Letters to the Editor

CalPERS’ investments, election fraud, ‘alt-right’

Hillary Clinton’s campaign is being urged to call for a recount of vote totals in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign is being urged to call for a recount of vote totals in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Associated Press file

Hold CalPERS staff accountable

Re “With investments soft, CalPERS eyes higher contributions” (Page 1A, Nov. 22): I am a concerned CalPERS retiree. One paragraph in this story stated CalPERS earned a 0.61 percent return on its investments in 2015-16 and 2.4 percent the year before. Was I really reading that correctly? I did much better than that on personal investment, and I was not even completely invested (i.e., had a bit of cash for a rainy day).

If the high-paid investment staff really did that poorly, then the problem is CalPERS management and the investment gurus. I would ask the Legislature to exercise their oversight and clean this mess up. Take a hard look at the entire CalPERS administration and all of the compensation levels of all of the employees from top to bottom – particularly of investment staff – and whether all of these positions are absolutely necessary.

Paltry returns on investments simply do not deserve high pay.

Joseph R. Symkowick,


Probe potential election hacking

I was surprised at Donald Trump’s victories in four critical swing states – Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina and Wisconsin. In order for this to happen, undecided voters had to overwhelmingly pick Trump over Hillary Clinton, which seemed unlikely given his much lower poll numbers and favorability ratings.

Now there is another explanation for Trump’s surprising victory. J. Alex Halderman, professor of computer science at University of Michigan, has outlined a scenario wherein the hacking of electronic voting machines by a foreign power could have easily altered the outcome of the election. He is recommending a ballot recount in swing states.

We need to protect against election fraud. Electronic voting machines need to be replaced with paper ballots and optical scanners. In the meantime, I support a ballot recount in swing states to ensure that our election results reflect the will of the people of the United States, not the Russian government.

Katherine Holmes, Davis

Trump is playing a dangerous game

Re “What it means to be the loyal opposition to Trump” (Insight, Nov. 22): One of Foon Rhee’s statements resonated powerfully with me. He said President-elect Donald Trump is “inviting into his inner circle extremists who seem designed to further divide us.” I don’t recall a president ever sowing continued national division after an election was decided in their favor.

Is this being done in ignorance of the potential impact? Division can lead to weakness, and the U.S. has many powerful enemies who haven’t forgotten the age-old strategy of divide and conquer.

It seems that this is only intended to reward the Trump’s most fervent supporters and strengthen his base. Unfortunately, the net result may be the same whether it’s done willfully or in ignorance; in fomenting continued deep divisions within the country, he may well be giving aid and comfort to our enemies.

Joseph Bland, Sacramento

Trump not truly victorious

Re “Trump bypasses press with a scripted pitch for his agenda” (Page 1A, Nov. 22): Donald Trump did not win the election in the true sense. He merely prevailed. Under these circumstances, it will be an insurmountable task to unite all the people of this country to support him.

I’m not defending him, but how do we really know that before computers and the internet, there wasn’t a more reprehensible president than Trump?

For the past 30 years, we know more about the candidates than we could have known before the dawn of the computer age and the internet. It’s all a moot point. In the final analysis, all we really have now is another four more years of “The Apprentice” played out on a grander scale. This too shall pass.

Jack Schwab, Fair Oaks

Origin of the term ‘alt-right’?

The manipulative nature of the political left has been the sponsor of the deceptive and debate-silencing language of political correctness. When using the term “liberal” stopped going over well, they switched to “progressive,” even though the big centralized government policies they support have been repeatedly tried and failed. It’s called socialism.

With Republicans now dominating mainstream America, the left has come up with “alt-right,” a term clearly designed to smear those on the right as being a scary bogeyman, out to take your rights away. The constant references to the KKK are also getting a little old; aside from a few rare and dated exceptions, they have nothing in common with Republicans.

Charles Hummer,

El Dorado Hills


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