Letters for October 17, 2019
Trump’s risky decisions
Re “Forever marred by 45” (Editorial, Oct. 10):
Nothing is more dangerous to a nation and the world than a leader who is determined to exercise power, yet hasn’t the knowledge or the inclination to learn the job. President Trump began undermining the Iran agreement negotiated by President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, which had effectively stopped Iran’s nuclear program. U.S. allies had all been in accord with the agreement. Trump’s withdrawal caused a destabilization in the region, which has continued to the present. Iran’s attack on Saudi oil installations affects us all.
Trump’s abandonment of the Kurds in Syria is the direct result of a phone call from Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s right-wing leader. Most of Trump’s cabinet and former advisers opposed the abandonment of our Kurdish allies in the fight against ISIS.
It took eight long years for President Obama to restore Bush’s fractured economy, and to stabilize the Middle East after Bush’s senseless invasion of Iraq. When will we learn to elect leaders who have our nation’s welfare and the world’s stability at heart?
Don’t you love these Johnny-come-lately so-called leaders? It took Bernie Sanders four months to endorse Hillary Clinton after losing the 2016 Democratic Party primary to her, and only then after some severe arm-twisting by President Obama.
Fast-forward to July 25, 2019. The current occupant of the Oval Office did an Academy Award-winning impression of Bernie when he called former stand-up comedian Volodymyr Zelensky to supposedly congratulate him on being elected as president of Ukraine, three full months after the day Zelensky had been elected on April 21, 2019. This alibi came after Trump had admitted to arms for dirt on live TV that even his “poorly educated” supporters have to be scratching their heads over.
When Trump recently ordered U.S. ground troops to cut and run in Syria, stabbing our Kurdish allies in the back to appease his beloved strongmen dictator sidekicks, Bashar al-Assad, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin, he lowered the bar even by his standards.
How long will America tolerate this kind of intolerance?
Three on PG&E
Say you perform so atrociously in your job that your decisions cost billions and cause dozens of deaths. Your work bankrupts business, stiffing creditors and customers shamelessly. Would you be rewarded with paydays in the millions? Bonuses? Stock awards?
Of course not. But that’s how PG&E, a semi-public regulated monopoly, has been handled forever. This is not just about poor management at PG&E, either. A supine California Public Utilities Commission, the relevant “regulatory” agency, is also responsible. CPUC has ignored astonishing failings for decades. How far back was the Erin Brockovich scandal?
PG&E represents the enrichment of a small group of insiders at the expense of the poor, the powerless, and the public in general. PG&E’s executive salary chart includes multiple officers earning millions yearly. The CEO most responsible for the Camp Fire retired just before the bankruptcy with a severance package worth $2.5 million, atop millions in salary. This is wrong.
Dear PG&E, get your act together. This is no solution. It wreaks havoc for you to turn off power every time it gets windy. You need to bury your electric lines. You have marked many thousands of trees for destruction. How much will that cost? How much is it costing you for all of the lawsuits over your inept management?
Your equipment has caused at least 17 of the last 21 major fires. It would ultimately be much cheaper for you to just bury your lines. Make your executives go without their obscenely excessive bonuses, and quit paying dividends to your stockholders, until you do what you are actually supposed to be doing. Your job is to provide safe and reliable equipment, and to provide power to your customers. Do your job.
PG&E has gone too far! How dare they shut off millions of people’s lives, businesses, government and schools for some measly 40 mph winds. Is their equipment so bad it breaks under such silly conditions?
Gov. Gavin Newsom said it perfectly, “This is not a climate change story as much as a story about greed and mismanagement over the course of decades. Neglect, a desire to advance not public safety but profits.” PG&E is greedy and has been for the last 40 years. They waste millions on advertising, trying to make us think they are the good guys. Ha!
They spend millions on huge salaries and bonuses, yet do not keep the electricity on, because their equipment is ancient and decrepit. But I’m sure all their overpaid employees and rich stockholders can afford expensive generators, so they can live comfortably, while we suffer!
Re “More voting thoughts” (Letters, by Catherine Cottle, Oct. 10):
In the last issue of the CN&R, a letter writer mentioned the “over 200 million people in the U.S.” At roughly 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most overpopulated country after China and India. Of our 327 million, roughly 47 million are immigrants. In 2017, their children numbered 17.1 million, totaling 61.6 million U.S. immigrants. The U.S. has a greater immigrant count than any country, roughly 1 in 5 residents.
Environmentalism’s purpose is sustainability—systems in equilibrium. There is no sustainability with increasing population. The main cause of overpopulation is unfettered immigration. Pew Research examined U.S. immigration trends: “If no immigrants had entered the country after 1965, when the U.S. population numbered 193 million, the nation’s population still would have grown—to 252 million people by 2015.” Better than 327 million. Each nation is responsible for its population.
Gaylord Nelson, father of Earth Day, stated that “it’s phony to say, ‘I’m for the environment but not for limiting immigration.’”
How many words?
Re “CN&R grab bag” (Second & Flume, by Melissa Daugherty, Oct. 3):
I’m one of those. This letter of confession speaks to memory loss that led me to forget CN&R’s annual warning about its Fiction 59 contest. The caution cites that past entries have been disqualified because they were not exactly 59 words. I awoke late at night suddenly realizing my three entries were exactly 56 each. There, that’s 59 words.
Hong Kong matters
What happens in Hong Kong now can be a big factor in what it’s like on planet Earth 50 years from now. Almost impossible to speak out in China, but those brave people are the only open voice in China for democracy, and what happens in China may decide what happens to all of us.
One example is coal. China is the largest burner and producer of coal and has by far the fastest-growing economy. Huge amounts of coal all across northern China. Just the unstoppable coal mine fires alone burn 400 million pounds a year. The current Chinese government doesn’t care about pollution, only military and economic growth.
China can’t help but grow into the bull in a China shop. Critical that this bull’s eyes grow faster than its body. The people in Hong Kong carry the Olympic Torch for democracy and perhaps all our futures. We should love and support them.