Friday’s Letters to the Editor


Impeding the inquiry

EDITOR: With constant pressure from the Trump administration on the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI to close the Russian investigation, it is important for everybody to be aware of what is going on.

President Donald Trump is doing as much as he can to destroy the checks on his power. Investigators who are trying to do their jobs are being fired or forced out of their jobs. Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee are putting out a memo of disinformation that the Trump Justice Department has said would be “extraordinarily reckless” to release. This memo supposedly discredits the FBI and the Russian investigation. Yet the Republican committee majority isn’t allowing an opposition memo from the Democrats validating the investigation.

These investigations are successful. They have already gotten two guilty pleas and two indictments with multi-million dollar bonds on former members of the Trump administration and/or campaign.

Trump also is resisting action on Russian election meddling by refusing to implement sanctions voted by Congress with an overwhelming majority.

Talk to friends in so-called red states. Tell them things they might not know. They may vote out Republican representatives who allow Trump to destroy our constitutional protections. Be informed. Speak out. Resist. Vote.



Sour Democrats

EDITOR: I’ve watched many State of the Union speeches. They all have things in common. It’s a chance to tell everyone what a great job the sitting president is doing, true or not. The speeches are also full of bon-bons that the chief executive says he will serve up off the large government silver tray. Of course, none or very few make it beyond that podium.

The whole show of constant rising and sitting down and the incessant clapping reminds me of Stalin’s speeches, but in his world, the first comrade to stop clapping was shot.

What I enjoy most is watching the opposition party members as each statement or bon-bon is offered up for applause. A larger group of grouchy old people has never been assembled. The Black Caucus just sat there staring forward. Nancy Pelosi was constantly looking over her shoulder to see if anyone was smiling or standing at the wrong time. It was a sad exhibition by a bunch of rich old people. Speaker Paul Ryan was actually mocking them toward the end of the show.


Santa Rosa

Watching the feds

EDITOR: The words from Tom Homan, the acting director of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the recent actions of local ICE agents give cause for great concern on the part of all law-abiding citizens here in California and Sonoma County in particular.

These seem to be more revenge-based than based on citizen security. In an effort to not let this continue unchecked, the legal observer team concept has been developed. If ICE activity is noticed any time of day or night, a simple call to the hotline — 707-800-4544 — will bring into action a team of trained observers to document and ensure the activity is within the scope of the law and the policies of our local government.

You are not required to be further involved. For more info see Let us show all the members of our communities that we care.



Trump’s message

EDITOR: “A message of unity,” really? Your headline writer must have his ear buds tuned in to the Republicans’ talking points channel.

One example from the State of the Union speech: “Americans are dreamers, too.” You’d have to be intentionally tone-deaf to not hear the implication that young adults who have lived, been educated and worked here since they were toddlers are not Americans.

Add to this the fear-mongering lies about family-based immigration, and the result is a call for unity?

Some of the punditry, and apparently your headline writer, is desperate for the bully-in-chief to “pivot,” to “act presidential.” Face it: Republicans nominated and a minority of Americans elected a sociopath, and nothing your head-line writer can say will make anyone with their eyes and ears open believe otherwise.


Santa Rosa

Misguided prosecution

EDITOR: It would appear that the reason for the price gouging issues in Sonoma County after the devastating wildfires is that insurance companies are engaged in bidding wars.

As a former resident of Sonoma County, and realizing there was a housing shortage before the fires, I see no benefit in prosecuting property owners at taxpayer expense who were approached by insurance companies offering higher rents to secure housing for their clients.

Doesn’t the district attorney have better things to do than prosecute the people who didn’t in fact solicit or knowingly gouge potential tenants?

This is especially true as among the nuances of the price-gouging law is that it applies only to previously rented units, not to rentals that have come on the market since the fires. “If you want to move out and rent your house for a year,” District Attorney Jill Ravitch said, “you can set whatever price the current market will bear without penalty” (“DA unyielding in price-gouging cases,” Nov. 12).

It does not seem right to make an example of a few people who may have acted out of ignorance rather than greed.


Medford, Oregon