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Trump and Obama

EDITOR: According to recent polling, an overwhelming majority of Republicans approve of Donald Trump’s handling of the manufactured border crises, which includes a threat to use emergency powers to build his vanity wall. I find this interesting, since a similar overwhelming majority of Republicans were highly critical of President Barack Obama for his much more restrained use of executive orders to resolve contentious issues.

Still, I prefer to look on the bright side. If Trump does invoke emergency powers to build a wall, it may turn out to be a blessing in disguise. For example, if the next Democratic president decides to use emergency powers to respond to the real and existential threat of climate change, right-wingers won’t be able to say a thing about it.

MIKE BEAVERS

Santa Rosa

Thompson’s real motive?

EDITOR: Rep. Mike Thompson’s universal background check bill is interesting because his constituents have had this law for years (“Thompson fights guns,” Jan. 9). It didn’t stop mass shootings here, and it wouldn’t have done anything to stop mass shootings nationally. Gabby Giffords was standing at his side, but her deranged shooter passed a background check.

Then what is Thompson up to? Our founding documents were clear that our rights don’t come from government. Government power comes from the consent of the governed. You were born with your rights; the government can protect them or take them away.

The Bill of Rights included the right to bear arms as a checks and balance. The old axiom is a natural law: “When government expands, liberty must contract.” Government and regulations have been expanding at an exponential rate.

Note that those who want to tax and regulate you hate gun rights. The courts haven’t helped them. A pivotal point in gutting the Second Amendment is to have all gun sales go through government. Include this with the recent adoption by many states to confiscate guns without due process and you are set to pull the fangs from the Bill of Rights when needed.

There are things to be done about mass shootings, but passing a bill that only law-abiding people will follow isn’t one of them.

TED STEPHENS

Yorkville

Housing wins

EDITOR: Burbank Housing’s purchase of a Rincon Valley apartment complex is a clear demonstration that unfettered capitalism has failed us in this crucial area (“Long-term availability,” Jan. 10).

The gouging we see around us in both sales and rental prices shows that the market does not self-regulate. The profit incentive is too often mixed up with greed and a race to ensure that one doesn’t miss out on the golden goose.

If one landlord raises rents, others feel they are missing out on profits, and a self-fortifying loop ensues where rents grow with no other real reason for rent increases.

Something like what Burbank Housing is doing in Santa Rosa and what PEP Housing is doing in Petaluma shows that reasonable rents can be maintained as a long-term housing strategy, and quality doesn’t have to suffer. All it takes is the right vision, a good plan and community backing.

Kudos to the Santa Rosa Housing Authority for helping fund this project. Let’s see if other communities can increase their investment in their own future.

JOHN SERGNERI

Petaluma

A contest of egos

EDITOR: I find it amusing that Edelweiss Geary is ready to blame the Democrats in Congress for not addressing and resolving the government shutdown when, during the time the Republicans controlled both houses, they themselves couldn’t come up with a bill that would have supported the construction of a border wall (“Democrats take a vacation,” Letters, Wednesday).

It seems that President Donald Trump, when confronted with a proposal of something like $2 billion for border defense, decided not to compromise and responded with something like: It’s all or nothing. The president has been demanding $5.7 billion for said wall.

I can only conclude that this has all come down to political grandstanding and large egos. Certainly it’s not about what would be the most cost-effective way to address the issue.

CARL MERNER

Santa Rosa

Accepting change

EDITOR: I greatly appreciated Judy Kennedy’s refreshing response when told her artwork would be destroyed since the defunct China Light restaurant is being torn down: “It doesn’t bother me at all” (“Murals to be torn down,” Wednesday). What? No moaning, no groaning, no protests, no lawsuits. Thank you Judy, for realizing that the only constant is change.

MARY JENKINS

Santa Rosa

Country roads

EDITOR: Regarding Occidental Road and other two-lane country roads in the west county, I believe there are actions that could help slow down the heavy traffic that these roads carry.

First, reduce the legal speed limits on these roads. Thirty- five and 40 mph are too high for two-lane country roads that in many cases having no shoulder to pull over onto.

Second, utilize more traffic monitoring and ticketing on these roads, consistently.

Third, speeding fines need to be high, going higher with each infraction. Money talks.

As a senior rural resident who crosses Willowside Road every day to pick up my mail, I would like to feel a bit less endangered and a little more respected and safe as a pedestrian.

To those who have actually stopped for me to cross, thank you. To the rest, this reminder from Simon and Garfunkel: “Slow down, you’re movin’ too fast …”

MARY ZIE

Santa Rosa

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

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