News on war sanitized now for long time
I hope Robert Miller ("News judgment poor ...," Aug. 8) realizes that this lack of reporting on ongoing wars and casualties has been the norm since 9/11.
When the numerous caskets started arriving home in 2002 and 2003, the Bush/Cheney team outlawed cameras and the filming of bodies coming off the planes. Early in the wars they realized they would not be able to continue the lie of success in the Middle East if people were reminded of the truth. Neoconservatives and their lemmings are always eager to send others to sacrifice their lives as long as they (the neocons) don't have to know the truth. They just keep cashing the checks they receive from the profits of war.
This is why they dwell on conspiracies like Benghazi. They try to take your mind off the more than 6,000 dead, brave Americans in the Middle East. They need to justify the worst foreign affairs mistakes they falsely perpetrated (Iraq, etc.). It's the old bait-and-switch. Blame the new guy because he's "different."
Kevin S. Bryant
Pacific trade pact to subvert Constitution
Why is the media not reporting on a trade agreement being negotiated under cover among a dozen Pacific Rim countries called -- TPP--Trans Pacific Partnership?
Public Citizen is today's whistle blower on the potential damage this deal could rain down on our country. Ron Kirk, a former top trade official in the Obama administration, said he opposed making the text of the agreement available to the public because it would raise such opposition the deal would be impossible to sign. Few members of Congress have seen it, but 600 CEOs have. Such treaties supersede our laws and even our Constitution. TPP could be the crown jewel of corporate rule.
House members on both sides of the aisle including our own Eric Swalwell are asking that TPP not be fast-tracked. This deal negotiated in secret needs a good airing and time for We the People to respond.
Medical system can't be worse than it already is
Elisabeth Pforr writes "Why should citizens and workers be mandated to pay taxes for health care for those who ... won't ... pay?"
The poor and uninsured now take a free ambulance ride to get a band-aid or aspirin. Who pays? The uninsured are billed thousands, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars for routine services. The insured are billed the same, but the charges are reduced immensely through agreements with the insurers. Hospitals pad bills, then negotiate with the insurance company. We don't get to negotiate. We're hounded by bill collectors. Health emergencies are the prime reason for bankruptcy.
The insurers drop those with pre-existing health problems and long term health issues. Employees lose jobs because of serious family illness. If you can't pay, should you just die? Insurance administrators are the death panels you fear.
Obamacare mandates that everyone contributes to the health insurance pool. This promotes well patient care and healthier lifestyles, not expensive trips to the emergency room. A major percentage of hospital/insurance income is directed to health care, not profits. We pay more for health care than any country in the world. Let Republicans build a system that provides better service than we have now.
Let military destroy Muslim Brotherhood
For many decades, the United States has attempted to instill our democratic values into the Middle East. Democracy is not a concept that we can bestow on people in Third World despotic countries. Egypt lacks the conditions necessary to undergo a cultural and political transformation.
The fact is, anti-American sentiment is so pervasive in the region, that each election we force on these countries leads to the rise of a much more radical Muslim-controlled government hostile to the United States and our allies. Heavy-handed attempts to force the Egyptian military to negotiate with Mohammed Morsi and his gang will ultimately prove counterproductive and extremely dangerous for the Egyptian people and the world.
Thirty-three million Egyptians -- far more than those that elected Morsi -- took to the streets because they were not willing to live under strict militant Islamic rule. Coptic Christian churches are burning to the ground while the Muslim Brotherhood also murders Arab Christians in cold blood.
This was not a coup by any standard; this was the taking back of a nation by the majority of the people through their military. Let's stop meddling and allow the Egyptian military to eradicate the Islamic terrorists in their midst.
A modest plan for Bay Area's high-speed rail
Californians in 2008 approved "The Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act for the 21st Century." To cut costs, plans call for high-speed rail on Caltrain tracks -- "blended rail" -- along the Peninsula. Caltrain, though, has 43 grade crossings and many suburban station platforms. High-speed on "blended rail" would be dangerous and prone to delays and sabotage -- neither safe nor reliable.
Better, safer, and far cheaper: run high-speed rail along an upgraded Union Pacific/Amtrak Mulford route to Oakland. Use high-speed rail local transit funding for a new San Francisco Bay rail hub station in Oakland, where BART crosses overhead (at the Interstate 880/Seventh Street interchange near the Bay Bridge. Make the BART station like the one at MacArthur, with four tracks. What a Bay Area-Sacramento link!
Robert S. Allen
Livermore BART Director, District 5 (1974-1988) Standard Pacific Western Division, Engineering/ Operations, retired
Lab's Shaker apparatus has no good use
According to the Nuclear Facilities Safety Board the Livermore Lab's contracted personnel have begun to refurbish the Shaker apparatus.
This equipment tests plutonium bomb pits to be sure they are perfectly safe. This facility was used for years when the lab researched bomb pits. The question is, why is the lab now considering refurbishing it? The lab says it is for "potential future operations." Does this "future" mean the potential shipping of plutonium bomb pits from Los Alamos, more than 1,100 miles of highway from here, for testing here and then returning the bombs the same way to Los Alamos?
This operation is a danger to our highways and the cities and towns along the way, not to mention that the lab no longer has the security nor the authority to receive these bombs. Also the amount of plutonium in these bombs is no longer allowed at the lab. Just the idea of refurbishing the Shaker is dangerous and illegal, an idea that must be dropped immediately.