<b>The eyes of the poor</b>

EDITOR: I have a suggestion for cold-hearted budget cutters. Those who want to cut food stamps, shrink Medicare, freeze Social Security and roll back health care reform should be forced to go to the homes of the poor. These wealthy would-be lawmakers should appear on TV going through the refrigerators and purses and medicine cabinets of the poor, removing food, medications, money, perhaps picking up that extra sweater or pair of shoes. They can haul it all away in the trunks of their limousines, then deliver it to the lobbies of giant corporations or their rich campaign contributors who don't want to share in building the common good.

Instead of blank, featureless paper, these people who want power might learn some compassion by looking into the eyes of people whom they propose to impoverish further. It would make all the difference if they would get to know the people affected by their policies. I'll bet their hearts would soften when reality melted their beliefs and leave "give money to the rich to help the poor" in an icy puddle at their feet.


Fort Bragg

<b>Paper money failures</b>

EDITOR: I got a kick out of Ron Paris' letter ("Krugman vs. Rand," Thursday). I, too, was taken aback by Paul Krugman's column, especially the statement that Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" is a cult favorite among adolescent boys. Does anyone out there know an adolescent boy who even read that book without it being assigned by a teacher? I sometimes wonder if he's even serious with some of his off the wall statements.

Krugman ("Paul Ryan's Ayn Rand fantasy," Aug. 26) also said we've been on paper money since 1815, but for most of the 1800s, with the exception of the Civil War, that money was backed by gold or silver — and said so right on it. Back in the good old QE days of Fed "accommodation" (money printing), Krugman advocated for more Fed injections, to the tune of $5 trillion.

Krugman never met a free market he liked. Ninety percent of what I've heard him espouse just parrots the notions of John Maynard Keynes, who felt we could print our way to prosperity. As we are finding out here, in Japan and in Europe, money that is backed by nothing will ultimately yield nothing but market distortions and bubbles. The bubbles eventually pop.


Santa Rosa

<b>No endorsement</b>

EDITOR: Because I finished first among the Sonoma Valley candidates in the primary for 1st District supervisor, supporters of both John Sawyer and Susan Gorin have been lobbying me to endorse their candidates. I always said I would do whatever I thought was best for the Sonoma Valley. I decided what is best is that I be in the position to be able to work with, and make available my expertise about the valley to, whichever candidate wins. Therefore, I am making no endorsement.

My decision is also based on observing their campaigns and on their answers to extensive interviews I conducted with each regarding numerous Sonoma Valley issues, including land use, economic development, water, agriculture, the unfinished Highway 12 redevelopment project, the Sonoma Developmental Center, bicycle and bus transportation, roads, health care, building a community pool, locating a medical marijuana dispensary and accountability to taxpayers.

Gorin and Sawyer have different strengths and weaknesses. Both have significant learning curves. I think it's unfair to judge one more prepared to represent the Sonoma Valley than the other. I told both I believe that whoever does the better job of convincing Sonoma Valley residents we won't lose representation will win the election.



<b>Ron Paul supporters</b>

EDITOR: I know Ron Paul fans are disappointed with the results of the Republican convention, but they still have a choice. Gary Johnson is a past two-term governor of New Mexico. He's fiscally conservative, socially tolerant and has endorsed Paul in the past.

He will be the only presidential candidate on the ballot in all 50 states who doesn't want to bomb Iran or keep our troops in Afghanistan. He wouldn't have signed the Patriot Act or the National Defense Authorization Act, either. There's more on issues at garyjohnson2012.com.

And don't worry about "wasting" your vote. Presidents aren't elected by popular nationwide vote. They're elected by Electoral College votes. Barack Obama will win California without even trying. Once he gets 51 percent of the vote, he wins all the state's electoral votes.

Since Obama is sure to win California anyway, this is the perfect time to vote for someone other than the lesser of two evils. Keep Ron Paul's movement alive, and vote Gary Johnson.