Letters to the Editor

OT for farmworkers, tax on smokers, revising history, narcissistic candidates

Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 1066 on Monday, granting agricultural workers the same right to overtime pay as other Californians.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 1066 on Monday, granting agricultural workers the same right to overtime pay as other Californians. Los Angeles Times

Farmworker OT will take six years

Re “Governor signs bill for farmworker OT” (Page 1A, Sept. 13): Ridiculous: The eight-hour day for farmworkers in California does not start tomorrow. Although the eight-hour day law for farmworkers was signed by the governor on Sept. 12, the agriculture industry in general in California gets six years to phase in the eight-hour day for farmworkers; and an amazing nine years for smaller farms to phase it in.

The eight-hour day was initiated nationwide in 1938. The agricultural industry in California has had almost 80 years to comply. Why do they need six more years to get with the program? If an Anglo workforce were affected, this law would have been retroactively effective to Jan. 1. As for those who wrote this law, they have publicly demonstrated that race prejudice is alive and well in California.

Michael Peter Henneberry, Olivehurst

Who will get taxed after smokers?

Re “Dispute over Medi-Cal funding is reflected in fight over cigarette tax” (Insight, Sept. 13): So let me get this straight. The medical industry is pushing for a highly regressive tax on 13.7 percent of California adults. The vast majority of the proceeds will go to increase compensation rates for Medi-Cal services, meaning hospitals, doctors, labs and, in time, all who work for them stand to profit. And the CEO of the California Medical Association “can’t think of a bigger special interest than tobacco.” Really? How about the California Medical Association?

OK, I understand we smokers are evil incarnate and deserve to be punished for our sins by subsidizing what the remaining 82.3 percent of California adults are unwilling to chip in for regardless of how worthy the cause. But consider this – when they’ve milked smokers for all they can, will the medical industry come looking to tax you for your sins?

Roy W. Hecteman,

El Dorado Hills

Revisionist history misplaces blame

Re “Obama’s legacy includes genocide of Christians” (Viewpoints, Sept. 12) Shawn Steel, California committeeman to the Republican National Committee, claims President Barack Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton prompted the rise of ISIS by withdrawing from Iraq seven years ago, and they are responsible for the genocide of Christians in that area.

Steel conjures up the notion that the U.S. fled from “a stable working democracy.” He neglects to mention that President George W. Bush not only set the original date for withdrawal from Iraq – Dec. 31, 2011 – but also, using Vice President Dick Cheney’s fabricated “evidence of weapons of mass destruction” as pretext, had invaded and destabilized Iraq to begin with. The consequences we see now are the enduring legacy of Bush and Cheney, not Obama.

Also, why is Steel only concerned with Christian deaths, when all reports indicate ISIS doesn’t discriminate: They will kill anyone, of Muslim or any other faith, who does not submit to their absolute power.

David S. Parker, Elk Grove

Trump and Clinton appear narcissistic

Re “Ailing Clinton needs to cure her penchant for secrecy” (Editorials, Sept. 13): I have seen Donald Trump classified as a possible narcissist in the media. (Oxford American Dictionary: “excessive ... interest in oneself and one’s physical appearance. Psychology – extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration.”

Recent events have brought me to the conclusion that Hillary Clinton also may be a narcissist. She has done great things in service of our country, but it is becoming clearer that the focus was mainly an overriding drive for personal aggrandizement (Oxford: increase the power, status or wealth of).

So our choice may currently be between two nominees who have similar personal motivations. I was a supporter of Bernie Sanders, whose temperament seemed to be just the opposite – country first and individual second. Seems to prove the adage: “Nice guys finish last.”

William D. Bandes,



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