Measure M in Pinole deserves support

This letter is in behalf of the board of directors of the Pinole Chamber of Commerce, which supports the renewal of Pinole's utility users tax, Measure M, and encourages its members and Pinole citizens to vote in favor of it on November's ballot.

Although the chamber is always wary of taxes and the burdens they impose on businesses, we recognize businesses cannot function unless the city is capable of delivering basic municipal services.

There is no Pinole in which to do business if the city can't provide a police department to keep us safe from crime and public works to pave the roads upon which our customers drive.

In fact, a city doesn't amount to much if it can't also provide recreational services, parks and public libraries.

The city is in dire financial circumstances. The utility users tax is already in place; this is not a new tax. However, this tax will go away unless it is renewed. The renewal of this tax will not solve Pinole's financial problems, but it may keep them from getting any worse.

The chamber of commerce, therefore, urges Pinole residents to support Measure M.

Dina Rosales

Pinole

Rosales is the president of the Pinole Chamber of Commerce.

U.S. is ignoring a third option

To thwart Iran's nuclear ambitions, the United States is looking only at sanctions, which the regime ignores, or military action, which could plunge the region into war.

It ignores a third option: Support the Iranian people in their dream of a democratic, peaceful state free of its repressive regime. However, the U.S. and the United Nations stand by while Iraq, at the behest of the Iranian regime, forces members of the opposition into a prison camp near Baghdad.

In his acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention, President Barack Obama spoke of the support of the U.S. for the right of people to live in freedom.

He said: "The historic change sweeping across the Arab world must be defined not by the iron fist of a dictator or the hate of extremists, but by the hopes and aspirations of ordinary people who are reaching for the same rights that we celebrate here today."

We must hold the words of the president up to officials who lose sight of this fundamental value for short-term expediency.

David McCoard

El Cerrito

Extremists must be stopped

I agree with most of the letters in Talk Back about what we should do regarding the extremists in the Middle East.

Therefore, we should cut off all financial aid to anyone affiliated with the tea party, an extremist group in the United States -- no bailouts, no subsidies, no Medicare, no Social Security checks, and certainly we shouldn't allow them to use public facilities such as roads and libraries. They shouldn't be allowed to use services provided by union members: police, firefighters, nurses, teachers, etc.

These extremists won't listen to reason; facts don't change their minds. They refuse to negotiate and keep trying to take all of our rights away (with the exception of gun rights). They don't like anyone who doesn't believe everything they believe.

I'm tired of the media kowtowing to these extremists for fear of being labeled "mainstream."

If financial penalties don't sway these extremists, we'll have to take the next step: Move them to someplace uninhabited (the South Pole?) and let them lift themselves up by their own bootstraps.

We cannot allow these extremists to turn our country into a barbaric, bullying state.

Joanne Smith

Union City

Intelligentsia trying to rule our lives

Dr. Jeffrey Ritterman of Richmond made a good physicians' argument for restricting our access/choice of sugary sodas. Probably as good an argument as was made in the '20s and '30s by physicians justifying their infecting unknowing blacks with sexually transmitted diseases for the common good.

In other words, the intelligentsia knows what's best for us, the unwashed, the uninformed, the unintelligent, and will lead us to the promised land. Suppose they exaggerate? Suppose they are driven by the need to control the lesser folk? Suppose we don't like their version of the promised land? Suppose they are wrong? Who appointed them the arbiter of what is best for the rest of us and gave them the authority to enforce it? Teach us, enlighten us, warn us, but do not dare take the decision away from us.

Cliff Wiesner

Concord