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Just desserts

EDITOR: Kudos to the lions that took care of business last week in South Africa (“Lions eat men suspected of poaching rhinos,” July 7). If you are going to try and take something that is not yours, you deserve every bad thing that can happen to you.

Well done, big kitties.

MICHAEL TESTA

Petaluma

An ironic complaint

EDITOR: How ironic that Larry Lappin complained about third-generation Mexican-Americans playing Spanish language music on the Fourth of July (“Spanish music ignites conflict,” July 7). California has been a state for about 170 years. Prior to that, it was part of Mexico.

So it’s not so much that Mexicans “invaded,” as that they never left. It was in fact the U.S. government that invaded.

Personally, I’ve lived for 30 years in an area that is about half Mexican. In all that time, I have never felt afraid of my neighbors. On the contrary, I know them to be ambitious, hardworking and very family oriented.

Without their willingness to take on the hard jobs in the wine and hospitality industries, many thousands of us wouldn’t be employed. It makes me sad that people continue to believe the stereotypes when even a little exposure to a different culture would prove them wrong.

SUZANNE SHONBRUN

Sonoma

Profits before children

EDITOR: American businesses operating in poor countries have trumped the lives of infants and children again. Faced with the possible passage of a resolution by the United Nations-affiliated World Health Assembly, which stated that mother’s milk is healthiest for children and countries should strive to limit the misleading and inaccurate marketing of breast milk substitutes, the administration in Washington threatened Ecuador with retaliation and threatened to cut contributions to the World Health Organization (“US fought against UN health measure,” Monday). Fearful, poor countries in Africa and Latin America, including Uruguay and Mexico, backed off from endorsing the resolution.

For women in poor countries, the decision to substitute formula for breastfeeding isn’t the lifestyle choice that it is in this country. We have clean water (so far) to reconstitute formula powder, and most have enough money to purchase formula. In a poor country, there is neither clean water nor the money to purchase an over-priced, unnecessary product just because advertisements have convinced a mother that formula is somehow better. A child’s life may depend on breastfeeding.

We can clearly see what the administration’s highest priority is: American businesses, over the lives of children.

JANE WILDER

Windsor

Kavanaugh surprises

EDITOR: One of the big surprises with the pick of Brett Kavanaugh was the Bush family’s public embrace of him. They don’t like President Donald Trump but were excited that he chose a George W. Bush administration lawyer and someone who helped him get elected, due to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling after the disputed Florida vote. Also, Bush nominated Kavanaugh to his current position on the federal court.

Another surprise will be learning what Kavanaugh means when he says he respects Supreme Court precedent. Hopefully, one senator on the Judiciary Committee will ask about this statement. That would mean upholding a 45-year-old decision, on a 7-2 vote, to legalize abortion in the United States

Yet the real issue is how Kavanaugh views the Casey decision, which was a 5-4 decision in 1992 ,written by Justice Anthony Kennedy. That reaffirmed a woman’s right to an abortion by limiting what a government can do to inhibit her right.

Better known as the undue burden doctrine, it allows federal judges to strike down state laws severely limiting access to abortion. This is the area that anti-abortion groups view as a way to limit Roe v. Wade rather than overturn it.

ANDREW SMITH

Santa Rosa

Portrait of the homeless

EDITOR: I can’t think of a more accurate depiction of the overwhelming majority of the “homeless” on the streets of Santa Rosa than the photo accompanying last Saturday’s article about the homeless count (“Homelessness swells in county after fires”): Three people laying on a sidewalk, one of them smoking a joint, with a can of malt liquor close by. Priceless. The only person I have empathy for is the store owner who has to clean up after them.

VINCENZO MARTINI

Cotati

Charging for vets halls

EDITOR: It is my understanding that Sonoma County is seriously considering passing a resolution to begin charging our veterans for some uses of their own halls, bypassing a state resolution to the contrary. Can this really be true?

It is because of the brave and selfless service of veterans that we live with liberty, independence and the pursuit of happiness in this blessed country. Amid a time of international turmoil, we, especially those of us fortunate enough to live in beautiful Sonoma County, owe a continued debt of gratitude to these remarkable men and women who sacrifice so much to preserve the principles of our country that we all enjoy.

That the citizens of this county would consider repaying this debt by charging our service people to use their own Veterans Memorial Buildings is a travesty. I encourage you to contact Bob Piazza of the veteran’s hall in the city of Sonoma, and advocates of the other six veterans buildings in Sonoma County, to investigate the details of this proposal and inform the people. They have the right to know about it and to be heard.

JAYE HAYS

Sonoma

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