Ditch the ‘top two’
“So should we dump California’s top-two primary, or what?” (Editorials, June 1): Absolutely. I am a lifelong Democrat who opposed the “top two” plan when it was on the ballot. I have not changed my mind. I live in red Placer County. A couple of years ago, I was disenfranchised from voting when the only two candidates were both to the right of Attila the Hun. I couldn’t vote for either one.
Gary Miller, Roseville
On clean water
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“360,000 Californians have unsafe drinking water. Are you one of them?” (sacbee.com, June 1): Thank you to Karen Ross and Felicia Marcus for alerting us to the lack of safe drinking water in many California communities. We take for granted that the water coming out of our taps is safe for drinking and need to be reminded that many do not have it. Of course, we must support clean drinking water for all communities, especially poorer ones, and the fee is a good idea. Furthermore, ensuring clean water hopefully will reduce sales of bottled water – an environmental scourge. Also why should we support Nestle sucking California's water out of the ground to sell in plastic bottles to the uninformed public?
No need for a tax
The vast majority of Californians have access to safe drinking water. The fact that some communities do not is unacceptable, and is an important social and economic issue for our state. If the state wants to make safe drinking water a priority, we can fund the solution without taxing tap water. For example, with a fraction of the $8.8 billion budget surplus, the state could create a Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Trust to fund worthy projects. According to a recent survey, 73 percent of Californians oppose a statewide tax on water, the first for California. They justifiably oppose taxing something that is essential to life. Local chambers of commerce agree. We can ensure that every Californian has safe drinking water. We don't need an unprecedented tax on water to do so.
United Chamber Advocacy Network, Sacramento
There is no ‘muck’
“Paris, Japan, Mexico City, Brazil – legislative staff travel at taxpayer expense” (sacbee.com, June 4): This article would have a reason to exist if the Legislature used taxpayer money to go on their honeymoons, fly in private jets, or have showy security details, like Trump’s cabinet does. But California is the fifth largest economy in the world, with commerce throughout the Pacific Rim. It is appropriate for the Legislature to meet occasionally with their foreign counterparts on matters of mutual concern, especially when the cost is relatively minor. The issue should have been what oversight is being used to make sure these trips are necessary, cost-effective and economical – information glaringly absent from this article. Do not write “muckraking” articles when there is no muck.
Jean E. Jerome,
“Elon Musk is a genius, but his flamethrower is stupid” (Editorials, June 1): Whether Elon Musk is a genius or just a kid with an overactive imagination and underdeveloped conscience is debatable. But he certainly acts as if he’s Mickey Mouse in Disney's “Sorcerer's Apprentice.” Remember the lesson of that little piece: Do not start what you cannot finish. Is Elon going to put out all the fires that the less imaginative among us start by gleefully following his suggestion to “have fun”? The Sorcerer (or Sorceress) will be back, sooner rather than later, and we will all pay the price of the childish mindlessness that drives so many of the tech-world “geniuses.”
Kathryn A. Klar,
It’s about respect
“What Happened to Roseanne and Kaepernick has zero to do with First Amendment rights” (sacbee.com, May 31): Karin Klein is right that the current controversy about free expression in our society is not yet a First Amendment issue. It is a cultural crisis, not a constitutional one. It is about whether Americans can respect and receive contrary opinion with open, inquiring minds. It is about whether Americans can engage in civilized discourse. And, it is about whether Americans can greet bad manners with good ones. Our struggle as a people with these choices says more about us as American citizens than it does about our government, the NFL or ABC.
Ward A. Campbell,
Shame on ICE, U.S.
“Will ICE agents be able to live with what they're doing? Will you?” (sacbee.com, May 29): I was appalled to read Mr. Abramsky’s article about children being taken from their parents at the border by ICE and placing them in detention, foster care and other miscellaneous systems. As a mother, I cannot imagine the horror of having my small child being taken from me by strangers and not knowing what happened to him or her. Last week, Trump said that desperate young kids trying to cross the border are ‘not innocent.” As I was reading the article, I was reminded of Nazi Germany. I thought, “This can’t be my country doing this!” Shame on you Mr. Sessions, Mr. Kelly and Ms. Nielsen.
Joyce Vermette, Roseville
It’s the rule of law
This incomprehensible column is way out of line. Comparing civilian law enforcement to the military is misinformation. The people who are doing the work are enforcing laws as passed by Congress, not the usual liberal take on the rule of law as a pick-and-choose exercise. Any U.S. citizen can be deputized to enforce civilian laws if need be. So maybe your writer can read up on that as well as the laws regarding the use of the U.S. Military for border enforcement. And the U.S. Constitution, which is made up of more than one amendment.
Andrew Mattson, Roseville