'Bush bashing' spoiled letter

George Fulmore's July 12 letter praised National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman's excellent communication and leadership following the recent airline crash at SFO as an example of public service and governmental leadership at its best.

I couldn't agree more. Unfortunately, Fulmore also felt it necessary to contrast Hersman's performance with that of a President George W. Bush's appointee, Michael Brown, during the 2005 FEMA response to Hurricane Katrina.

Fulmore called Brown a political appointee who never should have been appointed and proved to be an embarrassment to the administration and the American public.

Rather than sticking with the topic of praise for Hersman, we're reminded -- more than seven years after Katrina -- to again "blame Bush." Incidentally, Hersman is a 2004 Bush appointee to the NTSB.

Fulmore's letter would have been better received had he left out the "Bush bash." Or he should have updated his examples of embarrassing political appointees to include the current attorney general, the previous IRS chiefs, the former secretary of state, etc.

J.R. Stafford

Hercules

Justice system working properly

I was gratified when I heard the George Zimmerman verdict because it shows that our justice system is working properly.


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Because Trayvon Martin was black and Zimmerman is not, the people who are tearing their hair out and demonstrating against Zimmerman's acquittal would have had us throw out one of the basic tenets of jury trials -- that a person must be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

These people are the true racists.

Steve Poff

Walnut Creek

Expose Common Core Standards

Your recent editorial, "Myths fueling opposition to Common Core," demeans citizens who oppose Common Core Standards.

Citizens who know about CCS are rightly concerned. The myths are on the side of the proponents. Standards were not created by local school boards or even state school boards. They were created by a national governors' group along with a council of chief state school officers.

They are to be "internationally benchmarked." Tests will be "national assessments" tied to the national standards/curriculum, which will be tied to college entrance exams.

California legislators adopted CCS in 2011 in order to apply for Race to the Top and collect federal dollars. California lost and now must spend $1.6 million to fund e-books, computers, teacher training to accommodate CCS.

How many parents have even heard about CCS, let alone be involved in any debate about their usage? Algebra will be taught one year later. No cursive writing. Less classical literature and more technical manuals in English. Big corporate interests are involved, such as Bill Gates and Pearson Foundation book publishers.

See Californians United Against Common Core at cuacc.org.

Liz Froelich

Concord

Lessons from the Florida verdict

The verdict in the Trayvon Martin case teaches us three things:

  • Don't go walking after dark.

  • Don't wear a hoodie.

  • Don't be a person of color. (Even a dark tan is suspicious.)

    We have learned nothing in the last 50 years.

    Hugh Brown

    Richmond

    No such thing as 'will of the people'

    Ah, once again the fallacious will-of-the-people argument, quite common in this letters column, rears its ugly head. This time by Denise Bellante, who said the courts thwarted the will of the people regarding gay marriage.

    So, what's wrong with her argument?

    There is no such thing as the will of the people. The "people" is not one entity with one will. Rather, "the people" is a collection of persons with many different opinions and wills.

    When one talks about the will of the people, that person is talking about the will of some of the people. It could even be a majority of the people, or as in this case, a majority of the voters. But does that make it right?

    For some time, the majority said that women couldn't vote. And then a majority said black people couldn't vote. Were those majorities right? No, because they were taking away rights from those in the minority vote.

    The majority cannot take rights away from the minority.

    David Rees

    Concord