Letters to the Editor

Federal budget, drought, shopping, protests, torture

GOP priorities an affront

Re “House strikes compromise to pass budget” (Page A1, Dec. 12): Republicans’ priorities are front and center in the current spending bill in Congress. They want to limit regulations that hinder business by requiring taxpayers to pick up the tab for risky derivative trading, weakening the Dodd-Frank law. They want to increase maximum campaign contributions to party committees from $32,000 to $777,000.

Democrats fume but not sufficiently to stop the heist. If you’re an average American, you’ve just been slapped in the face.

Kathryn Lewis, Sacramento

That wasn’t compromise

I had a glimmer of hope that Democrats had developed backbones and were not going to give the Republicans a pass to loot and pillage this country. But, no. They made a few speeches then did the dirty deed.

Apparently, unlike most Americans, they have alternative sources of clean air and water, enough money in savings to bail out the banks if they falter, and are welcoming that additional campaign money from fat cats.

If the Democrats continue down this path, we are in for a horrendous two years, six years if they lose in 2016. And the White House was no help. There’s compromise – and there’s giving the opposition everything it wants and gift wrapping it. We got the latter.

Judith Fox, Citrus Heights

Don’t stop conserving water

Re “Capital dodges the worst” (Page A1, Dec. 12): Drought, what drought? Didn’t the state just get drenched in rain? Of course it did, but it wasn’t enough to turn things around.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, California needs at least 18 to 21 inches of additional rain this winter to overcome its parched condition.

The California Department of Water Resources puts it this way: We need 150 percent more rain this year than usual in order to reverse the impact of the drought. You don’t have to be a water czar to know both measurements are correct.

Even though it’s tough to imagine when you are flooded out of your home, everyone still needs to conserve water. I know it sounds odd, but that is the truth.

Denny Freidenrich, Laguna Beach

People not willing to pay more

Re “Fight inequality with wise shopping choices” (Viewpoints, Dec. 5): Cherri Senders’ idea that American consumers – if educated on how their buying habits perpetuate income inequality – would be willing to spend more money at businesses that treat their workers fairly is naive.

Americans are addicted to low prices, and the companies with the lowest prices are the ones who pay their workers a slave wage and do everything in their power to avoid providing benefits. With lower operating costs, these companies can afford to offer products at extremely low prices, while companies that pay their workers a living wage and provide benefits have to offset higher operating costs with higher prices.

Since most people who shop at businesses that treat their employees poorly make slave wages themselves, it’s a self-perpetuating cycle – one that will require more than a simple shift in consumer spending to be broken.

Morrigan McLean Haas, Sacramento

Tobacco-related deaths matter, too

Re “‘Die-in at UCD med school” (Our Region, Dec. 11): I am unbelievably frustrated by the way in which “I can’t breathe” is now associated with a man selling cigarettes. Ironic, isn’t it?

I always assumed the connection between breathing and cigarettes was about trying to avoid their disgusting stench. I mean, seriously, think about how many people die each year from tobacco. Don’t these lives matter, too? Or do some lives matter more than others?

Matt Nelsenador, Sacramento

Med students’ protest ‘disgusting’

My entire 40-year career has been in the medical field, and I have to say that seeing the pictures of our future doctors lying on the ground is disgusting. No matter your opinion of the current events, this is no way to act.

I would expect this of undergrads, but not our future doctors.

Liz Forsman, Sacramento

Torture techniques from Dark Ages

Re “The harsh truth on CIA torture finally comes out” (Editorials, Dec. 10): Torture was used successfully by the church during the Inquisition and Dark Ages to force confessions out of suspected witches and heretics who were then burned at the stake. Waterboarding, racking, isolation in cages, along with many other methods of torture, were all started in the Dark Ages.

How real were all those forced confessions? Or did the pain from torture just get the answers the church wanted?

Dick Cheney was just born 1,200 years too late.

John Martin, Davis

Torture betrays our values

To justify torture, the Bush administration apologists resort to Orwellian distortions of the language. “Enhanced interrogation” is to torture what “collateral damage” is to civilian deaths.

These same apologists also claim the Justice Department cleared these interrogations, proving that old saying that if you don’t like one lawyer’s opinion, keep looking for one who agrees with you.

Henry Kissinger cannot travel to Europe for fear of arrest for his crimes in Cambodia and Laos. Now, Alberto Gonzales and many former Bush officials are also afraid to travel because they are subject to arrest by the International Court of Justice for crimes against humanity.

What sort of country have we become?

John Garon, Placerville

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