We must leave Afghanistan now

Why are we in a state of financial crisis?

Is it because we give food stamps to the poor? Is it because we spend too much money on education or our infrastructure? Are our taxes just too low? The clear answer is "no." The only reason our country is suffering financially is the war in Afghanistan. We must bring it to an end -- now!

There is nothing to gain by continuing. Billions have been spent and continue to be wasted. We have lost thousands of lives and hundreds of thousands more wounded. The cost for their care -- not to mention their suffering -- will be with us for years to come.

With the money we are wasting, we could have the best education, infrastructure and health care for all. We could, once again, have the beautiful, prosperous country we once had.

A good politician is one who knows how to govern and how to obey the wishes of the people. We cannot be properly served by politicians who are financially obligated to large contributors. The contribution limits must be changed to prohibit this.

For some, ethics has been replaced by personal gain. Only we, the public, can control our own destiny. Think and vote wisely.

John Whalen

Walnut Creek

Mallard Fillmore is just a cartoon


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I had a great laugh reading a recent letter to the Times decrying an inaccuracy in a Mallard Fillmore comic strip regarding Arctic Sea ice growing versus shrinking.

It reminded me of an interview with the director of the movie "Field of Dreams," in which Ray Liotta played Shoeless Joe Jackson. Liotta approached the director and said that although Jackson threw right handed, he batted left handed, and asked the director if he wanted him to practice batting left handed in the interest of accuracy and reality. The director responded "Reality? You're playing a ghost!"

Next we'll be seeing calls for Peanuts to have Snoopy stop flying his Sopwith Camel because we know dogs can't fly, or getting rid of Mutts, because we know dogs and cats can't talk.

Relax, it's just a cartoon!

Paul A. Lang

Lafayette

GOP has offered no cogent alternative

I'm referring to the Oct. 28 letter by Thomas Nelson, "Democrats are the real extremists."

Nelson either didn't know, or chose to ignore, some facts when he asserted the Affordable Care Act was "written by Democratic extremists."

The requirement that citizens purchase health-care insurance originated with the conservative think-tank Heritage Foundation. The notion that people must insure themselves rather than pass the cost of their treatment onto taxpayers and insurance companies is based on conservative principles.

Then-Republican Gov. Mitt Romney signed an almost identical plan into law in Massachusetts.

The ACA was the subject of more than two years of hearings and bipartisan meetings. The single-payer option was never considered; the "public option," as an alternative to private insurance, was dropped.

Democrats received more votes in the last congressional election than Republicans. The House majority results from gerrymandering and "safe districts." Romney, who promised to eliminate the ACA, lost the election. The only cries for repeal of the ACA are in the right-wing echo chamber.

There's been no cogent Republican proposal that would provide affordable health care. Unless Republicans come up with a plan allowing someone making $10-$15 per hour to afford health care, "repeal and replace" is meaningless and hypocritical.

Linda Burrell

Berkeley

Tinsley's Mallard has gone too far

Bruce Tinsley and the Times have finally pushed me over the edge: Mallard Fillmore for his blatant racism regarding Native Americans and the Times for being so insensitive to allow the Oct. 18 strip.

You wouldn't dare use "Honky, the N word, Wetback, Chink," so why is "Redskin" acceptable?

My relatives have been dehumanized since the Colonists "founded" this nation and now are 1 percent of the population. However, we are humans, just like you, and deserve the same respect and rights as everyone else.

It's bad enough being characterized as a goofy mascot, but I would think an enlightened newspaper would know better, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area. Times, please rethink your position.

Christine Swenning

El Sobrante