Heed emphatic 'periods' with much caution
Recently, there was an article in the Tri-Valley Times about the negotiations the United States and other countries are having with Iran regarding Iran's nuclear program. The article noted that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had said that any agreement was a "bad idea."
If I were the prime minister, I would not worry, because the article further stated that President Obama had called Netanyahu and affirmed that "he is still committed to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon." In my view, Netanyahu need only be worried if President Obama says, "he is still committed to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. 'Period.'!"
Obamacare's critics refuse to be team players
While the rollout of the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") has been "a fumble" as the president said, I chose to take a wider view. I celebrate this law as this country's first attempt at universal health insurance. I don't understand the mentality of the harsh critics of this law. What is wrong with making sure that more Americans have access to affordable health insurance? What is wrong with insisting the insurance should not be denied based on pre-existing conditions (such as pregnancy)? What is wrong with allowing your kids who are 26 or younger to be on your policy?
Critics of Obamacare, including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., find fault with the fact that, e.g., a male must buy insurance that also covers female health issues. I suppose there are women who don't understand why they should be forced into a plan that covers prostate problems. Come on! My wife and I pay property taxes that include taxes for the local school district -- we don't have any children of school age, yet still we pay those taxes without whining. We also pay federal taxes that pay for wars that we never agreed with. Insurance as well as taxes work because a large number of people -- a team -- participate. Just because critics of ACA refuse to be team players, they should not stand in the way of Americans who are team players and want to have access to affordable health care.
Fracking would give us energy independence
Lately, there were two disturbing stories appearing in your paper: 1) Gov. Brown urging the building of hydrogen fuel stations, and 2) so-called scientists urging that "fracking" be forbidden in California. Such outlandish proposals deserve to be exposed for their faulty logic.
First, expensive hydrogen does not compete with the dirt-cheap, clean-burning and plentiful availability of natural gas. I predict natural gas will eventually replace gasoline to power some autos. UPS trucks already use it. Hydrogen must go through the expensive process of electrolysis to separate hydrogen from oxygen in water -- energy-intensive. Whereas, natural gas is ready to be used as extracted from shale fields through fracking, which also greatly increases our supply of oil, which will make us independent of Mideast oil in a few years. Can the environmental zealots see the benefit of exchanging a barrel of oil from the Mideast for a barrel produced at home? Can they imagine how stupendous that will be in developing our economy and general well-being? We will prosper -- or is that a dirty word?
Don't worry -- president has it all under control
The health care website is certain to be fixed at some time in the future now that President Obama has learned that it isn't working properly. In fact, he already has the firm that created the problems working on the technical end of things.
President Obama has had an opportunity to review the ACA and has determined that its thousand pages can get complicated. But each time the ACA inconveniences a few people, those folks can rest assured that their president knows what's best for them. The people can trust that their president will learn about any problems on the nightly news, tell them the score and get proven minds to take care of the problem.
Bad plans cause traffic jams, not good economy
The notion that a recent increase in job growth is the root cause for higher levels of traffic congestion is an absolute joke. Traffic congestion here in the East Bay and elsewhere in the state is terrible today for the same reason it was terrible 10 or 20 years ago. City, county and state planners all get it wrong, and they get it wrong 100 percent of the time.
When was the last time a freeway widening actually resulted in faster travel times? How on Earth could government planners allow thousands and thousands of new homes in Antioch, Brentwood and Pittsburg and make no modifications to Highway 4 to accommodate the huge spike in traffic? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to plot population growth. The failure of government to provide roadways where traffic can move freely at maximum allowable speeds at any time of day is criminal. Add Caltrans to the mix and the moronic propeller heads who dreamed-up diamond lanes, and the cauldron of breathtaking incompetence overflows.
Not to be rude, but some letters unfit to publish
I usually enjoy reading readers' letters, but I feel I must ask you to please do your job and edit. Specifically, don't print letters to the editor which are insulting, ridiculous or have no basis in fact.
In the last year you have printed letters from people who deny even the possibility of climate change despite the impact of 6 billion people and their associated industries, from a writer who equated the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook to abortion, from a writer who blamed his fuel economy drop of 10 miles per gallon -- from 25 mpg in Arizona to 15 in California -- on California gas blends versus Arizona gas (I have lived in Arizona and California -- that writer needs to learn how to do long division) and many letters from people who do nothing but insult anyone and everyone from all political parties, from all walks of life and from all religions or no religion.
A letter to the editor should express an opinion -- an opinion that is well thought out, backed by facts as appropriate and, above all, is civil. So, I am asking you to please follow those guidelines and show the good judgment I know you have when selecting readers' letters for printing.