Letters to the Editor

Trump, Kasich, litmus test, privacy

Donald Trump talks about illegal immigrants driving across the U.S. border during a rally Wednesday in Sumter, S.C.
Donald Trump talks about illegal immigrants driving across the U.S. border during a rally Wednesday in Sumter, S.C. The Associated Press

He’s sending a pointed message

Re “Trumpism is an existential threat to conservatism” (Viewpoints, Feb. 19): Voting with my middle finger has a far more personal significance than Michael Gerson’s glib column.

My disgust and disdain for those in the government began in 1968, when I was drafted, sent to Vietnam, forced to leave my wife for two years, forced to leave my job and college.

I returned home as an infantry platoon sergeant with a bag full of medals and was spat upon and called a “baby murderer” by many of my fellow Americans. I earned a college degree, raised my family and completed a successful working career and paid my taxes. I have been diagnosed with cancer attributable to Agent Orange, used to defoliate the jungles of Vietnam.

Since 1968, I have never voted for an incumbent, a career politician. And I’ve never voted for spending more money except for veterans. Gerson’s scorn for middle-finger voting misses the point.

Richard K. Thompson, Roseville

A lone rational GOP candidate

Re “Kasich celebrates survival among GOP governors” (Nation, Feb. 21): The South Carolina Republican primary results are extremely troubling.

Four of the remaining GOP candidates sound as if they are seeking to become the equivalent of Iran’s supreme leader. They spend more time pandering to evangelical Christians than identifying problems and offering solutions.

Is Donald Trump rational enough to be near the nuclear button? Sen. Ted Cruz’s positions are hard-right. Sen. Marco Rubio, for all of his promises to unite the party, is far from being a mainstream alternative. Dr. Ben Carson is going nowhere.

While I disagree with Ohio Gov. John Kasich on most issues, he is the lone Republican candidate whose temperament qualifies him for the Republican nomination. Let’s hope Republicans soon come to their senses.

Joseph Slabbinck, Citrus Heights

Liberal litmus tests for court

Re “How U.S. Senate candidates would handle nominee” (Capitol & California, Feb. 21): Republican Tom Del Beccaro’s litmus test is what you would expect from an intellectual view of a Supreme Court judge’s role. But the Democrats, Rep. Loretta Sanchez and state Attorney General Kamala Harris, have a litmus test that reflects their liberal ideology.

Both Democratic candidates would politicize the court. Supreme Court Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor never came close to answering the questions about the law that Robert Bork did. Yet the liberals wrecked this brilliant legal jurist’s nomination because of his views on abortion.

Paul Reid, Folsom

Don’t compromise student privacy

Re “Data release order in special education case triggers outcry” (Page 1A, Feb. 20): After reading the pending lawsuit between the state Department of Education and the Concerned Parents of Morgan Hill, I am incredulous and angry.

How does a group of parents not only get this far demanding Social Security numbers, addresses, grades and so forth, without being laughed out of the court? What entitles them to have my children’s personal information? They were offered pieces of information that they could have used to complete their analysis.

If the Department of Defense, Target and Blue Shield cannot keep our data safe, what makes this group think their encrypted files will be any safer? I would never have thought when signing my kids up for school, any little group could decide to take what they want and get away with it.

Ann Marie Hensley, Roseville

Wrong place for this sales tax

The legalization of marijuana, even for strictly medicinal purposes, leads to consequences that create serious concerns regarding public safety and environmental damage. There’s a strong case to be made for taxation of the product for the purpose of offsetting the costs ultimately borne by society.

But proposing a sales tax that places the revenue into the state’s general fund is foolish. Additional taxes levied against citizens of the state, especially those who are purchasing a product for expressly medical purposes, should be wholly set aside to target the negative effects from marijuana cultivation.

The general fund is frequently raided by state government that rejects the fiscally sane notion of spending less than it collects. Don’t replenish these poorly managed coffers.

Todd Kerrin, Sacramento

A high-speed boondoggle

Re “High-speed rail detour smart but tricky politically” (Opinion, Feb. 22): How could a high-speed train to Bakersfield from San Jose, or even San Francisco, ever have enough demand to pay its building and operating costs? Bakersfield is a gas stop on the way to Los Angeles. From the Bakersfield station, one would have to either rent a car or fly unless special buses were provided.

Given our current population growth, the train will never reduce auto or bus traffic to and from L.A. The majority of the riders will be elitist or business-supported – seldom would they be vacationers or families. European trains were built years ago, and our taxes are far less than European taxes.

The high-speed train is Gov. Brown’s multibillion-dollar boondoggle.

Ron W. Loutzenhiser, Galt

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