Politicians shouldn’t have access to money
“Newsom signs bill to clean up drinking water” (The Sacramento Bee, section 6A, July 25): Give a politician access to money and he or she will spend it all. In the old times, taxes set up to pay for road maintenance were not protected and, for decades, redistributed into unrelated pet projects. Our road infrastructure was not maintained and new taxes were needed. A cap-and-trade fund was put in place to tax the right to pollute the air. (You really believed that it was to fight global warming?) Now, because some Californians have to drive to buy bottled water, the unsafe drinking water issue has been linked to global warming so cap-and-trade money can also be used to clean ground water, and not just address global warming. It takes a certain kind of cynical and arrogant individual to make a politician. And it takes a multitude of Facebook, Instagram and Netflix-ed idiots to elect them, embrace them and gobble anything they come up with.
It’s long overdue
“As rats overrun California cities, state moves to ban powerful pest-killers” (sacbee.com, July 23): No one likes living with rats, but fortunately the most effective ways to discourage them are also the least expensive and least damaging to wildlife and pets. Better sanitation, like closing dumpsters and picking up trash, cultural practices, such as pruning ivy and not leaving food out for feral cats, and sealing openings to interior living spaces are far more effective in both the short- and long-term than using the lethal poisons favored by the pest control industry. Multiple communities and institutions now practice poison-free rodent control and report both savings and better pest management. State Assemblyman Richard Bloom’s Assembly Bill 1788 is a common-sense and long-overdue measure that will stem the current wholesale poisoning of our environment without jeopardizing human health or safety.
A new place to dump
“The moon is a graveyard of astronaut trash: Flags, golf balls and, yes, poop” (The Sacramento Bee, section 6E, July 21): It’s estimated there’s almost 400,000 lbs of trash on the moon from our manned and unmanned missions there. Well done, humans.Well done. Not satisfied with filling the oceans with plastic, we now use the universe itself as a dumping ground.
William J. Hughes,
It doesn’t make sense
“At first, it looked like censorship. But covering up controversial mural makes sense” (sacbee.com, July 20): Karin Klein supports the destruction of the murals at George Washington High School in San Francisco, which is in an effort to prevent African American and Native American students from feeling oppressed by the scenes. I understand that. The students should understand the viewpoint of Victor Arnautoff, the Works Project Administration artist who created them in the politically-tumultuous 1930s. His scenes underscore the fact that our country developed over the bodies of Native Americans and through the brutal treatment of the enslaved workforce. Surely, explanatory plaques and class discussions would be far more helpful to all of the students than destroying the historically-important art. To do so, at great expense to the city, would also destroy a valuable opportunity for education. It’s a school, after all.
Scarlet La Rue,
He walks like a duck
“Trump now defends chant against Omar” (The Sacramento Bee, section 9A, July 20): Donald Trump claims there is not a racist bone in his body. Well, as a draft-dodger who would send others to fight wars he threatens to start, he is clearly spineless and, therefore, most likely does not have a “racist bone” in his body. On the other hand, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...
Robert A. Dell’Agostino,
Profits should go to restoring trust
“Hostile takeover of PG&E? Billion-dollar hedge funds duel over bankrupt utility” (sacbee.com, July 18): Does public interest figure at all in determining the future of PG&E? This company has been criminally negligent. After their improperly maintained gas main killed eight people in San Bruno in 2010, they continued to prioritize profit over safety. They identified dangerous electric transmission equipment no later than 2013, but went slow until one of them sparked the Camp Fire. Compensating survivors is not enough. PG&E owes a debt to society for its irresponsible behavior. All profits for the foreseeable future should go toward raising standards and restoring trust – and not to investors, of whatever stripe.
Just as Donald Trump used language to imply that those marching in Charlottesville under banners of white supremacy and anti-Semitism were “fine people,” he now calls those chanting “send her back” patriots. He and his comrades rewrite the dictionary, using terms that normally praise someone’s character when their actions merit the opposite. While he and his followers tout their belief in the First Amendment, they withhold the same right when they dislike what is voiced. Trump has never attempted to listen to and join with the majority of voters who selected another candidate in 2016. He took advantage of the Founding Fathers’ fear that populous states would outpoll small states, and the fact that they gave election power to an undemocratic electoral college of elites, denying common citizens this power. He governs as a ruler, adopting orders to bypass Congress and violating separation of power laws. He’s a mob boss.