Wednesday's Letters to the Editor
Published: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 at 1:02 p.m.
Ban assault weapons
EDITOR: Unbelievable! Yet another massacre of innocent, helpless people in our country. The U.S. has the weakest gun laws of all developed nations. A stunned and devastated public again looks to our leaders for solutions. While both candidates for president offer sympathy for the victims, they again offer no response to the issue at hand — the implementation of stricter gun control laws. When will our leaders cease doing the bidding of the gun lobby and create and enact bills to protect those people they represent?
Here is a list of the weapons and ammunition purchased and used by the current mass killer: one AR-15 assault rifle, one Remington 12-gauge shot gun and two 40-caliber Glock handguns. We also have the 6,000 rounds of ammunition purchased over the Internet. The only purpose for these weapons is to kill humans.
An average of 100,000 people in the U.S. are shot yearly, with an average of 30,000 dying. With direct and indirect medical, legal and societal costs, about $100 billion is spent. No one is safe in our country from gun violence. Sympathy alone will not stop the carnage. The first step is to demand the end of the sales of assault weapons.
A hidden tax
EDITOR: It's hard to get excited about the London InterBank Offered Rate (LIBOR) scandal. After all, the Federal Reserve rigs interest rates all the time. Quantitative easing any one?
Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, has introduced a bill to audit the Fed. While the wheel is still in spin for HR 459, his prior attempt to audit the gold reserves in Fort Knox, HR 1495, went nowhere. Sounds like Paul smells a rat.
When President Richard Nixon severed all ties to a gold standard in 1971, monetary policy became the exclusive domain of the Fed. Maybe I can do a back-of-the-envelope audit of the Fed. In 1971, an ounce of gold traded for $35 as opposed to $1,575 today. The purchasing power of a dollar from 1971 has declined by 80 percent. This really amounts to a hidden tax on savers.
Whining and driving
EDITOR: Regarding the Thursday article headlined “Parking kiosks panned,” I am quite fed up with the lazy, selfish, entitled attitude some people are displaying. How hard is it to walk an extra few yards? If kiosks save the city money, in the current economic climate that should be the overriding consideration. And they don't require credit cards; a debit card works, too. Or you could carry some quarters in your car, just as you would for traditional meters.
And don't get me started on the Cotati roundabout flap. These have been proven for decades in Europe and elsewhere to relieve traffic congestion. I cannot believe that anyone who has actually used a roundabout at a major intersection would be opposed.
So, Sonoma County drivers, quit your whining and get behind programs that make sense.
Too much government
EDITOR: The corporate titans at Target likely desire that their employees work 10-hour days for free. Their compassionate employees simply want to be paid $500 per day to stay home and monitor the health and safety of their children (and aging parents). Yet neither gets their way. Both sides voluntarily compromise, showing how the free market fosters peaceful cooperation.
In contrast, the political process yields nightmarish results enforced at gunpoint. On July 17, The Press Democrat reported that CalPERS had achieved only a 1 percent return on its investments last year while guaranteeing a 7.5 percent return to state employees' retirement plans. The $15 million shortfall will be collected at gunpoint from taxpayers.
While the Board of Supervisors dithers and loses $30,000 per month in the operation of the county dump (“Waste logjam costs $30,000 a month,” July 8), taxpayers are being forced at gunpoint to make up the difference.
There seems to be no end to these nightmares. In contrast, Target and its employees can reach a reasonable compromise because each bears the financial consequences of their choices. Politicians never do and thus will only attempt to make financial decisions with favorable political consequences. Better government will only come when we have less of it, much less.
JAMES R. OGLESBY
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