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Trump’s bull market

EDITOR: I find it interesting that no one has complained about our healthy stock market. It’s interesting that no one has blamed President Donald Trump.

LINDA WALSTROM

Santa Rosa

Pension costs

EDITOR: Thank you, once again, to The Press Democrat for shedding light on an insidious problem that few people like to think about: the mushrooming pension obligations that counties, cities, the state and school districts are facing.

Paul Gullixson’s Sunday column (“What is being squeezed out to pay increasing pensions?”) laid out the figures, and it isn’t a pretty picture.

When people complain about budget cuts for libraries, road maintenance, classrooms, etc., they are quick to blame politicians. Politicians do bear some responsibility for continually caving in to special interests, but it is in fact labor groups that have historically demanded generous pensions in their contract negotiations. Providing this workforce with lifelong comfortable retirements comes at the expense of all citizens.

While it is impossible to renege on commitments that have already been made, could we not at least agree to put a moratorium on future pension promises before the county is bled dry by them?

LAURIE TRAINOR

Santa Rosa

Twisting the story

EDITOR: A headline in Monday’s paper said “players show solidarity.” About 200, but you missed the biggest show of solidarity. The fans, about 60,000 in each stadium, showed solidarity by standing and respecting America. They, in fact, booed those who knelt, but the media never showed this solidarity.

Most stood to show respect for America. They stood to show disrespect and anger for those slugs who disrespect our flag, thus disrespecting our country.

Donald Trump is right again. He does have the pulse of the people of America. He was wildly cheered when he spoke of the slugs who disrespect our flag. But the press twists pro-American remarks by Trump, making the un-American slugs the ones who are correct. But I assume the ones who were upset the most weren’t the players but the owners. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had a phony look on his face when he said he was proud of the NFL. Imagine that.

This solidarity against our flag will merely hasten the demise of the NFL. Trump is right in saying the owners need to put an end to this public disgrace of our flag. Let them lock in arms. Let them lock arms in the unemployment line with Colin Kaepernick.

ROBERT A. CASPER, SR.

San Rafael

Trump and McCarthy

EDITOR: Donald Trump has some striking similarities to Sen. Joe McCarthy of anti-communist fame. He is clearly a disturbed man who is out of touch with reality. McCarthy mobilized hysteria to harass and persecute people and got away with it until he went looking for communists in the Army. Trump is now taking on the NFL and the NBA. Could this be his Army-geddon?

MOSS HENRY

Santa Rosa

Skirting protections

EDITOR: The recent article about proposed development along Old Redwood Highway on the outskirts of Santa Rosa is an example of efforts to skirt protections for open space and greenbelts (“Cloverleaf Ranch a family affair for 70 years,” Sept. 18).

The Sonoma County Resource and Permit Department (now Permit Sonoma) and its staff, at the direction of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, worked hard to propose areas where protections were needed to prevent sprawl. After extensive public vetting and an overwhelming voter approval, large projects in our designated community separators continue to be brought before the Planning Commission.

Community separators are designed to protect everything from water resources to agricultural land. Large-scale development in these areas is no longer permitted. Voters voted in good faith to protect our open spaces and directed government officials to act accordingly. Let’s make sure that happens.

LINDA HALE

Glen Ellen

Anthem protests

EDITOR: As a veteran, my service, other veterans’ service and present-day military members serve so that the rights accorded to all of us in the U.S. will be upheld. That includes kneeling during the national anthem at sporting events (or other venues) to bring attention to inequities in this society in law enforcement (and many other areas) toward people of any color other than white. And I support those people who are courageous enough to do so.

Second, playing the national anthem at most sporting events, in my opinion, demeans its importance to begin with. In addition, this anthem was written by Francis Scott Key, a slave owner. Also, in the fifth and sixth lines of the third verse (only the first verse is sung), it reads, “No refuge could save the hireling and slave, from the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave.” This refers to the slaves who fought with the British against the U.S. Why? Because the British were anti-slavery.

My perspective, for years, has been that the “Star Spangled Banner” has no place as a national anthem. “America the Beautiful” would be a much better choice to play/sing in appropriate, more auspicious settings.

JACOB W. BOUDEWIJN

Santa Rosa

Anthem and business

EDITOR: I propose a simple solution to kneeldowngate: Don’t play our nation’s anthem at for-profit sporting events promoted by privately owned franchises.

PATRICK CAMPBELL

Bloomfield