Letters to the Editor

Letters: Death with dignity, Keystone pipeline, voter recount

My death, my business

Re “How we die is no one’s business but our own” (Viewpoints, Nov. 11): Bruce Maiman could not be more on point. My mother was left brain dead after an accident in Oregon. To have been told that she must be kept alive in that condition would have only added to and prolonged the tragedy we already suffered.

A humane death should not be up for debate.

Terry Wood, Rio Linda

For whom the bell tolls

Bruce Maiman’s defense of assisted suicide – whatever euphemism he may choose to use – is chillingly self-centered. I will confess to being someone of religious conviction, though I’m a convinced Democrat and thus no small-government conservative. Yet it doesn’t take religious conviction to see the flaw in his claim that one choosing to take their own life “will impact (me) in no way whatsoever.” That has been understood by civilized people since John Donne’s reminder that “any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.”

By Maiman’s logic, why should I care if people starve in Darfur or die of Ebola in Liberia? After all, it affects me in no way whatsoever. But civilized humanity sees a deeper truth than that: It recognizes that the bell tolls for us, and that in matters of life and death, there is no such thing as “nobody else’s business.”

Richard Johnson, Grass Valley

Death with dignity

It was such a relief to read Bruce Maiman’s intelligent, compassionate and thoughtful column about how we die being no one’s business but our own. California has to incorporate this death-with-dignity concept. Good for Maiman, and kudos to The Bee for having the courage to print his column.

Diane Ramsey, Fair Oaks

Whom do you belong to?

How many of us have made ourselves? No one, I suggest. Doesn’t it stand to reason that we do not belong to ourselves, but to the one who made us?

We don’t have to be sanctimonious to realize that it’s a slap in the face of our maker when we destroy what isn’t ours. Let’s put more effort into finding the truth than in highlighting yet another personal and relativistic moral position. Truth does matter.

Richard Connors, Sacramento

Pipeline leaves many questions

Re “Voters want Congress to work” (Letters, Nov. 11): Letter writer Ed Kaempf and many others have stated an urgent need to build the Keystone pipeline. Supposedly, it will create jobs and bring in much-needed oil. The pipeline will start in Alberta, Canada, with a Canadian crew taking 10 to 14 months to reach the U.S. border.

Will the pipeline company suddenly lay off the experienced, coordinated Canadian crew at the border and hire Americans, or obtain work visas for the Canadians? Will the steel be made by American workers, or will it be Chinese steel? If there’s such an urgent need for the oil, why is the oil industry asking for easing of oil-export rules?

Carl Agnew, Carmichael

Priorities? Really?

Re “Ose’s lead over Bera shrinks again” (Capitol & California, Nov. 11): It is great to see that our limited county resources are working overtime to determine which special interest groups will be best served by the duly elected suburban Sacramento congressman. Let’s not direct these resources at reducing the time for veterans’ claims, improving Child Protective Services, streamlining permit processing and a whole host of issues that affect us all. No, let’s expend massive efforts to see which party will send an individual to repay the unions, donors and special interests they unashamedly represent.

This is not most citizens’ priority. Really.

John Kepko, Sacramento

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