Greed ignores common good
The gun violence debate raises many reasonable targets worthy of blame. There's no need to reiterate them all, but we would do well to consider what lies at their root.
All of these contributing causes will continue to be ignored as long as the decision-makers doing business in our society allow greater profits to remain their highest priority.
Just as the pharmaceutical industry, in its goal to sell as much of its drugs to as many people as possible, ignores real need or better options, so do the manufacturers and sellers of weapons and violent video games ignore the same.
As long as our economy is driven by the endless desire for more personal gain, rather than real need, our society will remain sick from its ignorance, arrogance, greed, corruption and the inability to consider the interests of all concerned.
Fire tax vote shows whom to turn out
Supervisor Candace Anderson appears to be the lone thinker on the fire board and possibly on the entire Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors. If the county and fire district want my $525 extra tax, then they best undergo financial reforms now.
Otherwise, it's just another tax-and-spend scheme that we have to endure over and over at various city, county and state levels.
Wonder why Paul
Supervisors Mary Nejedly-Piepho, John Gioia and the rest should start serving their constituents at large, rather than their public union special interests, and reform these ridiculous public benefit programs that are bankrupting us and putting everyone at risk.
If our local politicians continue this abuse of power we've temporarily bestowed to them to their benefit (votes for dollars), then we must vote them out.
Two major projects kill support for tax
I was supporting Gov. Jerry Brown's tax increases in November, but now I can't.
He proposed two massive programs, high-speed rail and water tunnels. Although statements for the required bond issues will say they will not increase taxes, they will obligate the state to pay massive amounts of principal and interest from the general fund in the future that will require tax increases.
The state cannot afford its current obligations and certainly won't be able to pay for these multibillion-dollar projects in the future. Some say we'll get federal funds, but if you haven't noticed, the federal government has no money, just IOUs that when called in will be devastating to the American economy and the quality of life for everyone.
The governor's proposal exemplifies the historic government mindset of finding some group of people truly in need or some futuristic project and increasing or creating new government programs without any concern or plan for paying for them.
Let's support, not tax, businesses and get the economy healthy before creating further massive unfunded debt.
Banning death penalty can help pay for cops
In 1988, Shasta County had to cut funding to police services to pay for its death penalty prosecutions.
Capital cases are far more expensive than cases where the government seeks life imprisonment.
A study by Duke University determined that capital cases cost $2.6 million per execution more than cases where prosecutors sought life imprisonment.
With 944 executions in the U.S. between 1974 and 2005, the United States has spent more than $2 billion more to execute prisoners than it would have to imprison them for life.
For all that expense, only 13 percent of capital cases end in execution.
In this tough economy California should convert the death penalty to a modified life-without-parole where the inmate is forbidden any external contact beyond a monthly visit with an attorney or immediate family member.
If he has no access to phone, mail, Internet or the media, the public need never hear of or be bothered by his existence again.
The money saved can be used to hire police officers, something that really does make us safer.