Letters to the Editor

Prop. 47, Michael Brown case, religion, etc.

What planet are they from?

Re “A voice against Prop. 47” and “Help students, not inmates” (Letters, Oct. 21): So first we have two letters threatening dire consequences if Proposition 47 passes and we don’t continue to lock up more of our population than any country on earth.

Yes, that includes China and your least favorite dictatorship, as well as all the countries that have much lower crime rates than we do.

Have these people never heard the phrase “mass incarceration”? That’s what we’ve got.

Then a letter says we need to stop rewarding criminals by providing them with arts projects.

Right. Let’s dehumanize them as much as possible, and then release them at the end of their sentences. They’ll make nice neighbors.

On what planet do these people live?

Diane Moore, Davis

Paint a true picture

Re “Going to jail to decry racism” (Our Region, Oct. 20): Let’s get a true picture of Michael Brown. He was a burly young adult. Forensics will determine whether he was running from, or attacking the policeman.

Let’s give an accurate description of him. By painting him as an innocent young teenager, you are helping to try the police officer without a trial.

Richard Black, Roseville

Religion declining

Re “Debate over religion’s role goes back to our founding” (Viewpoints, Oct. 21): Bruce Maiman’s commentary was provocative. Only 50 of the 500 area churches responded to this year’s Winter Sanctuary Program for our homeless.

About half of the money needed has been raised. Church membership is falling in the United States, especially among Protestants. We’re following the rest of the developed democracies, whose churches are now quite empty.

As Maiman said, religion was a powerful agent for social change, but the numbers keep falling. Government has taken a growing role, partly as a result of shrinking religions.

As secular progressivism grows, the gap in providing for those who are unable is still much wider than in Western Europe.

Congress must solve this. The religions may be like states’ rights – unable to work together to solve the Judeo-Christian and Islamic call that all of us have basic security.

Pete Martineau, Fair Oaks

Churches have potential

Some contemporary Christian churches seem to be actually progressing by reflecting the values supposedly taught by Jesus.

While I still encounter many fundamentalist Christians, still determined to hate gays, lesbians, Democrats and minorities, I see some church leaderships seeming very committed to kindness, love and treating all human beings with respect.

As Bruce Maiman notes, religious affiliation is kind of a turnoff for some folks. Ironic, isn’t it, that for many people, affiliation with a religion represents an angry, hateful agenda.

No religious prophets ever preached hatred, segregation or degradation of an enemy. While the stories and realities for each homeless person vary tremendously, there’s never reason to not treat them with kindness.

Yes, our churches have tremendous capability to be powerful agents for social change, as their prophets commanded.

Mitch Darnell, Sacramento

Lab personnel need protection

Re “Nurses press Brown about Ebola” (Page A1, Oct. 22): The present Ebola outbreak has spurred the health care industry to form an action plan, but the California Department of Public Health is ignoring an important group that needs to be included: clinical laboratory personnel.

Not only are doctors and nurses treating Ebola patients at high risk for exposure, so are the laboratory personnel who are responsible for testing the patient samples.

California laws specifying requirements for licensing these people are outdated and, as such, have unnecessarily limited the number of available workers allowed to perform these tests.

Mishandling a sample from a potential Ebola patient could expose a large group of lab workers. In such a case, most labs would not have the personnel resources to replace a group of quarantined workers.

Such a scenario could potentially shut down a lab. It is time for the California Department of Public Health to update clinical laboratory personnel licensing laws.

Robert Schoenfeld, Sacramento

Get rid of dead weight

Re “Governor is little help for his party” (Page A1, Oct. 20): Gov. Jerry Brown feels he’s entitled to be re-elected but declines to comment in last week’s Election Guide. The Sacramento Bee then writes how unenthused he is about running a campaign or boosting candidates below him.

I call it pure arrogance. He should have stepped aside and let in someone who’s actually excited about being governor.

I hope young people stop and think before voting because of a “D” or “R” behind a name and look at the person and whether they are truly “entitled” to the position. Here’s a novel idea: one six-year term. This would rid us of dead weight once and for all.

Liz Forsman, Sacramento

Clinton blames Republicans

Re “Clinton rallies donors” (Capitol & California, Oct. 21): Hillary Clinton blames the Republicans for, like the majority of Americans, opposing Obamacare. She claims the Hobby Lobby decision has pulled the rug out from under women’s health care because she thinks some women are entitled to other people’s money to pay for contraception.

Comparably trained and experienced women make as much as, and sometimes more than, similar men, but she blames Republicans for not supporting the misnamed Paycheck Fairness Act.

The income gap has expanded under the Democratic administration, but Republicans are to blame. If we elect Clinton just because she’s a woman, we will get what we deserve.

John Paul, Carmichael

Nice thought, but really

Re “Sign up to vote today, then vote – annoy the pundits” (Editorials, Oct. 20): Your editorial encouraging people to vote was appropriate. However, if you’re not a Democrat, voting in California is, for the most part, a hollow exercise.

The Democratic Party, for all intents and purposes, owns the process of government. Perhaps that’s why the turnout is so low. A one-party state doesn’t motivate either side. There is a cautionary tale in owning it all, but history suggests we will ignore it.

Donald Schell, Sacramento


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