majority of the Latino Caucus.
Now an even more brutal event needs to go: “steer tailing” (aka “colas” or “coleadero”).
A mounted charro (cowboy) grabs a running steer by the tail, then wraps it around his leg and drags or slams the hapless steer to the ground. Tails may be stripped to the bone (“degloved”), even torn off, and horses may suffer broken legs when the steers run the wrong way. Some “sport.”
Steer tailing is not a standard ranching practice anywhere in the U.S., nor sanctioned by any Western-style rodeo association. Banned in Alameda and Contra Costa counties in 1993 and in Nebraska in 2009, it’s time for California to follow suit. Hundreds of these events are held annually throughout the state.
Eric Mills, Action for Animals, Oakland
EXTRA LETTERS ONLINE
Find them at:
HOW TO SUBMIT
Online form (preferred):
Other: Letters, P.O. Box 15779,
Sacramento, CA 95852
150-word limit. Include name, address and phone number. Letters may be edited for clarity, brevity and content.