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<b>A paid vacation</b>

EDITOR: So all those "nonessential" federal employees were given a couple weeks off during the phony government shutdown. They come back and get full pay. Why? Was there nothing they could have done in the background?

If they were office workers, could they not have purged old files, updated desk manuals and flow charts, caught up on backlogs of work, revised forms, etc? If they were grounds workers, could they not have spruced up the place, especially back East in anticipation of winter storms? Maintenance workers should have checked out equipment. The list goes on and on.

I would love to know what the taxpayer cost was to give them all a free vacation. What a farce our government has become, or maybe it always was. I love the United States, but I question our leaders' intelligence and the silly ways they spend our money.

JILL JOHNS

Santa Rosa

<b>A liberal double-standard</b>

EDITOR: Article 1 of the Constitution grants legislative power entirely to Congress. However, the president unilaterally changed Obamacare five times since the law was passed, including a yearlong suspension of the employer mandate. Where's the outrage voiced by liberals?

What constitutional principle is the president using as the basis for unilaterally amending the law? Yet when the House used the correct constitutional procedure to amend the individual mandate of Obamacare, the liberals portrayed it as gun-to-the head hostage-taking, sabotage of the rule of settled law.

Why is tying an amendment to a spending bill (spending bills must originate in the House) an outrage, while unilateral amendments made by the president perfectly fine?

I submit that if a conservative president chose to unilaterally amend or selectively enforce portions of Obamacare, liberals all over the world would immediately flop to the floor, lay on their backs and wet themselves.

KIRK A. MOELLER

Guerneville

<b>Beer and gender</b>

EDITOR: This might seem like a small point, I'm sure, but it's important. In Sunday's Bite Club column, Heather Irwin said that (the underrated and not very sports-oriented) Heritage Public House is really for "the dudes" and suggests her readers, assumed as female, would have more "alone time" by sitting this one out. Really?

This might be a great opportunity to mention there are numerous industry-leading female brewers, brewery owners, master cicerones and critics now in craft beer. The typical beer festival-goer or craft brewery patron is increasingly likely to be female as male. Great strides have been made by groups supporting gender equality in beer and correcting old-fashioned negative gender stereotypes. Why ignore these efforts?

JOSEPH TUCKER

Executive director, Ratebeer.com

<b>Iran and the GOP</b>

EDITOR: Al Mansoor ("Crisis in Washington," Letters, Oct. 14) is accurate in exhorting Americans to wake up. But, as he admits, he did make a small mistake. We should all awaken from our stupor and recognize that when Barack Hussein Obama finds that the president of Iran is more rational and open to negotiations than the House of Representatives, something is definitely awry.

DAN NOVAK

Santa Rosa

<b>Who is brainwashed?</b>

EDITOR: I find myself thoroughly offended by the letter written by Patrick Nagel ("Propaganda victims," Friday) in which he "takes pity on all those who spew hatred toward Obama, for they are brainwashed manipulated victims of propaganda."

While I don't spew hatred toward Obama, I do greatly dislike all that he stands for. I don't believe he is a good man. Further, I don't believe I speak only from a "small minority" as Nagel assumes.

A final question: Could it possibly be that the Nagels of this country are themselves brainwashed, manipulated victims of propaganda?

BARBARA COGBILL

Windsor