Letters from readers, November 9, 2019

Heartsick in the AV

It’s illegal to shout “Fire” in a crowded theater’ comes to mind as we hear “Fire” non-stop in California.

Heartsick in A.V. where, so far, we’re safe on the desert floor. Surprisingly we have clear air, but we aren’t immune. In 2010 our Lancaster home was covered in ash, friends in west Palmdale evacuated.

In 2017 friends lost homes to fire; one by Santa Rosa, one in Ventura. In 2018 my sister-in-law, widowed a year, lost her home in the Camp Fire that destroyed Paradise.

Power outages as prevention... She’s had many, 24-48 hrs. each, no lights, fridge, heat.

Weather... High winds happen. Years-long drought happened. During it focus could have been placed on several things besides ‘transportation’ and ‘save-everything.’ Clearing dry vegetation, dead trees; water options such as cisterns, desalination plants; road access for fire trucks; strong maintenance of power lines, structures.

Years of neglect have caught up with ‘powers that be’ who are elected, appointed, hired to make difficult, unpopular decisions for public safety. I get, somewhat, P, G & E being proactive (defensive) now, proverbial ‘closing the barn door after the horse got out.’ Too little too late. No rewind button.

Power companies and the state should combine efforts, resources to provide generators for those living with long blackouts, clear fire-prone areas (nature is doing that), ensure power lines, structures are reinforced or replaced vs. cutbacks ‘for budget.’

A month after the historic deadly Paradise fire P, G & E execs were given raises, Christmas bonuses, a party. The state continues raising taxes with promise to ‘improve infrastructure.’ Many roads, highways are in disrepair, dangerous or simply embarrassing.

I’m no expert, just a Californian with an opinion, heartsick for family, friends, strangers enduring the unthinkable, again, in ‘fire season.’

Alice Cornell


Read it

It takes a lot of nerve for President Trump, the national Republican Party, and the national conservative news media to constantly accuse Democrats of having conspiracies against Trump when the actual truth of the matter is that there is a real secret conspiracy of very wealthy individuals (led by the Kochs), a large part of the national Republican Party, a big part of the national conservative news media, and many conservative think-tanks (which are really right-wing propaganda mills/factories), and many other organizations to one day abolish all of the federal government social programs that help the lower and middle classes and to establish a “Survival-of-the-Fittest” Social Darwinism in the USA.  

Their ultimate goal and dream is to abolish programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, college student loans and unemployment insurance benefits. But the program which these extreme conservatives hate the most and most want to abolish is Social Security.

The well-acclaimed book which does an excellent job of detailing all of the parts of this secret right-wing conspiracy was written by Jane Mayer. Its title is “Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right.” This book was selected by The New York Times as one of the 10 best books of 2016.  

It won the national Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism in 2017. Jane Mayer has also either won or been a finalist for at least 12 awards and prizes in Journalism. To my knowledge, no one has ever been able to successfully refute anything that is in her book.

Every American should read it and then come to their own conclusions.

Stewart B. Epstein

Rochester, New York

How did it happen?

It’s obvious that the Christian right continues to support our current president because he so closely resembles that arrogant, ambiguous and often downright mean Old Testament God that they worship.

If “God” truly opposes the proud, how did he miss this guy?

Ken Pyle


An excuse

I have an excuse for all the things that have gone wrong in my life — and all you people should be ashamed. Ashamed.

Jim Brock


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