If you don't like Fillmore strip, don't read it

Again, for all of you book-burners who insist that the strip Mallard Fillmore should be dropped from the "comic" pages, may I say, "Don't read it!"

That is what I do with Doonesbury, Non Sequitur, Candorville and others that I do not care to follow (Luann is brainless, and Lio is a child's nightmare). Before you grab your hammers to break the windows, please observe the pages of Nov. 11. Of all of the 25 strips in the newspaper, only one had a salute and "thank you" to the veterans. That strip was Mallard Fillmore. Peanuts, when Charles Schulz ran it, never forgot. Some credit to Bruce Tinsley should be in order. That is, unless you still want to censor him.

Bob Miller

Dublin

Happy Valley homeowners unreasonable

Many people have been disappointed by the fact that the access road to and from Callipe Preserve Golf Course has been put on hold for the foreseeable future. I would like to point out that no special accommodations have been made for residents and property taxpayers on Alisal, Westbridge Lane or Clubhouse Drive, so why have Happy Valley Road homeowners been shown preferential treatment? I can drive from the freeway to my home via Happy Valley yet, because of their demands, I cannot use it for the reverse trip, despite it being a two-way road.


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Our mail carrier serves Sanctuary Lane after golf course homes, a street about 15 paces from the entrance. If he complied with the "No Left Turn" out of the golf course he would have to drive more than two-and-a-half miles to make his next delivery. Alternatively, he can cover the 20 feet by turning left. Which route do you think he takes? Perhaps he gets special treatment, too?

Janis Farmer

Pleasanton

Most workers in health care don't get rich

I am responding to the letter by Mr. King regarding his hospital bill. Unfortunately, his question about how the payment system works is too often asked and not always understood, even by health care workers. More unfortunately, the title "Care providers price gouging" does nothing to improve this perception.

Not knowing the exact details of Mr. King's policy, I can only make broad assumptions. But with his bill of $34,000, United Health Care might be paying the hospital in the area of $5,000, maybe less. Medical bills are "paper money," -- the insurance company never pays the amount on the bill. The numbers are the basis on which the (severely) reduced contractual amount paid is based.

An opaque system? Absolutely -- try to reach a live person at an insurance company. But Mr. King, I'd ask that you direct your ire at those who are responsible. I tell student interns we have that you get into health care for satisfaction, not to get rich. The folks at your local hospital are there because they have chosen this career to help people. And yes, for transparency, I do work at the hospital. I have been in health care for 31 years, and I drive a 1999 van. If there are riches to be made in health care, I wish someone would tell me about them.

Joe Carlucci

Pleasanton

GOP should get with program, modern times

Since the days of Abraham Lincoln, the Grand Old Party has held conservative-but-mainstream views. Leading up to the election of Ronald Reagan in the mid-1980s, it was known as the "party of business," whose leadership understood the underlying strength of America was leveraging capitalism to maintain a strong and informed middle-class electorate.

Since then, however, extremists have co-opted the party. First it was the religious right, who wanted to become a third party in everyone's marriage. Recently it's the tea party, who seemingly want to destroy the federal government but have no alternative solution to offer. The current vision of the GOP is being "the party of no," simply blocking any and all legislation just because they can. Their obsession with President Obama borders on a racial phobia for which there is no compromise. Its well past time to stop the whining and put together a positive agenda.

The real Grand Old Republicans need to stand up, evict the extremist elements, and refocus the party on creating a new upbeat dynamic in America. One that includes rebuilding the middle class and empowering the average person to be a valued contributor to our society rather than just keeping them a willing recipient in one or more entitlement programs.

Just say "yes" to having a business-creation vision once again and demonstrating the leadership to carry it out at the local, state and federal levels!

Many mainstream Americans would eagerly join a GOP with that agenda ....

Bob Fish

Danville

Oakland mayor should quit for city's own good

I grew up in Oakland and have a child who resides there, so I usually like to follow what's going on in that city.

Has anyone else noticed that when things are going bad in Oakland Mayor Quan can't be found anywhere or she has conveniently taken a mayor's trip somewhere and isn't available for comment but yet when there is any sort of photo-op that has any sort of positive spin -- there she is attempting to take credit for something that she probably had nothing to do with?

She is without a doubt the most unqualified mayor that this area has ever seen. How she wasn't recalled after the Occupy protests and her inability to bring some sort of calm to that city is beyond me. The most prudent thing that she could do is to resign and allow Oakland to find someone who will attempt to start working on its numerous issues, but as long as she remains, so will Oakland's problems. Time to leave, Mayor Quan.

Kevin Kane

San Ramon

Founders were compromisers, unlike tea party

Tea Party pedagogues flatter themselves by claiming direct descent of our Founding Fathers, who they alleged held a monolithic set of values -- theirs. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

The Founding Fathers were remarkably diverse. The Adams family wanted a hereditary presidency and senate. Thomas Jefferson's view was that only small-town caucuses should be the base of a representative government. Some hated slavery, while others were completely untroubled by it. Patrick Henry hated import taxes (he was a smuggler). Ben Franklin, an Anglophile, strove to recreate Albion in America.

Most were religious, but in the manner of the Age of Enlightenment. For the first time, reason stood equal and complementary to faith. We see this in the Declaration of Independence, which justified our rebellion by appealing to both "the Laws of Nature and Nature's God." Religion should be the handmaiden of democracy and not its master.

The Founders can and did argue viciously among themselves. Yet, in the end, they compromised. Always. Constitutionally, slaves were not people but counted as three-fifths for census purposes. If this is not the work of committed compromisers, what is?

Our Founding Fathers didn't claim omniscience. The tea party can't claim it either.

W. Michael Youngblood

Danville