Slippery slope

EDITOR: The anti-gun crowd made quite a fuss about our legislators voting down background checks, assault weapon bans, etc. In principle, these measures, by themselves, could be acceptable to the majority of gun owners, possibly even to the National Rifle Association.

The problem lies with the anti-gunners, those, including President Barack Obama, who will not be satisfied with less than elimination of all private ownership of guns, even for home defense.

Realizing they have no chance of accomplishing this with one bill, their aim is to keep chipping away a gun rights, a little bit at a time. If the above had passed, it wouldn't have been long before other bills had come up for vote, persisting until we suddenly woke up and found it illegal to own any firearm.

This was a stinging rebuke to the Obama administration's stated goals of gun control. It behooves all of us, regardless of political persuasion, to be vigilant about protecting our constitutional rights. Big government is in control now. We the people are the only ones powerful enough to keep it under control.



Key fact missing

EDITOR: I would have expected Brian Martin ("Lake County recall," Letters, Monday) to cite his own candidacy, as covered in The Press Democrat last month ("Controversial Lake County sheriff challenged," March 25), or at least end with, "and that's why I'm running against Frank Rivero for sheriff." Without the disclaimer his letter seems dishonest.


Hidden Valley Lake

Biomass and carbon

EDITOR: I read with interest Tuesday's Close to Home commentaries representing pro and con arguments for Sonoma Clean Power. I did note, however, that column by Hunter Stern ("Con: It's more expensive and emits more greenhouse gases") made a rather major error.

Stern said biomass "emits more polluting green house (sic) gases than coal." The fact is that biomass combustion, although it emits carbon dioxide or CO2, is carbon neutral because it does not, unlike fossil fuel combustion, increase the atmospheric CO2 concentration. This is because the carbon in biological material (wood chips and ag waste) has been recently in the atmosphere (think CO2 uptake by trees).

Coal, on the other hand, contains carbon that has been fixed in the earth's crust for millions of years and was removed from the carbon cycle. When it is burned, the CO2 increases the amount of carbon in the earth's carbon cycle, which stays either in the atmosphere or the ocean.

So his assertion that biomass combustion emits more greenhouse gases than coal is simply wrong. Biomass power is a valuable element of a renewable, low-carbon generation portfolio and is recognized as such by the state of California in its Bioenergy Action Plan.


Analyst, California Public Utilities Commission

Reverence lost

EDITOR: In reading recent newspaper accounts and other news media accounts of what has transpired at the abortion clinic in Pennsylvania at the hands of Dr. Kermit Gosnell and his staff, we are struck by the moral and ethical similarity of those actions and what occurred at the hands of Dr. Joseph Mengele in Nazi Germany and his experiments on men, women and children.

It would appear that we have reached the point in our postmodern culture that we are no longer outraged at the intentional murder of children. That this clinic could exist openly in any community in America over a period of many years is indeed mind-boggling and indicative of how far we have fallen and our reverence and respect for the value of human life.

Will the time arrive when it will be possible to "snip" a human being whose life we find to be unworthy or inconvenient?