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Trump in Puerto Rico

EDITOR: It was appalling to see our president tossing paper towels to Puerto Ricans who need food, water, medicine and electricity. It appeared to be an effort to minimize the devastation in Puerto Rico and say that a few paper towels will clean up the mess.

I wonder how he would feel if he didn’t have electricity or a phone for two weeks. Could he survive two weeks without Twitter, much less without adequate food and water?

He says we are doing a fabulous job in Puerto Rico. He sent them 2 million meals. That sounds like a lot until you realize that would feed about half of the people living there one meal. Forget three meals a day. How about even one meal a day, not one meal in two weeks?

And saying that Puerto Rico is not so bad off since Katrina killed more people? Is that supposed to make Puerto Ricans who have nothing feel better? Or blaming them for our budget problems? Did he do that in Texas or Florida? I thought presidents were supposed to be inspiring in response to tragedies. It is truly embarrassing to have Donald Trump as our president.

PHYRIS TOBLER

Rohnert Park

Highway 12 traffic

EDITOR: Continuing Highway 12 eastbound over Spring Lake made sense. Highway 12 via Farmers Lane? Nonsense.

WILLIAM POTTER

Santa Rosa

Disingenuous notion

EDITOR: I applaud columnist David Brooks’ attempt at a high-overview look at the Trump years (“Trump: The Abbie Hoffman of the right,” Saturday). However, there is a message within that is deeply troubling: this idea of an “educated elite” class of people who are adversaries of the working poor. It’s not a message of Brooks’ making, it’s been around a very long time, but it is disingenuous to continue to incite this notion.

Considering myself to be both well-educated and of the working class, there’s nothing more irritating than this idea that being more educated makes me an enemy of the less educated or the poor. On the contrary, my goal and our country’s goal should be to provide a quality education for everyone. And I have yet to meet a well-educated person who thinks otherwise.

Rather than pitting educated against less educated, our politicians should be concentrating on providing quality education for all. How else can we hope or expect to employ, feed and house all people to a more equal and higher standard of living? Think along the lines of “no child left behind” and “equal opportunity.” These should be our highest priorities, with the teeth and funding to make them succeed.

AMY STANTON

Forestville

A swarm of yellow jackets

EDITOR: This is in response to the Sept. 26 article headlined “North Korea threatens US warplanes.” Congress should give the president a time-out and take his phone. As for North Korea, they are like yellow jackets. They are annoying, but leave them alone. If you try to hit them, they will sting you, thus causing what you’re trying to avoid.

KEVIN PARSONS

Forestville

Inaction on gun violence

EDITOR: Fifty-eight people mowed down in an American city by a white American citizen who had an arsenal of rifles and semi-automatic guns. Are we shocked and horrified? Yes, kind of, but mostly feeling numb and helpless in the wake of this kind of news.

How is it that we still don’t have sensible gun control? How can anyone, much less someone whose father was a psychopath, obtain an AK-47 and semi-automatic guns fitted with bump stocks that allow for, essentially, fully automatic fire? How is it that Stephen Paddock obtained a muzzle-flash suppressor, making it harder to tell where the weapon is being fired from?

Why are we all being held hostage by the National Rifle Association year after year after year as the shootings increase and technology makes weapons of mass destruction commonplace on our soil? Why is it that if most Americans want meaningful effective gun control legislation we still don’t have it, and Congress is actually considering a bill that would increase our risk? It’s because we haven’t really held our Congress and president accountable for our basic safety.

We can and should do this. No matter red state, blue state, all of us must tell our representatives that they will pay with their political careers if they don’t get this done now.

ANN LEVIN

Sebastopol

An honorable protest

EDITOR: This current protest by athletes is as much for free speech, for the right to present grievances, for the right to assemble peacefully, for equal treatment before the law and for what the Constitution guarantees as it is against racism.

One of the worst things about this controversy is that Donald Trump has been allowed to hijack and redefine an honorable protest as somehow being against soldiers and the U.S.

This protest demonstrates support for what patriots have defended for all our history: our constitutionally defined rights and practices. When Trump denies their right to protest, he defiles the Constitution and those who died defending it.

When Trump acts as he did in Alabama, he defiles the office of the presidency.

Don’t allow Trump to redefine this protest in his false frame.

Don’t allow him to confuse the cloth fabric of a flag with the constitutional framework of our nation.

Don’t allow him to confuse the momentary singing of a song with the reality of supporting the unity and harmony of a functioning nation, all while he continues successfully to divide us into tribal enemies.

The person defiling the U.S., the Constitution and all the other things that these symbols stand for is the malicious manipulator in the White House.

JOHN MARKARIAN

Santa Rosa