Wednesday’s Letters to the Editor

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Security and politics

EDITOR: A security clearance isn’t a political gift (“Trump revokes security clearance,” Thursday). Throughout my career, I had multiple security clearances with various federal agencies. A clearance is acknowledgment of both a background evaluation and a need to know. A security clearance requires periodic renewal and may require a lie-detector evaluation. It isn’t a political gift to be arbitrarily given or taken away. Politics may play a role in someone’s need to know certain material but not on their fitness.

Former CIA director John Brennan has a career of sensitive knowledge on vitally important national issues. It would be correct to deny him access to some of that material. It is not correct to give or remove basic security clearances upon political whim. A person’s background fitness doesn’t change with an election cycle.

Brennan’s background and knowledge are national treasures. We must be able to evaluate near information in the light of past knowledge. It is wrong to deny him access to any material for which he has a need to know. National security is vitally important, very challenging and not to be a political football.


Santa Rosa

Bias and trust

EDITOR: More than 300 media outlets joined in a coordinated effort to push back against President Donald Trump. That wasn’t a shock to many Americans, as it seems mainstream news organizations have done little else throughout his tenure in the White House.

In a recent poll, 72 percent expressed the belief that “traditional major news sources report news they know to be fake, false, or purposely misleading,” with nearly two-thirds attributing the reporting of fake news to the promotion of an agenda. That’s not Trump’s fault. Americans’ trust in media was falling long before he took office.

What the media are reacting to isn’t a “dirty war” against them, but a new landscape in which a few well-established media corporations that claim the high ground of the First Amendment can no longer set the terms of the national debate without expecting pushback or scrutiny.

Journalists fretting over their public image have more to fear in the practices of their peers than in any characterizations of their profession coming from the White House. If they want to counter the narrative that they are blindly and single-mindedly focused on hounding a president from office at any cost, openly colluding to scold him for rhetoric that merely mirrors their own contempt may not be the best place to start.


Santa Rosa

Waiting for transit

EDITOR: There must be a reason, a good reason, that zero public transport options exist for travel between Santa Rosa and Calistoga. I wish I knew what it was.


Hidden Valley Lake

Be a ‘climate lobbyist’

EDITOR: Why do we have to wait for 2020 to let Mother Nature in our elections (“Imagine if Mother Nature gets a vote in 2020,” Sunday)? I’m tired of having to pull out that Martian-looking respirator, or stay inside, on all these unhealthy, smoky air days. And, of course, there are much larger areas of California suffering more direct effects of the fires. Even the big, glossy insert from PG&E gave a hint: “California confronted 7,117 wildfires in 2017 compared to an average of 4,835 wildfires in the previous 5 years.”

Come on candidates, media and all you voters. Let’s put Mother Nature on the ballot now. Let’s stop killing our atmosphere and oceans. Make human survival an election issue. Let’s not play dumb or helpless on this. It’s amazing how this most critical issue of all is hardly talked about. Speak up, and let your representatives know that they need to speak up. Become a climate lobbyist.


Santa Rosa

A flowery tribute

EDITOR: After reading several complaints about this year’s Sonoma County Fair flower show, I am compelled to offer my thoughts on the subject.

True, there were fewer floral displays, but the tribute to first responders was phenomenal. The exhibits of fire engines and equipment with a background mural of “Sonoma Strong” brought me to tears.

Beyond that, I was thrilled with the musical performers. While seated comfortably amid the beauty and honorariums, I enjoyed listening to one of the greatest yodelers, Sourdough Slim, who also played accordion and guitar. Then came the ensemble of ukulele instrumentalists. Their selection of songs, which they played and sang, was foot-tapping good and exhilarating.

Yes, I loved the flowers. And this was the most I have enjoyed the flower show in nearly 50 years of attendance.



Stick with standard time

EDITOR: Why is the discussion concerning the time change proposition only centered on keeping daylight saving time or not (“On second thought, daylight saving time isn’t so bad,” Editorial, Saturday)? I vote for keeping standard time year round. It makes more sense. More light in the morning is more beneficial than an extra hour at night during the summer. The days are longer anyway.


Santa Rosa

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