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Diatribes and innuendos

EDITOR: The old adage “ignorance is bliss” crossed my mind as I read Michael George’s truly blissful letter (“A refreshing start,” Wednesday). In his opinion, readers who condemn Donald Trump on this page with “the usual unfounded diatribes of name-calling and false innuendos” are stoners and drunks. Since I’m neither, here’s the truth and the facts.

Professional fact-checkers on both sides of the Atlantic have made mincemeat out of Donald Trump’s bigly number of unfounded diatribes, both via his forked tongue and his tiny thumbs. The latest example: Trump blatantly took credit for the commercial airline industry’s safety record for 2017. Paging Snopes.com.

Name-calling? Well, that brings up another old saying: “The pot calling the kettle black.” Who has been the world’s blackest, most disrespectful pot-bellied stove of 2016 and 2017? And Trump’s insults are frequently aimed at women: “fat,” “pig,” “dog,” “slob,” “disgusting animal.”

False innuendos? Trump wins that one hands-down too (again, at the expense of women). Remember: “Blood coming out of her wherever,” “She would do anything for campaign contributions” and my favorite example: “This is somebody who likes to eat.” Bada bing!

To so blindly defend a national disgrace and international embarrassment like Trump verges on an ignorance so profound that I dare not speak its name.



Parallels with Iran

EDITOR: Leaks to Iran’s public of secret budgetary items have precipitated massive ongoing protests (“Iran protesters target both sides,” Wednesday). The protesters resent in particular the allocation of billions of dollars to the military and to religious organizations that enrich the clerical elite, while at the same time cash subsidies end for millions of citizens and fuel prices increase, and laws force privatization of public schools.

All these actions are alarmingly similar to U.S. budgets that have allocated $700 billion to the military and the recent tax “reform” that allocated billions more to the wealthy and corporations and will withdraw health care support for millions of citizens. Also similar is the Trump administration’s push to privatize public schools.

The only difference seems to be that Iran’s moves were secret, while ours are openly displayed to the public and are created and implemented by people we voted into office. So far, the U.S. public has limply accepted these assaults in exchange for a temporary sop to the middle class that isn’t likely to affect the personal budgets of many people. When will we rise in the streets like the Iranians are doing?



Evidence, please

EDITOR: In response to Robert A. Casper, Sr.’s letter in which he claims the biggest threat is the press (“The biggest threat,” Friday), I sincerely request: show me your evidence.

I try to be level-headed and open-minded, but I have been taught since grade school to give and to ask for facts to support any claims that are made. I have often been able to change or broaden my understanding of issues by listening to well-reasoned arguments from someone I normally disagree with, but bold statements with no factual backup don’t make the grade. Again, please show me your evidence.


Santa Rosa

A firsthand look

Jason Lane’s historic July 28 start in Atlanta:

He went six innings and allowed one earned run

He became the third MLB pitcher since 1914 to make his major league debut as a starting pitcher at age 37 or older (37 years, 219 days) and pitch six-plus innings and allow one earned run or fewer

He joined Cleveland’s Les Willis (July 6, 1947: 6.0 IP, 3 R, ER, 39 years, 170 days) and Washington’s Alex McColl (Sept. 6, 1933: 9.0 IP, ER, 39 years, 161 days)

The last Padres pitcher age 37 or older to throw six innings or more and allow one earned run or fewer was Greg Maddux on Aug. 15, 2008

Lane was the ninth-oldest pitcher in MLB history to make his first start

Lane is the second-best hitter to make his first MLB start as a pitcher at age 37 or older, behind Jimmie Foxx (Aug. 19, 1945: 6.2 IP, 2 ER) (h/t Randy Smith)

According to Elias, Lane joined Jimmie Foxx as the only two players since 1900 to hit 25 or more home runs in a season before starting a game as a pitcher

EDITOR: There have been several recent letters, both pro and con, concerning Sonoma West Medical Center and the Palm Drive Health Care District. Perhaps the most effective way to determine what is really going on is to attend a board meeting and form your own opinion. When in attendance at meetings, I have found the discussions by the board to be illustrative of how they reason and make decisions. The next scheduled meeting is tonight at 7:30 p.m. You should be able to find the agenda at palmdrivehealthcaredistrict.org.



Unleashed dogs

EDITOR: I run regularly for fitness and fun. Each of the local streets, trails, and paths I use are located in jurisdictions with leash laws. Once again, recently, I was accosted by an unleashed dog.

It was terrifying to be running in the peaceful quiet of early morning and have a large barking animal suddenly come flying at me out of the dark. At least the owner of this dog apologized; most owners in these situations either turn the responsibility back on me (“What’s the matter, you have a bad experience with a dog?” or “He can sense your fear”) or deny that there is any danger (“Don’t worry, he’s friendly” or “He likes people”). The degree to which many dog owners are in denial about their dog’s behavior is amazing to me; I’ve had folks proclaim the friendliness of their dog while it’s actively growling at me with hackles raised.

Just because your dog is friendly at home, with people it knows doesn’t mean it will necessarily be friendly with other people in other territory. Since I can’t afford to trust your judgment about your dog, I carry pepper spray, and I won’t hesitate to use it. I would really hate to inflict that kind of pain on an animal, but if I have to do so to protect my personal safety it will be your irresponsibility that caused it.



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