Obama proving Khrushchev was on money

No one would be prouder of Barack Obama than Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet leader in the 1950s and '60s.

If only he were alive today to see how far the United States has swung to the left. In 1959 he said, "We cannot expect the Americans to jump from capitalism to communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving Americans small doses of socialism until they suddenly awake to find they have communism." In 1962 Khrushchev said, "The United States will eventually fly the communist red flag. The American people will hoist it themselves."

Four years of eroding freedom under the Obama regime and four more to come, is it that far-fetched to say that Nikita Khrushchev's prediction is coming true?

Mark Marcotte

Danville

D.C. may as well fly flag of hammer, sickle

The election has brought the socialists out of the cellars; they have finally won the battle for the future of this country.

Some of us remember fighting off the red masses -- now they're in the White House. Khrushchev said it would be accomplished through the schools -- has anyone met up with a conservative teacher lately?

It's unsettling that the public now considers those who want the budget balanced and the constitution to be honored as radicals. This is total loss of rational thinking, but now the concept is as normal as socialist politicians buying your vote, and if we think it's wrong, then we are extremist. Where will the money come from to pay the debt? Just print it up and pay the bills? If that works why not print us all a million dollars? Consider that the government could steal all of the money from the successful plus the money from all of your paychecks for a full year, and there will still be debt. Teachers don't teach economics; it might hurt their candidate.

Edward Magoon

Pleasanton

Can political mockery only go one way?

If the Emperor of Oakland, Jon Barrilleaux, had his way, would there be any humor left in the comic strips?

No doubt, he satisfies his daily Gary Trudeau fix, but claims Bruce Tinsley's comic "has no reader value" because it dares to quip something that rubs him the wrong way. This liberal-minded man reveals he is actually rather close-minded when it comes to tolerating any dissent or wit from the opposition, so he rails against the "neoconservatives" for expressing their point of view. Barrilleaux would prefer to mock and censure those who don't hold his views than tolerate freedom of expression.

Please, Mr. Barrilleaux, if you get to keep your Doonesbury, then let us keep Mallard Fillmore. The difference is: Fillmore is funny, witty and quite perceptive; Doonesbury is bleak, snarky and cynical. Sorry you had to resort to an insult aligning Fox News with Mallard Fillmore fans.

And the culture war will only get worse.

Paul Shepherd

Danville

Remember united spirit of Pearl Harbor

The Pearl Harbor attack on Dec. 7, 1941, brought every able-bodied American into a united effort to win the war.

The war lasted only four years, and we won! There were no politics involved -- we were fighting to save our country, every American worked as one to solve the disaster, and we did! Our politicians in Washington, D.C., had better realize that we have had an economic disaster in the making for years. They should be less busy trying to be re-elected with lifetime perks, thinking about themselves, and start working for America. We all have to take reductions to save our country -- instead of adding debt to our grandchildren's future.

Edward Metz

Danville

Keep Sowell; attacks unfair

Several letters have been published lately criticizing Thomas Sowell for his articles.

Sowell is a well credentialed, highly educated and well-informed author and columnist. These writers may not agree with his opinions, but it is unrealistic to denigrate him for those opinions simply because they are generally conservative in nature.

I suspect they are like many of my liberal acquaintances who are not even interested in conservative views, so it is difficult to understand why they would be troubled by them.

Please continue to carry Thomas Sowell's articles (and Mallard Fillmore). After all, there are other liberal op-ed pieces, such as Leonard Pitts (and Doonesbury) to offer balance.

Glen D. Polzin

Livermore

Volunteers not the way to staff our fire stations

As a retired volunteer fire chief, I find Yan Pawlak's letter to be offensive and insulting to paid and volunteer firefighters.

Volunteer firefighters have many purposes, their main one being to provide additional manpower and resources to a paid fire department. In today's world they cannot take the place of paid firefighters, and at the same time provide the high level of skills and services that the paid firefighter provides and the public expects. The training and education required to perform the job of a full-time firefighter prohibits the job from being performed on a volunteer basis day-in and day-out. I know -- I have been there and seen what it takes.

Being a firefighter is not a part-time job, nor is it just about fighting fires. It's about quick response times, having and performing basic and advanced medical skills and services; hazmat response, cliff and high rise rescue, water rescue and much more. In time of need, a person's life depends on the firefighter to get him to a hospital quickly and alive. In addition to all the education and training necessary to become a full-time paid firefighter, the firefighter also has to accept the fact that his life expectancy is going to be about 10 years less than the average person. That's right: his desire to help a fellow person will cost him 10 years off his life.

A firefighter's job is 24 hours a day, 365 days a year -- there is no part time here. Pawlak needs to be reminded that these six-figure pensions were negotiated and that it was his elected officials who negotiated and signed off on the contracts. These elected officials thought at the time it was a great deal. No one held a gun to their heads and made them sign it. At one time the pension investments where doing well, and some were even self-funding.

The question should be how the taxes collected during these "good" times were allocated and spent. Pension reform and budget reform are going to be necessary to make this work in the future. Replacing paid firefighters with volunteers is not the answer. By the way, only an uninformed half-wit could remark on how a firefighter spends his day. Be safe.

Terry Givens

Livermore