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Corporate rights

EDITOR: Almost weekly, letters, opinions or references are printed in The Press Democrat and other local media about the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that, some conclude, made corporations equal to citizens. Progressives are particularly riled up about this. As a conservative-leaning person, I do agree that corporations are not people, but they deserve a say nonetheless.

Corporations face countless rules and regulations imposed on them by government agencies or departments including the Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Trade Commission, the Interstate Commerce Commission, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Federal Communications Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Securities and Exchange Commission, just to name a few.

Corporations are affected by so much originating in Washington, they absolutely should have a voice in shaping the conversation. Victims need not simply be the human props standing behind the president when he reads a speech. Our businesses have become victims of a government out of control, and they are paying the price for it in the world market. Balanced perspective is essential for fairness.

GREGORY COX

Sonoma

Police and force

EDITOR: We, as a society, must learn from the tragic death of Andy Lopez. We must grow, evolve and improve our society. We must do so to live up to our original national goals — “ to establish justice” and “to insure domestic tranquility.” We must do so to maintain our dignity.

I propose that the following changes be made by appropriate and timely actions of elected representatives:

The manufacture and/or importation of toy weapons should be prohibited.

Veterans of foreign military combat should not be employed as peace officers.

Weapons issued to peace officers should be limited to single-shot weapons.

Peace officers should be required to keep their weapons in locked compartments — locked vehicle trunks or locked holsters, for example.

To allow this tragedy to pass without taking legislative action is not tolerable.

JIM PASSAGE

Sebastopol

Rental crisis

EDITOR: My family has been looking for a home to rent in Santa Rosa/Sebastopol for six weeks now. We are hardworking, upstanding businesswomen in Sonoma County for 20 years.

Greedy landlords are jumping on this rental shortage and gouging people for substandard housing. We have looked at countless places that are run down, small and dirty for more than $2,000 a month. Rental companies are allowing this brazen overcharging, knowing that the property is not worth that.

Someone needs to take a serious look at what is going on in Sonoma County. We left Aspen, Colo., 20 years ago for this same reason. I am all for progress and bringing more visitors into the area, but there needs to be some kind of sustainable development for people who live and work in Sonoma County.

The whole process of applying for a rental is demeaning as well. I am 62 years old and tired of being treated like a deadbeat, party monster, drug addict, swindler who is going to trash a rental. The cattle calls for viewing are something no one should have to go through.

What can we do to change this?

CONDRA EASLEY

Sebastopol

Sutter’s colors

EDITOR: Oh my, just when I was thinking how apropos were the colors of Sutter’s new campus, along came the Kate Titus Taylor’s letter (“Strange colors,” Monday). How could I be so wrong in believing terra cotta (I won’t even get into the “pig” color), rust and brown blend in so well with the natural colors of Sonoma County landscape — certainly as well as the “tawny yellow, sage green and sky blue of Kaiser Permanente,” which she mentioned as a kinder, gentler and far more soothing, appealing approach.

I’m not sure if Titus Taylor’s upset is due to Sutter’s colors, or if her chagrin may also be due to Sutter’s “bestowal of traffic, noise and a soreness of the eye to this semi-rural neighborhood.”

Now if you want to talk about soreness of eye, why not discuss Wells Fargo Center’s neon-bright advertising board — also located in this “semi-rural neighborhood.”

BARBARA COGBILL

Windsor

Hamas’ war

EDITOR: Thank you for printing Thomas Friedman’s Thursday column (“The struggle between order and disorder”). I agree that peace requires removing Hamas and all jihadists from Gaza.

Hamas’ unrelenting hostilities create untold suffering for Palestinians and Israelis alike. Palestinian deaths in Gaza are a direct consequence of Hamas firing more than 10,000 missiles and 5,000 mortars at Israeli civilian sites and storing its weapons in Palestinians’ homes, schools and places of worship.

Hamas’ stranglehold over Gazans includes, according to recent reports, stealing Palestinians’ wealth (as well as turning U.S., U.N. and EU donations into munitions).

Hamas’ continuing barrages not only kills Israeli civilians (65 since 2001) but also create widespread psychological trauma. Medical studies conducted in the Israeli city closest to the Gaza Strip document that 50 percent of its young children suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

A March 2013 poll found that most Palestinians do not support Hamas’ firing rocket barrages at Israel.

End Hamas’ war. The Palestinian people deserves better leadership than jihadists.

ELI COHEN

Santa Rosa

Lopez decision

EDITOR: Wow, our district attorney is so clever she waited with her surprise announcement not to prosecute the deputy in the Andy Lopez case past the deadline for the grand jury to review her decision. Do we want this clever person as our district attorney another four years?

WEEDY TUHTANJOSEPH

Sebastopol