Return to time of citizen-politicians
Re “Disenchanted voters are shaking foundation of our political system” (Forum, May 15): There is no need to change our political system, but we should return to our basic principles. The founders envisioned citizen-politicians who would serve in Washington, D.C., for a few years, then return home to live under the laws they had passed.
Now we have professional, career politicians, who are mainly concerned with being re-elected. There are no, or few, statesmen focused on the betterment of the state.
Ralph Harder, Jackson
Middle-class workers must unite
The Sacramento Bee uncharacteristically published Hedrick Smith’s modestly left analysis of the shift in popular political sentiment.
The language of politics has been co-opted by the very corporations and capitalists whom Smith shows are exposing themselves shamelessly. But he uses language the way their personifications do: most middle-class wage earners are not middle class; they are working class and subject to the same manipulations and insecurities, as the working poor.
The antagonistic power that working people face is not corporate power or neoliberalism; it is capitalism itself. There are good and bad capitalists, but not good and bad capitalism: especially the global, imperial capitalism of today.
The illusory American dream has been the world’s nightmare. Now we’re all the object of drones. We must unite.
Murray Cohen, Sacramento
Petroleum, asphalt and potholes
Re “Oil industry strikes back at fuel attacks” (Forum, Dan Morain, May 15): State Sen. Jim Beall prefers to dig into how to go about restructuring a gasoline tax to pay for road repairs. He would love to focus on filling potholes. News flash! Both require large amounts of asphalt, a petroleum product.
Tony Rohl, Grass Valley
Writer is one of the blind followers
Re “Blindly believing in Trump” (Forum, May 15): Andrew Malcolm writes a scathing report on Donald Trump and seems to deride many Republicans who he says will blindly follow him, no matter what. Malcolm points out Trump’s flaws on all levels and says he has “mixed policies” that sound empty or impossible.
Although Malcolm criticizes the people who want to follow Trump, he writes that he hopes Trump will be able “to close the deal,” but doubts it.
Is this not the kettle calling the pot black? Why would Malcolm expose all Trumps’ flaws and imply that people who will follow him are blind to this, yet Malcolm himself is hoping for him to win? Malcolm is just another blind follower.
Laraine Silberstein, Sacramento
Hillary, Area 51 and serious questions
Re “Hillary and the X-Files constituency” (Editorials, May 15): Once again The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board dodges Hillary Clinton’s real problems.
How about an in-depth article about FBI Director James Comey calling the email probe an investigation and refuting the term “security review” as Clinton has been calling it? Or why longtime Clinton aide Cheryl Mills walked out of the room to confer with her lawyer when questioned by the FBI about Clinton’s emails? Or the Clinton Foundation money.
Certainly there is plenty to write about on these topics. Readers expect quality and fair coverage from the editorial board.
Doug Hinchey, Lincoln
Competition for apple fritter
Re “Aromas may test the diet resolve of champion cyclists” (Forum, May 15): James Raia left out the culinary highlight of Molokai, the Loco Moco burger: white rice topped with ground beef patty topped with an egg topped with gravy. Portion sizes are variable. With that carbohydrate content, cyclists could pedal from Hawaii to California.
Judith T. Gould, Sacramento
Wear a bicycle helmet? Absolutely
Re “Strap it on for a bike-helmet debate” (Explore, May 19): Wearing a helmet is fundamental to all bicycle riding; just ask a physicist. If you ride a bike, the adage is not if you will have an accident but when. The severity of the accident may be great or small, involve your head or not, but why take chances?
Recently, I was negotiating the awful bike detour in Old Sac over cobblestones. I was barely moving when my tire hung up between the stones, and I went down. As I knew it was going to hurt. What I didn’t know was that after my body hit, my head would be whipped by the motion. My accelerated head hit very hard and I was quite dazed. My helmet made all the difference. I would not be writing this letter if it weren’t for my helmet.
I am reminded of an old bicycling question: What do you call a person who doesn’t wear a helmet? An organ donor.
Steve DeGusta, Sacramento
Better decisions will sustain fish
Re “Inevitable changes in California’s water supply” (Viewpoints, May 1): Jay Lund warns that the climate change and other stressors “will make some native fish species unsustainable in the wild.” This is not a foregone conclusion. We can make smart decisions in the face of change.
For example, we can double down on protecting and restoring strongholds where at-risk species have the best chance of surviving. To boost water supplies and streamflows, we can restore high-elevation wetlands and meadows, which act as huge sponges, capturing and slowly releasing precipitation. We can also utilize floodplains and flexible water management to recharge groundwater reserves. We can apply lessons learned from recent science on hatchery impacts to reduce loss of diversity and resilience in wild fish stocks.
With strategic investments, policy modifications and collaborative application of science, we can address the challenges of a warming climate in ways that better help people and California’s remarkable native fish.
Rene Henery, Mount Shasta
Jail time for trellis, but not economy
Re “Goldman Sachs settlement a significant step” (Forum, Another view: April 24): Benjamin Wagner says the Goldman Sachs settlement was significant. There is a man in jail for stealing a trellis who would beg to differ.
His self-congratulatory commentary was nauseating and self-serving. The nefarious and unethical behavior of financial institutions, such as credit swaps and securities based on high-risk mortgages, caused the financial crisis, not the pedestrian fraud-riddled mortgage loans. Yet not one high-ranking official in the financial world went to prison.
And Wagner is proud?
White-collar crimes in this country are treated as if they are no crimes at all. Pay a fine; admit to no wrongdoing and you’re good to go.
Yet, steal a trellis and you are incarcerated. Justice, American style.
Michael Santos, Antelope
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