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Taxing of petroleum is going to happenI thank Charles Krauthammer for his column, "Congress should pass major revenue-neutral gas tax," and for saying he's advocated major taxing of petroleum for 32 years.  
 
Keystone XL pipeline should not be builtThe United States should not build the Keystone XL pipeline because: According to former NASA climate scientist James Hansen it would be "game over" for climate change if we burn all this dirty oil and don't instead focus on clean energy alternatives.  
 
Torture is proven to yield unreliable infoThe United States won World War II and defeated Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan without officially using or condoning torture.  
 
Walkers and cyclists need, want changesWe would like to respond to the Jan. 9 letter, "Shoreline bike path neither needed nor wanted by most."The Shoreline Drive construction is not just adding "another bike path," as the author suggests.  
 
Krauthhammer was right about gas taxI often read Charles Krauthammer's columns with gritted teeth. However, his Jan. 12 column, in which he proposes a revenue-neutral gasoline tax of $1 per gallon with corresponding decreases in FICA taxes, made me smile.  
 
Our flawed priorities cause homelessneessI read with sadness a recent article on homeless seniors, wondering once again how we had gotten to this point in our affluent society.  
 
Burying our heads in sand not a good planGeorge Will, the recent standard-bearer for denying man's influence in climate change, makes the same error in logic as do others who espouse the same point.  
 
Front page story exploited race, lacked factsI've enjoyed my subscription to the Tri-Valley Times and much of its content as well as its editorials and balanced approach to social, political and economic issues.  
 
No pay hike for supervisors is a good thingI cannot begin to express my relief to see that the 33 percent pay raise that four out of five of our county supervisors were requesting has been rescinded.  
 
Glaring hypocrisies in immigration lawI'm referring to your recent front-page article reporting on the process for illegal immigrants to obtain California driver's licenses.  
 
Protect freedoms of religion and speechThe tragedy in Paris reveals once again the hateful intolerance that exists in the world today. There are those who believe that the writers and cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo used poor judgment in satirizing the Prophet Muhammad because of the past history of  
 
Costs far outweigh the benefits to the stateIt consumes enormous amounts of our valuable and scarce water. It deposits high-pressure carcinogenic chemicals underground, which can penetrate into the water table used for agriculture irrigation.  
 
We must not permit torture in any caseI applaud Rebecca Gordon for her Jan. 4 opinion piece, "What the terror report got right, wrong," about the effectiveness of torture as reported in the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on the CIA.  
 
Holding drivers hostage a form of kidnappingMs. Elana Dykewomon, of Oakland, tries to make a point that spontaneous blocking of traffic, while inconvenient for the motorist, is still a peaceful means of protest.  
 
Development to make traffic, parking worseA month ago I visited a doctor in Walnut Creek. He sent me downstairs to a lab for a blood test. The young lab technician asked me where I lived.  
 
Very worried about our national malaise I'm concerned about our country's malaise.I'm referring to the infantilization of poor people through the public policies of the war on drugs, which has caused a Prohibition-style criminality; the welfare state, which does nothing to increase self-respect  
 
BART's shutdown culprits should payI'm sorry. But I totally disagree with the BART General Manager Grace Crunican. The protesters shut down the transbay service for three hours and delayed people who were trying to get to their jobs and other appointments.  
 
Charlie should have protected itselfFor sanity's sake, we may engage in magical thinking -- no harm will ever come to those who live peacefully and lawfully.  
 
Torture use simply cannot be justifiedIn a recent column, Thomas Sowell justifies torture by posing the unrealistic case of interrogating a terrorist who knows the location and timing of a nuclear bomb hidden in New York City.  
 
Constitution ensures a right to free speechIn his recent letter, Roy Moret demonstrates his lack of understanding of our constitutional right to free speech.  
 
Solution needs to be fair and reasonableIt's highly probable and unfortunate a "comprehensive" immigration bill will be passed.Like Obamacare, it will probably contain several thousand pages and we'll again be told it needs to be passed to know what it contains.  
 
Blame the insurance broker, not the stateThe insurance debacle disrupting the Liu family in your Kaiser Health news piece blames Covered California instead of the private insurance company taking the Lius' platinum premium dollar.  
 
Bicycle safety needs to be a two-way streetI am writing not exactly in response to your article about the recent bicycle accident on Highland Road but in relation to it.  
 
Mayor Gilmore's legacy one of progress, planningWith the transition in city administration, there has been talk regarding the legacy of outgoing Mayor Marie Gilmore.  
 
'Immigrants' need more distinguishing"Unions push to recruit immigrants," proclaim recent headlines. The subsequent stories makes it clear that this refers to millions of workers who entered the U.  
 
Supervisors earned raise they deservedContra Costa County Supervisor Karen Mitchoff and her four supervisorial colleagues oversee an annual budget of more than $1.  
 
Hack attack on Sony PicturesConcerning the hack attack on Sony Pictures: "The Interview" appears to be a very provocative film. If the tables were turned and a foreign country made a parody of our leader being assassinated, the American people wouldn't appreciate that.  
 
It's not up to me to decide fate of movieSupport? Heck, it's not up to me. It's up to the millions of movie-goers who fall for this most blatant, yet effective, marketing ploy in the history of box-office sales.  
 
Normalization is long overduePresident Barack Obama's effort to normalize relations with Cuba is the best thing he's ever done. This action was long overdue.  
 
Consequences dire if development stopsAlameda is facing the potential of a new period of economic pain due to efforts to rescind certain economic development projects.  
 
 

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