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Sunday’s Letters to the Editor

Surplus defense spending

EDITOR: Our latest failed military intervention has ended after 20 years of wasted lives and fortunes. Still Congress believes that an additional $25 billion for the Pentagon is needed in addition to President Joe Biden’s proposed increase to $750 billion in the defense authorization bill.

This is not about funding defense, but rather a continuation of corporate greed within the military-industrial complex President Dwight Eisenhower warned about decades ago.

Will funding the most dangerous nuclear weapons for missiles, bombers and submarines make us safer? Will continued funding of ineffective, overpriced and unnecessary weapons like Lockheed Martin fighters make us safer? No.

Our congressional representatives in both parties are controlled by the strategic placement of military bases and contractors in the communities they serve, but their service is to political contributors, not the American people.

The Pentagon is the most poorly managed entity in our government. Funding for more failed military interventions and worthless contracts must be severely reduced to fund our country’s real domestic needs.

WILLIAM CAMPAGNA

Cotati

County redistricting

EDITOR: I feel that the proposal that merges Rohnert Park with the 5th Supervisorial District puts Rohnert Park and the west county at a disadvantage. The redistricting process is trying to force a crowded suburban area that contains a large casino to join with rural west county and its issues with wildfire prevention, drought that affects the lower Russian River, the preponderance of the county’s homeless population who have been shunted to the west county and the worst roads in the county.

The county doesn’t have to redistrict. The Board of Supervisors can keep the status quo. I thought they were not being transparent, hiding information from the people who voted them into office. Supervisor David Rabbitt responded to me recently: “Appreciate the sentiment of your email but wanted to correct one thing- I brought up the notion of keeping the existing boundaries. So, there was one supervisor willing to move in that direction.”

Pay attention, voters.

LOIS LEBOVICH

Guerneville

Punishment and crime

EDITOR: Over the past seven years California politicians have successfully reduced prison and jail populations by releasing incarcerated inmates early and reducing the penalties for a number of crimes. Individuals can now steal catalytic converters, break into autos and, as we have recently seen, converge on stores in mass acts of theft. Even with local authorities threatening to take action, criminals know district attorneys will be more than happy to accept a plea deal to avoid a trial. As Californians continue to welcome the “defund the police” mentality and accept the easy-on-crime stance, they should understand their future lies in their own hands. They shall reap what they sow.

MICHAEL JENSEN

Petaluma

Rittenhouse: No hero

EDITOR: Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges for fatally shooting two people and wounding a third during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin in 2020. Rittenhouse’s defense team successfully argued that he acted in self-defense. I have no issue with the verdict. I do have an issue with a system that allows someone to openly carry a loaded assault rifle at a public protest and use it for self-defense.

Gun rights advocates are hailing the verdict as a victory. Two men were shot dead in the streets of Wisconsin and this is a good thing for America? Those men would be alive today if Rittenhouse had not been openly carrying a gun that night.

Rittenhouse is not a hero. He is a naïve young man who was caught up in a situation he should never been a party to. He went to Kenosha with an illegally obtained assault rifle, ostensibly to protect private property during protest marches. He was acting as a vigilante, buoyed by permissive open-carry laws. Do we want to allow armed vigilantes to patrol our streets? For the sake of our country, I hope not.

KURT DUNPHY

Santa Rosa

Mandate isn’t Jim Crow

EDITOR: Newsflash! Vaccine mandates are not Jim Crow nor are they akin to Nazi Germany. No one is being denied anything because of who they are. No one is being carted off to camps and forced to shower with Zyklon B.

Jim Crow laws punished people for who they were, not what choices they’d made. Race isn’t a choice, and it can’t be changed, while vaccination status is a choice. If someone isn’t vaccinated, that can be changed. Stop these ridiculous comparisons.

What should be of concern is how hospitalization and death rates among people of color in Sonoma County far surpass their percentage of the population. Keeping our communities safe, particularly our elderly, should be a priority. The unvaccinated have shown they have no such concerns and have brought health care to its knees in various parts of the country.

Schools and businesses, among others, have legally required vaccinations since the 1905 Supreme Court case Jacobson v. Massachusetts. Requiring vaccines is not racist, it’s a matter of public health.

Since Healdsburg Councilwoman Skylaer Palacios now sounds like Tucker Carlson and shares his outrage, maybe she should work for Fox News. They don’t require vaccines, but employees must be tested every day.

LAURA GONZALEZ

Santa Rosa

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