American values being undermined

Mitt Romney seems to have a terminal case of foot-in-mouth disease. Either that or he sees his declining poll numbers and is trying to gain headlines.

His response to the recent tragic events in Libya and the Middle East was untrue, undiplomatic, dangerous and, at the very least, puzzling.

Romney condemned the Cairo American Embassy's statement, which condemned an anti-Muslim video. He said the embassy's statement was against American values. The statement, in fact, was made before the attacks on our embassy and acknowledged the right of the video-makers to produce the video, but rightly condemned the video's content.

After the attacks, President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton roundly condemned the attacks on our embassies and vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice. This was a measured, appropriate and diplomatic response.

Romney's statement criticizing the commander-in-chief, in the midst of an international incident, was against American values. Most Republican leaders, including House Speaker John Boehner and Sen. Mitch McConnell, have disassociated themselves from Romney's statement.

Unfortunately, we have come to expect these high-profile foot-in-mouth statements from Romney -- just ask the Brits and their Olympic Organizing Committee.

Dennis Wasco

Clayton

Negative attack ads in 2012

From the 2008 positive campaign of "hope" and "change," President Barack Obama has descended into a negative campaign of attack and smear in 2012.

The Obama campaign attack advertising started in May, against Mitt Romney and Bain Capital, causing longtime Obama ally and campaign surrogate, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, to deplore as "nauseating" the negative campaign against private equity financing.

But the negative attacks on Romney and Bain, coming from a White House-connected super PAC, have continued and intensified.

They've run a series of ads awarded "four Pinocchios" by the Washington Post's fact checker -- its worst rating for truthfulness. The most egregious ad was an attempt to link Romney's tenure at Bain (ending in 1999) with a steelworker's wife's death from cancer in 2006, without any plausible connection.

On Obama's behalf, Sen. Harry Reid made a Joe McCarthy-like unsupported slander that Romney didn't pay any income taxes for 10 years, based on a "source" he won't identify.

Then, there's Vice President Joe Biden telling a largely black audience Romney wants "to put y'all back in chains."

I can't recall a dirtier campaign than Obama's re-election.

Jim Hartman

Berkeley

Should ban powerful drugs instead of guns

After every gun tragedy there is another call from government leaders for us all to give up our gun rights. After a bad traffic accident we don't ban cars, do we? Or ban knives if someone is stabbed?

If we could prevent criminals from owning and using guns, that would be laudable. But taking guns away from the rest of us law-abiding citizens doesn't make us safer. Statistics have shown this in cities that have tried it.

After the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords it was actually another legal, gun-carrying individual who helped subdue the assailant; this was not widely covered in the media.

We would be better off banning the many anti-depressants/psychotic drugs that almost all of these mass murderers have been on when they went on their shooting sprees.

Maybe it's time for putting stricter regulations on psychiatric drugs, and looking into other causes of why people turn violent. Because if these drug-crazed criminals all still have guns, and the rest of us don't, who's going to be safer?

Jule Reiser

Vallejo

Must get the dream back in my America

The America I grew up in is gone. However, the National Republican Convention gave a prelude to the America where I flourished. America is the story of opportunity, dreams, hard work, success, pride, respect and strong faith in a creator and each other.

My America is not President Barack Obama's America, where there are no jobs, no opportunities, little hope and no problem solving. There are only empty promises and drowning debt. My America believes people can achieve much if given the opportunity to have a job. But where are the opportunities? Where are the jobs?

We do not need the government dole, we need jobs. With a job comes dignity, self-respect, self-confidence and the belief that one can accomplish and achieve whatever they dream.

A government subsidy is not a job or hope or opportunity. It is existence and nothing more. Let's get back to the dream, to a hope-filled revitalized America before it's too late.

Edna Pucci

Oakland