Letters for Aug. 1, 2019

Re: “California’s new wildfire plan” by Julie Cart (News, July 18):

“The law now flips the burden of proof to advocates and victims groups to show that a utility acted unreasonably.” Unbelievable. Once again, deep-pocketed organizations win and regular people lose.

Victims of wildfires are already having to pick up the pieces from their broken lives, already a massive financial burden. Now, if utilities act negligently, victims have to incur the added, and likely even larger, financial burden of proving utility culpability. The likely outcome (which I suspect is exactly what the utilities want) is that victims will be forced to give up holding utilities accountable for their actions and abandon their properties (allowing predatory realtors and lenders to resell the land), particularly when you consider that these laughably small “victim funds” are likely to be depleted long before most victims are able to receive any compensation.

The bottom line: score one for utilities, while victims get screwed.

Jeff Doll

Elk Grove / via email

Mouthpiece for progressives

Re: “Vilifying different views” by Ted Ternes (Letters, July 18):

You express wishful thinking. The non-mainstream press used to pride itself on its willingness to question everything, which appealed to independent thinkers. SN&R used to be like that. Now it has simply morphed into the mouthpiece for the progressives, who are very different from independent-minded people.

Now, you are no longer allowed to question any of their orthodoxy without being a pick-your-cause denier, a racist or just plain stupid—and that assumes they will even allow your comment to be printed. They have become the exact type of people they used to demonize for trying to prosecute thought crimes. I would love for them to support independent thought again, but sadly, like the ACLU, they are now only for supporting progressive thought, not free or independent thought. I challenge SN&R to go back to balanced journalism. Explore both sides of an issue; two great ones would be illegal immigration and climate change.

Bill Bixby

Sacramento / via email

Getting through life

Re: “Vilifying different views” by Ted Ternes (Letters, July 18):

I don’t know anything about vilifying different views. We have garbage that we filter through to understand what we see. Underneath the garbage it’s just us trying to get through life. When we get old and die it becomes obvious. The things we thought that mattered don’t matter anymore. Do we see ourselves in others? Sacrificing ourselves for others is a hard thing to do.

Rich Davis

Citrus Heights / via email

Bad advice

Re: “We can’t all be happy” by Joey Garcia (Ask Joey, July 18):

Ask Joey recently advised a reader that it was “not too late” to become who she might have been, offering this wisdom as a quote from Mary Ann Evans, who she said wrote under the pen name George Sand.

In fact, Evans wrote as George Eliot. Further, Elliot very much thought that it could be too late. Her books explore how we accept how our lives turn out, rather than suggest that we might, late in the day, change our fates. It’s very American to ignore the evidence and insist that we might all be suddenly happier through sheer determination. But it’s better advice to read closely, love accuracy and learn how to love and slowly improve the imperfect lives we have.

Craig Segall

Sacramento / via email