Wednesday’s Letters to the Editor
Fighting the invaders
EDITOR: I hear that people who are resolutely unvaccinated against COVID-19 don’t want strange substances injected into their body. The delta variant of COVID-19 is looking for human bodies where it can invade, replicate and mutate. By throwing away your vaccine shield, you are offering your body as host to these mutants. If we’re going to act out “Alien,” I want to be Sigourney Weaver.
EDITOR: I believe the recall rules are undemocratic. If I have this right, if less than 50% vote to keep Gavin Newsom in office, he gets replaced with the candidate with the highest percentage of votes from the listed opponents. OK, so someone with far less than 49% of the vote could win. Someone with, say, 35% of the vote, becomes governor and Newsom, although he drew 49% of the votes, is removed from office. So, 35% wins over 49%. What?
With that thinking, we maybe could have recalled Donald Trump quite easily, and probably the next biggest candidate would have done a better job.
Change the rules to allow the incumbent to stay if more people oppose the recall than support any of the opposing candidate. Thirty-five percent shouldn't beat 49%. It’s undemocratic.
EDITOR: Scott Giblin frames Rep. Mike Thompson’s gun legislation as “lying” and a “violation” when it is neither (“Buy a gun,” Letters, July 11). The Fourth Amendment he cites was an alteration to the Constitution, which is not sacred, nor immutable.
The lie is from the right, and they have been doing it for decades, along with fear mongering. In America, we have elections that put people in office for a certain term, and then they legislate. The chief executive signs or vetoes bills, and the legislature may override that veto if they choose. The courts decide constitutionality. All these things are anything but a violation. They are, in fact, quite democratic, as any fifth grader knows.
Laws are passed by majorities, in some form or other. The public has the right to act on an issue, and if a majority objects, they may remove the lawmakers in the next election. This is simple civics, and not at all as Giblin portrays.
Personally, I agree with Thompson. The statistics are in my favor on every count. And there is no provable reduction of freedom or safety. There are zero facts to prove that contention. So, let’s have the debate, but bring your data. Enough ranting and head exploding.
On litter patrol
EDITOR: Gov. Gavin Newsom says he’s about to take California trash more seriously (“Billion-dollar statewide cleanup plan kicks off,” July 8). For the past year, we have been voluntarily picking up trash along Rohnert Park Expressway and would like to share our thoughts “from the trenches” with you, the governor and the community. We believe that holding those people who are producing the trash responsible (fines? trash duty? other community service?) would eliminate or mitigate about 75% of the problems we see on our rounds.
We think the biggest problem is cigarette butts in every area where people cluster to smoke because they are forbidden to smoke where they live or work. (The butts are nasty, toxic and difficult to pick up.) Next is food wrappers where kids and construction workers hang out during the day. Most disgusting is bags of doggie doo that people are too lazy to carry home. Finally there are events. For example, since the most recent Sonoma State University graduation, we and the SSU staff have been picking up champagne bottles and glasses, corks and thousands of tiny blue and gold pieces of plastic confetti that will take somebody years to eradicate.
Our most bizarre “find” was a cat carcass that had been picked clean by scavenger birds. At least the job is interesting.
ANNA VAN RAAPHORST-JOHNSON
and DICK JOHNSON
A ‘gross’ misuse of force
EDITOR: You reported on a sheriff’s dog biting a man stopped on suspicion of involvement in a car theft (“Man bitten by dog not suspect,” July 14). The person was stopped after the victim erroneously identified a Subaru Outback as a Subaru Forester. The man who was stopped naturally wanted to know what crime he was supposed to have committed; his question apparently went unanswered.
Although he continued to ask for an explanation, the man got out of his vehicle, dropped to his knees and raised his hands. While in that posture, the dog was ordered to bite him because the man did not “crawl toward” the deputies as one of them insisted. According to sheriff’s Sgt. Juan Valencia, “Just because someone is on their knees with their hands up doesn’t mean they’re complying.” That is a ridiculous excuse for gross misuse of force.
If sheriff’s deputies can’t handle a person on their knees with their hands up without the use of force, they desperately need retraining or another job. The undisciplined overuse of force by sheriff’s deputies is why the civilian call for oversight continues to grow exponentially.
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