What the GOP rank and file really stand for

Wow, did Low Ascatigno really get it wrong. Learn the truth.

What do conservatives/Republicans believe in? Individual rights, free speech, equality, freedom, liberty, and justice for every race, creed, gender, age or ability-level voter (Republicans got women and blacks the vote); lower taxes (keep more of your earnings); opportunity and prosperity for all (would rather see everyone wealthy than government dependent); strong families; life, and the pursuit of happiness; and to bear arms.

State rights, strong national defense, smaller government and bureaucracy, less government interference, free enterprise and economic growth; that the government works for us, not vice-versa, and that we, the people, not the government, know what's best for us and our families.

This is a party made up mostly of common people with $10 donations, unlike all the Democrat millionaires who want to keep you dependent -- for your vote.

If you believe any or all of these things and are not already a Republican, maybe you should change your affiliation.

K. Healy

Livermore

Debt, lack of morality led to U.S. troubles

The national debt is now $17.082 trillion. The U.S. population count is 317 million. That represents $53,900 of debt for every man, woman and child in America. This should set off an alarm in the minds of everyone in this country.


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The debt continues to grow because our president and Congress refuse to address the problem in a determined, considerate and responsible manner. We seem to have a void of ethics and leadership, and that is shameful. There is a great divide in ideology of the two major parties, but that is not an excuse for inaction and finger pointing.

Alexis de Tocqueville's 19th century writings on "Democracy in America" clearly pointed out how important Christian principles would be to our nation's future success. It's obvious that those principles are now lacking in our government, courts, etc. We all need to examine in our hearts why this has happened; and it's our responsibility as citizens/voters to do what we can to stop this foolishness.

We the people need to come to grips with reality. If our objective is to bankrupt the country fiscally and morally, we are doing a great job. If the objective is to provide a better life for our children and their children, we had better start searching for answers to restore fiscal responsibility and ethical behavior.

Dean Gregory

Pleasanton

Just curious -- what do BART bosses make?

In nearly every article regarding the recent BART strike, there was information concerning the worker's salaries and benefits. Just out of curiosity, what are the management's salaries and benefits? Are management wages also among the highest for transit companies as was so often stated for the workers? What part of health benefits and pension costs does management pay out of their salaries? It would seem to me that this information would have been helpful in understanding the issues involved in the BART strike.

Barbara Norton

Pleasanton

Congress good for one thing at the very least

Now that the budget debacle is over (for the moment), I must say that you can always count on Congress to do the right thing -- after all other options have been explored.

Mark Rotter

San Ramon

Proposition could fix public labor's problems

The union of unions and their beneficiaries will diminish the career of legislators and arbitrators who reduce their demands to any extent.

The current situation is so outrageous that binding arbitration and the elimination of strikes seem possible. However, the pay, benefits and work rules remain among the highest. Binding arbitration sounds reasonable, but as the Times and others point out, unions track awards on a multistate basis. Both sides must agree in advance on the arbitrator. Typically, unions will only agree to a union-biased arbitrator.

The general public, not beneficiaries to the above have little say. Think Prop 13. Politicians were uncertain until Proposition 13 passed in a landslide; then they became instant supporters. A proposition could specify a formula based upon costs and pay for similar positions, costs of living, etc. that is far less vulnerable to subsequent pressure. This settlement could become the template for the "bullet train."

Curtis Wood

Alamo

Cancel church construction plan for its lot

I would like to respond to Jeremy Thomas' article concerning the Methodist Church's plans to build a gymnasium in their parking lot.

This "gift to the community" certainly lies well outside the function of a community church, considering that the church will be paid for renting it out. With such late hours and frequent use, it will certainly be a burden on their immediate neighbors. Even if built to be soundproof, there will still be a great deal of noise generated by people and automobiles as they arrive and depart. The traffic congestion that is caused by the overflow from the church parking lot on Sundays would only worsen with increased attendance on weeknights.

The Alamo Improvement Association is against this project, considering its impact on the community and the fact that the Methodist Church seems to have been less than forthcoming about the scope of operation when it originally presented its project to the AIA. I personally can see no need for this project, since there are adequate opportunities for the community to participate in sports and exercise classes in the vicinity. The Methodist Church seems to have some disdain for its neighbors, proposing a project that would obviously be a burden to the quiet enjoyment of their homes. I suggest that the church use its property as it was zoned: for the functioning of their church as it ministers to its parish members, not, as an ill-conceived gift to the community.

Margery Ammon

Alamo

Special lanes on I-680 just scam

Regarding the stretch of Interstate 680 from Dublin to Walnut Creek, we have seen the gods at Caltrans mess with us no less than four times, changing the hours of operation of the High Occupancy Vehicle lane for the rest of us folks who do not have Teslas.

Initially, the hours were 6 to 9 a.m. and 5 to 7 p.m., then 5 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 7 p.m. (only Monday through Friday). If this was not enough of a pain to the vast majority of us who pay for it and cannot use it, then for some crazy reason it went to 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. for the whole week (lots of Teslas drive on the weekend, apparently). Now, less than a month after they put up the new signs, it's back to the 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. (only Monday through Friday). So the question is this: is this just to mess with us, generate more tax revenue from tickets or what? I'm sure the ultimate goal is to change the lane into a High Occupancy Toll lane to generate even more tax revenue at some point. Remember, green cars and car pooling are good except when you can fleece the public with a HOT lane ... and then driving a gas guzzler alone is just fine and dandy. And you thought HOV/HOT lanes were supposed to benefit the "environment" and help commuters.

Charlie Brenner

Alamo