Did Pearl Harbor not instruct us?

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, President Barack Obama's "yes" man, is the wrong person to oversee our military.

Cutting back to what our military was before World War II is stupid. But then who said Hagel was smart?

My father was a Pearl Harbor survivor and also served during the Korean War. He spent 22 months on the front line. He always said if you keep cutting the military, we'll have a second Pearl Harbor -- and this time it will be on our shores.

Do we not learn from past mistakes? Why do we keep doing the same stupid things over again?

Our elected officials are quick on the trigger about jumping into military actions but the last to ratify treaties. Perhaps if they were forced to serve in these military actions they would rethink their positions.

It seems that a democratic government has a whole new meaning in this country now: "If you don't like it, we will do it anyway because we know better than you what you need."

This ideology is terribly wrong.

R.V. Bean

Antioch

Doctors Medical Center is crucial

I live in Vallejo and have worked at Doctors Medical Center in San Pablo for more than 46 years. If my husband or I need emergency services or surgery, we go to DMC.


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DMC is also a designated Contra Costa Emergency Medical Services stroke and heart attack destination. It's critical to reach the hospital within minutes after a stroke. Where would these patients go? DMC has many other services and a cancer center.

Many won't have the means (or time, in an emergency) to go to County Hospital in Martinez. Where would these patients go? If DMC closes, what would happen to West Contra Costa residents? The only other hospital in West County is Kaiser.

DMC sees more than 40,000 emergency patients each year. If there was a disaster involving, for example, Chevron or General Chemical in Richmond, what would happen?

I doubt Kaiser Richmond would be able to handle the influx of patients, or even want to. A large percentage of the center's patients are underinsured or uninsured. Where would these patients go?

Shirley Johnston

Vallejo

A photo ID must be required to vote

In the Feb. 21 "Our communities in brief" section, the Times reported the Contra Costa County Health Services and Employment and Human Services departments, the Community Clinic Consortium and La Clinica de la Raza were holding a Covered California enrollment event on Feb. 22 targeting "uninsured people."

People were advised to "bring a photo identification; proof of California residency, such as a utility bill; proof of income, such as a pay stub from the past 30 days; and their most recent income tax filings and documents showing the applicant's citizenship or immigration status."

The people attending the event must have been confused because they don't need any of these documents to vote. In fact, Democrats tell us it is unfair to demand this documentation to get the basic right of citizenship -- voting.

However, the same folks who can't possibly be asked to provide an ID to vote are showing up with the required documentation to obtain subsidized or free health care.

It is time a picture ID is required to vote.

Hal Bray

Brentwood

Meat consumption presents health risk

A recent Time Magazine cites several reasons that vegetarians live longer. The article was prompted by a report in American Medical Association's Internal Medicine that a vegetarian diet lowers blood pressure, a key factor in risk of heart failure and stroke.

The Mayo Clinic notes that vegetarians are at lower risk for developing diabetes, another factor in heart disease. Indeed, an Oxford University study of 45,000 adults in last year's American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that vegetarians were 32 percent less likely to suffer from heart disease.

Moreover, researchers at California's Loma Linda University, examining records of 70,000 patients, concluded last year that a vegetarian diet protects against colorectal and other types of cancer.

It's no wonder that a 2012 Harvard University study of 120,000 people concluded that meat consumption raises the risk of total, heart and cancer mortality. A more recent six-year study of 70,000 patients at Loma Linda found that vegetarians have a 12 percent lower risk of death.

The good news is each of us can find our own fountain of youth by adopting a meat and dairy-free diet. An Internet search on "vegan recipes" or "live vegan" provides ample resources.

Samuel Bentino

Oakland