Money corrupts

EDITOR: Sonoma State University Professor Joshua Glasgow demonstrates conclusively that money corrupts by refusing to discuss AIG in his ethics program ("Some topics too close to home for SSU ethics center," Jan. 17). As a result, his program is a sham and useless as a way to train students in ethical issues.

As the financial crisis developed, Wall Street encouraged the selling of toxic mortgages to unqualified home buyers. Those mortgages were then submitted to a rating agency. Based on that rating, AIG provided insurance to reassure investors that the mortgages were high quality when, in fact, they were junk. If AIG had done its homework, it would have refused to sell the insurance, and the whole scam would have come to a screeching halt. Instead, AIG pocketed a lot of insurance premium money and reassured the world that junk mortgages were first class.

This is an issue that students need to understand in an ethics class. For Glasgow to ignore it because his program depends on AIG financial contributions demonstrates conclusively that business donations corrupt absolutely. His failure to offer this case study assures us that the financial crisis that nearly collapsed the world economy will happen again.

It's amazing how cheaply people can be bought. Glasgow's price is only $16,000.



Stop the presses

EDITOR: Let's hope that old journalism instructors who have moved on to their "eternal reward" have no access to today's newspapers. I know for certain that my old high school teacher would be flipping in his grave if he got a glimpse of Wednesday's edition of The Press Democrat. With all the big stories to choose from, the article that won the prime front-page spot, with color picture and headline above the fold, was an announcement that Two-Buck Chuck has raised the price by 50 cents. Now there's the news we all need to know to start our day.


Santa Rosa

Enough paranoia

EDITOR: Haven't we heard enough from "law-abiding citizens," that oft-repeated false phrase, about paranoia and love of guns? It must be difficult living in this world without a gun in the house. We just witnessed another law-abiding citizen with a law-abiding son who killed 26 people, 20?of them children, in an elementary school.

The paranoia exhibited by the insecure gun lovers of America is becoming a joke. Our legislators allow the National Rifle Association to manipulate them through fear of not being elected if they set reasonable standards on military assault weapons and ammunition.

Hello, hunters. Does anyone need a semi-automatic rifle with a 30-cartridge clip to take down a raccoon?

I lived in Malaysia and New Zealand, countries with strict gun control, low homicide statistics and where it's safe to walk the streets without fear of being shot.

Isn't it time for Americans to grow up and move beyond their childish games of cops and robbers? To stop playing the absurd fear card, set an example for their families, and end demonizing of the government?


Santa Rosa

Banning bags

EDITOR: I don't know what the county is thinking about — certainly not about the health of its citizens. I can't imagine anything filthier than someone using their own bags for groceries. Where do we put them? Let's see: in our cars, on the floor, in the back of our trucks. Wait, this is where we put our dogs, cats, children, firewood, camping gear, etc. If you think folks wash their bags after every use, you're nuts. And if you think clerks have the time to sanitize their work areas, think again. I can't think of anything worse than allowing these in our grocery stores. This is the very reason I recycle my bags immediately.