Helicoptering kids is a good thing
Susan Sprickman's June 20 letter regarding the Heritage High School parents and their misguided reaction to the school's response to their kids' pranks-gone-bad was on the mark, except for one item.
In my culture (Asian), there's a lot of "helicoptering" going on. I'm talking about families with parents who are involved with most aspects of their children's life -- at home and school.
No matter their socioeconomic level, our families are typical of most American families, in that both parents work and our families are very busy. More so, because we choose to helicopter over our kids.
I've witnessed how the children of our culture's new immigrants, going back three or four generations, have assimilated, speak proper English, are educated, own homes, are gainfully employed, own or manage businesses, largely due to helicoptering.
The hubris to carry out the prank/vandalism/animal-cruelty event at Heritage, along with much of what is wrong in our society, started in the home.
The Heritage parents failed to instill responsibility in their children, resulting in an obfuscation of their ability to discern right from wrong.
The outrage for them isn't their parenting or their kids' actions, but the school's response. Those parents should have helicoptered.
Heaping blame on Chief Justice Roberts is what conservatives have been doing since Roberts, along with the Supreme Court's liberal bloc, voted to make the Affordable Care Act constitutional.
But Roberts did something else: He voted -- with conservative justices -- to begin the unraveling of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal. Roberts' vote with these justices created a court majority that declared Obamacare unconstitutional under the Constitution's commerce clause.
In 1942, the high court, in the case of Wickard vs. Filburn, voted to ban an Ohio farmer's decision to plant more wheat than federal government regulations allowed. That 1942 decision enhanced the federal government's power to regulate interstate commerce.
Now, 70 years later, the Supreme Court has decided Obamacare gives too much regulatory power to the federal government.
President Barack Obama, like Franklin Roosevelt, is an advocate of strong federal regulatory power. Curiously, Obama may be the president under whom Roosevelt's New Deal began to collapse.
Richard S. Colman
Voters should check out firefighters' pay
I strongly encourage residents of Contra Costa County to go online and view the compensation of the 377 fire district employees for 2010. It is most interesting that 40 percent of the employees receive annual compensation of more than $200,000 per year; 97 receive between $150,000 and $200,000 and 129 receive less than $150,000 (many of these are students, partial year workers and clerks).
The employee statistics do not include the compensation of retirees, which often begins at age 50, because it cost the employee more to work than if he/she retired.
The statistics are from 2010 so probably they have risen for 2012.
Rather than raise taxes on parcel owners, the vast majority making less than $200,000 per year, the supervisors ought to reduce compensation of all employees earning more than $200,000 a year by 20 percent a year resulting in a savings of more than $10 million a year. This would keep many of the earmarked stations open.
I want to thank Bay Area News Group for forcing the employees to abide by the Freedom of Information laws. I am over 65 so would not be taxed but try to be an informed voter.
Relieved health care bill upheld
Finally, we have a legitimate health care bill.
Too many people have suffered for lack of health insurance due to pre-existing conditions and the unaffordable cost of insurance. A sudden illness could mean disaster for the uninsured.
Even now, politicians can't stop arguing over the bill. Our Congress operates at such extremes, it can hardly function. Where are the values of truth, fairness and compassion? It seems we have to start over again to bring back government "by the people and for the people."
I was very relieved the Supreme Court upheld President Barack Obama's health plan and infuriated by the Republicans' immediate desire to repeal it.