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Cigarettes and wildfire

EDITOR: With regard to the threat of wildfires during California’s dry season, I am asking that those who smoke cigarettes (etc.) please, take care not to produce a roadside grassfire.

Almost daily, there is an article in this paper about new or ongoing wildfires or about the threat of same. And yet I still find many cigarette butts along our rural road in west county. It is very disturbing to say the least. Our neighbors’ houses and ours are not burnt to the ground, but finding these butts frequently makes me think that it is only a matter of time.

Please be cautious, and mention this to all the smokers who drive vehicles that you know. Many newer vehicles without ashtrays require that responsible smokers obtain after-market ashtray alternatives that are available. Look around.

BILL BALDEWICZ

Sebastopol

Trickle-down ideology

EDITOR: The Republican Party was mean-spirited before Donald Trump. For eight years, Republicans blocked every effort by President Barack Obama to improve health care, protect consumers, ban toxic chemicals, raise the minimum wage, provide paid family leave, reduce carbon emissions, promote clean energy, protect the environment, expand public lands and pass background checks for gun owners.

Now that Trump is president, they look the other way and ignore his lies, conflicts of interest, attacks on the press, risky appointments, disregard for intelligence, diplomatic gaffes and violations of the Constitution.

As he makes the presidency a profit center for himself and his family, they overlook his blatant use of public office for personal profit, the very definition of corruption.

When they have a chance to reform health care, they instead try to cut health insurance for millions of low-income and elderly Americans and give tax relief to the millionaires and billionaires who financed their campaigns and political action committees.

Instead of addressing income inequality, the billionaire Cabinet proposes tax cuts for investors and corporations as it rolls back health and environmental protections and threatens to privatize public education.

This ideology of trickle-down economics will make the rich richer, expand the income gap and undermine our democracy.

TONY WHITE

Santa Rosa

The new anti-Semitism

EDITOR: In the Jewish state, questioning the wisdom of government decisions is a national sport and the essence of being Jewish. Contrast that with the new anti-Semitism, which seeks the destruction of the Jewish state and brings the battleground to newspapers and campuses, often employing fake news spread by the boycott, divestment sanctions movement. This new anti-Semitism infects both progressives and neo-Nazis.

Join me in seeking justice for all peoples indigenous to the Middle East who endeavor to express their historic national claims: Jews, Kurds, Imazighen (black Africans who fight Arabization), Berbers, Copts, etc.). They all struggle against the imperialism of Arab fundamentalist Dar al-Islam. The road to peace requires new Arab leaders who seek a true durable peace.

ELI COHEN

Santa Rosa

Faulty reasoning

EDITOR: Todd Gaziano and John Yoo, using “magical legal thinking” (their words), conclude that since Barack Obama unilaterally designated national monuments under the Antiquities Act, Donald Trump has the unilateral authority to rescind such designations (“Trump can topple national monuments,” July 8).

Yoo is the author of the infamous torture memos that provided George W. Bush a blank check to engage in the torture of detainees against the Geneva Conventions and international laws. Yoo’s memos stated that “federal laws against torture, assault and maiming would not apply to the overseas interrogation of terror suspects. He narrowly defined torture as “severe pain that must necessarily be pain associated with death, organ failure, or serious impairment of body functions.” His memos were relied upon for waterboarding, stress positions, hooding, subjection to noise, deprivation of sleep, food and drink, enclosing in small spaces (boxes) and rectal feeding.

Later, the Justice Department, in reviewing Yoo’s memos, concluded that his legal opinions justifying harsh interrogation tactics amounted to professional misconduct, although Yoo wasn’t disciplined.

National monuments are created to protect our nation’s beautiful natural spaces and fragile ecosystems for generations to enjoy, not to open them up to development, plunder and exploitation for private profits, which is what Trump is seeking to do. Yoo was wrong then, and he’s wrong now.

VIVIANE ISABEAU

Santa Rosa

Emotional abuse

EDITOR: I am sure there are hundreds or thousands of women in this county alone suffering from emotional abuse by their spouses. The laws regarding domestic physical abuse are strict and taken very seriously by law enforcement, as they should be. Unfortunately, spousal emotional abuse is as harmful as physical abuse, but it’s completely legal. Emotional abuse causes not only damage emotionally but causes physical damage as well. There does not seem to be any help or resources for the emotionally abused. It should be taken seriously, and a law making it illegal should be considered.

MARILYN BYRNE

Santa Rosa