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Trump’s budget

EDITOR: President Donald Trump’s proposal to increase the Pentagon’s budget by more than $50 billion at the expense of funding some of our nation’s most important diplomatic, foreign policy and national security tools is a travesty of morality and common sense and will only serve to make our country less safe.

Worldwide, millions of people will be placed in danger of famine. Americans, especially children, will suffer from hunger and even die as a result of this administration’s budget cuts. The devastating effects on our society cannot be calculated.

Trump’s diversion of our tax money to create a new generation of nuclear weapons instead of funding vital programs seems insane considering the real and immediate dangers facing us. This administration seems bent on causing the American people to suffer as well as losing the respect and confidence of the world.

CECILIA McGHEE

Bodega Bay

Rationing care

EDITOR: Daniel Cottrell cited “popular support for a single-payer system” to provide universal health care (“Single-payer California,” Letters, Sunday). I don’t oppose the single-payer system outright, but people supporting it need to realize something common to (and necessary for) all such systems: they don’t guarantee that you will receive the best possible treatment. If a new treatment, say a drug, is proven superior to existing treatment for a disease but is too expensive, the system says “no.” You have to be satisfied with the existing treatment.

Similarly, if there is no alternative to the expensive treatment (think liver transplant), the system decides the number of patients it can afford to treat in a given year and prioritizes the candidates. If you make the cut, you get treated. Otherwise, maybe next year.

The money the system saves by limiting these expensive treatments pays for the universal access to more routine treatments such as prenatal care and treatment of high blood pressure, pneumonia and such. This saves many more lives than are lost by not providing the expensive treatments to the few who need it. But hope you don’t draw the short straw.

L. ROBERT HILL

Santa Rosa

Getting past appearance

EDITOR: Wow, aren’t we lucky we have Michael McInerney to tell us who our next Democratic presidential candidate should be (“A rising star,” Letters, April 5)? She seems quite capable, with “a political trifecta” as he tells us: she’s intelligent, sincere and attractive.

Since when was appearance relevant to one’s political competence? If she were unattractive, by McInerney’s standards, would she be less qualified to run for the presidency? Heaven forbid we elect a homely woman to lead the country.

Thanks for reminding us that a woman’s looks are just as important as her mind, if not more so. I was hoping we’d be beyond that by 2017.

KELLY McLENNON

Santa Rosa

A housing policy

EDITOR: Our nation doesn’t have a national housing policy. Our national programs via the Federal Housing Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Housing and Urban Development Department housed millions of Americans after World War II. Our only national housing policy is the mortgage tax deduction, but if you are a renter, you don’t get the benefit of any housing assistance.

As a nation, there seems to be nothing in the making that would help renters. In fact, the dwindling Section 8 program is facing further cutbacks.

The city of Santa Rosa put together Measure C, a well-thought-out rent-stabilization ordinance. We are in the midst of a housing crisis. Not doing anything would be negligence.

Measure C allows for 3 percent annual increases, exempts single-family houses and provides for just-cause evictions. Families, seniors, disabled people and students could have housing stability. Major apartment owner organizations are fighting this local effort.

By voting yes on Measure C, we support our fellow citizens and keep Santa Rosa stable.

CLIO TARAZI

Santa Rosa

Assessing science

EDITOR: Tom Cooke wrote, among other things, that scientists agree that GMOs are harmless and can offset global starvation, etc. (“What science do we reject? It depends on the lens,” Close to Home, April 2). I challenge Cooke to do his homework. GMOs are reliant on a product called Roundup, the main ingredient in which is glyphosate.

Glyphosate has been outlawed in more progressive countries (such as France) because it may be cancer-causing and may have connections to brain damage in children. In fact, I recently heard that the state of California is requiring glyphosate to be labeled with a warning about cancer. So which scientist am I to believe? Cooke’s, Montsano’s or those in the world who know better?

CHARLENE STONE

Santa Rosa

Kinder, gentler United

EDITOR: In 1957, my father was trying to board a United Airlines flight from Bakersfield to San Francisco. He was told the flight was overbooked, and he had to wait for the next flight. He told them that he had a date to take his daughter to a father/daughter dance that evening, and he was not going to miss it. He said: “You will have to stop and arrest me because I am getting on that plane.”

As he walked across the tarmac, he saw a United employee being hustled off the plane, and he took his seat and made the dance. Apparently, United was “kinder and gentler” in those days, or maybe just realized the value of paying customers.

Oh, yes, my dad was white, of course.

COLLEEN SCHULTZ

Santa Rosa