Interest rates are too low to help savers
Banks and credit unions pay painfully low interest rates these days.
Who has an incentive to save? Is America's capitalistic system working correctly?
What is the Federal Reserve's policy toward "the little guy," or are we automatically supposed to know?
Interest rates used to start with a number like four, five or six, followed by a decimal point, then another two numbers or two zeros. Now, the interest rate more often begins with a zero and one is lucky to get a half of 1 percent on savings.
At my age, I'm not drawn to "occupy" more than my simple senior complex apartment. Yet I want more than my "big toes" to hear my discontent with whoever is responsible for the current stingy policy.
So here goes: Bah, Big Guy!
Claire J. Baker
Anti-tax crusaders are cheating deadbeats
If you go and get your haircut and then refuse to pay, they call the cops on you for theft of service. If you stop paying on a loan, we call you a deadbeat. If you hire someone and don't pay them, we use the legal system to keep you from cheating your workers.
If you want to do away with the pension owed to a government worker, we call you an anti-tax crusader. But really you're a cheating, deadbeat thief.
Terrorist group in Turkey strikes again
I join the U.S. Turkic Network in expressing my outrage and condemnation of the continually brutal terrorist acts by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). Its latest large-scale terrorist act took place June 19, when party members killed at least eight and wounded 16 Turkish soldiers in Turkey's Hakkari province.
PKK is a terrorist organization. Its members are terrorists -- not "PKK rebels" or "PKK militants," as some in the media refer to them. Terminology is important. Improper reporting is offensive to us Americans who have been targeted by the PKK, as well as to our Turkish allies.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist group internationally by a number of states and organizations, including the United States, Canada, Israel, Turkey and the European Union. Since 1984, it has taken the lives of 40,000 innocent people, including Americans.
I urge the media to follow the U.S. government's designation of PKK and its actions as terrorists, not minimizing or whitewashing their actions as anything less than that.
We were sold bill of goods on rail project
First the voters were sold a bill of goods: an estimated project cost of $34 billion with projected robust revenue and ridership by 2035. Then the High-Speed Rail Authority tripled the project cost estimated to $98 billion, with lower revenue and ridership by 2040.
Then, Gov. Jerry Brown tweaked the project scope to reduce the cost estimate to $68 billion.
Now it is reported that the 140-mph average speed mandated by the 2008 state voter initiative is in doubt. Kathy Hamilton of the Community Coalition on HSR, which opposes the project, filed a Public Records Act request for the data that Chairman Dan Richard uses to insist that the project will meet the required speed standard. The response, from rail official Kyle Wunderli: "The answer is that no document exists. These were verbal assertions based on skill, experience and optimism and so Richard went with the expertise of the engineers offering these assertions."
With the minuscule credibility left to the authority, it is no wonder that the Times reported that 55 percent of us want the rail bond that was approved in 2008 back on the ballot, and 59 percent of us now oppose it.
Must build vehicle tunnel under Bay
The chaos that erupted as a result of the Transbay BART rail problems caused by a fire recently ought to drive home to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to consider the urgent need of building a transbay tunnel for vehicles.
There has been a lot of talk in public about the high-speed rail linking northern and southern parts of the state, but nothing about a tunnel under the bay for vehicles.
Doesn't it make more sense to consider the latter first and put off the former for some time in the future?
Meanwhile, Bay Area commuters have to grind their teeth and bear it, regardless of whether transportation chaos of similar magnitude will erupt again.
Reinstate Mexican guest workers program
I disagree with President Barack Obama's executive order on immigration.
I have relatives and friends who have applied for legal immigration to the United States. After more than six years, they are still waiting.
However, we should bring back the Bracero Program: Mexican guest workers come here to work, as needed, and then leave.