Thursday’s Letters to the Editor
The Danish model
EDITOR: We just returned from visiting family in Copenhagen, Denmark, a country where most are not yet vaccinated. Danes are required to show a “corona pass” detailing a negative antigen test result within 72 hours for admission to seemingly almost everything except grocery stores.
Testing is free, fast and readily available all over from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Results are uploaded to a cellphone app that verifies identity and is attached to their medical records. We were tested six times and given paper certificates. They were almost always checked. Once admitted, masks were required for the indoor portion of any activity. Compliance seemed universal.
Could California develop such an app showing vaccination status? It was enlightening to observe how a highly organized but mostly unvaccinated country deals with protecting its residents.
Fireworks and liability
EDITOR: Since our favorite utility, PG&E, has been held liable for past fires, it only seems fair that Rohnert Park and all the charitable organizations that can’t find a less destructive fundraising method be held liable for any fires caused by their wanton irresponsibility, not only corporately but personally. Do folks really want to be personally responsible for a $1 billion fire?
EDITOR: The effort to recall District Attorney Jill Ravitch funded by Bill Gallaher illustrates the difference between amorality and immorality. Capitalism is amoral. It is unconcerned about the rightness or wrongness of an act. Immoral refers to conscious rejection of moral standards — ideas and beliefs about how to behave in a way that is considered right and good by the majority of people.
Capitalism has demonstrated itself to be the most effective means by which to produce and distribute goods and services. It has also demonstrated that it is amoral. The intent of capital is to generate income and wealth. Human welfare is not a concern.
Gallaher’s $800,000 sponsorship of Ravitch’s recall is an excellent example of immorality. In no way does the recall effort benefit or promote the rights of the citizens of Sonoma County. It is the kind of behavior that assumes the agenda of one person with disposable wealth trumps the welfare of the people. Gallaher’s $800,000 investment in the recall will cost citizens at least $600,000.
We need to change the law to end the power of disposable wealth that values self-interest over the common good. We have to live with capitalism's amorality. Good government can rein in flagrant immorality.
JEFFREY J. OLSON
EDITOR: It’s high time that we examine patriarchal male dominance and protest its dominion over females and children. But discouraging abuse of power and sexual expression requires more than condemnation, punishment or sympathy, more than taking sides (“Inquiry draws in two tied to Foppoli,” May 23).
It requires compassionate probing into beliefs and habit patterns that give rise to unwanted behaviors. A focus on labeling victims or victimizers and recounting their dramas overlooks complexities of human relations. Why do perpetrators seek power over others, disrespect, violate? How do disempowered victims become vulnerable matches?
In 1980, as a singer-entertainer in Hong Kong, I let myself be “innocently” lured into the Hilton’s presidential suite after hours by an insistent, wealthy patron. I was insecure, needy and too “nice” to risk displeasing him. A five-hour sexual assault unfolded; I was too ashamed and scared to report it.
Post-traumatic stress disorder eventually prodded me to recognize roles that my upbringing and prior experiences played. When basic intimate needs for connection go frightfully unfulfilled, we can be put in harm’s way.
Fortunately, I’m now empowered to follow my own instincts, seldom seek favor from powerful men and professionally help men and women learn how to become responsible to each other.
EDITOR: After too much divisiveness and acrimony, we should recommit ourselves to Americanism for the 21st century. Most Sonoma County residents are likely weary of the media’s pounding drums of division and hatred. Most Americans are moderates, not extremists, a people who share a complex mix of conservative and liberal values. We’ve always experienced the push and pull in either direction over significant social or political issues of our day.
After much neglect, many have forgotten what Americanism even means. As President Teddy Roosevelt said, “Americanism is a question of spirit, conviction, and purpose, not of creed or birthplace.” This spirit includes the core ideal of loyalty to the United States, especially to our shared core values of self-government, equal standing in court, freedom of speech, free enterprise and a belief in our continuous improvement.
We’ll accomplish so much more as Americans unified behind these shared values, instead of obsessing over divisions. We should reject the divisive and nefarious Marxist dogma cloaked in critical race theory. Americans are too practical and intelligent to accept such discredited Marxist nonsense. Let’s ignore these nonsensical malcontents and move forward as we always have: together as Americans we can fix anything broken.
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