Hypocrites thrive on radio talk shows

The right-wing noise machine, as exemplified by sanctimonious con artists on radio talk shows, should amaze all of us.

Common sense says that if the deaths of four Americans in an attack on our embassy in Benghazi was "all Obama's fault," then the violent deaths of more than 250 Americans at our embassy in Beirut in 1983 clearly must have been "all Reagan's fault."

Same with the uproar about the Obama administration unlawfully and without warrants, tapping into the phone conversations of American citizens. What a horrible crime! As I remember, President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were doing the exact same thing for more than six years. Even Cheney stated recently that he saw "nothing wrong" with President Obama's actions.

The true definition of hypocrite: someone who loudly complains about the wrongful actions of Democrats yet remains purposely silent when Republican politicians do the same thing.

James Snyder

Benicia

Socialism puts nation on a path to ruin

Socialism ends when there's no more taxpayer money left for the government to give to the non-producing consumers.

We are fortunate right now because there's lots of production from American companies and our farmers, in addition to imports. When we combine this with all the government payments -- food stamps, welfare, government programs, gigantic government salaries, benefits and pensions -- our retail sector is doing very well.

People will spend all the money they receive. Great! We have a wonderful economy as long as we can collect taxes and print money.

Will our great economy last forever? Maybe, maybe not.

With the Obama administration's heavy attack on our family farms with taxes, permits, regulations and the death tax, we may come to a similar point that destroyed the Roman Empire 1,700 years ago.

That empire was so strong for 400 years because it had plenty of food. Farmers were prosperous because they sold their food to the economy. When taxes and regulations became so tenuous, the family farms finally reached a boiling point and stopped producing food.

It happened 1,700 years ago and it will happen again.

Sidney Steinberg

Berkeley

Skittles vs. gun in Florida

I do not understand why the Florida law allowing a person to kill someone when they feel threatened does not apply to Trayvon Martin.

The teenager was walking down the street with a bag of Skittles and ice tea when George Zimmerman, who was more fit then, got out of his truck, contrary to directions from a 911 operator, with a gun. The next thing you know, the teenager is dead.

Why hasn't Zimmerman been locked up in jail from the beginning? Is this a case of racism?

And was it racism or just plain hateful ignorance that was behind defense attorney Don West's daughter's posting a photo on Instagram with the caption: "We beat stupidity celebration cones?" As if the tasteless knock-knock joke wasn't bad enough!

Could West and his family be any more insensitive to people with learning disabilities or born in different situations?

My heart goes out to Rachel Jeantel. It is certainly understandable why she lied in an attempt not to get involved and be thrown to the mercy of a well-educated, slick attorney who apparently has no moral fiber.

Kit Miller

Walnut Creek

BART workers should not have right to strike

While I have nothing against unions (and actually am now a member of one), I don't understand why BART is even allowed to go on strike. Other cities, such as New York, do not allow their public transit to strike, and for good reason.

Why do we? This is costly for everyone, and very difficult for commuters. BART and its employees can bargain without making it difficult for the public, and as far as I can see, BART employees are pretty well off.

I think most of us would call them greedy.

Kathy Kiaski

Newark

Not showing whole recycling picture

News that California's per-capita creation of wastes has decreased from 4.4 pounds per person per day to 4.3 pounds (June 30) in the last year masks that the population has increased by 300,000 people, so the volume of wasted materials may stay about the same.

State staff erroneously (in my opinion) switched to a per-capita system of measurement about six years ago that fails to show serious progress in waste reduction during a depressed economy.

What's more interesting is the behavior of some businesses and families that make ounces of waste a day through careful purchasing and careful management of their used materials. Eight of the 10 largest cities in California have established zero waste goals, but the numbers don't show much progress.

Arthur R. Boone

Owner Center for Recycling Research Berkeley