California Forum

Economy, housing, police, food, etc.

A golden irony

Re “State’s economy growing to seventh largest” (Business, Jan. 17): California is overtaking Brazil as the world’s seventh largest economy with a gross domestic product of $2.2 trillion, yet it also carries the infamous title as the most impoverished state in America.

So if California-based companies “have handed investors a total return of 119 percent since January 2011,” why is it a big deal to increase the minimum wage to $15 across the state?

C.J. Jawahar, Roseville

Court should end disparate impact

Re “Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy on fair housing” (Soapbox, Jan. 19): Those who intentionally discriminate in housing should be punished. But simply put, disparate impact is hogwash. A legal theory where a plaintiff claims discrimination, a defendant counters showing some reasonable business necessity and yet the plaintiff wins by showing the defendant’s business may have some less burdensome practice is no way to prove discrimination.

This is most likely why the Supreme Court is reviewing the issue. After three decades in the mortgage industry, I believe the simple truth is mortgage loans for minority borrowers are currently declined because of heightened underwriting requirements imposed by Dodd-Frank, not discrimination.

Marc Ely, Sacramento

A photo tells it all

Re “Law enforcement backers rally on steps of Capitol” (Our Region, Jan. 19): Paul Kitagaki’s picture of Steve Hernandez aiming a megaphone at a law officer less than 5 feet away offers a different perspective of ANSWER Coalition’s so-called peaceful demonstration. The capability of amplifying for these devices is in the 120-125 decibel range, the same as the pain threshold range for human beings. The safety instructions for megaphones clearly state to never direct a megaphone toward another person, as it can cause permanent hearing damage. What justifies the right of one person to assault another person without just cause? But wait, isn’t that what the demonstration was about?

Cynthia A Denicore, Grass Valley

Insensitive remark on deaths

While I fully support law enforcement, I found it extremely insensitive that rally organizer Dave Jenest, who heads the so-called Patriot Defenders Network, found that incidents that resulted in the deaths of black males are “infinitesimal.”

Granted law enforcement makes contact with citizens every day, and these contacts do not always result in horrific and violent encounters. But tell the families of Michael Brown and Eric Garner and many others that their deaths did not matter. Mr. Jenest, we all want compassionate protection. I’m sure you will never have to worry about being placed in a chokehold or shot at because of the color of your skin.

Madeleine Owyang, Elk Grove

Farm animal research sickening

Re “Meat research takes heavy toll on livestock” (Page A1, Jan. 20): I have rarely been more sickened and revolted than I was upon reading this article, which I couldn’t even finish. How much pain and suffering are we willing to inflict on our fellow creatures to satisfy our greed and insatiable appetite for profit? When will we wise up and follow a more sustainable diet based on vegetarianism?

Geilan Toppozada, Sacramento

Sugary drinks unhealthy

Re “Despite industry claims, soda isn’t an entitlement” (Editorial, Jan. 20): Stopping food stamp users from buying sugary soft drinks would have to include fruit juices as well, even unsweetened ones.

Remember when orange juice servings were about 3.5 ounces? There was a good reason. Diabetics and pre-diabetics are told to avoid fruit juices. They are nothing but liquid sugar that very quickly spikes blood glucose. Diet, exercise and self discipline are the real solution.

Chris Chaloupka, Shingle Springs

Obama can take the credit

Re “Address sets up debate on rebounding economy” (Page A1, Jan. 20): President Obama may as well claim some credit for the improvement in our economy. If he doesn’t, you can be sure no one else will give him any. Conversely, if things were going badly, with a shrinking economy, higher rates of unemployment and high gas prices, he would be getting all the blame.

Diane McGuire, Sacramento

Third time probably not the charm

Re “Romney shows softer side in 2016 campaign preview” (Nation/World, Jan. 19): About 47 percent of Americans pay no income tax and believe they are victims. And 100 percent of past presidential candidates named Mitt Romney do not know when to give up.

Arin Grattidge, Sacramento

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