The 'class warfare' began years ago

Attempting to tax the superrich has been labeled "class warfare." Chronic amnesia must have swallowed Grover Norquist and the GOP.

Over the past three decades, the superrich and all three branches of government have successfully waged war against ordinary working Americans. It began with deregulation, transportation, communication, energy and finance benefiting only corporations and Wall Street, while eliminating American jobs.

American workers watched their mills and factories close up, their pensions evaporate and their lives changed to flipping burgers for minimum wages.

The super corrupt Reagan administration continued the dismantling of the middle class with the help of Congress, and more of our high-paying jobs were shipped overseas. The next three presidents, with the help of Congress, continued to outsource our jobs to the cheapest bidders overseas and across the border. White-collar Americans became the next to evaporate, culminating with the Bush legacy: the 2008 Depression.

The practice continues with today's GOP and their hatred of American workers. Make them pay for it in November. That's class warfare.

Bill Castellanos

Pinole

Video was just an excuse for violence

With an acute knowledge of the Muslim faith, President Barack Obama could be sending out mixed signals about his identity and faith to the world of Islam.

If so, he could be viewed as a turncoat by some zealots.

In his defense, Obama is an American first, representing American people everywhere.

The violence that followed the released video is just subterfuge: an overt excuse for gang rule to bring down America ominously, and without a doubt, criminally.

Anna Koepke

El Sobrante

NFL lockout was all about control

I am very happy to see the real NFL referees are back.

The prospect of injury to the players and loss of integrity in game results forced cooler heads to prevail.

This unnecessary lockout is an excellent example of the behavior of 1 percenters -- the owners. They put their highly profitable enterprise at risk and began alienating the public for the sake of chump change (compared to their profits).

So why did they do it? It's the urge to control everything and micromanage the livelihoods of their employees (the referees).

As Mitt Romney once said, "I like to fire people." Exactly! Just wondering, do you have to be an egomaniac before you get rich, or is it just a result of getting rich?

Sal Spataro

Pinole

Hunter's Point program a model

This is in response to Felix Hunziker's Sept. 23 guest opinion piece.

With of millions of insured patients to be covered under the Affordable Care Act in 2014, the urgency to address root causes of chronic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity, is more demanding than ever.

The Richmond soda tax, though flawed, is an innovative way of addressing those conditions. I agree with Hunziker that the tax seems punitive to residents and small businesses (even if it's not intended to be).

A more successful approach would address the obesity epidemic while incorporating the concerns of the broader community. By enacting a municipal ordinance as the Good Neighbor Program in San Francisco' Hunter's Point, the city of Richmond could offer small businesses the tools for success, such as store branding, free marketing, city recognition and discounts on energy-efficient appliances in exchange for devoting 10 percent or more of shelf space to healthy foods instead of sugary drinks. San Francisco's program saw an increase in produce sales and overall profits and is likely to work in Richmond, too.

Hanna Hamilton Flores

Richmond

Brown says no; so should we

Jerry Brown wants more of our money. Let's review how he has handled the money he currently gets.

Has he taken steps to put public pensions on a sustainable, affordable path? No.

Has he reduced wasteful spending on projects that we do not want, like the bullet train? No.

Has he proposed a solution to save the Delta and protect our drinking water? No. He has come up with a scheme to ship more water south.

Has he eliminated -- not cut, eliminated -- even one program or agency that is underperforming? No. He has cut all programs, hoping for two things. First, he wants more money to save things we want and need such as schools and public safety. Second, he hopes times will improve so he can restore funds to all programs including those that waste our money.

It is clear that he has said no too often; we should say no to him.

Fred Donecker

Clayton