It is the religious who are intolerant

I see that several contributors to this forum have gotten their knickers in a twist because the Oakland Zoo recently removed a large Ten Commandments monument from city property.

They accuse atheists and other First Amendment advocates of intolerance toward religion. They are wrong.

To their credit, Oakland city officials wisely chose to follow the advice of their own legal counsel -- namely, that the presence of a religious monument on government property was unconstitutional, and legally indefensible if challenged in court.

No one would object if religious monuments such as crosses, crèches and Decalogues were erected on church property, or on private property.

But some misguided zealots feel compelled to intrude their religious symbols onto public property, implying government endorsement of their beliefs.

Truly, they are the intolerant ones.

I salute Oakland city officials for taking the morally and legally correct stand, and refusing to kowtow to religious pressure.

Burt Bogardus

Danville

It is quite clear where jobs are

The new Republican Golden Boy implores attendees at his rallies to "Ask President Obama where the jobs are."

I guess he's so busy on his budget plan he doesn't have much time to shop, because he would know: China, Vietnam, India, Mexico, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Guatemala.

Those are just some of the names that appear on the "made in" labels of consumer goods in our marketplaces.

Call the customer service phone number on your credit card. There's a better than average chance you'll be connected to Mexico, the Philippines, India or who knows where else.

Some of us remember when communist and communism were dirty words. We fought against the North Koreans and communist Chinese. We went into Vietnam to stem the tide of communism, wasted more than 50,000 American lives, and got our butt kicked. Today, these communist countries are two of our trading partners -- one is our biggest lender.

Look around, and it will become very clear where the jobs are. Some others are in other places off America's shores, where some of Mitt Romney's money is.

Clyde E. Albert

Hayward

Each of us must get facts before voting

This coming election is no joking matter. It will ultimately determine whether America gets back on the right path as a democratic republic that rewards hard work and individualism or succumbs to the totalitarian ideas of the welfare state promoted by current leaders of the Democratic Party.

Don't be fooled by ads blaming Mitt Romney for the cancer death of the wife of a former steel company worker or Paul Ryan throwing granny over the cliff.

A recent serious article explained how the Obama administration is cutting funds to hospitals for repeat visitors. Furthermore, this administration is raiding Medicare to help fund the massive expansion of health benefits under Obamacare; supplemental health policies for seniors are threatened, and doctors are being woefully underpaid.

Obama has not offered any plan to ensure the long-term viability of Medicare or Social Security; he can only demagogue Ryan's pragmatic approach as far too radical.

Each of us owes it to ourselves and this nation to get and understand the facts before casting our votes.

Robert Teglia

Fremont

Is taxing the rich the right solution?

The president is right, I didn't build my business alone. Three guys in suits from the city, state and federal government made me an offer I couldn't refuse -- for a portion of my profit they would protect me and keep the roads and bridges passable.

As my success grew so did their demands for ever greater portions of my profit. If I refused, I'd go to jail. So, effectively I paid for those roads and bridges.

The plot of "The Sopranos" was remarkably similar.

If taxing the rich were the solution, California should be a shining showcase instead of resembling Greece.

Erich Kellner

Walnut Creek

Time to end Concord's life medical benefit

Concord is in trouble. The disclosures of the lifetime medical benefits in the Mt. Diablo Health Care District bring to focus substantially greater problems in the city. The current policy of the City Council is that one who serves five years on the council and takes the medical package qualifies for lifetime medical coverage.

It is an outrageous perk for a part-time political post and exposes the city to massive amounts of unfunded liability. This must be stopped, plain and simple.

Additionally, it should be noted that currently no part-time employee of the city is given medical coverage except for the City Council. This is an unacceptable conflict in policy. We must remove the perk in simple fairness.

We must stay clear of the spiral of medical costs and the liabilities that come with such long-term commitments for short-term service.

Edi Birsan

Concord