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Sunday's Letters to the Editor

Distracted drivers

EDITOR: Drunken driving and texting while driving are similar crimes. Each involves a decision by the driver to ignore the law and the safety of everyone else. The first has penalties; the second, a mild tap on the wrist with a plastic ruler. Both are crimes, and the driver must be held responsible for the crime.

Several people have been killed or injured in Sonoma County by cellphone-distracted drivers with only mild punishment for the driver responsible, like the “oh, isn’t that too bad” response years ago for DUI accidents with mild punishments.

When a driver is distracted and imperiling others, whether it’s through use of texting, alcohol or drugs, the crime needs to be similarly punished: loss of license, prison time, restitution and loss of voting right.

SOPHIE BETH PETTIGREW

Santa Rosa

Garden party

EDITOR: I, too, am concerned our country is reaching a tipping point where frustrated, scapegoated and disenfranchised citizens push back at the authoritarian ruling class.

However, I couldn’t differ more with Randy Thomas (“Tipping point,” Letters, Tuesday) on who and what’s to blame. President Barack Obama has been hamstrung by conservatives who have worked tirelessly to ensure that little if anything gets done.

Time and again, he has offered to compromise (often against his own party’s base), and they have rebuffed him at every turn. Proposing conservative ideas such as the individual mandate and cap and trade, he has been filibustered and vilified. Meanwhile, far-right state legislatures have used their political capital shutting abortion clinics, expanding gun rights and disenfranchising minorities, the youth and the elderly with strict voter ID laws.


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