Merger is bad for consumers

This letter is regarding the merger of Albertsons and Safeway.

Safeway -- the No. 2 grocery chain in the United States -- has remained profitable, with rising stock prices over the past five years (dramatically rising over the past two years). It is not one of those companies merging to stave off bankruptcy. Instead Cerberus is buying Safeway to better control market share.

We were taught in school that President Theodore Roosevelt broke up the trusts more than 100 years ago. The new era of monopolies and anti-competitive mergers is occurring not just in grocery stores but in health care, banking and media -- all to the detriment of small businesses and consumers.

Mega-owner Cerberus says it will be better able to "meet customers' changing needs." That's what businesses always say. But in the end, what the public sees is less competition, higher prices, store closures and job losses.

The merger should not be allowed to go forward.

Deborah Bayer

Richmond

'Brother's keeper' is misrepresented

Only kings, potentates, czars, dictators and President Barack Obama seek to be keepers of the public.

Americans are restricted by their Constitution and the Declaration of Independence from the role of keeper of anyone other than one's self, underage children and property. We are never authorized to be the keeper of another person -- especially with someone else's money.

The Bible does not admonish us to be our "brother's keeper." This one-time biblical statement recorded in Genesis 4:9 was spoken by Cain after murdering his brother Abel -- because Cain's career choices were not as socially respected as Abel's.

John L. Wright

Concord

Chevron has been generous to city

I read with surprise the March 7 letter in which Jeff Shoji, staffer for Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, incorrectly stated: "Ironically, Chevron gives not one dime to the Rosie the Riveter Foundation or any shoreline effort that I am aware of. It takes a special kind of indifference to be that far out of touch."

I am not a Richmond voter. I do not know of any "foundation" mentioned by Shoji. However, I do personally know that Rosie the Riveter Trust is the key charitable organization in Richmond supporting the park.

The trust is responsible for major preservation and acquisition efforts and Chevron was an early and major financial provider to the trust. Not only did Chevron contribute more than Shoji's hypothetical "dime"; over the years Chevron has given far in excess of half a million "dimes" to Rosie the Riveter Trust.

With other major and appreciated supporters, Chevron has empowered the trust to further important civic and charitable purposes, to the considerable benefit of Richmond and the region.

Mark Cameron

Lafayette Cameron is a member of the board of directors of the Rosie the Riveter Trust.

Sowell has it wrong again on freedom

This is regarding Thomas Sowell's March 7 column, "Freedom is not free; we must be willing to fight for it."

I don't read Sowell's column anymore because he always upsets me. However, I did read this one. To begin with, most of what he wrote relating to the Constitution doesn't make any sense.

Then Sowell wrote that the Federal Communications Commission is made up of "bureaucrats" and that offending them might bring on inspectors from OSHA and audits from the Internal Revenue Service.

Well, don't you think that might just be a good thing? Many people don't like OSHA but because of their requiring high standards there have been fewer deaths on the job. IRS audits catch criminals.

What does Sowell want? Freedom to do whatever you want? He is talking more like a Vladimir Putin fan day by day.

Virginia Kamp

Berkeley