GOP taking us on road to ruin

The House Republicans are, once again, shutting down the federal government because they can't get their way. What are the qualifications to be a modern congressional Republican? Obstinance? Irresponsibility? Ignorance? A desire to demolish our society? It's certainly not the courage or even the desire to tackle the massive problems our country faces. How long can we survive as a leading nation while electing men and women like this? Not much longer, I think.

Andy Peterson

Dublin

Obamacare poll question flawed

The actual topic for this week, "should we defund ObamaCare?" is really bogus since this program has never been funded.

For that matter how could financing be allocated when no health care providers and associated costs have been identified yet? If and when we do fund this program we must identify the actual source and not allow any borrowing to take place.

Also, we need to have a detailed 20-year projection of the expected costs and any secondary effects this program may have.

David Brusiee

Pleasanton

Let's rethink our policies on nuke weapons

What you didn't know could have killed you.


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The Cold War is long gone, yet today's world faces even greater risk of a nuclear weapons disaster. In fact, the brinkmanship of ideological enemies that are geographically separated may pale compared with the enmities of nuclear-armed neighbors such as India and Pakistan.

Moreover, historically the greatest risk came not from intentional policy, but from inadvertent detonation. Eric Schlosser's newly released "Command and Control" carefully catalogs hundreds of near-misses through accident, miscommunication, error, malfunction and fire.

Most were hidden from the American public. Who knew that a wrench falling on a Titan II missile in Arkansas nearly caused the destruction of that state in 1980? Or that three of four H-bomb safety switches failed when a B-52 exploded over North Carolina in 1962?

As Schlosser put it, "Every one of [thousands of missiles] is an accident waiting to happen, a potential act of mass murder."

We should revisit our nuclear weapons policies. If the likes of Henry Kissinger, George Shultz and Colin Powell are pushing to eliminate nuclear weapons, shouldn't the rest of us?

Stephanie Ericson

Dublin

Fillmore comic strip not great cause for alarm

I am a liberal who doesn't care a whit about the controversy surrounding the comic strip "Mallard Fillmore" because we need balance in our cartoons. Today, the balance shifted a tad with one of the funniest cartoons I have seen in quite a while, the one about "Samsung's New Galaxy 47." Very funny, and I laughed out loud, something I usually reserve for "Pickles," " Bizarro," and "Zits," among others. Thanks for a great laugh this morning. Peace, William A. Buchanan

Livermore

A new jump rope song for all Americans

Next November

Let us remember

Those who shut

The government down.

Out goes Y-O-U!

Mary McMahon

Livermore

Shutdown good time to defund atomic bombs

Despite government shutdown, nuclear weapons funding is up for consideration. It is important for each of us to watch the budget.

The B61 Life Extension Program will cost $11 billion for just one bomb type. What could $11 billion do to solve community needs?

Earlier this year, Sen. Dianne Feinstein's budget appropriations committee cut 30 percent from the B61. That certainly is a start. Any more money spent on this bomb is a detriment to the budget. We also have to consider the horror of the nuclear bomb itself.

Crucial budget decisions will be made in the coming weeks Let Feinstein know the necessity of cutting the B61 further. Nonfunding is the best way to ensure that a new bomb is not manufactured.

It is amazing that Congress is willing to shut down the government over health care while still funding destructive nuclear bombs. Our priorities are topsy-turvy.

Douglas King

Livermore

Just one party to blame for U.S. shutdown

When the Watergate crisis hit, I heard many people respond by saying "They (both parties) are at fault." This is a way of sidestepping critical thinking.

On the issue of the current crisis I think there is no doubt about the cause, and it clearly rests with the self-styled conservative Republicans, who are, in reality, radicals bankrolled by big bucks. Historical analysis of social, e.g. demographic and cultural, changes are useful in seeking to understand the current crisis, but the moment deserves a close look at the facts: The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Obama Care. It is the law of the land. A minority of provincial Republicans in the service of the plutocratic core of this country are holding the rest of us hostage to a prerevolutionary French idea of government. "Let Them Eat Cake."

Dr. Walter C. Veit

Pleasanton

Public's input needed on lab site cleanup

Lawrence Livermore Lab's high explosives testing facility, Site 300, is located in the hills between Livermore and Tracy. This site has experimented with open-air blasts with high explosives and multiple toxic and radioactive materials used in nuclear weapons.

It is no wonder that Site 300 got added to the Superfund list of the most contaminated sites in the country. The groundwater, soil, and some springs there have become polluted with a mixture of solvents, metals, radionuclides and other hazardous substances.

The cleanup includes many of Site 300's open-air firing tables. At one of them, Building 812, soil samples revealed uranium contamination at a concentration of 22,700 picocuries per gram, which is huge.

More soil surveys are scheduled at Building 812 later this year. However, many cleanup activities have been postponed and the legally-mandated public hearing may be delayed until 2015. Public input is necessary sooner to ensure that the cleanup goals that Livermore Lab wants are acceptable to people who live nearby. The lab should hold a public workshop this year to get our input.

Alison Forrest

Livermore

GOP legislators proved fascists and radicals

Thanks to state Rep. Brenda Barton, of Arizona, the Republicans have made it clear that they are fascists whose radical politics will replace the American republic and our rights with the tenet that "what is mine is mine, and what is yours is mine, too."

I am sorry, Sam Adams. The time has come when vain and aspiring men (and women) have possessed the highest seats in government, and we citizen patriots are not able to prevent its ruin.

Tom Isenburg

Livermore