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Losing our way

EDITOR: I may be naive, but I was taught that the president and Congress were elected to do what is right, fair and for the good of the American people. Obviously, I was wrong, as the last number of important decisions have been what is good for the president and Congress, not what is right, fair or beneficial to the rest of the country.

First, the “replace and repeal” of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. Eliminating 30 million people from any health care isn’t a problem for the Republicans in Congress, as they will still have their health care paid for by us.

Second, the “tax reform” plan being floated by our esteemed Republican members of Congress, which will reduce the taxes on the top 1 percent and corporations on the backs of those in the lowest brackets.

And finally, probably one of the most cowardly of all is the president and members of Congress refusing to discuss gun control, with the lame excuse “this isn’t the time to talk about this” after the horrendous carnage in Las Vegas. Really, when is it the time to talk about this?

When did we lose our way? How will we get it back? What a mess we have gotten ourselves into.

MARYL LINDAHL

Windsor

Parks vs. traffic

EDITOR: Judging from his letter, it is evident that William Potter (“Highway 12 traffic,” Friday) needs to spend more time outside in beautiful Spring Lake and Annandel parks to get his priorities straight. Sure, less traffic would be nice, but it is no reason to destroy one of Sonoma County’s nicest parks.

DANIEL MILLS-THYSEN

Sebastopol

Hurricane relief

EDITOR: I, for one, am puzzled that after only 10 months in office in which to learn U.S. geography, President Donald Trump has just claimed that Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are located in the Atlantic Ocean — “It’s a big ocean, it’s a very big ocean.” Perhaps with a few more months of study, he could learn that they are actually in the Caribbean Sea, but that may be too much of a distinction for him to absorb.

In any event, as commander-in-chief, he should have learned by now that our Navy has yuuuuge ships and the Air Force has yuuuuge cargo planes, both of which are capable of taking large amounts of supplies over “very big” bodies of water in relatively short periods of time.

Why hasn’t he ordered them to do so? Could it be because these American citizens speak Spanish? Could it be that even though they have representatives in Congress they can’t vote for president? Could it be that, unlike Florida and Texas, which received help so quickly, these Americans vote heavily Democratic?

Or is it just that he is so terribly worried about the much more serious problem of some football players kneeling before they participate in a privately owned, for-profit business?

PATRICIA F. CLOTHIER

Santa Rosa

Footing the bills

EDITOR: What a disgrace that victims of the Las Vegas shootings have to use Go Fund Me to help pay for their medical bills. The National Rifle Association and those in the government who refuse to make any changes to gun laws should be footing the bills.

FRAN LEVY

Monte Rio

Listen to the audience

EDITOR: I was surprised and more than a little put off by the dismissive, almost snarky, letter from the Santa Rosa Symphony president (“Symphony programs,” Tuesday). His defensiveness could not mask how he glided over some of the valid points made in another letter (“Playing the masters,” Sept. 23).

In fact, one part of his cursory response actually confirmed what the writer had questioned about symphony programming: “the orchestra presented a separate chamber orchestra concert series from 2003 to 2014.” So, it turns out that for the past three years there have not been such performances; the kind he claims indicate a repertoire not so clearly dominated by later classical French and Russian composers.

It’s news to me that the “vocation” of the orchestra is to play the “larger orchestra repertoire” Consistent with his tone throughout, the president avoids actually saying what he means. Why not say it clearly, Mr. President, “If we’re going to pay all the musicians, we’re going to make certain we get our money’s worth.”

I think a better course would be to listen, rather than reflexively dismiss genuine concerns from the paying audience members.

DEAN DIZIKES

Petaluma

Guns and suicide

EDITOR: I want to remind everyone that 3.5 of 10 gun deaths are attributed to homicides. Our overwhelmingly underreported problem is the 6.1 of 10 gun deaths that are suicides.

It seems that all of the usually proposed methods to reduce homicide deaths would have been ineffective with the Las Vegas killer. Stephen Paddock had no criminal record, even less a violent past.

The elephant in the living room is that each and every one of us is a potential murderer and suicide victim, given the right circumstances. Making it more difficult for anyone to purchase a firearm is — I’m afraid to admit — the only truly effective way to substantially lessen the occurrence of either.

CHRISTOPHER SORK

Santa Rosa