Letters to the Editor

Dark money, nail salons, vaccinations, family leave, Estonia, etc.

Double dealing on dark money

Re “Dark Money: The campaign to remake the courts” (Forum, May 17): The Sacramento Bee seems happy to run an article submitted by committed liberal journalists regarding so-called right-wing efforts to influence elections for state Supreme Court justices and states’ attorneys general. But I don’t recall any such alarm being registered regarding George Soros’ funding efforts to elect Democratic secretaries of state in order to influence election outcomes through the left-wing billionaires club, Democracy Alliance, or the funding by him of many left-wing political entities that seek to influence elections for far-left liberal candidates nationwide.

It seems The Bee condones this type of activity when practiced by liberals but decries any corresponding conservative efforts.

Rachel Johnson, Sacramento

Bill would protect nail salon workers

Re “Curb nail salon worker abuse” (Editorials, May 17): California has taken some positive steps to address the health hazards and labor abuses in nail salons. But I believe more needs to be done.

Federal legislation is necessary to protect the health of these workers – there are nearly 54,000 nail salons nationwide, employing nearly 400,000 workers.

Working in a nail salon shouldn’t condemn workers to a lifetime of health problems, from miscarriages to respiratory problems to cancer.

The Personal Care Products Safety Act, which I introduced with Republican Sen. Susan Collins last month, would give the FDA the authority to review the chemicals in personal care products. Formaldehyde, widely used in nail salons, would be among the first.

This industry has few safeguards, and we’re seeing the effects of that. It’s time to take action and save lives.

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein

Little relevance to vaccinations

Re “‘Precision medicine’ should help inform vaccine policy” (Viewpoints, May 17): John Kirlin acknowledges that he has no expertise in medicine but then goes on to state in several different ways that there is uncertainty and conflict about the effects of vaccines, even asking “what does science know about the effects of vaccine on individuals.” The answer to that question, readily available from the Center for Disease Controls and Prevention, is that science knows that the rate of serious adverse reaction is 1.6 per 1 million vaccinations.

There is no uncertainty about this science and no conflict in accepting it among medical doctors as opposed to homeopathic practitioners. The general public in fact accepts far higher rates of adverse reaction from commonly used medications and medical procedures. If Kirlin wants any public policy decision-making process that he proposes to be taken seriously by rational adults, he should educate himself as to the difference between science and belief.

Jo Vaughan, Sacramento

Don’t believe in bad science

An uninformed minority has hijacked public health in California. Before the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, 500 children died annually in the United States. Thousands suffered lifelong complications. That number plummeted after universal vaccination.

Andrew Wakefield, a discredited British physician, faked data which linked autism to MMR vaccinations. His intentionally flawed study has been thoroughly discredited. We, as a state, can no longer afford to be led by those who still believe this bad science. No child should be at risk for preventable illnesses. Stop the madness. Vaccinate all, except those at real risk for complications. Public health should be driven by science, not belief.

Dr. Richard Wulfsberg, Encino

Pass Senate Bill 277

Government should do its best to preserve individual rights and freedoms as much as possible. However, my rights stop where yours begin. It is encouraging to see us taking steps to preserve public health via the passing of Senate Bill 277. Let’s rally behind the near unanimous physician, scientist and public health official support, and recognize that vaccines are one of the most effective advances in recent medical history in terms of preventing avoidable deaths. Let’s hope SB 277 becomes law, for the sake of those who cannot protect themselves.

Alex Roetter, San Francisco

TPP should not be supported

Re “Give Asia-Pacific trade deal a chance” (Editorials, May 17): I became very angry reading The Sacramento Bee Editorial Board’s view on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The board wants to give this trade deal a chance, even though we don’t know the major provisions in it.

I think we don’t need to know everything in it to be opposed to it. For example, corporations can sue local or state governments because a new law will affect their future profits. Hypothetically, if California voted to label GMOs through a ballot initiative, it could get sued by food corporations for lost profits. This scenario will become more common with the TPP.

Lastly, we must learn from experience. The U.S. lost more than a million jobs because of NAFTA, many going to Mexico where you can pay workers significantly less. “Like it or not, globalization is here.” I’m sorry, globalization may be here, but I will never accept it. It is exploitative and immoral.

James Kreidler, Davis

We don’t need more bad laws

Re “Family leave hurts small business” (Letters, May 17): Kudos to James Rushford for his well-stated position on behalf of small-business owners and operators. Our congressional members like to refer to themselves as “lawmakers,” but I choose to call them “muck-makers.” They will give anything away to gain a vote, and they do not have a clue about making a living operating a small business.

We would be better off ordering them to stay at home and do nothing, rather than to go to work and make any new laws, especially laws that put small businesses out of business.

Richard K. Thompson, Roseville

Learning about Estonia

Re “When far-off Estonia matters to the U.S.” (Forum, May 17): Dan Morain’s column on Estonia is excellent, informative and interesting. Thanks.

Jean Jamieson, Roseville