Obama is in over his head
This is regarding Charles Krauthammer's March 24 column in the Times, "Coming invasion of Ukraine will be catered by U.S."
President Obama cited he wanted a "reset" button with Russia. Instead he has given an "easy button" to Russia. Obama has been outmatched in every regard -- from Syria to the Black Sea.
The president is in over his head and fails to understand certain truths. A Russia more secure in its borders is more adventuresome, not less.
Try and keep up, Mr. President. Or was this the flexibility he spoke of to Dmitri Medvedev?
Obama is either incompetent or invidious. Either way, Obama you will not be missed and may history treat him like the "Carterite" he is.
Scott F. Burch
School district was negligent
I was horrified when I read the article about Ronald Guinto, a Richmond teacher who had molested students while on camping trips.
Guinto allegedly sexually abused multiple kids since December 2012; yet he was not arrested until March 2014. Guinto was fired from Making Waves Academy due to an inappropriate conversation with a young student. After he was fired, investigators found out that while taking students on camping trips he also sexually abused them.
This has me questioning why there was no other adult supervision or why his actions didn't raise anyone's suspicions. Shortly after being fired from Making Waves, he was hired at Mira Vista Elementary.
It's mind-boggling how a child molester could be hired at an elementary school. Did the West Contra Costa school district not take the necessary precautions? It's only common sense, at the very least, that if someone's fired from a previous job you find out why.
Children's safety should be the school district's top priority. Hopefully, this has taught the district to be more knowledgeable about who they hire.
Down with Measure C
While I agree with Richmond developer Richard Poe's recent letter that a parcel tax to help Doctors Medical Center is unjust, his trying to dump the burden on Kaiser Permanente is self-serving and equally unjust.
It's self-serving because Poe owns much property in Richmond and unjust because Kaiser has already poured millions into DMC in the past, along with other donors.
To my knowledge, more than 90 percent of Kaiser profits go right back into their health plan to improve and maintain services to millions of members. On the other hand, Poe's profits go to closing down neighborhood grocery stores (yes, Amini's) and trying to convince the City of Richmond to build luxury housing on the waterfront.
Measure C needs to go down in defeat and in its place Richmond should impose a sales tax, the burden of which will be shared by everyone in our fair city.
Different times, same messages
I am amused to observe that both Woody Guthrie and Milton Friedman were born within weeks of each other, 100 years ago.
Friedman gave us the rationale for the concept that an unfettered "free market" will solve all economic problems. This led directly to the "greed is good" mentality of the Reagan/Bush years. Friedman idolized Ayn Rand and the "nobility" of the 1 percent.
Guthrie gave us "This Land Is Your Land" and a thousand other songs celebrating the dignity and worth of the 99 percent. His words gave voice to and inspired the multitudes who suffered for the blunders of the Wall Street speculators/gamblers.
Friedman said, essentially, that you can make it if you are willing to step on anyone on your way to the top.
Guthrie's message was that if we all worked together there would be enough for all.
In the words of Guthrie: "California is a garden of Eden, a paradise to live in or to see. But believe it or not you won't find it so hot, if you ain't got the Do Re Mi."
Parcel tax is an unjust burden
The proposed parcel tax for Doctors Medical Center is a far cry from justice for our less fortunate.
This tax would take millions of dollars out of our local economy yearly. Richmond can't afford new taxes and suffers from a high rate of unemployment.
The tax likely would decrease the amount of new construction in our city, which only occurs when the rents rise to a point to support new commercial buildings. A 14-cent per square foot tax would be another added burden and economic hurdle.
It's been widely reported by the board of DMC that if the center closes, Kaiser will punish the voters by closing its Richmond emergency room.
It's rumored Kaiser has earmarked a $200,000 contribution to the campaign to pass the parcel tax this year. Kaiser spent $100,000 on the last parcel tax campaign. Kaiser, that made a profit of more than $2.5 billion last year alone, knows it is less expensive to contribute to a campaign and put the burden on taxpayers than it is to increase service.
Denies he's a 'climate denier'
Charles Krauthammer, in his recent column, "Pushing 'settled science' myth is simply propaganda," denies that he is a climate denier and tells us that he believes "it cannot be good for humanity to be spewing tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere."
Krauthammer then tells us that, even though more than 95 percent of climate scientists believe the earth is warming due to the rise of the greenhouse gasses produced by our burning of coal and petroleum, there are a few climate scientists who continue to doubt this. Furthermore, the models are occasionally less than perfect, scientific questions remain, and Sandy was no longer technically a hurricane when it devastated the East Coast.
From this, Krauthammer comes to the conclusion that anyone who advocates taking action, based on what most scientists and many economists believe to be the most serious threat to our existence, are either propagandists or whores.
Meanwhile glaciers continue to melt, oceans continue to rise, coral reefs die from ocean acidification, storm damages become worse every year, wildfire seasons lengthen and we continue to spew carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.
Maybe someday science will finally "settle" to the point that even Krauthammer can see the writing on the wall. But if we wait for that to happen, there may be no chance to take action. We will be like someone who hears the smoke alarm and smells the smoke but decides to wait awhile before calling the fire department. After all, there may be other reasons for the alarm and the smell and we wouldn't want to waste the taxpayers' money on false alarms.