GOP tough talk on Russia is all sizzle, no steak

As usual, the talking heads of the right wing are going into hyperbole mode about Obama, saying he's in over his head with Putin and the Crimea situation.

They totally ignore the fact that this is, first, a European problem and Obama is working in concert with the European Union and NATO. This nation has always come together during times of conflict, but now, I suppose, there is no such thing as statesmanship and commitment to the commander—in-chief during a foreign crisis.

Notice that while calling the president weak, they don't say what they would do and when specifically asked don't really come up with anything different from what's already being done short of reinstating the Cold War. Making the GOP reasoning all the more ridiculous is their willingness to pretend that any weakness Putin may have sensed was the fault of Barack Obama. It wasn't President Obama who failed to do much of anything at all when Russia invaded Georgia in 2008.

Frank Grygus

San Ramon

How to save water wasted while waiting


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Donald Wilfong's suggestion that builders be required to install circulating pumps for instant hot water is excellent. If every new home could save the gallons of water wasted waiting for hot water, the savings in quantity and cost would be tremendous.

Instant hot water is a possibility in homes without recirculating systems. There is a pump called the Chilipepper that can be installed under the furthest sink from the hot water tank and connected to the hot and cold water lines. When activated, it pulls water from the hot water tank and pushes back through the cold line. When hot water reaches the pump a built-in thermostat turns the pump off. You can also install wall-mounted switches to send a wireless signal to a receiver that can be connected to the pump. In our home the shower is at the other end of the house from the pump, but we can turn the pump on for a shower without going to the kitchen. It saves water and time.

Eugene Paschal

Danville

Enjoy local sight before it goes away

Coming home from work the other day, I saw a sight that could be right out of a travel book. At the corner of Diablo and McCully roads in Danville were about 25 black angus cows and calves. Some cows were nursing their offspring, some were eating the tall green grass and others were just looking around chewing their cuds.

Why is this so important? First, across the street is Green Valley School, so hundreds of children can see farm life up close instead of cows in a cage at the zoo. There are also two retirement homes within wheelchair distance from this view. This gives the seniors and the children of Danville something to enjoy in place of another TV show and with out a plane ride to a dude ranch in the Midwest.

Now the sad news: the Danville Town Council has approved a housing development to be built on that site. We all know that more new homes can cause a lot of negative issues such as traffic, crowded schools, crime, etc. But most important is when the earth movers start digging, what is destroyed is gone forever.

You might want to take a photograph of this property to show your grandchildren what Danville used to look like. A call to the Town Council to scale back the development might be an idea.

Roger Tuma

Danville

TV coverage leaves much to be desired

A good game gone wrong: what happened to the excitement of March Madness? I can't handle the timeouts, commercials, reviews and constant piffle that comes across as fingernails across a black board (parents, and grandparents may have to explain this term to the kids).

How many times do we have to hear "shoot the tray," "crossover," "ticky-tacky foul," "kiss the window" "rain maker" and many more with discursive annoyances?

They may have been great players, but that doesn't give them license to pontificate and insult the viewers. Two prominent basketballers come to mind -- Bill Walton and Chris Webber. I must mute any game that they "hold court over."

I also find it so awkward when reporters approach coaches at halftime and after the game with prosaic questions that are tedious and insulting. Just once I would like to hear a coach say, "Didn't you ask me the same question last game?"

One more thing: the senior kid at the podium after a tough loss who states, "They were just better than us, I guess it's time hang up the jock and look for a job."

Bill Chestnut

San Ramon

We're being robbed blind at the pump

Many Times readers are aware gasoline costs less elsewhere in the country than it does in California and the Bay Area. And the Times recently brought news that our gasoline prices are increasing even more as we approach summer.

Why is this? In addition to the higher costs mandated by California-specific environmental regulations, California has the highest state gasoline tax -- 71 cents per gallon -- in the country. (The average American pays about 50 cents per gallon.) In addition, California deviously figures the sales tax (8, 9 or up to 10 percent in some cities) AFTER adding the state excise tax, compounding the hit to the consumer.

Isn't this enough? State Senate leader Darrell Steinberg doesn't think so -- his proposed law would enact a new "carbon tax" to increase the state gasoline taxes by 15 cents per gallon next year and increase even more in future years.

Well, at least California drivers can say we drive the nation's finest highways and roads. HA! What once was the envy of the world is now an embarrassment of pot holes, broken pavement, etc. I'm not the one who keeps voting for these clowns in Sacramento -- is it you?

Mike Heller

Danville

Big Bang myth of creation also pretty extreme

Science is the way we understand the forces of nature as they exist today. But today's cosmic speculations and supposed successes in confirming them ("Cosmic Revelation," March 24) aren't science but simply flights of fantasy driven by faulty assumptions, especially the belief that we can infer the conditions of the past by projecting backward from what we observe today.

This is because most scientists arbitrarily (and thus falsely) assume the nonexistence of forces that we either don't recognize today or that are not active today (whether natural or supernatural) and that the forces we observe today always worked exactly as they do now. Sorry to all of you "science-worshippers," but because all of these things can't be known, science simply can't know how or when the universe was formed.

Thus, the notion that everything, including the laws of nature, simply sprang into existence from a single tiny particle is a far more extreme act of blind faith than belief in a creator God. Most scientists today also make a basic logical error in jumping to the conclusion that because science is the proper way to approach the physical world, then this must be all that exists. But this categorically excludes our own existence as knowing subjects. Thus the driving question of most cosmologists today, "Are we alone in the universe?" would actually be meaningless if ultimate reality was only matter/energy, mindless forces and space/time, for there wouldn't even be a real "we!"

Christopher Andrus

Dublin