Brown's tunnel vision on trains explained
The June 10 editorial about high speed rail, "Enough. Stop rail fantasy in its track" is off the track, pun intended. You forgot that Jerry Brown is a visionary, that he can see the future. Your mistake is comparing today's conditions and today's costs with those of 20 to 30 years from now. You are not taking in consideration how life in California that far in the future will differ from today.
Did you ever think only 15 years ago that we will be paying an exorbitant excise tax when buying a car deemed a gas guzzler by California regulators? What do you expect will happen when the deadlines of AB32 (California Global Warming Solutions Act) come and go and the objectives are not met 'cause there is no way in a real world that AB32 will ever be met? I can tell you: those regulators will go nuts. Only the politically connected (read "the rich") will have a personal means of transportation. Even a modest hybrid will be beyond the reach of the rest of us, the 99 percent.
We will drive electrical, you say. Jerry Brown knows that when people in L.A. and San Francisco plug in their electrical cars for an overnight charge for a trip up or down the state, the California power grid will be unable to handle the load. Do you really think that sun and wind would generate sufficient power to charge those cars? AB32 will make other sources of electrical power prohibitively expensive.
Jerry Brown is a Sacramento insider. He knows. 20 to 30 years from now our children and grandchildren will need that high-speed train. They will be thankful to him, although I am not so sure that they will be that thankful to us who voted for AB32.
We need more honesty, fewer euphemisms
I attended the VFW event in Livermore on Memorial Day. A group sang "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" I was startled to hear the lyrics, "as he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free.
I went to the Internet, found that those were the original words. I listened to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's rendition. They changed the "die" to "live." All the while the printed lyrics kept the original "die."
I can understand the inclination to shy away from the word "die." It would seem that the correct word should have been "kill." That is what was asked of the Union's soldiers. It certainly was not asking them to passively die for the cause. But, of course, even today we shy away from suggesting that our warriors "kill." No, they "risk their lives" going into "harm's way" to die while protecting our "freedom." Never do we hear it said that we want them to kill to achieve that end.
Donald F. King
Lab's manager just routinely ignores law
I am a legal intern with Tri-Valley CAREs, a nonprofit group that monitors Livermore Lab's activities.
My job includes using right-to-know laws to obtain information from Livermore Lab regarding potential health and environmental effects from their nuclear weapons work. So far, I have been surprised at the difficulty in obtaining information and the challenges met at every turn from the Department of Energy (DOE), the lab's parent agency.
As a federal agency, DOE is required to comply with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which mandates that agencies must respond to public requests for information within 20 days, with reasonable exceptions. I am astonished by their consistent failure to comply with the law. Looking through dozens of requests over the past four years, I was unable to find one instance in which our request was handled within the time limit mandated in the FOIA statute.
Livermore Lab appears to be ignoring the administration's Open Government Directive, which urges transparency at federal facilities, leaving the public in the dark as to the potential impacts of those activities.
Bravo to Obama for position on gay marriage
I commend President Obama for finally taking an unequivocal stand on what should really be a noncontroversial issue.
Prejudice against gays and lesbians in our country is due almost entirely to the influence of religion. We would do well to ignore Scripture-parroting babblers and senile, sexless old men in dresses.
It is hard to imagine how extending basic civil rights to one minority group in any way threatens the relationship or marriage of anyone else.
Certainly there must be more important issues to which our politicians should be devoting their efforts.
Thanks for another great rodeo
The Livermore Stockmen's Rodeo Association (LSRA) has done it again!
As one of the finest events held in the Livermore area, the 2012 Livermore Rodeo was fun and exciting. It lived up to its reputation of not only being the fastest rodeo in the world but also the best. All of the activities of Rodeo Week were fun-filled, superbly organized and very well-attended.
The accomplishments of the LSRA are even more impressive when we consider that they are done entirely by volunteers who work tirelessly year-round to plan this annual event. We applaud the efforts of LSRA to bring Western heritage and traditions to the Livermore area's residents and visitors. The Livermore Area Recreation and Park District (LARPD) is proud to have such a close and positive working relationship with LSRA, and we are glad to help support their efforts.
On behalf of the LARPD board of directors and staff, I would like to congratulate and heartily express our appreciation to the LSRA for the successful 94th annual Livermore Rodeo. I look forward to seeing what they do next year and for the years to come!
Livermore president, LARPD Board of Directors
Gay-marriage stance likely to mobilize youth
Obama's daring stance on same-sex marriage is likely to draw support from more than just the LGBT community.
While his move to announce his support of same-sex marriage has made minuscule changes in the polls, his campaign is likely to obtain the same youth appeal it had in the 2008 election. The young generation of Americans, especially in the Bay Area, seems to be far more liberal than older voters on the issue of same-sex marriage. The nation's youth are among the most active proponents of LGBT equality and rights, and the presence of LGBT clubs on school campuses encourages many young voters to be accepting of same-sex marriage.
To win the election, Obama needs people "who have his back," ("Obama campaign hits Bay Area," May 23) and although Obama's campaign will lose the support of many moderates opposed to same-sex marriage, the energized youth in the Bay Area will likely eclipse the loss, giving Obama the support he needs to pull ahead of Romney in the polls.