It is not just about feral cats

I read your recent article on the trap, neuter and release programs. TNR sounds so humane, warm and fuzzy -- unless you're a songbird, a lizard or a diseased feral.

Feral cats don't die of old age, and they don't have painless deaths at the vet's. They die of parasites, fight injuries and diseases. Especially, they die under cars.

Ferals aren't part of a natural ecosystem. They kill indiscriminately and in great numbers. And it's not only feral cats. Roaming pets kill potentially more than ferals. Owners allowing pets to roam free not only contribute to the killing, but expose their pets to traffic, diseases and other dangers.

Feeding ferals exacerbates the problem, enabling them to survive and breed, and by inadvertently feeding wildlife as well -- causing artificial surges in their populations and conflicts between wildlife and cats.

I don't hate cats. I own a wonderful cat. He has a wire run that allows him ample scope for doing fun things cats do outside.

There are too many ferals. Unfortunately, the only realistic answer for most is euthanasia. There'll always be feral cats. But a few feral cats will do much less damage than thousands.

Geonni Banner

Richmond

There was serious IRS misconduct

I believe there was serious misconduct by the Obama administration in the IRS scandal.


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The administration swears by Chicago-style politics, which says you eliminate your opponent. Today you do that by cutting off funds. The IRS stalling was an effort to defund conservative groups.

In August 2008, the conservative American Issues Project (AIP) ran negative ads against Barack Obama. Obama's campaign general counsel, Bob Bauer, wrote to the Justice Department criminal division demanding an investigation of the AIP. When AIP explained to the Justice Department, Bauer went to the Federal Election Commission demanding confidential information.

Bauer used these tactics against Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and pro-Mitt Romney groups. After the 2010 congressional losses fostered by the tea party, the administration saw a need to blunt their impact.

Bauer was White House counsel 2010-2011. Many former top campaign staffers were working in the White House.

They were aware of how the IRS could be used.

Starting in March 2010, the IRS launched an unprecedented campaign to stymie and harass conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status through delays and denials. The action worked. Now the IRS will determine your health care.

Gregg Manning

Clayton

Baby boomers could save the day

John Bogle, founder of The Vanguard Group, claims current pension plans are a train wreck.

He offers the same old alternatives of larger contributions with smaller payouts. Incredibly, he says some will have to rely on Social Security alone or depend on their families.

Meanwhile, Apple CEO Tim Cook defends diverting billions of tax dollars via Ireland. If those billions were cycled back into the American economy and used for workers' defined benefit pensions, we would not have to depend on our families, who may be dead by then anyway.

A nation of millions of comfortably retired baby boomers could spark another revolution. Imagine all that collective wisdom -- with time, money and energy to spend on giving back to society.

Wendy Brubaker

Richmond

Sugary drinks are a societal concern

I urge support of SB 622, a bill designed to tax sugary drinks in the state of California. This bill is important because 17 percent of children and a quarter of the adult population in our state are obese.

SB 622 targets sugary drinks, which are a huge factor in the rise of obesity. A Harvard study found that soda taxes, such as this one, can be expected to reduce consumption of the targeted drinks by 10 percent.

This would save the state in adult health care costs, as obesity related problems already cost California $15.2 billion, according to the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, making this no longer a matter of personal responsibility, but a societal concern.

I urge readers to contact their state senators in support of this measure.

Owen Goetze

Danville