Another attack on public employees
Yet another column biased against the public sector by columnist Daniel Borenstein in your July 29 edition.
His continuing rant against public pension plans and suggestions that they are the reason for our current economic woes are both tiresome and misleading. I would suggest he broaden his view with some additional research.
How about the city of Oakland, for example? Goldman Sachs sold the city a toxic interest rate swap before the "meltdown." The taxpayers pay $4 million a year for it. Taxpayers are also paying for the bank bailouts. Goldman now wants a $15 million penalty in order for Oakland to seek out a better interest rate.
"Unfunded" public pension liabilities? Maybe Borenstein also needs to take a look at the banks.
I have worked in both the public and private sectors and can assert uncategorically that the public gets much more "bang for the buck" from their public sector workers.
Robert P. Philipps
Bill to allow texting while driving is insane
Gov. Jerry Brown on July 13 signed into law that texting while driving will be legal in California as of Jan. 1, as long as it is hands-free.
Fine -- it is hands-free, but what about attention-free? Driving itself needs full attention. Any other activity reduces the attention a driver needs
We need to learn from all these tragedies and not support more of the same. This new law is going to make the roads in California all the more dangerous.
The only time they think of little people like us is when they need our votes to get into their cushy office, after that they do not care and start behaving like God.
Brown has shown that he has no respect for the people of California, first signing the "bullet train to nowhere" a few weeks ago and now this. He does not respect the life of the people of this state.
It is time to recall him.
People must be allowed defense
This in response to the Times editorial of July 23 on the shootings in Aurora, Colo. You rightly observe that the shooter is probably mentally ill. However, this does not explain why his family or friends did not try to get help for him, or if they did try, what problems they encountered.
Until these questions are answered, any attempt to deal with the issues posed by this tragedy are the merest speculation. As to the National Academy of Sciences, it has shown such an anti-gun bias that would render any study it made of Second Amendment issues worthless.
The only answer to a bad person with a gun is a good person with a gun. We will never know if James Holmes' body armor could be defeated (like President Ronald Reagan's), if society continues to discourage people from even trying to defend themselves.
To those who say this is too dangerous, I would like to point out that 25,000 times a year people safely defend themselves and others by discharging a firearm.
Must be referendum on Plan Bay Area
On July 19, ABAG/MTC (nonelected boards) approved moving ahead with the environmental impact report to evaluate five proposed alternatives for Plan Bay Area.
Four of these involve major changes to lifestyles of all Bay Area citizens. The government, through monetary incentives, taxes and regulations, plans to control what types of dwellings we will live in (i.e., multiunit complexes near public transportation hubs), and what types of transportation we may use.
One small part is the vehicle miles traveled tax (GPS-like tracking device on your car; taxes based upon miles driven).
I was initially pleased that there is one alternative called "No Project," but soon realized that the purpose of including this was to prove that it wasn't feasible, as some of the board members actually stated.
In other words, the fix is in. There is a slow-moving steamroller coming, and it intends to crush our property rights and rights to use public roads.
We should demand public meetings with detailed explanations of their "vision" of our future, followed by ballot box approval or rejection of their plans.