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A sinking ship

EDITOR: As the year drags itself to a close and a new year looms, where do we find ourselves? We find ourselves adrift on a sea filled with large rocks and sharks. There are no icebergs. They have all melted. The rudder on the ship of state has fallen off.

The rich are in the salon, wining and dining and congratulating themselves on their good fortune. Steerage is filling with water, and the poor are already drowning because the hatch is locked and bolted.

Captain Queeg is busily dismantling the ship of state, railing that everyone, including the FBI, is against him as he flails about searching for his strawberries and tweeting retribution for everyone who doesn’t think he is the greatest.

The crew — a remarkably inept, complicit Republican Congress — is accomplishing almost nothing, which in retrospect is probably a good thing: the less, the better, as indicated by its tax Christmas present to the already wealthy.

The world hates us, friend and foe alike, so they will not come to our aid as we flounder.

Sail on, ship of state, sail on.

GAIL OUTLAW

Santa Rosa

Saving DACA

EDITOR: Like it or not, the Democrats made the right move by working with Republicans to extend funding for the federal government through Jan.19 (“Congress votes to avert government shutdown, Dec. 22). Funding was supposed to be finalized by Sept. 30 as the federal fiscal year starts on Oct. 1. Shutting down the federal government to press the immigration debate would have put so many at risk and would make the Democrats as bad as the tea party Republicans who did this a few years back.

Since our federal government seems to be based on presidential executive orders and not the legislative process, President Barack Obama was able to create the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals program, protecting some illegal immigrants from deportation. And President Donald Trump was able to reverse the order and shut down the program. Supposedly, Trump will back a bill to make the DACA children legal, but it is contingent on getting what he wants to stop illegal immigration into the United States.

The open border policies that have existed for decades need to be changed, with a better and legal system, especially for those from Mexico. I personally would like to see the DACA children made U.S. citizens.

But Democrats and pro-illegal immigration groups have to make hard decisions to save the DACA children by March. They aren’t in the driver’s seat, but it will take bipartisan support to pass an immigration bill. Many Republicans have come out for the DACA children already.

ANDREW SMITH

Santa Rosa

The right decision

EDITOR: Having read the articles on Mary Schiller, I think the Sonoma County Office of Education has made the right decision (“SR culinary program leader put on leave,” Dec. 20). What she did with food truck does deserve to be commended, and she was only reprimanded for using an education office vehicle without permission. But she was caught drinking alcohol at an event where she was supervising and possibly driving students. Seriously, do we really support that behavior? Her bad decision on drinking got her suspended.

DAN O’DONNELL

Novato

Not funny

EDITOR: On Christmas Eve in The Press Democrat we were subjected to a gallery of photos of crying young children sitting on a Santa’s lap (“Ho-Ho no”). How exactly do these children’s experiences make for a “hilarious memory” for them? Why would sensitive adults find humor in the terror these children are certainly feeling?

You went so far as to label their feelings “a temper Santrum,” falling, as so many adults do, into the habit of making this the children’s problem. The problem is with the adults who place young children on the lap of a strange man who holds them tightly and doesn’t look like anyone the know while strangers stare at them and take photos.

No wonder they’re crying. Their misery is made into a laugh. How about a little compassion? How would you feel?

CLAIRE BEERY

Rohnert Park

Where’s Herrington?

EDITOR: There have been news stories, columns and letters from the public about the Mary Schiller fiasco, yet there’s been no statement made or action from Steven D. Herrington, our county school superintendent. Where is he?

STEVE WEAVER

Windsor

The greater good

EDITOR: I would like to take exception to Alan Wayne’s assertion that “people who have money should not be required to support those who do not” (“So what if the rich get help?” Letters, Dec. 23). That is short-sighted.

The backbone of our democracy is that everyone contributes so the greater good can be achieved. Infrastructure, schools, law enforcement, the justice system, etc., benefit us all and create a society that works for the good of all of its citizens.

Our income tax system recognizes through income levels the amount individual citizens pay. But those who don’t earn enough to pay any income tax still pay a variety of taxes — sales taxes and fuel taxes among them.

Where there is government waste, by all means, let’s fix that. But the structures of our democracy require everyone to pay their fair share. (That is, if we wish to keep it.) To ask those at the bottom and middle part of the scale to pay more of their worth than those at the very top is obscene and is not sustainable in a democracy.

LINDA NAGEL

Ukiah

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