Carnival ordeal raises question

Editor: This is a rhetorical question. Why was the Carnival Triumph towed for four days to Mobile, Ala., putting the entire 4,000 passengers through all kinds of misery when it could have been towed 150 miles to the Yucatán coast of Mexico? Answer: the passengers did not have passports to Mexico. How many of the 11 million illegal immigrants here in the USA have passports?

Robert R. Wood

Livermore

If Constitution doesn't support a law, ignore it

America, wake up! You're rapidly losing your Constitutional rights; yet you continue to elect politicians who have few moral values, have little knowledge of our Constitution and think nothing of lying to the American people.

We trust too many unreliable sources in determining what is or isn't true or Constitutional. The mainstream news media seldom reports facts, the ACLU works against the Constitution and our courts have pretty much decided themselves out of relevance. I blame U.S. citizens for allowing so many unconstitutional laws to be passed, read the Constitution. If you know a law is unconstitutional, ignore it.

The current battle over gun control is a prime example; what a waste of time and money, citizens are already banned from owning military weapons (assault weapons). No government agency has the power or authority to monitor my gun collection or magazine capacity. Licensing and gun confiscation are unconstitutional, so I won't participate in any unenforceable laws they may pass.

Richard D. Hudson

Livermore

Gun rights only applied in early days of America

When Ben Franklin died in 1790, the government of France declared three days of mourning. The Second Amendment was passed Dec. 15, 1791. On Feb. 10, 1792, Robespierre delivered a speech on national defense at the Jacobin Club in which one of his major points was the arming of the people. It seems clear that the U.S. Supreme Court got it right in Heller: the Second Amendment really does (or did) apply to the right of individual citizens to bear arms.

But these were revolutionary governments defending against counterrevolution by royalists. There is absolutely no implied right to bear arms against a democratically-elected government. But the politics of our gun-rights friends are the same as the politics contributing to the overthrow of the democratically-elected-but-left-wing governments of Chile, Guatemala and others that they don't like. Did it help us to win the Cold War? To fight a global war, a robust middle class subject to conscription is needed to do the fighting, the preservation of which seems less important in a time of massive peace.

Burke Ritchie

Livermore

There are two paths lab can go by in long run

There are two distinct, possible futures for Livermore Lab; one fraught with radioactive risks, the other safe, secure and beneficial.

Without the large quantities of plutonium and security it once had, Livermore Lab's nuclear weapons research-and-development capabilities are necessarily limited. Indeed, the lab stands at a crossroad. Will Livermore Lab seek "variances" to receive plutonium bomb cores it is no longer authorized to handle? This future involves testing plutonium by vibrating, heating and dropping bomb cores from a crane. The "shake and bake" would occur despite the permanent removal of Livermore Lab's high-security infrastructure, potentially leading to a catastrophe.

Or, will Livermore Lab forge a bold new future focused on civilian science, such as nonpolluting renewable energy, global climate modeling and cleanup of radioactive wastes? The lab has small programs in each of these areas, although their collective share of the annual budget totals less than five percent. This important decision belongs not only to lab management but also to the public. We all breathe the air and drink the water. Which future would you choose?

Marylia Kelley

Livermore

Keep pets safe from coyotes

The coyotes are back!

I live on the Iron Horse Trail between Pine Valley and the golf course. I am up at 4 a.m. every morning. Recently I have been hearing the coyotes howling. Sometimes they are close to my back yard. Also early in the morning I have cats that come and visit. Evidently, they either are let out early in the morning or are out all night. One cat visitor has not been around for a month.

If you have pets and truly love them, do not let them out at nights or early in the morning. Coyotes are out looking for food, and their next meal may be your pet. If you live around the trail or golf course, I would take extra precautions. The coyotes come down from the hills, hunt along the golf course and come down to the Iron Horse Trail. I walk early and sometimes see them in the neighborhoods. One morning at 9 a.m. I saw a coyote with a cat behind Lucky's on Alcosta. Please warn your friends who have pets.

Laura Latt

San Ramon

Billion Rising event could be even better

Recently the Tri-Valley Times had an article about students at Diablo Valley College dancing during a one-day event called One Billion Rising. This event was to bring awareness to the reality that an estimated one in three women will be beaten or sexually assaulted in her lifetime.

I applaud the motive behind the event, and hopefully the message will provoke thought, discussion and change. Dancing in public does tend to cause people to stop momentarily, but education is the key to changing these grim statistics. The objectification of women by the media, men and even by women themselves in how they choose to reveal so much of their bodies adds to the devaluation of the individual. This devaluation of women as objects for use by others, along with low self-esteem, conformity to peer pressure and manipulation are all very much part of the need for women and men to become educated about the deep psychological roots behind domestic violence and sexual assault and harassment. Dancing can bring awareness, but only education can bring change.

Kathy Redmond, R.N.

Pleasanton

Opening party for Bay Bridge to be too pricey

Do the math: to spend $5.6 million to let 125,000 people walk across the Bay Bridge (on Labor Day) will cost $44.80 per walker. Obviously, charging $5 or $10 will not be enough to cover the cost of this fantastic opportunity. Why not cancel the "party" for all but the planners of the bridge party and make them pay $45 and walk the 6 miles all by themselves while we watch them on the news?

Jane Beyss

San Ramon