Trapped in the right-wing bubble

The only thing I have enjoyed more than election night in the past couple of weeks has been the various "explanations" of the national and statewide results that have come from my compatriots on the right.

The lessons they appear to have taken from the voters' rejection of their visions for our country and our state have been that the majority of us are a pack of fools, "takers," fellow travelers, traitors and enemies of democracy and free enterprise.

Well, that's fine by me; no politician or political party has ever bounced back from a defeat by blaming the electorate.

So I say, stay trapped in your right-wing bubble. Stay disconnected from the real concerns and values of the majority. And, most important, continue to shrink in power and influence until your irrelevance is on display for all to see.

Richard Willis

Richmond

Willing to pay higher taxes

Apparently, voters re-electing President Barack Obama were looking through eyes less myopic than Carol Dodd's, whose letter was in the Nov. 8 Times.

In Ohio and Michigan, saving the American auto industry was considered reason enough to give Obama their vote. That's a fact, not opinion.


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Dodd is concerned about sharing her hard-earned wealth, accumulated with an exemplary work ethic. I applaud a strong work ethic.

My husband worked past retirement age to send our children to college. I was a stay-at-home mom until our last two children started high school, when I became a volunteer in French and English classes. Later, I went on to become bilingual coordinator for our district for more than 10 years.

My husband and I can claim a spot in Dodd's list of "others," as we will be impacted by the tax bill should the Republicans do what's best for America. We've always been willing to spread our wealth through taxes to maintain the infrastructure, clean air and water, food safety standards, health care and the education of our citizens.

I remind Dodd that the president cannot raise her taxes and spread her wealth around without an act of Congress, whose prerogative it is to raise taxes, albeit on a tax bill presented by the president.

Vera Henry

Danville

Competition for improvement

Many Americans love to compete. Or if they happen not to love it, they believe it is required of them to get along in the world.

There is a place for everything in this world, and competition can certainly serve a constructive purpose. But nearly everything can also be overdone or overemphasized.

Thus, I recommend that we Americans create a different paradigm when it comes to competing with one another.

Instead of continually struggling for one's own self-interest and self-regard, this new way would be to focus our competitive energies into seeing who can create the most effective means for sharing the mercy and bounty our benevolent creator bestows upon us all.

Ron Greenstein

El Cerrito

Different plan for BART and other rail in area

Drop the talk of blended rail of high-speed rail on Caltrain. With 43 grade crossings and many unprotected trackside station platforms, Caltrain tracks are far too dangerous for high-speed trains.

Better, safer and much less costly: HSR from Santa Clara via Mulford to Oakland and Sacramento; it's the route long used by Amtrak. Route Capital Corridor is this way, too; grade separate, multitrack, and fence this Union Pacific line in stages.

Add an intermodal transfer station in Oakland, where BART crosses over the Union Pacific near I-880 and 7th Street.

Prioritize BART around the Bay: Enlarge BART -- or form a new five-county agency -- to complete BART construction now under way to Berryessa in San Jose; redo planning for extending that line further to Santa Clara and plan to grade separate and convert Millbrae-Santa Clara Caltrain to BART.

A plan balanced among the five counties would also extend BART to the Golden Gate and Carquinez Bridges, to Brentwood, and over the Altamont.

Adjusted for inflation and the five-county population, a bond issue like that for BART in 1962 per capita would raise about $16 billion today.

Robert S. Allen

BART director (1974-1988) Livermore