Shooting messenger is conservative strategy

I first became aware of the "liberal media" about 1971 when then Vice President Spiro Agnew blamed the "nattering nabobs of negativism," such as The New York Times, for publishing the Pentagon Papers. The papers exposed government lies and deceit regarding the Vietnam War.

Shooting the messenger became the conservative strategy to deflect attention from the truth about the war. They've used this strategy ever since, blaming the media because, unlike Fox, it doesn't report what they want to hear.

Charles Locher

Richmond

Something fishy about CalPERS

Reading the September issue of California State Retiree newsletter, I am scratching my head at the statement by a member of CalPERS LTC insurance program that: "The only good news regarding the 85 percent increase in monthly premiums for long term care insurance is that 26 percent of its members facing this steep premium increase converted to lesser plans that could result in savings in the entire program."

Expectations that 10 percent of covered members, some since the '90s, would migrate to less expensive plans covering three, six or 10 years were miscalculated. LTC members affected by this unconscionable increase aren't smiling. Their faith in the board and administrators of the LTC program has been shaken to the core.


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Three law firms have filed a lawsuit alleging CalPERS misled policy holders with promises of solvency and stability of coverage but did not manage the funds efficiently leading to a grand shortfall. So go figure why, for the first time in several years, CalPERS LTC will begin accepting applications for new members in December? Something fishy in Denmark?

Linda S. Messick

Oakland

Presumed cause of Mt. Diablo fire

On Sept. 12, Cal Fire, an agency of the California Department of Forestry, issued a news release stating, "Cal Fire investigators have determined the cause of the Morgan Fire to be target shooting. This remains an ongoing investigation."

As a target shooter and shooting range safety officer, I hope to use the results of this scientific investigation to audit the safety procedures we use.

Based on the various newspaper accounts, here's what we know so far: A resident heard what she presumed was gunfire, which she presumed was coming from private property that has been used for target practice in the past.

Cal Fire presumed someone in the area did something associated with target shooting, which caused a spark, or something, that caused the fire.

I do hope this newspaper publishes this eagerly awaited final report.

Michael A. Elliott

Martinez Elliott is a National Rifle Association certified range safety officer.

Shameful attempt to restrict voters

I'm astounded that several letter writers are doubtful that voter rights have been diminished.

Within the last several years, Republican-controlled legislatures in key battleground states have lessened or eliminated voter registration on college campuses and require government issued IDs to vote. These restrictions affect students, the elderly, the poor and minorities who typically vote Democratic.

They claim the changes were required due to voter fraud, but they admit there hasn't been any. So, rather than create policies that would attract these voters, the Republicans created laws that would obstruct them from voting.

It is not only un-American, it's shameful.

Tangee Miles

Martinez