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Earning it

EDITOR: Thanks to Lowell Cohn for his column praising the Oakland Athletics ("With power, pitching, drama, storybook A's bring excitement back to Coliseum," Thursday).

I grew up a San Francisco Giants fan in the 1960s, but I've been an A's fan ever since they won the World Series three times in a row, and I've never regretted it. I confess to being a true believer in Billyball. As they say in the movie "Moneyball," the A's are like the island of misfit toys, and I love how they overachieve.

Anyone with money can buy a good team, but the A's do it the old-fashioned way. They earn it.

TOM CORY

Santa Rosa

Fourth of July concert

EDITOR: Here's a big thank you to the Sebastopol Community Band for the wonderful Fourth of July concert in Ives Park. What a pleasure to celebrate our country's birthday with our neighbor's in such a beautiful way.

KATHY TAYLOR

Sebastopol

Ride on the left

EDITOR: The frequency of bicyclists being hit by cars from behind in Sonoma County and elsewhere throughout the country is pointing out the fallacy of the conventional wisdom that bicyclists should ride on the right side of high-speed roads. An increasing number of bicyclists and bicycle clubs across America now recommend riding on the left side of higher-speed roads, giving riders the chance to take evasive action if a vehicle swerves into their path.

When the speed limit is 20 mph to 30 mph, cyclists' speeds are comparable to vehicles and should therefore ride on the right. But in fast-lane traffic, when bicycle speeds are more comparable to pedestrians' walking speeds, cyclists should do as pedestrians do and ride on the left.

I myself have had the experience of a car coming at me at 40 mph on Napa Road, and I was glad I was on the left side and could dive with my bike into a roadside ditch to avoid a vehicle collision.

PETER SCHROEDER

Sonoma

Roberts and Obamacare

EDITOR: Some great nations, imperial Japan for example, die with a bang. Others, like the Soviet Union, die with a whimper. The United States may be the first to disappear simply from going insane.

Conservatives went berserk when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Obamacare. Chief Justice John Roberts was right; the Constitution puts the people in charge. Nothing in the Constitution requires the Supreme Court to correct matters when the people go mad. Clearly, electing someone with no greater qualifications than Barack Obama to president, armed with thousands of nuclear weapons, was an act of madness.

Obama became an Illinois senator when his opponents miraculously faded away while gathering qualifying signatures. As a state senator, he mainly continued his work as neighborhood organizer and often voted "present." As a U.S. senator, he spent his time running for president.

We haven't seen his college records, an old girlfriend or even a friend. His background is secret. He is our first Affirmative Action president — insanely elected based on nothing.

Roberts was right. We have until November to regain our sanity and kill Obamacare.

RANDY RIDGEL

Kelseyville

Gift of health care

EDITOR: On June 28, the U.S. Supreme Court gave us all a gift. A gift for the 6 million-plus young adults who can stay on their parents' insurance until they are 26, to the young children with pre-existing conditions who can no longer be denied coverage. For those who are deathly ill, there will be no cap on coverage, and those companies can't throw them off their insurance. A gift to the senior citizens who will receive up to $600 to help cover the Medicare "donut hole."

The real leader of the Republicans, Rush Limbaugh, says House Speaker John Boehner told him there would be no "repeal and replace," just repeal. Mitt Romney says no insurance for those with pre-existing conditions. There was video of Republicans shrieking with joy when they thought the law had been struck down — joyful over what exactly? People dying because they have no health insurance?

This November, we have a choice. Re-elect Barack Obama and progressive Democrats who will move this country into the future where everyone has a chance. Or elect Romney and the regressive Republicans who only champion the 1 percent and don't care about the rest.

TESSA KRAFT

Healdsburg