Letters to the Editor

Veterans, death with dignity, drought, smokers, etc.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks on Capitol Hill in January.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks on Capitol Hill in January. The Associated Press

Different name, same impact

Returning soldiers from Vietnam were treated with hostility on their return and taunted.

Today, people say, “Thank you for your service. Where were you again? That war still going on? Where is that on an atlas?”

Our lives go on as usual while those of the servicemen and women are devastated. There are 22 suicides of veterans a day on average.

The late comedian George Carlin said WWI soldiers came back with “shell shock.” We understood what that meant. After WWII, they called the same thing “battle fatigue.” Then they invented “post-traumatic stress disorder” and “PTSD,” but it is still “shell shock.”

Gabriel Lewin, Davis

Right to die is basic

Re “Backers ramp up push for state assisted-suicide bill” (Capitol & California, Feb. 13): Everyone should have the right to freedom and liberty from excruciating pain, mental agony, family torment, and financial ruin. Denying such right is morally, socially, medically and fiscally wrong.

To end life is a gut-wrenching decision for all involved, but this person should have this one tool at his or her disposal to bid final goodbye with dignity.

Sanmukh Bhakta, Rancho Cordova

GOP doesn’t change

Re “McConnell, after no-shutdown vow, seeks way out of standoff” (Page A4, Feb. 14): Congressional Republicans promised the voters they would show how well they could govern, if given the majority.

But what reality shows is not just more of the same but worse, as they focus mainly on damaging right-wing policies while refusing to work with or compromise with Democrats.

Possible shutdowns, defunding whole agencies, tax cuts for the top tier and removing health care are their goals instead of infrastructure, jobs and national security. Sadly, their intentions are harmful for our country and economy and they could care less.

The Republican leadership governs out of fear of the far-right conservatives, a small minority that forbids compromise. The 2016 campaign is fast approaching, and Republicans are indeed showing us what their rule will be like, at their own peril.

Stephen Farr, Folsom

Curb population growth

Re “State growth threatens water conservation goal” (Page A1, Feb. 15): This article should inspire us all to rethink our approaches to water limitations during drought and to other major environmental emergencies, like global warming.

Population growth not only erodes gains made, but is largely responsible for these looming disasters in the first place. Growing awareness of overpopulation in the ’60s and ’70s evaporated in the following decades, and discussion has been absent from the media and political and social discourse.

Yet the world's population, now over 7 billion, could far exceed 10 billion if the African population explodes as predicted. How can we provide water and food for so many, or reduce greenhouse gas emissions, or preserve species, and so on?

Overpopulation is dismissed. People believe nothing can be done about it. The irony is that we already have the solution, and lack only a conscious awareness, by everyone, that overpopulation is a crucial problem.

Ted Toal, Davis

Farms use too much water

According to the Public Policy Institute of California, roughly 80 percent of human use of water is for agriculture, with urban use constituting the remaining 20 percent. The report suggests that we could save 5 million acre-feet by switching residential and commercial users to high-efficiency appliances.

According to the Department of Water Resources, 9 million acre-feet went to residential and commercial uses in 2000. That suggests that simply using efficient appliances could save 55 percent of current urban use. I would like to believe such a simple solution is possible, but I doubt it. We need to focus on reducing use by the elephant in the room, agriculture.

Alan Jackman, Davis

Incomplete tobacco sales policy

Re “Raley’s says it will curb tobacco sales” (Our Region, Feb. 15): Raley’s is eliminating tobacco sales at Raley’s, Bel Air, and Nob Hill stores, but will continue to sell at Food Source, which is considered lower-end stores. It appears to me that Raley’s is not really concerned with consumers’ health as much as it is with profits.

The move would be good for its public relations image if they eliminated tobacco from all stores. Very disappointed in the financial choice, profits over health. I am a very loyal Raley’s shopper; just need to hold the company accountable for casting a smokescreen.

Michael Mello, Elk Grove

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