No new debt
Let me get this right. State worker wages are contractual, right? The governor cuts incomes of all state workers by 5 percent, saving $1 billion toward a $21 billion deficit? The bond raters fall for this temporary fix (con), then boost our bond rating? Now we can borrow more money at a lower rate to increase the future debt? And this action will not end up in the courts on the taxpayers' dime? Why?
If state workers earn 5 percent less in taxable income, they pay less in taxes. These workers will earn less to buy purchases that bring in sales tax revenue. So there could be less, not more, money available to the state in the years after the cuts? Will our problems get worse?
If interest for bonds comes off the top of the general fund every year, we should not take on any additional bond debt until the budget crisis is stabilized. We must pay the banks first and everything else from schools to prisons or transportation come after our debt obligations.
Don't fall for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's wage fix, and don't vote for the $11.1 billion in water project bonds in November. Robbing Peter to pay Paul is not going to fly in California during a recession.
How can someone say they support national movements if they oppose Zionism?
Israel's enemies repeatedly call for it's destruction with impunity. What would happen if Israel did likewise to it's enemies just once? How come the Jews who live in Judea/Samaria do not demand the Arabs leave their land, yet if the Arabs get a state on this same land, they demand the Jews must leave?
How come the Israeli citizens of Sderot had to endure more than 8,000 rocket attacks while the world did nothing, yet when Israel finally responded it is accused of using "disproportionate force" and war crimes?
Why is it Hamas intentionally places itself and its arsenal among civilians knowing innocent people will be killed, yet only Israel gets accused of killing civilians?
Why is someone who intentionally and indiscriminately murders innocent Israeli's called a "militant" instead of a terrorist? What military other than Israel drops millions of leaflets and place thousands of calls to warn as many innocent people as possible before attacking. Is anyone familiar with the term "double standard?"
It's the coaching
The Jan. 31 Sports section included two lists of high school football players, guys who are being recruited by colleges and are expected to have the best chance at success on the college level. One list, the annual Cream of the Crop, is selected by college coaches who recruit the area and includes players who attend schools in the circulation area of the Bay Area News Group (the East Bay and San Mateo County). The other list was compiled by SuperPrep Magazine and includes the top 100 recruits in California.
De La Salle High School had only one player in the Cream of the Crop (the 20th and last player selected) and zero players among the top 100 in the state (one school, Oaks Christian, had six players on the list!). I found this interesting because so many people believe the fallacy that DLS "recruits" and only wins because it has superior talent.
After a rough start, DLS had another banner year, winning the Open Division State Championship. Attributing its success to "recruiting" or any other form of cheating is an injustice to both the players and coaches at DLS. The formula for DLS' success is very simple: hard work and commitment of the student-athletes combined with superior coaching/guidance provided by head coach Bob Ladouceur and his outstanding staff.
On Jan. 28, Livermore Lab reported a "successful firing" of its NIF super laser. The timing of the Lab's hype of this "success" with NIF is ironic given that just three days later LLNL asked Congress for an additional $50 million for the NIF program over last year.
Despite its purported recent success, many scientists do not foresee ignition ever occurring at the facility as promised. Additionally, NIF has exceeded its original $600 million estimated lifetime cost many times over (now projected to be $6 billion). Additionally, the project originally promised ignition in 2000, but has since pushed that goal by an entire decade due to numerous technical problems, most of which continue to go unresolved.
This over budget, underperforming program continues to receive full funding because of its touted goal of "unlimited renewable energy." Yet, only 15 percent of the research done with NIF is for nonweapons (including energy) related research and 85 percent is related to nuclear weapons research and development.
Further, the article ignores the issue of safety with regard to the releases of radioactive emissions from NIF inside the city limits of Livermore, close to homes, schools and shopping centers.
I find it difficult to celebrate this "successful firing."
Dr. Martha Priebat
Livermore Board President Tri-Valley Communities Against a Radioactive Environment (CAREs)