Letters to the Editor

Volkswagen, right to die, vaccines, clock clash

A Volkswagen Jetta TDI diesel engine is displayed at the Los Angeles Auto Show in 2008. Green Car Journal named Volkswagen’s 2009 Jetta TDI as the “Green Car of the Year” at the show, making it the first clean-diesel vehicle to win the prize. On Monday, about $16.9 billion was wiped off the market value of Volkswagen AG, following revelations that the German carmaker rigged U.S. emissions tests for about 500,000 diesel cars.
A Volkswagen Jetta TDI diesel engine is displayed at the Los Angeles Auto Show in 2008. Green Car Journal named Volkswagen’s 2009 Jetta TDI as the “Green Car of the Year” at the show, making it the first clean-diesel vehicle to win the prize. On Monday, about $16.9 billion was wiped off the market value of Volkswagen AG, following revelations that the German carmaker rigged U.S. emissions tests for about 500,000 diesel cars. The Associated Press

Volkswagen should be charged

Re “VW accused of smog test fraud” (Page 1A, Sept. 19): Volkswagen has admitted that it installed software designed to circumvent pollution limits in automobiles with the clear knowledge that the cars were in violation of the law. If an ordinary citizen modified their automobile to violate the emissions’ laws, they would immediately be charged with an offense and their automobile would be impounded.

The proper course is for Volkswagen to compensate the citizens who were tricked into buying these smog automobiles by buying them back at the original sticker price and let the innocent citizens buy cars from a reputable firm. This would give our environment a break.

Martin Kenney, Davis

The end of a slippery slope

Re “Instead of right to die, why not fight for right to palliative care?” (Local, Sept. 20): Marcos Breton seems not to realize that AB X2-15 will actually strengthen palliative care in California. Yes, it would add a new palliative option of last resort, medical aid in dying, but it would also require that physicians discuss the full range of palliative options, which has not always been done, as in the case of Breton’s late father.

In Oregon over an almost 20-year history of medical aid in dying, the aid-in-dying option has accounted for only three-tenths of 1 percent of all deaths, and 90 percent of those choosing that option were already receiving palliative care under hospice programs.

Bill Pieper, Sacramento

Room for two points of views

Marcos Breton’s anguish about his father leaps right out of the column. The right-to-die legislation is not intended for someone like his father. His father’s physician should be ashamed for not referring him to hospice once the focus of his care was no longer for cure.

I believe there is room for both points of view. I support the right-to-die legislation, and I also am a staunch supporter of hospice care. I agree that there is much to be done to get the message out to doctors and patients that palliative/hospice care is a viable treatment option. Perhaps Breton’s column can begin this dialogue.

Mary Anne Kirchner, Carmichael

Disappointed in vaccine editorial

Re “GOP hopefuls should stop peddling vaccine falsehoods” (Editorials, Sept. 19): I watched the Republican presidential debate very closely and was appalled at the spin The Sacramento Bee editorial board put on GOP hopeful Dr. Ben Carson.

Carson should not be held responsible for Donald Trump’s opinion. Carson did set the record straight, reiterating a second time in the brief amount of time he was allowed that there was ample research to show that there is no connection between vaccines and autism. Perhaps the editorial board could re-check the transcript of the speech on that point.

Wishing to consign a man to “a special place in hell” for an opinion he does not espouse is reprehensible.

Ruth Heiser, Auburn

School’s reaction does not add up

Re “Clock clash gets student invited to White House” (Page 10A, Sept. 17): I remember ninth grade very well. I was called a terrorist practically every day. When Osama bin Laden was killed, two kids gave me their condolences by shouting, “Sorry about your grandpa!” But I cannot imagine those Islamophobic sentiments being acted upon by teachers.

Ninth-grade student Ahmed Mohamed was arrested in Texas. Teachers and school officials accused the 14-year-old of bringing a bomb to school; it was a homemade clock to show his teachers. Even more shocking is the teachers’ claim does not add up.

The expected reaction would be to evacuate the school and call the bomb squad. Instead they sent Ahmed and his clock to jail in a police car.

While the school’s reaction is unacceptable, the world reacted with astounding support.

Ibrahim Ijaz, San Jose

What about his money, influence?

Re “SB 350’s victory is incomplete, but hope remains” (Viewpoints, Sept. 18): What a joke: Tom Steyer, a billionaire who gives massively and conditionally to Democratic politicians, complains about the influence of money on politics.

Matthew Ronning,

San Diego

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