Letters for October 31, 2019
County’s right call
Re “County forgoes bridge rebuild” (Downstroke, Oct. 24):
I was happy to see the article noting that the Board of Supervisors declined the rebuild of the Honey Run Bridge with county funds in favor of more pressing issues in support of Paradise.
From my point of view, as sad as the utter destruction of the bridge was, it cannot be rebuilt as a historic bridge. It is, unfortunately, gone.
The money that I understand has been raised to rebuild it would be better spent on Paradise institutions in need of support. The library, the museums, schools and park structures all need help. Perhaps a modest monument in memory of Honey Run Bridge, in the small park supported by the Honey Run Covered Bridge Association—and perhaps dedicated to the victims of the Camp Fire—would also be good.
Every person and community grieves in their own way for loss, but let’s not try to create “old.”
Re “Sorry, Mitt Romney” (Second & Flume, by Melissa Daugherty, Oct. 24):
Are we now in the place where we should apologize to Mitt Romney, who made his money picking the bones of companies he raided, because he can admit to misgivings about the most corrupt president in our history?
The policies toward women’s reproductive rights that Romney could have only quietly wished for are now quickly being enacted by Trump’s pick for vice president. (Soon to be president?!)
Republicans are saying the new normal is our president blackmailing the president of Ukraine, withholding congressional-allocated taxpayer money until he manufactures “dirt” on a Trump political opponent.
If Mitt Romney is the Republican with integrity, we are in big trouble. If you want integrity, look no further than Elijah Cummings, and please don’t apologize to any Republican for impugning theirs.
Not exactly free passes
Re “Law enforcement’s deadly free pass must end” (Guest comment, by Ronald Angle, Oct. 24):
Mr. Angle believes that like surgeons, cops need more training. Wikipedia reports cops have killed 118 people so far this year. Medical error kills over 200,000 per year.
His examples of cops killing with a “free pass” are Texas officers Amber Guyger and Aaron Dean. Officer Guyger was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Officer Dean has been fired and awaits trial for murder. No “free pass.”
He scoffs at how “dangerous” a cop’s job is. Perhaps he should tell that to the widow of El Dorado County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Ishmael, who, the day before Angle’s comments were published, responded to theft at a private marijuana garden and was gunned down before he got out of his patrol car.
Mr. Angle states that all one must do is “peruse the daily headlines” for the facts. Well, before national backlash, the The Washington Post’s headline on the killing of the leader of the terrorist group ISIS read: “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, austere religious scholar at helm of Islamic State, dies at 48.”
Mr. Angle is entitled to a biased opinion. But news is supposed to be neutral and factual. Trouble is, we can’t tell the difference anymore. And neither can journalists.
Editor’s note: The Washington Post and other organizations track the number of people shot and killed by American law enforcement. The count thus far for 2019: 753 deaths. In 2018, 992 people were shot and killed by law enforcement.
‘Congratulations to Trump’
Re “Trump’s risky decisions” (Letters, by Robert Woods, Oct. 17):
President Obama most definitely did not stabilize the Middle East. He made it worse. Hillary Clinton, as secretary of state, was Obama’s Dick Cheney.
Only 2,000 Syrians had died when Obama carelessly said Bashar al-Assad must go. And then, egged on by Hillary, National Security Adviser Susan Rice and U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power, Obama proceeded to attempt a regime change by funding/arming dissidents and instigating a civil war that left 500,000 dead, many more maimed, cities in rubble and created 6 million refugees, many of whom flooded to other countries, including Europe, which probably was the tipping point for Brexit.
John Kerry, Obama’s second-term secretary of state, was recorded in a leaked audio saying the administration was watching ISIS grow, and that it might be useful against Assad. Useful?!
While using not knowledge but his gut instinct that forever war is worthless, Trump has tried mightily to stand up to the foreign policy establishment and the military industrial complex. Obama caved.
Libya, too, was Obama’s disaster. Congratulations to Trump for trying to “bring the troops home.”
Democrats live in la-la land if they refuse to acknowledge the very militarized foreign policy supported by most Democrats.
Re “Where are the tax haters?” (Editorial, Oct. 17):
Speaking of tax increases: “The dollar’s buying power is less than what it was 20 years ago, meaning what you earn doesn’t stretch as far as it once did. Government statistics show that while household income has been steadily increasing, it has failed to keep up with the pace of inflation.” —Investopedia
For the hours we work, we are rewarded less buying power, and yet politicians of all parties never slow in their efforts to take more of your earnings. Do they know better than you how to spend what you’ve earned?
Stunned by LaMalfa
Imagine how stunned my wife and I were to see our own congressman, Doug LaMalfa, among the band of Republican congressmen (yes, men and all white) storming a secure room in the Capitol basement. And then to learn those same congressmen had met with Trump some hours earlier.
This disgusting, and potentially illegal, act—have you read Trey Gowdey’s comments about closed-door hearings in the Bengazi testimony?—was obviously masterminded to distract attention away from the testimony of valued and lifelong civil servants.
Editor’s note: For more on this subject, see Editorial, page 4.
It’s the responsibility of the jurors in Donald Trump’s almost certain impeachment trial to determine the facts from the evidence, to follow the law and to reach a verdict based upon the evidence.
Vulnerable Republican senators—like Colorado’s Cory Gardner, Arizona’s Martha McSally, Maine’s Susan Collins, and North Carolina’s Thom Tillis—could be taking on this dreadful task in the election year coming in 2020. They all have to be squirming in their seats wondering how they can absolve their dear leader Trump of fault for allegedly trying to trade $391 million worth of javelin missiles to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky in return for dirt on Joe Biden—military equipment bought and paid for by the American taxpayer and authorized by Congress.
These same Republican senators swore to support and defend the Constitution of the USA against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
Gardner is already trailing by 15 percent in the polls. Imagine trying to defend your seat under circumstances so unfavorable.
The fans at the Washington Nationals World Series game gave Trump a firsthand look at how the vast majority of the American people really feel about him, with boos and chants of “lock him up.” Good luck, aforementioned so-called senators.
Torch for democracy
What happens in Hong Kong now could be a big factor in what life is like 50 years from now. One example is coal. China is the largest producer and burner of coal. Huge amounts of coal stretch 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 nearly as much as military and economic growth. The people of Hong Kong are carrying an Olympic Torch for democracy and perhaps all our futures. We should love and support them.