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Raid Trump tower

EDITOR: Wow, raids on 98 7-Eleven stores in 17 states netted 21 arrests (“ICE targets county 7-Elevens,” Thursday”). That’s a pretty poor use of resources.

My suggestion to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency: Target all of Donald Trump’s U.S. hotels, country clubs and golf course properties. That would be a much lower number of targets and is likely to result in a bonanza of undocumented workers who are moving lawns, washing dishes, making beds and scrubbing toilets at less than minimum wages.

Why am I not holding my breath?

ASTRID HARPER

Santa Rosa

Take our country back

EDITOR: I suffer from PTSD, predominate Trump stress disorder. I now understand why most people ignore politics as I once did because there is more than enough to occupy a life without the BS coming from Washington.

Never before in our history has it become more than obvious that our attention should be focused on what is happening as that BS is now undermining our very existence.

Corruption at the highest levels — transferring funds to donors via the national debt to appease their support at the expense of you, me and our children for a mere few crumbs disguised as a middle-class tax cut — is a disgrace to our intelligence and our mere existence. Those bonuses and wage increases by U.S. companies are being paid by us.

Trump had the gall to brag about it at Mar-a-Lago: “You all just got a lot richer.” Wake up before it’s too late. Let’s take our country back.

J.W. HALE

Petaluma

Iran and the US

EDITOR: Reading Trudy Rubin’s column in the Jan. 6 paper (“Understanding Iran’s protests”), I found it ironic that all the causes mentioned are precisely the same as those that have triggered much dissatisfaction in the United States:

“A leaked version of a proposed budget … included billions of dollars earmarked for the military …” Recently, the Congress-military industrial complex that controls our foreign policy added $57 billion to an already bloated Trump administration, with plenty of support from Democrats.

“Huge cash subsidies also go to religious foundations controlled by the clerical elite; the budget also proposed to slash subsidies for the poor and increase fuel prices.” The recently passed tax law is doing exactly the same. The American “clerical elite” are the self-proclaimed “God-fearing” highly religious corporate and military CEOs, the infamous 1 percent.

“Many Iranians who had reached middle-class standards are slipping backward” and “Unemployment among those 20 to 24 years was 25 percent.” Guess what it is among African and Latino Americans?

Instead of street protests, at least for now, the dissatisfied voters chose a candidate that pretended to understand them, just as gullible Germans voted for Hitler.

HUBERT MOREL-SEYTOUX

Santa Rosa

For a living wage

EDITOR: Martin J. Bennett’s Dec. 31 Close to Home column explained how much a living wage would be for Sonoma County (“What is a living wage for Sonoma County?”). Why do we need one?

Every conservative should favor a national living wage. Why? The essence of conservatism is individual responsibility. The present wage system allows corporations to pay low-wage workers less than a living wage. Then, to provide them with a modest standard of living, our government provides assistance for housing, food, health care, child care, etc. All of us pay for that.

Self-reliance would be well served if all workers received at least a living wage and were expected to make it on their own. Then government programs such as Section 8 housing, food stamps, Medicaid, etc. could be scrapped, saving citizens many billions of dollars per year and promoting individual responsibility. An additional benefit would be workers’ newfound sense of self-respect by doing without government assistance.

When employers don’t pay a living wage, the government does. Why should we citizens subsidize companies that pay less than a living wage in order to bolster their profits? Isn’t it time that employers who benefit from workers’ labor be forced to pay them a fair living wage?

GENE A. HOTTEL

Santa Rosa

Driving on Hwy 101

EDITOR: Driving on Highway 101 through Sonoma County has become insufferable. Drivers seemingly have lost their ability to drive courteously and implement the driving etiquette they were taught in drivers’ education while in high school.

The fact that many drivers travel below the speed limit in the left-hand and diamond lanes infuriates me. I constantly see dump trucks and debris haulers using the middle lanes instead of following proper driving etiquette and remaining in the far right lane except when allowing merging vehicles to join the flow of traffic.

The situation begs the question: Are we going to be levied even more taxes (on top of our recent gas tax increase) when officials realize our roadways have deteriorated and have been destroyed because of the incessant travel of heavy trucks upon Sonoma County’s main thoroughfares?

Please, Sonoma County drivers, don’t dawdle in the left lane. Please, let’s agree to reserve the highway’s left lane for passing, thereby allowing traffic to move quickly. Think about the highway as if it was your local high school running track: the insides lanes are reserved for faster-paced runners and the outside lanes are dedicated to slower joggers and walkers. If you are a plodder — whether on the track or highway — get out of the way.

CARLOS CASTELO

Petaluma

Trump’s America

EDITOR: Is this America? End DACA, deport thousands based on ethnicity, build a wall.

What’s next? Internment camps?

SHIRLEY GOODIN

Santa Rosa

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