The Fed's policies isolate the U.S.

The Times editorial endorsement of Janet Yellen for the Fed deftly avoids Ben Bernanke's failed policies of zero interest rates, quantitative easing (QE) to infinity and potential future actions. For most Americans, the substance issues dwarf the "who" issues.

Monetary policy, foreign policy and economic prosperity are all intertwined. You say, "The U.S. is clearly gravitating toward a policy (to) become more a part of the global economy." But the reality is just the opposite.

Our money-printing policies have caused huge inflation and rejection throughout the world. Monetary policy combined with foreign policy of perpetual war are isolating the United States -- more than at any time since World War II. Even the United Kingdom failed to support the potential Syrian strike.

Lastly, Yellen's challenge is likely to be focused on "helping to understand and stem" domestic, not international, crises, because the financial health and stability of the nation's banking and monetary system is far worse now than it was in 2008.

Any sensible person knows QE and trillions of derivatives are not sustainable, nor easily cured.

Chris Kniel

Orinda

Congress wants the USPS to fail

The Times recently printed an article about Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe saying a postal rate increase is urgent for first-class mail, which accounts for about 10 percent of the mail delivered.


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If it is truly an emergency, as Donahoe says, why does he refuse to include a rate hike for the 90 percent of mail delivered at nonprofit and politicians' rates -- most of which is in the 5 to 10 cent range?

Once again, it is obvious to me Congress' real agenda is to bring down the Postal Service as soon as possible by focusing continually upon the first-class rates, which most people use, while ignoring the nonprofit rates used by far fewer people.

Also, Donahoe refuses to mention the billion-dollar contracts the federal government has with FedEx and UPS to deliver 95 percent of the government's larger mail items. They leave 5 percent for the Postal Service.

Congress pretends to care, while continuing this planned obsolescence agenda with a vengeance.

Joe Trevors

Hercules

Acts of human kindness are free

The Bay Area is infected by a plague: The common courtesy deficiency.

What happened to saying "Hello" in passing, holding a door open for the person behind you, or a thank-you wave for letting someone merge in traffic?

Being born in Ohio, where common courtesy is abundant, I moved to the Bay Area in 2009. Here, when holding the door open for someone, the shock in their voice if they say "thank you" is laughable. Passing someone in a hallway and I say "hello," a common response is, "Do I know you?"

California natives tell me no one cares about common courtesy.

Since society is always looking for quick, healthy solutions, let me introduce one to you. An article I read recently highlighted effortless ways to become heart healthy. According to Dr. David R. Hamilton, "Acts of kindness create an emotional warmth, which releases a hormone known as oxytocin."

This plague is easily cured. Greet a stranger, or give a compliment. Human kindness is free and a remedy for many ailments.

Jamie Cooke

San Ramon

El Cerrito uses funds unwisely

El Cerrito citizens, let's unite against the city's unwise use of funds.

Fairmount Avenue, between San Pablo Avenue and Carlson Boulevard, has two new cutouts in the middle of the median (includes landscaping). Take a look, since construction cost $9,431.

There are crosswalks on the south and north end of this short median. These two cutouts in the middle are for temporary Off the Grid food truck events for four hours every Wednesday. Why doesn't the city spend funds on construction that benefits the majority of residents rather than on a weekly event where many attendees are nonresidents?

These cutouts invite unsafe pedestrian crossings. To spend $9,431 for a four-hour weekly event is irresponsible and a safety hazard the remaining 164 hours in the week.

Our city officials are not looking out for the greatest good for the greatest number in the long run. If interested in uniting, contact me at concern123@outlook.com.

Shelly Marie

El Cerrito