Fascism: Not as distant as you may think

I see in the Tri-Valley Times that the Bay Area News Group has published their Top 100 Workplaces for the Bay Area. For the fifth consecutive year, Lawrence Livermore National Security has not made the list. As a retiree of LLNS, a private company, I still have plenty of contacts, so from them I have reasons why this is the case.

A manager there describes working conditions as "oppressive" and in some parts actually "brutal." All employees are subject to random drug testing where they have to empty their pockets before giving a urine sample. They also have to take polygraph tests where they are questioned for three hours to see if they are terrorists. In one case an employee passed the test but just one week later had to take the test again, wasting valuable work time.

I wouldn't be surprised if the offices are bugged and the phones tapped. Security is probably watching every keystroke typed on the computers. During the ranking process for pay raises everyone is put into boxes, with bigger boxes for the managers so they can get bigger pay raises. One year a long time ago, the salary committee said the bottom-ranked people were underpaid, so they all got the top raises while higher-ranked employees got smaller raises.

To get these pay raises everyone gets an annual performance review. These reviews are a little different from other companies. For example, a friend of mine told me in her review that she was doing things she was not supposed to be doing. When she asked her group leader, he told her "sorting the mail."


Advertisement

Finally, all employees with a Blue Cross health plan are required to use mail order for maintenance medications. As an enhancement for 2013, these meds can be shipped to a CVS store instead of to their home. All employees were very excited with this new feature,

I hope this explains why LLNS did not make the Top 100 list

David Handeli

LLNS retiree Livermore

Shall we also deliver trash from the curb?

Memo to Pleasanton Garbage Company:

I received your list of instructions on how to prepare our garbage. One piece of information was missing. What time do you want me to deliver the garbage to the transfer station?

Donald Merucci

Pleasanton

Oklahoma may have to change its name, too

A lot of people are going after Dan Snyder to change the name of his football team, the Washington Redskins, because "redskins" is "offensive" to some people. If that is the case and the football team is forced to change it's name because "some people" have expressed offense, are we to assume the state of Oklahoma will have to change its name too? For the record, in the Choctaw language "okla" is people, and "humma" is red. The word "oklahoma" translates to mean "red people." When does "political correctness" become overkill? Just askin' ....

Kathy Chase

Livermore

Bay Area going down the tubes

The letter from Roger Hadlich (June 19) was so "on-target." I was born in the Bay Area on a farm 80 years ago, and life was wonderful and not too many people. Now we don't have enough water or electricity. Highways are at a standstill, no more Sunday rides just for pleasure. The more populated we are, the less services, less everything good and more of not-so-good.

I can understand why everyone wants to live here, but California needs to raise fruits and vegetables. We need to eat better. The produce from other countries isn't that good. I throw a lot of it away. Alameda County raised some wonderful produces (almost year around). Have you ever tasted a Hayward apricot? They didn't have to irrigate them, so they were wonderful. There used to be Dryers where they dried them and the jam that my family made was "food for the gods."

Betty Ortega

Castro Valley

Spare me fake concern for "the children"

We finally have definitive proof that climate change is a hoax. During the State of the Union Address, our liar-in-chief declared climate change a "fact." So now we all know it is not a fact. Barry lies every time he opens his mouth.

I love how the liberal drones always say that we must take action to save the planet "for the children." I guess the Obama Kool-Aid drinkers are OK with "the children" inheriting a country that has open borders allowing drug traffic, illegals, human trafficking and terrorists to pour into our country.

"The children" inherit a world where terrorists are released from Gitmo, and 36,000, including 15,000 drunk drivers, are released from our prisons.

"The children" inherit an $18 trillion national debt, high taxes, high unemployment, a stagnant economy, a failed education system, record welfare rolls and a corrupt, inept, inefficient, overbearing, over-regulating, overtaxing, wasteful, ever-growing federal government.

But I digress. If it were discovered that higher CO2 levels turned people into liberals, do you think Barry and his dwindling group of followers would care about "climate change"? No. And that's a fact.

Mark Marcotte

Danville

Don't take Alzheimer's disease lightly

The syndicated column by Leonard Pitts Jr. published by your newspaper on June 16 was very disturbing to me. I was diagnosed with "early-onset, younger-age" Alzheimer's disease when I was 55 years old. Before receiving this diagnosis, like Mr. Pitts I also tried to excuse my memory lapses and many other symptoms as "old-timer's" disease.

But as the quality of my work as a registered nurse continued to deteriorate I had no choice but to seek medical attention, thus receiving the news that I was in the early stages of this progressive incurable illness.

With all the media attention, research and education presently going on to find answers as to the cause, treatment and hopefully the cure for Alzheimer's disease, it makes me wonder how Mr. Pitts conducts his research. In his article he states "somewhere in my research I ran across a doctor -- forget his name -- who said if you have the presence of mind to wonder if you have the disease, you don't have the disease."

I can assure you, I have the presence of mind to know I have this disease, and I live with it's unrelenting effects every day. I urge your readers to check out the Alzheimer's Association's list of the 10 Signs of Alzheimer's disease at www.alz.org/10signs for more information and also to look for a recently published book, "Chicken Soup for the Soul, Living with Alzheimer's and Other Dementias." It is filled with stories of caregiving, coping and compassion for those with this merciless disease.

Ann Marie Skerl

San Ramon