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Trump’s nuclear buildup

EDITOR: Although Donald Trump said a lot of scary things in his State of the Union speech, the worst for me was his vow to beef up the nuclear weapons arsenal. What else from a president who once asked, “If we have them, why can’t we use them?”

I realize that the rationale for this policy relies on the philosophy of “deterrence.” As Sen. Ted Cruz put it, “The best way to avoid war is to be strong enough that no one wants to mess with the United States.” But like gun owners who refuse to take into account that rates of homicide, suicide and accidental death are many times higher for them than for gun-free households, Trump and Co. fail to notice that the chances of annihilation by accident go sky high when employing the “mine’s bigger than yours” strategy. (An internet search of “nuclear close calls” will drive home the point.)

While I don’t think that the zealots for deterrence will change their minds, I wonder why those of us who grasp the danger of the situation aren’t more vocal. Given the dubious sanity of the current commander-in-chief, if ever there was a time to advocate for a no-first-strike policy and a reduction of nuclear arms, it’s now.

JACKIE BRAUN

Sebastopol

Roaming cats

EDITOR: Cat owners who allow their pets to hunt all day and into the night aren’t doing their pets any favors. The permissive owners’ pets put the natives in danger, place unwanted refuse in garden beds and caterwaul at night. There should be an ordinance speaking to this irresponsible behavior, if for no other reason, to protect the cats from accidents, disease and the unjustified anxiety of survival.

Just as there is an ordinance speaking to the illegal action of feeding cats on public lands or the action of trapping, neutering and returning (dumping) them back where they were caught as advocated by Forgotten Felines, we should mandate that our pet cats are controlled, just as we expect our dogs to be leashed while outdoors and any mess picked up.

One benefit to our wildfires is the active trapping and removal of cats from the burned and/or outdoor areas. Keep it up.

ROGER WILSON

Santa Rosa

A needless mandate

EDITOR; I have news for state Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, who wants to require all garage door openers in the state to have battery backup (“Change sought for garage doors,” Feb. 2). Every automatic opener in the state, battery or not, can be bypassed and the door opened manually. Folks unable to open the door manually already have the choice to install an opener with battery backup. The state shouldn’t impose an extra cost on those who don’t want or need the extra capability.

PHIL MITCHELL

Santa Rosa

Applause and treason

EDITOR: Are Trump voters OK with their boy calling Democras “treasonous” for not applauding his State of the Union address? Isn’t it a wee bit insane to suggest that frowning at His Greatness is equivalent to betraying our country?

I don’t know what’s more disturbing, calling for the death penalty for daring to disagree or the ignorant hordes who actually applauded that idea. I suppose they will say it was “just a joke.” Well, when a man is deluded enough to think he and the entire country are one and the same, I’m not laughing.

SUZANNE SHONBRUN

Sonoma

Recycling and Recology

EDITOR: We have “overflow” cans where excess yard waste can go to fill the yard waste can in light weeks. I put a little yard waste in the empty can; leaves and branches are less likely to stick to the bottom of the can than food waste. If Mark Burchill (“Trash and recycling,” Letters, Thursday) has too much yard waste, perhaps he needs a second can or a truck for dump runs.

As I understand it, recycling processing requires clean materials, and dried-on food or other materials are hard to remove from recycled materials. We hand wash some dishes, and the “used up” dishwater is for cleaning cans, plastic containers, cardboard food containers (juice, milk and the like) before they go in the recycling bucket. No wasted water.

This is not a requirement new to Recology, by the way. It’s been true for years.

We recently stayed at a campground where management had decided against serious recycling efforts. It drove me nuts all week to toss stuff, so I’m happy to do a little work for my recycling.

BILL HOUGHTON

Sebastopol

Petaluma war casualties

EDITOR: Regarding the “North Coast, A Look Back” story in the Feb. 5 Towns section, which featured the involvement of Sonoma County Companies C (Petaluma) and E (Santa Rosa) in the Spanish-American War, the soldiers assumed marching in the Fourth of July 1898 photo in Petaluma were located at Camp Barrett in the Fruitvale section of Oakland at that time. By the fall of that year, the troops went from Camp Barrett to the more sanitary Fort Point in San Francisco. The Army mustered them out in February 1899.

And, as to “all of the men” returning, thankfully that is correct for those in the California National Guard. However, two Petalumans, Cpl. Arthur Dean and Pvt. John Pitts, who joined the regular Army and served in the Philippines, were killed in the early days of the Philippine-American War, which commenced immediately at the end of the Spanish-American war.

KENNETH J. NUGENT

Petaluma

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