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Soldiers at the border

EDITOR: Do you remember Kent State University, when government officials labeled protesting students as terrorists and sent in the military? How many young U.S. citizens were shot that day?

Does it matter that a similar confrontation on the U.S.-Mexico border might turn out in the same way (“Trump: 15,000 troops may be sent to border,” Thursday)?

STEVE AYALA

Petaluma

An election wish

EDITOR: May this election bring the greatest good to the greatest number of people over the longest period of time.

BILL KRUMBEIN

Santa Rosa

Maximum occupancy

EDITOR: Yes, I am now an old curmudgeon — a title bestowed upon one who’s lived long enough to witness social issues come around for a rerun. Not in a circle but a spiral.

When I was a teenager in the 1960s, those who smoked dope to get high and stoned were those who had too much idle time and too much disposable income. With some exceptions, it’s probably 98 percent still true.

Once the sales tax was just above 3 percent. Like an economic cancer, the well-intentioned created simple quarter-cent increases to fund social issues that have evolved into embedded entitlement programs. Where are we at now? Almost 9 percent.

People claim to care about the environment, but we continue to measure progress by how much our environment can be covered by asphalt and concrete, adding highway traffic metering lights and forever increasing population density.

I still wait for a politician whose campaign isn’t financed by public unions and big developers; someone who has the backbone, in the interest of public safety and local preservation, to put up signs at our county lines indicating “max occupancy,” much like you see at restaurants and theaters. We’ve reached it.

A.C. EICHSTAEDT

Santa Rosa

American oligarchy

EDITOR: Our longtime fear of Soviet communism has created a mindset so ingrained against anything remotely socialist that we have forgotten that Soviet communism ended in 1991. What has happened is that we have become an oligarchy more closely imitating the Russian form of privilege for a few than we seem to realize. We quite simply have conceded to those interests.

We have a corporate-owned government because we vote solely on slogans and appearances. We still have a vote — to a degree — but that will erode entirely if we give it up. Our power as voters will only last if we don’t concede that right and know whose interests we are voting for.

Ask a Russian how their last election went.

RICK NILES

Santa Rosa

Mocking a veteran

EDITOR: I noted that in Monday’s People column you mentioned the extremely important and newsworthy Pete Davidson-Ariana Grande breakup on “Saturday Night Live.” I also noticed that you failed to mention that Davidson mocked veteran/congressional candidate Dan Crenshaw during the Weekend Update segment.

When a photo of Crenshaw came up, Davidson joked that he looked like a “hitman from a porno” due to his eyepatch, which he wears after losing an eye serving in Afghanistan. “I’m sorry, I know he lost his eye in war or whatever,” he said as he laughed. “Whatever.”

Could it be because Crenshaw is a Republican candidate, or are liberal celebrities exempt from criticism when they mock a veteran? No wonder I don’t care much for the mainstream media.

DAVID R. HUGHES

Clearlake

Helping the homeless

EDITOR: Thank you for your inside look at the homeless couple. I have an adult autistic son who lives with us and is incapable of living on his own. I see many parallels between his situation and many of the people on the streets.

For most of his “education,” he was grouped with his handicapped peers. Homeless people with nowhere to go group together. They fall into the frailties that got them there (drugs, mental illness, lack of education, mild cognitive impairments, etc).

I believe that their best chance of success is full inclusion — small group homes among the population rather than in large shelters that provide a roof but no way to escape the situations that got them there in the first place. Why not have a foster home program for adults or small group homes scattered throughout the county? This program could be supported in the same way the handicapped are.

Hopefully, with community support, they could achieve their full potential or get the help they need. It wouldn’t work for all, but pushing them around to a bridge, a parking lot or a trail or corralling them like cattle isn’t an answer. There is an invisible number of families who shelter would-be homeless, and it is the right thing to do.

KAREN NORMAN-BOUDREAU

Sebastopol

You can send a letter to the editor atletters@pressdemocrat.com

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