Letters from kids prompt response

In response to three of the wonderful letters from the kids on Jan. 18:

Yalding: I loved your letter and hope you (and others) are able to implement some of your suggestions.

Samantha: I have to disagree. Driving a car is the most dangerous, destructive activity one can legally do. There are many "social" costs -- such as pollution, congestion and fatalities -- that are paid for by persons other than the driver. Gas should cost more, not less.

Jessica: It is unlikely we will ever get rid of all lethal weapons. But we can manage them better. Keep firearms locked at home and use them only when police cannot respond.

And keep your cars in the driveway as much as possible -- yes, we kill many more children with motor vehicles than with guns. One-half of our trips here in sunny California are three miles or less. Why don't we do something else? Are we that unconcerned?

I hope you kids are able to convince some adults to change their behaviors. Unfortunately, too many adults think it's only the other guy who should change.

Stacy Spink

Castro Valley

Mallard Fillmore strip a pleasant surprise

Thanks for all the letters on Mallard Fillmore.

I had never read that comic before, but I now do daily. It's hilarious.

Bob Cummings

Brentwood

How to take care of animal waste

I am writing in response to the letter about how to handle your dog's waste if one cannot obtain a plastic bag.

Here's what I do: Since plastic bags litter the landscape, do the environment a favor, pick up the discarded bags and use them. If that does not appeal, use an old shovel and several layers of newspapers to wrap the deposit in.

Then either flush it down the toilet or deposit it in the trash. I have been assured by waste management companies that their systems can take care of this kind of waste.

Remember the huge new "continent" in the Pacific Ocean made up of plastic bags, as well as all the sea life dead because of eating plastic in the ocean?

Let's consider it a gift to our children and grandchildren to do all we can to discontinue its growth by not using new plastic bags for any reason. We can do this.

Maureen M. Plimier

Oakland

The nation's debt is out of control

The November election reflected that people want stuff, big government, not opportunities or jobs. The president said he would transform America and he has. Only class warfare remains. We are in the dark ages with 400 more new laws, no plans, no leadership, no money and no hope.

There is no end to spending despite what the president said he wants -- a balanced approach. Where is the balance? We have higher taxes with laughable cuts. Is that the balance?

Perpetual debtville is our legacy. Is that what you want for America? A legacy of unending debt for future generations? There will be no benefits or security for them, only a mountain of debt.

When will we honor mankind, not self interest?

Edna Pucci

Oakland

Land I have loved has disappeared

Lately, I've been reading Stephen E. Ambrose's book, "Nixon: Ruin and Recovery, 1973-1990."

This was when Washington, the country and the press were consumed with Watergate. The book talks about how President Richard Nixon made proposals to deal with the energy crisis and had advanced a legislative program that emphasized health insurance for all, more grants and loans for college students, welfare reform, mass transit and other items that ordinarily would have found strong support from the liberals. But they ignored them because Nixon had proposed them.

Amazing. This sounds like now. Still nothing is being solved. Instead, Washington acts and sounds like a bunch of 12-year-olds in a schoolyard spat, the press is biased, TV commentators opinionated while fanning the flames. The country is divided, the people are confused and running in fear of what crisis will explode next.

What has happened to our country? America, the land that I love.

Janet N. Whitaker

Fremont