Monday’s Letters to the Editor
Reclaim war powers
EDITOR: Watching the chaos in Afghanistan with heavy hearts, we should remember Congress never intended a
20-year war or indefinite occupation, nor did the American people vote for such a war. This should be the wake-up call Congress needs to reclaim its constitutionally mandated responsibility to debate and vote each time the president wants to send our family and community members to war. The founders gave the power to declare war to Congress, not to one person.
We’re now seeing the devastating outcome of our longest war, allowed without congressional oversight through the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, passed hastily three days after 9/11 without a sunset date or other limiting provisions. We must urgently repeal this open-ended authorization and the 2002 Iraq authorization, which together have allowed four presidents to wage seemingly endless war in at least 18 countries.
Many thanks to Reps. Jared Huffman and Mike Thompson for co-sponsoring HR 256 and to Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla for co-sponsoring SJRes10, bipartisan bills to repeal the 2002 authorization. I commend their leadership in reasserting congressional war powers authority and encourage them to make public statements of support and work across the aisle to ensure a repeal in both chambers.
A common consideration
EDITOR: The choice made by Ralph Harms is one considered by many more of us than will ever come to light (“Choosing to die on his own terms,” Aug. 14). Your story was written with admirable understatement and compassion, leaving the reader with important knowledge, but also a few tears. Thank you for devoting space to such a relevant topic.
Send a message
EDITOR: I have worked with Jill Ravitch since I was a Santa Rosa police detective in the 1980s. She is a strong prosecutor committed to victims’ rights and making sure criminal cases are properly based on solid evidence. I continued to work with her as supervisor of the violent crime unit, and later I served as her chief investigator. Ravitch is demanding of law enforcement and her staff because she is committed to the ideal of fairness in the criminal justice system.
When Ravitch was first elected, one of her priorities was getting the Family Justice Center up and running. It was an innovative approach at the time to supporting victims by housing many support services in one location. From the onset, she demanded the best people to operate the center. Her prosecutorial decision-making has always been made within the framework of the law and in the interest of the victims. Many decisions have been difficult but were made with the utmost care and deliberation.
Please send a message of support to our district attorney as well as a message of disdain to the pompous, misogynistic multimillionaire developer whose companies abandoned more than 100 elderly people during the Tubbs fire.
Republicans and COVID
EDITOR: I have been looking for a good example of how far off the rails the Republican Party is, as if the last president didn’t prove my case. I think the governors of Arkansas, Texas and Florida may be sufficient, even for members of that party. These are the among the Republican governors who denied the need to mask and get vaccinated.
The numbers are staggering. Of the people being infected and dying of the delta strain, more than 97% are not vaccinated, according to CDC director Rochelle Walensky. A large number are from one party. They are essentially pointing a cannon at us and the economy. This party has created the mess we are suffering, when all they had to do was ask their constituents to mask up, lay low and get the shots. Even their drink bleach guy got vaccinated.
From their stands on trickle down, guns, environment, schools and immigration to pandemics, they haven’t gotten a thing right in decades. Now their silliness is killing us and causing serious economic problems. Yet with a zeal seldom seen, the acolytes continue to support their unhinged nonsense. It would be humorous, if it weren’t deranged.
Trump’s oil policies
EDITOR: André Bertauche wonders if I think President Joe Biden is competent, having canceled an environmentally and economically questionable pipeline and asked OPEC to raise production to lower gas prices (“Biden’s oil policies,” Letters, Aug. 19). Answer: yes. I bet he thinks competency was President Donald Trump, in April 2020, pressuring Saudi Arabia to cut oil production in order to raise gas prices.
EDITOR: Roger Delgado’s letter made it clear to me that many thoughtful people have misconceptions regarding the charging of electric vehicles (“Gas-free Sebastopol,” Aug. 13). First is the fear that you can’t charge an EV during a power outage. While that’s true, you also can’t pump gasoline without electricity to run the pump, card reader, cash register, etc.
Second is the source of electricity for charging. Here in Sonoma County, we have the option of choosing Sonoma Clean Power, which is cost competitive with PG&E, and its power sources are carbon-free. Sonoma Clean Power also will rebate your cost for a home charger that you can program to charge when rates and grid demand are lowest.
We all should be prepared with adequate charge or fuel to function in an evacuation situation.
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